Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trinity Tornadoes

Tuesday, we had our first T-ball game. I've been looking forward to this for the past few weeks...actually, that's not true. I've been looking forward to this since I found out I was pregnant with Jackson. I dreamed of sitting in the stands cheering my little heart out for my boy and Jon being a coach for the team. Jackson had a little anxiety before the game, but Jon practiced with him in the yard before we went to the field and that helped. Honestly, I think my nerves were worse than his. All day I'd been making notes for a list of things I didn't want to forget. I try really hard not to put my fears onto my children, but I was a little nervous for him. I don't like to see my children anxious or uncomfortable in situations that don't feel natural to them. Cole, I've always noticed is the more athletic child. He's more aggressive too. Jackson is sensitive and polite and this made me wonder how much he would really enjoy sports. I have to tell you, he impressed me. He was not very happy that he had to wear jeans to the game...with a hole in the knee, God forbid! Darn it when little boys don't pull their britches down far enough at the potty and leak onto their sweatpants. So, right as we were heading out the door, his only choice was to wear jeans. He fussed and complained about it the entire ride to the field. I assured him that most kids on the team would be wearing jeans also...sure enough, not a one. Jackson really enjoyed himself. I could tell he enjoyed the game...even batting. He was so worried he would hit a ball and it would go behind him and not in front. I told him everyone will hit a foul ball and sure enough, he hit two. But, he also got two base hits and he scored a run. My proudest moment was when a ball was hit to him at third and he threw it to first and his teammate tagged the player out. He even showed a little aggression by chasing after a hit ball...along with every other player on his team...and he and Justyce collided. No tears though! He got up and dusted himself off and went back to dancing around in the field! I thought this moment was so cute-Natalie was crying almost the entire game because: 1)she didn't like her hair-such a girl!...and 2)she didn't want anyone else wearing her batting helmet. Jackson was trying to comfort her and do funny things-he did end up getting a smile and a laugh out of her! After the game, we took Jack to 7-11 to get a cherry coke. I asked him if he had fun and he said, "Yeah, but I'm upset we didn't win." I had to explain to him that he did win...the Trinity Tornadoes won the game. "Oh!," he said, "Well then, where's my trophy?"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Date Night with Jackson

Tonight was Jackson's date night. When I asked him last week what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to eat dinner at Johnny Carino's (his favorite restaurant), go bowling, get a movie to rent, eat fondue at the Melting Pot, and get a toy at Toys R Us. I had to remind him that mommy was not a millionaire and I also had to keep the cost fair between he and Cole, so we narrowed our choices down. He settled for dinner at home. He requested chocolate-chip pancakes, bacon, and strawberries and blueberries. Breakfast for dinner is one of his favorites.

The boys making funny faces.

Next, we went bowling. On the way there, Jackson and I made a pact that he and I would be on a team and compete against daddy. I'm usually a pretty good bowler, but Jon has the whole "athletics" thing in his favor. Needless to say, I do not. Unbelievably, Jackson beat both Jon and I! Jon was behind by just two points-Jack was pretty proud of himself. He did have the benefit of the ramp to give a little extra boost, but even still, I was impressed! Jon and I really like bowling with the kids because it gives us an excuse to use the bumpers. I love the bumpers!

Check out that scoreboard-amazing, huh???

We took Jackson to Family Video and let him pick a Scooby Doo movie and a train documentary. Isn't he bizarre? What four-year old likes documentaries? Thank goodness for free kids movies at Family Video-makes for a cheap night of entertainment!
Afterwards, we headed to the Melting Pot. Jackson has been wanting to go there and have chocolate fondue for quite some time now. It's one of the "someday" things that we haven't ever gotten around to before. Jackson chose the Flaming Turtle-milk chocolate, caramel, and pecans, all flambeed. He loved it. I just loved watching him eat the chocolate. He didn't care that he was making a mess all over the table, his shirt or his face. He just enjoyed every minute of it. Jon and I hardly ate anything. But, Jackson had no problem clearing the platter. He even asked the waiter if he could have some extra strawberries.

As we left I asked Jackson if he had a good date night. He said, "Yeah, sometimes it nice to be without 'little trouble' (AKA Cole). But now, I'm ready to go home and see Colie."
Some things I noticed about Jackson tonight. 1)He loves to be touched, encouraged, and talked to intimately. 2)He is funny...really hysterical. 3)He thrives on one-on-one time. 4)He is the best big brother. He is glad to have time away from the little one, but he thinks about him constantly. He kept saying, "Mom, wouldn't Cole love this?"
Jackson, you are the light of my life, my joy, my firstborn son, and there is none like you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sesame Street Live with Cole

Jon and I are trying something new-individual date nights with our boys. We've done them with Jackson for a couple years now, but since Cole is getting older we decided it was time for him to get his own date night with mommy and daddy, too.
Since Sesame Street Live was coming to the Cox Center, I took the opportunity to plan this for his date. Cole loves Elmo and Cookie Monster.
We dropped Jackson off at Birdie and Grumpy's. Jackson was not the least bit jealous that Cole's date night came first. I don't know if he was happier about going to Birdie and Grumpy's or that he didn't have to see Elmo. That's for babies, you know!!!
When we finally got the convention center, it seemed like Cole was more interested in the seats. He kept sitting in them and then jumping out quickly and watching it flip back up. He climbed all over me. I was a little disappointed thinking, "He doesn't even care. I could've just saved 60 bucks."

