Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brotherly Love

Something I am really enjoying about my boys right now is that finally at ages 4 and 2, they are really beginning to play with each other. It's so cute to watch, especially when they don't know I'm watching. I love to hear Colie say, "Tank-ooo, Bubba", when Jackson does something nice. I love to see them hug and kiss each other. I love to see Jack help Cole when Cole can't quite get the hang of something. It's like they are really starting to become friends. This gives me such joy and it makes me feel like I've done something right. After all, my children are a direct reflection of Jon and I. However, sometimes I'm more proud of this reflection than other times.
I think about when I was pregnant with Cole...I wanted a girl so badly. I am so thankful God gave me another little boy because I know they will be friends for life. I love my boys. I love the way they love their mommy. I love to see them wrestle with their daddy. I love to see them play with trucks and trains and listen to all the sound effects they can make with just their mouths. You will never see a little girl do this! Secretly, I love the dirtiness and grossness too. It makes me laugh. Thank you God for little boys.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiates 4:9-10

Follow God’s example in everything you do just as much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him. Ephesians 5: 1-2 TLB

A Great Day

Today was a great day. It was a day of no make-up, no place to be, and lots of time with my kids. I was the kind of mom today that I wish I could be everyday. We played with moonsand, which is totally out of my comfort zone. Cole ate some, Jack made a mess of it on the floor, and you know what...I DIDN'T have a meltdown. I survived the mess, and my kids enjoyed themselves. We didn't watch much tv which I think helped both the boys and myself. And best of all, we took a long walk and no one was run over! Cole did however get tired, so I had to carry him and his tricycle the last 1/4 mile home. I even got my house clean-amazing! I feel like "Supermom" today!

I was feeling so good about how I handled myself today, and then I walked into the laundry room and found this-

Okay, so maybe I'm not "Supermom." That could've really been dangerous. I can just imagine Jack telling Colie to get in, and then him turning it on. We had to have a good, long talk about that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Things I Think About When I Should be Sleeping

It's 12:35am and I'm laying in bed with the song, "Do you believe in Love?" by Huey Luis and the News playing over and over in my head. I can't tell you when the last time was that I heard that song. I hate that song, but yet at 12am when I should be sleeping, ol' Huey is telling me I, "better be believin' too". I was really tired at 10pm but instead of going to bed, I cleaned a bathroom, watched the news, ate a snack and checked my Facebook.
Sometimes I go threw bouts of insomnia. I have my whole life, but especially since I've been a mother, they seem to come more frequently. I'm different than most people in the sense that I dread bedtime. I love nap time, but bedtime isn't so much fun. I don't know why that is. I wonder if it's the fact that I know tomorrow I have to get up and do it all over again, so I try to postpone the inevitable as much as possible. Also, I just enjoy the silence that comes around 8:30. When the boys go to bed I watch my shows, do laundry, have a uninterrupted conversation with's awesome.
It's not going to be so awesome however at 7:30 when Cole starts yelling, "MOE-MMY!" He doesn't ease into waking up like Jackson, instead he starts off with a bang.
As I'm sitting here in the wee hours of the morning, these are the things that are going through my brain:
1. I should get up and do my Bible study instead of lying here not sleeping.
2. The woman that wrote my Bible study is blind. I wonder what it would be like to be blind? How would I take care of my kids?
3. One of my girlfriends just had twins. These are numbers 4 and 5 for her. How does she do it? I can't handle two. She delivered them with no pain medication...naturally.
4. When do I want to have another baby?
5. What if it were a girl?
6. I didn't pray today..."Dear God..."
7. Jackson has the cutest prayers.
8. How do you get kids to stop eating boogers? Jackson is the booger-eating king. He told me yesterday that "I eat my boogers, cause that's what gives me my power."
9. Power...I really need to start working out. The only time I have is before the kids wake up or at nap time, and I'm not doing either one of those.
10. I need to call my grandma.
11. I wonder if when I get old, will I look like her or my mother's mother?
12. I miss my mother's mother.
13. She used to take me swimming in the summer.
14. I need to remember to get a White Water pass this year.
15. Then, I should be working out if I'm going to White Water.
16. I wish Jon would quit snoring.
17. Oh my gosh, I forgot that I was praying..."Father, God..."
18. I wonder if my household cleaning chemicals are dangerous?
19. What's more dangerous-cleaning chemicals or salmonella bacteria on my counter?
20. I should really set some chicken out to thaw for dinner tomorrow.
21. I'd rather go eat Mexican food.
22. I must be craving salt...pickles sound good right now.
23. I'd have to brush my teeth again and I'm not doing that.
24. I really need to bleach my teeth again, they're getting pretty dingy.
25. When is my next dental cleaning?
26. Jackson and Cole are going to need braces. I should start saving now.
27. Do you start saving for college for braces? Private school or a grocery bill for two teenage boys?
28. The topic of private school vs. public school. I need to pray about that.
29. Oh man, "God, I am so sorry..."

