Thursday, December 31, 2009


It's finally happening. Michael and I have been looking forward to the day Bennett and Jasper would start playing together with great anticipation. And though it may not seem like a big deal to most, it was THRILLING to both of us today when Bennett fed his brother some Cheerios, then they played a little game of "chase" (Bennett did the running around, Jasper did the crawling and chasing). Both of them were laughing and giggling as Bennett darted back and forth and all around and Jasper worked to keep up.

Their relationship, even this early on, is yet another blessing the Lord has bestowed on us. Bennett ADORES his baby brother and is very protective of him. He loves showering him with kisses and tickling him and blowing on his tummy after diaper changes. And he LOVES their bath time together. Jasper will lean and stretch and squeal at his big brother until I put him down to play and get in the mix of whatever Bennett is up to. He thinks everything Bennett does is hilarious and giggles until he gets the hiccups.

Thank you, God for orchestrating our boys and our family so perfectly.


This Christmas was really special for our family. Bennett is at the age now where we can really talk about the meaning of it all. He LOVES birthdays - he doesn't care whose it is, as long as he gets to celebrate, too. So when we explained that Christmas is such a big deal because it's Jesus' birthday, he thought that was pretty cool. I learn so much about having a child-like faith from my little buddy. It's like he's known Jesus all his life and they're best buds. The way he talks about him, prays to him (and for him, which is also precious to listen to), and the way he got so excited for him because it was his birthday. He asked if Jesus was going to have cake on his birthday. hee :)

Along with this, due to several different circumstances and situations, God granted me the opportunity to see just how blessed I am to have my little boy. There are times when his daddy and I are pretty hard on him, trying to teach him how to love others, respect adults, be kind and compassionate, obey, etc. We love him to pieces and we have a LOT of fun in our house, but there have been many times over the past few months that I've felt really frustrated about our rate of success with his learning curve discipline-wise.

But this holiday season, Michael and I both often found ourselves with our mouths hanging open, or huge grins on our faces, because in stressful, difficult situations, our son knows how to behave, how to be a blessing to others, and how to love others. For the first time since entering the season of difficulty that is the twos and threes with an active, passionate little boy, WE felt blessed by HIM. We spent an entire week feeling lucky and blessed and chosen to be his parents. It was a humbling experience. There were many times we felt the same way about Jasper, but those times happen fairly regularly since he's still a cute, cuddly, quiet little baby.

It was wonderful to realize that we're doing a pretty good job raising our oldest, and watching some of the fruits of our labor. And naturally, the way God made him, our Benito is such a joyful, happy, loving little boy, and that's a blessing and example to watch, too.

I'm honestly not trying to brag or toot our horns, but I want to praise Bennett and honor him where it's due, and I want to be able to look back and remember how the sun broke through the clouds during the training years, when I get to do it all over again with Jasper and any other kiddos the good Lord may bless us with.

As soon as we get them downloaded, I'll add our Christmas pictures to the bottom of this post.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Pictures of Christmas are coming...eventually.

But until then, it's that time again. For New Year's Resolutions. No, I'm not too cool for them. Yes, I actually try to do them. Yes, I get inspired and all worked up every time the New Year rolls around, and I make no apologies for this. So without further ado, here are my resolutions, with no particular order, and no particular amount - just what I deem important and what I'm wanting to accomplish this year.

1. Finish my book and attempt to have it published.

2. Lose 10 lbs. (I know this is cliche and overrated, but I tend to meet my weight goals, so there it is).

3. Read three biographies.

4. Run a 5K.

5. Get more of a schedule going with my boys and my home.

6. Find a bible study/devotional routine that works for me.

7. Save enough money to completely makeover what will be my boys' shared room.

8. Find an area to serve in consistently.

9. Love Michael better.

10.Write one encouraging letter each month.

And there they are in all their glory and splendor: My New Year's Resolutions.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I HIGHLY recommend this site (, ESPECIALLY if you've got an organized Type-A personality like I do. It's a lot like weight watchers, from what I understand. I've been trying it out for the past week, and it's really been great. I've been able to record and track my food intake, exercise, calories burned, goals, etc. Not sure how long I'll stick with it - it's somewhat tedious, even though the accountability is great. I'll keep my progress posted here.

My good friend let me know about the website, and I'd had no idea such a thing existed. So there you go!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Before I had kiddos, I loved, and only loved, the winter. There wasn't much about it I didn't like, and compared to the heat and sweat of the summer, winter has always come out on top. But kids and the different perspective on life that comes with that has changed things a bit. I still like winter, but my favorite season is fall. I was thinking yesterday about all the things I like and DON'T like about wintertime. So here it is, without further ado...

