Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My little helper

Eli loves to 'help' mommy scrub the kitchen floor. Doesn't he look so sweet and innocent in this picture? But don't let that fool you! Just this morning alone:

1. He had an accident in his 'big boy' pants and soaked my kitchen floor. Thus, the need for scrubbing it.

2. When I was mixing something in the blender, he climbed up on a chair before I could stop him and turned the blender on, sending stuff all over my freshly scrubbed floor, all over the counter and sink, and all through our hair and clothes. So much for a clean kitchen!

3. Then, I discovered him in the bathroom with toilet paper, trying to sop up yet another accident that had happened on my bathroom rug before he made it to the potty in time.

4. I found him this morning trying to squeeze all the tooth-paste out of the tube.

5. He climbed up the cupboard (yes, the cupboards) while Cosette was standing at the sink washing her hands, and turned on the sprayer, spraying water all over the place.

You may ask, ''Can't you find creative ways to keep him safe and busy?" Yes, dear friends, I do, all day long! We read, we play with play-dough, we play with trucks, we help mommy pick up toys, we help mommy make food, we color, etc, etc. These are simply the things he gets into between all those other things!
Yep, this is my little man, and he keeps me on my toes. But, I wouldn't have him any other way. Someday, he's going to turn all that extra energy into being a good help for his daddy, into studying hard, into helping others, and into being the godly man God intends for him to be.
So thank God for my ornery little guy; he's a godly man in the making!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Girls day

This past Saturday, Cosette and I had a 'girls only' date. We went out to lunch with a friend of mine. We wanted to do this before the baby comes, so we jumped on the opportunity of a free Saturday. Daddy and Eli stayed home together to watch guy movies or something :) It was nice to spend time with just my daughter; that doesn't happen very often. While we were looking at the menu, I asked Cosette if she'd prefer a hamburger or a grilled cheese. She thought for a minute, and then replied 'Yes'. I was confused. "Sweet-heart, which one do you want?" "Yes", was her reply again. Suddenly I understood. "Cosette, you can't have both of them!" "But mom, I'm reallllly hungry!"
Needless to say, once she ate her grilled cheese sandwich and fries, she agreed with me that one sandwich was enough food :)

We had about an hour's drive to meet my friend,
and Cosette took a nap for a large part of that.
This picture was taken right after we got to the
restaurant, and she'd only been awake for a few
minutes. She had no desire to smile for the camera!

a couple of hours and an ice-cream cone later,

she was feeling much happier :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Those precious moments

It was about 8:30, and Eli had been asleep for about a half hour, or so I thought. I was standing at the kitchen counter, getting some food ready to put in the oven after church tomorrow. Suddenly, I heard little foot-steps coming down the hall. A little boy poked his head around the corner, looking as happy as could be. He was carrying his teddy-bear, just like he does in the morning. He looked up at me and grinned a huge grin, and then said:

" Hi! Up! Hi Mom! Up!"

Well, he looked so genuinely happy to see me that my heart melted. I reached down and gave him a hug, and then I had to tell him that it was still night-time, and he'd have to go back to bed. He got the most sad, disappointed look on his face you can imagine. His shoulders slumped, his head drooped, and he slowly turned around and headed back to bed.
I honestly believe my little Eli-guy believed that it was morning time. He probably grabbed his teddy bear, came out to the kitchen, and was happy to see mom fixing 'breakfast' at the kitchen counter. Poor kid! I've never felt so sorry to have to tell a child to go back to bed!
But then I began thinking about how sweet it was that he was so happy to see me; that he can find it a reassuring thing to find mom in the kitchen every morning, ready to get him a glass of juice. I thought about how nice it is to get that first hug and kiss from him in the morning, and enjoy those few moments when he snuggles on my lap and lays his little head on my shoulder. And then I said a quick 'thank you' to God for making me a mom :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I could not get my little guy to go to sleep for his afternoon nap. I knew he was sleepy; he'd played hard at Grandma's house all morning. But, try as I might, he refused to sleep. However, Mom know's best, as this picture demonstrates:

This is how we found him, laying on our bed,
right before dinner :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Purchase

Last week I purchased this baby bed here, and it came yesterday. I was pretty excited about it! The first tangible evidence that there actually will be a new baby in our house soon!
Anyway, I was really happy to find this online. I've wanted one for both of my other babies, but could never find it. It's so handy for laying the baby in at Grandma's house, on the pew at church, when you're eating in a restaurant,etc. Much more comfy for the baby than staying strapped in a carseat.
It seems to be well made. My only complaint was that the handle doesn't fasten in securely enough, but I think a couple of tight sewing stitches will take care of that. Otherwise, I'm happy with the purchase, it was just what I was looking for.
My next major purchase is a sling for me to carry the baby in. Then we're all set, and all we need is, well.....the baby!! ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a difference 3 1/2 years makes!!

