Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The other day my poor little #1 had to get ANOTHER cavity filled. Apparently he inherited "bad teeth" because this is his 5th or 6th cavity, I've lost count. So he is nervous, after all he knows very well what is coming. I coaxed my husband into watching #2 and took #3 with me. I had her comfortably in the Baby Bjorn and I was ready to hold his hand and give him lots of encouragement.

He is all geared up for bravery and in comes the dentist. He does okay with the shot, although it was the type of area where you have to get the shot in the cheek and the roof of the mouth. Ouch! But when #3 saw the first tear trickle down his cheek, it was like she just knew he was in pain. My easy-going baby began to wail! I had to pry my hand out of #1's and quickly take her out of the carrier and hold her.

Soon #1's tooth was numb and the dentist came back. She proceeded to put the craziest contraption in his mouth. It was the silver ring around the tooth, with a wooden wedge between that tooth and the next and a "parachute" (or big green plastic tent with floss hanging out) over his entire face, in addition to the "happy gas" mask. He began to whimper and reached up and gave the floss a good tug. Honestly, he was not trying to be defiant, I think he just wanted to feel or see what the heck all that stuff was hanging out of his mouth! Anyway, it was no less than evil to the dentist! She proceeded to lecture him for the next 10 minutes on how his actions wasted her time. Then she spoke in a flight attendant, monotonous voice barking her instructions like she had memorized them out of a book and threats (which included wearing a suit to hold down his hands!). She had a look of pure hatred and disgust. I was stunned at first. He was terrified and followed her instructions to keep his hands in his pockets the rest of the time. His poor little feet were dancing around though! And tears were streaming down his face, but he didn't dare make a noise!

After a few minutes I woke up out of my shock and started to let her have it! I remember saying things like, "Why exactly have you chosen children's dentistry?" "Are you trained to work with children?" "Do NOT lecture him another minute on being scared. He gets what you are saying. He wasted 2 minutes of your precious time. LET IT GO!" And I remember telling her that I had been a dental assistant several summers during college and even grown adults get nervous and upset. I also gave her some of the dirtiest glares and looks I could muster. I know I was not exactly gracious, and Lord knows my thought were hateful towards her. But what in the world are people like her doing working with children?

The saddest/sweetest moment was when she pulled everything out of his mouth and he said in a joyful, loud voice, "THANK YOU, JESUS!"

Monday, January 29, 2007

My daughter

Today was soak up the baby day. Most all days are like that for my guys and me. But today for some reason I was particularly thankful.

The smell of her sweet breath, her little heart-shaped lips, her little pudgy hands grabbing my shoulder, her big blue eyes sparkling and looking up at me when I nursed her, her soft coos, the look of pure innocence in her eyes when she smiles, her determination to soak up the world around her, did I mention her smile? I know she had her Daddy wrapped around her little finger from the moment he saw her on the ultrasound. But honestly, we are all so taken with her. What a sweet little soul I can call Daughter!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Second attempt at pictures

Do you remember this post about the horrors of getting the kids picture taken? Well, I'm crazy enough to try again. Tomorrow at 11 is the hour of doom. We are going to try a new place this time, our tried and true favorites. I like to use the bribery technique on the boys since we have to go in the mall. It sounds something like this, "A round of chocolate chip cookies and Burger King for boys with big, bright smiles!!" And then when we are on the 60th shot and they are beginning to climb all over everything and wrestle right there under the spotlight, "I see some boys who are not earning the carousel!" It's shameless, but so effective!

I thought and thought of what I wanted the kids to wear. I decided that winter clothes just aren't as flattering on my kids. They are all very fair skinned and blacks and maroons and navies just wash them out. So the boys are wearing light blue, short sleeved polos and #3 is wearing a short sleeved pink dress with flowers and leggings to match. The dress is a funky shade, that pink that looks purple-y (I think it's called orchid) and there is a lot of orange in the flowers and leggings. You can look at it here. We didn't buy the flip-flops. Any way, so we are looking about as spring-ish as possible, oh well. I am just hoping for smiles all around. After all, these photo sessions are not cheap! Not including our December disaster, my kids have not had their pictures made since Christmas of '05. We only go once a much pressure! Come on people, work your magic!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Getting in shape