Things I Like:

*wool mittens
*wearing fleece pajamas and cushy house shoes at home
*white hot chocolate from Starbucks
*breathing clouds in the air
*hot soup or chili on cold nights
*being cuddled up warm under the covers in bed, knowing it's cold everywhere else in the house
*hot showers
*curling up with a good book by a lit fire
*cute sweaters
*super-comfy sweatshirts
*not sweating
*the Christmas season
*adorable pictures of my babies all bundled up
*the possibility of playing in the snow
*seeing all of our family
*the decorations and music
*delicious food
*fun Christmas parties

Things I'm not so fond of:

*static in my hair
*taking ten extra minutes to get everybody out the door with all their layers on
*sick babies :(
*flu season
*doctor visits
*runny noses
*chapped faces (BIG problem this year)
*iced over windshields
*traveling long distances in the car with the kids
*fruit cakes
*a perpetually cold nose and toes
*delicious food
*awkward Christmas parties

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am PUMPED. I joined a writer's guild on-line to improve my writing skills and gain some experience for the possible future attempt at having my book published (current update: I've written 130 pages, and it's looking like it'll be around 280-300 pages when I'm all finished).

So this particular group has a writing contest every week where you submit a short story, essay or poem between 150-750 words long. It's split up into four writing levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Masters. If you've never been published, haven't entered contests, or haven't experienced the professional arena, you enter in at the Beginner level to start. To progress, you have to place in the top three of your level in any given week. So I entered for the first time this week, and tonight, out of 51 entries for my level...I found out that my story ranked third place!! I was SO excited. It was like an affirmation that I can actually write, that it's not all in my head. And after only one time of entering, I get to move up to the Intermediate level. I was beside myself when I saw my name and the title of my story posted; I almost wet my pants.

This particular guild and contest are really awesome because other members read your story and write comments and feedback. And since I placed, all they have to do is click on a link to see my story, rather than sort through a big generic stack. Sweet Mama!

The weekly contest is taking a break over the holidays, but will start up again in January. I'm excited to see how that goes :)

In the meantime, I'll keep punching out my book - the entire plot is up in my head and outlined on paper. It's just a matter of writing it all out and editing it to my satisfaction. When I'm finished (which I hope to be by the summer, maybe sooner, but doubtful with taking care of my boys - the definite priority), I'm planning on building a portfolio and getting the book copyrighted, then submitting the first few chapters to different literary agents. Whoa, Nelly! We'll see...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


It's happened. My baby boy is three. I didn't mind him turning one so much, or even two - but three?? He's not a baby anymore - more like a kid. And it makes my heart hurt a little. Because even though this is what's supposed to happen, and it's a good thing, I still watch little things slipping away day by day. Like the way his word pronunciation becomes more and more accurate and less and less babyish. Or the way he tells me he doesn't need my help because he can do it by himself. Or even the little things, like his ability to wash his hands or pull his shoes and socks off without me.

I miss my baby Bennett. Having Jasper on my hip helps a bit, but I'm beginning to understand what parents mean when they say it goes by so fast, and that you need to soak in the baby times.

All that aside, to get down to the statistics rather than the emotional gushing, for his birthday this year, we had a small family party on Saturday, then on his actual birthday on Sunday, we went to church, had pizza with pepperoni and olives (at his request), and went on a walk at night to see all of the blown up snow globes and lights around the neighborhood.

Things he's up to and can do:

1. He's obsessed with the movie Cars and has a ton of the little toys. We make up games and play with them all day long.

2. This kid is going to be an athlete, I'm thinking. He kicks, throws, and runs pretty well for a three year old. We had to outlaw balls in the house a LONG time ago because of his arm.

3. He's started saying his /l/ blends, which is pretty impressive for his age. The two sounds he still mixes up when he talks are /c/ and /g/. Other than that, he talks more like a five year old than a kid who's three. This boy LOVES to talk, especially when he's excited about something. The things he says these days cracks me up. Example from today: he was upset about something, and kind of half-crying. I said, "What's the prob, Bob?" and mid-wail, he told me, "My name is Bennett, not Bo-ob!"

4. We had to put a knob safety thingy on the door to his room because the kid will NOT stay in his room at night. Before this, we found him out in the living room playing with toys in the middle of the night several times.

5. We've also had to take out his night light, his lamp, and his humidifier, and we've had to hang his space heater up high on the wall, because the kid loves to make a mess and likes to turn switches, press buttons, and take things apart.

6. He LOVES the big blow-up snow globes and lights in our neighborhood. We take walks everyday to look at all of them.

7. For his birthday this year, he asked for a blue flag cake with sprinkles. I made it myself - it turned out...interesting. Luckily, he's three and doesn't know any better :)

8. Bennett LOVES his brother. He's so protective of him. He still takes toys away and agitates him just for the sake of it (like all siblings), but he adores Jasper. When we drop him off at Mimi's house on the way to school two days a week, he always says (about 10 seconds down the road), "I miss Jasper. I want him back." Precious boys.

9. He LOVES puzzles these days. It's the latest craze around our house. We probably spend 30 minutes to an hour doing 25-piece puzzles every day. And he's gotten to where he's figuring out how to rotate the pieces just right and how the pictures go together.

10. He thinks it's really funny to climb up on furniture and turn his lights on and off when he's supposed to be sleeping.

