Friday, August 30, 2013

Great Read: A Tantrum for My Transformation

Link is here. Go read, mamas, you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Beach

We spent a whole week at the beach. Honey and Poppa came, too (back-ups to help with kids, a must these days!). Aunt NeNe came for a couple of days, and Uncle Tyler, too. Annie and JJ had the best time playing in the sand, waves, and indoor pool (perfect for the rainy days). JJ liked to lay at the edge of the beach and let the waves roll him around. Annie preferred jumping into the pool, over and over and over. Sophie got her toes in the sand and the ocean for the first time. I love beach babies so I start 'em early!

sandy piggies

such a chill baby. oh, sand? cool by me.

kisses are yucky, Daddy!

pure bliss

hanging with NeNe

the Gent and JJ off on a wave adventure

thinks she'll try it, too

or maybe not

Sophie took lots of naps on the beach

if you couldn't tell, that's JJ down there


oh hey, I made it into a photo without a kid!

ummm ignore the background ladies ;)

the pout. Sophie has mastered it young. watch out, Daddy.

sisters in pink ruffly swimsuits. could they be any cuter?

chilling with Poppa. and yay, found those fingers!

tummy time with Uncle Tyler

a partial family photo

the Gent and his big girl

beautiful rainbow on our last night

Monday, August 26, 2013

JJ's Happenings

Beach pictures coming later this the meantime I thought I'd give you a quick JJ update. Court was last week, and was continued until mid-December. Which basically means everything stays the same for now. He has weekend visits with his mother twice a month, and his future is still very much in limbo. Our mantra these days: God is in control!

JJ is talking up a storm these days. Paragraphs, stories, and learning to pray. Too precious. He is almost potty-trained (still wearing a pull-up at naptime and bedtime)--WOO HOO! He still adores his stuffed animals, books, and running full speed everywhere he wants to go and dragging his feet anywhere you want to go. :) JJ thought the waves at the beach were the most awesome thing ever. He liked to lay in his belly on the sand and let the waves roll him around. He is really excited about football season beginning!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Art Museum

This has been one of our favorite places to hang out this summer. The kids love to be outside, but air-conditioning is nice, too. :)






Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Down by the Bay

Last week the Gent and I spent a few days in San Francisco. Sophie came with us and the big kids stayed with Honey and Poppa. We enjoyed the time away and a chance to explore a new city. We had great coffee in a little cafe we wandered into in North Beach, browsed the farmer's market at the Ferry Building, took in beautiful views of the bay and the Pacific from the Presidio, checked out the local baseball scene, and rode a cable car. With the exception of one public transportation official, everyone we met was friendly and welcoming. We now take offense at the notion that Southerners are slow, however. :) San Francisco is a city not in a hurry.

Sophie was the best little traveler. She pretty much lived in the Moby wrap on our trip and she was happy as could be. She slept well, ate well, and looked cute, which is about all you can ask for in a 10 week old infant. And now that we're home she's right back on her usual schedule. I would have four or five more babies if I knew they would all be like her!

We stayed at the Palace Hotel, which is very pretty and historic and was perfectly adequate. I never saw a doorman, the front desk clerks were fine, the concierge dismissive, the bell desk did not answer their phone. The rooms were loud. The bed was quite comfortable and housekeeping responsive. But certainly not the service I expect from a four star hotel. Lesson learned: either stay at a Hilton family hotel and earn the points, or splurge and stay at the Ritz.

the only picture of all three of us

dinner by the ballpark

a little free baseball through the outfield fence

yay Moby wrap! and the sweetest baby in the world.

the America's Cup qualifier race was going on. amazing to watch these boats sail!

the Palace of Fine Arts

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sophie Photo Fix

(the lighting is off in some of these, but I don't have time to edit today; enjoy, anyway!)







Monday, August 5, 2013

Words to Live By

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Week in Review

4:30am nurse baby.
6am get up.
Start laundry. This will continue all day, four loads total.
Open blinds and put away last night’s dishes.
Walk dogs.
Bible reading and prayer time.
Blog post.
Get dressed.
8am Annie and JJ get up. Help them go potty. Potty- training will continue whenever we are at home all week.
Call pest control.
Make breakfast (cereal, yogurt, and a clementine for the kids; cereal and cherries for me)
Wash breakfast dishes.
Help Annie and JJ brush teeth.
Have Bible time with kids.
Feed dogs.
Phone call with Mom.
Get Annie and JJ dressed.
9am Sophie wakes up. Nurse baby and get her dressed.
Do some more laundry.
Phone call with Tyler.
Take Sophie’s two month pictures.
Story time at the library. Make a new friend and catch up with old friends! Have a couple of grown-up conversations, interrupted multiple times by multiple children.
Feed kids lunch (ham and cheese pita with a banana for the big kids, “mama milk”—that’s what Annie and JJ call nursing—for Sophie).  
Eat some string cheese.
Wash lunch dishes.
More laundry.
Trim 30 little fingernails.
Put JJ down for nap. Nurse Sophie, put her down for nap. Read Annie story, put her down for nap. By 1pm they’re all in bed.
1:05pm Annie calls me to change her diaper.
Fold and put away two loads of laundry that were dumped on my bed earlier in the day. Iron a few things.
Make my lunch (salad, apple with peanut butter…we’re out of bread and I haven’t had time to make more yet).
Read a chapter in my book over lunch.
Catch up on emails and texts.
Straighten house.  Again.  I feel like I do this all day long.
Spend some time with the puppies.
Research dance classes for Annie.
More laundry…last load is in the dryer now.
Fill up baby pool for kids to play in after nap.
I’m hungry. Make popcorn.
Rest for an hour!!!
Feed dogs.
Get kids up from naps.
Feed Sophie.
Play outside with babies.
6:15pm Family dinner (black bean and zucchini chili, thawed from the freezer).
Put away last of laundry and straighten house. Again.
7pm Nurse Sophie and tuck her into bed.
Start bread.
Wash dinner dishes.
Clean up outside water toys.
Sort mail.
7:45pm Help the Gent put the big kids to bed.
Enjoy a glass of wine on the front porch with the Gent.
Finish bread.
9:45pm Nurse Sophie one more time.

