a few "little moments" and one "big scare"

The last few days the boys and I have had "Dance Time" together. Usually I plug in my Ipod to the dock and we sing & dance the afternoon away.  Their favorite album right now is Michael Buble's "Call Me Irresistible". They love "Everything" and another song that has the words, "Baby, Go! Go! Go!" and when they sing along, it is just so adorable!  They will also occasionally throw on the headphones and rock out on their own.

You can tell in this picture that Logan just woke up from naps.  That may very well be my favorite part of the day.  I have eaten and enjoyed a small respite, and am ready to be joined by my little buddies by the time I hear those little "knock-knock's" on their bedroom door. They are so snuggly when they first wake up, all warm and sleep faced.  Like when they were babies.  I love it.

Yesterday Josh let me sleep in and when I woke up and joined them in the living room, Logan ran up to me, hugged my legs oh-so-tight and said, "Good morning, Mommy!" in the sweetest little boy voice ever.  It was one of those little moments.

When we wake up in the morning, the boys and I get to work first thing making Daddy's lunch.  They absolutely love being my helpers. Jack likes to get the green apples out of the fridge and Logan likes to get Daddy's "soda".  I make the sandwich and the boys steal chips from the baggie I load up for Josh.  Most mornings we also try to include a note or drawing for Josh to read on his lunch break, telling him how we love him so.

They are not only my helpers, but Josh's helpers, too.  They are such mini-me's. Anything daddy is doing, they want to do as well. Here Josh is measuring for the coat hooks he wanted to hang, so Jack got into his own toolbox, found his miniature tape measure and started measuring right alongside Josh.  It was so precious.

I made snack for Logan yesterday and he said, "Thank you, mommy, for making pineapple for me. It's my favorite!'

And when I was switching the laundry, he heard me open the dryer and came running into the laundry room, "I'll be your big helper, mommy!" I handed him the towels and he put them into the dryer for me.

 Their favorite movie right now is "Up" and every once in a while I will hear Jack pretending to talk to "Russell" (whom he calls "Muscle") the little boy in the film.  He will also ask me if our house is going to float away in the sky with balloons. I tell him that's just pretend and silly.  Then he'll tell me, "I'm being funny, mom!"

 I was in the bathroom getting ready yesterday and heard them getting their stools to take in the kitchen. "You can't use those in the kitchen," I hollered, "You'll fall down." 
"Okay, mom," Jack shouted back.
Then I heard labored breathing, lots of grunting and some teamwork ("Get it, Logan." "Come on, Jack!") When I came into the kitchen, this is what I saw.
Both boys, on their reading chair, in the kitchen, getting m&m's out of the Potty Jar.  I couldn't help but crack up.  I was actually quite proud that A) they didn't use their stools and B) they worked together so well.  These boys keep me on my toes!

 Last night we had a big scare with Logan. He'd been complaining off and on about a belly ache, grabbing his belly and nearly doubling over in pain.  When he seemed to be having another attack at 6pm, I decided it was time to go Urgent Care.  Before we left, the boys said goodbye to each other and Jack hugged Logan and said, "You be brave, buddy, okay?"  I could have cried.  He was so worried about his brother.

Well, we went to Urgent Care and the pediatrician there said that with just a fever and belly pain that was focused near the appendix, he was concerned it might be appendicitis, so he suggested we go to Legacy Salmon Creek's Emergency Room since they have a Pediatric ER there.  So my mom picked Jack up and took him to her house (since I had the car with both car seats) and Josh met Logan & I at the ER in Salmon Creek.  At that point Logan was burning up. His temp was nearly 103 and he was so lethargic and out of it.  He just rubbed the tag on his bubba over & over, laying his sweet little head on my shoulder.

Finally it was our turn to be seen and we headed back.  The nurses there were amazing and I felt very confident about the care he received.  The first order of business was to talk with the doctor and get some motrin in Logan.  Slowly (very slowly) his fever started coming down and the doctor ordered some tests to rule out the appendix.  She wanted blood work, a bag of fluids in him and an abdominal ultrasound.
I was super nervous about the blood work because last time we had to get an IV in him, it took three tries and was quite traumatic.  This time the nurse came in ahead of time to scope his veins and choose the best one.  Then she brought a coworker with her and they swaddled him up, one arm out.  One nurse leaned on his body so he couldn't move, and I held his bubba's tags to his face and stayed where he could see me, near his head.  The other nurse took his arm and went for it.  He had cried a bit when I told him he was going to have to get a poke, but had calmed down again, then was scared as we swaddled him, then calmed down, and then cried for, maybe 30 seconds, as the actual needle went in, and then he was fine.  He just watched the nurse work on drawing the blood and setting his arm so he wouldn't bend it.  It was amazing. I was so proud of my brave little trouper.

