Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Ramblings.

Too many random things are going on in our household right now, so instead of posting a bunch of little posts, I just combined them all in one. Here goes.

I have hit 'that' point in pregnancy. You know, that point where it's hard to turn over in bed, hard to get off the couch, peeing every hour and being poked in the ribs and side every few minutes. I have decided that with your second child you have a pull of emotions. With Brayden I was wanting him to come ASAP... with Connor, I can't wait to meet him, but I have anxiety about dealing with two babies at the same time so part of me wants him to stay in my tummy as long as possible.

And another pregnancy side note that may be TMI (don't say I didn't warn you!): I am SICK of bloody noses. It seems like every hour I have atleast 1 bloody nose. Thankfully it hasn't ever hit me in public-- can you just see me running to the bathroom with blood coming out of my nostrils? Gross. And embarrassing. 

Brayden ate dog poo yesterday. Actually, ate makes it sound less than what really happened. What REALLY happened is that I had gone inside for 3 minutes, and when I started to go back out he came running up to me with what I thought was mud all over him. Painted like he was ready for war, it was on his face, his hair, he was sucking his fingers... nastiness. I kind of played it down because, after all, it was just mud. But when I hoisted him to the sink to clean him off, I got a good whiff and realized that I was dealing with some STINKY mud. I quickly got off the phone with our pest control company and rushed him to the bathroom for a good scrub down. Thankfully I held my composure remarkably well and didn't gag one bit (although I did think about it!).

I've been really proud and excited for Drew as he started a new job this week. It's at the same company but in a completely different department/industry. I'm so excited for him to be in a career path that he's been wanting for quite some time now, and am proud at how well he's doing to get there. It's also encouraging to me as his wife because for the first time in years I've seen him truly excited about his job, excited about the challenge, and surrounded by people who will help him excel.

The weather here is gorgeous, but with a second cold front coming in this weekend, I feel like fall is completely skipping over us for winter. The meteorologist are already talking about a harsh winter. Lovely. Just in time for me to pop a baby out and be even more worried about RSV.

I feel like there was more that I wanted to share with you, but alas, my pregnant brain has failed me yet again. It's another pj day at our house, since B-man woke up with a fever this morning. I am not quite sure what he is battling since the only other cold symptom he has is a runny nose. I had attributed that the past few days to allergies since Drew was struggling with the same things, but now I am not so sure. He's been picking at his ears the past few days and so I am hoping it's not an ear infection. History has shown us that he just can't kick those on his own and has to get on antibiotics, which is no bueno. And so my friends, I hope that you enjoy your Thursday, and think of me as I nurse a sick little baby back to health :o/

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dippin'

{...I put my hand upon your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip....}
Oh wait... wrong type of dip. And I'm definitely not talking about snuff. Although we do live in Arkansas, so I can't deny the fact that dip is sold in mass quantities around these parts.

What I AM talking about is dippin' our food. I threw caution to the wind and let Brayden dip his apples in yogurt. 
IMG_2958wm
IMG_2967wm
You would have thought I gave him the moon. 
IMG_2957wm
He was in toddler lunch heaven.
IMG_2952wm
I'm not quite sure I can say with confidence that it will be a regular occurrence,
IMG_2963wm
since you can tell that it made QUITE the mess.
IMG_2965wm
But perhaps on those long rainy days when we have nothing else to do...
IMG_2956wm
we'll just dip.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time In/ Time Out

I briefly mentioned in my weekend in review post that this past Sunday Drew and I attended a parenting class on discipline. Due to our limited time constraints with the church service, Dr Lawson focused exclusively on time in/time out. I was intrigued by the topic mainly because I've never really been able to grasp how to effectively use time out. And not to start a debate, but I also feel like a lot (not all) of people veer more to time out as a means of discipline, but they do so SO ineffectively that their children are completely unruly. One of my readers and bloggy friends Laura asked a bit about the class, so I thought I would try to recap what jumped out to Drew and I the most.

The first thing that Dr Lawson talked about was HOW we speak to our children when it comes to commands or requests. A lot of times adults try to talk to children like adults, and cognitively a child is just not able to break apart a command like an adult would. He basically outlined it by stating that commands should be stated to a child:
  • directly (ie, pick up your shoes please NOT can you pick up your shoes?)
  • positively (ie, NOT you NEVER pick up  your shoes)
  • specifically
  • one at a time
  • simply
The other thing he mentioned is that just because your child can articulate something does not necessarily mean they understand. This really rang true for us since Brayden can articulate "yes" when he knows he does something wrong, but we really don't think he understands WHY he is saying yes.... just that that is how we want him to respond when we are trying to explain what our rules are.

The next thing he talked about was "carrots and sticks." Basically he said that in parenting we have a 'parenting bank account.' You can either make deposits or withdrawals in that bank account. He considers punishment withdrawals; it's ok to write checks, but if you make too many withdrawals without also making deposits, you'll eventually overdraw on your account, weakening your relationship with your child, and ruining the close, open relationship you'd want with your child when they are older. He said that for every negative/criticism, it takes 7 positives to make up the difference (and for what it's worth, this is in all relationships, not just a parent-child relationship). So to give the rewards (the deposits) you give "carrots" and to make a withdrawal, you give punishment. To give the carrots, he talked about a "time in" approach, where you intentionally spend time with your child to make those deposits. This time is one on one, and is not rules based. During this time in approach (in which he used a 5 minute model-- and by the way, 5 minutes of one on one time is 3 times the national average that parents spend with their children, which in my mind is UNBELIEVABLE!) you will: describe appropriate behavior (shows your child you're paying attention), describe appropriate language (shows your child you're listening), praise appropriate behavior (shows what behavior you like, builds self-esteem). During this time you do not criticize and you do not give commands. If there is a negative behavior, you ignore the child until they change. I've naturally done this time in approach, but never really realized it's true value until Dr. Lawson (the speaker) layed it out like this. It totally makes sense, and we're going to be more intentional in our home about implementing time in every day.

Unfortunately Dr Lawson was rushed for time towards the end, but he did touch on the time out a bit at the end, and what he did touch on we really liked. Basically, once you get the way you say a command to your child down, give clear warnings if a command is not followed through on by your child. If they disobey, then they go to the time out chair for the desired amount of minutes. They stay there until you come back... this shows that YOU are in charge. When you come back, ask if they are ready to do the command. If they say no, then repeat why they are in the chair, and leave them there until you get back. You repeat this until they are willing to comply with your command. Obviously with younger children you would need to restrain them in some way to ensure that they stayed there. It seemed to make a lot of sense, and is something that we're going to try and implement in our household instead of using time out in the crib (which by the way, Dr Lawson said is generally not as effective).

SO, that is the break down. Not sure it helps any since you weren't there to hear it, but it really made us think about other options that we may not have thought of. I know we especially were hit hard with how we speak to Brayden. I think we were just expecting a lot out of him. Not that I don't think he's not smart, because he totally is, but I am just not making things simple for him, and that doesn't provide an environment where he can win right now.

