Thursday, October 17, 2013

I wonder....

Sometimes I look at my kids.......I watch them laughing and playing in blissful ignorance of what is going on around them.....and I wonder.......

I wonder if they'll ever know the joy I felt when I found out I was pregnant. That I loved them from the second I knew life had been breathed into them. That I worried every day about their growth and health and safety. That I prayed every night over every organ, bone, brain cell and hair follicle that made up their tiny bodies. That I rejoiced every time I felt them kick or roll or squirm. That I was scared to death the day they arrived. That I didn't know if I would be able to care for them when they were born as good as I had cared for them inside my tummy. That I worried I wasn't going to be a good mom or that they weren't given to as good of a mom as they deserve.

I wonder if they'll ever know how much it cost to have them here. How much pain I went through with my C-sections. That every time I went to the Wound Care Clinic, I pictured Tessa's face and told myself she was worth it. How many dollars we've spent paying off the hospital, buying diapers, getting formula, taking them places we want them to enjoy. The emotional cost of having your heart walk around outside of your body, knowing you can't protect them from every bad thing in life. But that every minute and every dollar has been worth it.

I wonder if they'll ever appreciate the things I do for them. Will it take being parents themselves before they realize what's been sacrificed for them? The nights I've spent holding them while they cry, cleaning up their messes, trying to cool their little bodies burning with fever, folding countless loads of laundry, praying that they would grow up to have good attitudes and love Jesus. That I've cooked countless meals, driven many miles, been puked on time and again and lost hundreds of hours of sleep to take care of my babies. That I go to work exhausted every day and come home and fake an energy I don't have so my kids don't worry about anything.

I wonder if they'll ever know that I'm not really the bad guy. That disciplining them is hard. That it's not fun to spend my precious hours with them sending them to time out or telling them no. That if I didn't do those things, they would grow up to be selfish, spoiled adults. That when they say they're sorry, I want so badly to forgo their punishment but I have to stick to my guns. That picking up after themselves, helping with chores and turning off the TV are things that will make them better people in the long run. That I would love to someday hand them a car and an iphone and laptop and everything their heart desires, but if they haven't done something to earn it or don't work to keep it, then it's probably not going to happen.

I wonder if they'll ever know how much I want to protect them. That every bone in my body aches when I think about the pain they'll go through growing up. That I picture the first time they'll get teased or bullied and it makes me sick to my stomach. That I think about the first boy to break Tessa's heart or the first girl to turn Tommy down and my heart tears in two. That I think about letting them walk into school alone for the first time, or staying at a friend's house for the first time, sending them to camp for a week or letting them drive for the first time and a wave of fear washes over me and I already ask for God's protection on things that haven't even happened yet. That I would do anything to keep them from pain or rejection or disappointment or illness.

I wonder if they'll ever know how happy they make me. That through the hard stuff, they're the best part of my every day. That I know no matter what happens during the day, when I put them to bed at night, they'll kiss me and hug me and tell me they love me. That no matter how mad they've made me, their smiles can still melt me and their little voices warm my heart. That even when I want to give up, I won't because they drive me to be my best. That they make me laugh every day. That I cry on a regular basis because I feel blessed to be their mom.

And I wonder if that's how my Heavenly Father feels about me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What is Easter?

Last night was a hectic night. I was in the process of switching out the kids' summer and winter wardrobes. Their room was a mess. There were clothes everywhere--piles I was keeping for next summer, clothes I was selling, stuff to put away. Tessa turns into a super cling-on when she's tired, so she was holding onto my arm for dear life while I was trying to get everything organized so they could get to bed.

It was one of those nights where I was just SO. TIRED. You know the days where you haven't really done much but your brain is tired, your body is tired and your bones are weary? I put Tessa in bed after she'd been fussing for 15 minutes and she fell asleep immediately. I stood back and looked at their room, trying not to cry because it was such a mess and I had zero energy left to deal with it. They had taken out of their book case and had scattered them all over the floor. I got Tommy to help me put them away with the promise that we could pick one book to read.

