Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections & Resolutions

We're less than two hours from a new year. Brief pause while I screw my head back on straight after the time that just flew by so quickly! I can say with certainty that 2008 was not a boring year in our home. I guess I can't say that any year in the last 5 has been especially boring -- each one has come with a new child, a new home in a new town, a new job, or some combination of the above. :o) We only experienced only one of those this year, so maybe it was more boring than I initially thought. Ha! As I reflect on 2008, feelings of excitement, disappointment, joy, and thankfulness fill my heart!

While I'm not too big on the "resolution" bit, I suppose a new calendar year is a decent fresh starting point to refocus on the priorities of my life.

Of course, I want to continue to sharpen my focus on both my faith and my family.
I want to be more devoted to the time I spend with God every day. I know this impacts every area of my life and is honoring to God.

I also want to refocus on my role as a mother. I want to continue to be a molder, not just a referee, remembering to look toward the end result we desire and not get lost in the minute details of our days. I want to be that interactive, engaged mother who occupies that vision in my head. :o) Throughout the holidays, I've allowed myself to be more distracted and often have found myself feeling like I've wasted a day on things that didn't really matter and not taken the opportunity to really fully enjoy my kids.

As a wife, I want to better provide the support and encouragement that my husband needs to take with him as he faces his daily challenges out in the world (he assures me there is a world out there!) :o) I want to learn how to more effectively show him how much I respect him as a man and that he is my hero. I want to make sure we carve out some time as a husband and wife and not just as parents to this precious brood.

I "resolve" to live my life as a better example to my family. I know that my family learns from watching my actions. I know I need to model healthy lifestyle choices, better anger/frustration management, and consistency. We need to eat out less and eat in more, move more and sit less, breathe deeply more and yell less, smile more and roll our eyes less, read more and watch TV less ... you get the idea!

No "resolution" list would be complete without a goal for losing weight, right? I am back to my pre-baby weight, so why in the world do things feel and look so different?!?! I do want to reduce my body fat percentage and continue to strengthen and tone, and increase my cardio endurance. I am tired of hearing that I look fine for "having had 3 kids." I want to just "look fine." Ha! Seriously, it's not about the vanity issue, but the health issue. I want to be strong and healthy and and know that I'm taking good care of the body God gave me. I feel the best when I'm being consistent in all areas of my health -- exercise daily, eat well, brush/floss regularly, sleep well, drink plenty of water, etc.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post-Christmas Haze

We're starting to emerge from the fog of too little sleep, too much sugar, and a bad case of the "wannas." It was a whirlwind Christmas but so much fun to watch the kids' excitement and remember what it was like to be a kid at Christmas. Such a magical time!

My dad just couldn't keep from waking the kids up on Christmas morning! They are not to the age yet that they have any sleep problems on Christmas Eve -- it was a struggle to get them awake. Ironic that we used to have to nag and fuss for half an hour to get my dad out of bed on Christmas -- now he's Mr. Chipper. :o) I love it!

Abi and Brandon blowing the candles out on Jesus' birthday cake!
Abi riding her new bike from Grandpa and Grandma!
Camryn got a lot of fiber on Christmas. She just wanted to eat paper. It took her half an hour to open a package because she had to eat every piece of paper she took off the gift.Brandon and Abi playing with their doll house and train set from MeeMaw Sandy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Visit From Christmas Past

When I put Camryn in Abi's hand-me-downs, it reminds me of Abi's infancy. Just a few pictures from Abi's 1st Christmas in her Christmas PJs and of Cam tonight.

