Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to....

So, this was our conversation at breakfast today:

Me- Carly, 29 years ago today Gran was at the hospital and the doctor gave her a baby. Do you know who it was?
Carly- (whose eyes were huge!) Baby Jesus???

Monday, October 5, 2009

In her future?...

Carly was watching one of her favorite movies "Space Buddies" last week in the car. She told me they were going in space and I said, "It would be cool to go to space." And her reply..."I think it would be neat to walk on the moon." Just like that, matter of fact. And I ridiculously got teary-eyed for two reasons: One-What an intelligent thing to say. and Two- If that statement ever becomes a reality, I hope I can be supportive because I would be terrified to send my baby to the moon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So Amazing!

We're reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan in our Sunday School class right now. Every week has been a different chapter and I especially loved this past week's. The chapter was named the same as the title of the book and described how much God loves, so much that we can't even imagine it and can only describe it as "crazy". Part of our lesson used one of my favorite verses:

Jeremiah 1:5- "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..."

This verse applies to so much in life. If you feel insignificant, if you are discouraged about your future (or even your present), if you are facing a hard decision about having a baby, etc.

When Carly was a cheerleader at the beginning of the year, she was very shy. She loved practicing at home but was afraid of standing with the other girls. Every week someone was given a Spirit Stick for showing the most spirit. The coach gave it to Carly, wanting to encourage her, and it worked! She had so much confidence after that.

Someone in our class compared the coach giving the Spirit Stick to Carly to God giving us the Bible. It has all the encouragement we need for whatever we face, so study it and go to it when you need a pick-me-up.

The last thing I wanted to share is a quote a friend sent me:
"When a person can come to the place in life where they can say with absolute unwavering conviction, "yes, but my God is in control", there is an awesome sense of strength and assurance that will fill the heart to overflow with an indescribable joy and peace. No matter what the challenges we face in life, this peace can remain."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This too shall pass...

Teething, tantrums, sleepless nights, crying all the time in the car, fighting about brushing teeth, picking out clothes,etc. I'm laying it all out there because I feel like my patience is about as thin as it can be. I'm trying to find the good in every day but am in one of those black holes of parenting ruts where it doesn't seem to be there. I've been told before and am telling myself constantly now, "This too shall pass." (and when it does, I'll look back and wonder where the time went.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Much needed...

I came across this tonight, as I think about going to bed soon and the fact that tonight, as every other night for months, I will not sleep. This too shall pass. :) Not sleeping has been rough on all four of us, putting us on edge, and setting us up for more timeouts and frustrating days than we can handle. I especially like the part about "good days and bad."

A Parent's Prayer

Help Me give my children the best... not of trappings or toys,

but of myself, cherishing them on good days and bad, theirs and mine.

Teach Me to accept them for who they are, not for what they do;

to listen to what they say, if only so they will listen to me; to encourage

their goals, not mine; and please, let me laugh with them and be silly.

Let Me give them a home where respect is the cornerstone,

integrity the foundation, and there is enough happiness to raise the roof.

May I give them the courage to be true to themselves;

the independence to take care of themselves

and the faith to believe in a power much greater than their own.

See That I discipline my children without demeaning them,

demand good manners without forgetting my own

and let them know they have limitless love, no matter what they do.

Let Me feed them properly, clothe them adequately and have enough to give

them small allowances... not for the work they do but the pleasure they


and let me be moderate in all these things,

so the joy of getting will help them discover the joy of giving.

See That their responsibilities are real but not burdensome,

that my expectations are high but not overwhelming

and that my thanks and praise are thoughtful and given when they're due.

Help Me teach them that excellence is work's real reward,

and not the glory it brings. But when it comes.. and it will.. let me

revel in each honor, however small, without once pretending

that it's mine; my children are glories enough.

Above all, let me ground these children so well that I can

dare to let them go.

And may they be so blessed.

by Marguerite Kelly

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Isn't it strange...

how eating a certain food or drinking a certain drink can take you back to another time in your life?

(I hope this isn't just something crazy that happens to me. :) )

Andrew bought a box of Little Debbie S'mores yesterday and they taste like a Moon Pie. It reminded me of spending the summer with my grandparents and going to the lake with them. It happens when I drink apple juice too. :) I loved spending the summers with them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Things I love...