It's now 1:02, maybe I've racked my brain enough that I'll be able to sleep.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We had a really close call yesterday. I feel like I still haven't quite gotten over it. I took the boys for a walk after their nap. Jackson likes to ride his bike and so Cole has started to want to do the same, of course. No longer is the stroller good enough for him. He has this little Radio Flyer tricycle with no peddles. You should see him on this thing...he can fly! It is so cute. Anyway we are rounding the corner at the end of our street. Jackson is ahead of me making a right turn. Cole is to my left. I notice a big truck coming so I look at Cole and motion for him to come over here and get by the curb. I look up and notice the truck isn't stopping. Sampson panics and rips the leash out of my hand to jump onto the grass. It was like everything was moving in slow motion. I look and Cole and look at the truck and yell "Oh my gosh...Oh my gooooosh-STOOOPPPP! The man hits the tire of Cole's bike and slams on his brakes. Cole is flipped over onto his back in the street literally two inches from the mans' tire. I heard Jackson screaming Cole's name and crying. That still brings tears to my eyes.
Just thinking about it again makes my body tense up. I grabbed Cole up, ran over to the grass and started looking him over. Poor baby, it was 50 degrees outside, and I'm stripping him down looking at every inch of his sweet little body. The man gets out of his truck and asks, "What happened?"
"What happened," I said, "is you hit him with your truck!" The mama bear came out in me. I usually am not one to raise my voice at perfect strangers, even in a situation that calls for it. I try to keep my composure. I was in complete survivor-mode. All that mattered was my child at this minute...the rest of the world stood still. The man says, "Buddy, are you okay? You gotta stay closer to the curb." That really got under my skin. Sure my kid should've been closer to the curb, but his eyes should've also been open since he was operating a vehicle. He was too close to even Jackson and I, despite Cole. What ever happened to saying 'Sorry'? 'Sorry for almost killing your child, mam,' 'Sorry for almost giving you a heart attack.' 'Sorry you will lose a night's sleep tonight.'
Of course, in usual 'Cole-fashion', Cole cried all of 31.2 seconds and it was over. Me, on the other hand...I can't seem to shake it. I took a bendedryl last night to sleep. I was so stressed. I just kept thinking, "What if..."
I am so thankful God was watching over my child yesterday. I know this won't be the last parental scare I have. This probably won't even make the charts someday, but for that moment in time, I felt like my world could've completely stopped. What I keep thinking is that I am so grateful.
As I've said before, Cole is exhausting. At the end of the day, I'm tired from all the talking, the messes, the fit-throwing, the discipline, etc. But, when I wondered what my world could be like without him, I was beyond sad. He adds so much life and laughter and noise to our family. I held him a little tighter, a little longer last night. I kissed and hugged and laughed a little more. Thank for God for protecting my child and showing me grace and blessing me have have another day with him.
I asked Cole today after nap if he wanted to take a walk and ride his bike. After a long, intense look, he says, "Cole no ride bike. Truck go boom crash da baby." I hope he's not traumatized!
"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield." (Ps 5.11-12)

