Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Big Wide World 10-10-07


The Big Wide World

We are out of here...in T-minus an hour. I feel...overwhelmed, excited, tired, and stressed. I stayed up until 1 last night finishing my final exam. Then I overslept my alarm and barely got Landon to school on time. The rest of the day has been spent frantically packing for our 5 day camping trip...which, I have never really packed for before. I mean, i have packed suitcase items, but never food and bedding and all of that. I feel overwhelmed. But I am excited. This place is a piece of my childhood. I have SO SO SO many memories here and I cant wait to smell the smells and walk the trails and share these things with my children. Yeah!
The other day I asked Landon a question and he said, "I think we should sit down and "fink" about it, Mom!" Such the intellectual! He also is infatuated with pipes lately. He opens up the sink cupboard with the water on so he can hear the water going down and "watch" it. He hooks up his slinky to random things, and even made a pee pipe. I won't go into detail for the sake of his future embarassment, but he surely had me laughing pretty hard. His tonsils are still huge. Please pray...I really dont want to have to have a tonsillectomy done. They don't hurt him at all...they are just big and red.
Noah is scooting, working on sitting up and eating a regular "dinner" every night. So far I have given him mashed up bananas, rice cereal. sweet potatoes, peas, and avacodo (supposedly the perfect first baby food!). Everything seems to go down well and he loves it...well, not so much the peas, but the rest he has done great with  He is constantly blowing raspberries. It is the cutest thing...everywhere we go...all of the time, Noah is spitting.
My sister just asked me if I still talk to Marla bc she never sees any of my comments on her page. So clearly someone has noticed that I haven't been around as much lately. Just to reasuure you all...I enjoy your friendships and have done my best to keep up on your blogs and to update mine at least once a week. Grad school was wayyyy harder with the two kids and it definitely affected my time on here. I feel as though I am constantly rushing through everything lately...and certainly through xanga. I am happy if I can read your blogs, let alone leave a meaningful comment .I just finished my class last night and wont start another for a whole week . Seriously...bare with me, I appreciate you all and cherish your friendships
Well, I have way more to do than time to do it in. Have a great rest of the week and I will talk to you all later!

Parenting a Perfect Picture


Parenting...A Perfect Picture

So apparently I have been a bit on the low, due to numerous factors, one major one being my soon-to-be four year old. After a wonderful talk with my mom on Friday afternoon and an unexpected visit from my neighbor, who then unexpectedly pushed Jonathan and I out of the house so she and her husband could have our kids for the night, and a wonderful dinner just the two of us and lots of time to talk...I am feeling somewhat better regarding Landon. I realize I am too hard on myself and on Landon...he does have some distance to go in the behavioral department, but we will get there by God's grace, and until then I need to do the best I can, but stop being so hard on myself, which comes out as frustration against Landon.
When Jon and I went out the other night, he said something very profound. We were talking about how parenting is such a great picture of God's relationship with us. We love our children so much, we would do anything for them. Jon was saying how he has so much he wants to give Landon (in terms of joy) and yet, so often Landon loses out on those experiences due to his behavior and choices. Isn't that analogous of our relationship with the Lord?! He has so much for us, and so often we lose out because we want things our own way. Parenting is so difficult at times and so filled with joy at other times. As a parent you can be so frustrated with your children and yet you love them unconditionally. I think parenting in and of itself causes us to deepen our relationship with the Lord simply based upon the fact that the relationship is played out in our daily lives, just on a smaller, imperfect scale. I have always struggled with accepting God's unconditional love and acceptance and forgiveness. As a parent, I am coming to understand how those things are possible, again on an imperfect scale.
fallhike 002So yesterday we went hiking again as a family. We found a GORGEOUS trail that was about a mile long up and down hills, ending at the lake. It was so beautiful and relaxing and fun. I am truly thankful for experiences like those. Landon was a very good boy yesterday. I needed that.
Megan just called and asked me to be in her wedding!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited. So come May...we are definitely headed up to Maine for a celebration to remember!
My neighbor dropped off a hay bale and mum sometime after midnight last night to surprise me with this morning. I mentioned in passing the other day how much I always wanted one but to spend money on it was not gonna work out (yeah..I fallhike 007know...$25, but it is a seasonal thing that will die and $25 will buy lots of clothes for the kids). I feel so blessed with such great friends. Seriously, you all are so encouraging and uplifting and my friends here are true and deep. I have so much to be grateful and thankful for...and I am.
Noah is sitting up, often taking nose-dives, but sitting up nonetheless. Try as I might to hold that kid back to remain my little baby, he is growing up. Last night I mashed up some bananas into his cereal. LOVED it. Crazy little guy.
So I have a paper due by midnight tonight. I have not started it, but need to rightthisverysecond. Thanks for seeing me through the past few dark days. Hopefully I have re-entered the dawn. 

Enough Philosophy Already


Enough Philosophy Already!!!