11. We've developed a reward-incentive system for him to go along with the time-outs and spankings we encounter each day. He fills a cup up with "happy frogs" and when the cup is full, he gets to go out with Daddy or Mommy to pick a prize from the dollar store, or the dollar aisle at Target. So far, he's gone straight for the candy every time.

12. His closest friends are Sage, Foy, Cason, and Taylor and Little David.

13. His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, cheese, black olives, rice, and any kind of fruit.

14. He loves to "fix" things with his little tools, especially when his daddy is already working on something.

15. Some of his favorite games are hide-and-seek (his version, where he hides under the covers on our bed with Daddy, then he roars at Mommy, and Mommy comes and tickles him until he gets the hiccups), turning off the lights and playing with the flashlight, making Lamby talk, etc.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


My sweet Jasper John is CRAWLING!!

Because of his torticollis, we were thinking it would be a while yet, so this is extra exciting! He's progressing physically with his skills at a FANTASTIC rate! He scoots and cross-crawls and lunges for about five feet before turning those blue eyes on me and protesting a bit, letting me know he's done. You can tell he's SO proud of himself, too (which is adorable), because he gets this huge grin on his face after he's worked at it for a while. He looks at us like, "Okay, it's time to clap for me, guys." hee :) I LOVE this kid. He adds so much life and joy to our family.

Thank you, Lord for his progress and for easing my fears and giving me peace when I get caught up in worrying about my baby boy. This is absolutely an answer to prayer.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Yours truly did, in fact, participate in the Black Friday festivities. It was ridiculous. It was annoying. But at one store, it was glorious.

I went to Kohl's first, and that was a crock. Totally overrated. First of all, I got there at 3:55am, and the line was doubled up in front of the store, running the entire length of the building. So it took ten minutes or so just to get in the store. Then, I realized that the prices were good, really good, but not anything to call home about. I wasn't shopping for appliances or electronics or toys really, so the big deals didn't apply to me. Then, I ended up going back to make a return today, and realized that the prices on the things I bought on Black Friday morning at the butt-crack of dawn weren't any different!! Grrrr. Needless to say, won't be doing Kohl's again. And really, it's not their fault that the trip was wasted. I should've done more research.

On with the greatness of B.F. I went to the mall. Got there around 5:30am. It was pretty sparse as far as crowds go, and the deals were truly wonderful. At NY&Company, every. single. thing. was 50%. It's one of my favorite stores, so I was in heaven.

All in all, got some good shopping done for others and myself - I'll be going super early again next year, but I'll just hit the mall. I avoided it in the first place because the thought of the crowds filled me with dread, but it turned out to be better than any other place.

We also got all of our Christmas decorations, lights and tree put up yesterday, so today I'm just enjoying the spoils of it all. I ADORE Christmas. This is my very favorite time of year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's nice, after the space of about two months of feeling like I've been losing my mind, to have some really fantastic things happen. Over the span of the last two months, I've lost a ring Michael gave me to commemorate Bennett's birth, I've lost my keys, I've lost my wallet, I got a speeding ticket that truly was a bum-wrap, and Bennett has decided to go NUTS behavior-wise. I also changed my diet pretty drastically, and made the decision to quit facebook and to make my entire blog private and able to be viewed only by myself (which means, in effect, I'm writing this entry for myself :) ). Whoa, heavy couple of months if you ask me. But now I finally feel like a corner is being turned.

We had to replace my keys, and the ring is still gone *sniff*, but I just got a phone call today that my wallet was turned in, which was, of course, a HUGE relief, and my lifestyle changes are really starting to pay off. I feel MUCH healthier and am continuing to lose weight at a slow pace from my diet changes. Over time, I'm fighting the battle of being controlled by food, which is a wonderful feeling.

With Bennett, Michael and I have been implementing principles and strategies from Dr. Dobson's book "The Strong-Willed Child," and after a week and a half of being painfully, annoyingly consistent, it is TOTALLY working, and we are both PUMPED. Our whole family is happier and more positive. It's the best feeling. For anyone who has a strong-willed child, or just has a two/three-year-old going through the crazies, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It gives great insight to how the child's mind works, what they want, how to communicate with them, how to create and maintain your place of authority and respect in the home in a godly, loving but firm way, etc.

And finally, with the time I no longer waste with facebook, I've been working like crazy on the book I'm writing, and I am REALLY excited about it - no really - it's SO exciting. Because even if it never gets published or recognized, it's something me and God have been working on - it came out of my head and from the Holy Spirit, and that's pretty amazing. At this point I've written about a hundred pages, and the ENTIRE plot and all of the events are up in my head in order, with chapter titles and basic outlines of what will happen. It's merely a matter of pounding it out on the computer!! (not easy when you've got a 3 year old and an 8 month old, but I put in my time anywhere I can, and I LOVE working on it). Also, due to releasing my hold on facebook, I'm not struggling by half with feeding myself the desire to "keep up with the Jones's" or to be someone I'm not. I'm not struggling nearly so much with envy or wishful thinking, or discontent or judgmental thoughts toward others. Being so much more free of all of these attacks is the greatest. I wish I'd done it a long time ago.

