Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boo Texas: A Brayden Short Story.

For those of you who are non-Hog fans (well, first off, I feel sorry for you if you are not a Hog fan, but that's besides the point), you might not find humor in this story. For those of you who are, this one's for you.

I enrolled Brayden in a mom's and tots gym class this quarter at our fitness club. My original intention was to have something for him and I to do together during the cold winter months. Turns out, this winter has been nothing but cold. The class is still fun though, so we've stayed in it. For the past 3 weeks the teacher has played blue grass music. I find this amusing on several levels, but the most humorous of all is that the first song on the CD is Rocky Top. Rocky Top as in the Tennessee Volunteers little anthem song. I built up enough courage today to ask her if she was trying to brainwash my Hog-loving child with Rocky Top (don't worry, I was nice). She quickly responded no and that there were other CD's she could play. My point was not to make her change the disc, but just jide with her a little on the SEC rivalry. Turns out, she didn't go to an SEC school at all. No, after the Rocky Top comment she said "now in a bit, we're going to learn how to do this...." and held up all five fingers and then slowly pushed the middle two fingers down (creating a hook 'em horns). That's when I knew it. I knew I had her. I looked over at my sports lovin', Hog-callin' 2 year old and said "Brayden, what do we do when we see that?!" And pointed to his teacher's hand signal. Brayden quickly dropped the ball he was playing with, did an upside down hook 'em horns and said "BOOO Texas!" The teacher tried 3 times to get him to do the hook 'em horns, and every time she did, he repeated the upside down hook 'em and his "Boo Texas" chant.

That's my boy :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Say, He Says.

I say: I am tired of all of this drama. I don't like hurting and I don't like watching people hurt.

He says: "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

I say: I feel like a failure as a mom & wife. I feel like nothing I do is good enough and that I'm constantly missing the mark.
He says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (3 Corinthians 12:9).


I say: I don't understand why any of this is going on... this is not how I dreamed of my life to be when I was this age, and it most definitely does not make sense. I'm not sure how any of this could be for my good. 
He says: "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

I say: God, do you really hear my cries?
He says: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”(Psalm 50:15)

I say: What I'm doing as a parent doesn't seem to be working and I just want to give up.
He says: "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

I say: I don't feel beautiful today.
He says: "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139: 14)


I say: this ticks me off and makes me so angry!
He says: "for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." (James 1:20)

I say: I don't really feel like loving them because of __________ (fill in the blank).
He says: "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." (Luke 6:31)


Yall, there's a lot of stuff going on in my life right now that just downright stinks (Don't worry-- Drew and I, along with the boys, are fine). I'll be honest, it's had me pretty down lately. God has been so faithful to meet me in my downness, whether it be through verses, friends or songs. There are a lot of people who read this blog. And I love that I have people who are walking along side me through my life. If there's one thing that you walk away from when you read here, it's this: that God is a God who will meet you where you are. I'm not perfect, yet I feel perfectly loved by Him. These verses I share, they are truth and they have comforted me during the valleys of my life. This post is kind of random and short, yet I felt like I needed to type it up, if only for me to remember the truths God has whispered to me over the past several days. I want to close by including to the words of one of my favorite hymns. I've sang it a lot over the past couple of months, and my prayer is that my life screams it's anthem.


MY HOPE IS BUILT

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain:
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain 

His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain 

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain

(Text: Edward Mote, 1797-1874 Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend in Review

While I'd love to blame my exhaustion on a busy weekend, when I look at what we did it doesn't seem as though business has anything to do with it. We DID have a fun weekend though, which is all that matters, right?

Friday we had the great blessing of having a surprise visit from my parents. It was a complete surprise, as we had found out 2 days prior, but nonetheless something that we hadn't really planned on. Both boys were SO happy to see their Gigi and Poppa D.

When I had told Brayden that Gigi and Poppa were coming, he immediately asked if Gigi would read the Tickle Monster book to him. My mom bought the Tickle Monster several months ago for Brayden, but has only read it to him a few times between now and then (usually atleast once when she visits), so it was crazy to me that he had remembered it! I'm pretty sure mom read it at least 4 times in the day and a half they were here, and even Connor got in on the excitement :)
IMG_20120127_183129 - Aladin,Ground

IMG_20120128_190225 (these pictures aren't the best quality. I was too lazy to get my SLR out, and the only other alternative is our tablet right now. Better than nothing I guess).