I blogged the other day about losing weight. It's official, I joined Weight Watchers. I am trying to think of it as being more healthy and not a d-i-e-t! Any way, they have a special program for nursing moms. Surely I can stick to 1800 calories a day, 500 more than the other d-i-e-t-e-r-s! I also decided to go to Target and invest in a new workout video. My 2 videos are very "80s" and I needed an update. I bough this video and I LOVE it! I took ballet from age 3-15 and danced with a small ballet company from 12-14. You would never know it by my current shape and lack of flexibility, but it's true! So this workout is a dream for me. Even if you have never taken dance I highly recommend it. It works a number on the abs, bottom, back and legs. And I can also tell I am more aware of posture. I am actually looking forward to working out. I hope to lose 25-30 pounds by the time swim suit season is here!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

#1 asks about S*X

My #1, he's a talker. Seems like there's a kid like him in every family. I was the one in my family, and I guess he got the gene from me. He just loves to talk. We had his IQ tested a couple of years ago and his vocabulary was in the genius range. Hillarious. And as I have mentioned, he loves to read. Well, today at church we got a special flyer entitled, "S*x and the gospel". Apparently, our pastor has felt lead to teach a two night seminar on topics such as p*rnography, hom*sexuality, and how the gospel describes biblical se*uality. I am thrilled because I think this topic is quite often swept under the rug and many people suffer as a consequence of humiliation and ignorance. Anyway,#1 saw the pamphlet and read it out loud and said, "S*x and the gospel? I thought you said you didn't like s*x!" My husband spewed his drink all over the car and was hurting he was laughing so hard. I almost said, "You are definitely mistaken...I love s*x!" :) But instead, I said, "Do you even know what s*x is? And who told you that I didn't like it?" He reminded me of the time we were watching TBS and we saw an ad for S*x and the City and I dodged his question of "What is s*x?" by saying, "I really don't like that show. Let's change the channel so we won't see that ad again." This kid never forgets a thing!

So here we are, my son doesn't think I like s*x and wants to know exactly "WHAT IS IT?" His Daddy and I are at a loss for words. Then my husband says, "It is something really good that God created for a man and a woman who are married. You are too young to know all about it. But in 5 or 6 years we will be talking about it a lot. You'll learn plenty about it then." He seemed to be okay with that answer.

Another funny #1 quote was tonight when I came into our room only to find three fruit chews wrappers scattered on my bed. I turned to him and reminded him that my bed was not a trash can. As he picked up the wrappers to throw them away he said, "I know Momma. Sorry, I'm just a guy, I guess." He may not know the meaning of s*x, but he can appropriately define the meaning of "a guy"! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Precious moments

After two weeks in school, we have had many great experiences, some of which I blogged about last week. But last night I shared my favorite memory, so far, with #1 regarding school. My man was at church leading youth group and I had my three sweeties alone. #3 was asleep and the boys were tucked in their bunk beds. #1 volunteered to pray first. I attribute what he said to school because I could tell by the wording that he was quoting an adult, and I feel quite certain it was his sweet teacher. Here is what he said,

"Dear Jesus, Thank you for your Word that is living and true. I mean, every word in your Bible is a true story! Thank you that I can trust that. Thank you for being a good God."

And then today, I said, "I thank my God for giving you to me. Sometimes it's too good to belief that He picked you out to be my son!!" This is not the first time he has heard this statement, I think it all the time! He usually just giggles and hugs me. But today he said, "And I can't believe I got the best Mommy!"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


She'll be 4 months old on Saturday. This has been a big month for her! #3 has cut her first 2 more gummy smiles! She has discovered her toes & sucks them on occassion. She has learned to roll over from back to tummy. She has found her cackling, belly laugh. She has decided that she prefers to stand in our laps rather than sit. She has learned that when she hears herself and "cute" in the same sentence, she gets a great response if she opens her mouth wide and smiles. She has completely rejected bottled breatmilk, and only wants the real thing. She has developed an extra leg roll on each thigh. She's moved up to a size 2 in shoes and diapers. She has learned to reach out and grab everything, including hair. She flew in her first airplane and saw her first snow. She won the battle over the pacifier and won't come near it without gagging. She sleeps for a 7-8 hour stretch most nights. She is...strong, beautiful, a joy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Star student

After dinner we all got our popcorn, built a fire, and watched a home-made video. #1 was chosen as "Star Student" for this week. He took in his favorite items, photos, and drew pictures all describing himself. We were invited to his presentation this morning, but I had to be at #2's school. I was sad to miss something that was so special. So his Daddy went, taped it, and we had a "movie party" and made a big deal out of it. He was so cute! The themes of his talk were: reading, star wars, hiking, his future as an astronaut and his family.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


We may have found a cure to little Miss I-Hate-the-Car girl. (See my previous poop post for reference!) My man just happened to turn the public radio station on when he was driving the kids home from dinner Thursday night. (Where was I? In his car, taking a break from the afformentinoed little Miss...) I don't feel the love for public radio, but he does. I am so glad, because it just so happened that jazz was on. Soft jazz. And she fell in love.