Girl Talk Blog Hop: Fun Questions


Since I have a few new followers, I thought I'd kind of preview this post by telling a bit about Girl Talk. Girl Talk is a concept conceived by my bloggy friend Laura, and I'm along for the ride thanks to her invitiation. In addition to Laura and I, we also have a resident single gal, Rainey, who posts great things from her point of view. Girl Talk is all things girl... if you're a guy, you're more than welcome to read it, but don't say we didn't warn you. It's a great way to discuss things that you might not see on a personal blog: you know, stuff like boobs (although you do see that on my blog since I tend to be open about all things in my life... LOL), friends, that (ahem) certain time of the month, pregnancy woes, etc. We don't male bash, we just wanted a place that we could be open and make friends with other girls. So that's GIRL TALK. Be sure to check it out! Just recently we decided it'd be fun to start a blog hop so we could "meet" some of the girls who read the blog. This week we have some fun questions on the table to answer, and I chose this one: 
If you could have a single button beside your bed that did one thing, what would you want it to do?
It's funny because I think 3 years ago I probably would have answered something completely different. But looking at my life now, as a stay at home mom, the answer to this question actually came to my mind pretty simply.  My button would make my kid go back to sleep for atleast another hour. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a dream or deep sleep, and hearing a foot kicking the wall behind your head with a small voice saying "DaaaaaaDaaaaaaa". I mean, I love Brayden and all, and I love his little voice, but sometimes a girl just needs her beauty rest! And these days, since my sleep is interrupted every hour due to a small human laying on my bladder, I'd say that an extra hour of sleep in the morning would do this momma good!

What would YOU have your button do? Feel free to jump in on our Girl Talk Hop by clicking the button and getting all the details over at Girl Talk!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Playin' With Daddy

One of Brayden's most favorite things to do is play with his Daddy outside after dinner. Drew usually gets home from work right around the time we're wrapping up dinner for B, so he immediately grabs Drew and runs to the back door. The other night it was perfect weather, so I joined them outside and snapped a few pictures of them playing together on the playset. I love watching my boys play!



IMG_2969wm
IMG_2970wm
I actually like this picture of Drew, which is one of the reasons I put it on the blog. The other reason? Notice the little feet in the WINDOW. Yes, that's Brayden, standing IN the window. The reason we got such a great deal on this playset is because the guy's 7 year old son was jumping from the top of the playset. I'm pretty sure we won't make it to 7 before that happens. Lord help me!
IMG_2972wm
He just screams mischievous.
IMG_2974wm

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Dollop of Heartbreak: Weekend in Review

Today our home is being used as a therapy center for us Hog fans. You see, we played Bama on Saturday. If you don't stay tuned into college football, then you probably didn't know that they were #1 in the country. I was just hoping the game would be close. And it was. But only at the end. When it mattered. And counted. You see, we led the entire game. From 50 seconds into the game, we had their number. We played PERFECTLY. And then, as always, we imploded. We beat ourselves. No doubt about it. And while some have walked away shouting moral victory, I am honestly sick of moral victories. I want to WIN. I want to walk away and say "We are the best!" Plus, I am sick of the media just not giving us respect. And while we basically won 95% of the game, we lost during the 5% that counted. But enough about the Hogs. Aside from the fact that we're heartbroken, we had a great weekend.

Friday two of my best friends from high school, Stephanie and Katie, drove up to visit us and for the game. They brought along their husbands, so we had a FULL house. It was SO much fun staying up talking and laughing with them. Saturday we woke up with Brayden, and all ate breakfast together before the boys left to tailgate. Stephanie and Katie are both pregnant, due one week and three weeks before me respectively. We had a great time talking about pregnancy woes, eating and talking some more. Katie and her husband left to watch the game at a friend's house, so Stephanie and I hung around the house to watch the game/take care of Brayden. I set Brayden up with his snack in front of the tv because he was pretty interested in the game at the beginning. Here are some pictures of his sweet set up:


IMG_2975wm
IMG_2976wm


After the game and when everyone returned home, we ordered pizza and spent the rest of the evening hanging out, cooking chocolate chip cookies and talking.

Today we were jet lagged from the game, everyone dispersed and we headed to church. Drew and I attended an informational discipline class this morning on time out. We haven't really done a lot of time out with Brayden because I didn't really know how to implement it correctly; I think we both walked away with some good pointers and a new found resolution to work on several things with Brayden that we've struggled with recently regarding his strong will. Wish us luck!

I've got a busy schedule this week with dentist appointments, OB appointments and alteration appointments. From here on out our life is in the fast lane, speeding straight toward November 30th with no stopping in sight. I am getting more excited as the day gets closer, but still have that nagging feeling that I am going to have a complete mental breakdown before this is all said and done. Continue to pray for peace in our home and through the addition of another child. Until next time....

Friday, September 24, 2010

BIG Friday!

(Hey, if you've not done so already, be sure to enter my $65 CSN giftcode giveaway going on RIGHT NOW!)
Today is probably the biggest Friday of the year. Well, perhaps not the entire year, but atleast the college football year. You see, tomorrow the #10 Hogs play #1 Bama. Hog fever has been high around our neck of the woods. Students have been camping out since SUNDAY for the football game that's tomorrow. The game is sold out, and tickets are going for as much as $2000 a pop (which by the way, I may add is complete ridiculous). We don't have tickets, but Drew will be going to tailgate just to get some gameday experience. I will be staying home, since bringing a 17 month old to that chaos makes me nervous. We'll also be hosting two of my best friends and their husbands here at the house all weekend. It will most likely be the last time for visitors for a while since we're getting rid of the futon after our guests leave, and will officially have no guest room until we get a new house. So this weekend we'll sort of be laying low, watching and calling the Hogs and hoping that we at least don't get slaughtered.
As usual, I'm participating in 5QF... I love the questions this week and hope you enjoy my answers :)



1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?
This question makes me giggle. Not because it's funny (well, it kinda is I guess), but because I just can hear myself talking in a different accent and it makes me laugh. I think if I had to pick one I would pick a British accent.
2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)
Sort of, but not really. I really like my bed. Like, REALLY like it. I suppose some of my problem with falling asleep in weird places right now has to do with the fact that even when I am at home my sleeping is subpar at best. That's what happens when you sport an abdomen the size of a large watermelon :) 
3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?
(SIGH). I hate public restrooms. And when I am not pregnant, I am a PRO at holding my bladder for a LOOOOOOONG amount of time. I award my dad for helping with that quality, as we always were petal to the metal during road trips as a child. I will hardly ever go #2 in a public restroom. It grosses me out, and I am a squatter, and squatting while doing THAT is not a specialty in my book. And so I guess I just answered part B of this question... NO I don't sit. Gross. Even if it looks clean, it's not.
4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?
OK, so I have to be honest here. My first thought was Patrick Dempsey. But really the only reason I even think that is because I love McDreamy on Grey's. And considering I am married, that option doesn't really have a leg to stand on, so I moved on. The next thing I thought is that I wanted someone funny that would make me laugh and get my mind off of the fact that I am STUCK ON AN ELEVATOR. I though Robin Williams. Then I thought, Oh gosh, that would get old really quick. I mean, I like funny people, but people who overuse their humor kind of get on my nerves. And thinking of being stuck in a 6x6 box with someone who is getting on my nerves makes me think I am about to have a panic attack. So then I thought of two people who have a great sense of humor but also have a serious side: Oprah and Ellen. Either one would do. Obviously Ellen is a bit more funny. And for what it's worth I don't agree with everything they believe in, so I am sure there would be some good heated discussions, which I am always interested in :) So I guess (c) would be my final answer: Oprah or Ellen.

