Saturday, January 29, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

I love Abilene State Park.

I know, it's no Redwood Forest, but hey, we're in west Texas --we don't complain.

We spent the beautiful warm day at the park. A short drive down to Buffalo Gap and we were there. At the Ranger's Station we received a park map. Jack, being his father's child, immediately asked to see it.

He took it, studied it, asked questions and boldly led us down the Elm Creek Nature Trail in search for a pond where we would feed the ducks stale bread.

And we're off:

Hannah (forgot to tell you.) came down for the weekend to cheer us up after Mike's departure. Sweet isn't she? Here she was teaching Jack some old Indian trick about how to tell which path to take when you get to a fork in the "path."

He loved learning a new skill which would further his knowledge of trail blazing.

Ya know what they say: "All play and no work makes Jack a lost boy."

Or something like that.

"We're getting closer!" -I should have been counting how many times I heard that.

"We are riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight here."
Five steps later: "Now we are here."

Austin was just wanting to keep moving, he didn't really care where we were.

Hannah was with us, come on, like the kids were going to get through the day without a posed shot of them with their walking sticks.

pshhh. No way man.

Creek on the map?


Double check.

Ponce De Leon got a little tired.

"Keep going straight ahead, Mom."

Jack made it look fun. Ty had to give it a try. Jack begged for the map back.

Arrival at our destination, and... no ducks.

Oh well.

Next we found an old bridge where we stopped and played a riveting game of Pooh sticks.

I lost every single time.

Jack had left the map sitting in the stroller. See it in the picture?


Oh no! Where did it go?


"The map, the map!" -His words, not mine.

"I've got to save the map!" -again, not mine.

Branches nor stickers would deter this young Rand McNally.

He fishes it out. Ty stood by for moral support.

But I'm afraid he was too late.

By shear luck we found our way back.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bunk Beds

We decided we needed bunk beds.
So we built some.
We wanted them smaller than a twin, but bigger than a toddler bed (the crib mattress is the same dimension the toddler mattress.)

Ikea makes a special mattress size that is 10 inches longer than a crib mattress.
Just what we wanted.
We took some bunk bed plans (thanks Steve) and customized them for this specific, made-only-by-Ikea mattress.

Here's how it turned out!

The process:


Mike had a safety brief for the boys which included: proper mount and dismount, correct conduct on the bunk bed, an emphasis on anger managment, and a stern warning that the beds would become "un"bunked if they couldn't follow the rules.

Ty's enjoying it so far.

In bed (and calmed down) by 10:45.

Up by 7:30 :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laundry today or naked tomorrow


If you do it regularly, no one will ever know you did it.

Your family will think that after everyone goes to bed at night the shirts head to the closet in search for the perfect hanger, the blue jeans amble over to the drawer, socks mate, and the undergarments cover themselves in the under ware drawer.

No one in my family would believe such a tale.

Yesterday Mike entered the living room holding matching white crew cut socks, one in each hand.

"I was overjoyed when I found these."

He's so sweet not to nag me when I fall behind on little things like making sure the family is clothed.

"Hon, I've been having a hard time finding socks lately."

"It's not just you," I reply, "It's the whole family."

"I'll be speaking on their behalf as well. ...I mean, I appreciate all the sanding you've been doing on the boy's bunk beds, but maybe you could take a break and do some laundry."

Message received.

I don't know what you were doing at 5:30 this morning, but I was up mating socks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't grow

Mike flew last night.

I put the boys to bed then went to my room and got in my bed. I had been laying there about ten minutes before I hear the door knob rattle and the door open a crack. It was Ty.

"Mommy, I need to go potty."

"Come on in Ty. I'll take you." He goes potty then I swoop him up and plop down in my bed. We hug. He loves to be held. I love to hold. His head on my shoulder, my arms wrapped around this sweet skinny kid.

I whisper in his ear, "Ty don't you grow any tonight. Ya hear? I want you to stay small."

