Saturday, December 27, 2008
My google reader account has NO NEW ITEMS. This is a feat in itself because I thoroughly enjoy blog reading but typically squeeze it in when Jared is watching something I am not into and the boys are sleeping which is not that often so I usually have a TON of unread items. So it has been nice catching up with friends and family and just enjoying this new kind of break with my kids who are starting to stir and will be ready for their breakfast. Time to go!
The hilarity began when Olivia who weighs less, much less, than Eli insisted upon holding him. 2 seconds into this process she remarked "He is a BIG ONE!"
Here is one where you can actually see all of them (Colin, Jackson, Olivia, Bella, Eli, Celia, Alli, Alex). Hmm, whose kids were the worst? Definitely NOT mine, no way!
Sweet, Celia (the oldest cousin) was as determined as I was to get this picture. Alex seems to be saying "Oy vey! (in his best yiddish) Does Daddy know she is putting us through this???
I guess you could say "live and learn" but I find these pictures funny and would like to continue this tradition! :0 I know I am a glutton for punishment.
Pic #1 The boys enjoy eating their raisins out of their own little box. (As a bonus, the process takes longer than when I plop some on their tray). Pic #2 At this stage they both become frustrated when they are unable to do things. Here I believe Eli was trying to shove a square into a round hole, literally. Pic #3 Their walking toys are their absolute favorite right now (pre-Christmas toys). Pics #4-6 Alex enjoying Daddy's old winter hat from his childhood. (I couldn't pic just one of these pics). There is definitely a "Brady Bunch" thing going on in those pics of Alex. Sorry I am a child of the 70/80's.
One of my favorite things Alex is doing right now is "eskimo kisses". He loves doing this with me and it is precious. Eli is giving kisses all around too. Just last night he kept trying to kiss Alli (my 18 month old niece). She was gracious enough to put up with it though, so it was cute.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This bus was as much as a gift for me as it was for them. They tend to fight over the one that we have so now there are two!Christmas has been wonderful so far. I am really enjoying it all through Alex and Eli's eyes. Right now they are supposed to be napping but after all the fun these past few days they are just screaming and laughing with one another (very funny to listen to). Last night we spent time with Jared's family at Nana and Papa's house. We had a great time and I laughed a lot which is always fun. The boys loved their presents and were very spoiled! They walked away last night with lots of new toys and bellies full of yummy Christmas goodies.
This morning we had a mellow morning at home just Jared, me and the boys. We had a nice breakfast. I even broke out the china which looked "charming" with the plastic sippy cups and bowls. The boys enjoyed their egg casserole but they devoured the cinnamon rolls. Yes, plural. Unfortunately, they LOVE baked goods but we rarely let them have them so it was extra special. Eli kept saying "mmm, mmmm". After breakfast we set the boys free in the living room where their gifts were set up and their dinosaurs were perched (do they perch?) on top of the presents. (Last night as we set this up I became so very aware that I am in a house full of boys!)
Tomorrow, I will have Christmas with my sisters and I am looking forward to talking with them. Although with 8 children at our feet we may not do a whole lot of talking. Regardless, it will be nice to be in the same room with them. :) I am sure we will laugh hard and eat lots. My sisters and I usually hit a point in the evening where our husbands will state "uh-oh, here we go". This means that my sisters and I have gotten a little sleepy with all that good food in our bellies and we get slap happy. Everything is hilarious to us at this point. EVERYTHING! Uh, I love it!
God has blessed our family this year as he always does and we are so grateful for this day in which we celebrate Jesus' birth. I woke way too early this morning (I think I was excited) and had a chance to read the story of Christ's birth. It is so amazing that he came so humbly for each of us. Every year the story of Christmas seems to become more real to me. I am so thankful for God's gift of his Son, Jesus!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yah, I know. Sadly enough these are one of my better attempts. My worst one, to date, was the year that my snowmen and women looked like accident victims. Ah well there is always next year! Actually I think I am "hanging up" my sugar cookies tradition and will continue making peanut butter blossoms since they are Jared's favorite and next to impossible to screw up. Thankfully my boys loved them despite their messiness. Thanks guys!