5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?
Drew debates the answer to this question, so I'll give you the lowdown and you can decide. Drew actually was interested in me long before I ever caught on. He was friends with all of my friends and then it kind of developed after that. So in the spring of 2001, there was this contest going on at U of A called Battle of the Bands. One of Drew's friends had made it to the finals as a solo act, and he was going to watch him play. It was at a local bar, and he invited me to go. There was a cover charge, and he paid my cover. He also bought me a drink while we were there (a coke, since I was not old enough to drink yet), picked me up from my dorm and brought me back to the dorm. And we talked in the parking lot for like 2 hours after it was all over. In my mind, it's a date. Drew refuses to say that because (this is my opinion here) he hates admitting that he brought me to a bar for our first date. So what... who cares? He counts our first date as 2 days later, when he brought me to his church and then for a walk around a local park. So, what say you? Bar or church? LOL.

Happy Friday Yall! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Handling Halloween

I am in what I consider my first big boy parenting dilemma. You see, I'm not one of those moms who feels like sheltering my child from everything bad in life is the best thing for him (or for me). It stretches me knowing that I am going to have to explain things, let Brayden experience things that he has to make decisions for, and finally know that there is evil in the world. It's part of life. Sheltering him now will only prolong the inevitable in my opinion.

That opinion is one of the reasons I (along with Drew) have decided that we won't NOT let him trick or treat or "celebrate" halloween (in fact, he's already had his first taste of Halloween last year and was a CUTIE!). I say celebrate loosely; I don't mean it will be a HUGE ordeal at our house. Sure, fall will, along with harvest and Thanksgiving. But Halloween will be one of those things that we will participate in with trick or treating and any other little parties that blow our way, and then we'll be done with it. I guess my dilemma is how to EXPLAIN halloween. Ofcourse the hardest part of that is now, when I have a little boy obviously interested in everything that he sees and hears, and wants to know what things are, but can't even say his abc's. The logic of a huge witch statue or a talking skeleton don't make much sense. But he shows such interest in in and they are EVERYWHERE right now, that I tend to stumble on the words that come out of my mouth. Just today for example, We walked into Walmart, and there next to the buggies is a skeleton butler. Brayden immediately points and says "dis dis dis" wanting to see/touch it. Skeletons symbolize the evil side of Halloween, so I don't really want him thinking that those are OK or normal. So I said that that was yucky and mean. He kind of looked at me perplexed, and we moved on through our shopping experience. But as I laid in bed at nap time the entire exchange bothered me. I don't want him to think skeletons are evil. What that skeleton represents is evil. But how do you do that with a 17 month old? I am sure this is something Drew and I will have an ongoing conversation about... things like this ebb and flow with parenting, as there's no clear way to really handle it. What have you done with your kids, especially when they were really little?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Steal of a Deal

I like to think of Drew and I as intelligent shoppers. Rarely do we buy something spur of the moment. Every purchase, big and small is usually thought out well in advance. We don't own the latest technology, we don't have fancy cars, our home is simply decorated. But I love it. I also love finding a steal of a deal, especially on something I've been eyeing for a while, but was unwilling to pay the big gobs of money that the retailer wanted for the item.

Enter exhibit A.
At the beginning of the summer I did what every mom does (or I guess what I thought every mom did) and went out and got Brayden a collapsable sided pool. It's the kind I grew up with, so I figured it'd be good for him. I was wrong. He hated it. Not because of the water, but because he couldn't get in and out of it on his own. He much preferred a shallow splash pad where he could run freely and go in and out as he pleases. Not a week after purchasing the pool did I happen across a splash pad/activity center pool at Target. It was exactly what I needed. Problem was, they wanted $35 for it. Considering I just spent $20 on the dud pool I decided to pass and make do with what we had. All summer during my weekly trips to Target, we've strolled past it and I've wanted so badly to get it. But I've waited. And waited. It even went on sale a couple of weeks ago for $18, but I still waited. Then yesterday we made our trip. We were enjoying popcorn and Dr. Pepper. And there it was. Last one left. For $9. I thought about doing a little jig (you know, similar to the ones they show on the Direct Auto Insurance commercials), but refrained from showing too much joy over a splash pad. And now it will sit, stashed away in the garage, anxiously awaiting for next summer, when two little boys will splash their hearts out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Dooze of a Day

This post could probably be alternatively titled: Why I hate Insurance. But more on that later. I figured I should just vent about my day, since I am so worn out about it and don't have anyone here to lend a listening ear. The day actually started out great-- B slept in until 8am, which is unheard of around here! I think he was just completely exhausted from the garage sale and a really long Sunday. We ate breakfast as a family, Drew tucked himself away in the "study" (aka the usedtobefullofcraproom, and now almost empty in preparation for Connor) and we packed the car up to run some errands. There was a slight problem however: the car didn't start. As in, didn't even turn over. I was frustrated, but thankful Drew was home to atleast look at the car, and transfer the car seat over to the CRV (thank goodness for 3 cars right now!). Drew figured it was the battery and sent me on my way with the battery in tow to get a new one. We ran our errands and came home with the new battery. Second problem: the battery was not the problem. Which means we will more than likely have to tow the car to the shop.

I also found out that we're going to have to have someone look at our new fridge. The temperature is not regulating correctly in the freezer or the refrigerator, so we have to have a repairman look at it. Yet another morning wasted by waiting on someone to show up.

Once I finally got lunch on the table, it was quickly interrupted by my stomach revolting on me. I again was thankful for Drew being home so he could handle Brayden while I handled my (ahem) own set of issues. Once we got B down for a nap, I napped as well.

When I got up from the nap I set off with a vengeance to try and widdle down the insurance issues I've been having. If you remember, we had to have a second ultrasound on Connor due to the kidney issues that came up with the first one. Well, that ultrasound was temporarily denied due to it being a "pre-existing condition (which pregnancy cannot be). I've had to chase my tail calling all of our previous insurers over the past month getting letters of credible coverage. I already knew this before, but dealing with insurance companies yet again has solidified my opinion that there are two places that incompetent people work at: the government and insurance companies. I swear that talking to these people is like talking to a brick wall. They spew info out, and then when they send you the information, it's completely different than what they verified on the phone. Thankfully I understand a good deal of how the system works due to my work experience in HR and medical billing, but it doesn't negate the extreme frustration that the hoop jumping causes. At the end of about the 10th call to Tricare, they determined that Brayden was never covered under Tricare and would not release a letter of credible coverage for him. That's really funny, since I have all of the claims that were sent for his birth and well child check ups for the month that we had Tricare after he was born. They PAID claims, but they said he never had their insurance. If that's not ridiculous, I don't know what is. Unfortunately the claims department was closed for the evening by the time that hoop came up, so I am left looking forward to another day of hoop jumping and tongue biting. Atleast with Tricare they have an American call center. Some of these other insurance companies remind me of the credit card ad that's out right now where the guy calls himself "Pam" and just keeps saying yes. Sometimes it makes me want to scream: "what country in India am I calling, and what is your freakin' name because I know you're not Amanda!" UGHHH.

Drew had to leave immediately after I got off of the phone, so I was left with a fussy toddler, who threw half his dinner across our living room (our living room and kitchen are really close together and when I had gotten up to get his milk he literally chucked it across to the other room!). 7pm could not come fast enough tonight, and I still have yet to get off the couch since I put B to bed, despite the dirty dishes and nastiness that is my house right now.

I think all of this stress is making me have more Braxton Hicks. I promise I'm trying to take it easy, but what's a girl to do when she's got all this going on in her life???

PS-- Weekend in Review posted late today due to all of the drama and the fact that we had a extremely busy Sunday. If you like reading about our weekends, be sure to check it out!

