Thursday, February 27, 2014

I just realized that this little sweetie pie is going to be 1 1/2 in a couple weeks...

I would be lying if I didn't say it took me a bit by surprise. Or that secretly my heart is sad because one of these days he is going to push me away instead of snuggling up close. He is going to want his independence instead of insisting that he needs my hand wherever he goes. And he may actually come to realize that life isn't over if his mama doesn't give him her undivided attention, for every moment.

He's going to give up our precious nursing sessions ( or at this rate, I may be the one taking them) He won't need me to lift his cozy, warm little body out of his crib each morning. he won't let his hair go wild, and will try to calm it a bit. And waking up 3 times a night because he either misses me, wants to snuggle, or thinks he's hungry will become a thing of the past. Soon he will be self-sufficient, and I will have to steal kisses from him when he least expects it. But never will I stop kissing that boy.


For such a little fire cracker, he sure is sweet. For such a determined little man, he sure needs his mama by his side. For such a big personality, he is as tender as they come. While he may be growing up way too fast, I have been absolutely delighted to be his chosen one at his side, every moment of every second of every day.

His little hands are now steady as he stacks blocks as tall as he is. He pretend plays with Cole and I, and is fully involved in every aspect, even though he has yet to form a sentence. He mimics and imitates every little thing.

He's starting to get a little trot run down, and "jumps" on command. He is cautious with any new situation, especially if unfamiliar faces are around. He tends to look pretty darn serious as he soaks everything in.

He loves to point to his eyes, nose, ears, tum-tum, belly button, knees, feet and toes. And head and shoulders is a fave. He recently found his nostril, and now likes to stick his finger in it and run from me while doing so. He also likes to try and pick my nose while he's nursing, what is it with boys and boogs?!

The other morning I asked Cole if he would rather watch Mickey Mouse or Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and a little voice behind me yelled, "TI-EEE" apparently he had an opinion. Daniel Ti-ee it was.

His blasted eye teeth finally popped through....along with the tips of an upper and lower molar...with more on the way I'm sure. At least there is an explanation for the extremely clingy, extremely sad little boy I had hanging off of every limb for the past month! Tylenol, you are our friend.

He has finally ( I hesitate to even type these next sentences, but due to wanting his life properly documented will do so anyways...) stopped waking up all hours of the night. And as of this past week has been waking up once to nurse and then goes back down until about 8, sometimes 9 in the morning. His brother on the other hand.....

Needs to get the memo, 5:30 am is NOT a good time to start the day, why....really, why? But to help keep this mama sane, they both take their one nap at the same time, hallelujah! Thanks to Bennett dropping his second nap about a month and a half ago, we are back to being able to actually leave the house!

He is my little bookworm, seriously, he would be happy as a clam to pick out book after book while I read them to him. Currently his top faves are The Little Blue Truck (if you don't have this one, it is soooo cute!), The Potty Book (weird? Yes, maybe...), Moo Baa La La La, The Very Busy Spider, Eric Carle's Book Of Colors, and Panda Bear, Panda Bear. I also found that the secret to get him to lay on his back and not flip while changing a diaper is to give him a book = LIFE-SAVER!

Speaking of The Potty Book, this kid is going to be fully potty trained before his older brother. I have only had to change one poopy diaper all week long. If he starts pushing, all I have to say is, "Bennett, do you need to go poo-poo?" Then he pats hit diaper and takes off to the big boy potty, waits for me to take his diaper off and then does his thang. I've also been able to get him to go potty several times....have I been able to get him to NOT play in it as he's going? No. Baby steps, baby steps....

Seriously, this boy......These boys.....

Goodness, they have me smitten and helplessly in love.

My wild-haired little boy, thank you for your kind heart, for your hugs that squeeze the depths of my soul, for your spunk that makes me laugh and exasperated...sometimes simultaneously. Thank you for needing me, for loving me, for choosing my arms to hold you. This time, these moments are so very dear to me, little one. Thank you for sharing them with me. I love you beyond measure.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rainy day naps

We deal with lots of rain around here.

Lots of rain equals lots of puddles.

A lot of hats, coats, and jumping off rocks.

And little brother taking it all in.

being cute as a button, of course.

There are squabbles over shovels, buckets, and who gets to sit in what dirt....then they both get distracted digging for bugs, or in Cole's case "making" more flowers.

Or the new go-to game of hide n seek. I can see you Cole.....

And then after the damp, wet, play in the cold, comes warm little bodies. Cozy blankets. Blocks. Hot cocoa. Mickey Mouse....and this.

Nap time.

Be still my heart. It's mush, literally mush.

He sleeps with his rump in the air, and those wee little toesies....

My. Heart. Mush.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nailed it.

So I have been trying to do more of a "self-directed play" with the boys. I tend to be to much of a mother hen, and try to coral a little too much, if you know what I mean. I do it with the best of intentions, but I am learning that with boys it is important to allow them the chance to choose, play, and direct themselves. So we gave it a try today.