Ty whispers softly back, "I gunna grow Mommy... I gunna be a man."

I squeeze him tighter.

"Don't cry Mommy." --I wasn't crying, I might have sighed a little.

"Do you have to grow up?"

"Yeah. I do."

"Will you still hug me when you grow up."

"Yeah, I will hug you... And we will have free daddies and one mommy and one baby."

I think he assumes he will always live in our home and one day I'll have a house full of "daddies."

One day I'll break it to him --we could never afford to feed that many men. gift card

I don't often tell ya'll about deals like this, well only as often as I find REALLY good ones.

You can get an gift card worth $20 for only $10 by going to this link: Gift card

It will send you daily emails to your email account, unless you unsubscribe (which is not difficult). So if you buy things on amazon and you don't mind taking the 30 seconds to unsubscribe later (if you choose) then go buy it.
I bought it twice useing my account and Mike's.

This deal is only good for today and it's possible they will run out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Incriminating Photos

Ty borrowed the camera.

He then used to document some of the fun activities he and Jack participated in that afternoon.


By the way, bed jumping is off limits at our house.
We've got a solution though... bunk beds.
Mike and I made some last week, pictures to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Austie update

I feel like, in order to be a "good mom," I need to be giving you updates of Austin's progress.

Like posting pictures, stats from the doctors office, his newest tricks, how many teeth he has...

Since I hardly ever take my kids to the doctor for well checkups --I mean, is it really worth it? Exposing them to the flu, strep, the latest stomach bug, just so the doctor and look at them and say, "Looks like every thing's good, I'll see you in 6 months."

Besides, who can remember to make appointments, and if I did, I'd forget about them till my phone calendar told me I'd just missed it.

So here are some updates on Austin based on what I hear other people say about him:

  • He smells like hot dogs

  • Austin and Oscar are easy names to mix up

  • He has been compared to a piranha

  • His Christmas vacation was spent growing hair

  • He's a typical 3rd-born

  • He's always happy

  • You can tell he's not autistic

  • He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth "He tried to eat one of our Christmas cards"

  • He sure loves avocados

Stats, lets see...

He's got 7 1/2 teeth (the half one I'm not sure if it's broken the skin or not, but you can see it)

Weighs 19 lbs. (If we didn't get anything else out of the ER trip we got a weight measurement)

Size 9 months clothes fit him best.

And... today was his first day of school!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Advent: Please use extreme caution

For most of the Christian world the word "advent" means: coming, or more specifically, looking forward to the coming of Christ. That's why it's celebrated as a precursor to Christmas.

For our family the word "advent" means something more like "hazard."

I feel like any time the church recommends or endorses something like advent, it should be immediately followed by a handout cautioning parents on the dangers that could be present when participating in such an activity.

Something like:

WARNING: Over zealous candle blowing out could result in wax splattering all over the table, the wreath and the children.

Jack's arm is healing fine.

WARNING: Getting too close to the candle when blowing it out can result in singed Ty-brows and bangs.

Ty's hair has lost that smoky smell and his eyebrows are full as ever.

WARNING: It is not good to keep candles buring all night, especially unsupervised.

Surprisingly we didn't burn up.

Last evening marked, hopefully our last scary situation resulting from the 2010 advent season.

Austin, our advent mishap virgin, was playing on the floor in the big boys room when he just started gagging and threw up half is dinner. After checking him out, we thought maybe he had just shoved a toy too far down his throat and gagged himself.

We begin observation.

A few minutes later he is again chewing on a toy and gags. This time spitting up just a small amount. Over the next two hours, he acts as if he's feeling just fine minus the fact that he wouldn't eat when offered, and is occasionally gagging and getting all red faced for just a short moment. I begin to get suspicious...


The boys were playing with Legos in their room earlier.

Although they were at least a yard away from Austin, he's starting to squire a little and could possibly have picked up a stray Lego.

My normally happy boy had a couple fits where nothing seemed to calm him down. --And the fat kid wouldn't eat.

hmm... seems so simple now doesn't it?