Thank you, Lord, for your blessings when we persevere and keep on keeping on, even when we don't feel like it. Thank you for giving me some bright lights at the end of the tunnel I've been trudging in. Thank you for your perfect plans that are far better and greater than anything I could've planned for myself. Thank you for good things - I know that all good things come from you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


It has happened. I didn't think it would happen to me - to our family - but it has.

We have a terrible two in our midst. Truly. Although I think he qualifies more as a terrible three, since he'll be having a birthday in a couple of weeks...but "terrible threes" just doesn't sound quite as catchy.

In the past I've been known to watch a certain show called "Nanny 911," and I confess I've found myself shaking my head and chuckling a little at these "clueless" parents who've let their children get so out of control. Likewise, when I've watched a child throw an absolute scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-kicking-and-thrashing fit in public, I've wondered how on earth the parent let it get that far.

Oh, how the Lord is humbling me. Because my sweet, energetic, loving Benito has transformed into a child I'm not really acquainted with, and whom I don't really like at times. This may sound harsh, but I've been praying a lot about it and doing a lot of reading (ahem, The Strong-willed Child by Dr. James Dobson), and I've come to the conclusion that this is normal. Maybe not for every child, but for a lot of them, and especially those who are strong-willed like my son. I love him to pieces and I will forever and ever no matter what, but the Lord knows right now is a time of testing and fire, and frankly it's not much fun for anyone (except Jasper, who's so laid-back and little, it doesn't really matter what's going on - he'll find a way to make lemonade).

We have multiple tantrums and episodes of defiance each day. I am consistent. I keep my voice calm. He faces the same consequences for the same offenses time and time again. We also have a rewards system. We pray together. We talk through our actions. But it's becoming more apparent that this is going to be a long-term investment for building character and respect and order in our home. I'm okay with that, even though it is hard. work. Boy howdy!

I write this to remember what we went through so that if I go through it again with Bennett at some other time down the road, or with another one of my kiddos, I can look back and say, "Been there, done that, and we survived it!"

God give me strength! They weren't kidding - these terrible twos and threes can be pretty terrible at times!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I'll be shutting down my blog in a day or two for various reasons, just so everyone knows. Wanted to let everyone know so you don't think I shut you out of my posts or that you've encountered technical difficulties :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Our Halloween was interesting. Benito (my little M&M) declared today "Melt-down Day" and had a few, along with more time-outs than I could count. So we ended up leaving Fall Fest early. By that evening he got it under control and me and my buddy went trick-or-treating. At first he was so polite, saying "Twick-oh-tweet!" and "Tank you!" each time he got more candy. Towards the end I was trying to control his grabby little hands - he was plunging into our neighbors' candy bowls, coming out with fistfuls. That "tandy" is irresistible :)

We also got TP-ed on Halloween night. Oh, the joys of being married to a middle school teacher. Lucky for me, said middle school teacher doesn't mind cleaning up after his students (and it was a watered down job - we think our neighbors scared them away mid-roll).

Our little Dalmation napped through most of the festivities. I'm betting he'll be ready to get into the action next year. Enjoy the pics.

Dressed up at school.

Sweet brothers - man, I'm blessed.

Ready to go!

There's a picture just like this with me and my dad when I was Bennett's age.

A pumpkin full of "tandy!!"

The amateur TP job (whoa, buddy could I teach those kids a thing or two :) )

Friday, October 23, 2009


I wanted to do a post for my little pal. This kid is growing so fast - it's crazy. The things that come out of his mouth are so funny. It's not necessarily what he says as much as how he says it. My mom says he's two going on twenty, and it's so true.

So here's what my first little fella has been up to:

--Bennett has had daily chores for a couple of months now, and it works like a DREAM. After breakfast, we go straight to the bathroom to wash our hands and brush our teeth (yes, I consider these chores, because they're clean-ups and they're things he could care less about doing :) ). Then we go straight to his room where he picks up his clothes from the night before and puts them in his hamper, puts shoes away in his shoe cubby, and picks up any toys lying around. Then we make his bed and fold his blanket. From there, he gets dressed (again, a chore because he much prefers running around without a stitch of clothing on). I'm really proud of him, because he has taken to all of this like a duck in water. And goodness knows it makes my life that much easier :)

--He's still totally potty trained, and the bed wetting is pretty much none-existent at this point (fabulous). I'll take some credit, but not much. The kid just wanted to do it - he cared about it. That made a HUGE difference.

--Man, this kid LOVES his brother. The way he talks to Jasper and interacts with him is SOOO sweet. He gives Jasper a play by play on what he's doing with his cars or balls or what's on TV, and when Jasper is napping, a lot of times, he'll say "I miss Jasper. I wanna play with him." I am praying that they will be life long best friends, and so far it's looking pretty good :)

--My little boy is one of the happiest, sunshiny-est kids I've ever known - and he's passionate/dramatic like his Mama, no doubt about it. The way he cheers for his friends when he first sees them and gets so excited over the smallest things positively delights me (what a great parallel for how God views His children). He might be a stink pot sometimes and really keeps me on my toes, but the Lord knows he'll always do it with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. There's just not much that can get this little one down - what a wonderful disposition. I should learn from it, and our family is so blessed by it.

