Friday, April 30, 2010

A Bit of Earth


To give you an indication, this is what our driveway looks like right now.

Little maple helicopters All Over The Place! It's insane. Luckily, (or unluckily, depending on your point of view) my son has been learning all about gardening and plants this week in school. I asked him what he did in school, learned about Dirt. Who lives in Dirt? Worms. Do worms eat people. Noooo...he laughed. Anyway, they planted a bean seed in one school, and it's growing. Apparently that experiment was So Much Fun, Chris wanted to do more. He told me he wanted to go shopping for more seeds, more seeds to plant.
So, it just so happened God plopped a whole bunch of seeds right in our yard, so we began with these seeds. The trees were supposed to be "poplar hybrids" but they've hybridized the poplar right out and they are maples through and through. The last two years they've dropped seeds, and they've grown into little treelets in the garden, yard, driveway...well, this year, we're doing a controlled planting for Chris. If the treelet takes, we'll plant them on our new lot.

Chris and Daddy filled a cup with potting soil. Then Chris thought long and hard about which 2 seeds he would choose to plant.

And Daddy let him put one in the dirt.

All topped off with a bit of earth.

They were So Sweet.

And consequently I've had this song stuck in my head.

A "Story"

This evening as Eric was readying Chris for bed, they were talking about stories, and he picked up his new Cliff Hanger book he got from Chick Fil-A today. He said, It's a "Story". It's a "Song". Complete with little hand motions for the quotes. Yes, our boy does air quotes.

But it reminded him about how last night, as Mommy enjoyed a Mom's night out, both boys were finishing up their dinner at White Castle with Daddy. Sam had begun his 7 o'clock Fuss, and Chris just looks up at Daddy, "Dogs and Cats, Daddy, Dogs and Cats."

Life on Planet Mom, Ch. 6

How appropriate during this Easter season where everything is springing to life around me, that I find myself reading this chapter entitled A Father's Love. One of Chris's favorite books that we've been reading is the book, I Love You This Much. One of the verses says, "You hear your Heavenly Father say, I Love You This Much!" I do! How much does he love me, if he loves the little birdies in the trees, how much more does he Love Me. Same thing applies in this chapter, if I Love my Children so much, How much more does He love them, love me?!

1. Would you throw yourself in front of a bus--sacrifice yourself--to save your friend? How about your child? How do you know? Probably. I don't know. I live a lot of my life in the moment, and though I'd like to think I would just hop into that moment, jump in without thinking, to save my friend, my child...maybe even a stranger.

2. What is it about sacrifice that depicts a whole other dimension of love? Sacrifice is leaving yourself behind, doing something for the good of others no matter what the consequences to yourself. That is Love, that deep extra dimension of love, when you love someone so much you only want what is best for them, that you no longer care about yourself.

3. Do you believe God wants an intimate relationship with you? Have you sensed that or experienced that in your life? Or how do you hope to? Yes. I think I always knew he was there, and He said so in his Word. And I'd heard it in church, but it wasn't until my Via de Cristo weekend, that it was really hammered into my head Just How Much he wants me did I understand the Reality of it. From there, my journey with and toward Him has changed.

4. Has God disciplined you at some point to teach you something? When, where, and how? My mother gave me a tape, a Joyce Meyer sermon and the best part was when she focused on Psalm 23. He Maketh me to lie down in Green Pastures--she says, if you don't lie down in the Green Pastures, watch out, because he will Maketh You to lie down. My back pain has become a most prominent way that God tells me I'm overdoing it. My first injury was back when i was working in the hospital through college, but that wasn't going to stop me. Then the more trouble some shoulder injuries came after, about the same time as my battle with infertility. I had to stop, stop the working crazy, and stop the drugs. Just Give It All Up To Him. It was like he was saying, Don't get all Stressed about This, take it Easy, put your Trust in me, and I will take care of you. And if you don't, I'll make you Have to...So often we reach a bottom point, a point so low where we sometimes feel we have nowhere else to turn except to the Lord. How much easier is life when we turn to him First instead of Last?!

