Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shopping = A Love/Hate Experience

As a woman, you'd think I'd enjoy clothes shopping. 
The multitude of shirts, dresses, shorts, pants, skirts, shoes, and necessary accessories should leave me feeling euphoric. 
Instead, it's usually not a pleasant experience if I'm doing the shopping for me. And, it's probably less of a fun time for anyone with me. 
Does anyone else out there feel me? 
My mom wanted to take me clothes shopping for my birthday 6 weeks ago, but since The Husband was in the midst of his correctional officer training course, we had to postpone. 
Today turned out to be a lovely day, and after getting The Husband squared away with the kiddos, my mom and I hopped in the car and headed to the mall. 
We looked in two different stores, and after HOURS of looking and laughing and mocking the latest styles (all me--my mom rarely mocks), and a little frustration (mostly because I need nursing-capable shirts/dresses), we came away with what I hope are a couple of very cute items.

Thank you so much, Momma!  You're the best! It's way too much, but I'm really excited to wear every item. Now I get to clean out my closet and send those maternity shirts and shorts I've been hanging onto to the consignment shop :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Year Older

The kids and I (with the awesome help of my parents!) made these signs yesterday afternoon while The Husband was at work (where he had a simply awful & scary day--doubling down on prayers for a new job) and then hung them up so he'd have something nice to see when he got home around midnight. 
I know they'll get tossed out eventually, but I sure love looking at Jack's small (and smudgy) handprints and Ella's oh-so-tiny footprints!  At least I'll have these pictures :)

Happy, happy birthday to my dear husband! We love you bunches!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday (3/19)

Today, I'm thankful for the ages and stages these two are at/in right now. 

Jack is 21 months old. 
He's smart and obedient 50-75% of the time. 
He's such an emotional faker! The pretend crying makes me giggle. He can turn it on and off like that. 
He's so funny, and he finds such joy in things I've forgotten to find joy in. 

Ella is 8 1/2 months old. 

First, she's ridiculously adorable. Biased.  
Second, she has got to be the happiest baby alive. She wakes up giggling. Well, she wakes up, and then she begins to giggle. And squeal. And blow raspberries. She's just so happy. I hope that her disposition stays this sweet even when she begins teething. 
She's beginning to do lots of new things (that I'll save for her 9 month update), and she's doing it all with a smile. 

I love them. Completely. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A little of this & a little of that

A little Jesus and a little play-doh. 
Some mushing here and some shaping there. 

I know He's molding me with this study because I feel His gentle prodding with passages like this one. 
I'm thankful He can still get my attention, but I have a long way to go. 

It's like anything learned, really. 

We hear the words, we try the steps, we make progress, and then we falter. 

Ella is learning to sit and roll these days. 
She can sit unassisted for about twenty seconds before she begins to topple. She leans too far forward or to the left or right, and then she loses her balance. 
We do that, I do that, too. 

I know what I need to do. I know what's healthy. I know what's right. And yet. I lean too far toward anger or bitterness, and I've stumbled off the path. 

I'm learning. Im getting there. I haven't finished the race yet, so I will continue moving forward, trying my best not to take too many steps back along the way. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

In the Heat of the Night...or The Lack Thereof

Well another few busy days have passed, and I'm just now finding time to post about the latest craziness. 

Monday night, after everyone had gone to bed except me, I noticed a funny smell. The heater had kicked on, and there was a definite, almost-chemical smell coming from the vents. I turned the heater off, prayed for God to protect us while we slept, and went to sleep. The next morning, The Husband, up early for a correctional officer course he's taking for three weeks, turned on the heat. I immediately noticed the smell, and asked him if he smelled it, too. He did, and he told me not to run the heater at all. He'd check it that evening when he got home. About 45 minutes before Jack's bedtime that night, The Husband was able to take a look. The wires were burning right through the electrical tape. Again. He called his dad and his grandpa, and they came up with a solution. But because he's in school and working full time, he had no time to fix it before the latest cold front blew through Wednesday evening. So Wednesday afternoon, I packed up the kids, and we headed over to my parents' house to stay for a few days until he could look at it again. 

"Staying anywhere other than one's home with a toddler is sheer pleasure," she said with sarcasm dripping from every word. 

Seriously, my almost 21-month-old son is delightful and funny and inquisitive, and at home, he knows the boundaries, for the most part. He tests them, of course, but he doesn't have to be told "no" or "please walk away" or "one finger only" every time he touches something. At my parents' house, everything is soooooo interesting. Especially the items that are breakable or that could hurt him. He also desperately wants to hang out with my dad, who is busy busy busy with working on his clients' income tax stuff, so he was constantly knocking at the office door or begging to go see him. 

So, after a day of rainbows and butterflies and grins and giggles, I had to get those kiddos (and myself) out of the house. It was too cold to walk in the neighborhood, but I called up my friend Angela, and she said she'd be happy to join us for a walk at the mall. 

Side note--this gal was squealy and happy most of the time. 
I bundled the kids up, we stopped by Ang's house to grab her, and we headed into Target first. I wanted to find something that could occupy Jack's attention at their house. 

Side note #2--I got this GREAT gently-used double stroller at a consignment shop last week for almost half what we'd pay for a new one. We LOVE it! It's the same brand as out single stroller (which we have also loved because of how easy it is to close and load and unload).  
We found a container of play dough and play dough cutters.  It was only $6 or $7, and I felt it was totally worth it if it meant we didn't have to chase him down and hog-tie him quite as often. 

That evening before dinner, I sat him in his chair and started to show him how to manipulate the play dough. He seemed to like it. 

The next morning, after breakfast, he noticed the container and motioned toward it. He played with that stuff for at least 30 minutes before asking to get down.  Success!
He begged for it again after his afternoon nap, carrying around the container to any adult who migh give in and open it for him, and because The Husband had been able to fix the heater (YAY!!!) and we would be going home, I told him he could work with the play dough as soon as we got home.  We walked in the door, and he ran to his chair. My mom stayed with the kids while I (and my Dad--hello, I'm not crazy!) met a man in the Target parking lot to sell my single stroller (thanks to The Bestie who advertised it for me online!). Jack played with the play dough for at least 45 minutes before dinner was ready. 

This morning after breakfast, he asked for it again.  So instead of going right to his room for room time, he worked quietly with the play dough and a play fork and play knife for 45 minutes while I did laundry. He's now in room time, happily playing while listening to his VeggieTales CD, and I'm sitting for a few minutes enjoying the quiet, except for the the doves cooing and an occasional toy hitting the floor. 

It's not Thursday, but I'm thankful for this $7 piece of wonderfulness. 
Oh, I'm also thankful The Husband fixed the heater! ;)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Not the 29th

So, this gal is 8 months old today; though, technically, it's not the 29th. Oh February, you trouble maker, you. 
She's not rolling over (I assume because she's not a big fan of tummy time), but I know she'll do it in her own time--she does roll to her side. Jack was a late roller and crawler, but he's running and trying to hop now, so I'm not worried. :)
She hasn't shown interest in table food, but when she does, I think we'll go the baby-led-weaning route instead of me making tons of baby food like I did with Jack. I'll make some of the purĂ©es of the foods that aren't soft enough for her to chew/gum on though. 
We love her so much. Her cheeks are sooo nom-nomable. Her smiles and squeals are infectious. Her hair is coming in on top and resembles the fuzzy down of a baby chick. She fills our home with such light. I can't help but smile when I think about her.