Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My 15 Minutes

I've heard that everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame.
I'd trade my 15 minutes of fame for the 15 minutes I shared with Camryn last night. She woke up at midnight for her "milkies," as usual. And after she finishes nursing, she's usually anxiously seeking her binkie and leaning in toward the bed, wanting to be laid down.
However, last night, she put her head down on my shoulder and was almost immediately breathing deeply, sound asleep. The scent of baby lotion and warm milky breath, coupled with the weight of her little baby body on my chest were almost more than I could take without my heart just bursting!
I settled into the big oversized chair and just soaked it up for about 15 minutes before she began to stir.
I'd trade fame for that anyday!

Laugh in Stereo

This picture of Camryn brought back memories of a very similar photo of Abi when she was about 5 months old ...

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's Cookin'?

Camryn explored her inner chef tonight while I was working on dinner -- and was hamming it up in her highchair. She is such joy!




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Never Boring

Life in our house is never boring -- I think that might be the title of my someday book.
Just a few highlights ...
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Holly Jollies

We decided to try to beat some of the chaos of the Christmas season and put our tree up before Thanksgiving this year (I can hear the gasps from my mother and brother!)

Nick's mom and grandfather came to visit this weekend, so we thought it might be a fun time with them, too. Meemaw Sandy brought the kids adorable matching Christmas pajamas to wear while trimming the tree, wrapping packages, and watching Christmas movies.

Nick and I have been talking about different things we want to be "our" traditions for various occasions and holidays. There are things we each did in our families growing up that we certainly want to carry over into "our" family's traditions. But we also want to incorporate some unique things. One thing I decided to try this year is "Christmas Camping." I absolutely love sitting in a dark room, lit only by a glowing Christmas tree. There is something so peaceful and mesmerizing about that to me. I love sleeping by the light of the Christmas tree, too. So, I thought what a great thing to fall asleep with the kids under a newly decorated tree each year, after a day full of tree decorating, cookie baking, present wrapping, and Rudolph movie watching!

I heard some of the sweetest giggling from Brandon last night, lying on his pallet by the tree -- a full 15 minutes of it before I decided that he wasn't going to be able to turn the giggles off and actually go to sleep . . . Abi, on the other hand, was out cold in a matter of minutes and loved waking up next to the tree. Definitely an idea worth trying again next year with an older Brandon (and an inflatable mattress for me).

A few pictures from the beginning of our Christmas season . . .

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh, Boy!

I read a quote off of a mint wrapper at Chick-fil-a today that really struck a chord with me:
"It is better to build boys than to mend men."
Wow! Raising Brandon seems like such an insurmountable task at times because boys / men are so foreign! I can know and understand what Abi is thinking at any given time, and her responses are so predictable to me -- because it's the female way.
I am glad I know some moms of boys who are blazing the way ahead of me in fine fashion -- and the Creator of my little boy who will guide our way!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Connect-the-Dots

One of the favorite activities in our house right now . . . and a complete annoyance to me! Brandon is unable to complete them by himself yet, so I have to point to each dot, showing him where to draw his line to. And, even though Abi can look at the dots and the rest of the picture and tell us what the dots will make, she insists on doing them anyway.

As I stood hunched over Brandon, working on a *precious* little connect-the-dot puppy with him, I was thinking "Isn't there a more direct way to get this darn dog finished?!" It was like God instantly gave me two black eyes when his Truth hit me right in the face (to borrow the brilliant illustration of S.W.)
One of the truths God has been patiently teaching me for, oh, about a decade now is that His plan is far better than my plan. My plans would generally take the shortest route from A to B, which we all know, of course, is a straight line. Now, how exciting would the connect-the-dots picture of my life be if I were in charge? :o)
God, on the other hand, takes us from one adventure to another, down often indirect paths that make a far more interesting picture when all of the dots are connected. And, like Abi and Brandon, I need to enjoy the journey from one dot to the next.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Little Comedians

We've had a wonderful morning just puttering around the house in our PJ's, doing crafts, starting a few homemade Christmas gifts, cooking a big pot of veggie beef soup and being comedians. I don't think they generally intend to be funny, but they are!

Abi decided that she wanted cereal and milk for breakfast - seems like a normal request - except that she wanted chocolate milk on her cereal! Funny!


Brandon is making tunnels by biting a chunk out of his apple wedges, and Abi is driving her "truck finger" under the tunnel bridge. Who thought apple wedges could be so fun!


And then there Camryn who has a bad case of "too much tush!" She has more tushie than her little arms can hold up, I think. :o) I feel the same way when I do push-ups!

video

There is a Laundry Fairy

After all these years of my mom telling me that there's no sense in putting off doing dreaded household chores because there is not a little fairy who will come in the night and do it for you . . . the Laundry Fairy visited my house last night!
I woke up this morning and found a load of clothes folded on the kitchen table, where last night there was only a pile of unmatched socks and wrinkled towels!
Thank you, Mr. Laundry Fairy! I love you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Heavy Metal

Camryn has discovered her love of "heavy metal" music. You've heard of garage bands -- well, here's our little kitchen band star!
There's nothing quite like a metal bowl and spoon!

video

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ahh, a Perfect Day!