Orchard 025Orchard 031I think it is high time for a fluff post...one that doesn't cause your heads to hurt . So here have been our happenings as of late:
Last weekend my cousin Jess came up to have a "sleepover" with Landon. He was beyond excited. The next day we took the kids to a pumpkin patch complete with a pumpkin train, hayride, patch, donuts, and corn maze. Everything was going great until somewhere amidst the corn maze Landon suddenly got overtired or overwhelmed with all that there was to do and had a meltdown about not going on the hayride pulled by the horse (we had to go on the tractor one bc the horse didn't stop at the maze). That was the beginning of a complete meltdown. I don't know if he was overtired from the excitement of his sleepover or if he is just out of control, but what I thought would be a wonderful trip to the pumpkin patch ended in a nightmare. I am not even going to start on his behavior this week. I thought 4 was way too old for a kid to act like this, but apparently they still go through these phases? Or is my kid just weird? He has me completely and utterly worn out, frustrated, and all around discouraged.
It must be a fun thing for Landon to act in the worst way when we have company. I am a perfectionist and try as I might to not put that on my children, I struggle. Especially when around people. I want my children to be loving and happy and excited and well behaved. It never happens that way. Perhaps this will get me over my approval  addiction. I am seriously starting to just not care what people think. I do the best I can...and if someone wants to make a judgement on Landon (or Noah for that matter), fine...whatever. I don't care (or I am working on not caring). I am doing the best I can and that is all I can do. Just to clarify...Jess loves my boys unconditionally. I am by no means indicating that she may have made a judgement...just sharing a general struggle that has been around since I had my first. Jess, almost above everyone else, helps me to see the good aspects of my children, despite their flaws. Anyway...moving on...
Noah...well, we tried the cereal thing again last week and it went MUCH better. He is now getting cereal after his dinner feeding (arounnd 6). Last night I gave it to him at my mom's without a chair for him to sit in. He is usually so messy, but last night it all stayed in his mouth and he did beautifully. He is still his happy little go lucky self.
together 004My sister in law found out she is having a baby girl yesterday! We are so excited for her. This baby girl will be Orchard 001welcomed by her brother Will...so they will have one of each. How perfect is that! Congrats, Ang and Tom!
Busy describes my month of October. Grad school ends next Sunday, which means I have a paper and a final and over 100 pages of reading to do between now and then. To complicate matters we are supposed to go camping next Wednesday through Sunday, which means my final needs to be turned in BEFORE we leave. Am I stressed....not at all!?!? Sense the sarcasm dripping from my words. The rest of the month is flurry of activity including Landon's birthday party (I think it is gonna be another train theme...although if I could figure out how to make a garbage truck cake, I know he would rather that), and a new grad class starting the 22nd. I bought my books yesterday. That is always fun. Again, sense my sarcasm . Actually, these books for this particular class look extremely interesting and applicable to daily life. Perhaps they are just what I need.
I got my hair cut yesterday...super short. I will take pics at some point, but right now I have to adjust. It is really short. For whatever reason when I am nursing my hair goes straight, limp and dark. I hate it. It doesnt even feel like my hair. And I have at least another 7 months of this.
Amy is going to take pictures of the boys in early November. I am so so so so excited. Well, Landon is whining about an owie (remind me that this will end someday, please!). I will leave you with a picture of the boys together at one of their better moments. Despite his current behavioral issues, I have to say that Landon is the best big brother I could have ever asked for. He adores Noah and the sentiment is clearly dual. It makes me so happy that they will have eachother for the rest of their lives...brothers forever! 

Happily Ever After 10-1-07


Happily Ever After

Orchard 030One of my very best friends from college (my maid of honor) had the fruition of her dream recently. She is 26, the same age as I am. She has struggled through the whole issue of singleness as so many of us have, except her struggle took a little longer than most of us had to wait. She graduated from Cedarville, and went to Dallas Theological to get her masters in counseling (same as me...just a different route). She has had so many adventures and opportunities, and has lived in the moment and embraced these years that she has had on her own. She was a bridesmaid in more weddings then she can probably count, and I am sure with each one her yearning to find the man God had for her grew. In as much as her yearning grew, I am quite sure that she had to begin to wonder if God had anyone for her. Indeed, the Bible promises us that He knows the desires of our hearts, but it never promises that everything we want, we will get. Sometimes He says "No" , and sometimes we don't understand why that is the answer, and we never will until Heaven when we fully realize that life is not about the here and now, but about eternity. But alas, for now, we live in this world, and so often we get bogged down in the here and now, in the finite, in our yearnings and our dreams and our idealogies of how our life will play out. When those dreams start falling apart or things happen differently than we desire or plan for, it doesn't always seem fair. What we yearn for is not bad in and of itself: a  husband for Megan, a baby for so and so, a good job for someone's husband. These are honorable things to desire and dream for. But what about when God says no. Does he take the yearning away? If one really submits their discontent to the Lord, will He take it away, even if the desire is never fulfilled?
Orchard 026There is something I yearn for. Something that in the wee hours of the night or even during the day, when I so often see resemblances to my desire, my heart almost breaks within me, for longing. What I desire is not material, but there is absolutely nothing I can do to obtain it, aside from pray. Kind of like a husband for those who are single or a baby for those who long to be parents or a prayer for an unsaved family member: it is an issue of constant trust, constant turning it over to the hands of the Lord, constant hope that He will fulfill the desire of your heart, and if He chooses not to, that he will remove the yearning from your soul, for if He does not, you cannot bear the possibility. Each day holds the possibility of hope, but each evening has the reality of emptiness.
Is it possible to be so content and to feel blessed beyond measure with what the Lord has given you, to realize His goodness, and to treasure His gifts, but at the same time to have a hole in your heart. A hole that in your humanness, seems to need filling. What does it practically look like to have God reach down and fill that hole without providing what you desire to deeply? Is it an issue of contentedness? Of being so filled with the spirit that your heart desires nothing aside from Him? Please, tell me how to get there. I want that. How can I want that so much and pray for it so fervently and yet, still battle this dream? How can I let the dream go? I don't want to feel this yearning. I want to say with every aspect of my life, "Christ is all I need!"
Megan got engaged recently. She met the man she so patiently waited for. She will make the most beautiful bride, certainly physically, but also spiritually...because she waited with grace and patience and hope and expectation...and peace. No, not always. She battled too. There were tears and weakness, but she fought the fight. Constantly. She never let herself or her dream consume her. Her friends all got married, had children and she Noah 017was still single. But despite that, she never lost hope and always sought to turn her future over to the Lord, trusting that He would provide what she needed, while knowing what she wanted. God chose to provide her dream. She never settled for less that the best, she refused...and now she is marrying a wonderful man and in a few months, when she walks down that aisle, it will be a celebration in the truest sense.
If I ever receive the fruition of my dream, I want to say that I fought the good fight. I want to know that I waited in patience and hope and peace. I want to say that I trusted....not that I trusted God would provide this desire for me, because I don't know that He will, but trust that God is good and that whatever He chooses to do, He will do for His glory. I am not there. I don't really know how to get there. Instead, I live with a small piece of emptiness everyday. I hate it. I feel guilty for it. And sitting right next to that discontentment, is complete contentment with all that God has so graciously given me. I know, what a dichotomy.
Megan gave me hope and doesn't even know it. She was an example of grace and beauty even during the time of waiting...when there were no prospects on the horizon. It is so easy once you have been handed your dream, to be joyful and content, but it is during the waiting that shows the true character of one's heart. I desire so much to come forth as gold.

