Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving....and it's almost Christmas!!!

The holidays are here!! This is my all time favorite time of year. I would leave Christmas decorations up year round if that were socially acceptable. So, last weekend my helpers and I put up the Christmas tree. And it was significantly easier than last year.

I don't know why Walker wasn't dressed. There was probably a good reason.  And it was before Thanksgiving but who cares. We blasted Christmas music and had the best time.

The song below is beautiful.....and off my favorite Christmas album.

This is the first year Harris has been into putting up the tree. He watched me for a little while, then asked, "Can I have a turn?" He is as particular about where he thinks an ornament should go as I am. It's funny to see that manifested in a 3 year old boy. Walker was content to just hang out and be part of the action. He's been pretty good about leaving it alone. He did break one big red ball, but he had been carrrying it around and calling it an apple (Bap-ple, in Walker-speak). Honest mistake, I think.  This is definitely the first year Harris has really "gotten" Christmas at all. He's into it. We saw some random Santa in a parking lot, carrying his jeans and getting some other things out of his car. Harris was a little suspicious and seemed surprised to see him walking around like a regular guy. I waited for the hundreds of questions but they didn't come. It would not break my heart at all to tell him that there's no Santa, but I guess I'll wait for him to start asking. He will eventually because he is asking questions about EVERYTHING.
He felt the baby kick for the first time the other day. He gasped and said, "He likes me!!  He likes to play with me!!" Cute cute. And he still thinks the baby is a girl but just uses he indiscriminately. Here he is rocking his imaginary Baby Issa and playing her (him) some music.
We weren't going anywhere that day so I let him pick out his own clothes. He grabbed a button down and a tie, of course. He tried to get Walker to wear the same thing and that didn't go well. I think Walker ended up with a diaper and socks again. Whatever makes him happy.

So this Thanksgiving is different even than last year for me. I'm incredibly thankful. I'm overwhelmed with the life I've been given.  What an AWESOME time it was to sit back in awe of the God that loves me and gave me these blessings. But I think this means now I need to act.  I've read several times lately the story of Jesus' miracle of feeding the five thousand with just a few fish and some bread. Commentary on this story points out that the miracle hinged on the disciples and others passing on what they were given. They didn't just take the bread and become overwhelmed with gratitude. That wouldn't have been a miracle. God didn't multiply the food until they continued to pass on the blessings they were given. I had to re-read that a few times. GOD MULTIPLIES! But the people had to make a choice to act first, and then came the miracle. Tom and I have been talking and praying about what it looks like for our lives to pass on what we've been given. I'm so excited about 2012. Not only will we welcome a new life in our family but I think our lives will start looking different. So that is what I'm thinking about as I count my many blessings this year. Woo hooo!

We spent Thanksgiving morning in our pj's, eating pancakes and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Well, 3 of us ate panckaes and one of us won't eat pancakes, will only eat waffles, even though the rest of us CALLED them waffles and tried to be sneaky about it. There's no fooling the watchful eye of a two year old. I was really surprised that both kids were into the parade. It was a sweet morning hanging out together, relaxing and baking a few things. And I drank cranberry apple cider by the gallon. Here's the recipe, if anyone is interested. It's so nice to have a day with no agenda.
This was my facebook status yesterday:
Listening to uncontrollable giggling while my precious boys wrestle with their daddy. Drinking homemade apple cider and feeling the baby kick. Thank you Lord for a sweet, sweet life.

Really, what else could I ask for? I want to always remember those 2 little boys charging their daddy, with a look in their eye because they know it is going to be SO FUN. When the wrestling starts, whoever isn't in on it comes running from the other room, literally giddy with anticipation. It's so sweet. Yesterday was a good time to just reflect and relish our family.

After nap, we went over to a friend's house and had the BEST time. It was a random mix of people and it really showed that God's church is united in Christ, because coversation was awesome and edifying. There were 5 different countries (at least) represented, and a mix of college kids and adults, missionaries and business people. And it was one of the best Thanksgiving's ever. I missed my family, of course, but am so thankful to have been given family down here as well. We stayed till almost 10 and our kids miraculously hung in there and did great. Walker was an ANGEL. Yes, that's right. Walker was super well behaved. So proud of that sweet boy. He's growing up! Tom and I stayed up and chatted when we got home, re-hashing some of the things we talked about and just agreed that it had been an awesome night. Thank you, Allison, for hosting us and all the work that entailed for you. It was a blessing to everyone there!!

