Tales from a Christ-follower, wife, mommy, daughter, friend, runner, cook, reader, maid, volunteer, and seeker of the lost art of sleep.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beach highlights/camping edict

A couple of weeks ago, we decided rather last-minute-ish to head to Orange Beach for a few nights. J had a conference Sunday - Wednesday, so we thought it would be "fun" to take the boys down on Saturday to spend the day on the beach, camp out that night and then head to the resort on Sunday to spend the night, and then the boys and I would come home on Monday. In the heat of the moment, I seem to have forgotten one VERY important thing we learned at our marriage conference a few months ago: go ahead and call family camping trips what they are: planned disasters that you'll enjoy laughing at (later) for years to come.

I think this trip qualifies.

We weren't even out of town yet, and we realized several things:
1. Two year olds can take Zyrtec (allergies show no mercy).
2. The DMV does NOT send reminders about licenses expiring (don't worry, I discovered Jason's September - LAST September, 8th to be exact - expiration date before the law could get involved.) Jason was the proud winner of a weekend chauffeur (which is code for, "I had to drive all weekend").
3. While Dramamine can be dissolved in juice, you canNOT make a 2-year old drink said juice.
4. It's possible to squeeze a 4-hour car ride into 6.

And a few other highlights:
1. Will hates camping. Either that, or he hates having thrush, which, unbeknownst to me, he had. As the old adage goes, "hindsight is 20/20." Usually to keep him from crying in the night, I just have to nurse him...and every time I tried while camping, he just screamed louder. I took him to the doctor the following Tuesday (I was sure the screaming was due to an ear infection) and was enlightened to the truth...which, of course, explained everything.
2. Be nice to everyone. In one 1-hour period, we helped jump-start a car, lent a diaper, had someone get Jack's fishing pole cut out of the wrapping, and ran into my old supervisor from Surfside Water Park...who lives in California now but happened to be parking at the same public beach access as us - he was there for pictures for his sister's wedding. What are the odds?! Oh, and to make the story even better, his name is Chuck Berry. Seriously. Awesome.
3. Two year olds might refuse to carry their own shoes and sippy cups, but when sand toys and fishing poles are involved, their arms are more than capable and willing.
4. Restaurants serve you faster when you have 2 fussy babies along.
5. Sippy cups dropped from the 5th floor balcony that land in the top of a palm tree CAN be retrieved, provided that you have the proper pool equipment.
6. Given a determined (and exhausted) mommy (and a 2-year old who drank the juice with dramamine), a car ride that took 6 hours 2 days previous can, indeed, be done in 4 hours.

And lessons learned from 2 camping attempts:
I will NOT go camping with my children until they are all over the age of 2, sleeping soundly through the night for at least 1 year, and all in good health. The outside evening temperature must above 55 but below 73, with less than a 40% chance of rain. Having friends along and a cool breeze would be nice, but are negotiable. Neighboring tents (and their dogs) must be a minimum of 50 yards away, and there must be a nearby hotel that is reasonably priced and not at 100% capacity at time of camping attempt.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Those of you who know me well know that I have more running shoes in my closet than I have dress shoes/heels/girly shoes...and there's a pretty good chance my number of flip-flops beats out the number of running shoes. And while I am learning (just a few years late) how to be fashionable from head to toe, I've just always preferred function over form. So, to say that Jack comes by it honestly is an understatement! Which explains the following...

The other day, Gigi took our little family out to lunch. While there, she mentioned that she just bought some new tennis shoes. Jack thought about it for a minute, and then informed us that HE needs some new tennis shoes. Knowing that we had just gotten Jack some New Balances a couple of weeks ago, Gigi informed him that he doesn't need new tennis shoes; he has some! Very quickly Jack replied, "These aren't TENNIS shoes, Gigi. They are RUNNIN' shoes. I need tennis shoes." Smart kid...he knows the right tree to bark up to get new things. Ha!

Jack currently has 2 pairs of shoes: his "campin' shoes" (Keen sandals) and his runnin' shoes. If anyone is getting married anytime soon, don't worry - we'll go with the New Balances (they are MUCH nicer). :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

bears repeating (and recording)

So, I posted this on Facebook, but I want it in this reliable keeping place. :)

Saturday morning, Jack pointed and said, "What's that, Mommy?" I responded,"That's called an ottoman, Jack. It's where you can prop your feet up." Jack's response? "Oh, just like a friend."