Weekend in Review

I am SOOOO tired, so forgive me if this post seems a bit scatterbrained and lacking in organization. This was a work weekend. Not much fun, just lots of work, organizing, sorting and cleaning house.

Friday we started our garage sale. We were actually really surprised at how many people showed up on Friday. Don't these people have jobs???? LOL. Drew actually left the house for a men's group on Friday morning around 6am, and he had people outside our house waiting for us to open. CRAZINESS. Also, let me just be the first to say that having a garage sale when you have a toddler makes for about ten times more work! Brayden was into EVERYTHING and didn't want to settle for playing inside. That meant one of us had to watch him to ensure he didn't run into the street. Since I tire out more easily these days, that meant Drew did most of the work. When we shut the garage at 2pm, we both felt like we had run a marathon. EXHAUSTING. We were thankful how well we did though.

When B woke up from his nap on Friday, we decided to go and run a few errands. To make it fun for B we took him to Chuck E Cheese. He's still too young to really know when stuff is on or not, so we just let him run around from car to car to "drive." (don't worry, we stuck a few tokens in every now and then). In fact, we found a cup full of tokens stashed far back in one of the ride on toys. We sat there for about 10-15 minutes, and we figured whoever had left it there wasn't there anymore, so we used that as our tokens. After about an hour at CEC, we headed out to get Brayden some new shoes. He needed some black chuck's to wear to my sister's wedding next month with his tux, and he also needed some brown dress shoes. We ran into Rack Room Shoes, found what we needed, and ran back out. We ran a few more errands and called it a night.

Saturday we woke up at normal time and started up the garage sale again. We surprisingly sold almost everything we had for sale... I was sure we'd have tons left over. Drew even sold out of the hot dogs and most of the sodas and waters that we had for sale. We watched most of the Hogs game on ESPN360 (the Hogs beat Georgia-- WOOO PIG SOOIE!), took a quick nap afterward, and then when B woke up w dropped off the stuff we didn't sell at the local community center thrift shop for a donation. Saturday night we hung up the drapes for Brayden's "new" room (the front room), cleared out the filing cabinet and cleaned up a bit more in the front room. I am proud to say that the front room is pretty much completely done, minus the futon that is staying in there for a few more weeks as we have scheduled guests coming to visit. Brayden will for sure be moved by the 1st weekend of October... then I can start on making the nursery Connor's! Wow!

Sunday was a crazy day, with volunteering in the nursery, cleaning up the house, baking cookies, and having our community group over for a get together. The kids ran wild, and the adults enjoyed cookies and homemade ice cream.

And that was pretty much our weekend. I feel like a zombie, but we have another busy week ahead with errands, play dates and house cleaning before our big weekend with my best friend Stephanie and watching the Hogs play Bama. Hope everyone has a great week! (And as promised, I'll end this post with some pics I snapped of B this weekend when we were playing outside... you're welcome!):

IMG_9288wm
IMG_9291wm
IMG_9283wm

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finally Friday

This has been the longest, shortest week ever. I say a short week because (PRAISE THE LORD) Drew is off today. The problem is, we are having a garage sale. It's not really a problem. I think our hoarding is the problem. After nearly 7 years of marriage, all it took for us to declutter our front bedroom/office/throwallyourcrapintheroomandshutthedoor room is for us to get pregnant with child number two. And even then we've put it off till it's well over due. I mean, we're down to almost single digit weeks over here and we'll be lucky if we have a crib up by November. Ah, how things change when you already have a child. {SMILE}. Anyways, we've been "organizing" the stuff for the sale, moving things out of the house into the (now cluttered) garage, in a vein attempt to hopefully sell all of this junk to people who need junk more than us. So today, on Drew's day off, we'll be sitting in our garage holding casual conversations with complete strangers and hoping that they will buy the old vases from college and the keyboard that has a cord on it. And since Drew has that entrepreneurial spirit, he'll be selling hot dogs and sodas in hopes that the shoppers are weary and need a bite to eat. In order to put off my to-do list a little longer, I figured I'd hit the questions up for 5QF over at Mama M.'s.


1. What is the first nightmare you remember?
The first one I vividly remember I was elementary age (probably between 6 and 8 but not completely sure). I was screaming IRL from the dream (like one of those dreams where you are screaming in the dream and then wake up and you're also screaming) so loud that my dad ran in the room thinking something was TERRIBLY wrong. Thankfully IRL everything was fine; I had dreamed that my dad had been hit by a fire engine and I had witnessed the whole thing (minus the blood and gore stuff, since I didn't really have a grasp that if you get hit by a large vehicle, you typically don't look very pretty). Anyways, he died in my dream and it was traumatic to say the least. I hate nightmares, which is part of the reason I have never watched scary movies. Gives me the creeps when I watch them, and I literally can't sleep for days upon end when/if I do.
2. Even if you're not a sports fan, what's your favorite sport to play/watch?
Well, if you read my blog, you know that I am a HUGE sports fan. My favorite sport to play is softball. I played for 10 years growing up and had SO much fun. Of course, now my body aches because of it, but it was well worth it. I can't wait to teach Brayden all about baseball (although I secretly hope that he picks up football as his sport of choice, as I've always envisioned myself as a mom of a bunch of football playin' boys!)
3. If you could pull off one piece of trendy fashion, what would you want it to be (jeggings, hats, thigh high boots, etc.)?
Just plain ol' heels. I know it seems so weird for a girl to admit that, but if you've met me, you know that grace is NOT my middle name. I have been, and probably always will be, the klumsy one of the bunch. I refuse to even try to wear heels when I am pregnant-- I just envision myself somehow losing my balance and tumbling forward in fantastic fashion, and freaking everyone (including myself) out because I am huge pregnant.
4. Did you make good grades in school?
Not to toot my own horn, but yes. And I am not one of those people who can lay a hand on a book and just know EVERYTHING. I have to study HARD. Like hours upon hours, get a tutor, meet with the teacher, do extra credit, HARD. Which is why I was SO disappointed that when I graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA and had a 26 on my ACT, applied for over 60 scholarships, and did not receive a single cent of financial aid or scholarship money (well, I did get a $100 book scholarship through the National Honor Society, but $100 book scholarship barely pays for a college text book, so I consider it moot). In college, I was a bit more average in my studies (I tended to sleep through some of the boring classes like psychology), but still got out with a 3.2 GPA. I like to say I was well-rounded :)
5. What magazines do you subscribe to?
Unfortunately, most of my magazine subscriptions just expired and I didn't renew any of them. But before they expired, I was subscribed to:
Sports Illustrated, Popular Photography, Southern Living, This Old House (that was actually Drew's subscription), Conde Naste, and American Photo. I really want to renew Southern Living and Popular Photography... the others I didn't usually read them regularly, so I could probably live without them.

Well, that was fun. I guess I should get back to being productive. For those that regularly read my blog, I have to apologize for a less than stellar week of blogging over here. I really don't want to bog down your reading with meme's, but alas, when my brain is not running on all cylinders it gives me a little break and allows me to scrap what brain cells I have left back together in order to once again get back on a good blogging track. I'm hoping that Sunday night/Monday, we'll have some new pics of B. Until then, have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A New Look

I've had the itch for a new look for the blog for a while now. Doing all of those blog makeovers will do that to ya you know?! Anyway, I figured what better time to roll out a new look than before Connor is born. I mean, I have time, I need to incorporate him more into the layout, and I was ready for something just a bit more fun than the last look. SO.... I'm unveiling it today! Bear with me as I iron out the kinks and figure out the best design for the header. What do you think? Do you like it? Hate it? Be honest with me... I'd rather you honest than think it horrible and not say a thing! Oh, and if you want a new design on YOUR blog, feel free to contact me! I have a few packages to choose from over at Designs by Linds, and would LOVE to help you make YOUR blog have that extra swagger that you're wanting. And if you mention my blog re-design from A Dollop of My Life, I'll even shave off 10% off the package price! Just make sure you mention this redesign. The discount is good until the end of September (September 30th, 2010 to be exact!). So what are you waiting for? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Pregnant Model.