I LOVE JAZZ!!! I haven't heard a peep from her in the car for three solid days. Three days, ya'll! So I bought the "Relaxing Jazz"cd from Target. Do your kids love to stop at that cd stand where you can here samples by pressing the pictures? My kids love that and my little #1 was the one who mentioned that we could purchase jazz there. She has been quiet as a mouse ever since. It's bizzare to look in the rear view mirror and see her in her baby mirror just looking around contently. Wow, she has a mind of her own!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Awesome faith

After my pity party, I read this blog entry. This precious family gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy in July. By August he began a series of symptoms that ultimately lead to his death this morning. The family has no idea what lead to his illness. PLEASE read this entry. It is short, but is the strongest testimony of faith that I have ever read about. It puts Elisabeth Elliot, Billy Graham, whoever to shame!

Of course I am now very saddened and convicted by the state of my own heart. I am sad about a precious, healthy baby who cries in the car and not getting to paint my dining room? Give me a break, what a sign of an ungrateful, selfish sinner! This family's story has shown me what a waste sulking and whining can be! It takes so much energy and forethought and time away from living a life of worship and praise and fulfillment and joy. I am so indebted to Noah and his story and his mommy and daddy and their willingness to pour out their hearts in the midst of a seemingly horrendous situation. Pray for them today!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Today was not the best day. #3 pooped in my lap when I was nursing her this morning, and it became quite symbolic of the rest of the day. It seemed that all day I was being pooped on! I'll share a few of my struggles and ask for prayer and hopefully encourage someone out there that feels like she is the only one struggling today!

-My precious, amazing, beautiful baby whom I adore is a PAIN in the rear in the car! If you've never had a baby who didn't like the car you will shrug this off as no big deal. I know, because until September 21st I was that person. Now I know that a crying baby in the car can be absolutely nerve wrenching! And now we've joined the land of carpools and several trips a day to school. (Sidenote: She is also my only baby that will not take a pacifier. The rejection of the pacifier and the hatred for the car are not good combinations!) I am about to resort to the little tv attached to the headrest with Baby Einstein blaring everywhere we go!

-My little boy has the nastiest green funk cold I have ever seen. He missed two of his first three days of school this week. He missed his first show and tell today, which was heartbreaking. We just got new insurance for the new year and it is so crappy that we have to pray and resort to every last option before we go in for sick visits. Unless there is a catastrophe, we will be paying cash for all visits due to our extremely high deductable. I am about to pull out some of my Nana's home remedies...have you ever had a mecuracrome rub on the back of your throat, vics spread all over your chest or honey and rum cough syrup?

-My brother called tonight and shared some very disturbing news about a family member. Can't say much about that, but I'll be on my knees begging for God's mercy in her life. Things are really bad with that situation. Total poop. (This situation is the crux of why I am feeling down, and consequently all these other silly things are feeling much bigger that they are!)

-Still exhausted from our trip. Trying to catch up on laundry, get used to carpools, and take care of my sick little guy has been a lot. Stopped at a bench in Walmart to nurse the baby during our trip to get groceries. (After four days of fast food I figured it was about time to shop!) Anyway, when I sat down I was so tired I didn't think I could get up and make it to the car! Isn't that pathetic!! There are at least 10 house projects on my list of things I want to do around here while the kids are in school and I really hope to get caught up, have healthy kids, and be able to do these projects that are so fun for me. I have bought all of the stuff to create this awesome space room for the boys' bedrooms, I have beautiful paint for the dining room, I have some cool accessories to hang in the kitchen, etc. I can't wait to get to all of these fun projects!!

- I have GOT to get on a diet! The post partum pounds are not coming off without a little work. Yuck! I have a spare tire around the middle that is very disturbing.

