Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two Sides of the Coin

I tell you - there is nothing like a toddler.
Truly a double sided coin - hot one minute, cold the next.... sweet as pie, and then seemingly possessed.... Just makes me shake my head, pray for guidance, and want to take my own personal time out!

Here's an example of the "heads" side.... My sweet baby girl loves the song "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem". How she knows all the words and can sing it is really amazing to me. All that from a book where she liked the pictures of Baby Jesus and his Mommy Mary, and Daddy Joseph (which comes out sounding like Joecephus). Megan loves getting on the top bunk of her bed (which she can only do with us in the room - the ladder is hidden) and last week she was up there with her blanket over her head pretending she was Mary. She had one of her stuffed animals up there and that was Baby Jesus. It was so tender and touching. She keeps talking about how she wants to be Mary on the "big stage" next year (that's from watching the children's service this past Christmas Eve). I just delight in seeing her talk about how Jesus is in her heart and she wants to let her light shine "from the song "this little light of mine"). Sooooo sweet (HEADS!)
Then the coin flips to TAILS..... Oh my goodness. What is the definition of Disobedience? Here's a good picture of it....
Me: Megan come here please?
Megan gets up off the floor, comes toward me.... stops - looks at me... then turns and runs away.

What's a mom to do?
I tell you what, if anyone out there truly doubts that we are born sinful.... you obviously haven't spent much time with a toddler.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Her Royal Highnesses

Presenting, Princess Nicole....Presenting, Princess Megan (in a snow white mood)...
And in a Cinderella mood....
I love my little princesses. I'm not sure why today was such a dress-up day, but I sure did have fun in our royal kingdom!
And... I had to try to get a picture of Nicole's curly hair. It's so cute and curly when wet. Tons of little bitty baby curls.
I had to grab my camera after a bath today just so that I have a record of it. Her hair dries straight and very fluffy. Those curls sure do give her a lift, even if they straighten out.
We are off for a fun weekend. Tom and Megan are having a daddy/daughter weekend (complete with another birthday party) while Nicole and I head to a Women's retreat with ladies from church. Hopefully both 1/2's of our family will have a great time together!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Go VIKES! Obviously this little cutie was a good luck charm for Tom's Vikes. She'll have to don it next Sunday as well..... and maybe they'll end up in the Superbowl. Maybe.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You're Invited...

To Megan's tea party! Angelina Ballerina, her friend Alice, and the "Cookie Mouse" would love some company.

Yes, this is how I spend much of my day.

The List for 2010

This might be boring for you - it's my thoughts and plans for the year ahead...

It's a new year... ok, so we are already weeks into the new year. so I'm a little behind. :^) Which is why....I'm not one to make resolutions. I think it's because it just sets me up to fail. I have enough of a complex of wanting to bite off more than I can chew that I don't need to set myself up for anything. But I am a list person. I think because instead of feeling "tied" to something (like a resolution), I see it as a list of things I want to accomplish. To me it's not a list of something I have to do - just items that in my mind have a renewed zest to want to work towards. I know to the average joe that may not seem like a difference... but in my mind it is. And since this is my blog, my new year, and my thoughts.... It's my list for 2010. I'm posting this partly for my own record, and partly because I know some sweet friends out there who will be good reminders for me as I pursue these things, and usually have helpful tips on their pursuits of similar goals.

The list of things that I want to accomplish, or work towards in 2010...

1. Be a Deuteronomy 6 mom. To impress upon my children the ways of the Lord. To be intentional in their spiritual upbringing. This has always been the cry of my heart, but sometimes it's easy to just go with the flow and forget that my children are the Lord's - I am merely a steward of them. In the end, they go back to him. I want to prepare my daughters to live a life of faith, purity, zeal for the Lord... And I know these things are not spontaneous, they occur from purposeful nurturing. Lord, help me to be a gardener in their little hearts.

