Wednesday, February 27, 2013

First Steps!!

A couple of days ago Jonah finally took his first steps!!!  It was on Monday the 25th so exactly at 13 months.  These pictures aren't from his first official steps but I tried to show that he's standing on his own and has taken steps several times since then.  I think the most he's done in a row is about 6, maybe 7.

We're super excited for our little guy.  Benjamin is (of course!) jealous.  I don't dread the walking stage much, in some ways it seems so much easier.  I just need to think through a plan of action for when they run in opposite directions from me this summer, ha.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An hour

Decaf vanilla latte.  Peaceful instrumental music.  The perfect amount of quiet conversation around you.  Overstuffed comfortable chair.

This has been my hour.

My husband is a thoughtful man who knows that it is sometimes overwhelming being with two young boys at home, all day long, every day.  For Christmas he gave me a gift card to the local coffeeshop and insisted I save it for those days when I need a break. 

Today was one of those days.

One of those days where you're overwhelmed even to tears, frustrated, tired, drained, suffocated.  I don't like to dwell on these days, especially on my blog, but I can't pretend they don't exist.

So I waved my white flag, texted my husband this afternoon and asked(begged) for an hour break after he got home. 

this is what they were like nearly all day

With each sip of my coffee I can't help but be grateful.  Grateful for a husband who loves me and does what he can to encourage me in my role as wife and mother.  And grateful for a husband that knows me well enough to know that I was about 15 minutes away from locking myself in the garage.

Oh goodness, sometimes an hour is just what you need to take a breath and refocus.  Thank you Lord, for my husband.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Subtle jealousy

Last night I was talking with a friend about the current dynamics between my boys.  I was trying to articulate what can be so frustrating about their relationship and I think we figured part of it out.

See, my boys are almost exactly 2 years apart.  Though we completely expected instant jealousy from Benjamin when Jonah was born, it never happened.  He didn't resent Jonah sleeping in his old crib, he never whined when I had to feed Jonah and couldn't read to him at that moment.  He didn't "relapse" back to pacifiers, bottles, etc.  He's independent enough that he took this change with ease.  We were so grateful.

Flash forward to the past month. 

This is what I hear.  All.  Day.  Long.

"Oh no.  Jonah's awake.  Quick Mom, move the toys on the couch so Jonah can't get them."

"Nooooooooo!  Jonah, that's NOT YOURS."

"Ben, why don't you go play cars with Jonah"  He responds with "No.  I don't want to." followed by him running the opposite direction

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMPH!!!!"  This is what Jonah says when Benjamin constantly knocks him over........on accident, of course.  Then I hear Ben saying, "I didn't meeeaaaan tooooo"  Yeah right, buddy.  Yeah right.

Over the past couple months Benjamin has all of a sudden seemed to have a super short fuse with Jonah.  He gets upset when we praise Jonah or clap for Jonah when he learns something knew.  He doesn't have any interest in helping him learn to walk.  He kind of just seems bugged whenever Jonah invades his bubble.

I think we're finally seeing a bit of jealousy's ugly head rear itself.  It's not being seen in huge ways like throw himself on the floor screaming fits, or in him gouging out Jonah's eyes.  But it's like its finally clicked in his mind that Jonah is here to stay.  That Jonah takes some attention away from him and isn't just the blob in the exersaucer anymore.  Subtle jealousy.  If there is such a thing.

We talk all day long about being loving and kind.  About being a good big brother and patiently trying to redirect Jonah when he's trying to mess up his puzzle/game/etc.  We try to emphasize how much Jesus wants him to show love to his brother, to protect him, never hurt him.  That his brother is a friend and blessing.

I don't want to be too harsh on Benjamin just because he's the oldest.  Though I do want him to share and be kind, I have to remember he did also just turn 3.  That he's still figuring out how to interact with everyone, let alone his brother.  I guess it's just frustrating trying to encourage a loving brother relationship and feeling like it sometimes falls on deaf ears.

I know, as is always the case in parenting, that this is another stage we're in.  That, if consistently and gently encouraged, they will be best friends and love each other like crazy.  They will play together, protect one another.  Yes, I know the fighting is here to stay (I am one of five siblings you know) but I pray that the unprompted hugs will far outweigh the impatient shoves.  Advice and prayers welcome!