That's it. I'm done with my pitty party. If you've read this far, thanks for letting my vent!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We abandoned ship...

and enrolled the boys in school. I know shock, dismay, disbelief!!! If you have read my blog in the past, you know that we all thoroughly enjoyed our homeschooling. I love to teach, spend lots of time with my kids, share each milestone and enjoy the wonderful city we live in with lots of field trips. In spite of all of the excellent benefits to homeschooling, we started to have doubts that it was the right thing for our family around Thanksgiving. We noticed that our boys blossomed over our Tgiving holiday break with family. They have a lot of cousins with whom they played a lot with and spent the night with. When we came back to our routine of homeschooling, taking care of little #3, and my constant struggle of the kids being around other children enough, we noticed #1 got quite depressed. He cried three nights in a row because he missed being around children. I prayed about it and realized that I could educate him well, I could train him in manners, character and good habits well, but since #3's birth I really stink at making sure we have enough interaction with people outside of our home. As I prayed about it, I realized I was giving 100% and it was just not the very best for #1. Some nights I was staying up until midnight and later to make sure I was ready for homeschooling and the housework was done. I felt like I was swimming as hard as I could with 100 pounds of bricks in my hands, and barely staying afloat.

So I prayed about my son's needs, my gifts and what was best also for my husband and two other children. We decided pretty quickly after that to send him to school. We are VERY blessed to have a small, amazing Christian school as a wonderful option. At least half of the teachers and students go to our church. The principal went on a mission trip with us last year. So we are very comfortable with trusting these precious people to walk along side of us and partner with us in educating our little guy.

This week has been incredible. Our little boy is on cloud nine and each night asks, "Can we do it all again tomorrow?" He has already found a very polite little buddy that he's really bonded with. He invited him to come with us in October to Disney World. :) The principal saw them together and said, "Would you believe that I just knew he and #1 would hit it off? The teacher and I prayed that they would develop a friendship." That of course made me cry. She was praying for a specific friendship for my little sweetie, how precious! And the teacher is a gem. Her love for the kids beams out of her. I have already seen her correct #1 with such dignity and gentleness. (She corrected him when he answered her with "Yeah." She said, "Sweetie, I think it sounds more respectful for children to say yes or yes ma'm to a teacher or adult. Could you do that for me instead?" I was so thrilled that manners and character are top on her list of priorities. The staff is truly there to point these little children to Jesus! I could go on and on with examples just from this week.

Then as another confirmation, we ran into this little girl from his class and her dad. They looked like they had seen a ghost when we came around the corner at Chick-Fil-A and saw them at their table. The dad proceeded to tell me that they had just bowed their heads to pray for lunch. The little girl had told them about "the new kid" and they had asked her several times to be super sweet to him and make sure he felt at home. So it just so happens that right then they were praying for my little boy...and when they opened his eyes, there we were! He called his wife and she drove over to Chick-Fil-A and we all spent over 2 hours getting to know one another.

I could go on and on. A complete stranger called and offered uniform shirts to loan us until ours are ordered. We had three moms walk their kids in to school on Monday just to greet #1 and I. Etc, etc,etc.

Point is, I feel so blessed. I can't go downstairs yet into our homeschool room because I'm afraid I will sob. But I know we are in His will, and it's exciting.

Random joy

It is 1 am and I am awake and so incredibly filled up with love for Jesus and my family right now. I feel consumed with blessings. Thank you Jesus for these four very special people that I get to share life with!
"In the morning, O Lord, I hear your voice. In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Proverbs ?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Our airport fiasco

So , more about our crazy trip home! We get up on Saturday before the crack of dawn to pack and go to the little Jackson Hole airport. We were in a mad rush and even with sporadic nursing we made it to the airport an hour and a half before the flight was scheduled to take off. It was snowing heavily and foggy. I had a bad feeling that morning that flying would be iffy. Anyway, we get in line to get our boarding passes and hear the rumor floating down the line that something was up with our flight. After a few minutes it was announced that the flight had been cancelled. Not delayed...CANCELLED!

We proceed to juggle the children (we were with my extended family, 14 adults and 11 children!) and stand in line for two hours to get our flight rescheduled. My husband finally approached me with the verdict...We were scheduled to fly to Salt Lake City and spend the night. Then the next morning we would fly to Dallas and have a 4 HOUR lay-over and then fly to Atlanta! Ugg...didn't sound great with an infant and two active boys, but we were determined to get home. (Apparently not all of my family felt that way. 8 of the adults and half the kids stayed behind, even though they were told that they would be stuck in Jackson Hole until Wednesday!) So any way, we were booked for the Salt Lake City flight, but the plane was scheduled for 1:20. We thought, no big deal we will eat lunch, look at the gift shop, enjoy the snow for a few more hours, we were sure the time would fly by. It turns out that the flight was delayed due to the BLIZZARD that was coming through the town. We finally got on the airplane and then this huge wind storm came. We sat on the run way for a solid hour waiting for the wind to die down. We were in a tiny 20 passenger plane. I hate to fly, I was sweating bullets!