5:30am Sophie wakes up and eats (yay, longest night’s sleep yet!).
Start another load of laundry. Only one today if all goes well.
Discover computer power cord has gone bad overnight.
Put away last night’s dishes and wash a few more.
Get set up on the Gent’s computer and send emails.
Eat breakfast (cereal and cherries again) and read a couple of chapters in my book.
Bible reading and prayer time.
Upper body weight training.
Brush dogs.
Swap laundry.
Get dressed.
8am Annie and JJ get up and have breakfast (cereal, yogurt, and a clementine…again)
Wash breakfast dishes.
Get kids dressed, help them brush their teeth.
Bible time with Annie and JJ.
Read books to Annie and JJ. Current favorites are Amelia Bedelia and A Birthday for Frances.
Wake Sophie up, get her dressed and fed.
Ladies summer Bible study at church.
Make lunch (peanut butter and jelly, cherries) for kids. Grab a handful of cashews.
Wash lunch dishes.
Tummy time with Sophie, read to big kids.
Nurse Sophie.
Tuck everyone in for naps.
Make my lunch (turkey pesto sandwich and more cherries—these things are so good!)
Catch up on texts and emails.
Schedule haircut.
Realize computer power cord had come unplugged from adaptor (it was still plugged into the wall, I’d checked that).
Write thank you notes.
Mom comes over to babysit kids tonight.
Practice piano.
Mama Rita and Papa Gene visit.
Get kids up from naps.
Nurse Sophie.
Feed dogs.
Heat up dinner for kids (leftover chili from last night).
Nurse Sophie one more time.
5:45pm Foster parent meeting.
Nurse Sophie.
Watch baseball with Mom and the Gent.
9:45pm Nurse baby and head to bed.

4:40am Sophie wakes up to eat.
6am I get up.
Put away dishes from last night. Start dishwasher. Open blinds.
Write note for pest control.
Walk with dogs and Mom.
Draft blog post.
Change Annie’s diaper and tuck her back in bed.
Clean downstairs bathroom and kitchen.
Empty dishwasher
Get dressed.
8am Get big kids up, help them go potty.
Make breakfast (cereal, banana, and cheese for kids, cereal, apple, and peanut butter for me)
Nurse Sophie.
Call social worker.
Take Sophie to doctor for checkup while Annie and JJ stay with Honey.
Mail cards.
Sign Annie up for dance class.
Drive to mom and baby yoga, learn yoga class is cancelled.
Call basement waterproofing contractor. Ongoing six month fiasco.
Get home, chat with Mom and Aunt YaYa, who came by for a quick visit and brought fresh garden veggies. Hear about the morning’s potty training adventures.
Make lunch for kids (turkey and cheese pita, peas, clementine)
Nurse Sophie, put down for nap.
Annie has meltdown.
Annie sits on potty forever.
Annie and JJ take naps.
Straighten house.
Lunch with Mom (turkey pesto sandwich again, with more cherries).
Clean off desk.
Finish blog post.
Schedule Sophie’s next doctor appointment.
Make grocery list.
Balance budget.
Call new friend and schedule playdate.
Rest for 20 minutes. Hallelujah. Eat last bag of popcorn.
Feed dogs.
Kids wake up. Call JJ’s mother. Nurse Sophie.
Bible time with Annie and Jacob.
Read books.
Make dinner (white chicken chili, thawed from freezer).
Wash dinner dishes.
Nurse Sophie and put her to bed.
Monthly shopping: Aldi, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Publix runs while kids are with Daddy. Did all that in two hours and 15 minutes, not bad. Long phone call with an old friend while I’m out .
9:10pm Home again. Put away groceries and household supplies.
Enjoy a glass of wine and the end of the baseball game with the Gent.
Get ready for bed.
10:15pm Feed Sophie again.
Go to sleep.