When it was all said and done he got to watch Stuart Little and he was so happy. "I was a big boy, Mommy?" he asked.  "I was brave, Daddy? You're so proud of me?"  We just took turns holding him and loving on him. And I never stopped praying.
I was terrified that he was going to need surgery, and that is super scary any time, but especially on young patients, and I was just imagining how awful the recovery time would be.  I just prayed for God to guide the hands of those caring for Logan and for Logan to be okay.  Then I called to check on Jack and let the boys talk. Jack asked Logan if he wanted to come home.  And when I got back on the phone with Jack he asked, "How's Logan doing mom?"  I told him that the doctors were taking care of him.

Next we headed to ultrasound, where I sat on the bed with Logan in my lap and they "took pictures" of his belly.  At this point it was 9:30pm and he was almost asleep during parts of it.  Then around 10:00pm, we got results- his appendix and all his insides looked great and normal.  The doctor said his blood work also looked great, only showing a bit of dehydration that is common to see when a child has been having diarrhea.  Strange, because Logan hasn't had diarrhea, but she said as soon as we got a bag of fluids in him, we could go home and manage his fever there.

When the boys were reunited, I should have had my video camera out.  Logan ran to Jack and the two embraced as Logan asked, "You were worried about me, Jack?" and Jack asked, "How you doing, Logan? You went to the doctors?"  And Logan told him, "I was brave, Jack."  I just stood there watching in disbelief as my two year olds passed information back and forth, filling each other in and hugging at random intervals.  It was such a proud mommy moment.
You could see the relief on Jack's face, which mimicked my own, and we were all four never so happy to go in their bedroom, sing "Sunshine" and tuck them in their own little beds.


little moments

I will be featuring a new blog post idea now that I am home full time. I have only been home for seven days but each day there has been at least one small moment where I've had that contented feeling of, "This is right." Where one of the boys, or both, have expressed an emotion or spontaneously hugged me or done something adorable that I would have otherwise missed had I been working.
Today's "Little Moments", as I will be calling them, involved mostly Jack.
It was nap time and Logan was already asleep (a rarity- Jack is usually the first to conk out). I couldn't figure out why I couldn't see Jack on the screen. (We have a camera in their room to catch naughty behavior and assist us with bedtimes.)  So I went in there and he was sitting on the edge of his bed, smiling proudly, "I put on my socks myself, mommy!"  And despite myself I hugged him and said, "Jack, I'm so proud of you!" Every time we go to put socks on Jack asks to do it himself and every time he ends up needing help.  This time he did it completely independently and they were even on correctly, with the rubber skid protectors on the bottom of his feet.  He just beamed.
Later we were all listening to music and dancing. When we were done I went to sit down and finish writing up this weeks' to-do list and Jack said, "No, mommy, don't sit down in that chair. Play ball with me. Come on!"  So I gave in and we played "baseball" with a basketball and a screwdriver.  I just love how creative their play is.
  I was asking the boys if they wanted me to go to work tomorrow or stay home with them again and Logan said I could go to work.  Jack said, "No, mommy. You stay home." Then Logan changed his mind and said, "Yes, you stay home, mommy. Daddy can go to work."
They both thanked me for making muffins with them this morning.
This afternoon we were cutting Sukie's nails and Logan said, "Mommy, Sukie is being brave."
And finally tonight we were watching a movie before dinner and Jack was sitting next to me. Logan started climbing up onto my lap and he said to me, "Don't worry, mommy. I will be careful of your baby."  Cause I always tell them that they have to be gentle and not push on my belly.  
They are just as precious as can be.
And I am so thankful to finally
be home enjoying all of their
little moments.


I am home...

  Don't let your eyes get used to darkness
The light is coming soon
Don't let your heart get used to sadness
Put your hope in what is true

No matter how the wind may blow
It cannot shake the sun
Lay your sorrows on the ground
It's time to come back home

When the future seems uncertain

Like the coming of a storm
Your loving Father carries his children
When they can't walk anymore

No matter how the wind may blow

It cannot shake the sun
Lay your sorrows on the ground
It's time to come back home
{JJ Heller}   

 It's official:
I am a stay-at-home mom! 

Some things happened last week that made Josh and I re-evaluate our current situation.  We decided that it was time for me to come back home.  So today I went in and gave notice that I would not be going back to work.  I am terrified not to have a steady income, but I have prayed long and hard for this day, and every sacrifice will be worth it in order for me to be home with our boys.  I trust that the Lord will provide and I have the support of those around me.  I am giddy with excitement about being able to spend everyday at home playing with Logan & Jack!


6 months & a walk in the park

On Sunday was I was 24 weeks- 6 months pregnant with little Wyatt.  I cannot begin to tell you how quickly this pregnancy is flying by compared to how agonizingly slow it went with the boys.

