Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What We Did in Texas

Our trip to Texas was wonderful.  Just the right amount of play and rest.  

Jack didn't sleep very well at night, but he's making up for it now, that's for sure!!  Yesterday he was only up for an hour between 8:30 and noon.  

We were visiting Andy's mom and grandparents.  His mom was so generous and had planned a whole adventure for us.  We went to SeaWorld and Six Flags.  At Six Flags she took Jack and Andy and I got to ride all the adult rides.  We did take a break to put Jack on his first amusement park ride.  He LOVED it!

We ate good food, visited one of my cousins and her family and enjoyed warmer weather than we get at home.  

Take a look:
Here's Jack eating his birthday lemon.  
We spent his actual birthday on an airplane and didn't give him a cupcake.
I think he liked the lemon as much as he would have liked the sweets.
And don't worry.  His great grandparents showed up with a cake at the hotel.
And we'll have a party for him... eventually...

This is my favorite picture from our trip.  Doesn't Jack just look so amazed?!
This was on a tour boat of the river walk in San Antonio.

Andy and Jack playing at Sea World.  This was Jack's favorite part, though we didn't discover it until we were on our way out.
He also sat wonderfully through the shows and grooved to the loud music.  

This was his favorite part of Six Flags.  Before we left we let him crawl all around the water park.  I had a blast watching Andy chase him and get caught by the spontaneously squirting water. 

It really was a lovely week.  But now I have to deal with the aftermath.  I'm sitting here in my gym clothes, trying to convince myself that I will actually enjoy the gym once I get there.  My lame attempts at self-peptalks are failing me this morning.  I just want to sit at home and cuddle my boy and enjoy a morning of nothing to do.  

It might also have something to do with the fact that I went last night and Jack was so tired/travel-confused that I only had run about five minutes before the childcare staff had to come get me because Jack was hysterical.  


But, since I'm already dressed for it, I suppose I might as well just go.

One... two... three... 




Nope, I still really don't want to... but I guess it is good to do things we don't want to do once in a while, eh?

I'll spare you the rest of my lamenting.  Hope your day is full of more motivation than mine!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Jack Was Doing

Here is what Jack has been doing while I wrote that last post:

I handed him a whole stack of post-it-notes and he took it all apart.

When it was all in pieces he started filling up his "gumball machine" with the individual squares of paper.

When that was full he pulled out a basket from the desk and filled it up.
Oh the things that entertain a one-year old.  
Oh the waste and mess I encourage all for a few minutes to play.

And, because I am showing you pictures, I will show you two moments from our weekend:

Story time with mama.

Snuggle time with dad.

Sweet life. 

Now to packing.

Ta ta!

Spoken To

Yesterday, after a day of trying to reconcile my emotions to truth, I walked into church and was handed this note by a sweet friend:

"Emily, there are dreams and visions in your heart, put there by God himself.  Write them down and continue to trust the God that will complete the amazing stuff he has begun in you."

Accompanying the card was a pocket-sized notebook with "ideas... can change the world" on the cover. 

Immediately tears started to roll down my cheeks.  My sweet friend came over for a hug and told me how the gift came about.  As she escaped to Starbucks between services (she's an employee at our church and Sundays are super busy for her) for some quiet time, she saw the notebook and "just knew" she had to get it for me.  In her words, it was one of those "Holy Spirit Moments." She felt silly, but did it anyway.

I can not tell you how amazing it was to be reminded that God cares for me.  For the teeny, tiny details of my life.  

While I love motherhood, it has changed the way I dream.  Where I used to see endless possibility, I for some reason now see roadblocks and insignificance. I struggle daily to see my activities as worship, not as worthless. 

I get trapped in the smallness of my life and forget that God sees so much further than today.  

More significantly than that.  I think I also forget that God CARES.  But he does!  He sees me, he remembers me.  He is responsible for those dreams that I keep tucked away.  And, if I were very, very honest, I might say that he doesn't even want them to be tucked away, that some of them are for now, and I am just too afraid to believe that. 

In October I wrote this.  It is still fresh in my life.  I still need to remember these truths.  

My prayer for us - as women, as wives, as mothers, as lovers of Jesus - is that we would see what God is doing.  That we would see beauty, in ourselves and around us.  That we would be courageous and know truth.  That the world would be changed because of women who believe God's promises.  

I hope that today you are encouraged and that you allow yourself to be reminded of God's care.  The small things matter.  You matter. 

Peace and Joy to you friends.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Put Another Notch In My Lipstick Case

Well, my baby is walking hither and yon. Just four days before the big oh-one, and I have a toddler.  

We finally installed baby-proofing latches on our cupboards.  I say we, but you all know that I mean Andy, my handy man.  I am so, so grateful for that.  

Jack really loves garbage cans.  The bathroom one is right at his level and you can often find my with my foot on top of the lid, curling my hair and keeping him from pulling out yucky items from the trash receptacle.  