*  I had to post these pictures of my boys and their beloved milk in the morning.  I really should consider buying a cow.  We go through so.much.milk.  What's the going rate for a cow in Oregon??  :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oh Benjamin...

I just wanted to write down a few of the funny things Benjamin has said or done lately.  He is so quick witted which makes for a lot of giggles and a lot of creative discipline!

*  Over Christmas I told my sister I couldn't help with her dog because I wasn't a "dog person".  So a few week later when I asked Benjamin to help his brother learn to walk he told me "No, I can't.....I'm not a walking person."

*  he calls the onion rings from Burger King "ugly rings"

*  our new bedroom routine consists of me saying "I love you to....."  and he says "the moon and back, with all my heart, and soooo much"  And I say, "nope, only a little bit"  and he says "only a lot!"  and I say "yep, only a lot!"

*  anytime we go shopping at thrift stores he asks if we can "find some guys"  He's always hoping for a new Kung Fu panda figure or a new bug from Bug's Life

*  anytime he wants to do something fun it is always "after naptime...."  or "if I take a really good nap then we can....."  Apparently he thinks the secret to getting Mommy to do what he wants is to take a really long nap.  And quite frankly, he may be right, ha!

*  one day he had already had his afternoon snack but when Jonah was eating his crackers, he asked for some.  I told him no, we would be having dinner soon.  He asked and asked and I kept saying no, you are not going to have another snack.  He got quiet and then said, "Crackers are food.  Crackers are food, not a snack.  Can I have some food?"  Oh mercy.

*  At the furniture store I told Ben not to climb on the rocks by the pond.  I told him the sign said "Please do not let children climb rocks"  He thought for a second then said, "I know!  I can read.  It says children you can climb the rocks.  That means we can."

*  A few days ago he told me, "I'm four.  I'm 4 years old.  Going on 8."  (He's 3)

*  He went potty a few days ago and I heard some strange electronic sounds coming from the bathroom.  I went in and found this...

Love this kid.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Celebrity Look-a-like?

It's one of those moments that every girl hopes will happen someday.

That moment when a relative stranger comes up to you and says you look like a celebrity.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be compared to a beautiful actress?  You can tell me I look like Jennifer Garner all day long.  You'd be lying, but you can tell me nonetheless.  All day long.

Well, Sunday after church the mother-in-law of one of my friends came up to me and asked if I watched Downton Abbey.


She then went on to ask me if anyone's ever told me that I look like Daisy.

For a second I was a little flattered.  How kind of her to think that I looked like a beautiful actress from the wildly successful show.

Then it became a bit awkward because I realized she said Daisy.  Daisy as in the assistant cook to the hilarious Mrs. Patmore.  Daisy as in the kind, simple girl who "pity-married" the brave William.  Daisy as in the girl who is overlooked by the footmen due to her underwhelming looks.

Yep, that Daisy.

No regal leading actress for me.  No sophisticated Lady of the house.


My poor husband was there and the mother-in-law asked him if he agreed.  It went against every "husband rule" he knew to agree that his wife looks like the sweet simpleton of the house.  I think he filled the slightly awkward moment with nervous laughter, ha!

Now, granted.  This lady isn't too far off.  I do resemble her.

And I do know that I am not a sophisticated Lady of the house.

But here's to hoping someone mistakenly calls me Jennifer in the grocery line this week :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Week

I didn't really mean to go a week without posting, but it looks like that's what I did!  So since the boys are napping and I'm still in my pajamas at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon (don't judge!) I thought I'd recap our week.

Monday was low key in the morning.  Ben had his 3 year well child check-up that afternoon and just as we suspected, he is healthy and smart!  Then we got a call that Grandma Racke went into the hospital so we were praying so much for her and God answered in a big wasn't a stroke she suffered, it was something much more treatable!  We were so grateful.  Peter then went to visit a guy from one of the family's in our church who had overdosed and was in a coma in the hospital so he was gone for a few hours.  He ended up being okay too but it was a bit of an emotional night with all of these happenings.
what a goober

Tuesday we went to go pick up some new tile for our upstairs bathrooms.  I found a steal of a deal on craigslist and since the hubby agreed to the project "because he loves me" we loaded it up.  The tile is really similar to the tile we used in our entry way and fireplace and should update the vinyl nicely.  I told Peter I'd take the boys to San Diego again for a week so he could work on the project....aren't I just the most supportive wife ever??? :-)

Here's the tile....

here's the current vinyl flooring....