Other than my cookie baking we are just enjoying Christmas Break. I love the fact that today I had to stop and think what day of the week it was since we have had little structure. The good news was it was only Tuesday which means there is still almost 2 weeks left of Jared's break AND he is able to walk now without crutches. We are thrilled and feel extremely blessed that we are all well.
I plan to add pictures but we are doing a complete overhaul on our computer and there are some bugs to work out. This post will have the infamous cookies (unfortunately there aren't any pics of the accident victim ones) on it, eventually, along with the boys inhaling them.
Friday, December 19, 2008
In honor of Flashback Friday here are some pics from last year at this time. Where did all that chubbiness go??
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Santa visited our local library tonight and we took the boys and met Missy (my sis) and Chad and the kids. I thought the Santa was pretty authentic looking and he did a great job telling stories and singing songs to the kids. The boys have seemed to be feeling better the last couple of days and I just thought we needed to get out so this was the perfect outing. The boys actually sat through all of the stories and didn't make a peep unless you count the loud "peeps" that came from Eli's bottom. Celia and Colin found this hysterical as did Missy and I but at the same time it was a little embarrassing. I guess I should be glad it was just gas after the week we have had. I thought the boys might be scared of the big guy in the red suit with all the facial hair but they couldn't have cared less. All in all it was worth the bundling and the fighting of the holiday traffic. As a bonus Jared and I scored some good DVD's for free that we will hopefully watch during our snow day tomorrow!
I leave you with our stellar attempt at a Christmas picture. Needless to say unless a Christmas miracle happens we will not be sending out cards. I believe this was what "pushed me over the edge", so to speak. It was not what I had planned on but I will laugh at our first attempt and plan better next year. Note to self: children don't understand that they need to look at the camera on a tripod unless someone is behind it to direct their attention. Live and Learn.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Jared's mom brought over this scarf/hat set recently. They were Jared's circa 1979 (ish) and the boys love to play with them.
After the long week Eli has had he needed a strong coffee. He had a blast playing with my empty.
The boys seem to be feeling better today. I think we are all just kind of drained. I am enjoying how extraordinary normal can be!!!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I will survive!!! I have to laugh at my last post because those were the "easy" times. That evening Alex and I joined "the club" and Daddy followed the next day. We are just waking up from this fog. The boys are still not keeping everything "in" although they are no longer vomiting. Oh and did I mention that Grandma and Grandpa have since gotten this bug because they were at our plague ridden house? Oh yeah, baby it has been insane. They were able to come over on the worst day because I just wasn't quite sure how to spend my entire day in the bathroom while taking care of two very sick boys with no help. I think the worst of it is over. We actually had to take the boys to Children's Hospital yesterday so that they could get some fluid via IV and they seem to have improved some. Do I even need to mention that the boys did not enjoy the IV's or the arm boards that held their arms still? Lets just say the male nurse was very impressed with their strength. My weak, sick, little boys turned into Hercules when it came time for them to be held still. It was interesting and thankfully Jared was able to help despite his stomach bug and lack of mobility in one leg. We were a pitiful sight to behold, let me tell you. We joked that we should each see if we could get an IV bag while we were there. We hadn't eaten the two days before because we were sick so by 5pm the third day without eating we were starting to feel pretty miserable. But as I mentioned, we survived. I have NEVER stain treated or washed so much laundry in. my. life. but I now feel as if I bear a badge of some sort. I have rarely been so stretched as a mom or as a person. I truly had to rely on God to pull me through this craziness and I saw things that I didn't necessarily like about myself. I am not always very gracious under pressure and I now know that I want to work on that. I would have to say that, that was my biggest lesson from all this. Well, that and you can never have too many Clorox wipes in the house, always have rubber gloves on hand because you will have to touch things that once would have made you gag and may still, and when in doubt THROW IT OUT. I have to admit that some things were just not "cleanable" and I am OVER it! So those are my profoundly wise words of advice. By the way, I do plan to have pics on my blog again someday but that would require taking the time to upload them and we have been a bit busy :)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