--Bennett has the memory of an elephant. He remembers routes to places we're going, and when we're going down a certain street, he'll name two or three places that are on the way that we might possibly be headed toward. He also still remembers crazy things, like details from his second birthday (almost a year ago), little things that happen at other peoples' houses from a long time ago, stores we pass by that we've only been to once in over a year, etc etc. Along with this, he's got the ears of an elephant, too. He loves to talk and he loves getting attention, but a lot of times when I'm riding in the car with Michael or my mom, he'll get really quiet and listen to our conversations without us realizing that's what he's doing, and then after we're finished talking, he'll sum up what we just said! Yikes. So I'm careful around these little ears :)

--I am AMAZED at the things my munchkin is learning at school, and so proud of him! He knows how many days are in a week, several of the months and what order they come in, he can count to five on his fingers (to 27 or 28 out loud) and is getting good at one-to-one counting up to five, he knows his birthday, and he's learned a bunch of new songs, including one where he thanks Jesus for his snack :) (Thanks Ms. Liz and Ms. Jessica!!)

--He's gotten to the age where we're able to have deeper spiritual conversations, which always ends up blowing me away. I feel like I learn more from him and his sweet, innocent questions and comments than he learns from me. Recently we've talked a lot about heaven and how we'll go there someday, and also about Jesus living in our hearts when we ask Him to. He often says he wants to play with Jesus, and now when he sees a heart-shape, he says, "That's Jesus in my heart!" We also talk about how God is bigger than anything that scares us, and that God protects us (apparently the monsters have returned - bummer). He's always singing praise songs and songs about God that he's learned from church, something that I'm so thankful for. It's wonderful to know that the Lord is guiding our sweet boy, as early as two years old.

I'm sure there's more, since he is my precious boy, but that's more than enough for now :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Some pictures of our trip to the pumpkin patch. It was INSANE. I don't think we'll ever go on a weekend again. But Bennett loved it and we got some cutie pie pictures, so it was worth it this year :)

The only picture we got with Jasper looking at the camera was the family picture, and he looks so sad, it just breaks my heart! (but it also makes me giggle a little, because he's so darn cute when he pouts :) ).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Beautiful baby.

Getting sugars :)

I Heart Squash!

Mommy ADORES this expression.

I'm pretty sure I'm in T-R-O-U-B-L-E when Jasper gets older, because EVERY time I take a picture of these guys together, it looks like they're plotting something.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


How cute is this?? I'm thinking about doing it - if it doesn't make the cut for this year, then definitely next year. LOVE IT! You buy the little pumpkins, you buy the ribbon, you buy some double-sided tape. Put it all together and there you have it! The no-carve solution to pumpkins.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Here's our world in a nutshell right now...

**First, let me say that I'm doing much better. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts and encouragement! I had to make a difficult decision to give up a couple of things I was involved in and really enjoyed, one being teaching a class at church, and the other, taking a semester long hiatus from praise team. I really didn't want to give up either one, but God had been leading me for a little over a month to clear out some things and simplify. I was completely overwhelmed and way over-committed to too many things - even though they were all good things, there were still too many. I was doing a great job at being less than mediocre at just about everything. So now, even though I'm sad about the loss of the things I've had to clear out, I'm also very relieved, and feeling much more peaceful. Michael is pretty relieved to have his wife back, too :)

**I've continued revolutionizing in several areas of my life, as I've felt led by the Lord. I've been getting up at the butt-crack of dawn (5:50am) every morning for three weeks now to walk a mile and a half. I felt God calling me to practice discipline and commitment to something simple and enjoyable, and with something that would start my day with Him. I feel wonderful about it, and really proud that I've kept it up, rain or shine, tired or not. After a week of doing this, two weeks ago I added the doozy of a calling that I've been convicted of, which is hard to confess, but I really believe I should be honest about: I'm far too dependent on food, and I like it way too much. It's been a comfort and a trigger for me that's not healthy for most of my life, and God doesn't want this for me. So I prayed and did some reading and research and came across a book that I'm trying to follow, which is about abstaining from trigger foods and foods that are made to be addictive, including fats, sugars, and finely processed wheats. So for the past two weeks I've been eating lean protein, veggies out the ears, certain fruits, and skimmed or non-fat dairy products. It's taking me hours a week of extra cooking, it's more expensive (there are several things I get from the health food store, and fresh produce is costly), and I'm currently trying to find more variety because I'm bored stiff with salad, but I feel better, I feel free, my energy is up, and I'm losing more weight (as in 5 lbs. in two weeks so far - a definite perk). I'm committed to doing this for a full month before re-inventorying and taking stock, and although I'm pretty sure I'll be altering my meal plan a bit at some point and making modifications that work for me, for now this is the deal, and once again, it feels so good and so empowering to do something by the power of Christ in me, that He's calling me to and leading me in.
And interestingly enough, I have been attacked by Satan and discouraged and beat down by him more in these past two weeks than I have ever before in my life, so I know this is a big battle, and that it's one God wants me to keep fighting. So I will. (And I know I didn't explain this all just terrifically, but that's the basic gist of it).

