Monday, March 30, 2009

My artist and my engineer

For quite some time I have noticed that Audrey has certain traits that remind me of my Mom. My Mom is quite artistic and creative, and the joke in my parents' house is that my Mom is really good at making a mess, and my Dad is really good at cleaning it up. He is a very neat and orderly type of person (not that my mom isn't, but when she gets busy being creative, a mess usually ensues). Well ... Audrey is also really creative and artsy, and she is certainly good at making messes. In fact the other day she was painting at the kitchen table and managed to get paint on her face, hair, smock, table ... oh yeah, also on the paper too! I took a look at her and said "Oh, Audrey, just look at you! Paint is everywhere!" To which she replied (with a kind of "duh!" look on her face) - "Well Mom ... I am a messy artist!" Apparently in her mind artists are supposed to be messy. Anyhow, she is the one that I am always pestering to clean up after herself. This is what her room usually looks like during the day:

...unmade bed, toys strewn around, art/craft supplies all over. (This is probably how Carter got into the markers the other week ... he sneaks in whenever he gets the chance!)

Well, the other day we noticed that perhaps Carter takes after my Dad. This is what we found him doing:
Lining up his cars in neat little rows, back to back...

... and side to side.

For some reason this orderly gene seems to run on the male side of my family ... my Dad, my brother, my uncles, my cousin ... all super neat and orderly. The women? Well I used to be semi-neat and orderly. Then I had kids. At least that's what I'm going to use as my excuse.

Anyhow, maybe Carter will be more of the engineering type? We'll see. For now, we just think it's funny to see him taking after his Pop-pop. Pop-pop will be so proud. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My little reader ... growing up

Last night was a milestone for Audrey. She read me her first book!

For awhile now I've noticed that she seems to be reading here and there, but if I would point it out, she would get shy about it and say "no, I can't read ..." She is one who generally doesn't like us to make a big deal out of these types of things. In fact, today she was trying to tie her shoes, and she said "Mommy, when I tie it, DON'T cheer for me." She just doesn't like all eyes on her (except when she does ... so female that way!!)

So, as far as reading goes, I have backed off and figured one day she would be reading one way or another, cheering or no cheering. No rush. So last night at dinner she began reading some old school papers to Chad and me. She seemed quite proud of herself. Then at bedtime, I said "You know, you should read me a book tonight ...". Audrey and I had taken a few "easy reader" books out of the library last time we went. So she said "Well, you read me a book first, then I'll read to you." And off she went, reading Sam Sheep Can't Sleep. She didn't even need much help, and sounded out a few words by herself. When Chad came up to say prayers and good night she exclaimed "Daddy, I read a book all by myself!" Guess she is feeling more ready to accept her new-found ability!

Lately Audrey just seems to be growing up so much, between the starting to read, tying her shoes, and all those big grown-up teeth coming in! Even the way she seems to walk and carry herself seems "bigger" to me.... I guess it's all inevitable, and we continue to be proud of her ... whether she wants us to cheer for her or not !

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the mend

So ... I'd like to post something much more positive than my previous post.

Today I felt so blessed. So many little blessings, that I want to "count" them to remind myself and others that God is good. All the time.

Today I realized that I REALLY needed to go to the DMV to get my picture taken for my new license. I had about 2 days left till I was totally expired (Can you say "avoidance"?) I was looking forward to that about as much as a stomach virus. Last time I went to the DMV I was there for at least an hour? Hard to remember as I block most DMV experiences from my memory. :) Anyhow, taking a 2 year old to the DMV sounded like SO much fun. Especially a slightly crabby, still recovering from an ear infection 2 year old! So I walked in, got a number and before I could sit down, my number came up. I went over, dealt with the pleasantest of DMV employees (I am being serious), and within 5 minutes, I was walking out the door. Carter didn't even have half of his raisin box finished (and this was the first snack ... I came prepared with an arsenal of snacks should I need the distraction)! I almost fell over with shock. I was so excited. So I thanked God and moved on to the next blessing....

My next "stop" was BJ's. But on my way to BJ's, I realized that I was REALLY hungry. Being pregnant, when I'm hungry, I really need to eat! And I had no cash on me. And I'm too cheap to stop at any old bank and pay $2.50 to take $20 out of the ATM. So as I drove down 30, I looked for our regular bank... and right there was a PNC Bank! I didn't know where one might be nearby, and it could've jumped out and bit me. So I got my cash, drove to BJ's and stopped at the only fast food place nearby - Chick-fil-A. Not really my favorite "breakfast" place, but I drove in and guess what? Today is "free breakfast Wednesday"! So I got a free breakfast, and all I bought was a chocolate milk for Carter (ok, he did share with me....)