As usual as things heat up on the mom front I gain a whole new level of respect for Mommies everywhere. Eli was throwing up most of the night last night and just fell asleep. Alex was up most of the time too because he is sick with a cold but also because it is hard to clean a child's sheets, clothes, and your own clothes, and allow anyone else in the entire household to rest. Jared is off to work and despite my lack of sleep I would have paid money to go with him. Poor Eli is so pitiful. :( I seriously don't know how people do this. I am impressed that other Moms live to tell about it. I am actually MORE impressed that they don't tell the ENTIRE universe that they conquered a case of the pukies AND survived without having a nervous breakdown of some sort. I am on my 5th outfit since 4am as is Eli and he is on his 3rd set of sheets AND my couch cushion covers are being laundered as we speak. Wow, this is hard stuff. On top of all this I am not sure where my cell phone is. I grabbed it as I ran down to launder clothes so that I could hear it if the Dr. called but I cannot find it now. I have this strange fear that it is being "laundered". I really hope not but it would be a funny thing to add to my day. I guess I should go and see if my phone is dried and pressed yet. I guess I should also grab some sleep while both the boys are sleeping! If NONE of this post makes sense I blame the fact that I have been up since 2am.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Jared and I went Christmas shopping this week ALONE, together. We had a great time and had fun picking out presents. It was amusing, as it involved my husband and a motorized shopping cart (due to his ankle injury). Woohoo let the good times roll (literally). There is nothing like the beep, beep, beep, of one of those bad boys to set the mood for a romantic evening! :) We are enjoying getting ready for the holidays and are actually attempting to "craft". Yes, I said it! Anyone who knows me is laughing right now BUT I saw the idea for a "Jesse Tree" on one of the blogs I frequent and thought it sounded great so Jared and I set out to make felt ornaments like these. We are still in the process but I just thought it would be a great way to help focus ourselves and the boys (in the future when they can understand) on Christmas being about Christ's birth and what that means in our daily lives. I will update you on that one because honestly, Jared is probably the more crafty one in the marriage. He would probably choose a word other than crafty but he is meticulous and I am not (as I have mentioned several times on this blog). My palms start to sweat when I hear the word "scrapbook". I love all things crafty if I get to admire other's handiwork but it is just not in my genes. The craftiest thing I have done lately is staple paper rings together for the countdown until Jared gets his mobility back. I needed the visual reminder. We also put up the tree last night and it lasted an entire day and no one knocked it down or broke any of the ornaments. SUCCESS! So that is the latest in the vignettes that are my life.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The last couple of weeks have been "interesting" and I am being shown in each moment of my day how extremely blessed I am to have a husband who is a shared partner in this parenting thing. We found out Tuesday that he will be off of his feet for 4 more weeks. I am comfortable (well, for the most part) in admitting that, YES, I have been overwhelmed. You see Jared not only helps parent he also cleans. I mean, seriously, the boy can organize like nobody's business and he's been know to help vacuum, wash dishes, do the trash (that I do not like to do), take all (16 bags) of the leaves out to the curb (I have to pat myself on the back for accomplishing that one), pump the gas and bring home the bacon and...well, the man has limits, he does not cook nope not even bacon. Regardless, I am spoiled and love it although I am not sure that I realized how much he was doing until the injury. I will not pretend that it is a lesson that I am skipping my way through and enjoying but I am aware that it is an important lesson none the less. This week, however, all of "the cousins" entered my world and blessed me greatly.
We had a few get togethers with Jared's family this past week and I realized how much I need some older children :) Everyone says how great it is that I had twins first because I don't know any different and typically I agree, however I am realizing I would Kill (maybe that is a bit extreme, maybe) for a teen of my own (minus the teenage angst) right about now. Let me paint a picture for you. I pull up to Nana and Papas and prepare to take the boys into the condo by myself, one at a time, and then lug in all of our belongings that go along with our dear children. But wait, what is that in the distance? Could it be....5, yes 5, glorious figures waiting for us so that they can carry my children and our belongings into the house, get them out of their coats, shoes, hats, gloves AND THEN, dear friends, yes, it does get better.....ENTERTAIN twin, 19 month old, boys for hours people, HOURS! This happened not once, but 3 times in the course of this past week and I am THANKFUL. All of the aunts and uncles and grandparents helped also and it was greatly appreciated but I am just impressed with young people being such servants. You go Amanda, Andrew, Nathaniel, Allie and Teddy! You are huge blessings to me!