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh my goodness!

THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK! Then Harris' birthday, then Tom's gone, then Christmas parties, then Christmas, then THE BABY COMES! It has hit me recently that I do not have much time before this little one gets here, and the last few weeks will be miserable so they don't count. Really, I need to have things done by Christmas. Here's the room that needs to be cleaned out by then. You see why I'm starting to sweat.
Ok, so this might be from Hoarders, but you get the idea.
 We're putting Walker in the office, moving all the office gear upstairs, and Walker's nursery will be #3's nursery. So the office needs to be cleaned out, the upstairs needs to be reorganized to make room for the office stuff, and the garage needs to be cleaned out to make room for me and the belly to walk all the way around the car. When we moved in this house, Harris was on the way so one room just became a nursery. Walker's room was the guest room but we knew #2 would come soon so I always kept it ready to be relocated. And it will take three people, for sure, to move the furniture, because that's how many it takes to move our couch. We need to coordinate that part, too. So this is the first time we've had this much to do before a baby comes, and in the midst of taking care of two little's just time to get to work. That's all.

But I took the boys to the park last week and they had so much fun together. It was just a sweet gift from the Lord, reminding me what a blessing another sibling will be to our family. Look at this cuteness.

Harris was so proud to push his brother and Walker was loving the attention from "Wa-Wis," as he says.

Look at Walker attempting to keep up with his brother. This poor third one is going to be running its whole life trying to keep up with the older two.

Nothing like playing in the dirt. I love the way Walker is sitting. It's so cute when they sit that way.

Tom's been sick this week. We passed some sort of virus around our house for awhile and it's Tom's turn. I've been disinfecting every surface I can find (while I organize/purge, ha!) so hopefully it's on its way out. And I did my gestational diabetes test today. I failed it the first time (with Harris) and the three hour test is so gross I'm really hoping to pass it this time. In case you don't know what that is, you have to drink a very sugary drink, then  have your blood drawn to check your blood sugar. It's a challenge to keep the drink down, it's so super sweet. REALLY hoping I passed.

Harris has been on a baking kick and we've been making three ingredient muffins. They're easy and good. It's a can of pumpkin, spice cake mix, and chocolate chips. EASY. Harris refuses to eat them since we didn't follow the directions on the cake mix and add eggs, but he still likes to help me make them. He reiterates that, "They won't taste any good, since you didn't FOLLOW DIRECTIONS." He's also been swinging his pretend baby, Baby Issa, a girl, in the baby swing. He pats her head, buckles her in gently, and coos while he swings. I have been prepping him that there's a very good chance that this baby is actually a boy but he won't hear of it. And I don't know where he came up with the name Issa. I'm sure his teachers at school think I'm actually having a girl named Issa. They've asked me several times if we know what we've having. Harris is so adamant about it that they're confused. Walker is changing every single day. His vocabulary is growing and he's getting more manageable. I think being able to communicate is helping his frustration. Hallelujah.

And we had some pics taken a few weeks ago so I'm on the Christmas card hunt. I LOVE picking out cards!! Here's a little preview.
Thank you to Allison, of Allison Doan Photography for the cute pics! Taken with lots of patience, too :) 

And the Lord is using the verse below in my life right now. I keep reading chapter 33 and finding different things in it, and being referred to other Old Testament chapters.  I started reading this book and it has awesome suggestions on how to get the most of your Bible reading. It's really helping. 

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.
Exodus 33:7

What I love about this verse is that the "tent of meeting" was AWAY from the community. If people wanted to hear from the Lord, they had to physically separate themselves and walk away from others, and choose to put themselves in a place where they could meet with the Lord. It's no different today. Community and fellowship are vital but it is no replacement for being alone with the Lord.

And third trimester crankiness is setting in, and it's not pretty. I will have to be absolutely dependent on the leading of the Holy Spirit to keep from being a grinch for the next 11 weeks. So far it hasn't gone well, as Tom can attest. I love the public accountability though. Putting lots of information out about myself definitely leaves me vulnerable to criticism but it's so worth it. The conversations this blog has sparked and the friendships its deepened have been awesome. So notice the next time you talk to me if I'm griping about everything under the sun or not :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Living On Tulsa Time...