Christmas 2004

Christmas 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Camryn is holding down her "milkies," so her pediatrician discharged her this morning. So glad to be home!
Just a few pictures from her gastroenteritis adventures:

This is Camryn before they would let me feed her -- she didn't get to eat for several days. And she likes to eat!
This is Camryn after she got to eat! Did I mention she likes to eat? :o)
One of the few times Baby Cam got a good nap.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sleepless in St. Ed's

Okay, so the "sleeping peacefully" didn't last too long after I posted it last night. However, she did discover sleeping on mommy's chest last night (the "gut bed" as my aunt calls it) -- and managed to sleep off and on fairly well, considering all of the middle-of-the-night visits you get here.
I think I'll be complaining to the management, however, because one shouldn't leave a resort that costs this much per night with swollen eyelids and raccoon circles under your eyes. :o) She really does look pitiful! She is so accustomed to being put down in her bed and just going to sleep, without mom in the room, trying to hide from view. So, I finally laid her down in the crib and stood in the hallway, listening to her cry for what seemed like forever, and she's sleeping deeply now.
Her lab work looked better this morning, and the doctor said he'd like to give her some Pedialyte today and start to wean her off the IV throughout the day. She'll be able to nurse again late this afternoon! If she tolerates the breastmilk well through the night, we might get to go home tomorrow.
Thank you all for the prayers. She'll be feeling spunky by Christmas, I'm sure, ready to rip some paper off packages. She practiced that this morning with one of my magazines (at least it was with pages I've already read). :o)

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I couldn't be more thankful right now! My baby Cam is in the hospital, but my heart is bursting with thankfulness! Thankful that we aren't one of those families living in a Ronald McDonald house, seeing our baby attached to IV lines for months on end and being poked on and woken up around the clock. I'm so thankful that in a few days, she'll be rehydrated, and we'll be back home to life as normal (well, after our Christmas stint at the Grandmas' and Grandpa's!)
It gives me a small glimpse into how hard life must be for families with truly sick children. I am blessed!
She's sleeping peacefully now, after many hours of tortured crying -- not because she was in pain but because she was overtired and mad that she couldn't get down and do what she wanted -- and mad at the cast on her arm over her IV catheter that prevented her from playing with some of the toys -- and mad at the nurses who seem to have an internal beeper that said, "Go wake that baby that just fell asleep 2 minutes ago!" :o)
Thank you to our friends' prayers, our family's dependability, and especially for Sharon making a magazine and chocolate pit stop for me. :o) For all of these things, I am thankful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reflections of My Life

Sometimes I'm so wrapped up in the details of life and trying to keep everything under control, especially in public places, I miss the humor -- hysterics -- in our family life.
I get caught off guard sometimes by the looks on people's faces while watching our family in action -- I know I get a kick out of things, as an outsider looking in. Sometimes it's the looks on their faces that alert me that something is going on with one of my children that I'm not aware of, too! Like Brandon standing behind me in Wal-Mart, eating boogers as fast as he can, knowing I'm going to make him stop when I catch him! Or Camryn climbing over the back of the childseat part of the cart while I'm putting groceries on the conveyer belt at the store.

I see the reflection of my life in the eyes and faces of strangers.

Take today for example -- following is an excerpt of an email to a friend that illustrates well:
Well, we made it 1/2 through GW when B decided to bash Abi's head in w/ his juice cup. So, no party store for naughty B today! Aah! So, we went to meet Nick for lunch in South FS instead, and I thought since I had a few extra minutes I'd run into the Fianna Hills consignment shop. Well, Abi turned a large display table over on herself -- thought she had a broken leg seriously! Recovered from that, slunk out of the store in shame. Went to restaurant w/ Nick. Brandon announces at the top of his lungs that he "feels pee pee in mine weinee" and "I'm pushing it down but it won't stay down!" Seriously! So, again, we slink away, heads hung down. :o)

Seeing the looks on people's faces as these types of things go down are what remind me of just how funny the kids are! And being in public is what sometimes keeps me from beating them to death! Know what I mean?! :o)

Life is good!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Developments

The kiddos are reaching all kinds of new milestones lately ...
  • Abi cut an entire picture out yesterday without any "crumbs"!
  • Camryn figured out how to open the wipes container and single-handedly removed about 50 wipes in under a minute!
  • Camryn has learned how to make her brother shriek like a little girl by derailing his trains!