Monday, November 24, 2008
At church, yesterday, the message was about contentment. If you were to ask me whether or not I am content I would answer with a resounding YES! 1) because I know I am supposed to be (yep, I am the queen of "Sunday School Answers") and 2) because I truly feel the most content I have ever been in my life. This is not always apparent however in my day to day life? We are in such a consumer driven world and the idea of MORE permeates our lives on a daily basis. In order for me to stay content I definitely have to remind myself, often, of how blessed I am personally and how blessed we are in this country. Unfortunately, my heart of gratitude can be fickle. Some days a little freezing rain can steal my gratitude while other days it is just a cranky child (well, two actually) or a "something" (today it was a nanny AND a housekeeper) that I NEED. This is one of the reasons that I was so encouraged by the message yesterday. I thought one of the best points was that contentment has to be learned. We don't wake up feeling content but it can be learned.
Alex and Eli won't understand much about thanksgiving this year, although I know they will enjoy the food but in the future I hope to creatively remind my children that there is MUCH to be thankful for, not only on holidays, but daily. So, today, even if they are only thankful for the fact that they got to use crayons to make turkeys (they were thrilled and did not give them up willingly) I guess it is a step in the right direction. May we all learn to be content with what God has given us today.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Then again, maybe Alex has the best idea of all. We will just cuddle up under a blanket and read some classics. (This morning he climbed into the rocker with a book and wanted me to put the blanket over his legs.)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Alex you are beginning to walk but definitely prefer the crawling method because you are scary fast when you crawl. You have also gotten a bit more adventurous with your climbing which makes my heart skip a beat but I am determined to let you explore (within reason). You are also starting to sing little tunes that I am not familiar with but I love to hear you sing every note in your sweet voice. You are STILL loving your newborn pacifier and I am hoping to break you of it by kindergarten (yes, I have set my standards quite high). You continue to love sleep and last night as I cleaned your room before bed you just gave up and laid down with your binky and blanket. I felt like you were saying "Mom, can you just do this tomorrow? I've had quite a day and I am exhausted."
Eli, you are cruising around with your walking toy and getting really good at it. I am sure you will be walking soon. You demand to be walked over to the refrigerator after each meal so that you can look at the pictures and you let me know that you want to do this by saying "Eli, Daddy, Eli, Daddy". There are pictures of everyone up there but you and Daddy seem to be the focus. I was careful previously to use the word, demand, because that defines you right now. You are pretty demanding but we take the fits as they come and I am sure you will eventually learn that, that is not the way to get things done. You do this funny thing at the end of each song. When we sing "Oh, How I Love Jesus" and the "A,B,C's" they both end with "Me" and I end them by doing a dramatic "me-EEEE". Well you now add this "EEEE" to the end of every song. For instance, "Jesus Loves Me" end with "the Bible tells me so" and you sing "tells me so-EEEE"! It is so cute and now Alex does the same thing.
These are, as usual, just a few of your new activities. I feel so blessed every evening as I crawl into bed and think of the funny, and even the not so funny, things you've done throughout the day. Daddy and I love you guys! Happy 19 months!
Ephesians 5:20 "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything"
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Night Before Surgery (check out the difference in the size of his ankles). For the record although this was pre-surgery it was post heavy duty medication hence, the mellow look.