**I love watching Bennett change and evolve from a baby into a toddler, and now more and more into a child - a kid - who's more aware of his surroundings, more able to understand, and more inquisitive about things I love teaching him. He went through a short phase of being scared of monsters, where he would open his closet door to keep the lights on at night, but after a week or so, before a nap one day, I said, "You're a smart boy. You know there aren't any monsters. You know they're just pretend." He smiled and said, "Yeah, I know. And God protects me." And that was the end of it. No more nightmares, no more need for closet lights.

Every night when we pray, we have him tell us three things he wants to pray about, and for a while now it's been requests to pray for Jesus, for monsters, and for the tractors and Mater (from the movie "Cars"). Funny boy. I love the innocence and watching his faith unfold. He often talks about how he wants to see Jesus and play with Him. Love it.

**Jasper's neck and muscles keep getting better and better. I was so surprised and excited when he started sitting up by himself for short periods of time a week or two ago, and about a week ago he started getting up on all fours and lunging forward a little bit. Because of the torticollis, I really wasn't expecting him to develop on track physically, but he is so far :) Thank You, Lord! We're still doing our exercises and physical play that helps strengthen him, and still going to our pediatric chiropractor once a month to move it all along, but it's all going so well, and we are blessed. Jasper is such a sweet, happy baby. He rarely complains about anything, and when he does, it's with these growls that make the rest of us laugh because they're so mild and cute sounding. The only time he seriously lets loose and cries is when he's sick, or when he's in his car seat and he's sleepy (he can't stand his car seat).

**Man, I'm loving this weather. God was genius with the way He created the seasons. Fall is my favorite, hands down. It feels like everything breathes a little easier and flows in harmony in the fall. We're soaking it all in by playing at the park, creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces, going for walks, kicking the soccer ball and swinging out back, etc. Beautiful. In leiu of the weather, I hit the JBF sale this week and finished up the boys' cold weather wardrobes, and this weekend I started clearing out their summer clothes and hanging up the new ones. I love sweaters and sweatshirts and wool hats and mittens. Doesn't get much better :) I've dropped the ball on decorating, but I'm hoping to remedy that tomorrow by getting down our box from the attic and at the very least putting our fall wreath on the front door.

**I'm wondering what everyone's doing for Halloween this year. I feel totally lost about it because our church isn't doing their usual shin dig. Anybody have some amazing plans or ideas with your kiddos? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Hmm...I'm thinking she might've been punishing herself a bit more than him. There are some messed up people out there - even in Texas.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I feel so overwhelmed and discouraged right now. I don't feel like this often, and especially not to this degree. I cannot remember a time in my life when I've had a week this hard, which sounds dramatic, but there are so many things going that I can't even keep track of anymore. I could list all of the reasons why, but don't really have the energy. I'm worn out, spent, and don't feel like I have another ounce of myself to give. I'm not even sure when or how I'll begin to be replenished, and there's not really an end in sight, which is also disheartening. The weird thing is, I haven't even been able to cry. I wish I could - it's always been a good release and helped me feel better in the end. Instead, I just feel sad and totally in over my head. And I feel very alone in it.

I know these feelings aren't from God. I know this sadness and discouragement will pass. I know most if not all of it is happening due to the growth and change the Lord is inspiring and bringing about in my life - that I'm being attacked head on. But right now it beyond stinks. I guess I don't have all that much endurance because a week of this junk has whipped me and kicked my butt. I'm clinging to the old saying, "It can't get any worse," and hoping it's true in my case. Next week should surely be better than this one.

It's made me feel a tiny bit better just to write this stuff down. Hopefully I'll have some cutie-pie pictures or stories or whatever to share next time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This weekend has been R-O-U-G-H.

*Bennett and Jasper both kicked off the weekend with colds and have continued along these lines, steadily progressing into the "non-breathable" status. Fantastic.

*Bennett has decided he's terrified of monsters coming up from his headboard to get him. So each morning I find him sleeping by the door, Lamby and blanket in tow. Last night took the cake. He woke up at 2:00am screaming and not breathing real great because of his cold. He came to bed with us (which we've only done a handful of times because he doesn't actually sleep - he talks, sings, wiggles, etc.). After a while of needing tissues, needing a blanket, needing to talk to get all the millions of middle-of-the-night thoughts off his chest, I finally took him back to his bed and fell asleep with him. Awesome.

*I went back to my bed around 5:00am, to be awakened by Jasper at 6:00am, which is an hour or two early for him - he was having trouble breathing through his nose. I fed him, went back to bed, and woke up again at 7:00am to the sounds of Bennett playing down by his door on the floor again. I love it when sleep eludes me.

