Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A picture says is all

I fell upon these gems while going through and deleting photos that didn't need to be saved on the computer. They made me laugh because this is pretty typical of my Bennett boy. Happy as a clam one minute, and then mad as hawks the next, followed up with Mr-Sweet-As-Can-Be.

Never a dull moment, not even for a second.

If I remember right, this was all brought on by me taking away the paper tag he was chewing on, and then decided to eat.

Apparently Sophie the giraffe wasn't a very good substitute.

And then, just like that, the storm blows over.

He's got one heck of personality on him, never wishy-washy with his feelings, and I love it.

And just because I can't help is another round, in the exact order as taken.

Mr. Time bomb at your service. Don't you just want to kiss those tear-stained cheekies?

Though these pictures don't depict it, he is truly a delight. Just a stinker. But a cute stinker at that.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An answer to an emotional heart

Sometimes I ask God why I have to be so emotional. Sometimes I'm sure my husband asks God the same thing. And then sometimes it dawns on me that this is how God has wired me to be.

I feel things. Deeply.

Whether in my own hurts or others, sometimes it doesn't even matter if I know you personally.

As I sat crying and praying over a family and their baby who is sick and fighting for life, it dawned on me.....the times that I am most emotional and burdened are the times that I find myself right where I need to be.

On my knees. In prayer.

I'll be honest, I have not been as faithful in my devotions as I should. Sometimes my only prayer time is a desperate plea of sanity, and sometimes I forget where I even put my Bible.

But then in times like these where I can't seem to stop the tears from falling, when I helplessly listen to a person very dear to me cry over losing another baby who didn't even make it to her arms, when I read of horrific accidents and lives lost prematurely, when I hear of another vowed love lost, given up on, and walked away from, when I look around and see our government place little to no value on innocent babes who don't stand a fighting chance against "a woman's body, a woman's right".

It seems so mixed up, so backwards, so helpless.

Yet there is hope. There is so much hope. And that is why when I actually listen to calling of my heart, the pouring out of my soul to the One who knows, who cares, who can shine a light in the darkness.

I find the most peace, the most hope, and the most truth.

My prayer today is for those who are going through the unthinkable, who are having a hard time making out right or left, who can't seem to find a firm ground to stand on. May God bring peace to you, may you feel His presence in the midst of the inability to feel anything but the unknown. May His light shine brightly on the path you are to take. May you know He cares for you deeply, because you are His, His child.

I came across this on Beth Moore's blog, and found it very encouraging and fitting.

"When I feel like my world is spinning out of control, the fact that my name is engraved in the palm of God’s hands is indescribable. Translation: He really does care for me greatly and deeply.

“In his hand is the life of every living thing
 and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16

And may my heart never grow to a calloused place where I am not burdened by the things of this world.

I have an emotional heart, one that I hope will continue reminding me where I need to be. On my knees, in His hands, and never forgetting the eternal promise that He has given us all.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Special Dad calls for special salad

Father's Day snuck up on me this year. Mainly because we have been consumed with getting this house thing wrapped up. But that didn't stop us from taking a sweet moment to recognize some wonderful dads in our lives.

I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for each of these men. My sons are so lucky to have 3 amazing role models to look up to. I pray that they can glean from these men so that they too can live a life that is full, that is honorable, and that puts Christ first in every circumstance.

In an effort to celebrate, we packed.

Took apart our dining room table.

And watched Cole use the broken down table to dance on.

We realized pretty quickly that packing with a toddler under hand and a baby needing attention seems to move things in a negative direction. So we called it a day. And stuffed our bellies instead.

Thankfully I had planned ahead a little...and by a little, I mean, I was running to the store the day before to pick up remaining ingredients.

We grilled up steak, and served it alongside this....

Holy cow.

I love me some fruit and greens salad, but this, this blew it out of the park! I grew so tired of the typical cranberry/pear/candied pecan salad or something along those lines. And to be honest, I almost succumbed to the urge to stay with what I knew. But I wanted something fresh, seasonal, and different to go alongside the savory grilled steak. And this hit every point to a 'T'.

I first layed eyes on this beauty while reading Lauren's Latest.

And then adapted it to my own liking. As it turns out I prefer it with no bacon, but the hubby likes it know that it is amazing either way.

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar because I didn't have any white)
4 tablespoons sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon poppyseeds

For the Salad:
Any greens of your choosing, I used an organic baby spring mix...but spinach would be great!
2 cups sliced strawberries
4 slices of bacon
1/2 cup (more or less depending on your preference) of feta cheese--goat cheese would be really tasty too, I just didn't have any on hand.
1 avocado, sliced.
1/4 cup chopped almonds, I didn't add these because I forgot but they would add nice texture.

Throw all of the salad ingredient together (I precooked the bacon, made it really crispy, and then crumbled it).