He picked up a book about Easter and asked what it was called. I said, "It's called The Story of Easter." He thought for a second and kept picking up books and said, "Mommy, what is Easter?" Sigh. My palms started sweating, my heart beat picked up and I had no idea what to say. It was one of those moments that I knew I could minister awesomely to my child but was so scared of messing it up or having him ask a question I couldn't answer. I started explaining that Easter was a celebration about when Jesus died for our sins and rose again so we could live in Heaven. And from there, it just got better and better....

Tommy: "Dhy?!? Dhy did Desus die?"
Me: "Because people didn't like him and didn't believe in Him the way we do. They wanted to see   him get in trouble."
Tommy: "Dat is mean, Mommy."
Me: "Yeah, it is mean. But since He died for our sins, we get to live in Heaven with Him someday!That will be awesome!
Tommy: "Who lives in Heabin?"
Me: "God and Jesus and angels. And Grampy and Aunt Becky! We'll get to see them again!!"
Tommy: "What do we do in Heabin?"
Me: "Talk to God! And sing and dance!"

He takes a few seconds to ponder everything he's been told. I can tell he's not following 100%, but his little mind is trying to wrap itself around it all.

Tommy: "WHERE is Heabin?"
Me: "We think it's high in the sky."
Tommy: "Up dere?!?" pointing to his ceiling.
Me: "Yup."
Tommy: "Dhy is it up dere?"
Me: "That's just where God wanted it."

He thinks again and I can see that something REALLY big is brewing in his eye. I start tucking him into bed and pulling his sheet up to his chin. We kiss good night and as I'm walking away.......

Tommy: "Mommy?"
Me: "Yeah, babe?"
Tommy: "Does Dod have a baseball bat?........Does Dod play baseball in Heabin?"
Me: trying not to laugh and cry at the sweetness and innocence of my baby "I bet He does!"

He sighs and rolls over.

Tommy: "I will ask Daddy. Daddy will know if dere's baseball in Heabin. Night, night. Sweet neams, mama."

I love this kid.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Mini vacay

Last weekend, we had a little miniature get away. I wish I was having another one this weekend. My mom, sister and the kids and I all went to Kansas City to see Whitney and have some family bonding time.

We crammed three adults and two car seats into Brooke's new SUV and left Friday around 6:30pm. It was raining and storming the whole way there. Which I loved, except a few times when it was raining so hard that we couldn't see. But Brooke did great at driving and I got to relax in the passenger seat while Nana entertained the kiddos in the back.

We went to sleep not long after we got there. It took longer than we planned since we were slowed down by rain and construction a few times and we were worn out. But we woke up bright and early the next morning. Mom watched the kids while Whitney and I went to a few thrift stores. I don't think Whitney had QUITE as fun of a time as I did, but I was in heaven! Love thrift shopping!! I found 2 shirts for myself and 7 or 8 dresses for Tessa that were in perfect condition. It's the challenge of the hunt that I love!

After we got home, we all got around and headed to the zoo. I was so excited because it was the first time Tommy would be old enough to know what was going on and it was Tessa's first time at all at the zoo. They both loved it!

Can we just take a moment to appreciate Tessa's face in this picture?


I wasn't super impressed by the zoo. It was REEEEAAALLLY big, but the animals were so spread out. We spent five hours there and really didn't get to see that much because you had to walk so far to get to each animal. But they also had a train and carousel. Tommy loved both of them and Tessa had fun, but wasn't too sure about the carousel.
I think we rode it no less than 6 times. I was starting to get a little dizzy :) But it's so fun watching my kids experience new things. I feel like as an adult, the wonder of the little things in life has really started to wear off. And now I get to watch them enjoy it and it feels new again!

Just a few random shots from the day........
After we trudged the 2 miles uphill back to the car, we dropped Nana and the kids off at Whitney's and us girls headed out for dinner and a movie.

