Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Tired to REALLY Post Tuesday

How's that for a title?!

Eli woke up yesterday and Jared went in to find "throw-up", he thought. Turns out it wasn't and although I won't get specific it has been a long couple of days. Jared stayed home with us yesterday which was SO helpful. I thought I'd post some "just because" pics so that an entire week didn't go by without me posting. :)

just because Alex learned to swing on his belly in the "big boy" swing.

just because Nani brought the boys fries this week and they got to have THEIR OWN box.

just because I think Alex looks cute in this one.

just because I wanted to thanks Amos and Mariah for the basketball hoop. It is a HUGE hit!

just because it is NEVER to warm to wear daddy's winter hat circa the 1970's and this boy looks adorable, if I do say so

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This week I am thankful for a lot as usual but the first thing that comes to mind is SUMMER and all that is has to offer! It has hit Michigan in a big way this week and though it comes with a lot of activities we have had a lot of fun thus far. So in no particular order, I am thankful for:
  1. A plastic pool that I get to soak my feet in while the boys play until they are exhausted. (Which leads me to #2).
  2. Tired children that take long naps and sleep late.
  3. Aunt Mimi's pool, piano and Summer library program all of which entertained the boys on Monday.
  4. Summer B-day parties that allow you to socialize outside while the kids run around. The noise level is so much more bearable when you are not cooped up inside with 10 kids under 8 years old. The boys were thankful for the cupcakes! :)

  5. My flowers bloomed. I wait eagerly for the lilies to bloom and it finally happened!

  6. I'm thankful that the boys are physically able to try new things. I am less thankful that Alex likes to try and climb the slide with NO HANDS!!! (He looks like he is saying "What's the problem Mom?")

  7. I am thankful that Eli is still timid enough to go down the slide as seen in the following picture because it means one less to worry about.

  8. Enjoying summer thunderstorms with Daddy. I'm thankful that Daddy had this idea (so were the boys).

(I LOVE this pic of Alex. Soak it all in, baby boy, soak it all in!)

9. Last but not least, I am thankful that tonight we have NOTHING to do but be together as a family!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday (kind of )

There is this blog carnival called "works for me Wednesday" that has all these cool tips by real moms telling what has worked for them and I have never joined in. This week I FINALLY came up with one and when I headed over to add mine to the list it was a "traveling with kids" theme. Bummer. So, being the stubborn girl that I am I decided that I'd post mine anyways and I just wouldn't link up to the other blog. If you are new to blogs or blog reading this probably doesn't make sense so I will just show you my discovery!

Recently my sister passed some magazines my way and one of them was "Family Fun". It is a great mag and it had this idea in it. It was sent in by one of their readers and it is a slow flow watering can. I made them for the boys to help water plants and hadn't used them until today. They LOVE them!

You just take an old juice bottle and poke a whole or several small holes in the top of the lid. They played with this for almost an hour. As you may know an hour for a two year old is like eternity. They watered the plants, flowers, concrete (and we talked about how it got darker when it was wet), the grass, themselves and Mommy. I highly recommend this! Have FUN!

While we are on the topic of what works for Moms....I have a question for you. The boys and I have been having a lot of picnics in the backyard for lunch and I always have to bring them in to prep the lunch and then take them back out which never excites them. What type of lunches would you recommend that I could prep in the morning and then just run in the house to grab? Alex can't do peanut butter so unfortunately that is out. If you have a suggestion please leave me a comment or email me @ 3guysandamom@gmail.com. Thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daddy's Day Part Deux

Our Feeble Attempt at Father's Day Pictures!

I know it is the day AFTER Father's Day and we aren't allowed to continue sharing the LOVE with our husbands but......oh, wait we are allowed to continue aren't we??? Sweet!

The boys are still sleeping and I have already done my devos, thrown in a load of laundry and I am feeling quite accomplished so why not blog a little bit about our Daddy weekend!