2. Be intentional in my marriage. This is not to say that there is anything wrong here - there's not. But with the arrival of the 2nd child I totally understand how hard it is to make time for "us" and how easy it would be to slip into an easy schedule where we are mom and dad but forget that we are husband and wife first. I want to take time to be aware of "us" and invest in "us" and be intentional for Tom and I to grow together. After all, we have 2 beautiful girls who we want to raise in a loving home. We want to demonstrate a loving and giving marriage... and in todays world I see too many friends/aquaintences seeking divorce. I think I"m just aware that this marriage is a precious gift and I want to be as good a steward of it - all to the glory of God. After all, our marriage is a portrayal of Christ and the church.

3. Cooking... Ok, nothing majorly spiritual here... With both of my pregnancies I was soooo sick, then having a newborn, and then a toddler who hangs on your leg, and before that it was work.... Basically what I'm saying is - life is messy and challenging and I tend to just not cook. It's not that I don't like to cook (I don't like to clean up afterwards though), it's that I just don't seem to manage my time well enough to do it. I want to make sure that I'm cooking 4-5 nights a week. I have tons of recipes that I have kept for awhile because "one day..." and yet that day never seems to come. But here's to some yummy meals ahead. I've already started this one, and it's been a good adventure with some good new meals the past week.

4. Frugal Living.... Budgeting is not my forte. Tom and I were both raised with a good standard of saving and spending. We don't spend more than we have, etc... but with the addition of another little one it's made me more aware of my spending habits and how easy it is to slowly start adding up $1 items from target and suddenly your monthly budget has been blown - with junk. I have lots of coupons, and started a system to use them and then got so sick with Nicole. My goal for the next few months is to come up with a system that works for me and cuts our grocery bills by 1/3. I want to start this habit now so that the girls grow up knowing God is pleased when we are good stewards of our money.

5. Simplify - wow, this is really a huge one for me. I am amazed at how much stuff we have. Stuff that at some point seemed really important and "needed". And now I'm just trying to figure out how to keep it organized. Especially kid stuff... I've always believed that too much stuff is detrimental to kids. They lose their ability to focus on an activity (too many other distractions), they forget how to entertain themselves, they lose their imaginations (that's a HUGE one for me), and they start to think they need more stuff. UGH. It's an ugly cycle to enter into. We have been so blessed with toys from family and friends. We have a basement full of toys, a toy room full, bedrooms full... and very little of it was out of our pockets. It's been a huge blessing.... and now I'm out to get rid of at least 1/3 of it. It's not that I don't love it. But recently we had a playdate and somehow one of the kids got to toys that I had put away and it took me weeks to get all the toys reorganized and put away. When they are "out of sight" Megan plays so much more peacefully and pleasantly. Maybe it's the distraction issue, or maybe it's just how an organized environment also creates a peaceful inner feeling???? At any rate - I need to simplify and get rid of stuff. How will I determine what stays and what goes? The imagination and growth test..... will this spark Megan's imagination and grow her brain? Puppets, play kitchen, dress up - imagination sparkers (my favorite toys). Puzzles, Books, lacing games, and specific toys that are for large and small motor growth (pounding toys, stacking blocks, etc) - growth toys. Ok, does that sound like everything? Maybe - but seriously, do we need 6 bins of play food? Or perhaps just what actually fits into the play refrigerator and cabinets... And the simplify extends to my world too.... If I haven't cooked with it since we moved into our house, I obviously don't need it and there are probably some families with World Relief who do.

6. Schedule - As a teacher and a mom, I know that kids thrive on a schedule. I'm not talking about a rigid, minute by minute schedule - but in the security of knowing what is to come next. We have somewhat of a schedule - but in order for me to accomplish some of the things on my 2010 to-do list, I feel that I need to help Megan (and eventually Nicole) know how to better steward their time and we are going to purposefully plan some things. We are starting a little mommy school - complete with our time with God and more reading time (with a purpose and activity), and art time. We already do have art time and reading time - and those are Megan's favorite things. Part of this scheduling is to help Megan with the transition of having a baby sister - it's giving her time that is all hers. Learning time with mommy for that big girl! It's also to minimize time that is defaulted to the TV. Now I'm giving myself some grace here as I work to figure out how to nurse Nicole while also taking care of a toddler. But the goal is to move Megan into some more independent activities (she's reverted into not wanting to do anything alone) so that I can start her with a task when it's time for Nicole to eat. I think a more purposeful schedule will give her some security that mommy's time with Nicole does have an ending and it'll be her turn again soon. :^) Oh the joys of little girls - the emotional side of life starts early!!!!