I know these are all small things, but sometimes small things make all the difference! It started my day out on such a great note. Just what I needed after a few long and discouraging days!

The kids are not 100% but they are definitely on the mend. Audrey went back to school today, and Carter has been sleeping through the night just fine without his paci. I am still battling this cold, but I don't feel miserable, it's just a cold. So ... again ... thank you friends and family who have said prayers for us, or offered us help. I feel so very grateful! And you all are right-- "This too shall pass!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sick and tired

I am definitely sounding like a broken record. I sure wish I wasn't. But once again, this last week has been so hard. I am feeling so worn down and emotionally drained. Both of the kids have ear infections, and Audrey also has a sinus infection. Both are wheezing - Audrey because of her asthma, and Carter? Well, I'm guessing that he probably also has asthma. He wheezes whenever he gets a cold. We give him some medicine for the wheezing, and one evening a few nights ago he accidentally got too much. Have you ever seen a child with too much albuterol in his system? It makes them WIRED. And this began at bedtime, so he was exhausted, but could not settle down. It was one VERY long and worrisome night. Let me add another layer to the "intrigue" ... Carter's pacifier (aka "paci") broke that night, at bedtime. He refused to take a substitute. We decided we might as well just use this as an opportunity to ditch paci, since we need to do that anyhow. That first night - between the untreated (at that point) ear infection, too much albuterol, and no paci - was a terrible night. I ended up "sleeping" on the floor next to the sofa, while Carter slept on the sofa. Anyhow ... since then he has done okay without the paci, sleeping-wise, but he has a fit about actually going to bed. I am hopeful that this will change, since he has always been very good about going to bed, and he does still have his blankie. Praise God, this morning Carter actually woke up happy and got a great night's sleep. I am hoping he is on his way to being better. I feel for Audrey though. She has had a cold/infection for over a week now. She is in good spirits mostly but just looks tired and is coughing a lot. She has blown and wiped her nose so much that she looks like she has a mustache. She is also complaining a lot that her tummy hurts, which I think is from the antibiotic. And she is supposed to take that for 10 days ...

So .. now I have a cold too. I guess you can only have people coughing in your face so long before your body succumbs... I just hope it doesn't turn into an infection too.

Thank you for indulging me in my pity party...

Amidst all this, I have been trying so hard to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, and not on my current lousy circumstances. I do know that things will get better. Last week I read these verses, and thank goodness because it gave me some truth to dwell on when the days got tough:

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:4-7)

It has been so hard to keep my perspective lately. I am so tired out and "raw". I keep thinking that things have got to get better, but they aren't getting better on my time frame... which would be two weeks ago. But do I trust God only when things are "easy" or do I take these words to heart, and believe what He says in His Word? I am choosing the latter. And even though I am struggling, He is giving me His peace. And I am learning to lean on Him more.

Thanks to all of you who have given me words of encouragement and more importantly, PRAYED for us. It means more than you know. I am so grateful for loving friends and family!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My new toy

My birthday was a few weeks ago. As is the case for many moms, my birthday is usually not a big occasion around here, unless I decide to make myself a cake! :) However, this year, for some reason, my birthday seemed to be extra special. I found Audrey and Chad putting their heads together and scheming beforehand. Chad kept going down to the computer to "do some birthday shopping." The day before my birthday, Chad actually asked me what I wanted for breakfast... so that morning I had scrambled eggs and toast, and opened a few special presents. One was from Audrey, and she had picked it out especially for me from the dollar store. :) It was a mug that said "Happy Birthday!" on it ... which I already knew because she had dropped enough hints along the way that I was pretty certain it was a mug. I love how kids think they're being secretive and yet they are so obvious! :) Anyhow, then I opened the box from Chad and it was ...