 Luckily despite my pregnancy's quick progression, the boys are finding time to work on their big brother skills. Here Jack feeds his baby doll (named Isaiah after his cousin) a bottle oh-so-carefully.

 And Logan works to put a coat on his baby girl (named Baby) so he can take her for a stroller ride.  I think that if I plan this carefully and work hard on their training, these two could raise Wyatt while Josh and I coach from the sidelines!

 I am happy about reaching 24 weeks for a few reasons. One is that I am no longer nauseous or sick. And for that, I am so grateful.  I am also happy to reach 24 weeks because this is the age of viability (the baby could possibly survive outside my womb). And lastly I am grateful because at 24 weeks with the boys, I was hospitalized for horrible gallbladder attacks and shortly after was placed on moderate bedrest.  It was a scary time with that pregnancy, whereas this pregnancy is moving along without a hitch.

We took the boys to the park yesterday, and it always amazes me how much they can do with their bodies. Logan climbed this little rockwall all by himself, up and down.

Here, Jack was able to stay on the big kid swing for a while, and was able to jump off on his own when he was done.

They both practiced climbing this scary ladder/monkey bar/mothers-worst-nightmare thing and survived.


I like to see how they choose to play with the toys, where they like to explore and what parts of the park they find exciting.  The platform Jack is laying on is (I think) for doing a pretend drive through, but Jack thought it looked like the perfect perch for a mid-play nap.

Lately we've been talking a lot (as one would imagine) about babies, and being in tummies. Jack would like to go back in my tummy, but Logan tells him he's too big.  They are both pretty sure the baby is getting bigger in my belly, and they will occasionally tell me they can see him through my belly button.

The other day I asked Jack if he was in my belly alone and he answered, "No, Logan was with me."  I wish that via the blog and my written words I could describe the way he said it.  It was with such confidence (even though I have never discussed the idea of them both being my tummy together) that it almost seemed as if he could remember it.  There was a wisdom in his voice that kind of gave me twin chills.

 This also gave me twin chills.  I said, "Put your arms around each other!" And instead, at the exact.same.moment, they both did this, perfectly mirror image of the other and I had the luck of capturing it.

 Then they figured out what I had meant and went for this brotherly love hug.

The boys say, "Hooray for the Baby!"
In just 16 short weeks we will meet him.
He will be here before we know it!


Do not worry...

 “Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you. . . do not fear. . . I will be with you ...  Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" 
{bits & pieces from Isaiah 43}

 {Photo courtesy of Jack}

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body? More than clothing?  Therefore do not worry about what you will eat, drink or wear, for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore DO NOT WORRY about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  
Matthew 6:25-34

Some good reminders for me right now as some things in my life are changing.
I need not worry, God is taking care of me.


Happy Valentine's Day

To the light of my life,
my sanity,
my other half,
my best friend.

I love you.


My funny valentine's

 Logan-8 months
{February 2009}

 Jack-8 months
{February 2009}

 Logan- one & a half
{February 2010}

 Jack- one & a half
{February 2010}

 Jack & Logan- two & a half
{February 2011}


On & on you will go...

The most inspiring blog I follow (Enjoying the Small Things) often leaves me contemplating life, God, motherhood and all things human.  This mostly leads nowhere as I am often too exhausted at the end of the day to put any of those thoughts together into a coherent post that may (in some small way) inspire any of you readers.  But today I am off work, and although I awoke at 4:45am with my boys, I am not too tired (at 1:37 in the afternoon) to put my thoughts into a meaningful post about the road I'm on, and how I am changing.

In May Josh and I had the future spread before us like a road map. We knew which exit we were going to get off at, which hotel we were planning on staying in and which exciting attractions we would visit.  Then around August we realized that all we had planned was not going to work out. We were going to have to hit the road without a map. No GPS to guide us, no locals to stop and ask for directions. I would be heading back to work, and Josh would not be in a classroom all his own.

Oh, the heartbreak. How badly we had wanted to visit those attractions, and stay in our planned hotel. We had worked so long and so hard for this part of our lives.  A grand total of eight years of college education between us, and nothing, really, to show for it.

 So I drove back to Lincoln in September, tears in my eyes, ready for this journey to begin, just so it could end.  If that makes any sense.  Leaving the boys after being home with them all summer felt like severing my arm.  I had an actual ache in my chest as I drove off, waving & honking like mad to make them smile.

"But on you will go, though the weather be foul;
On you will go though the Hakken-kraks howl;
Onward up many a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore, and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike, and I know you'll hike far,
and face up to your problems, whatever they are."
(Dr. Suess, "Oh The Places You'll Go")

So we hiked.  
I grabbed Josh's hand, and we started this new adventure that we were not prepared for and had no intentions of completing.  Eventually, despite initial "No's", Josh was hired on at not one, but two districts as a substitute teacher, and my job, though I lost my sidekick shortly after school started, was doable.  We could do this. We could work, we could make ends meet, and Josh would continue to hunt for work.