It's been a rough week for various reasons, so I want to just list a few things that I love about my family so I won't be focusing on the bad.:)

I love that Taylor tries to keep up with Carly. She will try to chase her around and race her to get a toy.

I love that Carly can make Taylor laugh like no one else can. Even the smallest things between them crack each other up. When stress of having two kids settles in, I just remember to stop and watch them play together and I know that it doesn't get any better than that.

I love that Carly has made up a crazy nickname for me- "Mama Lama Hooza" and that she always hugs me tight when she says it.

I love that Andrew is such an involved dad. He takes the girls grocery shopping, he does bath time and puts Carly to bed,and even when they are over-tired and crying (all three of them :) ) he plays and really enjoys his time with them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not a Hermit!!

I enjoy time to myself, when the kids are sleeping or when the house is empty. After long days of being "on" all the time, entertaining, playing, talking ALL day, I enjoy the quiet. It's hard for other people to understand that. For someone that's very social and thrives on attention or just the company of others, they see being alone by choice as being anti-social or rude. I just call it much needed mental health time. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I absolutely LOVE...

that Taylor snorts when she laughs. I can't get enough of it and I hope she doesn't grow out of it. (although she might not agree with that :) ).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It happened overnight...

It is amazing how quickly things change, how one day you have a baby and then it seems like the very next day they are a preschooler. How does this happen? I know it doesn't happen while I'm sleeping, because that doesn't last nearly long enough for these changes to occur! :) So, I thought I'd share some ways that Carly has surprised me lately.

She's become very independent lately. One night she decided she could give herself her own bath. Someone stayed in the room with her, of course. But she cleaned herself head to toe and did a great job!

She always wants to brush her own hair and put her headbands in.

She can get her own snack and drink.

The most surprising one to me...We hadn't really played on the swingset since last fall. I didn't think it was a great idea to bundle up a tiny baby and make her sit outside with us while we played all winter. So when we all went outside a few weeks ago to play, I was getting Taylor situated on the blanket. I look up and Carly is swinging by herself! No push from me to get started or keep going. She took off, pumped her legs, and was on her own. I was so surprised I had to hold back my tears. How did this happen? I was so proud but so sad at the same time how quickly things change.

In a book I recently read, it said when you are sitting at your child's graduation, you won't look at them and think "I wish I had cleaned the house more!". You'll be wishing you could go back and spend even more time with them. So, I'm trying to remember this.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love these lyrics...

Love Is Not A Fight
Warren Barfield
Worth Fighting For

Love is not a place
to come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
Work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

To some love is a word
that they can fall into.
But when they're falling out
keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
but demand we give our all

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for.

Cause I Will Fight For You
Would You Fight For Me
It's Worth Fighting For.

This song is in the movie Fireproof. I love the lyrics. Marriages are crumbling all around us every day and I am committed to not be one of them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

When will I realize...

Okay, Allison did it on her blog Preppy Haze and it seemed like a great idea, so here goes!

When will I realize...

1. That it's not a bad thing that it's been 10 years since I graduated from high school
2. That it really does not matter what other people think of me as long as I am living in a way that is pleasing to God.
3. That being quiet is not a bad thing.
4. That it is pointless to compare your own kids to other's
5. That even though I love the idea of cooking and finding recipes, the actual process is just something I don't enjoy
6. That I don't have to "exercise" but I do need to be more active if I want to lose weight
7. That you can't compare your body to the ones you see on tv and in movies
8. That even if I don't always like the way I look, Andrew does and I shouldn't try to argue with him about it :)
9. That I need to just take a compliment when it's offered
10. That you should not get out of a checkout line; the one that looks shorter will always end up being the one that needs a pricecheck, the person pays in all pennies, or they need their total every time a new item is added
11. That clean clothes will not fold themselves no matter how long you ignore them
12. That I will be sleepy no matter how much sleep I get
13. That I will eat chocolate if it is in the house (or car, or within walking or driving or flying distance :) )
14. That I get bored easily with cell phones, cars, houses but that doesn't mean I have to constantly change them
15. That just because I don't work doesn't mean I have to feel like all our money is "Andrew's money"
16. That being a mom is not a "job" but I still need time off :)
17. That regretting your past does absolutely nothing to change it
18. That attempting to talk on the phone with a preschooler and baby is just not going to happen unless the person you're talking to doesn't mind constantly being interrupted and screaming over...well, screaming :)
19. That it's not embarrasing that I like to read
20. That even though I have grown to hate Walmart, I will never stop shopping there because of the great deals

Ok, there are mine. Let's hear your's!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ironies of being a parent...