I call the doc.

He asks me if I'm already on my way to the ER.

"Uh.. no?" I embarrassingly answer, "His airway isn't obstructed."

I'm told I should probably take him in.

We do.

Turns out the phrase "I think there is a Lego stuck in my child's throat," will get you seen by the ER doc just as soon as you can walk back to the room.

I think from now on I might just tag that on to the list of symptoms we are experiencing any time we show up to the ER. Especially if we are hoping to get an Xray of something.

"Yeah, he fell off the playground and is complaining of a hurt arm. I can't get him to move it or let me touch it, ...and I think there is a Lego stuck in his throat."


We hang out in the triage room for maybe 10 minutes.

While we were back there He let out one more cough-gag and then, seemed a little bit less uncomfortable. The doc had ordered an Xray and we were waiting for them to come pick him up. Austin was getting pretty hungry by this time and in an effort to express his displeasure threw back his head, mouth open.

That's when we saw it.

It wasn't a Lego at all.

It was this:


Packaging tape. He must have found it stuck to the floor. And it was still sticky! Poor baby. I reached right in there and grabbed it. No need for the Xray now.

It was the same tape that we used every evening to attach our crayola drawn symbol on to the Jesse tree. The Jesse Tree was also the name of the book we read to the children during our advent time.


Dangerous I tell you.

Now, I understand that educating our children on the dangers associated with fire, closer supervision, and vacuuming would have taken away much of the risk...

But friends, we still need to be aware that any time we chose to disciple our children, train them in the ways of righteousness and teach them of the incredible love of God... we will find ourselves in opposition to the prince of darkness, the one who came to kill steal and destroy.

So lets arm ourselves DAILY with wisdom, prayer and Truth. Because there is an unseen battle going on all around us, and it's not going to be...


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lacey's Response

If you haven't read the last post I made, STOP! You MUST read it first.

Here's what Lacey had to say:

Oh, Becca... It's time you cross the street and see things as they truly are...!!!

Take that porch furniture for instance... the very same for which I began sanding and refinishing back in August - nearly everyday, for weeks...(still not sure WHAT I was thinking...) still not stained nor finished. And what prompted such an undertaking? A wonderfully artistic 6 year old who painted her name across it with caterpillar guts. (Who knew caterpillar blood was BLACK, and to be feared more than the dreaded Sharpie...)

And while I'll admit that my front yard was indeed tidy last night, you fail mention that it was also lit up like Kmart in leftover blue Christmas light glory.

Oh, and the cops have indeed visited my house... WITH my 4 year old in hand... 'jus sayin.

But the true comedy of it all were your observations of this morning... I nearly peed myself at the irony.

For it was MDO day for us as well, and we too, were running late. Why? Who really knows... could have been Noah's desire to wear his pants backwards today, and the ensuing meltdown justifying pocket accessibility. Or perhaps Zoe's last minute hair washing by means of a handful of baby wipes necessitated by her avant garde stylings a la oatmeal at the breakfast table.

But who am I kidding, I'm perfectly aware that I was the weak link today. For instead of showering and dressing, I chose to lay in bed in my PJs and read until the last minute, allowing myself 8 whole minutes to dress in yesterday's taco sauce stained jeans, throw a hat over yesterday's curls, double up on the deodorant, and rip apart my closet in search of a pair of boots big enough to contain my swollen left foot from last night's curtain hanging snafu.

And if it appeared as though I was smelling roses on the way to my car, you can be assured it just my evaluation of whether I did indeed remember to brush my teeth.

But the real kicker to all this...?

We make it to the MDO church at precisely 9:01, and discover that no one is there. For it's still Christmas Break till Tuesday... awesome.

Things are rarely as they appear, dear neighbor.

But don't think you'll ever see me outdoors without my sunglasses... truly a necessary appendage.


Some people are hard to live by.