... a netbook! A little computer of my very own! This little baby weighs under 3 pounds and I can lug it anywhere in the house and check email whenever I want. The best part for me is that I can use it in the evening, since Chad pretty much took over the computer each night doing bills, doing personal emails and stuff ... and of course playing the occasional racing game ... :)

Well, I have sure been enjoying this gift. I can even access all our old pictures and stuff because Chad networked our computers. AND I can blog all hours of day or night. Although, I have really not been blogging all that much lately. Honestly, although I love the internet and blogging and facebook and all the other fun things I can do online, I have found that I really need to set some limits for myself. I noticed that sometimes the kids would be asking me to play a game or pay attention to them in some way, and I would find myself saying ... "as soon as I'm done with this email, I'll (fill in the blank)." I didn't like this development ... I mean, sure I'm allowed to ask the children to wait, or check emails sometimes, but I really don't want them to see me as being someone who is constantly attached to the computer ... or TV ... or phone ... or books ... or other people ... I want them to feel like they're my top priority! So I've decided to try to do a quick email check in the morning, then save all the other computer time for during their rest times or the evening after they're in bed. I really can see how the computer can become an "idol" of sorts and I don't want to miss out on the reality going on around me because I'm lost in the pseudo-world of facebook! Everything in moderation, I suppose ... anyhow, I'm thankful for my gift, and my fun birthday this year! Thanks Chad!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Writing is on the Wall....

Hey all. I'm again participating in Furthering His Kingdom Friday, sponsored by Kelly over at "The Barefoot Mama".

Well, I'm a day late here to truly participate on "Friday", but this week has been deja vu at our house. This week I was the one with the stomach virus ... not a pretty sight. So that's my excuse for being late, and I'm stickin' to it! Thankfully, I am on the mend although I still can't seem to get all my energy back. Maybe I'll regain it by the time I'm 45?

SO, this week my favorite son found the lone marker that had been left out by his big sis. Why is it that little ones seem to have radar for stray markers?? Thankfully the marker was the washable sort, so it came right off the walls, toys, furniture, etc. ... basically Carter left a trail through his & Audrey's rooms with that marker. Despite my initial "AAAHH!!!" reaction, I actually found it quite humorous. I always did hope my kids would have an artistic bent ...

He seems quite proud of himself, don't you think??
Oh, kids!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Furthering His Kingdom Fridays...

... are sponsored by Kelly at, because, as she says "motherhood ain't for wimps."

Well today that sure is true for me. After finding out our great news yesterday (see previous post), I was on cloud nine. That is, I was on cloud nine until about nine p.m. last night, when my 2 year old started vomiting. Anyone who has had a 2 year old knows that they don't throw up nicely into a bucket like older children do. 'Nuff said about that. Anyhow, after going through about 4 pairs of jammies, 2 sheets, and a variety of towels and washcloths, he finally fell asleep around 11 pm. I went to bed around midnight. About 45 minutes later, my 5 year old came in crying that she had been sick and that it had gotten on her sheets, jammies, and precious "Baa-Baa." (It was also in her hair although I refrained from pointing that out ....) SO, I started my 3rd load of laundry for the evening while Chad helped her clean up in the bathroom. I knew we were in for a long night although at least 5 year olds can aim for a bucket! To make a long story short, between the two kids we were pretty much up ALL NIGHT. I slept ten or twenty minutes at a time between calls from the kids. I kept lying there waiting to get sick myself!

Of course, today I am totally exhausted. It is 3 pm and I am still in MY jammies! What's worse is ... Mr. Carter threw up on his paci last night. I washed it thorougly and gave it back but he now refuses to take it. Well, I know that I've been hoping to wean him from it, but this afternoon he cried and cried and would NOT take a nap ... the nap I had been looking forward to all day, so that I could take a nap too! Maybe it will ultimately be a blessing as far as ditching the paci, but when he wouldn't sleep this afternoon, I just started BAWLING. I am just SO TIRED! Motherhood definitely is NOT for wimps. However, my only choice at that moment was to just surrender it to God. I know this will pass. I know God will walk through this difficult day with me, and help me to endure (at least until Chad gets home)!

"Furthering His Kingdom" may look different on a day like today, but I am reminded of the verse that says "whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done it unto Me." It sure isn't glamorous (in fact, it is pretty downright gross) to take care of sick little children. But I am thankful that God has given me these kids, sick or not, to take care of today. So Lord, please give me the strength and kindness I need to make it!

Tomorrow is another day ...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

20 weeks

Today we had our 20 week ultrasound. I have been dying to know what exactly is growing inside there. I know, I know, a BABY is growing inside there ... but what kind??

And the answer is .... It's a GIRL!! We are thrilled. I am relieved that all seems to be normal and baby is growing and developing just fine. We are so very thankful!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is what happens ...

...when you have a big sister. You get to carry around a tres chic princess bag! :)

He doesn't seem to mind!

Stay tuned ... tomorrow we find out (hopefully) ... boy or girl??