Jared had surgery today after destroying his ankle playing basketball. Long story short his ankle has been rebuilt and 2 screws hold it into place. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? He is doing well and has been sleeping due to some VERY powerful drugs and a nerve block of some sort that they used. Thank GOD for modern medicine. He is not in any pain since his surgery which was at about twelve o'clock today. This is Jared's second reconstruction, the first one was his knee. This got me thinking....I have had 2 surgeries, Eli has had 2 surgeries and now so has Daddy. I am hoping that Alex doesn't feel the need to "measure up" so to speak because I am much calmer when I feel like my entire family is well. I had a bit of anxiety leading up to this surgery as it was just last week that Jared uttered "Man, I need to get this paperwork in order because if anything every happened to me you'd be in trouble" (edited to add: not "oh no I am penniless", kind of trouble but "gee, where is that paperwork for ____ " kind of trouble. Just thought you should know we are responsible adults :) ). Anyways, we have been married 6 years and he somehow neglected to remember that I am a neurotic basket case when anything like this is even mentioned. SO when he hurt his ankle this week and I learned he would be intubated and given anesthesia for his surgery (as is usually necessary) I found it very necessary to eat my weight in chocolate in order to cope with my somewhat irrational fears. On a side note: Why, oh why, can't I be one of those people who just CAN'T eat when they are upset? WHY?? Moving on....I am home tonight with my dear, brave, husband (I swear he wasn't even nervous) and sweet sons (who had a blast with Nana, Papa and Aunt Kim, thank you, and truly didn't notice I was gone). The surgeon's say it will take about 6 weeks for Jared to recover and then he will have intensive physical therapy. All in all he came through beautifully. Thanks for the prayers from everyone who thought of us today! We are aware how blessed we are to have the friends and family that we do. It was mere ankle surgery and yet we have had and outpouring of phone calls with babysitting offers, dinner offers, etc., etc., You are all loved and appreciated!!!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
So much joy is found in these little moments. On this particular day we were just playing with the boys in their room when Alex had had enough wrestling and wanted a moment to snuggle with Daddy. :) As is typically the case with kids Eli was bored with all the toys and found great pleasure in playing in the diaper box. There is no doubt that these boys love their Dad. Yesterday when Jared was leaving for work Eli cried and said "I wanna go". As usual Jared and I looked at each other with puzzled faces. I think we both thought it was possible that he'd said this but we weren't sure. It was at this point that he repeated "I wanna go". Unbelievable. I may just have to send them along on "Bring Your Child to Work Day". Can you imagine???
In this picture Alex kept sitting on Eli and Eli would knock him down while they both laughed hysterically. They were definitely interacting like brothers.
It is so hard to believe that these pictures were taken last weekend. Michigan is so beautiful in the fall and we enjoyed another nice day at the Village. I remember I said to Jared that we had better go because it might be one of the last nice weekends before the cold hits. Michigan is unpredictable and I will not try but I think I may have been right. This weekend was MUCH colder and today the high is 39 degrees. I am not complaining because I am glad that the nice weather held out as long as it did.
I took the boys to Macy's Days which have now moved inside for the season and as we walked into the Museum Eli cried and when we exited he cried until he was warm and snugly in the car. I don't think he likes the cold on the little bit of his face that was exposed. The rest of him was covered with his gloves, jacket and hat but it still wasn't enjoyable for him. I hate to break it to him that: 1. we will probably always live in this cold climate and 2. He ain't seen nothin' yet (just wait until the cold takes your breath away and makes your insides hurt). Who knows, maybe he will grow to love winter sports someday and will make the best of the snow. Needless to say, today's outing made me realize that I was spoiled last year when I put them in their car seats and just had to zip up their bundle mes. It definitely adds a bit of time to your outing when you have to bundle them to get to the car and then have to unbundle them when you get in to wherever you are going and then of course you repeat when you want to go home. I still found today's outing to be worth it, however. I had a great time and ran into friends there so that made it even more enjoyable. It is always a blessing to have some interaction with moms who understand broken conversation and sometimes cranky children.
So, goodbye to Fall. You were fun and we enjoyed you thoroughly. My only desire is that you would take your leaves with you when you go so that there is not a mountain left in my backyard calling out to me and Jared.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Something about my little puppies strapped into their carseats amused me.
We had a great Halloween. It was complete chaos, as is the tradition, and we loved it. I think nearly every costume that was available for purchase was represented. There were around 20 kids along with their parents all at my dear sister and brother-in-law's house. Jared and I walked the boys around the block with their cousins but we will wait until next year to do the actual candy part of the evening. All in all we had a great night. The boys were a bit crabby today due to their late night partying but they are asleep now and all is well. I think I may go and join them :)