I feel like I am a magnet for weird things that happen. Like, seriously, some of the stuff I experience is so off the wall that people don't even believe me. It sometimes makes me wish I walked around with a video recorder just so I'd have proof, although I think by now my friends have come to realize this crazy fact of my life and just laugh at it all with me. The latest trend on the radar: the fact that I am a hot to trot, model-like pregnant woman (I hope you didn't just spit your drink out onto your computer when you read that line). Oh please, you know that I am. Haven't you seen my belly shot pictures? Or if you know me in real life, is it not evidenced in the fact that I shower every other day, rarely wear makeup, and pee in my pants at the slightest sniffle? Do what? That doesn't put me in the running for America's Next Top Pregnant Model? Well let me introduce you to three people who obviously disagree.

For our first model witness, I give you 18 wheeler guy #1. It was about 8:30 at night, and I had to make a mad dash to Walmart (kid free thankfully!) for some last minute items that I needed. Pretty sure that I was going to Walmart in Drew's most abhored outfit: The hog shorts and my size L, pink National Guard shorts. The hog shorts are seriously Drew's nemesis: they are Mens size mediums (even when I am pregnant I tend to be pretty small in the waist, so these things are barely hanging on... and have I mentioned I have no butt?) and the tshirt looks like one that a little kid would wear to bed. It had been a long day, and really, who cares what I look like when I'm at Walmart at 8:30. So I set on my way. As I near the second stoplight on my way there, an 18 wheeler pulls up next to me. There are plenty of 18 wheelers in these parts, so I didn't think anything of it, and as the light turned green I headed on my way. Not even a block down the road, the 18 wheeler comes up to the side of the Civic again, and honks his horn. Generally, when they do this, I flip them off (I know, I scream classy southern girl). It's dark, and as I have said previously, it was a long day, so I just kept driving, but a little faster so I could get out of Mr.'s way. He speeds up too. Honks again. At thinks point I was a little preturbed, but sped up. Also, keep in mind that my windows are not tinted, so he should clearly see the toddler car seat in the back, and the fact that I am 26 weeks pregnant and almost touching the steering wheel with my big bowl of a belly. Doesn't shake this driver off of me, and for the next mile and a half, the guy literally won't leave me alone. The speed limit on the road is 45-- and I got up to 60 and didn't shake him until I hit the next light. At one point, while I am thinking to myself that I might have to call Drew for backup because some psycho is chasing me around Arkansas, I thought that I should just get out of the car, waddle around to the front of the 18 wheeler and point very poingnantly to my belly and wave my wedding ring around. Maybe THEN he'd get the picture that not only am I taken, I'm about as spoiled a piece of meat as they come. As if that entire incident wasn't enough to boost my confidence that perhaps I am a bit hotter than the average pregnant woman, I give you scenario #2. 

On our way to Dallas, Drew and I stopped in a little town called McAlester, Oklahoma. Drew's all time favorite restaurant is Subway, so we stopped to eat there. We walked in, stood in line, ordered, and I went to sit down while they finished up his sandwich. I was about to tear into my meatball sub, when Drew came up to the table and insisted that we sit near the front of the store. I obliged, but thought it odd since Drew rarely shows preference to where we sit. As we sat down in a booth at the front, he motions with his head to the tables near the start of the line to an old man who was sitting by himself. When I say old, I mean about in at least his mid 60s, with the classic, back of the head is bald but the sides are budding  hair cut. OLD. Drew continues to inform me that said old man has been oogling at me since we walked into the store. So much so that Drew almost went over to say something to him. Can I just say, that I had no idea? And while I had makeup on this time, and a bit of a nicer outfit on, I was (a) with my husband, (b) CLEARLY pregnant, (c) wearing my wedding band. Any of those three would scare off the average man. But not this old man. Apparently I was the hottest thing to trot into McAlester and he was destined to let me know about it. The man seriously stared at me the entire time he ate his meal, stared at me as he got up to throw away his sandwich, and stared at me as he walked out of the door. Drew stared back, with that "this is my woman and I will shoot fire out of my eyes and knock you out in the blink of an eye if you even step  a foot closer to her" the entire time. I felt like I was in eye-war knock down or something. And honestly, this time creeped me out more than Mr. 18 wheeler, I'm going to chase you down the highway man. But it was just another notch on my list of nominations for America's Next Top Pregnant Model.

Scenario #3 is not near as entertaining, but it is a nomination nonetheless so I must share. Today as I left the OB office (and all went smashing by the way!) and was on my way to pick up B, I passed an 18 wheeler. As I hit a stoplight, he was behind me. He honked when we started going, and as I looked in the rear view mirror, he waved. And smiled. Gross. Again, clearly pregnant, kid seat in the back, and the man thinks that I am somehow going to pull over, jump ship from the Civic, and run away with him in his nasty oversized Chicken-hauling truck. Um. NO. But thank you for the nomination for America's Next Top Pregnant Model.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

random thoughts.

Sorry for the lack of serious blogging lately. I've just been SO busy with things around the house that blogging has kind of had to take the back seat to things like cleaning clothes, mopping floors and dusting. You know, the exciting things in my life :)

Speaking of cleaning clothes, I finally picked up some dye and perfume free clothes detergent yesterday at Sam's, and have started cleaning all of Connor's clothes. It's crazy to think that he'll be here in 11 weeks or less. With Brayden, I'm pretty sure I had EVERYTHING completely finished by now. While we are making leaps and bounds in the front room (which will be Brayden's room), I feel like we're far from done. I still need to order Connor's letters for his name, and Drew and I need to make a decision on what his verse will be so that my friend can start his canvas that will go over his changing table. We have to paint the changing table (or should I say Drew has to, since I can't paint) and order some knobs. Ughhh... SO much to do in so little time. And time is not in our favor right now with all kinds of things splattered on our fall calendar. But I am excited about meeting him, and despite some of my mommy fears in how I will handle having two babies, I can't wait to meet him and get to know him.

Last night while I was mopping I decided I should ask you, my faithful readers, what you use to clean your floors. I used Mop and Glo for years, but had quit since I couldn't find it at the store anymore. They've since started restocking it, but I got used to using the Lysol concentrate since I knew it got rid of germs too. Problem is, my floors have this nasty residue built up from the Mop and Glo and it's making them look really gross. I've tried bleach water, ammonia water, and then the Lysol and nothing seems to help aside from me sitting on the floor bent over scrubbing up the nastiness with an old credit card. Seeing how I am 29 weeks pregnant that's not really the best option, so I need other alternatives. Any suggestions of what works great?

Not to jinx myself, but Brayden has done smashingly well with obeying me the past two days. I mean, he still has his moments, but I can tell he is listening, and even said yes maam (or just yesh as he says) when I asked him to put something back yesterday. Considering last week I had several days where I felt like ALL I DID was discipline, this makes my momma heart proud. It also allows me to actually enjoy all of the little things I love about Brayden. His laugh, his smile, his sense of humor.... he truly is a joy to have, it's just that that strong will sometimes clouds my vision of of the big picture.