Dear Jack's friends,
I'm sorry.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Sunday. (not for the weak of stomach)

Jack throws up. A lot. I'd say at least once a month, he's tossing his cookies...no warning, no hints, just all of the sudden here it is. If we're lucky, he's outside or on the hardwood floors. We've learned how to quickly disassemble his carseat, how to get the stink out of the couch, and even been given the tip of having a couple of layers of bottom sheets and mattress protectors to make bedtime hurls easier to clean up. However, I'd say the biggest inconvenience of it all is the "waiting game" for the few hours after each episode to ensure it's just Jack being Jack and not a stomach bug...like the one passing through Auburn the past few weeks.

Well, Easter Sunday rolled around and our church had five identical services for Easter. Adopting the motto, "Attend one, serve one," J and I decided to attend the 8 am and serve the 9:30. We weren't sure exactly what areas we would serve in (SOOO thankful J wasn't in the band all day!), but decided we would just show up, knowing there would probably be holes to fill.
To get to church by 8:00, we knew we had to shoot for leaving the house by 7:30 to hopefully be out by 7:40. Wellllllll, I was feeding Bebe quickly before putting him in his carseat when I heard "the sound" coming from the kitchen. Within 7 seconds, I had thought through the morning and knew J was ready to walk out the door, Bebe was ready to be loaded up, and Jack and I were going to be going NO WHERE, at least for a few hours. J and Will went to the 8 am service and I got to attend the 11:15 with my friend A...we decided not to risk it with Jack, especially since we knew the nursery would be crowded.
We had a wonderful afternoon outside in the back yard as a family - I'm SO thankful for the temperature being in the upper 70s this early in the Spring! Our dog Maddie has been TERRIBLY neglected since we had children, so I know she was happy to have us back there with her.

At 4 pm, there was a baptism service at the church. An incredible guy from our small group had made the decision to be baptized...and what's even more awesomer* is that Brandon, our co-leader of our small group, was the one who got to baptize him! J and I were so excited about being a part of the special service. We knew there wouldn't be nursery provided for it, but also figured it wouldn't be a big deal to keep the kids with us. After that, I was supposed to help with Highland Kids at the 7 pm service, but they had WAY over-staffed that area, so I got to end my day grabbing snowbiz with 2 of the coolest chicks I know - love me some Thomas girls! :)

All in all, I say it was a great day! I wish Jack could keep his food in his tummy, that Will's collar would have laid down better and that J and I could have attended worship together. But I LOVE Jesus. And that even though our church does an incredible job of weekly acknowledging the hugeness of the cross, I love that the world takes a few hours to do so, as well. As my friend Taylor's husband sings, "My God's not dead. He's surely alive! And He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion." So thankful.

*My post = my grammar. :)


With Christmas, we were SO intentional about talking to Jack about why we were celebrating ...you know, keeping the "Main Thing" the main thing. After talking about it for awhile and conferring with friends who also have young children, we decided it was good to help our kids realize that Christmas is actually one time of the year that's NOT about them. And as a part of that, J and I have decided to be upfront with our children about Santa (Easter Bunny, etc.) not being real, but how it's fun to pretend that they are (my apologies to anyone who is just finding out this truth). :) Following the example of Christ, we want Christmas to be about us giving as a family, and hopefully maybe even be able to do mission trips some during Christmas when the children are a little older.

Anyway, I realized the Tuesday before Easter that we had done NOTHING to introduce Jack to the idea of Easter - which isn't a small task. How do you explain life, death, resurrection and eternal life to a 2-year old? Short answer: for the most part, you don't. However, I also realized that he HAD learned about Easter eggs at school since they were going to have an Easter egg hunt the following Thursday...and we definitely wanted him to know that there was more to it than just eggs and candy! After heading to the local Christian bookstore, I found a couple of little books to help explain it all.

After reading one of them (over and over and over...), Jack is now walking around saying,"What the angel say? Angel say, 'Don't be afraind! (Jack's version of "afraid") Don't cry! Jesus IS ALIVE!'" And he wraps up his monologue with a,"And what Jesus say? Jesus say, 'I LOVE you! Tell E'erbody!'".

Not a bad start to Jack "getting" it, I reckon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just needs recording...