I'll be honest, it didn't start out all that hot since I saw Jared for about 60 seconds on Saturday. He had to work at the church all day due to flooding and he literally walked in the door and then it was time for his double header. I didn't try (ok, yes I did) to talk him out of it since it is something he truly enjoys but it had already been a long day at the home front and the only light at the end of the tunnel was the 8 o'clock bed time. I truly do not know what I would do without an early bed time for the boys. Anyways, now I will move onto telling you about my respect that grows daily for my husband!

I asked Jared on Friday what he wanted to do for his big day (Father's day). We already knew that it would be a mellow day just the 4 of us and we were going to church in the morning but I wanted to work through some details. I first want to stop and say that if Jared were to ask me this question I would begin with a laundry list of things to do. Example: let me sleep in, buy me breakfast, change diapers so that I don't have to touch one for an entire day, etc., etc., etc., (yeah, he won quite a prize with me :) ) Jared's response after he thought about it was "let's go visit the NICU!"

Do you see why I love this man?? I mean it makes sense because that is where his introduction to fatherhood was but I was surprised at this answer. He also wanted steak and rice crispy treats and I figured I could handle that. Sadly enough though I do not grill so he essentially made dinner on Father's day. I am really digging a grave for myself, aren't I??? Let's move on!

We did visit the NICU and as usual it was a visit filled with overwhelming gratitude for those who saved our babies. It was great also to walk our little ones in there all healthy and happy and say to the nurses and doctors "see what you've done?" I know that there days are filled with a lot of stress and unfortunately death so I have to imagine that seeing some healthy survivors is always a bit of encouragement. We had a couple of babies pass away when the boys were still there and I was somewhat surprised (although, I shouldn't have been) to see how deeply it affected the staff. They don't "get used to it". They have a difficult job to say the least and one that we will always be thankful for.

Jared told me more than once that he had a great day and that made it all worth it. The boys entertained us as usual with some new words. We rode the "alligator" (elevator) up to their floor and they wanted to see the "mountain, mountain" (fountain) and on the way home they got "cries" (fries) so they had a great day too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanks for making me a Mom, honey! Thanks for being an amazing father to your boys and for loving them SO much! I love the joy that you bring to their faces and the the joy they bring to your's. Watching your love for them play out on a day to day basis is such a blessing. Thanks for all the ways you inspire me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Simply Saturday

" What a life, ay??"

This week was all about supporting the cousins at their baseball games and the boys loved the ones that they went to. This picture was taken at Andrew's game and they both just laid on the grass looking up. I immediately though that it was perfect for my "simply saturday" post.

May we all take a moment to lay on our backs, look up and soak in
the simple pleasures in life this week!

Simply Saturday
is a post that I've done for the past few weeks and here are the links to them. If you would like to do this also just tell me about how you appreciated life's simpler things this week or recently. You can post on Saturday or Sunday. It is meant to be a "simple" post! I am not doing the Mr. Linky but leave the link in your comment if you choose to join me. I would love to hear about the simple things you've been appreciating lately.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First dates aren't 1/2 as bad as I remember!

To the future Eli Henry,

Tonight you and Mommy had our first "date". Alex stayed home with Daddy, and I took you to your cousin's baseball game. You were very excited to get out of the house, you always are, so you waved bye to your brother and headed off with Mommy. We got in the car and the first thing you said was "where's Alex, where's Daddy?". I believe it hit you at this point that they were missing and we never go anywhere without them. I explained that tonight it was just you and Mama! You got to walk up to the ball field holding on to Mommy's hand and I didn't have to fear much because worst case you run off, you can only run in one direction as opposed to when you and your cohort are together and you can send Mommy in more directions than she is physically capable of.

During the game you ran up and down a hill and stood on a tree stump and off a tree stump and back on the tree stump and then back up the hill. You also got to play with a doggy which thrilled you. Colin came out of the dugout and hugged you goodbye and you giggled with excitement. You had the time of your life! Mommy had to buy milk so it was off to the grocery store but on the way you entertained with songs and large gestures that kept Mommy's eyes on the rear view mirror the entire ride.