Things I Don't Ever want to Forget


Things I Don't Ever Want to Forget

Last night, or actually, this morning at 5:45, I was rocking Noah as I burped him and he was sound asleep on my shoulder. The house was quiet and it was just me and him. I could hear his rythmic breathing in my ear and he was so close to me that I could feel his baby breath on my face. I snuggled a little closer and felt the tiny bit of baby hair he has left rub up against my face. It is so soft. Today I noticed that it is still the same shade of red that it was the day he was born...but he only has it left on one side of his head 
I don't ever want to forget the feeling of my baby's body snuggled up asleep in my arms.
I don't ever want to forget the smell or sound of their gently little breath or the feel of their soft skin.
I don't want to forget how Noah insists on sleeping on his side and often rolls and gets stuck in some weird position and needs me to come rescue him.
I don't want to forget how Landon plays garbage truck for hours on end, making everything small his "garbage" and even hooking up his video game remote as his "lever" for the claw.
I don't want to forget the beautiful smile that Noah shares with us every single morning when Landon and I go in there to get him.
I don't want to forget how often Landon asks to hug or kiss or hold Noah. I am so thankful that he loves his brother so deeply.
I don't ever want to forget how Noah stares longingly at Landon if Landon is not paying attention to him, and then when he gets attention, he breaks into a HUGE grin with such joy.
My life is so chaotic right now. I feel divided...so much to focus on and to do that sometimes I don't know where to begin. But, in the silence of Noah's room late last night I was reminded again that these days are fleeting and I don't want to forget these precious details of my boys' lives. This morning was insane. I threatened to forget it all again and throw in the towel and just sit down and have a good cry. But I didn't. I started one thing at a time, and now here I am with three or four things off the list, and a paper before me to write. Sometime I need to blog about my contentment...that sits right next to my discontentment. Until then...just wanted to journal a few things I treasure about my boys.

The Winds of Change 9-25-07


The Winds of Change

Noah 040It is windy today...supposedly this wind is blowing away our summer weather and ushering in the Autumn weather. I think I am as ready as I ever will be, but the past two weeks of warm weather was really great. We got a few more trips into the beach in and this weekend we went to a local state park and hiked through the woods. It was gorgous and the greatest part was that the trail ended at a secluded little beach on Lake MI. It was GORGEOUS. We had a wonderful time. We also had two fires in our fire pit out back this weekend. That was fun...marshmellows and smores...and once the kids were asleep, some good talks for Jonathan and I. You know the kind...throw your stick in the campfire kind 
My neighbor just gave me three sets of curtains and a curtain rod. For FREE. She got sick of them and was going to throw them out. I LOVE them. This picture is of the ones that I put over our slider. It created a, "How did we ever live without these for two years!" effect. I have wanted curtains since we moved in, but didn't want to spend the money. Now I don't have to... Gotta love little blessings like that.
 Landon just told me I smell like a DoDo bird. What in the world? Where did he even learn the word "DoDo"? This weekend he told Jonathan that he needed to investigate him. Meaning. he had a few questions to ask. Crazy. Oh yes, and Sunday afternoon when not getting what he wanted, Landon told Jonathan that he was going to "Huff and puff and blow his house down." We laughed quite a bit about that one.
I took Landon to the doctor yesterday. He has had swollen tonsils for three weeks. I can hear them when he talks. They don't hurt but they are HUGE. The doctor gave him an antibiotic (he has a few other symptoms as well) and said if the tonsils are not down in 4 weeks he will have to have them removed. Please pray...I really don't want to have to deal with that.
Landon is excited beyond measure for his birthday. It is October 28...so he has a little while to wait. Everyday he wants to know how many more days until his birthday. All he wants: garbage trucks and train stuff. He is obsessed with garbage trucks. In fact, he is convinced he will be a garbage man when he grows up and drive a yellow side loader. We will see about that 
We are supposed to go camping in two weeks. Our trailer fell through...anyone know of one we can borrow for 5 days that lives somewhat near me? 
I have not slept much at all in the past week. I am exhausted.
I have another staph infection in the form of a boil...the real kind. It was the size of a dime the other night. I put my leftover antibiotic cream on it and it is going away quickly. I think I may die of staph...apparently breastfeeding is having very negative effects on me this time around. Weird. I am a very healthy person normally. Oh well...this thing hurts, but NOTHING even comparable to last time around.
Someone had a shopping spree with something of ours. A $9,000 shopping spree. Gotta love that. Pray we are not responsible...talk about being buried.
I have so much to do today that I feel absolutely buried (I realize I say that evert post lately). I better get off of here. More later if I can accomplish some of my list.