I've decided that once Connor is eating solids we might not be able to eat out. Even at the cheap places. All of my friends who have girls just let them eat off of their plates when they eat out. We've never been able to do that; Brayden will consume and entire kids meal wherever we go, or if we're at Sam's he now eats TWO pieces of pizza. For such a little guy, that's a LOT of food! We kind of laugh about it, but truth be told, it makes me nervous. We might have to have 4 refrigerators when I have two teenage boys-- YIKES! The funny thing is is that he is still pretty lean for how much he eats... I guess he got my family's fast metabolism. He actually resembles my brother's build, so I have a hunch that he'll be long and lean (with no butt, like me). Makes it hard to buy pants for him because the poor guy needs 18-24 month pants, but because he has no butt they sag pretty bad.

It's raining today, so we're stuck inside. Thankfully I got most of the cleaning and washing done last night and today, so we might be having a little play date later this afternoon to ward off the whining that usually accompanies a rainy, stuck inside day.

And that is about all that's floating around in my head right now. I promise to have something more enlightening later on this week, and if I get around to it, perhaps a new picture or two of the B-manator.

A Few of My Hobbies



This week over at Girl Talk, we're hosting a blog hop that's all about hobbies. My  hobbies have evolved over the years. I would say that my first hobby was baseball card collecting.
(Image found HERE via Google Images)
Don't gasp. My dream when I was a young girl was to be the first woman to play Major League Baseball. Obviously that dream didn't pan out, and I honestly became more of a college football fan than an MLB fan. I do still have an entire case of baseball cards, some of which are worth a good penny. I plan on handing them down to the boys, in a decorator sort of way. I've always wanted my boys to have a vintage sports room, so when the two are old enough to share a room I'll be framing some of the nicer cards to use as decoration.

(Image found HERE via Google Images)
I went through a short stint of scrapbooking. I wasn't very good at it, and it took more time than I was willing to give, so I gave it up. Which brings me to my next hobby:

(Image found HERE via Google Images)
BLOGGING. I admit it. I'm addicted. Partly because it's my way of chronicling everything that happens in our lives since Brayden has come. I want him to have something to look back to and see all of the fun things we have done as a family. Blogging allows me to do this and doesn't take near the time that scrapbooking does. I also am addicted to blogging because I have seriously met some of the nicest people through blogging. At first I was hesitant about commenting on other blogs... now, I always try to leave a comment if I visit. It's so much fun developing relationships with other people who are in the same stage of life as me, or going through things that I have gone through. Not only does it make me feel more "normal," it gives me (and hopefully others) hope that this too shall pass!


(Image found HERE via Google Images)
And lastly, one that is probably most evident through my blog: Photography. I love looking through my lens and freezing time, especially now that I have a little boy who changes what seems like by the hour. We don't really have the money to pay a professional photog for those fancy shmancy hang over your fireplace family pics, so that drives a lot of why I always have my camera out. But I also know that one of the most fun things to do is to pull out old photo albums with my siblings and laugh at some of the memories we have frozen in pictures. My hope is that it will be that way with Brayden, Connor, and any other children we have in the future. 

Do you have fun hobbies that you'd like to share? Hop on over to Girl Talk to join in on the hobby talking fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vroom Vroom

I wasn't quite sure I had a picture for this week's I heart Faces theme. Then I remembered the photoshoot I did with Brayden when he was 11 months. His one year birthday was coming up, and the theme was firetrucks, so I brought him to a local firestation to take some pictures. This ended up being one of my faves from the shoot. I just love his expression, and the textures and equipment of the fire truck really pop with the black and white.




Be sure to check out the other vroom vroom entries by clicking on the i heart faces logo above.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend in Review

This weekend has been a whirlwind filled with friends, football and borderline hot weather. Friday I left for an overnight trip to Little Rock to help throw a shower for a dear friend. Earlier on Friday I had mentioned to Drew that the Civic was acting weird when it started up. He checked it when he got home and said everything looked fine, so I packed up and got on the road in hopes to miss rush hour traffic. Problem is, when I got in my car after a quick stop at the gas station, the Civic wouldn't start. LOVELY. Thankfully I was still in town, so I called Drew, and he had to come to the gas station, jump the Civic, and then we headed home to switch cars out AGAIN. I left about an hour and a half later than planned, hit rush hour traffic, and made it to Little Rock at 9:00 instead of 7:30. Oh well.

Saturday was the baby shower, which was so much fun. I was able to catch up and see old friends, and enjoy some fun baby time. Funny story of the day: I was with my best friend Stephanie (who is due 1 week before me with her 3rd boy) at the grocery store getting fruit. The lady asked if we had a shower and we said yes, and then asked when we were due. It then occurred to us that she meant if it was OUR shower. So I had to correct her and say that it was for a friend of ours who is due 3 weeks before us. LOL. I think I mentioned on Friday that out of 8 of the girls who were in our coaching group in high school, 5 of us are pregnant. Here's a picture with the 6 of us girls (2 of the girls couldn't make it), 5 of which are preggo! (And I mus apologize... I am too lazy to edit these pictures or to add my watermark)...


IMG_2918
(from L to R): Christy (the lone non-preggers), Steph (due with baby boy #3, and due one week before me!), Me (do you love how I have water underneath my baby bump?? I had just finished cutting the fruit and was leaning against the counter... LOL!), Katie (the one we were showering and the lone girl mommy of the group-- all the rest of us have boys! She's due the beginning of November), Courtney (she is 22 weeks pregnant with baby boy #3... I know, makes me sick too!) and Amanda-- she's 12 weeks pregnant. I love these girls SO much!

My camera died in the middle of the shower, so here is what I got before the battery death :(

IMG_2921
The diaper cake-- didn't Courtney do such a great job?!?!
IMG_2919
Christy and Amanda
IMG_2916
The beautiful flower arrangement made by Mrs. Lynn
IMG_2915
These cupcakes were DIVINE!
IMG_2914
Some of the food spread
IMG_2913
Do you see the cute toothpicks? I loved them!
IMG_2936
Katie got some great gifts and super cute outfits for baby Liberty!
IMG_2933
These jeans were PRECIOUS... they had tab pockets on the back, which I am a sucker for!
IMG_2925
Katie and our mutual friend Lindsay
IMG_2922
Courtney made this canvas to hang on the door (and for Katie to use in baby Liberty's nursery), and she also made the cute pom-poms out of tissue paper!


After the shower I headed back home, and enjoyed the peaceful drive listening to the Razorbacks on the radio. The drive was peaceful... until I stopped for a soda and upon getting back onto the interstate, spilled the ENTIRE 44 oz Dr Pepper in our CRV. It was a catastrophe. So I pulled over at the next stop in hopes that I'd be able to figure out some way to get all of the soda out of the carpet. There was only some cheap paper towels there at the gas station, so I managed to do the best I could with those, removed the rug from the car, and proceeded on my way. I was SO ticked. I am crossing my fingers that it doesn't stain the carpets too bad (Drew helped me mop up most of it when I got home, but it had been sitting in the car at that point for over an hour, so it's yet to be determined the real damage that was done).