Even though the blah of winter time soon grows weary, I love the first wintry day. Today, fits that bill. Rainy, overcast, mid-forties . . . the perfect occasion to crack out my favorite sweatshirt and furry house shoes and light a fire in the fireplace! And I might have to pull out the jacket for indoors, too, because my favorite sweatshirt is now threadbare and stretched-out enough to fit over a 9-month pregnant belly. :o) But, it's still my favorite and has just now reached the ten-year mark. It has another winter or two in it, for sure!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Packing Again

No, thank God, there's not another household move planned again any time soon. But, it's come the time to pack away those infant things that I so look forward to unpacking with each bundle of joy in our family. The triangle sleeper, newborn binkies, baby socks, bouncy seat, newborn tub, and other baby things are all stacked up ready to be packed away in the attic.

It seems like just yesterday that my Mom and I sat in the living room floor oohing and aahing over the little things as we pulled them out of the Rubbermaids the week after we found out that Camryn was a girl. Now, it's already time to put them away. When I packed them away after Brandon, I didn't feel quite as sad, almost fearful, that I'll never put one of my babies in that tub again or take another picture of a sleeping baby in the bouncy seat to match the other kiddos'. I don't know what God has planned for us as parents in the future, but I do know that I will certainly miss the pregnancy and newborn stages as a Mom, if I never experience them again.

For now, up to the attic it all goes.

Creative Play

I love to hear the sound of laughter in our house!

Abi and Brandon are at such a fun age right now, as their capacity for truly creative play is overflowing! Last night, I heard squealing from the living room, followed by, "It's okay, Brother, it doesn't hurt too bad." Curiosity got the best of me, because she usually screams like she's under-going an un-medicated amputation if he even brushes up against her. So, I peeked around the corner and saw Abi stretched out, making a bridge with her body between the chair and ottoman. Brandon was climbing across the "bidge," and they were both squealing with delight. Abi told me there was a "huge water fountain" (aka waterfall) underneath her!

Abi enjoys playing restaurant lately, too. She had me make her some paper money and receipts to use as she served customers in her restaurant. The menus are full of fare she has in her plastic food box, and she does a great job of bringing refills and lots of napkins -- she's learned what she sees, for sure. Restaurants generally lose money on my diet coke order, and I think a tree dies every time we eat out at a place with paper napkins (Do we eat anywhere else??) Ha!

I love watching their creative play -- it gives me such a raw glimpse into their schemas of the world. So many things are revealed that I might not otherwise know about my kiddos. And it reminds me of my childhood, when I thought the made-up lyrics to my songs were platinum bound and my pillow-stuffed belly was sure to produce the next world leader. Maybe the latter will be true, but certainly not the first. :o)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Loving Memories

Today is Papa Ray's birthday -- oh, how I wish we could celebrate with him. Such a bittersweet day! I remember growing up that my mom was always a little melancholy on the birthdays of her parents and brother who had all passed away. I never understood why, but, like so many other things that I begin to understand as I "grow up," I now have a better understanding of that.

Ray meant so much to all of us, and his being gone leaves such a void in our lives. Everything is just a little less colorful without his involvement. There are things everyday that I wish I could share with him, knowing he'd be excited with us and, of course, have a little piece of advice to offer. :o)
I most miss his laugh and his hugs and the way he ate hamburgers and how he put pepper on everything and how he could sleep propped up on his side in the floor in front of the TV and the sound of him coming home in his stiffish uniform and the sound of him saying, "What's my Abi doing?" when he called and the way he got all worked up about things he disagreed with and driving up their driveway after a long trip from wherever we were living at the time and seeing him on the mower in the front yard, waving us home and how thrifty he was and . . . so many things!
I have so wished that he could hold Camryn and that we'd be able to see just how smitten he is with her. He thought Abi was the pinnacle of perfection, and I know he'd be just as in love with Camryn!
We love you and miss you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Broken Joy

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land
Our pastor's sermon today was titled "How to Live in a Broken World," and it was a powerful message that really helped me put a finger on what I've been feeling from so many people I know. It was a bold message that addressed how so many Christians are living in fear and are allowing circumstances to blur our vision. As we prepare to elect the next President of our country this week, the message was a great reminder that "We don't fix sin problems [in our country/world] with man's solutions" (Ronnie Deal). Only God's solution will fix the problems man creates and experiences because of our sin nature. So many people I know are feeling very discontent, fearful, and just out-of-balance, in general, and are citing the economy-related problems, political unrest, and uncertainty for the future. Ronnie reminded us of the truth in Colossians 3:10:
... and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (NIV).
We don't have to live, mired down in the worries and disappointments of this world -- it is all temporary anyway. God calls us to focus on his purposes and truths and not to relinquish our joy because of our circumstances.
There are certainly many things that we need to stand up for in our society and things that need to change, but, as our pastor said today, God calls us to be doer's of the Word, rather than just hearers (and sulkers and worriers).
I look forward to voting this week, and I also will remember that God has a plan for each of us and for our nation. Rather than being depressed and fearful about our nation's current status or what may happen in the future, I will choose to live in joy.
There's never a better time than the present to share God's love, hope and certain Truth with those around us who are being swayed by promises of change, financial security, and a host of other man-made solutions, while being swallowed by fear, insecurity, and difficult circumstances.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Priorities

Something I got in an email a few weeks ago and have been meaning to share:

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh
when I feel like crying.
Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear and
smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry and pick you up
and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink and let you
teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer
off and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when
you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he
comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when
you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are
concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't
stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a
Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about
how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch
and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours and miss my
favorite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I
will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their
missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's
graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in
hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming
inside that they can't handle it anymore.
And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little
longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing,
except one more day..............