To make the dressing, simply add all ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk until mixed thoroughly. Drizzle over salad and serve immediately.

***this makes a lot of dressing and it is soooooo good! I am keeping a jar of it in my refrigerator to remind me to eat more salad. Hopefully it will work...this girl needs more greens! 

I hope you enjoy it, it will make any day feel special when served along side some kind of protein. You could even make it a main dish by adding grilled chicken to it...hmmmm...I may have just figured out dinner for tonight. :)

The best part is that I got to send my hubby to work with a steak and salad lunch. He deserved it, he works so hard for our family so that I can stay home with our boys. Something I am incredibly thankful and grateful for.

Thanks for being the best dadda honey! Even Cole got in on the Father's Day action, he was so proud of the card he made, and worked especially hard making "dot, dot, dots".

We love you honey!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mood Changer

What's one to do when a bad mood really dampens the day? Go for a walk with this guy.

And then let him "run now, mama!" about a foot in front of you.

That little trot that he calls a run is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face.

It did mine. It actually brought a smile and so much more.

Especially when he thinks he's running really fast and his little arms go flying behind him. You know, the force of his speed is too much for them to handle, or something like that.

I couldn't help but giggle.

Or how about when you look over after folding laundry and realize he is using your underwear as a headband. 

It's a sure game changer.

Pretty hard to get upset when you hear, "Hi, mama" and turn your head to see a chocolate covered mug stuffing the remaining chocolate bar in his mouth.

Yep, he tells on himself at the last minute.....with just enough time to finish off what he thinks to be the evidence.

What can I say....I may do the same thing, except I don't tell...sometimes it seems logical to eat all my chocolate in one day so I don't have to be tempted by it day after day....after day.

And if I don't have chocolate, at least I have this guy. He makes me so happy.

So if you find yourself in a funk, I dare you to send your toddler about a foot ahead of you "running".

No toddler? Then I dare you to run like the wind with your arms sprawled behind you, it will either make you feel better or ridiculously crazy, but at least it will take your mind off of whatever was bothering you. ;)

It seems to work wonders for us!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

9 whole months.

From the moment I met his face I knew, I knew that he was just what we needed.

He may push me on the brink of insanity at times, he may make me cry in utter exhaustion, he may also bring me the most overwhelming sense of comfort, love and purpose.

His name is Bennett, and he is nine months old.

He has now wiggled, giggled, crawled and rolled his way around this world as long as he kicked and shoved his way around my womb.

Those nine months were intense, they were scary, they were beautiful.

And just as he kept us on the edge of our seats while I held him in my tummy, so does he while he explores this big world around him.

No fear should be his middle name. While Cole always balanced on the brink of caution, Bennett throws it all to the wind, and dives in head first---literally. He had a nice fresh goose egg as I took him in for his well-baby check yesterday, impeccable timing as usual.

Earlier this morning I turned around to scuffling and found that Bennett had dog-piled Cole and had him pinned to the ground with one hand on Cole's chest and the other with a fistful of his hair. Cole looked at me with a half smile...kind of like, 'Mom, this is sort of fun, but sort of overwhelming all at the same time.' I had to pry those fists off of his big brother.  Bennett, you proved your point, as usual. Big brother may think twice next time dog pile crosses his mind.

He may be little, but he is wirey, as my mom says. He is in the 4th percentile for weight (17 lbs) and 5th for height (26 inches). He actually lost a 1/2 lb in a month, so we are supposed to try and chub him up with some high calorie foods. He is in a size 3 diaper, wearing some 3-6 mo clothing, but mostly in 6-9 mo.  Overall he is developing and hitting all of his milestones with flying colors!

He finally started doing the real crawl about a week before he turned 9 months. He had been moving along just fine doing a kind of army crawl combined with a froggy style leg action. I almost thought that he would skip actual crawling just because he was so successful getting around that way. But just as with everything else he had to prove me wrong. I had to admit, I really love it when they start to is just the cutest thing ever!

He is definitely using crawling to his advantage to digging and rummaging. He loves to open and close any type of door.  The other day he kept himself occupied by opening a cabinet door and pulling out muffin tins, colanders, cutting boards, and whatever he could get his sticky little fingers on. Sometimes you just got to let them make a mess.

He has decided that he no longer likes taking baths. Pair that with still not liking getting lotioned up, or getting dress, or going down to sleep for that matter..... and you pretty much get how his bed time goes.

We finally decided to bite the bullet and do some sleep training. You can only go with no sleep for so long before you start to feel like you're living an out of body experience. We had reached that point. It was no fun. For anyone. 