Landon Michael


Landon Michael

Landon Beach Pictures 007
As much as this child has pushed me through the ringer lately, I was hit anew today with just how similar we are. Right now Noah is asleep, the little boy I watch on Wednesdays is asleep and Landon is sitting on his bed in his room reading a library book. He is reading it out loud just the way I have read it to him. He even tries to copy my intonation. He is so grown up.
So today was his first real day of preschool. I hyped it all up last night and all morning. He did great getting up earlier than usual, eating breakfast and getting ready. He even did fine once we got there. He was playing and all around me were kids crying bc their mom's were leaving. I was silently thanking the Lord that I did not have to deal with that bc Landon seemed so fine. Then I went to give him a kiss and a hug good bye and that is when I saw the tears. Big ones...all pooled up in his little eyes. He quietly said, "I just want you to stay, mom." I assured him I would be back but he clung to my arm and tried to keep eye contact with me through his blinding, huge tears that threatened to spill over. He was trying to be brave, but so unsure. In that fraction of a moment, the emotions I experienced on my first day of preschool washed over me. I cried. I didn't just have a few tears pool in my eyes...I bawled. But I had my best friend and cousin in my class who took me by the hand and made me walk through that classroom door. She stuck by me and saw me through that year. What would I have done without her? What would I now do without her?
I kept assuring Landon I would be back and eventually I parted ways from him. As I got into the car, I was surprised by the tears that came into my own eyes. I haven't really cried lately, probably bc I am just too busy to deal with emotions, but I took that moment to savor the beginning of a whole new realm of life for all of us: school. My baby was at school. My first born...the child I had held and nursed and thus far, taught everything he knows. Now someone else was teaching him and he was branching out. Today he took one more step away from me and towards independence. He doesn't even know it, but I do.
When I want to pick him up, his class was outside on the playground. I watched him scamper up the steps and across the bridge and down the slide...over and over. Then I heard the whistle and saw him stop immediately and line up behind his teacher...not bad for the first day. My mommy heart was so proud that he followed directions so quickly. When I picked him up his teacher told me she could tell he was going to be a helper. She is right....Landon loves to help and he has a very sensitive heart. As I sat behind a tree and watched him playing on the playground though, it was like peeking in on a Landon that I helped to create. At times he is a disaster, but at others I am so proud of the boy that he is. Ultimately, I know I have to do the very best that I can (that we can) and trust God for the rest...the rest being everything, really. Landon's life is not in my hands. There are things I can do to help shape him into a Godly man, but he has a lot of choices ahead of him and I will not be around to help him make all of those. I guess that is why my heart sailed this morning as I watched him hear that whistle and stand there a moment...and then choose to obey. He made the right choice...and I didn't tell him to do it...directly.
Children a gift from the Lord. They can cause a lot of heartache (and I know I am only beginning to experience this!) but they can bring so much joy. It is such a huge responsibility to help unfold these little people and to help them to become all that God intends them to be. Today I feel like my baby boy turned into a little boy...one more step out of my hands and arms and into his own being. I pray that we will be given the grace and the wisdom to teach our children well and to give them all of the skills they will need to become the people God intends them to be. For that is my greatest ambition as a mother: To know that my children love the Lord, walk with Him daily, and desire to live their lives for His glory.

Cereal Anyone? 9-18-07


Cereal Anyone?