Take Lacey for example:

Her oh-so-comfortable looking outdoor furniture is always positioned perfectly on her front porch. I call it furniture because, unlike mine, her chairs don't fold up. My chairs are consistently cock eyed. Maybe people think I do it on purpose, ya know, like modern art... I doubt it though. They've seen the rest of my yard.

Last night before coming in to bed I picked up 7 hot wheels car and a monster truck, put the stroller in the garage, kicked a rake into the flower bed --I thought it would be less noticeable, and brought in a water bottle that was sitting on the porch.

Lacey's yard? Yep, it was neat as a pin.

I saw inside her garage one day. It was organized.

I'm pretty sure their stylish SUVs resist dirt.

"Don't feel bad, Becca." You say. "It's probably because Lacey doesn't have kids."


She's got three.

"I'm sure her husband doesn't deploy."

You've got a point there. He's a B-1 guy. Everyone knows those guys don't do anything.

Actually he's deployed once since I've been here. And even during the deployment Lacey seemed all put together, her children's hair was combed, I never saw the cops at her house.

In fact, Lacey's always looking cute. --No, I don't hate her.

This morning for example, It's a MDO morning and as always I'm running late. I'm sitting here trying to think of why we were running late... hmm... I don't think I can blame any of it on the boys. That's unfortunate.

Turns out it was my lack of planning and prep that made us late. I run out the door to start the van. Come back in, remind Ty to put his shoes on. Run a bag of stuff out to the van, come back in, instruct the boys to get their backpacks and load up. Run back out to open the doors for the boys, come back in, take Austin out. Run back in, grab coats and diapers. Hop in the van, realize that I don't have my purse. Back to the house. Grab my purse, look at the apple quarter on the counter and decide I don't want it to go to waste. Head to the door. "Might as well take myself a jacket since I've got a free arm." I decide.

I tear out the door, slamming it behind me, one arm through my jacket, apple sticking out of my mouth, purse swinging wildly while I try to put the other arm in the coat.

Then... I look across the road and see Lacey.

Picture this for me:

Cute shoes, stylish jeans covered by her white woolen pea coat. Her blond (completely natural I'm sure) hair beautifully curled.


She wore cute sunglasses.

Really Lacey? You had time to think about sunglasses?

She carefully stepped out of her house, stopped to smell the roses then walked slowly around to the driver's side of her Sequoia.

I didn't stare.

I just waved hello with the arm that already had a coat on it, it was sticking up in the air anyway.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I wash their faces... really, I do.

The countdown to Ty's 3rd birthday has begun!

Yesterday I announced that the big day was only 11 days away.

Jack, excited by the news, told Ty:

"Ty! Soon you'll be realllly big! You'll be all the way up to my eye boogers!"

....maybe we should make hygiene more of a priority.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The difference

Jack, my four-year-old, is in love with baby Austin.

Ty, two weeks from being a three-year-old, doesn't share Jack's excitement.

Jack can't wait to say good morning to Austin when he gets up. He tries to kiss him while I'm nursing --gross. Mike and I have attempted to hammer it into his head that we don't hug him when he's asleep. Sometimes in the car if Jack sees that Austin is about to drift off to sleep, Jack will shriek loudly in order to keep Austin's eyes from closing. Jack's hugs are so full of emotion that he sometimes chokes the poor baby. He swings him in the Johnny-jump-up with the same vigor.

Jack's been known to sneak into Austin's room: "Jack, are you touching Austin?" I yell from the other room. "No, I just kissing him." He will reply.


Yesterday Hannah and Ty and I were out running errands. Ty began naming family members.

"Daddy, Jack, Mommy and Tywer," He lists.

"Aren't you forgetting someone?" Hannah asks him.

"Daddy, Jack, Mommy and Ty," He again tells her.

"And..." Hannah prompts.

"Kelly!" Ty's response indicated he was pleased to have remembered.

"Noooo.... not Kelly, think again, who's missing."

"hmm... Daddy?"

"And who else?"






"And who's the last one?"

"hmm... Austie!"