We finally decided we weren't sleeping anyways, so might as well teach one of us how to fall asleep on their own. The one of us being, the smallest, yet mightiest in this department. It took a lot of crying, a lot of soothing, a lot of back patting, and tear wiping. But eventually he caved. And he started giving us some longer stretches. I felt like a new woman!

He has had nights of regression, and night's where we aren't as consistent as we should be. But overall, he is sleeping better. But now he likes to rise with the sun.

Such a stinker.

He is working on waving, and will usually start flapping one arm excitedly when I, or someone walks in the room.

He loves to be silly. Usually this silliness comes out when he is dodging whatever it is that I want him to be doing...usually sleeping. While walking around with him trying to get him to go to sleep, I noticed that anytime I looked away from him he would start to giggle....then when I turned my head to look at him he would erupt in straight-from-the-belly-laughter. We were both laughing so hard, he postponed his nap, and I had tears streaming down my face.

He enjoys having dinner with us. I have been giving him cheerios and puffs, both of which he loves. He is getting so good at his pincher grasp, and is getting quicker and more efficient by the day.

He also enjoys eating whatever he can find on the floor--so gross, I know. He's my pocket vacuum.  Thankfully most of the junk he finds are lost cheerios anyways, saves me from dragging out the real vacuum....I'm kidding, I'm kidding (well, kind of).

He still really loves being right up in big brothers grill.

You should see the way these two light up when they see each other in the morning! Today, as I was walking Bennett down the stairs, Cole kept yelling, "Bay-bay, Bay-bay, Bay-bay". He could have cared less about me, he wanted to give his little bro a big hug and kiss before anything else.

The other day, the two of them were playing outside, Cole shared his cars with him, and Bennett could not have been happier.

Cole insisted on wearing that hat.

There's just something about little fingers and a red car.

Never in a million years did I think seeing a red car in little hands would bring me so much joy. And that is just one of the many, many, many reasons why I think God knew I needed little boys.

They just bring me joy. 

I love watching them both grow and change and learn about the world around them. While I wish I could shield them from boo-boos, bonks, and scraped knees...I know that is all part of this process.

I am so thankful that I can at least be here, day in and day out to kiss those tears good-bye, to snuggle them when they need it, and to hug them when they let me. 

And I get to watch those little chubby hands, playing with red cars, grow into bigger more perplex hands that can reach out to those who need help, to grasp those that need a little footing, to carry those who cannot walk themselves. May God grant my children the strength to use those hands for many good things, even when the good may be going against the grain.

How I love them. More than words.

And Bennett boy, I have no doubt you will channel all of that spunk for the good of the world.

The world needs a good dose of your spunk for sure. And the world will never be the same. 

From 9 months to so much more! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Knocking like crazy on wood

Dare I even say it? 

Do I really want to jinx this?

Perhaps I should just stick to a wordless Wednesday post and soak in the goodness of the moment. 

I guess I feel with all of my whining and groaning the past couple of weeks, I need to share some positiveness.

So here it is, the moment I have been waiting for...the moment where I don't feel like I am sinking in an endless fog of sleepiness. 

He sleeps. He actually knows how to do it! 

It's crazy, I know.

We started doing a little sleep training on Saturday, he is finally learning how to soothe himself without the help of mama. He still wakes up twice to eat, but honestly that is about as long as I can go comfortably anyways. One night he gave us a 5 hours stretch and I thought I might explode...going from feeding every 1-2 hours to 5 is quite the extreme!

Turns out he really doesn't need to eat every hour to survive. 

Turns out he actually wakes up in an even better mood when he sleeps in longer stretches.

Turns out I actually enjoy waking up and seeing the morning sun.

Crazy how a couple of 3-4 hour stretches can make you feel on top of the world.....nearly nine months later.

Better late than never little Ben-ben.

Now who knows what tonight or tomorrow night will bring, perhaps this is just a tease. But a tease that was needed and will be appreciated nonetheless.

So, to all my mama friends who feel like you are walking in a forever tunnel of grogginess and desperation. 

Know this, you will survive...may not feel like it at times, but you will. Either your body will naturally learn to adapt, friends and family come to your rescue, or your blessing bundle will decide to cave and conk out. 

Thankfully mine conked. For now, that is. At least I have regained enough energy to where I feel like I can stay in a sane mindset should he regress. 

A sane mindset is where it's at. 

And just in the nick of time....did I mention that we put an offer on a  house? They accepted.

What's even crazier is that we set out to buy a new house and ended up falling in love with a 100 year old farmhouse.

Weird how that works out. We are still praying and waiting for the inspection. If there are too many issues, we will most likely walk away. 

At least now I have the energy to start packing boxes...our house is officially no longer ours, and we have just a couple more weeks left here. 

Changes are a brewin'. And so is my coffee, but today I think I can settle with just one cup and call it good. ;)

Thank you little man.

And thank you Lord. What a blessing!