Noah 030Noah 031We decided that we were going to wait to give Noah food (rice cereal...whatever) until he was closer to 6 months. We started Landon around 5...or a little before, but have had SO many eating issues with him that we thought we would try things differently this time, AND back when I only had one kid trying something new sounded fun. Now it just sounds like more work.
So...that all has gone out the window. I mentioned how Noah will not put himself to sleep anymore...especially for his morning nap. He does fine, however putting himself to sleep at bedtime. The only difference I know of is that at bedtime his belly is full and at morning nap...it has been around an hour and a half since he last ate. So I decided to try giving him some rice cereal in the morning to see if it would help. You can see from the pictures how the experience went. As chunky as Noah is I assumed he would love some food. Landon loved it...so I knew Noah would. Nope. He was not into at all. A few gags, and lots of Noah 034Noah 036tongue-thrusting later, he started bawling. So he got maybe a few teaspoon fulls actually into his belly. Then, as soon as I picked him up out of the chair...he spit it ALL right back up on the floor as you can see in the picture. Apparently, he is not quite ready for cereal or food at all for that matter. Oh well, breastmilk is free...but I wish I had more of it then I do.
Right after that experience and rushing to get the kids around, I got a screaming Noah (bc he was tired) into the car and Landon finally buckled into his seat and started the car...except it wouldn't start. Right. The car is only a few years old. Dumb thing should not be having this problem. So my neighbor and I spent the entire morning and early afternoon trying to fix the problem. Oh yes...she has three children and had her sister's two boys as well...so while we were "fixing" my car we were also watching 7 children. It was a mad house. I don't know if the dumb thing is fixed or not...it is starting again, but who knows if it will last.
I turned my exam in on Sunday. I don't yet know my grade, but at least it was turned in on time. See, all things work out in the end. I just feel plain busy...kind of like I am swimming up stream. I feel like I am barely staying afloat, and yet, when i have a few hours to myself I don't even know what to do. Well, maybe bc I am never all by myself. Like tomorrow, I won't have Landon in the morning but I will have Noah...so how should I spend those 2.5 hours. The house needs cleaning, grad school, errands, correspondence, phone calls...so much and so little time.
We have been going to the park in the evenings. The park with teh brick sidewalk that Landon rides his bike on. We found a frisbee there the other night and the three of us played. Landon can throw that thing amazingly well. He shocked me. Then another night Landon rode his bike and Jonathan and I played catch with our mits and a softball. I LOVE doing that kind of stuff.
Ok, so I probably shouldn't spend anymore time on here. Off to do something productive...or maybe to go start my car again to see if it is still working 

Noah...the Little Tricker 9-14-07


Noah...The Little Tricker

ONE MORE UPDATE: I just got back from a college campus and I have a question. Why when you are in college, or dating at all for that matter, is it so stinking hard to keep your hands to yourselves??? Everywhere you look, almost on every street corner is a couple holding hands, embracing, kissing, whatever...only to be close to one another. Ok, so it can be extreme...but instead of being grossed out today. I was thouroughly challenged. My husband would LOVE it if I did a quarter of the pda those people did...in private or in public 
UPDATE: I decided to get out of the house and get a fresh perspective on life. It was a great idea! I took the boys to a nature park that has fountains and brick sidewalks and I brought Landon's bike...so he biked all around and got some exercise, Noah took a nap in the stroller (finally!) and I got some fresh air. Afterwards we walked to my favorite bagel shop, got lunch and brought it to my sister's dorm where we are now. I had bagel and a coffee and am now enjoying time with my sis.
Noah 027First of all....thank you all for your encouragement yesterday. I was (to be honest still am a bit) down about Landon. One of you hit it on the head when you said our inadequacies are even more when we are tired though...and boy am I tired. Noah has been waking many, many times a night and NOT taking naps during the day. Not any substantial ones anyway. Hence why I thought it was his ears. Usually I lay him down and he puts himself to sleep and sleeps for at least an hour...sometimes up to 3 hours. Yesterday he SCREAMED everytime I laid him down and when he did finally go to sleep, he would only sleep for like 10 minutes. I was sure it was his ears so I called the doctor. They didn't have any spots available to see him, so they told me to take him to prime care since they could look in his ears (and it is actually cheaper for me). So I did...and his ears are fine as is his throat. So despite being hoarse and congested and full of a rash....it appears it is some random virus. So he totally tricked me into thinking it was his ears. So now I am faced with the question of why he is not wanting to go down for naps and why in the world is he waking at night again. I just let him cry it out. I felt horrible as he is still a little sick, but I had to do it because I am starting to think the little bugger just decided that he has a will and wants to exert it. It worked...he is finally out. Yesterday morning I let him cry it out for an undisclosed amount of time. I kept checking on him and offering the pacy, but he never did go to sleep. What is going on?!?! I am exhausted. Couple my exhaustion with the stress of a midterm on Sunday and you have one tightly wound (how in the world do you spell this?!) woman. I got absolutely no grad school done yesterday or the day before due to Noah's issues...but one day at a time...one at a time. Sunday will take care of itself. Right?
Landon is playing play doh and is begging me to come make worms for him. I suppose I should go make worms. What I really want to do is take a shower, clean up my bedroom and sit down and get just a tiny bit of prep work done for this exam. That would make me a happy woman. Oh well...off to make worms.
I do love these little munchkins...but for those of you who don't yet have kids...ENJOY the quiet, your sleep, your time for YOU, the quiet, the cleanliness of your home, the quiet  But again...with a face like this, how can you not just want to eat them up?! 

I forgot 9-13-07


I Forgot...