Friday, January 8, 2010

My sweet "Apple Jack"

Jackson is an amazing child. He is a complete love and I feel like I don't say enough about him in my blog, so this blog is dedicated to him.
Last night we watched some old home videos for fun. I've forgotten what Jackson was like as a baby. I remember when I used to ask my mother or my mother-in-law about raising their children and there answer was usually, "Hmmm, I don't remember."
What! You don't remember! How could you not remember?!!! But as I watched these old movies, I just kept thinking, "I don't remember what it was like to have just one child." "I don't remember the sound of his sweet little voice." "I don't remember what I did with my time?"
The memories came to me a little, but still looking into that six-month old face of Jack seemed like another lifetime to me. Now, I see a big, four-year old boy. A boy obsessed and enamored with all things "trains." A boy who sometimes has an attitude and a tone of voice that gets under my skin. I see a boy who has a heart for people and God. A boy who is impatient and a perfectionist. I see in him, the man he will become. Jackson is different from other children in the way that he seems wise beyond his years. He says things sometimes that leave me speechless and knowing that only God has done this. He says things like, "Mom, isn't it sad that some people don't know Jesus? I feel so sad for them."; or "Hey Colie, when you were in mommy's tummy, did you see her heart?" He is kind of an old soul.
Jackson has taught me so much about motherhood. I think I could've bypassed college and been just fine. All you ever need to know about life and people and yourself, you learn from motherhood, anyway. He has been my inspiration to do things differently...better. He has brought me closer to my Savior. He has shown me my own, ugly sin-nature. He made me a mother.
Jack is my miracle baby. For years, I've struggled with endometriosis. It's a terrible, painful disease and it I wondered if I would ever be able to conceive a baby. Before I was pregnant with him, I'd had 3 laparoscopy surgeries and one round of Lupron injections to put my body through menopause. Lots of women with endometriosis need medical help to conceive or don't conceive at all. But God, who gives and takes away, was so gracious to me. He put life inside of me and gave me the joy of knowing what it's like to love something so much that it hurts. I saw Jack for the first time, and my whole world changed. He was the most beautiful child I've ever seen, with dark hair and green eyes and a smile that brightens the world.
He scrunches his nose just like me when he laughs, just like me... and it's awesome!
To top it off, there is no ounce of Jon in him. He is all "my-child." This is good and bad. I see his faults and I know his weaknesses and hurts because they are my weaknesses and hurts. This sometimes makes it a little painful. I bite my nails whenever I see him struggle with feeling shy and anxiety-ridden because I remember that feeling all too well. I wish I knew a way to comfort him and let him know to give it time. God is going to do amazing things through him. He thrives on structure. He hates attention. He needs lots of sleep. When he is cranky, I know that he needs to be alone for 30 minutes and this is therapeutic to him. He has a strong perfectionistic tendency; which is why I'm trying to teach them that practice makes progress...not perfection, and that's okay. He is a true friend and stands up for what is right, even when it's not what he wants to do. He is sneaky, so watch him carefully! He loves animals and I think the perfect job for him is to be a veterinarian...or a pastor. He's gracious. He's photogenic. He can't hide his feelings. He is sensitive and gets his feelings hurts easily, but he also forgives quickly. He is slow to anger, but when he is out! He is a deep-thinker. He has a heart for people, and prays for them; He once watched Oprah with me-a lady was hurt by a chimpanzee. The thought of her being embarrassed to show her face really worried him. He prayed for her that night-that God would help her to not be embarrassed when people stare...that she would "have a friend." He loves documentaries...weird, I know. He's the kind of kid who will fall head over hills in love at 16 and get his heart broken. But the good part about that is that it will never happen again because he will marry at a young age and be perfectly happy with his decision. He is determined, committed, and a high-achiever.
I'm madly in-love with this child. I'm impressed and challenged by him at the same time.
Jack-you're a good boy. I love you for who you are and who God will grow you to be. I will always love you, even when you make mistakes. It's okay to make mistakes. You are a joy to parent...Thank you for being my son.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Cole Day"