*Today, Bennett is completely hoarse (which makes for a quieter house, which is kind of nice once in a while, though I'd MUCH rather him be feeling well), Jasper is stuffy, and Mommy is exhausted. We've been hanging out in the steamy shower, and vapor rub, saline drops and cool mist humidifiers have been our very best friends. Along with this, Bennett is now the proud owner of a fancy-schmancy night deal with the monsters in the dark that aren't real, of course.

Throw in the mix a bunch of errands to run, two loads of dishes due to trying out a new food/cooking routine, 3 loads of laundry, and a kitchen floor that's still sticky because I haven't had the time or energy to clean it, and you've got a super-fab weekend. So believe it or not, yours truly is looking forward to Monday :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Everybody says it, and so will I: I canNOT believe Jasper is 6 months old already. I lucked out because he's a little bitty thing, so it still feels like he's 4 months or so when I hold him. Because of this, I'm absolutely in denial. Here's the update on my little buddy.

Growth -- he's jumped the track from being in the 10th percentile in weight to now being in the 15th percentile - WOOT! Go, go, Jasper GO! I think moving onto the solid foods have really helped with this a lot. Height is still 50th percentile, and his head is in the 90th percentile. No wonder he's not sitting by himself yet! HA!

Food -- He eats rice cereal and oatmeal regularly, and has sampled avocados and bananas. I think we'll be moving right along to squash this coming week. He gobbles up his food and is pretty easy-going about the whole process, which is really nice.

Health -- his neck condition continues to improve. We're still taking him to our chiropractor once a month for therapy, and I do his exercises with him everyday. He's having a little trouble raising his right hand up to grab things, and isn't sitting up independently yet. Everything is just going to be a bit delayed because of this. Research I've done on my own says that this should be cleared up and really healed up by 12-18 months, which is a little overwhelming, but also makes me feel better because we're progressing at such a good rate and we're only half-way there. That means there's so much more improvement to come! Thank you all who have been praying for him. I REALLY appreciate it.

Personality -- I pegged it right from day one in the hospital. He's my easy-going little "sweets." He goes with the flow and laughs and smiles easily, especially at me, which melts my heart. His cries and complaints are softer and far fewer than Bennett's ever were. I'm thankful I had Bennett first rather than vice versa, because otherwise I'd be totally at a loss :) Jasper LOVES his big brother and would watch him all day long (until said brother starts making faces and noises right up in his face and patting his head a bit too hard, in which case he blinks rapidly and looks anywhere but at Bennett). He also loves hands and feet, and is ticklish on his tummy. He's not too interested in books so far - more in people. He's totally content if you're talking to him, or if he can watch you talk.

Favorites -- he loves to blow spit bubbles, loves making a smacking sound with his lips and teeth, loves to be held (which I LOVE), loves the sound of Daddy's voice, loves to wrinkle up part of his sheets and hold onto it while he sleeps (I've offered him a lovey, but he prefers the sheet :)), loves looking in the mirror and at ceiling fans, and loves to talk to the pictures and friends in his crib when he wakes up. His favorite position is standing with his legs locked, and his aquarium bouncer has been a lifesaver because he adores it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


hahaha - you know you're a dork when you're laughing out loud at your own blog title....I couldn't resist (who sings that song, anyway?)

Warning: If mommy trigger-words such as "poop" and "potty" and "tee-tee" offend or annoy you, or you think people who post about potty-training are really dumb, this isn't the post for you.

Bennett is now officially, all the way potty-trained. Here's what I think helped:

1. I would not battle with him over it. When he showed signs/interest, we started talking about it and worked on it.

2. What finally clenched (choice of words on purpose - har!) it all was two things, and I really think these were the main keys once he was ready to potty-train: a) in the first stages, he ran around naked. That way, the "stuff" had nowhere to go, which he knew. (yes, I cleaned up a few accidents, but it wasn't a big deal). b) once he was telling me he needed to go, or was going to his potty by himself, we got rid of the training pants COMPLETELY (even at night), and just wore underwear. Those training pants are a crock, man (or so I feel). They're diapers with a different closing mechanism. Bennett had no qualms with going in them because they weren't any different than baby diapers. So we got rid of them.

3. He had MAJOR poop issues. Bennett isn't really a fit thrower, but he threw some doozies over this. He did NOT want to let go of it. So I kept him naked, knowing he wouldn't do his business on the floor. There was a 48 hour stretch of resistance at one point (which is a record for him), but eventually I put him on the potty, told him to stay on it, and left the room. After about 5 minutes, he said, "I DID IT!!" It took about three times of this happening before he became confident and good with it, rather than scared. Now he's the Golden Poop Boy.
P.S. I also bribed him. Yep. Sure did. And I defy anyone who judges me. Bennett is now the proud owner of the Cars movie, and looks forward to M&Ms when he does the business. We'll start weaning off the M&Ms in another few days. But for now, it's a nice little treat.

If all of this is way too much info, too bad so sad. I warned you. I put it out here because it's something I would've liked to read before potty-training Benito. I know every kid is different, so the stuff we did won't work with everybody (like the kids who don't think twice about wetting their underwear or pooping on the kitchen floor), but maybe it will for some.