He also loves the kitchen garbage. 

Yesterday was not really a very good day.

Can I just confess that I've been a wee bit grumpy-overwhelmed-feeling like a failure-frustrated-and several other kinds of yucky this week?

I'm getting a hair cut tonight, so maybe that will help.  

But anyway, yesterday.

I got a call on Tuesday from a friend.  She said that a woman at our church, a mother of SEVEN, was in the hospital with kidney stones.  Yuck!  She asked if I could make some dinner and bring it over.

I said sure and immediately tried to think of what I could make, on a budget, to feed such a big family!  I was not very creative, but I figured it was okay. Food is food, and it is so much nicer when someone makes it for you, even if it isn't fancy.

So I went with the standard pasta dishes.  I got two big disposable foil pans and made one of white-sauce and meatballs, and one of a chicken parmesan.  Throw in a couple of bags of salad, a loaf of garlic bread, and I thought it was looking under control.  I put everything in a big box and, feeling virtuous, headed down the stairs to load it in the car.


I was walking the box down the stairs and wouldn't you know, the bottom fell right out of the box.  Guess what else fell out of the box.  Everything.


Pasta, salads, bread, and the sparkling cider that I threw in for mum and dad.  

Okay, so everything scattered on the stairs.  That was bad.  Add a crying child shaking the baby gate while I survey the damage.  Then add me stepping over the child to get new bags and paper towels.  Then add the crying child, giving up on crying and crawling over the pre-baby-proofed garbage, opening the cupboard and pulling out remnants of lunch and breakfast and who knows what. 

It was one of those slow motion moments.  A cherry on top of a yucky sunday.  I moment that you both laugh and cry because it is so ridiculous and so frustrating.  The proverbial straw.

But it didn't break my back.  

Because you know what, none of the pasta escaped the tins.  The lids broke and the pans got a little mangled and a teeny bit of red sauce splashed over the edge.  But all the food was still in tact.  And the cider bottle didn't burst!  And garbage on the floor is just garbage on the floor. 

So I sucked up the tears and put everything back in the best presentation that I could and made the trek to drop of the meal.

I apologized for the mangled tins, but you know, they didn't even mind.  All was well.

I still cried on the way home, because you know, sometimes you just need to cry.  But I made it and I helped someone else, and my cabinets are proofed and now it is just a story to tell and a lesson learned.

I really don't care for weeks when I feel so frazzled and worn, but I'm learning that they come and go.  I made it through this one.  I'll make it through others.  And on the horizon is a trip to a sunny destination, free babysitting,  roller coaster riding and maybe even a massage. 


Excuse me while I close my eyes for a moment and dream... sigh.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did That Really Just Happen?

Title option two: "Another Poop Story"

Okay, let me preface this story by saying, if you are not a mom yet, get ready now.  It is a really, really gross job some times.  Babies are messy, and when they get bigger they are loud.  And they find every single little thing that you think is safely hidden away.

Case in point:

Jack's new favorite drawer to open happens to be the one where I, up to this point, have stashed all my feminine products.  As well as any miscellaneous lotions or what have you.  Now, every day Jack opens the drawer, pulls out every panty liner and tampon until he finds the pregnancy test that is left over from the last multipack I bought.  

Let me reiterate, I am not intending to be pregnant, but you married ladies know that "scares" happen and if you are going to buy one, you might as well get three since you'll most likely "want to be sure" again a few months down the road anyway.  

Now would also be a good time to tell you about the time ... no, never mind... that is too embarrassing.

Anyway, today I have this sweet boy in my house too:

For those of you who haven't met this handsome man, he's my nephew Dane.  He comes over about once a week to hang with me and Jack while his mom and dad are at work. 

I don't know if it just how babies work or what, but Dane immediately found the very same drawer that Jack has been pillaging the last week and he not only dug around in it, he removed EVERY SINGLE ITEM and stacked it neatly on the table.  Resting each new find, carefully on top of the previously removed item.  

His only hesitation was when he came to good ol' EPT, he also seemed to find it especially interesting and carried it around a while before giving it a home in his pile.

But that is not what "happened."

I'm sure you all remember my joyous celebration of New Years.

This is installment two of my experiences with poo.

Today, Jack was stinking it up, so I pulled him over to me and went through the usual routine of changing him.  Diaper?  Check!  Wipes?  Check!  Good to go.  Let the games begin!

What started as a routine operation soon became slightly more difficult when Sweet Dane crawled into my lap to see what was happening.  

In an awkward moment, Dane's foot ended up in the open (and very messy) diaper.  I snatched it out, but not before he swung it wildly all over the carpet.  





How do these things happen? 
Once again, I am cleaning excrement from my carpets.  

I'm pretty sure I DID NOT sign up for this part of parenthood.