I cheated on my diet with a delicious chimichanga smothered in jalapeno cream cheese sauce. And LOTS of chips and salsa. And it was worth the two pounds I gained (and lost again!). Then we went to the most awesome theater to see We're the Millers. Which is hilariously inappropriate. Do not take anyone under 18. But SO funny. The theater was really beautiful. And the bathrooms were awesome--each toilet stall had it's own sink and hand dryer and was huge. Then at each theater, you had a table in front of your seats and you could order throughout the movie. We had the most delicious popcorn. Loved the whole evening!


We got home and the kids were asleep, so us girls just stayed up and talked and laughed. It was perfectly perfect.

The next morning, we slept in a little and then went and got breakfast. We left after we ate to go shopping again. Mom found a little area with a bunch of animated rides. The kids loved it and could have stayed there all day.

But I was SO ready to get home and see Nick and lounge around for awhile. Does anyone else feel like they need a vacation to relax after their vacation?

It was an awesome weekend with one of our favorite ladies. Thanks for hosting us, Whit!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tessa-14 months

Oops. I missed 13 months. I don't know if I have the time or energy to do this every month any more! My little girl is growing so fast and keeping me quite busy!

At 13 months, you:

*got your first ear infection. I had scheduled an appointment for Tommy because he was acting sick and figured I'd have you seen because you bound to get what he had. You weren't even acting sick. But the doctor looked in your left ear for about 5 seconds and declared you had one of the worst ear infections he's ever seen and he couldn't believe you were up and moving around and smiling. Poor baby.

*are weighing around 22 lbs and are about 29 1/2 inches. You're getting really tall!!

*are still bow-legged. It's especially clear since we've been putting you in leggings.

*are saying quite a few words--dog (goguh!), yuck (guck), mama, dada, nana, bubba, bath (bah!), uh-oh, uh-uh (like saying no when asked if you want to do something).

*are getting feisty. SO feisty. Your attitude is hilariously un-intimidating. When you get mad, you ball your little fist up and hit whatever's closest to you, all while maintaining eye contact with whoever you're mad at. We're trying to discipline you when you do that, but it's so funny that I usually have to walk away so you don't see me laughing.

*get SO sullen in your car seat. It's the weirdest thing. You'll be giggly and laughing and then we put you in your car seat and we get this........

*are in size 5 shoes. Big feet! You wear mostly size 18 month clothes. You can still fit in some 12 month pants, but they're pretty short on you :)

*getting a little pickier about what you eat. You still love green beans, corn, bread and macaroni, but you used to eat anything and everything. Now you're becoming more conscious of the texture of things and have been spitting out a lot of meat.

*climbing the stairs like a pro. I'm not confident enough yet to let you do it without someone behind you, but you do really good!

*getting long, curly hair. I LOVE it! Although it's kind of hard to maintain because it gets super crazy sometimes! We've been doing lots of pigtails!!

*can point to your ears, nose, mouth, eyes, hands, feet, fingers, toes and hair when asked! Smart girl!

*are able to find stuff we ask you about in books. You have a picture book and can find almost everything we say--the truck, shoes, dog, cat, etc. You get really quiet and serious while you're searching for it.

*getting more cuddly. You haven't always been into snuggling or hugging, but now you've started giving really big open mouth kisses (sometimes with tongue--ew) and you hug tight around our necks. It's the best feeling ever!

*are becoming more of a daddy's girl. You are usually VERY attached to mommy, but lately you've realized that Daddy takes you outside more and lets you do lots of fun stuff, so you've started branching out a bit :) He let you "drive" to the pond the other day and you were SO happy about that.

*still obsessed with shoes. I finally moved your shoes baskets out of the cabinet in your room to the very top of the shelves so you can't reach them. It looks a little messier, but you were dumping out the whole bucket (and Tommy's too) at LEAST 4 times a day to play in them. It was driving me NUTS!