I  need to write about our actual trip before I forget. This was the most relaxing time we've had out of town. Walker was old enough to run around and didn't have to be monitored every single second. Yay! And he was pretty relaxed and comfortable with family, too. He LOVED his cousins. I can't believe we didn't get a picture of them together. Harris is attached to his Mimi 24/7 when she's around, so that wasn't a surprise. He enjoyed his cousins too, and even let them put him to bed once. Mimi definitely indulges them, so they were happy campers.
For example, it wouldn't have occurred to me to dig out quarters and let them ride this thing. We also went on the carousel at the mall. And I won't post pics of that because it's not a flattering pic of my mom and she would kill me if I put it on here. You're welcome, Mimi!
Out of all the decorated horses on the carousel, Harris wanted to ride in the covered wagon. It was a wooden bench that didn't move. And Walker just wanted to be held, refused to sit on a horse. Even with that, I think they liked it though. Harris got some Spiderman shoes and is STILL excited about them.
One of their favorite things to do at my parents house is play outside. The little car is by far the most coveted toy. Harris squishes himself in there even though he's way too big and I bet he's going to be stuffing himself in that thing when he's 10. Especially if anyone else shows any interest in it. I cannot believe how competitive they are over that piece of red plastic. Anyway, my dad built a fence so they're contained in one area and it's perfect. We sat out there and watched them play for hours.

We also took them to the zoo and that was a hit. That was the day Walker and I started getting sick so we were a little puny but they still enjoyed it. The train ride was probably their favorite thing.

Besides the train, I think they enjoyed the playground. Pretty much zero interest in animals that day, which was a bummer because we had the ENTIRE zoo to ourselves. Literally, I think there were two other groups of people there and that was all we saw the whole time.

So after the boys went to bed one night, my mom and I decided to go run a few errands, since it's 10 times faster without dragging the boys around. We were about to go in Walmart and she asked me, "Do you think I should call Dad, just to make sure the boys are in bed?" I answered with TOTAL confidence that they were great sleepers and there would be NO problems. Harris gets out of bed occasionally but all you have to do is tell him to lay down. What on earth could go wrong? I know that pride goes before a fall and should have anticipated things weren't going to go well. But I didn't. So we walk in the house at 11 pm that night, and I hear a little voice say, "Hi Mommy!" I rolled my eyes that Harris was up, but then I heard a SECOND little voice say. "HI MOMMY!" and I nearly fell over! BOTH of them were up, with their little chairs pulled in front of the tv, watching Game 6 of the World Series. WHAT??!?!?!?!? Walker CLIMBED OUT OF BED! This was devastating news. I was envisioning naptime and bedtime battles every day for months and I just do not have the energy for that right now. My dad said he just came walking down the stairs, like he does it every day. Harris didn't think he could get out of his bed without permission until just a few months ago. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to be the case with Walker but now there's no question. He acted like he was up for the day, turned off his sound machine, opened the door, and just boldly came downstairs. I still really can't believe he did that. Anyway, so Walker did it again the next night but hasn't done it since. I think we're in the clear for a little while longer, at least. That sweet boy is going to stay in a crib AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Harris was in his till he was almost three. I didn't even know he could climb out until random things started appearing in there.

Like this box of diapers, for instance. Once it was obvious he could climb in and out all he wanted, I asked him to show me just to see how he did it.

So my poor dad had to watch the boys for 2 hours, waaaaay past their bedtime, while my mom and I ran around. Sorry Dad. It never occurred to me that there would be a problem. He said they were pretty content to watch the World Series, though. They must have known they were getting by with something and better be on their best behaviour. Harris FOR SURE knew he was getting by with something.

One morning we took them trick or treating on Brookside, which is a street lined with cute shops, restaurants, bars, that kind of thing. All the merchants got dressed up and handed out candy and some churches had a carnival type thing going on. It was fun and perfect for their ages.

My brother, sister, and one of my nieces met us out there. I cannot believe I didn't think to get pics of everyone! It was a huge help to have the extra hands, especially since we were right next to a somewhat busy street. Harris was all about going from person to person to get candy and Walker was pretty uninterested. Once he had one sucker, he just held onto that and didn't want to do anymore. That's fine, the less candy they get, the better.  