In October we hit a detour on our already surprising trek, as I found out I was carrying our third son.  Stress levels hit an all time high as I became sick, nauseous and overwhelmed by health problems occurring in our duplex. 

Then in November Josh found a batch of jobs up in Alaska that looked promising.  We held our breath as he had a handful of initial interviews and he started working on paperwork for becoming endorsed to teach in Alaska.  But, alas, it was not meant to be.  As he was waiting for fingerprinting tabs to be mailed, the jobs filled up and we were back where we started- barely making it and losing faith fast.

By December I was feeling pretty desperate. I was ready to cash out my retirement (what little there was) and stay home at any cost.  Mentally, I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't leave the kids everyday just to barely cover the bills and groceries. It didn't seem worth it.  But without any promise of a permanent job for Josh, I knew I couldn't responsibly make that decision for our family.  So in January, (after being so blessed & uplifted by those around us for the holidays) I went back, yet again, with a lump in my throat.  And I started slipping into a depression, with severe panic attacks and anxiety, an inability to sleep, super disturbing dreams and a complete lack of happiness, joy or hope for the future.  
I had, in this journey, lost myself.

 Realizing that with a baby on board I couldn't jump ship (pun intended) I knew some changes needed to take place. Step One: Make a Plan.

I decided to seek out a counselor who could help me sort through my feelings about this pregnancy, the relationships in my life, my anxiety & depression, and everything else that was bubbling just below the surface.  This was a great first step.  Dr. R gave me some worksheets on depression about what to watch out for (like negative self talk) and some ways to force myself out of the social coma I had induced. I signed on to do Bunco (a dice game) once a month with a group my parents play with; I scheduled a girls night; I scrapbooked (which I hadn't done in so long because it was so much effort); and I started trying to accept what life had handed me. That was step two.  Acceptance, for me, was a toughie.

I have always (always!) hated the saying, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade."  First, because what you really want to hear is "Oh, that sucks!" And second, because it's a cop out.  When you are in some really tough situations, it doesn't matter what you do to make the best of it, it can still feel pretty awful.  Especially if you are struggling with depression.  I felt like the main character in Office Space when he tells his hypnotist that each day that he wakes up is the worst day of his life, and the hypnotist says, "Oh, that's messed up."  

Everyday I would vacillate between being angry about our situation (after all that hard work, $20,000 in student loans, two years of me having to leave the boys, and at least fifty job applications-NOTHING!?!) and bawling my eyes out because I wasn't the only one upset here (Josh's dreams of teaching had yet to be realized, and he so badly wants to be a provider for us and allow me to stay home) and then I finally, about two weeks ago, reached a decision.

 I must take my life, this journey, this hike, this adventure, one day at a time.  
And for me, that means being truly present when I am at home, and being truly present when I am at work.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days the kids at work keep me laughing, I feel productive & needed and I love my coworkers so much I couldn't imagine not seeing them each week.  Other days the kids at work make me crazier than my own kids, my coworkers seem grouchy and I feel completely useless.  Same with at home- some days I feel an amazing connection with my boys, we laugh & giggle, make amazing memories and enjoy each other to the fullest, and some days they do nothing but tantrum no matter what I do, we have no fun, and I cry myself to sleep at night for having been short with them.  
But I fall asleep on my tear dampened pillow knowing I get to try both again tomorrow.

 Kelle (from Enjoying the Small Things) had this to say: 
"I think that tiny uncomfortable feeling of guilt that arises when we feel we could have done better is good too. Because what follows it is the best of the best, Baby--the full-dose, the first fruits. If we've already arrived, we have no place to go. But if we, for just a moment, feel like we might have slipped, how amazing are those next efforts, eh?"

I just love her. She makes even my mistakes meaningful. She asked recently what word you would use to describe yourself in 2010.  She gave examples like "capable", "purposeful", "triumphant" and "settled".  This got me thinking (as her posts often do) about what word I would use to describe myself in 2010.  There's such a list to choose from...


The changes that have happened-- our canceled road trip... the unexpected trek we took instead... baby Wyatt on the way (Did I mention we picked a name for Babyham?) --have all changed me. They have made me a better wife, better mother and stronger woman.  They are not what I would have asked for, or predicted, but they are what life has handed me.  And so I will stop being surprised and underestimating myself.  I will be strong. I will grow & learn from all of this.  I will find myself & be creative. Where there seems to be no answers, I will invent the right answers.  I will find my way.

We will find our way.