One of the biggest things that happened this weekend is that Connor has consistently tried to walk! He's still as wobbly as a drunk who's downed ten bottles of tequilla, but it's about the cutest thing you've ever seen. And he is SO SO proud of himself. It's bitter sweet for me.... my back will certainly thank him, as I nearly kill myself having to lug around a 25 pound toddler everywhere, but my mind and eyes tell me what my heart doesn't want to believe-- that my baby isn't a baby anymore (cue emotional mom tears).

Saturday dad took Brayden on their traditional donut date to the local donut shop. It's Brayden's very favorite thing to do with his Poppa. After donuts they had a little adventure. I wish my phone gets pictures, because dad sent some of the cutest pics to my mom's phone to show their time together. Since Drew had to study all day on Saturday, we spent most of the day enjoying each other's company at home, and then later that evening enjoyed a dinner out to eat with my parents before Drew headed back to studying for the night.

Today has been a whirlwind with church, Drew studying some more (I don't think I could stress to you how anxious I am for this class, and degree, to be behind us. I'm ready to have our family back together again!) and then community group tonight.

I'm so exhausted I haven't even checked our schedule to see what's going on this week. I think a lot of my exhaustion has to do with my anxiety about a lot of things going on in our family right now. If you think of it, will you pray for me? I need some mental (as well as physical) rest, and Satan is just having a heyday with my mind right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Play.

Life here is pretty mundane most days. And I'm perfectly ok with that. I'm a home body and love nothing more than staying in my pjs all day rocking out to Cedarmont Kids and playing cars, trucks and trains. Which is precisely what we did this afternoon, all while the beautiful sun streamed into our front room. I realized the lighting was ideal for pictures, so grabbed the camera and started snapping away at our time with toys.
_MG_8412 _MG_8413 chubby baby hands are the best. _MG_8414 _MG_8416 _MG_8421 _MG_8425 _MG_8427 (I got this monster for $1 in the after Christmas clearance at Walmart. I think it's my boys favorite toy, which cracks me up) _MG_8430 I asked him to smile. Instead I got "strong muscles." _MG_8431 _MG_8432 _MG_8441 He told me he was ready to be a cowboy. _MG_8443 _MG_8448 _MG_8450 _MG_8452 _MG_8454 _MG_8455 _MG_8458 _MG_8463
I love our crazy life. And I love my boys. Afternoons like these are so sweet to me, and make me realize that I need to cherish every moment, because all too soon they'll be locking me out of their room saying "no girls allowed." :)

Pictures and Captions.

(sidenote: I have no clue why this post is not posting correctly. It's all out of whack but after my 3rd attempt to correct things I threw in the towel. Sorry for the text being formatted all crazy).

It's been a while since I put some pics of the boys on this here ol' blog. So when we took advantage of yet another unseasonably warm winter afternoon and ventured to the park, I took the camera along for the journey.

_MG_8333 Brayden the helper _MG_8335 "wook momma! I'm an airplane!" _MG_8337 _MG_8342 _MG_8347 _MG_8354 doesn't this picture just make you want to kiss him?!?!?! _MG_8356 I realize this is blurry, but it makes my heart melt. I love his sweet baby face and am so so so sad that he's growing up so fast! _MG_8359 _MG_8366 Connor kept scooting up and down this ledge and smiling so big when he did it. I think he likes being a big boy :) _MG_8369 scooting off... _MG_8370 _MG_8373 climbing up on the rock wall. _MG_8375 exploring. And yes, I realize he has a snot bubble. What do you do when you run out of kleenex at the park??? _MG_8376 making a wish with the lovely trashcan in the background ;) _MG_8386 this boy LOVED playing in the bark. He was COVERED in it by the time we left. _MG_8395 checking out the other kids _MG_8397 letting us know his opinion. _MG_8401 _MG_8404 _MG_8407 I love watching them playing together. They are becoming good friends and it just makes me so happy. _MG_8408 Connor sure lets Brayden know his opinion :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things I Love About Being a Mom.