  • For my first pregnancy, I read every single baby and pregnancy magazine, word for word, that the OB's office sent home in the take-home package. For my third pregnancy, I have only opened that bag to get out the free sample of tums :)

  • For my first pregnancy, I took my vitamins with a religious consistency, sure that if I missed even a day my baby would be born without toes or something! For my third pregnancy, I look at that little, crushed up iron pill floating around in my glass of orange juice and think "Maybe I'll just eat extra salad today instead"

  • For my first pregnancy, I rubbed that anti stretch- mark lotion on morning and night. For my third pregnancy, I realize that it's a hopeless cause anyway, and besides, who wants to smell like cocoa butter??

  • For my first pregnancy, my husband and I read through our Bradley Book (natural child-birth) , cover to cover, several months in advance, and practiced all the breathing, relaxation, etc. For my third pregnancy, I have yet to find that book on a shelf somewhere.

  • For my first pregnancy, I worried over every little piece of chocolate or caffeine that I consumed. For my third pregnancy, I've made it a habit to get a Starbucks Java Chip Decaf Frappucino after each of my mid-wife appointments.

  • For my first pregnancy, I had my hospital bags packed weeks in advance. For my third pregnancy, I've come to realize that I will have plenty of time after labor begins to pack my bags, and my kids bags, and clean my house, and get my kids to grandma's....yes, I tend to have long labors.

  • For my first pregnancy, I couldn't wait for the baby to get here so I could love it and hug it. For my third pregnancy.....well, the feelings are the same :)

By the way, the picture is Cosette at four days old, January 1st, 2005

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A new flavor

It is 7:25. Teeth have been brushed, and Bible Stories have been read. It is time for the last 'tuck-in ritual'. I hear the familiar words:

"Mommy, will you snuggle with me tonight?"
"Sure, Cosette, just for a couple of minutes."
My little girl jumps into bed and snuggles under her covers. I manage to get my pregnant belly up around her side-rail and sit in the middle of her bed.

"Will you sing me a song, Mommy?"
I'm not sure why she always wants this, I have a terrible singing voice. But, I happily oblige, and sing her favorite song, the one we've been singing every night for a long time. At Christmas time, she wanted 'O little town of Bethlehem' every night. Finally, at Easter, I convinced her to switch to an Easter song. And we've been singing it ever since!

And then the familiar "Mommy, can I comb your hair?"
"Sure, sweetheart." I must admit that this is one of my favorite times of the day. Her little hands are so gentle and careful, she about puts me to sleep with all her brushing and combing.
She then proceeds to brush through my hair, and fix 'beautiful' pony-tails for me.
I tell her it's almost time for me to say goodnight, but she begs for one more thing.

"Can I fix you a cup of tea?"
"Alright, one quick cup."
She reaches for her play teapot and teacup she keeps on her bed for this specific time each night. She happily pours me a cup of her 'tea'
As I pretend to sip, I say "Cosette, this is the best tea I've ever tasted. What kind is it?"
Looking delighted, she responds

"Strawberry-chocolate-marshmallow-lemon with peanut-butter, chocolate chips, and watermelon"

Oh my! I thank my lucky stars (guardian angels?) that this is only a pretend cup of tea!! ;)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life-savers for Moms

Being a mom is hard work. I know that sounds kind of like a cliche, but it's the truth. Yes, it has it's rewards, and no, I would never in a million years want to be doing anything but being a mom right now. That said, it is still hard work. Take my typical day, for example:

By 9:00 a.m., I have:
  • Been up for about 3 1/2 hours.
  • Had my daily Bible/Prayer time
  • Fixed my husband's lunch
  • Fed myself and two children breakfast
  • Cleaned up breakfast
  • Emptied dish-washer, filled dishwasher
  • Dressed kids, brushed their teeth, and taken them potty
  • Morning devotions with kids
  • Starting thinking about dinner; got any necessary food out of freezer to thaw
  • Made bed, straightened up bedrooms
  • Had my shower
  • Started a load of laundry.