1am Sophie wakes up to eat.
2:30am I wake up very, very hungry. So hungry I actually get up and go downstairs and eat a granola bar.
3:30am Sophie wakes up again. Growth spurt or a reaction to her shots?
6am I get up.
Straighten house, open blinds, put away dishes.
Start laundry (only two loads today).
Eat breakfast (apple with peanut butter, cheerios). Read a few chapters in my book over breakfast.
Help the Gent weigh the dogs, give them heartworm medicine.
File receipts.
Change JJ’s diaper and tuck him back into bed.
Bible reading and prayer.
Lower body weights and ab work.
Vacuum downstairs.
7:45am Sophie wakes up to nurse.
8am Annie and JJ get up.
Swap laundry.
Put clean sheets on all three kids’ beds.
Vacuum upstairs.
Make breakfast for kids (cereal, cheese, banana).
Gather things for pool.
Wash breakfast dishes.
Help kids brush teeth and get dressed. Apply sunscreen.
Get myself dressed.
Nurse Sophie again.
Phone call with Mom.
Target to buy diapers—Walmart was out of what I needed.
Swimming with friends!
Phone call with social worker.
Feed Annie and JJ lunch (Sophie wanted to nurse so I was in a hurry—clementine, dry cereal, cashews, and a cheese stick).
Nurse Sophie.
Tuck all three kids in for naps.
Fold laundry.
Eat lunch (leftover chicken chili and ice cream—couldn’t make it till Friday this week!).
Wash dishes.
Fill up baby pool for later this afternoon.
Straighten house and put away pool things.
Prep for dinner with friends tonight—set out dishes, cut up brie for appetizer, make salad, make marinated tomatoes.
Follow up with waterproofing contractor.
Rest for an hour.
Feed dogs.
Put away last of laundry.
Get kids up from naps. Feed Sophie.
Playtime with friends.
Make appetizer.
Dinner with friends!
Nurse Sophie.
8pm Kids all in bed.
Wash dinner dishes and straighten house. Put sheets on my bed.
Run dishwasher.
Do one last load of laundry,
Relax with the Gent.
9:45pm Feed Sophie again, go to sleep.

3:30am Sophie wakes to eat.
6:30am I get up.
Empty dishwasher, straighten house.
Bible reading and prayer time.
7am Sophie wakes to eat again.
Water and fertilize plants.
Blog post.
Walk dogs.
Get dressed.
8am All three kids up.
Make breakfast (oatmeal, orange, and cheese stick for kids, cereal and more cherries for me).
Wash breakfast dishes.
Help kids brush teeth and get dressed.
Nurse Sophie, put down for short nap.
Bible time with Annie and JJ.
Read books with kids.
Phone call with Mom.
Art museum with friends.
Run by library and pick up books I reserved.
12:30pm Nurse Sophie, put down for nap.
Make lunch for Annie and JJ (peanut butter and jelly, banana, raisins, cheese stick, and graham crackers—bottomless pits today!).
Make several urgent phone calls trying to track down social worker to get paperwork so JJ can have his weekend visit with his birth mom.
County sewer crew is here with basement waterproofers trying to find solution to water problem.
Visit with social worker, who finally arrives 45 minutes late and well into naptime. Cut off multiple meltdowns before they start.
Get JJ off to his weekend visit.
2pm Read Annie a book and tuck her in for naptime.
Make lunch for myself (leftover chicken chili). Sophie wakes up before I can eat it. Nurse Sophie and put her back down for nap. Change Annie’s diaper and put her back down for nap. Reheat soup and eat.
Wash lunch dishes.
Start browsing travel guide for upcoming trip.
30 minute nap, interrupted by barking dogs and crying babies.
Catch up on email and text messages.
Prep steaks and corn for dinner tonight.
Feed dogs.
Sign up for fall consignment sale.
Nurse Sophie.
Read library books to Annie, make faces with Sophie during tummy time.
Help the Gent get Sophie to bed. Nurse again.
“Grown-up dinner” with Annie and the Gent (steaks, grilled corn, and marinated tomatoes with a glass of Malbec for the real grown-ups and milk for Annie).
Wash dishes.
Begin sorting kids clothes for consignment sale.
YAY weekend!!!

I know there’s more, but this is most of what I remember! I didn’t include every diaper change/potty break and all the playtime and book reading with the babies…but there was a lot of that, too. I like to keep track of my week a couple of times a year so I can see where my time actually goes. It is pretty mundane, day in, day out life—and I love it. The days are long, but the years are short. I don’t want to get caught up in the urgent and forget the important. My babies are little. They need their mama. A lot. And I like being such an important part of their lives. They won’t be tiny forever and I will miss it when they are grown up.

As I type this, I hear bits of the Gent reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for the thousandth time this week, accompanied by sweet toddler giggles. Through the monitor, I hear a baby breathing deeply as she soundly sleeps. Soon the Gent and I will be cuddled on the couch, watching NCIS reruns and likely enjoying a second glass of wine, while the dogs sleep nearby. And life is good.

Friday Thought

Each of us is able in some way to help a child know there is hope for the helpless, and we can do that out of love, not guilt. Lawrence Bergeron