I feel like lately I've bemoaned my children a lot. And really, I don't want to come across as someone who hates this job. Because in all truthfulness, despite the hardships of being a parent, this job is something I dreamed of my whole life and I never want to take for granted the great blessing it is to be called MOM. So I thought I'd list some of my faves about being a mom to Brayden and Connor.
  • I love that my kisses will "heal" nearly any hurt. 
  • I love it when Brayden tells me I'm a good cook... even if it is just chicken nuggets :)
  • I love it when Connor kicks his legs when he sees me and acts as though I hung the moon.
  • I love when Brayden puts his hand on my cheek and tells me I'm pretty... even on the morning that I haven't brushed my teeth and haven't showered in 2 days :)
  • I love it that when I tuck B into bed that he always says "I wuv you too mommy" and looks at me with the sweetest sleepy eyes I've ever seen.
  • I love listening to Brayden talk about things. Just this morning we had a conversation about Jesus and how he will someday come back to earth. Brayden looked out the window and said "JESUS! Come back!!!" 
  • Even though I hate folding laundry, I always smile when I come across a little sock or a little pair of Lightening McQueen underwear. 
  • I love that my kids love church. Brayden asks to go to church all the time, and Connor starts kicking his feet when we get into the parking lot. 
  • I love that I get to teach them new things and be here to experience all of those "first" moments.
  • I love when I ask Brayden how much I love him and he responds with "too much!" 
  • I love when Brayden asks me to call him "babe"
  • I love it that Connor gets embarassed when he kisses me... but he still kisses me whenever I ask. 
  • I love looking in the rear view mirror and seeing my boys holding hands. Melts my heart every time. 
  • I love being able to play super heroes and talk about cars, trucks and sports. 
  • I love being the first woman in my boys life, and being able to teach them about how to be a gentleman.
I'm sure there's a million other things I could list. The point is not to list them all, but to at least jot down my faves so that on those hard days where it seems like I might pull out every strand of my hair, that I can say with confidence that even in those moments, the good ones far outweigh the bad. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Thoughts on Potty Training.

(For those of you who read my blog for updates on the boys, this may not be a very fun post for you. But I want to remember how I trained Brayden so that a year from now when Connor starts wanting to be trained, I know how I did it. And yes, I WILL forget! ha!)

Before I gave birth to Connor, I had a million in one people asking me if I would try to potty train Brayden before C was born. To which I replied "ummmmmm..... NO." The mere thought of potty training gave me the heeby jeebies, and then throw a newborn in the mix and I shamelessly proclaimed that Brayden would wear diapers until he applied for college. For realz, it scared me that bad.

A few months after Connor was born and we were nearing Brayden's second birthday, I gave potty training a thought. Until I realized it would still be ME who was potty trained. I was having to set alarms to remember to take him, he peed on the couch while we were watching a movie... I was about to pull my hair out and I was only a few hours into the shindig. So I asked a few boy moms what they thought. The overwhelming majority of moms told me to wait until Brayden was closer to three. As one mom put it, "You can potty train now and be done in a year, or start when he's three and be done in 2 weeks." The 2 weeks part got me a little excited, so I took their word for it and went back to diapers.

Between that time and 2 weeks ago, Brayden would randomly ask to use the potty. Not wanting to hinder any self-training going on, we would go. It was totally him, and I would be lying to you if I told you there wasn't a time or two I was busy with Connor that I just told him to go in his diaper. A few weeks ago, when he started refusing to go in his diaper, or complain that he had just peed and needed to be changed, I knew it was time. Thankfully this all occurred around the time we went to play with Brayden's good friend Jack. Jack had just started potty training a few days before, so there was lots of encouragement and praise to be had. I think Brayden enjoyed it, and while we were there he literally went on the potty every time he needed to go! So later that afternoon we headed to Walmart and picked out some big boy underwear. And we haven't looked back since. Seriously. That was 2 weeks ago, and since that time he's had 3 accidents and wet a pull up 1 or 2 times. All the rest of the time he's stayed dry, even at school and when we're out and about. It's incredible to me that it has been this easy! I think it really had to do with the fact that I waited until he was ready. He totally gets it, is SO excited about big boy underwear and he's very much on board.