But then Elmo began to sing, "La-la, la, la. La-la, la, la...Elmo's world!" Cole was shouting the song at the top of his lungs. He just stared at the stage and I just stared at him. I would've paid $60 just to see that sheer joy and excitement on his little sweet face. My mind went back to when Jack was 18 months old. We took him to see Elmo, and he gave that same look of pure childhood magic! It made me a little sad-to know that Jackson has grown so much in three years. Cole is now almost 2 1/2. I can't believe this. Seems like just yesterday I was up every hour in the middle of the night nursing that little curly, red-headed baby. Now, no more curls. No more red hair-it turned brown. But he still sucks his thumb and loves Elmo so...I'll take it.

I was feeling really nostalgic. In my mind, I was thinking..."I could do one more baby."
We took Cole to Lushberries-he wanted some "Gogut." We got him some yogurt, I'm feeding him and he's insisting standing in the chair. I look over and say, "Colie, sit down on your bottom," just as he takes a step backward and falls out of the chair. No catch with his arms, no knees hitting the concrete floor first to break the impact. No! That would be too convenient for me. He hits the floor face-first. I immediately pick him up and look at his mouth for bleeding and see half his tooth sitting on his lip. Perfect. This will be only the second time to have his tooth fixed, and actually, he chipped the one next to it months ago, but I decided it wasn't bad enough to take him back in. The kid isn't old enough to have had dental cleaning, but he will have made multiple trips for dental work. This...the week after Jackson had to have a filling. For the girl who used to work for a dental practice, I'm not doing very well with my own children.
I pick him up and hold and comfort him til he stops crying. He just kept saying, "My teef boaked." His little lips are swollen and bruised. He has a red bump on his head. I put him to sleep and close his door and think maybe God just wants this momma to have only two boys!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Last Month

I haven't been a very good 'blogger' over the last month. So funny now to think I thought I could blog every other day. What was I thinking? Truthfully, I really enjoy blogging. It feels like therapy to me to be able to type out my feelings or my stresses. It's a way of release for me.
My life feels out of balance lately. I've gotten into that old bad habit again of putting everyone and everything before myself. Ladies, please tell me I'm not alone in this! The bad part about doing this is that I become very unhappy. I'm not necessarily an "artsy" person but I do feel the need to be creative and have an outlet.
My children have been my preoccupation lately. I swear if I hear "But, why?," from Jack, or "What dat?," from Cole one more time today, I just might lose it. I tell Jon that on an average day I have 3-5 minutes at a time to try to get something done before I have to clean up a mess the boys created, break-up a fight, discipline, or answer a question. It's exhausting.
On top of this, there's a home to take care of, bills to pay, errands to run, groceries to be bought, and meals to cook. We're thinking of putting our house up for sale, so my mind is swimming with what needs to be done before it's put on the market. I remember I need to register the boys for Mother's Day Out next Monday, I need to re-pot that plant before it dies, write a thank-you note to my friend, plan my girlfriends baby shower, and give Sampson his medicine.
So, at the end of the day, I haven't eaten right, had even one glass of water, exercised, had time with God...or blogged. All of these things make me feel better and balanced. I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend when I take care of myself.
My question is...Why do we women feel guilty to put ourselves first? Why do I think laundry is more important than taking myself for a long walk? Why do I think bottled-in feelings can wait til a more 'convenient' time? Why do I think I can give my best to my children when I didn't talk to the Lord today?
I've started to think about what is next for me in this life. Who am I? What are my gifts? What does God want me to do with them for his glory? I've been thinking about what I want to do in the future. I realized a dream that's building inside me. I'm thinking about writing a book. Just a story of my life and my testimony. I don't expect anyone to read it, it's just something that I think would be fun. I would like my children to be able to look back someday and read my thoughts at certain points in my life and maybe understand where I was coming from. I'm just hoping that I make the time to begin it and follow through with it. I have a huge fear of failure and a fear of being judged. I'm scared to reveal my secrets and bare my soul. I've been thinking and praying about it a lot and I feel like it's something in the making.
So...I'm making the effort starting tomorrow morning to stop sacrificing myself to please others. Actually, it's not really even to please others because I know Jon doesn't care about a bed that's not made or dishes in the sink. He would love it if I took better care of myself and fed my soul because he loves me and he loves to see me happy. My children deserve to have a mother who is healthy and happy and balanced. I think it's more about meeting the irrational standards of perfection that I have set up for myself.
Please pray for me that this week I will spend more time on 'important' things...and this includes ME.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future."
-Jeremiah 29:11


I'm in a difficult season of my life right now...a season of waiting on God's timing. Of course, God's timing does not seem to be MY timing, so this has been a challenge for me. I'm kind of at a crossroads where I'm wondering, "What's next?"

There are some desires of my heart where I feel like God is not answering my prayers. Well, I guess he IS answering, it's just that his answer seems to be "Wait, Steph." And since that's not the answer I'm looking for, I feel like he's not listening. In my 27 years of life, patience is a 'fruit of the spirit' I have not mastered. If I'm being honest, I haven't mastered any of them, but some areas are more difficult for me than others. At nearly 28 years old, I don't know that I'm any better at this than I was at Jackson's age.

In waiting, I've been able to really consider some things that I think I want. I'm analyzing them every way I can. I'm doubting if this is really the best decision; if these things will or should really happen.

I look back at other times in my life where God said, "Not now." Really, when I look back, the waiting periods were so difficult, but I am so glad I waited. The payoff was awesome. Even times where God said, "No, Steph-not this one, not now," he has always provided something later...something better than what I thought I wanted at that time. I trust God to take care of me, I trust that he knows the desires of my heart and wants to give them to me. The hard part is just enduring this time between.

"But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
-Romans 8:24b-25