Today we've had church, and a little get together with our community group this evening. I am a bit overwhelmed with everything I still need to catch up on this week, especially in light of the fact that Drew and I decided to move the date of our garage sale to next weekend. LOTS to do, not much time to get it all done. Story of my life, right? Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Already

I can't believe it's Friday already. Where in the world has my week gone? I have a to-do list on the fridge that I made the night we got back from Dallas... pretty sure I've only half-way completed one of the things on it, and that's clean the house. And if by clean the house you mean vacuum Brayden's room and the living room and have it somewhat organized, then I accomplished that feat. Otherwise, you can call this week a wash and we can all hope that next week is far more productive. Tonight I leave for Little Rock... by myself. It's the first time I will have left Brayden alone with Daddy for more than just an hour or two. He's more than capable, but it does make me a little nervous because men just don't have the instincts women do when it comes to dealing with kids. As for me, I am helping throw a shower on Saturday for a good friend, and didn't really think bringing my toddler was going to make it a productive trip. I'm really excited about seeing all of my friends, and enjoying some time to talk and catch up without all of us having to run after little ones. I grew up in a small group with 8 girls in Little Rock, and out of those 8, 5 of us are pregnant and all due between November and March. You'll be sure to find some belly shots of all of us together from this weeekend on weekend to review. And for the record, Katie, the girl we're throwing the shower for, is the only one yet out of all 8 of us to be having a girl. Steph is pregnant with boy #3, Court is pregnant with boy #3, I am pregnant with boy #2, Amanda has a boy (she is due in March so hasn't found out what she's having yet) and Katie T. has a little boy. Goodness gracious! Boys galore!

With it being Friday I guess I should probably hop on into the 5QF questions. They are kind of hard this week, so I don't know how spectacular my answers will be, but I'll jump in nonetheless.

1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?
Sometimes. But sometimes not. I think it depends on how expensive it is. If it's, say, a Sonic drink, then no. I find that those kind of calm me down and are my mommy moment heavens. I am sure if you have children you'll agree. But if it's big ticket items, I'll dream, covet, drool over and oogle at all things technologically advanced, but rarely if ever do I spend the money to get those things. I have babies to dress and people to feed around here folks.
2. How well do you know your neighbors?
Well enough to yell obscenities when their pit bulls try to clear our fence or snarl at my son and dog (and don't look down your brow at me for the yelling, or the obscenities part. I'm pretty sure if you're a momma-- to a fur baby or a real baby-- that if their safety is on the line you'd yell what comes to your mind first too). Oh wait, that doesn't count? Perhaps well enough to call the city council on them after they try to build a makeshift chicken coop off of their house and their roosters crow one too many times (have I mentioned I live in a track home neighborhood where houses are literally feet from each other?). Oh, er, that doesn't count either. Hmmm. Then I guess it's safe to say that my immediate neighbors really don't know us that well, nor we them. Which is kind of sad seeing how we live so closely. But as you can tell, we are a little, um, how shall I say this, different (or they are different from us... haven't quite figured that one out yet!) and tend to do things by the book around here.
3. What age are you looking forward to being?
I think it's safe to say all of the ages that I look(ed) forward to being have sadly passed. I looked forward to being 16 so I could drive. I looked forward to being 18 so I could vote. I looked forward to being 21 so I could drink. I hit 25 and my body failed me. Literally. At 25 I went the doctor more times than I want to remember. I do look forward to being retired with Drew. We have so much fun together traveling and exploring.
4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?
Yes! And I have no idea why because more often than not the mailbox is just filled with bills and junk mail.
5. What is your earliest childhood memory?
This is a hard one because it's not like I have one memory that sticks out at me as my "first" memory. I would say that I can go as far back as the apartment we lived in when I was about 2 or 3. I remember not sleeping during my naps, and I would hang upside down on the side of my bed. I remember the apartment upside down because of this. So I guess that would be it, but who knows really.

If you'd like to participate in 5QF, just hop on over to Mama M.'s to get all the details! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

MOPS

Yesterday was the first MOPS meeting of the fall semester, and I decided to attend. I had wanted to get involved in SOMETHING this fall, but all of the bible studies that appealed to me required a good solid committment, and with our fall schedule completely booked and a baby on the way, I just didn't feel like overbooking myself and getting stressed. Since MOPS is only once a month (with a play date or two thrown in), I figured it was a perfect compromise, and still gave me that encouragement as a mom that I needed. I walked away from yesterday's meeting completely refreshed and with a refocused outlook on training Brayden.

The speaker was Michelle Duggar. Yes, as in the woman who has 19 children. If you've read my blog for long, you know I have questioned the logic between having a baker's dozen worth of kids. It's not that I think she's a bad person or has made bad decisions, but her decision to have that many kids is definitely not for me. Despite my thoughts, I have the utmost respect for the Duggar's and how they raise their kids. Her words spoke so much truth to where I am at. I feel like a lot of days I am just a sitting duck in a huge pool. I want so desperately to have some meaning to my day, but generally end up on the couch completely exhausted and feeling as if I just MADE it. I want to swim laps in the pool of motherhood. Not that I will be completely efficient, but I don't want every day for the next few decades to look like I am just wading my way through the jungle of it all.

Michelle basically took the entire two hours to talk about building Godly character into your child. I felt like I could have sat there and listened for hours more, as I frantically jotted down notes and sayings that she shared. She used practical advice, not just admonishing us to build our children up but showing us HOW to do it. One of the things that really spoke to me is using the menial moments of the day as opportunities to make Christ known to the hearts of our children. She followed up by talking about curtailing anger. I have to be honest, I struggle with the anger part. I tend to have a short fuse, and I demand justice with little thought to the extension of grace. While I am trying to work on this, I know it will be a long road for me to walk. Dealing with a strong willed child day in and day out definitely is rubbing off those rough edges and teaching me to curb my anger. How can I show Brayden Christ if I am constantly becoming angry during those menial moments. I lose my opportunity to teach, and instead teach a negative. Michelle said that one thing her husband has said is that with a strong willed child, they may require more discipline (they actually call it correction, which I kind of like too) and consistency, but if you temper that will, they will become strong willed leaders who are strong willed for the cause of Christ. I need to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I deal with saying "no" for the same thing 546 times a day. My son will be a great leader, but I must make sure that he is guided in the right direction!

I could literally write a book about all of the things she shared about. I will end with the three character qualities that Michelle and Jim Bob think are the most important to instill at a young age:
  • attentiveness: Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided concentration to his words and emotions. She said there is great importance in your children giving you their eyes; if you can't get their eyes, you will never be able to get their heart. I have really been trying to work with Brayden on looking at mommy while I explain what a rule is or what he has done wrong, but this really encouraged me to try even harder.
  • obedience: The freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority. She spoke on INSTANT obedience. Not counting to 3, not saying things over and over again and then correcting... INSTANT. She snaps her fingers, and teaches her younger ones to clap. I really struggle with this one due to the fact that I have a strong willed child, but it makes so much sense. God has appointed us as parents to watch over our children; if they don't heed our instruction, they step out from under the umbrella of protection that God has created. Teaching our children instant obedience to OUR voice will teach them to be instantly obedient to the voice of Christ when they are older.
  • self-control: Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God's spirit. She used an example that she uses with her younger ones with potty training. God has given us initial promptings similar to those that are biological (like the initial prompting to go to the bathroom). He wants us to develop self control so that we are able to instantly obey. If we ignore those initial promptings (lack of self-control), there are consequences (like going to the bathroom on ourselves). This character helps refine our children so that they are able to hear and heed the promptings of God and receive the blessings of listening to him instantly. 
All in all I am SO glad that I decided to join MOPS. I really feel like this will help me become a better mom to Brayden, and give me a little outlet to connect to other women who are walking the same path as me right now.  And just a little FYI, MOPS is an international organization, so if you are interested in learning more and finding one near you, just visit their website.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pants on the Ground... B-Man Style.