There's a chance that no one cares about the following notes except my mom and me, so please feel free to totally skip this post...again, this blog was created so that in 20 years I can remember the (occasionally not-so-)cuteness. :)

When Jack started preschool, I'm pretty sure they spent the first day teaching him how to pull his sleeves up (with a possible side-lesson of handwashing). All I know is that since January, all of his long-sleeve shirts have cuffs with ruined elastic in them. Well, shortly after all that started, his Gigi got him some jammies that have a short-sleeved shirt - he LOOOOVES them. And now that it is short-sleeved shirt weather, getting him dressed every morning is going MUCH more smoothly. I guess with all the jumping and running that he does in a 24-hour period, he was probably getting pretty toasty. On a side note, I've decided that I'm going to follow Jack with a video camera for a couple of days and then sell it as a work-out video...I could make millions and rid America of its obesity problem.

Speaking of Jack running and jumping, I can tell that Will THINKS he is big like his brother. Today, Jack was playing his drum (thanks SOOO much for the drumsticks, Gigi*) and dancing and singing. Every time he would start singing, Will would start bouncing in my lap and trying to wiggle to get down. And every time Jack stopped (presumably to breathe occasionally?), Will stopped, too. I think it's just a matter of time before Will joins the band, though - he is officially an independent sitter now!
To top it off, we're figuring out that Will can't sit in our lap while we are eating or drinking ANYthing due to his desire to take ownership of our food/drinks...I just don't remember Jack ever doing that. However, I think we are being MUCH more lenient with what we're willing to let him try than we ever were with Jack (example: Will apparently loves Mellow Mushroom...at least their crust!).

(*Anyone interested in a pair of drumsticks with a little bit of life left in them? They are free and available to a good, loving, too-quiet home!)

NOT Cute:
Jack likes to suck on food. Or at least that's the only reason that I can come up with for him NOT swallowing his food. The other night, he chewed (that's not accurate; he stuck inside his lip like it was chewing tobacco!) the same bite of chicken for THREE HOURS.

GROSS. I told him that by that point, he wouldn't even have to chew it to get it to go down! Last night, it started out being a piece of pork chop that sat in his mouth for awhile, but we enticed him into swallowing that by offering him some "salad" (code for Jack getting to dip lettuce in a little dressing, only to have him suck the dressing off and dip the same piece of lettuce back in the dressing). I give up. Thanks to some wise advice from some friends that have gone down this path before us, from now on he WILL be spitting out the food if it stays in his mouth for more than a couple of minutes...control has to be maintained somehow! :) I'm just thankful that he is willing to eat lettuce at all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tales from the Schoolyard...

When I picked Jack up from school on Tuesday, Ms. C wanted to know where Jack learned to sucker-punch...turns out he had punched a kid named Drew in his class. And not just an, "oops, my fist must of slipped," but she said he even had his fists up like Rocky, looking for a fight. She assured me that it wasn't out of frustration or anger, but he was having a great time looking for a rousing game of punch-you-in-the-face. I am STILL trying to figure out where he learned to do that; I do not want to be the parent of "THAT kid" in school. We have been teaching him that he is a warrior (for Jesus!) and he and J wrestle every now and then, but never with fists up in the air like that, and we tell him over and over that he ONLY hits daddy. Should I be concerned?!

Oh! And to make the story even worse, turns out the kid he punched was a GIRL (who names a little girl DREW?). Ay carumba.

On a lighter note...all during Spring Break, Jack kept talking about Taylor from school. Wanting to know more about this new bff, I started asking questions (and then remembered that Jack is 2, which means he only asks questions, not answers them). However, I ran across a picture of his class that I took a couple of weeks ago and I asked him to point Taylor out. Without hesitation, he pointed to a precious little girl. Hmm. I decided to ask the obvious. "Jack, is Taylor a girl?" His response (mingled with TONS of giggles): "NO, Mommy! Taylor's a BOY!" After asking several times and getting the same response, I had no choice but to laugh and move on.
Well, when I told Jason about it later, he assured me that Jack's just too young to know the difference between boys and girls...so, I tested him. Jack definitely knows what gender family members belong to (Jason's defense was that he has seen us all naked - ha!). I decided I just had to wait to ask Ms. C when Jack went back to school the next week. Turns out, Jack definitely had been pointing to the right kid in the picture and Taylor IS a girl. Poor Jack. He is standing by his claim that little Miss Taylor is a boy, though. But I can see why he likes her! This morning at his class's little Easter chapel/egg hunt/party, she came right up to him in the sand box, handed him a shovel and scoop and helped him (wordlessly) fill up a dump truck. Jack's kind of girl.