Noah 025I forgot how uncertain everything can become when you have an infant. An infant who cannot tell you specifically what is wrong. A child Landon's age can say, My ear hurts" or "my stomach is upset." Noah...well, everything is a guessing game and I absolutely hate taking the kids to the doctor only to be told, "it is a virus, let it take its course."
Noah had what I thought was Landon's cold a week ago. Except it never really developed and I was just about to blog the other day about the wonders of breastfeeding...when, lo and behold, Noah broke out in a rash...all over his body. As the days went by it spread to his face and his bald little head. He looks so funny. When I took him for his 4 month on Tuesday she saw the rash and said it was a virus, and I wasn't surprised...he didn't seem too bothered by it. That night, however, he got a almost 101 fever and since then has just been rather miserable. Waking a ton at night, not taking good naps, not eating really well. I am thinking his ears maybe...but I just don't know. He is really hoarse and somewhat congested. I am so tired...I really don't want another night like last night or the one before.
Noah 024Today was the first day in over two weeks that I did not have to be anywhere this morning. It was lovely. I got three loads of laundry done, all of the floors swept and mopped, the two bathrooms cleaned, the kitchen counters cleaned and the rugs shook. And lets not forget to add feeding and caring for the kids (although Landon didn't get his teeth brushed until 2) . Now I am just sitting down to do grad school...and there goes Noah again. Oh brother.
Yesterday was Landon's first day of preschool. I went with him and stayed for the morning (it was parent's day...we had to stay). Next week will be the real trial run. I think he liked it, for the most part. He is not too into singing songs and doing hand motions, so he was not fond of circle time, but hopefully he will get used to it. Either that or he will be in the naughty chair a lot. Actually, the whole experience brought a few areas of Landon's life into view that I had not noticed before. I left feeling like somewhat of a failure. Sometimes I am just so happy to have Landon sit at the dinner table and actually eat what I put in front of him that I don't pay attention to the fact that he is sometimes turned around in his chair smearing yogurt on the spindles. I don't know...I just feel kind of low...kind of buried under all that I should have been teaching and should now be teaching, and yet, where we are right now I feel like I fight a million battles a day. I love the kid...but he is not an easy one by any means.
Well, I need to get some schooling done. Noah is back out in his swing...so umm...we shall see how long that lasts. Should I call the doctor? No? Wait till tomorrow? But I am so tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

One Year Ago 9-10-07


One year ago I peed on a stick. It wasn't the first one...in fact I had done it a few days earlier only to get a negative result. Then I lost all hope...and then a few days later it hit me with all certainty. I was pregnant. I knew it. I was afraid to take the test again, but so confident that I didn't even really feel the need for it. But I took it. Jonathan was at the store and as I laid it on the bathroom counter and waited to see that tiny little line show up my heart beat with anticipation...fear, anxiety, excitement, joy. Then I saw it. Very faintly...but clearly there was a line. We were having our second child.
I hid it in the closet because friends of ours were showing up any second. I made it through four hours of entertaining and as SOON as they were out of the driveway I dressed Landon up in a Big Brother shirt I had bought a few months earlier for the anticipated moment and sent him out to the living room to tell his daddy. Landon burst out, "I am a big brother!" and Jonathan's eyes fell to Landon's shirt. He was so excited and relieved. We were finally back on the roller coaster. We knew it would be a long ride. We hoped I wouldn't get sick again. We prayed for a healthy baby. We dreamed for our future.
I did get sick. All forty blessed weeks (well, 39). It did get a tad better from 21-30 weeks, but then I started throwing up again. We had the pre-term scare at 30 weeks, and then, despite being 4 cm and 90% effaced from 35 weeks on, Noah just wouldn't come. Then, four months ago tomorrow, we met the fruition of our dreams. Noah Grant, my little joy boy, made his entrance. Now, his smile greets me every morning and his soft coos (or veloso-raptor like screams...he just learned to stretch his vocal chords and thinks it is quite cool) sing himself to sleep at night. The boy has brought so much joy into our home, and filled a place we didn't even know was empty.
I can't believe it has been a year. The fall weather is making me feel sick. Last fall was my really sick time, and the smells and just the feel of the air brings it all back. This happened with Landon too...except it was spring time. It eventually goes away...just about when we are ready to have another one 
Noah 013We went to the beach last night. All of the volleyball nets are down and the wind had whipped the sand into a flat, desert like area. It was as though it was winterized over night. The waves were huge and beautiful (Jonathan just had to go in because they were so big). I couldn't help but remember the last time we went last fall when I thought to myself, "This is probably the last time we will be here as a family of three." Now here we are ending another summer...as our family of four. Amazing how fast time flies.
The garage sale went as well as it could. The paper messed up our ad, so all we had for marketing were some signs. But, I brought in $225, which isn't too terribly shabby. It was a crazy busy three days though. That coupled with grad school just about did me in. I turned my paper in last night...so this week is a mid-term. One day at a time. I keep telling myself that  Thanks for all of your encouragement. You all really push me to keep everything in balance and to keep on keeping on with grad school. Your support is invaluable!
Noah 012Saturday Jonathan asked Landon if he wanted to help him wash the cars. You would think someone asked Landon if he wanted to raid a toy store. He was so excited to "work" with his daddy. He rushed through breakfast, dug through his drawer to find "work" shorts, and enjoyed a full morning of doing manly things with his daddy. Precious. I stayed inside and worked on a paper all day...BORING!!!!!!!!!
Landon had a ridge filled on his tooth today. He gagged twice and two single tears slid down his cheeks. I was so proud of him. He really was a champ...I was just waiting for him to throw up all over the dentist or have a complete break down. It would have been warranted. He had four or five utensils in his tiny mouth. The dentist was YELLING at my son to keep his mouth open and threatening him that if he didn't he would not get a prize. I was so irate. The dentist tried to make me feel like Landon was uncooperative and I thought he did great. What 3 year old kid wouldn't be scared of getting a tooth filled?!?!?! I will NEVER be going back to this dentist. Ever. I never have liked him, and today was the final straw. What a jerk.
Noah 003Noah is rolling both ways now. Not only that but my mom borrowed a bumbo seat for him from someone. I have wanted one so badly but didn't want to spend the money. Just got it today...and he loves it. He is also into screaming and growling. He laughs at himself. I think I mentioned I put away most of his 0-3 month clothes. I couldn't help but wonder as I did so, if I would ever use them again. I would love a girl next time, but it made me sad to think I may never see these boys clothes on another baby boy, ever. Time just goes so fast. So often I long to go back to my college days, even for a week....but they are gone forever. I know I will one day feel that way about this time in my life...one day I will long for my children to be babies and boys playing on the floor, but I won't be able to come back to this time. It will be gone. I wish I knew how to cherish every single day. I bet I would be a rich woman if I could figure it out  Some days I long for the future when I won't have to get two kids in and out of carseats, bathed and in bed, fed...days when all we will have to worry about is taking care of ourselves. I long for the simplicity of that...but I know that when those days come, these days will be gone and instead of coming home after a long day to baths and stories, I will come into my home and long for the sound of my boys. I know these things...now if only I could transfer my knowledge to action.
I suppose I should tackle some coursework for the remaining moments of naptime. If you think of it please pray for my sister and my brother. My sister, Jen, had to put her dog down yesterday that they have had for many years. I can only imagine how she is grieving as they loved this dog dearly and cared for her as they would a child. Jen is pregnant too...so pray for her health, especially during this time. My brother lives in CA and is single. He has a dog who is 13, I think. This dog is his companion in life...but Ozzy was hit by a car the other night. He is still alive (to my knowledge) but in a critical state. My brother is beside himself.