This is how we poo it.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Yes, I have drastically altered my page, as you can see.

I found this template and fell in love with it. It's so symbolic and represents the way I've been feeling lately, and the things God is doing in my life right now.

Without trying to be too sappy or annoying, but holding to the desire to be truthful and blunt (but also pretty vague, this time around), the Lord and me are in a wrestling, hugging, warfare, eye-opening process of setting me free from a lot of junk that just has no business hanging around. There are skeletons in my closet and dust-bunnies under the bed of my soul and spirit that should've been dealt with and spring-cleaned quite a long time ago, my friends.

And God, in His wisdom, faithfulness and perfect timing, has chosen this time of my life, for reasons only He knows, to get down to business with yours truly.

So here's to the music of me and all that entails, whether it be the seasons of rain and stormy weather, or the kind I'm in right now, which resembles and feels like I'm smack dab in the middle of a typhoon...but a pleasant one, somehow, and one I've been waiting for most of my life.

Here's to freedom, to openness, to boldness, and to the beauty of feeling absolutely lovely in your very own skin, simply because it's the skin God made just for you.

And for the vast majority of you who have NO idea what I'm going on about, that's A-okay. Thanks for being my friend (and a fabulous one, at that) anyway.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I have a Passive Aggressive Pooper in my house.
What is that, you may ask?

It's when a two-year old, who's fully potty trained aside from the daunting #2, absolutely refuses to do that particular business on the potty. Instead, he lies in wait for the opportunity to hide and go in his super-fab Lightning McQueen underwear. Like today, when we rushed to the potty six different times because he needed to go, then when he got there, he cried and moaned and begged to get down, go play, etc. And what did he do when he went to his room for independent play/nap time? You guessed it, my amazingly intelligent friends. He pooped in his underwear and stunk up the whole room. Awesome.

So, we'll try again tomorrow (because I usually only get one shot a day). *sigh*

But all in all, I must say my bud is doing stinkin' awesome with potty training. He tells me every time he needs to go, even when he's at a friend's house having a blast. He stays dry during nap time, and he's now staying dry during the night. This is going a lot more smoothly than I thought it would, for which I give thanks.

So pretty much we're rockin' the potty....aside from the passive aggressive poop. The Stinker. :)

P.S. If anybody has any poop advice, feel free to pass it on.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I thought it'd be simpler to post here since not everybody knows what's going on with my little guy and several have asked.

Jasper is a bit over 5 months old, and for the most part, things are great and he's developmentally right on track. He babbles, laughs, picks up objects and brings them to his mouth, rolls over from tummy to back and back to tummy, props up on his elbows, etc etc. He cut two teeth at four months old and he's a champion eater, gobbling down his cereal from day one when we started about a week ago - this is great because he's starting to put on more weight, which was a slight concern early on.
There is, however, a downside with my sweet J. At his four month check-up, he was diagnosed with a neck muscle condition called torticollis. This inhibits the movement on the right side of his neck because the muscle is clenched. They believe it occured (as it does in most cases) in utero, being in a cramped position. Since then, we've been taking him to our pediatric chiropractor to do exercises and what-not. He has GREATLY improved in the last month, and we are really encouraged by this, but of course it stinks to know that there's something wrong with your baby and something that's making him uncomfortable. Because of this condition, his major milestones, like sitting up, crawling, etc. will be delayed by a month or two. Everything we've researched indicates the muscles should be pretty much normal and healed by 10-12 months of age. Until then, there are exercises and little play things we do everyday to strengthen and lengthen the muscle.
I was telling Michael last night how frustrated I was that our baby has this problem, because it only happens in about 2% of all babies, but he said something that made me re-think my pity-party real quick. He said, "Praise God that he has this and not some other 2% disease that cripples him or lasts forever, or even takes his life." Whew, that shut me up SUPER fast. Perspective is a huge eye-opener. So we're praying for his healing with thanksgiving for all of the Lord's blessings with our family and our sweet baby.
I'd really appreciate prayers for his healing. I catch myself worrying about it, and remind myself that God knows my baby and all the inner workings of his little body. He is fearfully and wonderfully made!

In other Jasper news:

--Yes, he's essentially a mini-Michael. Looks just like him. I. Love. It.
--He took his first swim last week in Mimi's pool. He was NOT a fan - too bright and slippery out there :)

So that's the deal with my other little pal. And here are some photos to go along with it:

Right after we had the problem diagnosed, around 4 months old.

Don't like this picture of him, but it shows how much he's improved in the past month since going to the chiropractor and doing our exercises. His head starts to droop when the muscle gets tired, but he's doing SO much better!

Maxin' and relaxin' with brother's Lamby.

"Say wha--?" (This picture is one of my absolute favorites so far)

Having a little chat...they're already conspiring.

Very first taste. Not a fan.

Are you kidding me, Mom?

Hmmm...this is actually kinda yummy.

Tummy is happy, I'm happy.

He kept his eyes closed the whole time. We were out there a total of about two minutes. I love the picture, though :)