Cole thought it would be a good idea to paint. Bennett always thinks it's a good idea to paint. So we painted.

Cole decided he was making me a "valentines day" and asked for the heart stickers. So I gave him the stickers

And then the self-directing play began. I was a good girl and just let it unfold, snapping away and laughing along with these two precious hearts. (no pun intended--ok, maybe a little bit)

Here we go....

Bennett seemed to get the brunt of the stickers, but didn't seem to fact, he started helping Cole stick them everywhere.

As you can see, someone thought he was hilarious, as usual.

Not sure if this is what they had in mind, but apparently it's how my boys interpreted it. So either we totally nailed it, or butchered it......I'm gonna go with nailed it. :)

Either way, we had a good time, and in the end....isn't that all that matters?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Killing his Goliath

You know what? God heard my cries. While sleep over the weekend was practically non-existent, I had sweet rejuvenation on Monday. Monday....of all the days. I went into it super weary, super tired. My expectations were pretty low for how the day would unfold.

Low and behold the day couldn't have been better. This boy about blew my socks off with how compliant, kind, obedient, and thankful he was. In fact, looking back I don't think he had to take one time out!

If i asked him to pick something up, he was all, "ok mama!" If I told him to not do something he responded with, "Oh, sorry mama...." He helped Bennett when he stumbled, he brought toys to keep him busy, he shared his crayons when given the chance. I may have shed a happy tear or two. Mainly because it was clear that all of my disciplining and attempts at training a kind hearted boy seemed to actually be paying off! This cool little dude was actually listening and taking things to heart. He has such a tender one.

In fact, I am learning more and more just how tender and delicate his little heart really is.

He tells me lots of things, a lot of what he likes and what he doesn't like, what makes him happy, sad, and what makes his heart scared.  He is always processing things, always thinking, and I'm often shocked to learn that sometimes he ponders things for weeks on end. I'm learning just how important it is for me to make sure I protect his mind and his heart. For such a little boy he hangs onto a lot, especially when something bothers him.

Probably about a month ago he heard the story of David and Goliath for the first time in Sunday school. Afterwards they always send the parents home with a little hand out of what verses they read and the story told. I love this so that I have the chance to talk to Cole about what he learned and have him tell me his interpretations. That particular week though he was so focused on Goliath, he talked about being scared and Jesus helping him, I applauded him for recognizing that Jesus was there for David just as He would be if he ever needed Him. That night he wanted to sleep with the slip of paper that had the Bible verse along with a picture of the Goliath. Then he decided that he would rather have it placed on the fridge downstairs. The next morning I remember him leaping out of bed, running downstairs and standing in front of the fridge just staring at that picture...for a good 5 minutes, nose to nose with Goliath.

I later removed it and threw it away, as I could tell something about it bothered him, but he wouldn't say what.

The next time at Sunday school he marched on in just fine, as usual. But then his number got flashed on the screen during our service, meaning, someone needed to come get him.

I remembered wishing I could run faster to get to him, even though I knew he was in a safe place. But seriously, the minute I looked at my little boy's face, that lower lip crept out, and I knew something was deeply bothering him. He tried to pull it together, but silently tears fell down his cheeks. I just held him and told him it was ok to cry, and then asked if he wanted to go back in to class or come sit with me. He chose me.

He now cries every time we start walking down the stairs to get to his class. Finally, he gathered enough courage to go in, and thankfully our dear friends were teaching and helped him warm back up to the idea.

Then yesterday happened, and the pieces started falling into place.

I recently started trying to do devotions each morning with both boys. I kept pulling down The Storybook Bible (which comes highly recommend for young children) and Cole kept asking to read out of "mama's Bible" instead, so we would. And then we would pray together and go on with our day.

Well, yesterday I got the bright idea to pull out the dvd that came with the Storybook Bible and watch it with Cole. As he saw me put it into my computer he became hysterical, covering his eyes, crying and clawing at me to take it out. I took it out, completely shocked by the sudden outburst.

Turns out, something about those videos seriously scare his little mind. And after asking my friend I found out that they watch one every week in Sunday school that coincides with the story they teach.


I think what it boils down to,  he has a very vivid imagination and a bright little mind. He remembers things, pictures things, and if something scares him...he has a really hard time letting it go. And after looking at the picture of Goliath, I can see why it might frighten a young mind. But how else do you depict a great big, bully of a giant?

So we will be moving him back down to the toddler class (he was one of the younger kids in the preschool class anyways). Hopefully that will help. And hopefully I can continue learning how to best nurture his tender little soul.

Because he is just that, a tender soul with a tender heart. And I hate that anything could possibly hinder that....especially learning about Jesus, of all things! So we are on a mission to find a new devotional or Bible that might better suit him at this age (any suggestions are welcomed), and hopefully we can kick this scary Goliath fear to the curbside.

Goodness I love this little boy, how he brings so much joy and love to our family.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This week.

Has been full. Full of emotions, full of tears, full of feeling like no matter what, I just can't do enough, full of feeling like I'm just plain sinking.