Too Much Too Little 9-4-07


Too Much Too Little

Too much to do and too little time.
I realize I have not posted in a whole week. I can't believe time went that fast, and I cannot believe how full the week was!!! I had my first paper due on Sunday for my new class. It was highly intimidating, mainly becuase I had to sift through the book before writing the paper, but it got done and I received a decent grade on it. I realized yesterday that I have another paper due this coming Sunday...haven't even started the book. One day at a time...
Friday evening we planned a movie night for Landon. I had the biggest craving one day last week to watch Charlie and the Chocolate factory, and it hit me that Landon is probably to the age that he would enjoy it too (not to mention has a HUGE sweet tooth). So for lunch that day he and I got bagels and then went to the old fashioned candy store downtown to get some chocolate treats for our movie night. That evening we popped in the video around 7 and had popcorn and chocolate and enjoyed the entire movie together as a family. Landon loved it...and was actually able to sit and understand the whole thing, even though it wasn't a cartoon 
Saturday we had a wedding to go to. Our new neighbor stayed with Landon and he loved them. When we got home from the wedding we got pizza and played games with the neighbors until 2 am. They are a young couple who just bought a house in our sub last April. We LOVED them. Jonathan and Jeff got along just as well as Jill and I...we were both so excited to have made some new friends!
Sunday we went to our friends house in Detroit. We lived over there for a year and this couple were our closest friends. In fact, I am not sure what I would have ever done without Amy that year...she was my lifeline and taught me more about parenting then probably anyone else. Speaking of which...her kids are now 5, 3(almost) and 1. They are so well behaved and eat anything she puts in front of them. This woman is incredible!
Being in Detroit brought back so many memories of that year we spent there. We passed all of our old favorite restaurants and shopping centers. We hated living over there, but it was fun revisiting and reliving aspects of that time. We were there Landon's entire first year of life so if nothing else, it was quite a nostalgic year 
So...today I need to price about 1000 items for my mom's garage sale. I also need to start the book that I have to write a paper on this weekend. Oh yes...and we are steam cleaning the carpets tonight and I leave in the morning to stay at my mom's until Friday. C-R-A-Z-Y. I feel thourougly overwhelmed and am just trying to take one thing at a time. So far today I have gotten two loads of laundry done, the kitchen cleaned, groceries, a trip to the library for Landon, and breakfast and lunch fed. Did I mention both kids have colds? Landon came down with it Friday...Noah didn't get it till last evening. I was hoping he could avoid it...but apparently breastmilk isn't a cure all. Praying he doesn't get worse as we will be at my mom's the rest of the week and I desperately need the garage sale to go well so we can make a little money.
Last night Noah was up A LOT. I didn't want him to be sad so I let him sleep upright on me for most of the night...or propped in his swing so he could breathe. This morning he woke up happy as could be. I love that kid.
Oh yeah...last Wednesday night we had a praise service to kick off the school year at Landon's school. He met his teacher and finally seems excited about school...which starts for him a week from Wednesday. Pretty exciting times, let me tell ya!
I know this was a very boring post full of random facts on our lives...nothing of any real substance. Bear with me these next two weeks as they are INSANE...and I promise I will be back to my old xanga self just as soon as I can get a handle back on my life 