It's nice and neutral, but hopefully the tile update will help us compete with the new construction in our neighborhood when we go to sell way down the road.  Right Peter????  Ha!
the boys had some energy to burn off after we got home

Tuesday night after the boys go to bed my accountability group met again.  I love those girls, and love sharing life with them.  We give each other encouragement, advice, share stories, pray for each other.  We don't want the evening to end and this week didn't leave until nearly midnight, yikes!

Wednesday was a busy day running errands, making dinner for small group, teaching piano lessons.  Then we went to small group and went to bed early.

Thursday Kristen took my boys for the morning.  We decided to "swap" mornings watching each other's boys' and it was great.  I highly suggest finding a friend to do this with from time to time.  I had to give a friend a ride to pick up her car then I came home to clean and pick up my house for an hour, play piano, read a bit.  Then Peter and I had a lunch date at a yummy local Chinese place.  Love getting to have those fun lunch dates.  Double bonus that it was actually Valentine's Day too!  We don't normally go out or do much to celebrate this holiday, but I'll never turn down a lunch date.  I got the boys Valentine's Day cookies and they were quite pleased with their treat.

Friday I watched Kristen's boys in the morning.  It's definetly a full morning but so fun.  I taught another piano lesson that afternoon, we ate leftovers then I headed to our EPIC event that night.  We had fondue, Bible study, hot tubbing and a chick flick for the girls last night at one of our leader's homes.  It was a great night, though let me tell you.....4 sugared up junior highers in your car at 10pm.  Goodness.  Just thankful I survived.  (I was kicking myself for forgetting my camera that night!)

Saturday we are just being lazy yet kind of productive.  We played with the boys all morning long and just had the best time.  It's a fun stage of life we're in.  They're napping now after inhaling every bit of food I could find for their breakfast and lunch (growth spurts boys???).  I love days like this.  We'll probably eat too much Thin Mint ice cream tonight and watch Shark Tank and Touch.  Touch is Kiefer Sutherland's new show and it's so similar to 24 but in a bit less "the world's going to blow up in 3 seconds" kind of way.  We're enjoying it, it's on FOX.

Here's a few more random pictures from our week....

Peter wanted a small notebook to keep in his pocket so he could "get organized".  I told him he'd either lose it or put it through the wash within a weekI win.   

he is such a nut.  Close to walking, and such a nut. 

See?  He's crazy. 

Ben insisted on getting me ready for bed one night.  He gave me his animals and his one guy (he picks one figure to sleep with each night).  He tucked me in, sang me songs and read me a story.  Love his sweet, sensitive side!
(Ignore the Thomas undies by my head.....they were still wet coming out of the dryer, ha!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Weekend

Friday was one of those days that you just survive?  One of those days were you literally drag your children up the stairs when it's finally time for nap.  You know the kind.

But the boys took a nap, I got some downtime (and perhaps some chocolate) and the moods improved in everyone. 

The boys were particularly delighted when we told them that after dinner, we were going to go swimming!!!!  It's one of their favorite things.

I made a pasta dinner then we got our gear and met our friends at the local pool.

It was a great time.  Benjamin swam so hard.....he was doing so good, I was really proud of him.  And Jonah loves the water.  Sleeping in the next morning is another added bonus of swimming on Friday nights :-)

Saturday we had our typical lazy breakfast then headed out to run a few errands at Target and Costco.  We ate enough samples to not need to buy additional lunch....perfect day in my book!

The boys napped, we vegged, then we went to our local furniture store to browse around.  The store is literally has boats, busses, and old cars hanging in it.  With two ponds and airplanes and animals.....the boys loooved it.  After dinner and baths Ben watched Kung Fu Panda (shocker) while Jonah climbed the stairs over and over.  He's learned super quickly how to go backwards the safe way.

Today was church, lunch leftovers, naps, oil changes for the cars....nice low, key Sunday.  We also went to our Sunday night fellowship since a new series was starting on Jeremiah.  I try to keep the boys quiet and occupied in the corner of the room so they're not too loud and distracting.  It's very low key for the Bible study, but still, it's a workout nonetheless.  Speaking of workouts, trying to get a picture of a 1 year old and 3 year old where they're both at least kinda looking at the camera.  Yeah, that's a workout.