5. Have you experienced a hurt or tragedy that made you doubt God? Have you been able to get past your doubt? How so? When my 32 year old Aunt died from breast cancer leaving behind a 2 year old son, when I was 16; it coincided with my final Confirmation classes at church. I spent a lot of time in those classes focusing on why God would call her home so young. It was really hard. I didn't so much doubt God, as to just not understand. I can't say the Understanding came much easier when Chris was sick when he was born. But we came to an understanding, he's there to hold me up. I don't doubt His Presence, or His Love, I just wish sometimes he and I could be on the same page about things should go.

6. What has your child said or done that made you think about God more? Do you believe he uses people to speak to you, on his behalf? Why or why not? Ever since Chris and Sam were Born, they bring God closer to me. When Chris came after so much prayer, there was still so much more to pray about. And God was right there. They say Pray Unceasingly. Oh yes, with these boys around, I'm surely doing that. There's lots of Prayers of "Oh Thank You God" when they are healthy or do something beautiful like smile or sleep. And when they aren't, well the prayers are a bit more "Please Lord" or "Help Me Lord". When they do some new milestone, it makes me so proud and happy. When Chris gives me a cheer when I ride my bike or I go potty in the bathroom, his Joy is so beautiful I can't help but Thank God some more. As for Using People, Oh Yes, I believe in that too. God uses Chris and I to inspire others, he uses Chris's story to bring Hope to others. Strangers or acquaintances meet Chris and are pulled in to his Joy, his Enthusiasm for Life. He's a Miracle, and he just draws people in. And God uses that. He uses Chris and Sam to show me all about Hope and Joy...all the time. And Patience.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Thirteen


We were unintentionally brilliant today. We didn't realize that ISTEP testing was going on was going to make a Visit to the Children's Museum Brilliant. My back was Angry, but that wasn't going to stop me. After Chris's school we drove thru for McNuggets and drove on in to town to meet some BU friends and their kids.

1. I asked Chris what was the 1 Thing he wanted to do. He told me he wanted to "Tap Dinosaurs". It took Quite A While (Mommy's Dense) but I came to understand that he meant that he wanted to Dig for Dinosaurs. And so he did.

2. Sam had more fun with the Eggs in the Dino Nest.

3. I told him we were going to the Carousel, but we stopped under the pretty glass. Chris was checking it out, then he sat up and Yelled, "Mommy! This is Not the Merry Go Round!" No it wasn't, but it did go around.

4. Sam declared he wanted Mommy to hold him while the Carousel went around. But I couldn't hold on to Sam and keep a hand on Chris at the same time.

5. Chris rode alone. I gave him wings. I let him go on the Carousel without holding on to him, at the ripe age of 4. I felt like I was sending him off to college or something. If Joan and I hadn't been laughing so much, I might have gotten teary.

6. Chris puts a penny in the spin-y thing. I don't know what it's called, but I promised Chris if he sat still during diaper changes and while Mommy went, then he could toss in some money. It brought him Great Joy.

7. How many kids can you fit in one car?

8. Sam gets crazy in the BabyScape! I love this one!

9. Happy Birthday Aunt Lisa! Someone who Looks Very Much like you was trying to pull up on a lawn mower.

10. Chris and Sam play in the Water. Sam's First Time. He LOVED it!

11. Leave it to Sam to be playing in the water with one hand, holding on for dear life with the other, and before I looked, he was EATING the edge of the water tub. He's gonna have some sort of cooties in 3 days....

12. The kids listen to the Finger Plays gal, singing and doing Itsy Bitsy Spider and 5 Little Ducks. Good Times.

13. Our whole Crew!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Can It Be, nearly 20 years?


I got a rare treat today. I got to meet a friend for coffee. OK, that's not the rare thing, but to meet with This Friend was. Really we met in Elementary School and I had not seen her since High School, since my freshman year. See, I was going to NC my freshman year, and we moved to Carmel in the summer before my sophomore year. In the grand scheme of moves, we had very little notice, we just decided to go. Someone broke in our apartments backyard and stole our bikes, and graphiti'd our building, and that was our cue to exit. I wasn't able to let hardly anyone from my school know I was moving. I just didn't come back in the fall. I tried to keep in touch when we moved but really only kept in touch with 1 friend from that school, and that was because she ended up at Carmel the following year.