Lately, I've been praying for Cole to get in Mother's Day Out. I didn't enroll him with Jackson last semester because I felt like I needed to be 100% fair. I didn't put Jackson into MDO til a month after he turned two so I didn't want to do it with Cole either. Now, it's too late-the class is full. I always feel bad for 2nd and 3rd (etc.) child. I know Cole doesn't know any different, but I feel like he's been deprived of never having my full attention. I'm a much different mother with Cole than I was with Jackson. Some for the better, and some...not so better. I don't freak out as much over the little things. I clean my house less than I used to, and after a couple years, I've learned to be okay with that. I'm more patient, I pick my battles, and I'm better at forgiving myself when I make mistakes. Not perfect at that last one, just better. However, now that I have two, I don't relish the moment as much as I should, I don't mark down every milestone, I don't play as much. I'm busier, I'm more hurried, and I listen less.
I try to be conscious of this and correct myself when I notice. But, two is more than double the work. I feel like there's not a lot of downtime. There's always things I could be doing. Laundry, phone calls, errands, making appointments, praying for my children, planning, reading. The list goes on and on and my mind runs wild.
Cole is more than a handful. I feel like he is worth two children. He is into everything and it's constant supervision and correction with him. He has a mischievous mind and a temper to beat all. I've written about this a lot and I know some of you are thinking, "Come on, how bad can he be?" But, have to see to believe it. He's loud and reckless. He's under my feet all the time and if he's not, he's being destructive someplace. I pray for Cole a lot more than I pray for Jack. Not because I love him more, but...he needs more work. At least...this was my thought. I pray for his safety everyday-both for what he is capable of doing to himself, and what I'm afraid I might do to him. I pray for him to get a hold of his temper before it does real damage. I pray that he will learn to control his strong-will. I pray that his natural, insatiable curiosity does not lead him into trying rebellious things. So, I keep telling myself, that I have my work cut out for me and I'm working hard to change that boy!
I started thinking about when I was pregnant with him. He was even different even in the womb. My belly was moving all the time. He kicked hard! Sometimes I would just sit there and cry and try to squeeze my stomach muscles as tight as I could so he would get the hint that this was hurting mommy!!! He didn't get the hint. When we brought him home from the hospital he cried constantly. It wasn't a sweet little lamb cry like Jackson. It was a sound that in the middle of the night would cause my stomach to be tangled in knots because I knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night. I dreaded that cry. It always happened at 10:30 just as I turned out the light. For the first time in all my motherhood career, I put my baby in bed with me out of sheer desperation for sleep. I didn't call the shots anymore...he did.
So, thus began my journey of changing him. Only, I started to think maybe I was wrong in this. God created Cole. He knew that child before I did. He knew what his strengths and weaknesses would be. And I started to wonder...maybe I'm the one who needs changing. Maybe God gave me this child to build my character and grow me in ways that I'm incapable of on my own. Maybe God didn't allow Cole to be in Mother's Day Out for a reason.
Today, I changed the way I do things. Usually Monday is my day to get back on track with housework, errands, etc. I took Jack to school and I came home and sat in Cole's bedroom floor and just played. We did puzzles, read books, we played with trucks and built with blocks. He talked a lot to me. I've overlooked him. I've underestimated him. I really enjoyed him and I had fun. Fun is something I don't do enough.
So, I would still love for him to get into Mother's Day Out, but if he doesn't, I think I'm going to change my schedule a little and not make Monday my "Chore Day", but my "Cole Day."
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)