Premommies, you have been warned. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gym Fail

I just got back home from my most lame gym visit ever.

Last night I coordinated with a friend and we both agreed to meet at the gym this morning. Usually I forego Fridays because I have my neighbor's baby who is younger than Jack.  Getting two non-walkers out of the house at the same time is just a whole lot of work.

Side note:
How do mums of two kids do it?
I get it when they are like three
and up, but what about
those moms who have their
babies two years apart?
I guess I will just have to wait and see
how its done when my time comes.
And for extreme clarification,
this side-note has not been an announcement.
When I posted this mystery surrounding 
Baby Broccoli,
a close friend of mine sent me an excited text
asking if my surprise was that
I was going to tell Andy I was pregnant.
So now, I feel paranoid about any comments
that could potentially be interpreted as
"I'm pregnant!"
I'm not. 

But I decided that even if it was a whole lot of work, I would feel so glad that I got there and snuck in a run.  I wish I could say it was an extra run for the week, but alas, it is not so, this week was lots of...well... lots of not going to the gym, that's for sure!

So I fed and packed up both babes and made it successfully to the car.  I was feeling quite smug and optimistic about the day. I was running on time, which is pretty much a miracle, and I remembered everything.  

The drama started when I arrived at the child watch center at the gym.  Mind you, this will not sound in the least bit troublesome to you, especially if you don't have kids, but for some reason, the combination of all the following just blackened my mood.

I'm still trying to rub away the scowl that has settled on my eyebrows from it.

First: There were too many babies (you know that whole ratio thing) and I had to wait 15 minutes to drop one baby off.

Second: I got a little hand slap (figuratively people... and kindly... but it was still embarrassing) for bringing in a baby who was not a member.  I can have up to five kids on my membership so I assumed it would be okay, only it wasn't.  They still let the extra baby in, and still smiled at me, but I felt so stupid.

Third: There were no treadmills open when I finally dropped off both wee ones.

Fourth: I don't really like ellipticals

Fifth: I got on one anyway and thought I would just stay busy until a treadmill opened up. One did just a few minutes later and I jumped at it.  But before I even got situated another woman came up and said she had been waiting for it (okay, my gym just got fancy new equipment and the last few times I've been the sign-up sheets have been a mystery, so I just assumed they were still not in order and it was first come first serve.  They aren't.).  Hand slap #2.

Sixth:  I took the walk of shame back to my elliptical.  As I was getting situated my ipod some how flew away from me and my machine and I had to take a second walk of shame to retrieve it from the middle of the floor.  Boy do I  know how to cause a scene!

Seventh: Two treadmills opened up about 15 minutes later and I waited a few minutes to see if they would be claimed.  I got off my machine and SIGNED UP and then hopped on.  About half a mile into my run I realized that in my rush I forgot to wipe down my other machine.  Rude.  I felt like everyone was just watching me and scorning me for my bad gym manners.  

Eighth:  I don't really like the word eighth.  It looks weird and I feel like I have a lisp when I try and say it.

Ninth: In the weights circuit I got stuck behind a very, very smelly man.  Perhaps it was my punishment for my bad manners.

Tenth: I quit early.  I wasn't in the mood.  So I picked up my boys and headed to Starbucks for some caffeine and then home for some lunch.

That is the end of my pathetic attempt at a Friday workout.  I don't think I'll bother next week.  

But here is the thing. 

Why did it faze me so much?  Why did it make my outlook so bleak?

I don't want to be that controlled by external happenings.  But some days I just am.  

Did I not get enough sleep?  Did I get my caffeine too late in the day?  Was I mentally weakened by the revolt being staged by my face that has resulted in an unattractive complexion? 

Who knows.

What I do know is that "This is the day the Lord has made."  Regardless of hand-slaps  or embarrassment or "waking up on the wrong side of the bed," I need to learn to rejoice.

I firmly believe that Jesus wants me to live joyfully.  Joy is fruit in my life that grows when I am in community with my God.  

Today, weeds of frustration and irritability started to take root around my precious joy.  I want to be proactive to rip them out before they affect the growth of the fruit that I crave.  

So I put on my gardening gloves and start pulling.  All the way down to the roots.  As I pull, I remember that this day is just as important to God's creative plan as yesterday, and as tomorrow.  I want to live it the way He intends.  I have no way of knowing what work He is doing in me as I choose to sacrifice the weeds and nourish the fruit. 

This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Well, it is snowing again today.  I part love the novelty of it, I part wrinkle my nose in distaste at the disruption it causes to my out-and-aboutness.

On Friday I almost rescued a stray dog, but didn't. 

I get so mad at myself when I forget to velcro bibs together before putting them in the wash.  Inevitably they latch onto one of my favorite pieces of clothing and leave an unsightly "fuzzy" spot. 

