Random but true...and a video


Parker's latest ear infection (per his pediatrician) is "luking much betta now" (He's from India, so that's how he sounded when he said it. I thought you might like his version. You're welcome.).  Our federal income tax refund is a grand total of eighty-eight whole dollars (A tank of gas? Dinner at Outback and a movie? Wow, the possibilities with that dough are endless.).  I'm leaving for Atlanta on Sunday, and I'll be gone for a few days to attend a conference for work.  And today I came up with a solution for the blank wall that leads to our garage from the kitchen, and I finally got this on video...

Is that not the funniest thing? I should have gotten him on camera doing this same thing when he was still cruising in his pumpkin seat when we went somewhere. If I unlatched him from the base, and took him in to a store or restaurant with him still in his seat and set it on the floor, he would get it going good with his little legs. He figured this motion out as a really little guy (four months old maybe?), and he's been doing it ever since. Needless to say (because I'm sure by the looks and squeaks of it, you can tell), this is one incredibly well-loved and super bouncy bouncy seat.

Git it Parker!!!

male vs. female


Or...you know...

the one with boobies...

vs. the one without.

Happy Birthday


It's his birthday today.

"I'm FIVE now, Momma!" That's what he told me at lunch today when I met up with him at school to share cupcakes and ice cream with his classmates (one of whom shares the same birthday). And when he said it, he held up his right hand with all five fingers stretched out right in front of my face.

Yes, Baby, I know. Sigh. You're five years old.

This morning we woke him with a verse of "Happy Birthday" and two gifts to open - a beyblade (what else is there, right?) and The Lion King.  And tonight, we took him out to dinner, dropped a few quarters in the arcade style games they have in the front of the restaurant  (something we don't do on any other given night), and I've said "Yes." all three times he's asked to chew a new piece of gum (one of his new fave things to do...Needless to say, he's high on life.  And sugar.).

Jake, you were love at first sight five years ago today, and even still, you totally take my breath away.  Happy 5th Birthday, Buddy!

I will praise You forever for what You have done.  ~Psalm 52:9  

Weekend Finale - Let There Be Light


After last night's Chick-fil-A dinner (Jake's choice...and Parker ate his first chicken nugget. Way to be a big boy, Baby!), we made a trip to Lowe's for yard stuff. Flower beds lookin' good...Check!

While Jim hauled away weed-n-seed, pine bark nuggets, and landscape fabric, the boys and I hung back in the store. Jake climbed on top of a cardboard race car covered in those shamrocks with names of customers who have donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association while Parker exceeded the legal unhealthy limit of cookie consumption. Perfect! (Oh I love how after I yell, "Oh my lord! Get off of there now!" and put the ones back on that he pulled off when he crawled UP and DOWN the front hood, I can just let it roll right off - especially when all I really want to do is look at replacement light fixtures.).

Pretty shortly after, Jim came back, and we hit up the outdoor lighting aisle for something new to flank our garage doors.  We chose allen + roth Black Iron. And as of this afternoon, it was out with the old...

and in


the new!

Looooove the difference they make! I'm so amazed at how updating one little thing definitely easy and pretty inexpensively can bring on some major curb appeal.

Suh-weet! Thank you, Buddy!



 It's Saturday morning; and as usual, you just never know around here.

So far this morning:

Jim's doing a little organizing in our garage and patching the holes in the molding where he took down our blinds (shutter installation - Monday, 8:30am).

Parker is picking up Fruit Loops off the floor (leftovers from last night's snack), leaving his handprints on the 'naked' window panes, and taste-testing joint compound.

Me - I'm in official party prep mode for Jake's 5th birthday Tumblebus bash next Saturday wrappin' forks, knives, and spoons in napkins and tying them with curling ribbon.

And now I'm about to help Jake find his missing Power Ranger. "It's the red one, Momma! You know. The one without the boobies. So he's a boy."

Hope your Saturday's totally awesome!

3 things


1. This past Saturday after we had dinner with friends, Jim took me to Ulta (could spend hours, friends, in there every time I go) to buy eyeliner, shampoo, and conditioner.  And after I looked into several huge mirrors under their blinding fluorescent lights, the signs that I'm aging started flashing in neon.  So I pulled over an employee and asked what she recommended for fine lines and younger-looking skin.  It's all natural, significantly less expensive than Kinerase, I've been using it religiously since Sunday, and so far I absolutely love it.  

2. If you haven't yet/don't read BooMama's blog on a regular basis, then you've missed out on this post. About midway through, I promise you I got up from my desk (obviously at work when I read it), and went into my coworker L's office just so we could hoot and holler about it together. There's just something about her saying, "Somebody give the Lord a handclap of praise." that still tickles me death every time I think about it.