So, lately I've been having all of these thoughts that are so ironic. I've been wishing away the sleepless nights, wondering when Taylor will get her first tooth, and when she will crawl but at the same time feeling sad that she has already grown so much so fast. I look at Taylor and get excited about her growing and finding out what her personality will be like but look at Carly and wonder how my baby is suddenly a 3 year old that gets her own snack, wants to brush her own hair, and likes to play the wii. (well at least pretend to drive while Daddy plays MarioKart.)

Andrew surprised me by coming home one day and saying he's sure he wants to stop at 2 kids. I posted before about how I was more sure than him about wanting to stick with our 2 girls. And I surprised myself by feeling a little sad when he said it.

I first heard this song when I was pregnant with Carly, and it had me in tears even then. (NOT because I felt like I was giving up my life for our baby, but because of the growing up part. :) )

Watch more When the Sun Goes Down videos on AOL Video

And this one more recently.

Watch more AOL Music videos on AOL Video

I read in Parent magazine not too long ago about a mom that said we get so caught up in wishing our children were more independent and feeling sad about how fast they grow that we miss out on what's going on now. I am trying my best to remember this. Hey, we can sleep when we're dead, right? :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have only myself to blame...

I don't want to say "poor Carly" but it's just what seems to come to mind. She is shy! Painfully shy! It takes her a long time to warm up to people, not only in places like school but even with family that she sees often. She does well with grandparents but even aunts and uncles get the silent treatment when they first arrive. I have to remember not to get frustrated with her. You should not compare your kids to other children, but it is hard to not notice how easily some children join in with groups, make friends, just have fun immediately. But it's true, I do have only myself to blame. Andrew is outgoing, confident, and easily talks to everyone. I, on the other hand, am quiet, self-concious, and have a hard time making conversation. It is hard being shy. Some people don't understand it or even mistake it for being rude or snobby. She may look like Andrew's twin, but she acts like mine.

We signed Carly up for cheerleading at church. Why? Because I asked and she said she wanted to. At home, she cheers, she gets excited about her uniform and pom-poms and megaphone. At church, it's a different story. She gets upset on the way there, she won't stand up to practice with the other girls, and I ended up doing more cheering at her first basketball game last week (hard for a shy mom too!!) than she did. So, I'm left feeling conflicted every week. I do not want people to see how she acts and assume that we are forcing her to do something she doesn't like. We get in the car and she knows all of the new cheers- she's paying attention even if she isn't participating! And the answer to my prayers?? Her coach and the coach's mom. She is a 16 year old cheerleader. She hugs Carly. She occasionally asks if she'd like to join in, but she never pushes. Her mom encourages me every week. Last night were individual and team pictures. (Carly has a very hard time with any professional pictures!!) I could not convince her to be in either picture. It makes me sad that she won't be in the group photo, because I have a feeling she'll be right up there with all of them cheering by the end of the season. No one gave us a hard time about it. They just continued what they were doing.

I am rambling...horribly! It's been weighing on me. She always warms up. Her "day in the life" DVD from her class last year showed her doing all of the talking and playing so well with others. Her year started with crying and silence. I know it will get better but I feel so bad that every new opportunity will start this way for her.

(By the way, we started going to Gymboree over the summer. Carly loved her teacher and climbing on the equipment, but even after 6 months she still did not want to do any of the individual activities on the center mat. We stopped going because Taylor got too old to bring with us. But I also stopped because some of the other moms were not so understanding. One particular mom said "That's pitiful" when Carly was too shy to do something. I wanted to slap her!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When does not enough become too much?

For some crazy reason, ever since Taylor was born it has been bugging me about whether or not I want to have any more kids. Right now, I am almost 100% sure that I want to stop with our two girls. When Carly was a baby, there was a time when we considered just having one. We worried about how much we loved Carly and if we'd ever be able to have enough love for another child. Then we started to worry about her growing up alone. Now we have our beautiful Taylor and our reasons for possibly not having more are slightly very different. Now I worry about not having time for a third and about being so stressed out that I become the "yelling all the time" mom and not enjoying the time I spend with Carly and Taylor. I know right now we are in the thick of the most stressful infant, little sleep, and a preschooler still in the midst of major temper tantrums. So, before we do anything permanent, we have decided to wait a few years. We wouldn't wait to wait more than 2 years again so then we'll know for sure. (To be honest, the only reason I really have for maybe wanting another is so Andrew can have a son. He tells me this is not a problem at all, but I worry he's missing out. You don't get to know the gender beforehand, so this is DEFINITELY not a good reason to keep having children unless you are ok with possibly ending up with another girl.)