I'm sure by now, you've all seen/heard the infamous Pants on the Ground song from this past season of American Idol. Last night as we were preparing for bed, Brayden was bustin' a sag, so Drew started singing "Pants on the Ground." The following is footage of what ensued after the singing began...


The Big D... A Kid Free Extravaganza

After nearly 17 months, we did what many parents dream of doing but many do not take the time to do... we dropped Brayden off at a relative's house and drove 5 hours away to the lovely Dallas. It was a much needed, much anticipated mini-vacation for both Drew and I as individuals and as a couple. My Aunt and Uncle live about 30 minutes from us, and have 4 girls of their own who are all able to pitch in with childcare, so they had generously offered to keep Brayden for us if we ever wanted/needed to get away. Brayden didn't even bat an eyelash as we left... being at their house is probably like Disney World to him since he has so much attention and is basically brought outside to play at his becking call.


IMG_2881wm
B-man hamming it up for Drew before we got to my Aunt and Uncle's house
IMG_2882wm

The car ride alone was glorious, as we were not hindered by eating schedules, poopy diapers or screaming children. We didn't have to listen to Veggie Tales or Praise Baby, and were able to enjoy several conversations uninterrupted. I was able to lean my seat all the way back to a reclining position, something I've not been able to do since Brayden's been born since we are crammed like sardines in our Civic. It's the little things in life that we take for granted, right? Drew and I stopped at a rest stop at one point, and I'm pretty sure we were the youngest people there by about 50 years. While I think that some of the reason behind that is a generational thing (they grew up traveling by car and the only place to stop was generally rest stops), we decided that older people try to enjoy the entire journey, not just the destination.

We arrived in Dallas and immediately hit up IKEA. I have to be honest here... while I was impressed with the concept as a whole, the furniture didn't knock my socks off. Perhaps it's because I prefer more homely, Pottery Barn type feel for my house rather than super modern and funky. We did find a car rug for B that I am SUPER excited about. It's a rug that has roads and stuff on it so that he can "drive" his cars on it... it was only $10 and will be part of his Christmas present (along with some hotwheels, which are a new thing for him lately). I was so excited to find this because I had looked for one at the big consignment sale, but they wanted $14 for it and I wasn't about to pay that for a used rug. After IKEA we checked into our hotel, got situated and then headed out for some eats. I had wanted to eat at La Madeleine's, and so we drove down to the Galleria and ate there, then walked around for a bit before heading back to the hotel. Our hotel was awesome. We stayed at the Aloft in Plano, and had gotten a super sweet deal for reserving so early. The room was SO nice, and we had a 42 inch LCD television hanging on the wall in front of our bed, perfect for watching all of the college football that was on tv this weekend.


IMG_2900wm
IMG_2902wm
IMG_2885wm
Our bed. I LOVE staying at hotels with king beds. Please note all of the pillows... we asked for extra pillows and they accidentally brought up two loads-- haha! I wasn't going to turn down extra pillows so I didn't tell them that they had already brought some up!
IMG_2886wm
I loved this sink!
IMG_2887wm
The shower-- please note, there are no ledges in this shower. Being pregnant and having no ledges in the shower makes for near catastrophe's while shaving. LOL!
IMG_2889wm
The tv :)


Saturday we both woke up at 9:30... pretty sure we hadn't both slept that late since before B was born! It was so nice to just wake up once we felt rested. We decided that since it was outlet mall day, we'd forego getting super ready until later that evening, so threw on some bum around clothes and headed out. We ate at a little bakery called Paradise bakery. I had been craving belgian waffles, and they had them on the menu believe it or not! It was so yummy. After breakfast we hit the outlet stores and shopped for over 4 hours. Drew was a trooper, enduring the kids stores as I frantically searched for long sleeved shirts for B. I only came away with 2, but I think he's got enough to cover him for the winter. Drew needed dress clothes and we were hoping that his favorite store, Van Heusen, was running a sale for Labor Day. Sure enough, not only was Van Heusen running a sale, but so was Bass shoes, so we stock piled Drew's work wardrobe for pennies on the dollar-- literally. Bass was having a buy one, get two free sale, so we got 3 pairs of work shoes for Drew, then at Van Heusen we got 4 pairs of slacks and about 7 dress shirts. After the outlets we were pooped, so we headed back to the hotel and hung out at the pool for the rest of the afternoon. Saturday night we made reservations at a super swanky italian restaurant, called Nicola's. Eating out is a trip regardless of the location for us, but this location was a SUPER, DUPER treat. The chef was from Milan, Italy, so we had authentic Italian cuisine. We got fruscheta for an apetizer, and honestly, I could have eaten 10 loafs of this stuff for my meal... it was THAT good.


IMG_2891wm

Then we ordered and split a pasta dish... I don't even remember the name, but it was amazing. All the pasta served in the restaurant is made by hand every day... DELICIOUS!


IMG_2890wm

Then as our main course we ordered and split a veal dish... the meat literally melted in our mouths. The atmosphere was so romantic-- low lights, candle lit tables, and hardly any noise since we were tucked away in our own booth.


IMG_2892wm
IMG_2893wm

After dinner we walked around the rest of the area. It was fun to people watch, as we were in a pretty wealthy area of Dallas. We saw more Porsche's than I cared to count, 4 ferrari's, a Mazarati... you get the idea. We hadn't seen that many awesome cars since our trip to South Beach after Drew got back from his deployment.

Sunday we kind of had a lazy day. I was craving pancakes again, so we found an IHOP and enjoyed a big breakfast. I had forgotten that I had wanted to go by Gap in the Galleria to look at maternity clothes, so after breakfast we headed BACK to the Galleria. I splurged and spent a pretty penny on Gap maternity jeans. I'm pretty sure Drew thought I was crazy, but honestly, they make me feel somewhat normal and they are long enough that I feel like I can wear whatever shoes I want, not just flats. Sunday afternoon we spent the entire afternoon out by the pool just lounging, talking and enjoying the peace and quiet. The pool was probably my most favorite part of the trip. They had this little cabana that provided some shade for Drew, and I was able to lay out (which I am sure was a sight to behold since my one and only maternity swim suit doesn't quite cover my belly anymore!). Sunday evening we went back to the Shops at Legacy (the same shopping center that we ate at on Saturday) to stroll around.


IMG_2894wm
IMG_2895wm
IMG_2897wm
IMG_2898wm
Another Mazarati... I wanted to find the people who owned these cars and ask them what they did!

The entire area is so pretty, and filled not only with restaurants and shops, but residential condos and townhomes also. The center has a little pond with a trail around it, so we walked around that and sat for a while just listening to the fountain. For dinner we had found out that Dallas has a Chuy's (the BEST mexican restaurant in the entire world... hands down!), so we headed there and waited for over an hour to eat. It was SO worth it though. If you ever have a chance to eat at Chuy's, DO IT. I think they only have them in Dallas and Austin, but I could be wrong.


IMG_2899wm

Monday we went back to the outlets to get some more pants for Drew (they were out of his size in a couple of the colors he had wanted on Saturday) and then headed home. Brayden didn't even bat an eye when we got back, evidence to the fact that he was completely spoiled and doted on by his Aunt, Uncle and cousins while we were away. All in all it was a great trip, and I can't wait to do it again... hopefully next time we won't have to wait 2 years to do it :)



IMG_2906wm