*have become quite the cheeser. You know what the camera is now and I get this face a lot....

*are still a great sleeper. You go to bed between 9 and 9:30pm and sleep through the night until 7:30am. You would sleep later if it wasn't for your brother (and DO sleep late when he's gone!). Love it, love it, LOVE it!

*have a weird obsession with your brother's underwear. I know you just see him wearing it and want to do what he's doing, but whenever he takes them off or leaves a pair out, you grab them and try to put them on or carry them around with you through the house. Okay when they're clean.....disgusting when they're not. I finally put a pair on over your diaper the other day and you thought you were SUCH a big girl!

Tessa, you're a silly, sweet, funny, ornery, spunky, spicy little girl that we love to death! I can't wait to see your "little" personality develop even more over the next year!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

BIG personality

As an "almost 3 year old", Tommy is coming into his own. His little personality has become a lot bigger (so has his mouth!). He's at a really hilarious stage right now that either has us laughing or fuming at any given point in the day.

*He's potty trained now (Praise God!!) and while that's awesome, it's also led to a lot of nakedness. The other day, he ran into the bedroom like this.......

That's the monkey that Brooke and Michael got him from Jamaica. Silly boy :)

*If he does something that bothers or hurts one of us, I'll say, "Ouch, that hurt mommy." And he says, "Ha! Sorry 'bout dat."

*I bought a book at a garage sale called Strawberry Freckleface Plays Dodgeball. He wants to read it every night. There's a part in there where she pretends she's a monster and says, "Roooooaaarr!! I'm a monster and I don't care!" Now he says that allllllll the time. Except he says he's a lion or a doggy or a chicken and HE DOESN'T CARE!! It's usually when he's getting in trouble too.

*whenever he pees or poops in the potty, he gets a little treat. As soon as he's done, he jumps off the potty and says (imagine this being said in an announcer's voice), "I get some NAAAAAANDY!!!!" and runs as fast as he can to the kitchen.

*When I'm taking a picture and tell him to smile, this is what he does.........

*His attitude has been really bad lately. Like, he's pretty good most of the day, but when he's bad.....he's BAD. VERY mouthy. So we're working on it, but these are a few of the phrases he throws out on a regular basis when he's in trouble:

"This is MY house and I not gonna to listen."
"No I NOT sitting in time out till you say I come out. No. I. NOT!"
"You are mean, Mommy!"--to this, I ask him if he wants to go live with another mommy since he thinks I'm so mean. Then his story changes to, "No! Udder mommies is mean!! You are NOT mean. I don't want to live wif udder mommies!" Yeah. That's what I thought.
"I don't LIKE to say sorry! I don't WANT to."
"Grrrrr! I am a lion and I. don't. CARE!"--I kind of want to rip up the Freckleface Strawberry book

*He's starting to want to pick out his clothes. I've got him trained to an extent...if I try to put on his gray and orange tennis shoes but there's no orange in his shirt, he says, "Hey! This doesn't match!" So funny. Nick's not too thrilled ;) But then he also likes to just wear whatever he likes at the moment....

*When I ask him to stop doing something, if he says he wasn't doing it and I say, "Yes, you were!", he says with 100% conviction in his voice, "No I amen't!" instead of "No I'm not." Makes me laugh every time.

*When he's NOT getting in trouble, he's very sweet. Lately, he's been running up to me, throwing his skinny little arms around my neck and saying, "You're the best mommy EVER!" He'll also randomly say, "I love you, mommy, sissy, daddy!"

*He's insisting on being a chicken for Halloween. I keep asking him what he wants to be, hoping he'll pick something that every store in Wichita sells off the shelf, but I have yet to get him to change his mind and couldn't find a dang chicken costume ANYWHERE!! So I broke down and ordered one off e-bay. He'll be the cutest chicken ever!

Love you Tom-Tom!! You're the sweetest, orneriest, funniest little guy I know!