We got to the store and you again walked in and once inside you didn't have to go in the cart you got to help push the cart or run next to it or run ahead of it. It was such freedom, such independence. You did well and didn't stray far in the almost deserted store. We got our milk and some cereal which you put in the cart all by yourself. You then put it on the belt and the cashier gave you a sticker. You giggled and thanked her. Shameless flirt!!!

The minute we got home you started asking about Alex and had to go check on him in his bed. You hugged him and you were happy to find him safe and sound. Daddy did a great job, of course.

I look forward to more times like this with you my sweet boy. I hope that as a teenager in all of your angst we will take some time-out from the struggle and spend time together just the two of us. I hope to do this with Alex too, of course. I hope that you continue to get as excited about the simple things in life like running outside and enjoying the weather. I hope that your big personality is not swayed by peer pressures and having to fit in. I hope that I will get to see all of those dimples as much in your future as I do now. I love ya, Li-Li! You were my best first date EVER (well, next to Daddy, of course;)!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Dishes!

No, this is not a post where I plan to complain about all the dishes that I do, or is it?? Seriously though, "It's Dishes!" was Eli's response to his cereal this morning! It took me a minute and I did what all speech people (official term, I am sure) tell you to do. I repeated "Do you think your cereal is delicious?" and then unfortunately he said the word, delicious, the correct way. I am going to be so bummed when there aren't any more fun words to blog about!

The other recent addition to their dictionary was shubble (shovel)! See what I mean??? Too cute! I also tried to record Eli saying ravioli yesterday because he somehow made the word 3 times longer than it actually is but as usual he froze up when the camera appeared. Oh well!

Happy Wednesday to all!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Such Creative Minds!

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Playschool didn't have THIS in mind when making this toy. Yes, that is a corn on the cob shoved in there for good measure. This is what happens when you can't find a single ball that the toy came with.

I didn't find the rest of Eli's cob when I cleaned up after dinner but I naively figured that he'd thrown it into the trash UNTIL I cleaned their rooms before bed. Surprise Mommy!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flashback Friday

My little li-li!

Uhh, these pictures still break my heart a little. I just recently read a post by a blogger who spoke of her preemies and the guilt that mom's feels related to their children being born early. It reminded me of how I felt when I would go to the NICU and watch my little boy Eli as he "pulled" to get air. Pulling is when you see them pull in for a simple breath with such force that their little bellies puff out and then pull in dramatically so that their ribs are exposed. It is the most difficult thing for a mother to watch. I cried so hard the first time I sat down next to that isolette unable to touch my baby afraid that it would cause him to get too worked up which would result in his sats dropping. I felt such guilt at not being able to keep him inside me longer, not being able to help him breathe, not being able to give him the nutrients he continued to need and instead watched him receive through a tube. So impersonal, so hard, so cold, so unnatural. It still is a bit hard to talk about without getting emotional.

I now know that God had a plan for my boys and he wanted them here in this world on April 18th not in July like Daddy and I planned for and desired. Preemie mom guilt is a very real thing and one that I can honestly say that I am, thankfully, passed. I do know, however, that as you watch them sit up for the first time, you breathe a sigh of relief, first step, another sigh, their first words, breathe a sigh and on and on it goes. The guilt is relieved a little at a time but for some there are no first steps, no first words. There are disabilities and delays and speech issues, etc., etc., giving way to more guilt and in these cases I imagine it is more difficult to move passed it all. To those, I do not pretend to know what that is like but I do know that God has a plan.

Having had preemies born at 27 weeks and in the NICU for up to 3 months I appreciate A LOT of the day to day grind and for that I am thankful. I stop and watch the little things that they say and do. I tend to give Jared a run down of it all at the end of the day. It all may be mundane to other parents, I don't know I only know how it is to have my little survivors, but to us they are monuments on a daily basis of God's love and protection over our boys and ourselves. Obviously Eli got over needing that help with the oxygen but he still has his battles with his breathing as does his brother. I still get freaked out when I see him pulling and needing to take a trip to our ER, like last week at this time, BUT I take it a day at a time.