I have more pictures to post but there's about 4 minutes left until Downton Abbey so gotta go y'all....priorities right? :-)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just a Thursday

I have nothing creative or interesting to write about today.  It's just an "ordinary" Thursday at home.

Micah came over to play with Ben for the day.  He was a wee bit excited!  We played outside this morning for over an hour, riding bikes, watching the housing construction and throwing rocks in the water.

Then we came inside for lunch, played with playdough, built forts and had gun fights. 

Jonah tried to keep up.  And looked just enough like a hobo to make me admit that he really does need a bit of a haircut.

Then the boys played Leapster together while I made laundry soap.  Nothing more inspiring to finally make another batch of the stuff then being completely out with more dirty clothes needing to be washed right?  I'm such a procrastinator sometimes!

I was letting the boys listen to The Incredibles story on audio cd, and apparetly this morning was too much excitement for my sweet boy....

Yep, we're super exciting around here.  This old lady is finishing a cup of tea and folding sheets.  Be jealous.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Sortin' Fool

I think I've been bit by the springtime fever bug a bit early because I'm cleaning, organizing and purging everything!  I've gone through all my baby boy clothing, putting them in organized tote bins, categorized by age.  They're all neatly folded....finally.  I've always lazily tossed them in tubs when the boys outgrew that size.  And I got rid of tons of clothes that weren't really my style or I didn't need.  Actually I'm ot getting rid of them, I'm going to have a garage sale with my best friend so we can raise money for our own garage sale getaway extravaganza this summer!

So today, Micah asked if Benjamin could come play for the day and he was super excited.  He packed his backpack and waited by the front door!

I think Jonah was a wee bit excited that he wasn't going to have to share attention with his brother for the day :-)

Why is it that when you suddenly go from two kids to one kid you feel as though you could tackle the world?  So, while I didn't exactly do that, I did decide to sort through all the ginormous amounts of girls clothing my wonderful SIL Anita gave me from her girls.  What a blessing to have a head start on the maybe someday baby girl? (Totally NOT pregnant btw)

This is what my living room looked like most of the day (and honestly it wasn't even all the clothes brought in from the garage yet) 

Katie and Mandy were well dressed little girls!  And it was really fun to take a walk down memory lane seeing the outfits I could remember them wearing....and even a few(or many) that Auntie April bought for them :-)

It took almost all day long and took a lot of um, "repositioning" Jonah from destroying my nice neat piles, but I got it done.  Hip hip hooray, I got it done.

Peter came home just before I put the clothes neatly into the storage totes and he just laughed at me.  He knows I'm borderline crazy when I start organizing.  I think my boys are afraid they're going to be labeled, folded and stuffed in a tote if they're not careful.  No promises boys, no promises.

I'm just a sortin' fool on a mission to organize, de-clutter, and maybe raise a buck or two for my garage saleing habit :-)

Monday, February 4, 2013


Shutup.  No, really.  Shutup.

That is exactly what Benjamin said to me at the dinnertable tonight.

Apparently we have entered the sassified threes????

I was telling him to eat his dinner for about the fifth time in 5 minutes, and he started mumbling a few things then quietly said "shutup"

My eyes probably bulged out of my head and I must have looked at him like some crazy lady and said "what did you just say?"

It was as if he instantly knew he was in trouble and he said "nothing!!!"  all while avoiding eye contant.

I pressed him again asking him to tell me what he said.  He kept saying nothing, nothing.  He was suffering from a case of consequence fearing silence.

I told him I wasn't going to spank him but told him I was going to spank him if he didn't tell me.

He finally whispered "I said shutup"

*SIGH*  It's what I thought.

We then proceeded to have a very serious talk about how that is not a nice word.  How unkind and rude it is and how he will immediately be punished if he says it again now that he knows it is not a good choice.

I think he understood what we were talking about so I felt pretty good about our conversation.  I looked up at Peter to get his "understanding eyes" and "can you believe he just said that?" look.

Instead, he was nervously smiling.

Embarassingly smiling.

I smiled too but said it really wasn't too funny.  He said, "I know, I's just that.....well.....he learned it from me."


He continues "Remember how he was being suuuper whiny and annoying on Saturday morning?  Well, I had had enough and jokingly told him to shutup.  He repeated it then too and I told him it was not okay.  And then I apologized to him for talking to him like that."

Oh goodness.