7. Stay in touch with my crafty side... I love to craft. I love to learn to sew, I love making cards, I love scrapbooking, I love coming up with craft want to do lists... But I have a hard time making it happen. Part of it is just poor use of time (darn that TV and computer) and part of it is wanting to do all the other things on this list... I just can't figure out where to put it on the priority list.

8. Cleaning - you know this goes along with the simplify. Sometimes cleaning is so overwhelming - but if there is less to clean, how great would that be. But I do want to figure out how to work smarter and keep the house clean.

9. Get fit.... 6+ years, 2 broken foot bones, and 2 babies later.... I'd like to physically be the person I was when Tom and I got married. Well - it's what I'd like. Reality, I want to pay more attention to what I eat and what I do for my health. This is a tough one for me because it's just overwhelming to think about when I'm tired and still in the new baby transition. But it's on my radar and maybe in a few months (when it warms up) I'll be in a place where I can give this one the attention that it's due.

10. My Spiritual Walk.... wow, this one is the one that is the hardest for me to think about. I think it's because I'm tired (see 1-6 above). It's been hard to find time for any sort of quiet time. I remember the days when I could spend an hour reading God's word, memorizing scripture, listening to a sermon, etc. When I lived in Albania we had 1 day a month where we had a personal retreat - it was part of my job... now my job is so overwhelming at times that I feel like my personal retreat is in the bathroom when I'm praying, "Lord help me to not lose my temper and to be consistent and loving." My desire is to be intentional in my time with the Lord. That's hard with 2 kiddos who have very different schedules. But I also realize that I want to teach Megan that it's important to have time each day to reflect on what God has done for us. So, this goes hand in hand with my #1 on this to-do list. I can't teach my children when my own spiritual gas tank is empty (not can I discipline them properly). I'm still working on what this will look like. Will I join a group? Do a specific study on my own? But I will be in the Word and I will practice what I preach to my babies.

So - here we are, 15 days into 2010 and I'm still thinking through these 10things. I'm sure that there are more things that I could focus on - and will... but these 10 things have been in my mind and have touched my heart in a special way.

See a theme... perhaps intentionality (is that a word?)and purpose. There are so many things to accomplish and so little time. It's a reminder that my babies will grow up too fast and one day I'll be wishing that at midnight I was still up waiting for a baby to rouse for her final nursing of the day. I want to savor every moment of NOW because it only happens once!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Everyone needs one...

Come on - you know it's true.

Everyone needs a naked baby picture! And a reminder of how they slept as a child (in their big girl bed).
All is going well here.

Megan is loving her big girl bed. So far she hasn't gotton out of bed a single time. It's been amazing. Going to bed is easier (although a still drawn out process sometimes) and she seems to be sleeping better. It's amazing what a better night sleep you can get when you can stretch out.

Nicole is just growing like a weed. I love to watch her in her swing - she likes to smile at the animals and give them some baby coos. It's just so sweet to watch her notice new things every day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My kind of Winter Day

It's hard to believe that a week ago we were doing the snow dance, hoping for a few flurries and a little covering at best. And we got some fun snowfall - ok, some ice with a tiny bit of snow on top. But for GA it was great! And why do I love winter in Ga.... a week of cold weather and "ta-da" welcome the warm winter. Don't get me wrong, we still have jackets and gloves in the morning... but by the afternoon - it's time to enjoy the great outdoors!
We bundled Nicole up and she watched her sister race away on her trike.
Boy does she love her tricycle.... and her new sassy helmet!
After the trike-a-thon, we had to pull out her car for a spin around the driveway.So, with all this fun... we say goodbye to the final remnants of our snow days. Bye Bye little snowman!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 months

Or is it just me?

It is hard to believe that Nicole is indeed 2 months old already. She's a sweet thing. She's been a great nighttime sleeper - sleeping 7 hour stretches most nights. She's got a great temperment and is pretty laid back. When she flashes you a grin, it was worth the effort to get it. She's got a strong neck and holds her head up and that just makes her look even more cute. She'll occasionally try to flip over and actually loves to be on her tummy (unlike her sister). We are already having fun little conversations - of course those are made up of cute and funny sounds.