Jack and Dane are entertaining themselves quietly and happy right now.  It is a first and I LOVE IT!!

Despite the snow I am in Spring Mode, including the need to clean (not that I have done it yet) and organize (ditto).  I am in the market for two large bookshelves if you are clearing any out of your home. 

Happy Birthday dad!

I'm thinking of growing my hair out a bit.  I really want a perm.  Is that crazy?

My new deodorant smells REALLY good. 

I already ate lunch but I want to eat a second lunch.  Or maybe I just had elevenses and it really is time for lunch. 

I'm ready for an international trip. 

Texas will tide me over. 

I need to update my wall calendar for this week.

Tomorrow I have to swim again.

Oh yeah!  I got a core ball yesterday, I should blow it up and let the boys play with it!

Do you know a woman, in person, who has awesome abs?  Is it just a myth?  Do they really exist? 

I need to cook my red chard but don't know how.

Debbie Myers produce bags really work.

My lips are chapped.

I'm sorry that today is not Tuesday.  


Ooops, looks/sounds like independent play time is over. 

Gotta go. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Lately I've really been craving to have my own vegetable garden. 

I'm not sure why, since I have abhorred all my previous experiences weeding and doing any other sort of yard work. And I detest the feeling of having grit under my fingernails and tucked behind my cuticles. 

But nevertheless, I want to grow something.

Ellery has been very interested in growing things lately too.

Since we live in a condo, there is really no plot of earth to claim as my own.  But my mom volunteered a space in her back yard.  

Yesterday, although it was quite chilly, it was clear, so Ellery and I went out to dig up the weeds and pick out the rocks that were in the bed.

The whole thing was pretty much as un-fun as I always imagined gardening, but not quite.  I guess more unproductive than un-fun.  It was more just a big silly show.

Ellery was very excited to help and kept asking me what we were going to put in there and what her job would be.  When we were picking out weeds she asked me why we were taking them out and we had a long talk about why we get rid of weeds.

I made everything up, but it worked for her.

She took to calling the weeds, "The evil guys," and saying, "Take that!" when she pulled them out.  (I told her the weeds stole all the food from the plants that we wanted to grow, so I think that is where the "evil" came from.)

After about 20 minutes I was thwarted.  The wheelbarrow had a flat tire and the place I had been directed to move the dirt was, upon further consideration, deemed unacceptable. 

So, with cold fingers and a disappointed little sister I went inside.

But, never fear!  Dad to the rescue!  

Let it be known, that I might possibly have the most gentle and kind dad ever known to a girl.  

Even though he was feeling a bit under the weather (more than a bit I surmise) he went right out to the patch of weeds and cleared everything away!  Everything!

So now I have freshly cleared plot to plant my carrots and strawberries and herbs.  

Ellery and I are going to have a blast this spring!

While that was sweet, it gets sweeter still!

Now friends, I'm not sure if you are prepared for this...

I wish you could have seen it...

Andy planned to meet us at my parent's house after work and some errands.  After the gardening, Ellery and I were coloring pictures and my mom was playing with Jack.

We heard Andy coming up the porch stairs and all looked up, eager to see him.

Do you know what that boy did?  He walked in with three single stem flowers.  He presented a white carnation to my mom, a pink one to Ellery and a red one for me.  

Ladies, you would not believe the smile on Ellery's face.  She just GLOWED!

She kept saying, "My very own rose!" 

My mom and I put ours in a vase, but Ellery carried hers around for several minutes, periodically smelling it and smiling. 

On the pictures we had been drawing earlier, I had put a pink flower.  Ellery looked at it and said, "and that can be my rose."

So, Ellery has received her first flower from a boy. 

Cheers to the sweet men in my life, Andy and Daddy!  Thanks boys for loving your ladies so well! 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just Go With It

I have "Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk" stuck in my head.

Yes it is on my ipod gym mix.

Along with three songs from the "Lizzie McGuire Movie" soundtrack.

Now you know my shame.

I have no explanation.

But what is going to be even more embarrassing is showing my complete incompetence at swimming laps tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow I launch the swim training phase of my triathlon endeavor. I think the last time I swam (swum?) any distance was all the way back in high school.  I mean, I've been in a pool since then, but mostly in a stationary sense or in a sliding sense.

So tomorrow I am going to step into the pool with my bright pink tankini with the great big floral print.  I will also be wearing this:

This is what it looks like on:

This is what avocado looks like on, but that is beside the point. 

I figured I might as well embrace the absolute awkwardness of trying to learn to swim laps under the watchful eye of a teenage pool guard. Go all out right? What is more all out than head to toe fuscia flowers? 

So friends, wish me luck.  My only goal tomorrow is to swim more than two laps without hyperventilating and to keep my face from matching my swim cap.  

I'm not sure that I will succeed, on either account.  

Hold onto your seats people, the crazy woman with the petal-head is on the move!