So, this leads to me the question of "When does not enough become too much?" Family and friends laugh when I tell them we'll probably stop where we are. We heard a lot of "try one more time for a boy" over the Christmas holidays. But let's say we had one more, a girl, would people keep saying that? When do you get to the point where people start thinking you have too many kids?? Families like the Duggars ( are rare and you hear a lot of comments about the number of children they have. Do you think anyone ever tells them, "you should have just one more"?

I love my girls and would be happy having just the two of them the rest of my life. I loved being pregnant and the excitement of it (even when I was spending most of the first trimester leaning over the toilet ;) ). It makes me sad to think that may never happen again, but as far as having children, I'm ok.

So what do you think? Will I think back to this one day and laugh, while I'm holding my 3rd child? :) God has plans for me and I am trying to keep my mind open to what he wants for us.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The silver lining..

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately. I'm struggling with the girls' naptime (a much needed break for all of us). Either Taylor falls asleep first and then Carly throws a tantrum when it's time for her to lay down and wakes her up, or Carly falls asleep first but Taylor cries and wakes her up before she really needs to be. So, mommy-time has not existed for a few days and it's put me in a rut. Today I want to point out the positive in hopes of perking me up a little. :)

It's cold this morning. I'm so excited because a friend gave me a monogrammed scarf I've been dying to wear. Carly went to school dressed in her new hat and mittens Gran and PopPop bought her for Christmas. (This pic is before her coat was on. Don't worry, I didn't send her to school like that. :) )

Taylor got her chance to wear her new hat when we got out to go to Walmart. I was afraid it would bother her and she'd cry. Does she look bothered to you??
You can't see them, but Taylor is wearing jeans today. I think she looks so cute in jeans! Right now she's jumping in her horse jumperoo and talking baby talk to....I think the leg?? She's so happy in there!
On Saturday, we're having a much needed date night with two other couples with babies. We're leaving the kids at home and eating at Cheesecake Factory (YUM!!) and then playing at ESPN Zone for awhile (Chuck E. Cheese for grownups! :) )
So, I may add more later, but so far these things have just made me feel really happy today. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Confessions of a Bad* Mom...

So, I'm just going to put it out there. I am a bad* mom. I do things that would make some moms cringe, and I'm not afraid to admit it (any more).

Both of my girls drank formula. I tried (unsuccessfully) to breastfeed both of them. Carly was too sleepy, even when we'd strip her down to her diaper, tickle her, etc. Taylor got too hungry too fast, even when we'd wake her up to feed her. For something supposed to be so natural, it did not come naturally to me- physically or emotionally. It's too young to tell with Taylor, but I am happy to report that Carly is not stupid, is not a picky eater, and has had one slight ear infection in three years. (and I have a feeling Taylor won't end up so bad either. :) ). I applaud women who do breastfeed because I know what a struggle it is, but I don't appreciate anyone who judges me because I didn't....and to be honest, IF we have a third child, I might not even try. It was really hard having the first days with my babies be full of crying hysterically (me and them).

Carly eats foods with ***gasp*** high fructose corn syrup. I never even knew people freaked out about this until I joined an online mommies group. Again, if you choose to feed your children more natural foods, I think that's wonderful but don't judge me for giving my kids juice or fruit snacks.

I let Carly *****even bigger gasp***** cry it out as a baby (but not until she was 6 months old). When nothing got her to sleep, or kept her asleep once she was in the crib, we decided to try it. It is hard but it worked. We did check on her every few minutes to comfort her, but she ended up being a great sleeper (at least until I was about 6 months pregnant with Taylor!- different story).

And last, but not least, I let Carly watch tv. Not all day and not everything under the sun, but I do. I wish I was super mom and could find a way to cook, clean, shower, make myself presentable, etc. while still keeping my child entertained tv-free, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

(*Bad by other people's standards. I personally do not think I am a bad mom. Far from perfect, but not bad.)