So many things went through my mind after hearing it all.  That this parenting thing is not for the weak of heart and that it may only get harder as our kids get older.  That I really hope (for Ben's sake) that he doesn't tell me to shutup again tomorrow.  But mostly I was just grateful for a husband who lovingly knows how to apologize to his son when he says the wrong thing.  I know that telling his mom to shutup is not the worst thing in the world, but I really do hope that Peter and I can help Ben learn how to treat others with respect and kindness and love.  Not to be a "good citizen" but to be an example of Christ's work in a sinner's life.

I don't know what will kill me first.  His cuteness or his sassiness.  And yes Mom, I know I got exactly what I deserved in a son that's just like me! :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Benjamin is 3!!!!!!!!

Today is my oldest boy's birthday.  Benjamin, the amazing little guy who first made me a Mama, is now 3 years old.  THREE.  I don't know, three just seems so big.

We have spent the past 2 days celebrating and loving on him.  He was finally feeling better just in time for his birthday so we were really grateful.

Saturday morning after breakfast we headed to the Dollar Store so he could pick out his 2 birthday balloons.  This is always a much anticipated treat!  We ran a few errands then came home for lunch and naps.

That night we headed to Jeremy & Kristen's for a joint birthday party with their little guy Micah.  Micah and Benjamin share a birthday, just one year apart.  Almost to the minute, so it's pretty cool.  Those two guys are best friends so the fact that they can celebrate together is pretty perfect.

The boys were sooo excited to play with one another since they'd been apart while they were sick.  And we loved sharing dinner and sharing life with our friends.  Then it was time for cake!

I had found a Thomas cake pan on craigslist for super cheap so I was all set for the cake.  I am not a fancy cake decorator, in fact, I have never even used the Wilton tips before.  But I decided that I would attempt it since it was my son's THREE year old birthday.  It turned out to be the perfect project for this mama who was stuck at home all week with sick boys.

It wasn't perfect but it turned out pretty cute!

Benjamin was delighted when he first saw his cake on party morning.

Kristen was making birthday treats for their Sunday school class since their birthday actually fell on Sunday, so I decided to make Micah a little cake too so they could each have one.  He's obsessed with Star Wars so Peter suggested a lightsaber, so that's what I did.  I just winged it, but it turned out kinda cute.

Benjamin had the biggest smile on his face when we sang to him.  He was so happy to finally be celebrating his birthday.

I couldn't get over how much the boys did not look like toddlers anymore.  This is what they looked like together on their birthday last year....

and this was this year....

See what I mean?  They are so big.  Not a shred of toddlerhood left.  It is so sad how fast time is flying by.

Anyway, after cake (of which Benjamin didn't eat a bite because he doesn't really like cake) it was time for presents.  Benjamin looooved his Kung Fu Panda 2 DVD, Thomas books, nerf gun, Monsters Inc figures, blue beetle, fruit snacks, bubbles, and truck.  He is a spoiled and loved little guy!!!

It was a fabulous party celebrating my most FAVORITE 3 year old on the planet.  That night, I kissed my little boy before he went to bed as his last night being two.  Boy I love him.

Today we had church and our annual business mtg, but they celebrated with special treats in children's church and by wearing matching striped shirts (I'll have to steal the picture from Kristen)

We came home and took naps, then headed to McDonalds for dinner for his annual birthday Happy Meal!  Both boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  He came home and opened up his new Thomas Leapster game and talked to the grandparents on the phone.  Now he's watching his new Kung Fu Panda 2 show with a giant smile on his face (and his Furious 5 figures in his hands)  Oh my sweet boy, you are too much for my heart to handle.

Benjamin Daniel, because of you I now know without a doubt that being a Mama is the very best job in the entire world.  I always knew motherhood would be amazing, but now I know that it is a true gift of God.  I adore your adorable little voice, your OCD tendencies, the way you need all your owies kissed, how you sing so loudly in the car, your goofy jokes, your excitement over a new book, your sweet sensitive nature.  My heart bursts with love when I look at you and I'm so proud and grateful to be your Mama.  It'd be okay with me if you wanted to slow down on the growing up, but I'm also excited to see you learn and grow this year.  I pray you will learn more about Jesus and his love for you this year.  As always, we love you to the moon and back, with all our hearts, and sooooooo much. 

Happy 3rd Birthday Benjamin!!!!!!!

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