We still don't know what implications there will continue to be for our former preemies. They may have learning disabilities, breathing issues and other setbacks, that even full-term babies have, but I do know that my God, my Heavenly Father, has a plan! He will guide us and lead us on this path that he put us on and there is strength and comfort in that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

I thought I would join in on Thanksgiving Thursday over at "What a Trip". Since it is my first time doing this I will keep it simple as that is my motto nowadays.


My boys: Jared, Alex and Eli! Their love amazes me all.the.time! Unfortunately, I know that not everyone has this kind of joy and I am grateful for such a full life with these 3.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Addendum to Daily Schedule: Details to follow!

After giving it much though AND consulting Thomas the Train, Alexander (employee with the company for 25 months) has changed the CEO's Daily Schedule!

Nap is OUT! 24 Hour Access to Barney Video's and Animal Crackers: IN!

We will continue to keep you posted on the upcoming changes as Alex revamps Mommy's schedule for the day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pardon my dust!

Edited to add: My eyes are crossing but this is the (almost) completed look! Thanks again ANGIE! Yes we are now on a first name basis b/c I e-mailed her all.day.long! She rocks!

I found a new blog design that I loved based on it's simplicity and now I am turning my blog into a complicated mess in order to strive for the same "simple" look!

Why oh why, do I do this to myself????

BTW if you are curious and want to check out the blog it is John Deere Mom. She is being so generous and giving me some "how-to's". Thanks AGAIN!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Simply Saturday

Tonight we have experienced what some may call a "set back". I choose to call it a nightmare personally! The boys have spent the last hour climbing in bed, out of bed, onto the train table in their room, opening the shades, playing with their farm, etc., etc., etc., Jared wasn't home so I was left to deal with the insanity.

I went in for the millionth time to find both of them doing this:

and saying "Luke! I am your father" O.k., kidding about that part but they were yelling into the fan and giggling. I didn't get a picture of both of them doing it because Eli was smart enough to dive towards a bed when I went to get the camera.

I am convinced that I survive these stressful moments because there are moments like these:

Eli sleeping with his butt straight up in the air. Seriously, how is that comfortable?

Both of them giggling on the porch on a bright, yet cool Spring day.

Or today when Alex was mowing the "grass" (carpet) completely naked, following his bath!

and last but not least when I just went into the boy's room to tell them goodnight and I kissed Eli and said "I love you and you need to stay in bed and listen to Mommy and Daddy" to which he replied "o.k. gimmee five" I did and he said "gimmee knuckles" I pounded his little fists like he asked and then I kissed his sweet, stubborn, defiant, little, two year old, face and thanked God for these simple moments that make all the insanity worth it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Raiding the refrigerator after bath time. These boys are OBSESSED with YoBaby Yogurt.

Additions to the Alex and Eli Dictionary

"bat yard"~ backyard
This is mentioned each and every time we pull into the driveway. They LOVE their "bat yard" and would live out there if I didn't make them come inside every once in a while.

"I cubba you"
They want you to put their covers on them for nap or bed time. I always say lay down and I'll cover you and I guess that is where the phrase was born.

Usually repeated over and over until you give them a little bit of assistance.

Alex has started addressing me when he speaks and it melts. my. heart. Example: I love you, Mommy. Thank You, Mommy. I sorry, Mommy.

Eli is constantly curious about the moon's location in the middle of the day. "Where's moon? Where's moon?" Me: It's on the other side of the world right now. "Where's moon?" Me: you can't see it right now honey. "Where's moon? where's moon?" Me: The moon is taking a nap! Would you like to take a nap???

It also amazes me how they look out for one another. I have heard them several times lately ask each other: "You, O.k.?"

Eli also was looking for Alex in the back yard and said "LEX, where are you?" This is a good thing since he has been calling him Li-Li for quite a while now. As I mentioned before that is Eli's nickname and Eli KNOWS Alex's name he just chooses to call Alex by his own nickname.

So I am keeping track of all these things for my boys to see someday. They are probably not exciting for the average reader but this blog is really all about them :) Love you guys!

That's Mommy to you!