Anyway Thanks to Facebook, I have found a couple friends from high school (and elementary and middle)and reconnected. And Melissa was one that I've really connected well with. She's become such a neat woman, there's much to chat about, and her kids are amazing. So while both our older kids were in school today, we met for Coffee.

And it'd been raining here for days, so today was our first semi-sunny day. We sat outside, but then the sun moved into clouds, and we got cold, and the kids were miserable. The Mommies were having a great time, again, there's TONS to talk about but the kids weren't happy. I suppose it's a good thing that we got cold, otherwise I would've been SUPER LATE to pick up Chris instead of just a little late. ;)

I was doing the math on the way home, I realized that next month, it will have been 20 years since the last time I'd seen her. Oy.

Let's not wait that long to do that again!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Slumber Party


Our Slumber Party experiment went a lot better than I thought last night. Sure, Annie woke up, but only when either Sam or Fina woke her. So we didn't sleep any more or less than we have been. The bummer was that while Sam went back to bed at 5:30, Annie tried...but I don't think she really succeeded.

This morning was a lot of fun though. Annie thought all the toys in our house were great fun. There's only an 8 month difference between Annie and Sam, but walking seems to make a huge difference in play. Because she'd chase Chris, or she'd sit still with Sam. She had a great time playing with the refrigerator magnets. Chris wanted to play With her, but she just wanted to do magnets. He got bored waiting for her to join him, so he started making snow angels, or rather dust bunny angels.

Annie and Sam love the Cat. The two of them together was Finally enough to scare the cat into hiding in the basement. I shouldn't laugh, but they were funny. Sam just tackles and hugs, and Annie kept calling the cat, "Shssis" and chasing him. I think she only got him once.

My Biggest and Best Accomplishment of the day: Feeding all three kids Breakfast! At the Same Time! Now if they all had Eaten everything, Annie was most interested in playing, and Sam and Chris wanted to watch Annie.

And then we went to visit Aunt Erica. We hadn't been to play at her house before, and the kids found great joy in playing with all kinds of things that weren't necessarily toys, like remote controls, and pillows, and all the video game accessories. The Best Part of Uncle Karl and Aunt Erica's house is that it is right across the street from the park. Even with all the recent rain, and how cool and cloudy it was today, there was no way I was stopping the kids from playing at the park.

We kept them at a 10 minute limit, since I hadn't brought everyone's coats. And I don't know why my phone is taking blue pictures...but at least you can see that the kids were having a Great Time swinging and playing on the playground equipment.

Then the younger two sat in puddles on the swings so we had to change clothes, and somehow Sam started getting feverish, signs it was time to go home.

But I Vote our Test Run a Success!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Give me your daughter

Picture it: My sister is 37 weeks pregnant, my niece is 21 months. We get to be the ones on call when Baby Sister comes, so we decided to do a "Test Run" tonight after our early birthday party at my Dad's. My sister and I celebrate our birthday's 2 days apart, I'm actually 2 years, and 363 days older! But now that we're grownups, we do 1 party for both us. So, we did that at my Dad's evening, more pictures to come. As an added bonus, I got a neato birthday present, a FLIP video camera. So here it is, my first new video...babies in a bathtub.

March of Crazy


First of all, I'd really like to thank all of you who donated to our March of Dimes March for Babies this year. I was bummed I didn't meet my goal, but we made a nice dent, and as you know, Every little bit helps, and you helped make a difference. I mean, look a my boys, where would be if not for an organization like the March of Dimes. I've had 2 fairly miraculous pregancies, followed by births requiring c-sections; there was a time that either one of those factors would have made it impossible for these kids to get here, and Don't even get me started about Chris and his issues. That's "a whole nother story".

So this morning, listening Sam's early morning mumbles, I heard Rain. I ignored it. I slept on, and when I woke up, it wasn't raining. Clouds all around me, but not on me. There were doubts about doing the March of Dimes March for Babies in the rain, but I was determined. I wanted my kids to go, I wanted to do the walk. Don't Tell me that Rain is going to keep me from something I believe in. Psha!