My Heart is Full


I ran across a story today (  www.brysonhummel.com ) of a 4 year old boy who lost his leg about a week ago. To read the account of the past week from his parent's perspective brought tears to my eyes over and over. I cannot imagine the agony of walking alongside your 4 year old child in a tragedy such as that. One day everything was right in their world...the next, everything changed forever. Will something like this ever be required of me? Would I have what it takes to walk this journey praising the Lord. I feel so weak right now.
Last Friday I happened to go to the grocery store at naptime. I needed salad for a dinner party we were invited to that evening. A whole host of circumstances led to the culminating event...more details then I could ever arrange. I was about to leave the store when it started to pour...the kind of rain that absolutely drenches you within seconds. I got Noah out of the sling and was trying to cover his head with it while getting Landon in the cart with my bag of groceries. I must have looked distraught bc I felt a tap on my should and a woman offer to keep one of my kids while I ran to get my car. In the chaos of the moment I didn't look at her, but the cashier looked at the woman as if to say, "Lady, you are nuts...she is not gonna trust you with her child!" The woman looked at the cashier and said, "Oh, she trusts me!" So I looked at her...and realized it was the doctor who delivered Landon. She remembered me and my white haired little Landon. I thought that was so remarkable. Landon's birth was so traumatic that my memories of it are very vivid and she has always been a very vital part of those memories. It was amazing to me that out of her many, many patients she still remembered me...and the name of my son. This chance meeting with her gave me an idea. You see, I have really been struggling lately with how to balance my dreams and aspirations outside of the home with my responsibilities and dreams with and for my family. Ultimately, I don't want any regrets and I want my children to always know the place they held in my heart and my life. This doctor is extremely successful and well-known in the area. She also has three children of her own, and about a year after delivering Landon stopped doing OB care to be around more for her family. I respected that greatly and running into her the other day got me thinking that maybe she could cast some light on this issue for me. So I wrote her a letter yesterday and asked if I could treat her to some coffee or lunch sometime and gain some of her wisdom. I know, it is a weird thing to do, but this is a huge issue to me, and I would love to know how she did it and if she has anything she would do differently now. I will keep you posted...hopefully she won't think I am too weird 
August 014Today was Landon's reward day. He filled up his reward chart, so he got to choose from a variety of activities as his reward. He chose going to the aquatic center (a place in town that has an indoor waterpark for kids...small, but great nonetheless) with is best buddy, Max. So we did that and then got good old McDonalds and took it to the park for lunch. It was a beautiful morning and I know he really enjoyed it. He is sad it is over. I remember that feeling...where you look forward to something for so long that when it is actually over you mourn the loss of it. So we are onto filling the chart again. It has really worked quite well!
I am contemplating protecting my site. I have been having random nightmares of bad people after me or my children. Nothing is ever worth something like that happening. I love the freedom of my current blog...I know I have friends and family members that are not xanga subscribers that faithfully read it and I would hate to take that away from them (although if you subscribed [which is free] then you could still read it!). I don't know...just contemplating. I just would like to know that my children are safe, and sometimes I think I view the world as a lot safer than perhaps it really is.
We have had the first big clothing change-over for Noah. This past weekend I took the majority of his 0-3 month clothes downstairs and brought up Landon's old 3-6 months. I can't believe that he is on the brink of being 4 months. Time just continues to fly by. The air has a very sure hint of fall to it, the cicada's are making their fallish sound, the sun is casting long shadows...craziness. Jonathan just got home and since it is such a gorgeous night we are off to the beach. It should be a beautiful evening.

A Few More Randoms


A Few More Random Things

August 006Yesterday morning Landon informed me that I cannot give him ultimatums. Ulti...what?!?! Ultimatums. Now, tell me how to explain to him that it is ok for me to tell him that, but not vice-versa.
When I was a kid I collected Berenstein Bear books. I had my dad read me one every night for years. Last night I got my collection out and gave them to Landon. There are probably a good 50 books, and I could tell how loved they were. Many of them have the covers coming off or pages falling out. Just looking at them I could hear my dad's voice reading them to me on my bed or on the couch...and I could remember the excitement of picking one out every night. August 009This morning when I woke up Landon had gotten them off of his bookshelf and had them scattered all over the floor and was intently looking at them. He is really excited about them and I can tell he finally can follow a story of that length. It brings me a lot of pleasure to see him enjoying something that I loved so much as a child.
We put Noah in the exersaucer last night. I was avoiding it becuase when we put Landon in there he suddenly started advancing by leaps and bounds. But Noah is to that stage...he doesn't want to just lay there anymore. He wants to sit up and see what is going on and play. I can't hold him back, I know that. I just love him how he is so much right now, and I know that in just a matter of months he will be on the move. I want to bottle him up just as he is. I know that with age his personality will develop more and that will be fun, but with movement comes independence and more of a demonstration of will and defiance...and all of the stuff I don't want to deal with. Right now he is just my perfect little Noah  Anyway, he loved the exersaucer. In fact, he played with the toys more than I even knew he was capable of. I thought he would need propped up in there with a blanket, but nope...he was strong enough to hold his back and head up the entire time. The little guy is just ready to start turning into a boy...and I know I have to let him.