3. One of my favorite girls of all time keeps this posted at her desk.

I adore it! (And her too.).

So Happy Together


This past Monday I clocked in 7.75 hours of vacation and spent the day with Parker. Praise the Lord from whom all blessing flow that someone saw it fitting for the Presidents of our United States to have a day to honor them and call it a holiday. My place of employment doesn’t observe it (And neither do they observe Memorial Day or Veterans Day; but hey, I’ll take a Spring Break and the twelve days of Christmas any day of the week in exchange.) nor does Jake’s private school; but Parker’s preschool does, so duty called.

We played the day away and ran an errand or two or three. I popped open a new Sesame Street DVD that I bought out of the five dollar bin at Wal-mart during our Christmas break - he watched it intently - and I took the remaining hangers in my closet from wire to white plastic ($1.25 per ten from Dollar General) while he napped. I said, “Yes, that’s right. I see that doggy. And oh look at that penguin. Can you pet his fur?” as we looked at the pages of his favorite books again and again, I wheeled him in his wagon around our entire neighborhood, and at the end of the day when the other two that makes us four came through the door, I asked Jim, “So when can I do this every day?”

I’ve been both - a stay-at-home-mom and a working mom - and I can honestly say in both cases, I feel like I have my cake, and I’m eating it too. With Jake, it was my life - twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week - to be his everything. For eighteen months, I changed every diaper (minus the ones his daddy did for me in the evenings), woke with him for every middle-of-the-night-feeding, sang every song that came to my mind, practiced tummy time, read books, and helped to balance him until he learned to sit and finally stand on his own. He was my perfect shadow. I remember sitting him in his Bumbo seat and moving him from room to room while I vacuumed and Jim having to repair the door of our dishwasher because I let him climb on top while I loaded and unloaded dishes. Oh, he loved that. And just like the saying goes…I didn’t miss a thing.

But with Parker, things are different. Or are they really? Just pondering here. Our time - those days that consisted of twenty-four/seven shifts - were cut shorter. He was nearly four months old when I went back to work and then almost six months when he started preschool. With him, somehow, I still feel like I’m not missing anything. My love for him runs so deep, I’ve even asked my mom, “Gosh, Mom, did I really enjoy Jake THIS much?” She, of course, always tells me, “Yes.” And it’s true. She’s so right, I did.

But with Parker, I think my feelings are such because I’m aware that our time is more limited in quantity, I’m always careful and ever-presently making it quality. I soak him up like a sponge watching the way he bends from a standing position to a crawling one and the way his nose wrinkles and he breathes in and out of his mouth with his teeth grit when he’s watching out his window. All of the minutes I spend with him are crazy precious – even the ones we spend in the car together every morning. I make sure that we actually connect - eye-to-eye, cheek-to-cheek - and I’m much quicker to say, “This can wait. It will still be there when these hours and days and months and years are not.” I’ve also realized that our bond is no less stronger than mine is with Jake. He knows I love him. I’m still the one he longs to be with above anyone else. The hours we aren’t together hasn’t changed that at all. Thank you, Lord, for that.

Oh our day was so great. And by the way, his answer was, “Not for a while, Babe. Not for a while.”



My little loves

are (finally) here to say

"Happy Valentine's Day!"

As for them, they both had a really great one too.

Jake's party with his classmates was on Monday (one day early because it was one of his classmates' last day of school before her family moves to Kentucky). He took Cars Valentine's Day cards and goodie bags with Rice Krispie treats, tootsie rolls, and suckers in them and brought home a gift sack stuffed with cards and candy and chocolate.

And on Tuesday, they all took a field trip to Capstone Village (a retirement apartment community) to pass out cards and candy and sing songs - "Jesus Loves Me" and "Tootie Tock" (according to him).  He also just informed me that "Ummm...and we played on a playground there, you know?  And a bee stung me on my arm.  It still hurts really bad!  See?"  Ummm...no, I really don't see one, Babe.  (An episode of Billie the Exterminator that he just finished watching with Jim?  Hmmm...probably.)

And this one?  He partied with his six classmates on Tuesday.  He gave out Gerber Graduates strawberry yogurt with leftover cards from Big Brother's stash with Cars' characters on them and got cards, bubbles, and goldfish crackers in return.  And according to his Ms. Jen, he's a huge fan of pizza.  She ordered one for the whole group to share, cut it into Parker-sized bites, and he ate every single one.

As far as I'm concerned, the lovefest continues - his newest thing is crawling up and laying his head against the laps of his daddy and I (or our shoulders if he's being held). Ahhhhh...there's nothing better than when they give it back. I promise I fall in love all over again.

Every time.