Phew! And it's only 9:00 a.m. Now, I was once a hard-working, 'A' college student with 21 credits; at one point I was also working two part-time jobs, engaged, and finishing up my last few classes. And let me tell you, none of that compares to the constant 'out-put' that is required of a mother!

So, with that said, let me mention that I still manage to stay composed and happy most days (Notice that 'most' there. There are still some times when Joel finds an exhausted, tear-filled wife at the end of the day, but I'm learning to make those days less and less. I'm sure that'll be better once these crazy pregnancy hormones stop rearing their ugly heads. Three months and counting.....)Anyway... There are a few things that make life a little easier for me. Most of them have been suggested to me by people or authors much wiser than myself, and I am forever grateful :) Thought I'd share them with you.

1. Nap time. No, no, no, not my nap time. My kids nap time! I try to coordinate it so they both take a nap at the same time in the afternoon. Heaven!!! One -Three hours of complete silence. I can rest, catch up on my blogging (like right now), scrub the floor without little feet running over it, etc, etc. I plan to have my children taking naps, or at least 'quiet time' for a long, long, time....

2. Date nights. Couldn't live without them. That one night every once in a while when my husband and I can both finish all of our sentences. When I can give my husband a kiss without a little two year old begging for one too(although, that is pretty sweet when Eli does that :) So, whether it's just walking around the mall or going out to eat, I greatly look forward to these times.

3. My morning devotions. I feel so much better when I start the day off like this! No, I don't at all like getting up at 5:30, but I put on a warm robe, pour myself a glass of juice, and enjoy reading my Bible in the quiet house. God has been teaching me and changing me so much lately through these times.

4. An occasional cup of tea or coffee. Yes, yes, it's decaf now that I'm pregnant, don't worry. But that cup of coffee with some yummy-flavored creamer in it is so perfect for purking up my mood.

5. Walking. I am making myself exercise on my treadmill most days now. I have to take it easy because of the earlier pregnancy complications, but my mid-wife has 'okayed' gentle and steady walking. So, I set it at an easy pace, and just try to walk for 15 minutes or so in the afternoon. Very refreshing. I'll have to up that pace after the baby comes, though.....

6. And finally, just enjoying my kids. Taking time to look at them, and feel amazed all over again that they are mine. That Eli has my wavy hair, or that Cosette has her Daddy's mannerisms and funny sayings. To snuggle up with them and read lots of books instead of cleaning more, or whatever. This is true happiness....... :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Moms Morning Out

Joel and I are really blessed to belong to the church that we do. We have been there 2.5 years, and we have felt like members of the 'family' for almost as long. One of the biggest things that drew us to this church was it's emphasis on children. They are not just an 'after-thought' or little people to be taken care of so they don't disturb the adults. They are treated like who they are---God's children, and the future generation of the church. There is an over-all sense of importance in training them and teaching them that is felt in general through-out the entire church. I remember our very first Sunday at this church. We didn't go for Sunday School, so we arrived a few minutes early for the service. All of a sudden, some-one rang a bell, and a whole surge, no, stampede, of children, age 3- 6th grade, came pouring out of their Sunday School rooms. We were amazed. Then, we were equally happy to see that there were numerous children sitting in the service with their parents. Child-care is offered for those who need it, or for visitors, but it is not at all frowned upon when you opt to keep your kids with you for the service. Cosette has learned so much from sitting with Joel and I. Sometimes, she actually 'answers' our pastor in the middle of a sermon, as if he were preaching directly to her! And Eli, well, we are very pleased with the progress he's made lately at sitting still and eating his snack during the service. Cosette and Eli also enjoy their Sunday School class, which they attend before the Worship Service begins. It is a wonderful chance for them to re-inforce what we've been trying to teach them at home through the week.