Friday, December 12, 2008

History Repeats Itself

The big kids and I were making these design-and-fuse patterns with colored beads this morning when Brandon said in a rather high-pitched whine/shriek, "My nose hurts!" I told him to quit picking it, since I'd seen him picking his nose almost non-stop this morning. He said, "No, it really hurts!" So, I told him I'd look at it -- and was then planning to prescribe some lotion for a picked-raw nostril. When I tilted his head back, much to my surprise, I saw a blue bead occupying his nostril! All I could do was laugh hysterically!
When I was in kindergarten, I did the same thing! Only my bead was round and red. My mom said it just proves that Brandon is smarter than me -- he managed to do the same bizarre thing but did it two years earlier than I did! :o)
We tried the tweezers to remove said bead, but he jerked every time I tried to grab it. It was very quickly disappearing into the blackness of his nose hole. In kindergarten, I chased my bead way up into my nose and remember that it was a very traumatic removal. So, plan B: I held Brandon's empty nostril closed and had him blow out really hard. Sure enough, the bead shot across the room!
Ahh, motherhood! What a comical journey!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pushing my Buttons

Brandon loves to depress those little raised "buttons" on the lids of fountain drinks. The problem with him doing that is he pushes them down too hard and splits the lid. Very irritating.
One of those funny motherhood moments that just make you laugh out loud ... a few days ago we were in the car (feel the stress mounting already), and Brandon started depressing the raised buttons on my daily addiction's lid (gotta' have my Diet Coke!)
I spun around and said -- no kidding -- "Stop pushing my buttons!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Money Does Grow ...

This morning, in the car, Abi said she thought about money growing in her sleep. "Huh?" was all I could say to that.
Oh, boy, here we go -- she's only four and she already thinks money grows on trees. Ha!
She said, "You know, Mom, you give somebody 8 and they give you 10 back. You give them 9 and you get 11 back. Daddy told me. That's how money grows."
It made Nick's day to hear that his little princess is an investment banker in the making. She said Daddy was going to show her how to make the money in her piggy bank grow. Now if only Daddy will show me how to make the money in our checking account grow a little more. :o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

God Wears Diapers

We have a nativity set that Abi was playing with today and left in the middle of the dinner table. Tonight, during dinner, Abi asked if the wise men brought baby Jesus money when he was born, and I said that they brought him presents but that the presents were not money.
Brandon said in his most authoratative voice, "They brought him diapers and potties!" Of course, my child would pick the most practical gift to give the newborn Savior of the world (I hear you, Sharon!) :o)
The thought of God wearing diapers as an infant made me chuckle at first, but then it reminded me that Jesus did live as a fully human, even pooping His diaper -- He really can understand our daily struggles.

Gallery Showing

Abi's really into the human form lately. She draws pictures of babies crawling and sitting up, pictures of people sitting in chairs, AND this ...

A picture of her brother standing to pee-pee in the potty! Her kindergarten art teacher will be amused -- I hope.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Going to Grandma's

The three little people shared some fun times with Grandma over the Thanksgiving holiday ...
They helped her set up her Christmas tree and hung all the ornaments. Abi and Brandon cooperated so well. Abi gave him ornaments that she thought he would like and help him when his ornaments wouldn't stay on the branches ... so sweet!

Abi was getting a "big girl" pedicure from Grandma when Brandon decided he wanted to play and stuck his feet in there with her. I thought she was about to go ballistic! But, she didn't. She seemed to enjoy soaking her feet with Brandon and even made a concerted effort to "make room for Brandon's feet." After seeing Abi sitting in a booster seat, Brandon insisted I bring his booster seat so he could "sit like Abi."

Mom and Dad have a pull-down, Murphy-style bed in their office. The kids decided they would sleep on it like a bunk bed -- one actually in the bed and one on the floor under it. This is when I said a quick prayer for the job Grandpa did in attaching the thing to the wall! :o)
They tried this a total of 3 nights and were actually able to go to sleep only once. The other two nights, someone had to be moved to stop the giggling and whispering. It was fun to listen to them having such a good time together, though!

Camryn ate a few snacks over the weekend because her tooshie was getting a little too flat! Ha! Aren't those precious cheeks!! She did cut her first tooth this weekend! No more toothless grin in our house. I am very sad!