Nicole got a clean bill of heath and our Dr. proclaimed - she's just thriving! Oh yeah - she's thriving.

Height - 24 1/2 inches (97%)
Weight - 13 lbs, 13 oz (97%)

Just as a comparison - When Megan was 2 months old.... she weighed 12 lbs 4 oz, and was 22 1/2 inches long. Nicole's length is where Megan was at 4 months. It'll be interesting to see how Nicole's growth will progress. I still think my 2 girls look amazingly similar. They are definitely sisters!

First Night

Just an update....

The first night in the big girl bed was a success. Megan went to bed easily, stayed in bed, and woke up in a great mood and was happy - in bed. YIPEE! The only challenge was the small gap in between the bed and one of the dressers. We stuffed it with pillows and when I went to check on her before I went to bed, she was sleeping in that little pillow crevice. We got her flipped over and moved around and added more pillows to make a bigger wall - and she never woke up. Very exciting! Let's hope that naptime today goes as smoothly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Keep reading - this is the 3rd post of the day

So, we didn't get a lot of snow - but that didn't stop us from enjoying what we had. Megan loved having an evening romp in the snow. And I was glad she got at least a little taste of the white stuff (and that she got to wear her snow suit again since we didn't get to go to MN this Christmas).
It was a bit chilly so Nicole didn't join us for our outside adventures.
There were some things that Megan really wanted to do in the snow.
Number 1.... make a snow angel! (OK, in Ga snow -it's more like a snow/mud angel).

#2. Build a snowman! She already had this figured out. If we had a lot of snow she'd build a mommy snowman. If we only had a little snowman she'd build a baby snowman. The babies won out!
But she was still adamant that he have stick arms. She gave on the eyes and carrot nose.
#3 - Throw snowballs. Well we had a little trouble with that one - but we still tossed pinched fingers of snow at each other. That's what the first picture is of - Megan throwing snow.
The big surprise was a few hours ago, after Megan was in bed, I went to close some curtains and much to my surprise it was still snowing and our driveway, walkway, street, and most of the yard were all white. WooHoo! I thought it had ended, but evidently a surprise last bit of the system stalled out over the city and dumped a bit of snow. YIPEE. Hopefully we'll get to play in the snow a little bit tomorrow.

The Transition

I have to say it's a little emotional to put my baby to bed in her big girl bed. She was so cute in there. Compared to her crib it just swallows her up. She just snuggled right in and actually went to bed easier tonight than she has in awhile. Now that may be because she went to bed late, and she was exhausted after playing in the snow (that post is coming next) She wanted Nicole to try out her big girl bed. It was so sweet to see them in there together.
And Megan was excited to get to give Uncle Dan, Uncle Tony and Auntie Dawn a tour of her room on Skype. I love Skype! Why did we wait so long to get with it and get hooked up on our video calls. It's been so great and Megan loves being able to see who she's talking to. Now hopefully we'll get Grandma and Papa on there so we can see you when we call.And of course when we were putting Megan to bed, it totally warmed my heart to see her snuggled up with Daddy reading a book. I think that's her new favorite book - Fancy Nancy.

I just went to check on her and she's a big ball in her big bed. So sweet - hopefully she'll sleep really well all night and will sleep in tomorrow morning. And maybe I'll be blessed with Nicole sleeping in as well. :^)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making the Jump

Yes... it's time! This is my baby after she woke up from a nap.

You can see that in her crib, she likes to set up her stuffed animals and read to them. It's so sweet to hear her wake up and listen to her carry on a conversation and start singing and reading to "her friends."But it is getting a little cramped in there!
But not for long.... yesterday this was delivered....And today we get the mattresses.... Megan is very excited about the jump to her big girl bed. I asked her what she's most excited about and she says, "mommy it has an upstairs, and I can go potty all by myself." She is excited and today her nap will be in the big girl bed. I'm a little nervous about this transition - mostly because we are in such challenging phase of life right now with Megan testing every limit that I'm concerned about how hard it's going to be to keep her in her bed. Especially when she's been saying for days, "after school it's going to snow." Oh dear.
But we are all excited about the bed - her new girly sheets and blankets are in the washer/dryer now. Hopefully it'll all be put together before she gets home. I have a feeling she's going to go bonkers over it.
Sidenote... we did already take the ladder out so we don't have any scaling up to the top without parental supervision. :^)
I'll try to get some pictures up later of Megan in her bed for the first time. So exciting!
And hopefully we'll get some fun snow pictures today - I think I'm worse than kids on wanting snow (just a few days of it though - enough for a snowman!).