Yay Brayden! I'm so so proud of you and can't believe you're growing up so fast.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend in Review (or lack thereof).

Hi yall! I promise I've not fallen off the face of the earth. Our life has been crazy busy this week. It was a good crazy busy, but it was also exhausting. So much so that I just didn't really have energy to blog by the end of the day. So I didn't.

I have found that winter has been a lull in our lives. Drew is in the most demanding class by far for his MBA. He'll be done in 5 weeks. Like, done done. No more classes. No more papers. No more studying. Just work and family for him for here on out. If you think you hear singing, you probably do. It's me and the angels singing the hallelujah chorus.

Because Drew's been so strapped down by school, it means our weekends haven't been near as fun as normal. I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, it's kind of nice having down time on the weekends. On the other, not having a husband around to help with kids means that my weekends are nothing more than an extension of my work week. It's HARD. And trying. I'm so so grateful this is the last of school. So we didn't do much this weekend. Just hung out at home, pulled babies from tables (yes, Connor can climb on top of the end tables now), broke up countless bickering sessions between brothers, and of course, no weekend is complete in our household without a lunch trip to Sam's Club.

That was it. That was all we did. We live an extravagantly exciting life, don't we? ha! I promise to do better about keeping updated. I'm hoping to whip out the camera soon to snap some pics of the boys.... it's been too long :) And just because this picture makes me laugh, I'll leave you with a shot of Brayden from Friday. He came in the living room announcing that he had dressed himself. Really buddy, I would have never guessed ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just Some Randoms.

  • I've all but given up on my giving up Dr Pepper for the new year. In theory, it was a good meaning intention. The problem is that I'm in the minefields of toddler parenting right now. One of the key ingredients in making it through the minefields of toddlerhood is caffeine. And seeing how I'm not much of a coffee drinker, chosing to quit Dr. Pepper effectively left me with little other choices. Sure, sweet tea was there for me, but I just didn't feel the pick me up that I did with Dr P. So my new, new Years resolution is to drink in moderation. One Dr P. a day, preferably in the morning before 10am. Sounds crazy, I know, but really, the last two days I've done this and felt like I was functioning a lot better. And functioning better makes me feel better. Sorry if I let anyone down. 
  • I tried substituting kale for spinach in our green smoothies the other day. I couldn't really taste a difference, although I didn't feel like it blended as well. There were itty bitty pieces of it that I could taste and since I'm a big texture person I think we'll probably stick to spinach. 
  • I keep asking Brayden what kind of birthday party he wants. I get one of three answers: (a) orange (b) presents or (c) pink. Considering he's already getting presents and a pink party for a boy is out of the question, so I guess we'll go with orange. Not really sure how to pull that one off. Ideas anyone? 
  • I found this tent at Target yesterday. I got it for $7.50 in the clearance section. For some reason someone had marked it down 75% off (it was only supposed to be 50% off). Yay for us! The boys LOVE it. I also found some new rainboots for Brayden. He's about to outgrow his, and the little frog ones that Target sells were clearanced out for $11. Can't beat a good sale day at my favorite place!
  •  I have really been struggling with Brayden lately. I keep waking up set out to make it a new day, and by 3pm that day, my patience is tried and my wear with all has been shot. I hear SO many people say that they love this age/stage, but honestly, it's been a real struggle for me to enjoy it. I know that sounds terrible, but it just really is the case right now. I love Brayden with everything in me, but I look forward to the day that everything is not a battle.
  • Speaking of Brayden, he has slept in until at least 5am the past two nights. Considering most nights for the past 4 months he was up at least 3 times in the middle of the night, I consider this an improvement. Please continue to pray that his sleep improves. Both Drew and I need the sleep as much as Brayden does. 
  • I'm going to have a "Love Story Link-Up Party" the week before Valentines Day. From February 6th through February 10 I'll have a post up that you can link to with your love story. If you link up your post, you'll be entered to win a $30 Visa Giftcard so that you and your sweetheart can go on a date :) 
And with that, I'm off to take a much needed nap while the boys sleep. Peace out!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend in Review: Birdday Parties & Bloggy Meetups

I have put off all household chores to have fun this weekend. And fun we've all had, although I think the clutter and germ fest that is my home is starting to wear on my stress level. We'll be doing full blown cleaning tomorrow. ha!