This was definitely the best visit for Walker. He got so wound up playing my brother, Justin, one night that every time he saw my brother after that, he was ready to immediately get wild again. Justin was encouraging Walker to throw little legos at him. He's got a pretty accurate arm, for a two year old! It was nice for my family to get to enjoy Walker, for a change. The past few times we've been there he's been so concerned about being in a new place that he hasn't really relaxed and been his sweet, fun, playful, self. This time he seemed totally comfortable and was ready for action.

They loved all the fun and attention and I'm sure weren't ready for it to end. It was good to spend several days there and just have time to hang out, instead of going going going every second. Thanks to my parents, brother, and sister for devoting so much time to us while we were there!! I have two ery blessed little boys to have so many people that care about them. It was good to see you all!

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galations 3:8

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toddlers on a Plane.

Tom was out of town last weekend so I took the boys to Tulsa for several days to avoid being a single parent. I have no idea how single parents function day in and day out. Kudos. So this time we flew and I usually drive with them so I was a teensy bit concerned about how that would go. Specifically, about how Walker would do. Being visibly pregnant, I feel like I'm a target for judgement when my kids aren't behaving. I'm sure that's all in my head but I feel like people are thinking, "Lady, how are you going to handle a THIRD?!?!?!?!" Maybe that's just what's going through MY head! Anyway, it was fine. I borrowed the best invention EVER from my friend Jen. Thank you!! It was a car seat that converts to a stroller. Genius.
It made life so much easier. It didn't roll down the aisle though, so I was at the mercy of flight attendants to bring it to me. We totally held up the line getting on the plane the first time so the next time I explained the situation and asked if we could pre-board. She was sympathetic but said no. I went a little further into detail, hoping for  mercy. Nothing. Then, as I was walking away, the lady said. "WAIT! You're pregnant!!" Apparently that qualifies as a disability so I could pre-board. Awesome! I feel disabled at times so that seems fitting.  I was hoping to get the front row because a certain someone enjoys kicking the back of the chair, but no such luck. However, we were sitting behind someone that required seatbelt extenders and was COMPLETELY squishing the man in the middle seat and seemed self conscious about it, so he didn't complain about the kicking.  Poor man. He was bending over backwards to be nice to the guy in the middle and that guy wasn't really having any part of it. I bet the guy in the middle seat wished he hadn't waited until EVERYONE else was on the plane to come running up to the gate. He boarded about 2 seconds before takeoff and was totally out of breath. Everyone else passed up the middle seat in front of two small children, for some reason. Anway, on top of the occasional kicking, all Walker wanted to do was press a button on a Halloween book that played a few lines of the Monster Mash song. I bet he played it for 30 minutes straight. I think that's preferable to fussing, so I just let him keep doing it. I bet no one sitting around us wants to hear the Monster Mash ever again. That was all on the way home.

 Our first leg was over naptime. Seconds after takeoff with is what happened.
And do you think this guy was excited to see his Mimi?
And it's a good thing he looked so cute because he had the beginning of a stomach bug on the way there. His first symptom was frequent, DEADLY, gas. I kept smelling it, hoping it wasn't one of my kids. Sorry, flight 249. We took him on a five hour flight when he just turned one, and he came down with something while on that flight, too. Then, he was in diapers and there was no place to change him so I just kept having to do it in the seat. People were gagging and coughing all around. No joke. It was a spectacle and it only got worse. While we were in the customs line, he projectile vomited ALL OVER ME. And then he started clapping, he must have felt so much better. But there was absolutely nothing to clean it up with, no toilet paper or paper towels in the bathroom, so we just had to leave that enormous mess and smell in the middle of customs. A little gas is nothing, in comparison.

On the way back Harris spent quite a bit of time looking over the safety procedures.

I don't know what was so interesting but he looked at that almost as long as Walker played the Monster Mash.

One thing we did, randomly, was go visit some piglets. Walker is a major animal lover so I thought he'd be all over that. He wasn't as into it as I thought he would be but still was interested.

 I thought 6 week old piglets would be much smaller than this. They were surprisingly affectionate, though. Our trip was action packed, so I'll finish the rest of the trip later. It's good to be home!

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galations 1:10