How it ended

It was Nicole's first New Years Eve celebration and that little sweetie just had to stay up and ring in the new year.... so of course we did too! Natalie came over to help us usher out the old and welcome 2010. Since we have kids and are pretty much home bound for this occasion - we did it up in style. With an extra set of hands we got adventurous and cooked up some crab legs... YUM!

It was just fun - and Megan was in hog heaven having some extra attention. She loved up on her baby sister to end the year on a good note!

And we actually got our first family picture of 2010!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


For a few days now I have been thinking about posting this - sort of a "where we are" note. Mostly because I've been struggling to keep up with posts in light of everything going on. Finally after this weekend, I decided to go ahead and give a glimpse. What's going on you might ask?

I'm tired! Now I know I get at least a little grace with an 8 week old. Holy cow - can you believe that Nicole is already 8 weeks old. We have her 2 month checkup on Friday. I can't wait to find out how much she weighs... it'll be a lot I'm sure. And I think she's seriously grown an inch in a week. Her little 3 month outfits are almost too short. Ok, who am I kidding, they are also getting tight around her super cute big Buddha belly. Crazy. But... on the other hand she's a pretty good sleeper. Now we are going to have to work on naps I fear. She's not a napper like Megan was. She likes little catnaps - but hasn't' really organized a nap schedule. Once again, yes I realize she is only 8 weeks old and "schedules" are something we build up to. But she is sleeping between 5-7 1/2 hours at night. A bad night is a 4 hour of sleep night. A good night is a 7 1/2 hour sleep night. Last night - 7 hours.

It's a HUGE blessing... not only because I'm tired - but because the Lord knows that I need every ounce of sleep I can get in order to muster up every ounce of of patience to match the wits of of a fiery big sister.

I'm tired... The baby is exhausting in her own right, but the reality is - wow, my sweet little toddler has found a new way of expressing herself. It's been an challenging couple of weeks. Today I was reading a blog post and it offered me a lot of encouragement as the writer made a statement about how frustrating it is when you "don't see the fruits of your discipline". About every hour I find myself wondering, Lord, what are we not doing correctly. Surely If we were doing this "right" then this stage would pass.... yeah, reality check - sinful, wilful folks we people are - the big ones and the little ones. We went through something like this a few months ago (with all out throw yourself on the ground, kick and scream temper tantrums) and with some changes in our discipline (aka - getting really serious and consistent) Megan turned over a new leaf. And suddenly it's like she decided to once again try us in other areas and turn up the disobedience to a whole new level. OH MY GOODNESS! Today at lunch Megan got a little sassy and was not listening and I had to give her my "teacher look".... Let's say, it's somewhat effective. I think some of the adults were a little shocked at my ability to have a piercing stern look. :^) It does usually stop Megan in her tracks, for a second at least because she knows that look means a line is being crossed. But still, it's exhausting. And just because Megan is aware that she might be crossing a line... that doesn't mean she will stop. Oh talk about being Willful.

So even through the exhaustion we plug away trying desperately to be consistent, prayerful, and loving in our discipline as we work to train Megan's heart to love and follow God obediently (which includes obeying your mother and father).

So - I'm a little overwhelmed and haven't had a chance to work on getting my camera hooked up to my new laptop so I'm amiss in getting some updates posted. But, at least you know why. Tonight I just needed a little vent. So you know where we are, what we are dealing with, and how you can pray for us.... pray for our patience for sure - it's hard to be loving, consistent, and firm when you are tired and irritated.

And in the midst of all this I'll try to get some pictures of our precious (and sometimes trying) little girls.