This morning, I took advantage of another ministry offered to families with young children. They call it 'Mom's Morning Out' Several of the ladies from the church, whose children are already grown, offer this ministry one Friday a month. Moms with kids, any age, are able to bring their children to the church from 8:45-12:30. The kids are taken good care of, fed snacks, played with, etc. Today, Cosette said they even made cookies. And the moms, well, we do any number of things you could imagine moms who are kid-free for a few hours might do. This morning, I went grocery shopping and cleaned my house. Another mom was going to get her hair cut and take a nap :) Other moms have brunch together or just enjoy a quiet house for a few hours. It is a real blessing, and so sweet of these ladies to offer it.

We are so glad that our children will have this positive atmosphere to grow up in. It really is an example of the church being 'the Body of Christ'

Monday, April 07, 2008

I only have two hands...

Multi-tasking. It's a skill I am having to improve the more children we keep adding to our family. I'm beginning to understand that it's a mother's only mode of survival. Take tonight for example.

I was in the kitchen, cooking dinner, when I looked at the clock. 5:10. Eli was still sleeping. I would have to wake him up now, or he wouldn't be sleepy at bedtime (7:30). I left my vegetables steaming on the stove to go get my little man up. I sent him to say hi to Daddy and returned to my veggies. But soon, I heard a little voice behind me. "Mommy, pee-pee" Oh dear. When this little boy says those words, you drop whatever you're doing and take him potty now. So that's what I did. I left my almost-cooked veggies still cooking and took the little man to the potty. I tried to hurry him along (which is difficult, because he likes to talk and sing songs while he's sitting there). He finally finished, and I helped him wash his hands. Just as I was drying my own hands, I heard another little voice, this time belonging to my daughter, saying "Mommy, I think I need to go potty now too, and I need your help!" Oh bother. I prayed that my veggies weren't turning black by now, and proceeded to help my daughter. After washing my hands for the second time, I finally headed back out to the kitchen, to find that my veggies, thankfully, had not burned.

Or the other morning, Sunday. Joel had left early because he had other responsibilities at church that morning. I was trying to straighten my hair at the sink, which should take a whopping total of about five minutes. However, in the middle of doing that, I had to stop to get Eli out of the fridge( he was stealing food), stop to take Cosette potty, stop to help her pick out a pair of tights to wear with her dress, stop to get Eli a drink, and stop to put pig-tails in Cosette's hair. Now, the original idea was that I would get ready, and then get the kids ready. However, they always seem to have their own order of doing things. In the long run, I think it took me about 35 minutes to finally get my hair straightened.

And those, friends, were very simple 'multi-tasks', as compared to some nights and mornings around here! I am also realizing that in about three months we're going to be adding a crying, hungry, attention-needing little baby to this mix. Oh well. I guess we'll have to learn to eat our veggies black ;)

Friday, April 04, 2008

My grown up boy

My son was beginning to look like the shaggy dog. Even I had to admit it. He has his mother's head of thick, wavy hair, and it was getting impossible to keep it neat. So, with my sister by my side for support, I took him in for his first real hair cut. Now, he had already had several 'trims' by his grandma (Joel's mom) and myself, but nothing this serious :) I thought I might cry, but I was mostly just relieved to see him looking a little bit neater. The first two pictures are his 'before' pictures, the last is the 'after' picture. What do you think? My little baby boy looks like a big boy now!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Feeling Grateful

Cosette has been begging me to take her to the park recently, but it's been too cold. In fact, she told me today that it didn't matter if it rained again, she would just take her umbrella to the park with her :) Thankfully, today was just warm enough that we snuggled up in coats with hoods and headed out. We went to see Daddy (Joel) at the office first, and then headed to the park.
As my children ran around the play-ground, I had so much fun watching them. They're so much bigger than they were last year this time. Eli can go down the slide all by himself now. Cosette can get herself up into a swing (which is good, since I can't lift her) They can run all over the place, and yell and giggle and laugh with each other and have a blast. They're old enough now to really appreciate each other's company and playing outside.
And then it hit me. A month ago, it was still a possibility that I might have missed this minute. Just a little over a month ago, we didn't know if I was going to be on bed-rest all the way until July! I wouldn't have been relishing this time with my kids outdoors, I would have been stuck on the couch, knitting away! But here I was, standing with my kids at the park, enjoying the semi-warm day (okay, it was a little chilly), the sun on my head, and seeing my beautiful children running around having fun. Plus, I had the joy of feeling the new little one kicking inside of me.
How blessed I am, folks! I know that every day is not as enjoyable as this one, but I'll take them when they come! ;)


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