Friday was a heckuvaday. Can I just say that my life is a mess right now? I mean, you name it, something is wrong with it. Or perhaps not wrong with it, but not ideal, like my husband having to work full time and be in school full time. It's just lead to a lot of stress for me right now and so I spent much of Friday teetering on mental insanity. If only I was kidding.

I finally pulled my boot straps up and got myself together. Thank goodness I had a girls night out with some bloggy friends on Friday to look forward to, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would have buckled and gotten a large Dr Pepper from Sonic with no remorse. And just when I thought the stress couldn't get any worse, I left Brayden in the bathroom to use the potty for literally 2 minutes. I came back to find this:

camera - Sophia,Cornered

And not only this, but also a toilet that was brimming with water. I stumbled on my words as my eyes took in the scene. "What did you do?!?!??!" was all that could stutter out of my mouth. Brayden, with a look of complete innocence on his face but with blue dandruff shampoo covered hands, looked at me and said "ummm... I fwushed the washfffcoff. I can't find it mommy." Oh dear goodness, I nearly had a heart attack thinking about a wash cloth down our pipes. Thankfully I was able to retrieve it after going elbow deep in the shampoo and pee filled toilet. Keep in mind that Connor was continually trying to crawl INTO the bathroom during this whole time. The bathroom that had Selsum Blue on the floor, all over the toilet and in the tub. Our bathroom STILL smells like the stuff. Ahhhh, parenting. Gotta love it.

Needless to say, Drew came home and I left to go out with some bloggy friends. Except my bloggy meetup was not supposed to start until 7:30. So you know what I did? I did what any mother who has had a shampoo filled toilet kind of day, and I sat in my car and listened to silence (I also caught up with a friend on the phone).

I had so much fun at the meetup for Jillian. The only person I actually knew IRL was Whitney. We met at a bloggy meetup back in October last year. Everyone was so fun... I just LOVE bloggy meetups. We did have quite a large group, so I wasn't really able to talk with some of the other people at the other end of the table as much as I would have liked... which is why all restaurants should have round tables! ha!

_MG_8275
Front: yours truly, Katie, Jillian, Taylor, and Lauren
Back: Lindsey (her blog's private), Brittany, Whitney, Rachel, Kim, and Tara
(I also feel like I should thank Whitney for writing her post first... I didn't have to search through people's twitter profiles for blog links- thanks Whit!)
_MG_8274
You just never know what your camera might catch :) haha!


Saturday Drew had to study most of the day. But we did pick him up for a little break to go and celebrate Brayden's friend's birthday... who also happens to have the name Brayden! The party was an Angry Bird themed party. Jenna did such a great job with the decorations and the FUN real-life angry bird setup. It was perfect for the kids!

_MG_8280
_MG_8282
_MG_8283
_MG_8294
Connor enjoyed pushing the boxes around
_MG_8290
the cute center pieces
_MG_8288
and the cupcakes
_MG_8298
Jenna had a coloring table setup... Brayden was in LOVE.
_MG_8304
the sweet birthday boy blowing out his candles
_MG_8314
Connor was excited to eat a cupcake. So excited in fact, that he grabbed the top of the cupcake before we even had a chance to sit down.
_MG_8321
he was VERY mad when the cupcake was gone.
_MG_8325
Both of the Brayden's playing with a tractor :)
_MG_8326


Saturday afternoon we headed to Walmart for a few things. As I was getting out of the car another woman came over and said "did you see that?!?! Oh my gosh!" I had heard the police siren but didn't really think anything of it. Turns out, some crazy person was running from the cops, and thought it would be best to pull his truck up to the Walmart, leave it there in the middle of the road, and run into walmart. Away from the cops. Yeah... drama. I sat in the car for a while till I saw people going back into the store. Brayden, true to form, yelled "HIIIII firemen!!!!!" to the policemen as we walked into the store. hahaha!

Today we have stayed home all day and laid low. Both of the boys have raspy sounding coughs, and I just didn't want to expose them to something in the nursery that would put them down for the count. Drew and I are headed on a little date before community group tonight for some much needed kid-free conversation. Hope yall have a great week!