And so we went.

It was not raining when we arrived, but I was only able to go register, and get my shirt, and THEN it started raining. At first we hung out in tents, there were a few ;). Chris was particularly partial to the NICU reunion tent where they had a Jump-n-play. Good times for him. As you can imagine, he did Not want to leave his jumpy thing to go out and walk in the rain.

Again, Mommy was determined.

So, we loaded up the stroller and headed to the start line, the kids wearing raingear, and Mommy and Daddy wishing we'd packed something. And We crossed the Start Line!!!!

As we crossed the bridge we had to stop no less than 4 times, just crossing the bridge, because of Sam yelling, or throwing his milk, or screaming when we took it back. Then Chris wanted a snack. We crossed the bridge, which backs up to the Zoo. The majority of the racers turned right to follow the White River, but I noticed a few turning right...and heading for the Zoo parking lot, which just happened to be where we parked. Once again we stopped. It didn't take much pushing for us to choose to go to the car.

Instead of marching 3.1 miles for babies, we only made it .13.

Was I crazy? Yup. Was I glad we did it. Yup? We were cold, wet, and dripping. I don't know that we were sufficiently bundled, Sam was happy to get in the car, he worked his milk, and we went to brunch at the Pit Stop. The little boys had worked up an appetite, and split a Belgian Waffle bigger than my head. Yeah, they ate, and it was the most relaxing comforting meal I'd had in a long time.

Tell you what, we may not have walked like we wanted to, but we made an appearance. What was important here, not that we completed the walk, but that we brought awareness to the Cause, the March of Dimes, and the research they do that Saves Moms and Babies. We raised Funds for a very important cause, near and dear to my heart, for without them, I really don't know that I would be here...let alone, here with my 2 mostly healthy boys.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Mailbox


Today we headed over to visit our new lot. The boys and I were going to take a walk around our 'new' block, while Daddy created a mailbox.

We waited until After Naps, and by the time we got over there, it was dreadfully cloudy. The Rain was going to come Any Minute. We knew we didn't have much time, and we started walking. We got next door. We got to meet our new neighbors who were scrambling to get some yard work done before the rain set in. The boys and I hung out in the car, while Daddy built a mailbox. He'd gotten it Free on Craigslist, and so he put it in a bucket with cement.

So now we have a mailbox!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pure Boy


Only Chris can sport a blue feather boa,

Play Soccer in the Rain,

Dress like a Homeboy, with a pink heart necklace, (he was calling himself Weatherman Superhero)

And be amazingly Gentle with a new baby.

And if you think he's a Good Friend, you should see him in his role as Big Brother and Son

My Real Boy is man enough to tell me he wants "smoochies" and hug and kiss his Mommy at the end of the night. I hope that never ends.

He makes me so Proud. Today and Everyday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rite of Passage


All boys seem to find great joy in locking themselves in the dog's cage.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Phlowy Phlox


Loving this time of year! Now my phlox is very happily blooming!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lilac Lovelies

These are a few of my favorite things....
Chris, Sam, and Lilacs.

My Lilacs are blooming! And the boys joined me in going around and checking them out.

Sam found them pretty interesting. It brushed his face, and they tickled him. And I think he liked the smell too. He kept reaching out to touch the flowers, and either grabbing them tight, or just brushing them, and giggling.

I can't believe how much he's grown since last year, I would never have put him by the bush last spring...heck this time last year, I was barely open to putting him in the bucket to walk around the block, let alone to let him crawl around in the grass.

But crawl around in the grass is what Sam likes to do. He was getting quite a kick out of big brother playing in the "tree".

And as quickly it began, our photo session was over, Chris was done with the smells, and moving on to the next thing.

I just love lilacs. But I have to tell you, this one looks funny to me, like Lilac Bunny or something.