Just being honest.

The truth is, being a mom is beautiful. It's more than I ever could have imagined it to be. It's also hard, very hard. Every day,'s like shifting sand. No matter what rhythm you've previously found, no matter what you expect to be in place, it is bound to get shaken...sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Sometimes your day doesn't even come close to what it should be.

 I'm learning, that is ok.

It is. It has to be, otherwise I find myself overwhelmed with feeling I just plain can't do it. Especially when your whole house catches the nasty cold that has been making its rounds. And your nights are filled with calming fussy babies, stuffed up toddlers...who delicately put it, "My nose, it not WORKIN!"

Well, while his nose wasn't workin, my heart seemed to be in the same predicament. I wanted to yell at my Heavenly Father...."MY HEART, IT JUST NOT WORKIN!"And neither was my patience for that matter....

I was tired, I grew weary, I got sick. I felt like I had a bazillion things that were expected of me, and the more I tried, the more I disappointed. 

I allowed my heart to be filled with things other than what it should. I lost sight of the fact, that my purpose is right here, in this home, to nurture and love and tend to these little hearts. That is my calling for the now.

Sometimes I forget to embrace it as much as I should, especially when it is hard. And then these littles that I love so dearly gently remind me.

Be in the here. Let go of everything else.

Even when you spend more time wiping noses and bottoms, and when you're up more in the middle of the night than you are asleep. When you feel like your whole day consists of dragging a 3 year old to timeout....over and over...and over again. When your littlest throws a conniption fit if you walk in the opposite direction, even the slightest. Or when you vacuum up cheerios for the umpteenth time in a span of 10 minutes.....and you feel like you might actually crack if you step in one more sticky spot right after you mop the floor.

Let go.

And look for those sweet moments in between the daily grind. Because they are there, sometimes when you least expect it.

Like when your youngest decides to only take a 25 minute nap, but finds comfort snuggled up with mama on the couch, and then mama gets her own needed nap with a warm, snugly baby at her side.

Or when the oldest takes a break from the outbursts of reckless emotions that he is still trying to figure out, and instead channels his inner kind heart as he gently kisses his mama's cheek, and then works long and hard on making the perfect valentine card and then proudly gifts it to his mama saying, "I made dis bor you mama!"

When you give yourself a black eye right in time for Valentine's Day, and you have two little boys hovering over you, concerned and trying to kiss away their own mama's tears.

Sweet moments.Lots of them.

Little tractor sounds, and a boy scooting himself around on one knee to make his tractor move.

The fact that the question "Mama, where is my pink purse" (mama's old school lunch box) was even uttered in a household of  boys and then was demanded to be tucked in next to him at night....

I should probably take this as a cue that I desperately need to get that kid his own lunch pale, one in particular, that is not adorned with My Little Ponies and stickers...trucks perhaps? In his defense he fills it with his trains.... does that make it better?

The fact is, that in between the stretched-way-too-thin days, there are so many moments that remind me why I do this. Why I give everything and then some for these precious souls. Why I find joy after the storm, why pink purses, valentines,  baby snuggles and slobbery kisses mean so much.

Because, they are worth it. All of it. The hard parts and the good parts. And when I feel like I am sinking, all I have to do is be still and wait. Wait for the joy to overtake my heart. Because more often than not, when I stop wallowing and whining, I am embraced by the most beautiful gift I could ever ask for. And in that I find great contentment, great joy.

Praise God for these two boys, they have changed me for the so many ways. Now to just allow my heart to be a reflection of that good.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Apparently the lack of smiles out of Bennett wasn't because he disliked the snow. We forgot a key factor, this kid lives for adventure! He was most likely fuming that big brother was the one getting to do the "fun" stuff, and he was left to stomping mindlessly in the snow.

Or just standing in one spot watching in the distance...

While big bro worked on a snowman with daddy

Only to give into frustrated, fist-in-the-air cry because the head kept crumbling to pieces....

Still really wish I could have captured this moment head know, to really see the full thunder of the moment. Cracks me up every time.

After smashing the snowman to pieces, we decided it was time for sledding...ease the pain of our unsuccessful snowman skills.

Bennett watched, and watched and then suddenly marched over to the sled, pointed at it, and insisted on giving it a himself....all free willy nilly and no holding on, despite how many times Kyle patiently tried to show him.

It was the first time I actually saw true snow enjoyment on his face, and when we tried to lift him off to give Cole a turn, he did the whole, shoes-suddenly-become-all-glue-like-and-stick-like-cement-to-whatever-it-is-he-doesn' we had to plop Cole in the sled with him.

Neither seemed to mind too much.

Oh Bennett, you and your thrill-seeking self. Mama loves you so.

And Cole, I love that you have no issues expressing what you are feeling. Even if it results in fists waving in the air. It's cute, for now at least....especially when it only lasts for two seconds.

And Bennett, next time, mama promises to put you in a hat that actually fits, so you spend less time hanging out in the dark...