When we finally took off it was the roughest flight I have ever experienced. The plane was swooping back and forth like a pendulum and it would go forward and then drop so hard from turbulence that we would literally come off of our seats. At one point I broke down and started to tremble and cry. Meanwhile, my husband looked green like he was fighting the urge to vomit. Our sweet baby was content as usual with her little head on my shoulder. And my favorite of all responses were the boys'...they were hooting and screaming with glee. They later commented that the airplane ride was better than a roller coaster.

I have never been so glad to put my two feet on the ground as I was 45 minutes later when we were walking through the Salt Lake City airport! After 1 1/2 hours of haggling with the customer service rep for free accomodations, we headed for the hotel with vouchers for a free night stay and free meals for the next day. I will add that we had to wait 1 hour in front of the airport for the shuttle to take us to our hotel. Once we got there we realized that it was 10 pm (midnight on our normal time zone) and we had not had dinner. We ordered room service and went to bed. We all slept so well, even #3 slept 9 hours without making a peep!

The next morning we headed to the airport early. It was Sunday and the airport was a mad house! We received good news that we could get a direct flight to Atlanta without the lay-over in Dallas! I thought, "Yeah! We will get home and go to bed early!" On the flight I sat by the most interesting man. #3 was enamored with him, as she is with most men. (Scary, I know!) I am not lying when I describe this sweet character...he was a true cowboy. He had maybe 6 teeth in his entire mouth, a strong smell of dust and rawhide, a big black hat with elk teeth and other various trinkets dangling from the rope that he tied along the brim, and a handle bar mustache. He was a sweet man. But you can imagine how nervous and reluctant I was to sit by him knowing that I would be nursing #3 at least twice during our flight! It turned out to be no big deal. He was easy to talk to, so sweet and friendly, and he didn't even acknowledge the nursing! Any way, long story short, we arrived back in Atlanta before 5 pm but all 8 of our pieces of luggage were lost! We spent the next 3-4 hours looking through this long room full of lost luggage...and ofcourse 7 of the 8 pieces were black, the most common color for luggage! I found 7 of our lost suitcases and we tracked down the last piece as being on the wrong flight. We left very happy to have almost all of our things and at least have our children's car seats for our ride home! (Sidenote: I am most impressed! The airport already delivered that lost suitcase. They had it here by 5 pm on Monday!)

My husband took the boys and said to load up the luggage and he would meet me out front with our car. Thankfully it remained unharmed after a week of sitting in the not-so-safe airport parking lot. But as he pulled up, a monsoon-type rain storm came. We were both SOAKED to the bone! And then as we began to roll away he whispered, "We are almost out of gas...say a prayer." I have to admit, I had a bad feeling about this! But PRAISE THE LORD we made it on fumes to a gas station. It was now 8 pm and again we remembered that our children had not eaten since lunch! We pulled into McDonald's and rode home slowly, I was praying fervently all the way home. It was not until we pulled into the driveway safely that I could breathe deeply again and boy did I praise God for getting us there in one piece.

So that's my story of our 36 hour trip home from Jackson Hole. I wonder if we could have driven home in a similar amount of time! Anybody up for a family vacation with us? I can promise you a little "Griswald family fun" if you hang around us too long!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Winter wonderland

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; there is no voice heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." Psalm 19:1-4

We just returned from 5 days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This trip was just a blast for all of us, mainly because we live in the South where snow is hard to come by. My kids have only seen snow once or twice in their lives until now! We enjoyed 2-6 inches of fresh snow each morning, which was magical to us! Snow just seems to breed peacefulness and solitude, I love it!

Thanks to the generosity of my parents, we were able to watch our children enjoy many new things in addition to the beautiful, long snow showers. They also rode snow mobiles, a horse-drawn sleigh, sleds, snow tubes, skis, a snowcoach through Yellowstone where they saw Old Faithful and they observed dog sleds. They saw elk, moose and wolves for the first time. Our condominium was on "the slopes" and brand new. It was so wonderful to not be cooped up in a hotel together, but instead we each had a room of our own. We had daily snow ball fights and there was great shopping. Coffee never tasted so good!

The trip was seemingly perfect until our plane ride home. I'll save that post for another day. What an adventure! As usual, I am in awe of God's handiwork. The Rocky Mountains certainly do proclaim his majesty.