Mrs. MamaDuck


Mrs. Duck came back again today. With the grass shorter, she moved into the garden. Chris, Sam, and I spent a good chunk of time before lunch Staring her Down. Chris wanted so badly to get closer, but he refrained. It was hard for him, we had a lot of discussion about how she's a wild animal, and she does not want to be friends, and if she gets scared, she may bite. And he agreed, we didn't want to scare her, so he stayed back. I crossed the yard slowly, he crossed by running all the way down to the sidewalk and around, so sweet. We started calling her Mrs. MamaDuck. She just had this expectant mother look to her, like she was watching us, in case we got too close to her eggs. Only I didn't see any eggs, or any nest. I wonder if she's found a nest nearby. He told me, she needed sticks to make a nest. Chris thought so. She stayed a while, while we played in the yard, until the Meterman snuck around the corner, and scared the snot out of all of us.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mrs. Duck


You know it's time to mow the lawn when Mrs. Duck can hide in the grass.

We found her scoping out our front yard this morning. The hubs was no where to be seen, but we've seen them out back. Usually I sent Fina out to "Smoke 'em out" but we were on our way to church. So I took her picture and yelled at her myself. It's just Not Safe for Mrs. Duck to build a nest in our yard.

And then the lawn got mowed too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cat Tackles


Poor Angel Cat. It just occurred to me today, that he turned 18 last month. And he's survived 18 years, but I don't know if he'll survive another month with Sam. Sam's favorite game is to tackle the cat. He'll crawl and chase the poor cat across the room, pet him for a few seconds, than grab, and tackle. In a full body tackle. Yesterday I found him Sitting on the cat. And the cat doesn't leave or hide. I'm afraid the cat's mind is so pickled he thinks that Sam's tackles are just affection. And Sam is so agressive in his love, I'm afraid he's really going to hurt him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cleanest Little Dirtball in the (mid) West


Sam is an entirely different child from Chris. With all Chris's Sensory Processing Drama, going outside and playing has been a completely different adventure with Sam compared to Chris. Sam wants to get down and BE on the ground. He wants to crawl around on the driveway, he wants to pull up and play with the mulch in the garden. Yesterday, he picked up a piece of mulch in each hand, and stood up. Completely. Without using his hands from a leaning to standing, shaking and rickety, but he wasn't About to put the mulch down just to stand up and investigate it further. Though he does have to be watched, because he likes to stick it in his mouth. We got big brother off the bus today and Sam wanted to just crawl on the driveway. Chris NEVER did that. Sam crawls in the driveway, pat his hands in the previous days' chalk drawings, crawl through the dirt.

Tonight we took him to soccer practice. And we weren't on the green for 2 minutes and Sam wanted down. That boy will DIVE down to get to the ground. He wanted to chase the ball, and crawl after the kids. Oh he had so much fun. And when I brought him back to the car,

his Feet were BLACK. Filthy. And Sam was so Happy.

You can bet he got a bath as soon as we got home. Sam did. Not Chris. Chris is the one we bathe every day because he was so sensitive and rashy bottoms. But while Chris has been able to back off of that sometimes, Sam is the little dirtball who NEEDS the baths daily this week.

So tonight, I give you, the Cleanest little dirtball in the west.

And on the floor for 10 seconds, he finds another ball to throw and chase.

Boy, he's fun. These boys are So Much Fun. As exhausting as Fridays are with soccer and school, and boys, I am having So Much FUN! I might even learn some stuff about not to call our Soccer a class or rehearsal, it's Practice.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cuppa Cuppa


Happy "Make a Difference and Get Free Coffee" Day.

Starbucks was offering Free Coffee today if we brought in our own cup. I tried to pick up some on the way to taking Chris to preschool. FAIL. So after dropping Chris off, I hit the Starbucks, and got my little happy cuppa cuppa.
And it was good.
And Eric was home today. He's got a sinus infection and was Drug-Seeking, so he stayed home to get drugs. He got them, and was able to have lunch with us, at Chick Fil-A, per Chris's request, and take a nap this afternoon with us.
And it was Good.
And the boys played outside after naps. Together, all three of them.
And it was Good.
And I drove through Starbucks AGAIN on the way to taking Chris to gymnastics, for another cuppa cuppa.
And it was Good.