The Surprise


Valentine's Day, for me, ranks right up there with Christmas. I love the color red. And pink. And I love how the three little words - I love you - become something more than what we say naturally when we hang up the phone. It's said with more intention and shown with our actions. We find new ways to show our appreciation for the ones we love.

And it's not about the gift itself - it's the fact that when I'm out fighting the god-awful traffic on my lunch break to break my promise of not spending any cash and buy strawberries and chocolate chips, I'm thinking...this will say "I love you." Or when I'm cutting four by five squares of white cardstock with (very) old scalloped scissors and wondering why on God's green Earth I ever thought they needed to be scalloped in first place, I'm thinking this...now this...will say "I love you. Deeply." And that's all I want him to know - that I love him - even when I'm busy keeping the love tanks of our littles full and our "well" of alone time/deep conversation is running dry.

My "homemade" gift to Jim: fourteen cards with fourteen reasons why we love him (seven from me and seven from Jake) tied to fourteen balloons (Cost $0 - white and red cardstock, heart punch, hole punch, and scalloped scissors all found in my craft closet and left over balloons and helium in the helium tank from Parker's first birthday).

Jake's list consisted of things like, "I love you because you let me buy drinks at school.  I love you because you play basketball with me in my room.  I love you because you help me write my name."

Mine consisted of things like, "I love you because your give our family your time.  I love you because you do everything with us in mind.  I love you because you make me feel secure." 

He loved it! 

And he even forgave me for the broken promise when I made chocolate covered strawberries and brownie a la mode for dessert.

P.S. Please excuse our master bedroom which is still under decorating "construction". I tend to leave things blank (a wall, a tabletop, etc.) until I find the perfect piece of artwork or accessories to fill the space. I like to be able to imagine what something will look like before I buy it first, and that's easier for me to do if there's not a "temporary something" in its place.

the greatest Love of all

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

(via http://www.etsy.com/listing/88988950/john-316-bible-verse-valentines-digital?ref=sr_gallery_4&sref=&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=john+3%3A16&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_ship_to=US&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade)

Will you be mine?


It's so, so true that my little loves get the attention they both deserve here. But my longest love - the one who still does it for me after fourteen Valentine's Days - does not. (Sorry, Bud.) And I promise I'm not about to get too sappy, but I just want to say to him...

Babe, I just want to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day, say thanks for being my Valentine today and always, and tell you I'd meet you on the steps of the courthouse all over again and vow to spend all of my Valentine's Days with you.

And because I think he might actually read this, I can't tell you what I have planned for tomorrow.  I'm definitely keeping my promise to him to not spend any dough...I love, love, love "homemade" gifts.  To me, they say it best - because they come from the heart.

I absolutely can't wait!  And neither can Jake.  He's all in on the surprise.

Wishing you true love today and every day,



A smile

is a curve

that sets everything straight.

~Phyllis Diller

He's got his back. 

And we couldn't be happier. 

Which means we're smiling too.

Friday Fever


Parker has the bad kind; not the longing-for-the-weekend kind.

He started running temps yesterday in the 101's and 102's and was diagnosed with his second ear infection - this time in his left ear.

So he's back on the pink stuff three times per day, and he's just absolutely pi.ti.ful...much different than with this first one where he ate, drank, played, and slept as usual.  Sigh.

Get well soon, Baby!

Because Mommy is really, really missing her smiling, laughing, playing, eating P...even though your head on my shoulder is a pretty good trade.    

Riding in Cars with Boys



is how

(Which way is down his Daddy asked.)
they rolled

on Saturday morning.

The automobile that takes us where we need and want to go, my ride, our wheels - it's the place where I think the best, pray the most, and age the quickest. It's funny how just one or more littles in the backseat can bring on massive amounts of stress, really raise the blood pressure. Toys get dropped, sippy cups become empty, and at times they simply hate the straps that bind them in their car seats. But when it's quiet (or not), I love to watch them in my rear view mirror - to watch them stare at what's outside the window and wonder what they're thinking. Or have a conversation with Jake without turning around, yet I still have his eyes. I watch Parker pull at his socks and shoes, drink from his sippy even after it's all gone, and I can stop him dead in his tracks with "You Are My Sunshine" - I absolutely love that! And them.  I love them.

Sometimes we love people so much that we have to be numb to it. Because if we actually felt how much we love them, it would kill us. That doesn't make you a bad person. It just means your heart's too big. ~Riding in Cars with Boys

Mindset for Moms (alternately titled: And this is why I love Pinterest.)


So I took a break, and I scrolled through a few rows of pins. Found stuff like doggies licking popsicles...

Yay!  I needed that this morning.  And he's getting ready to go back for more...brain freeze and all!

a website called RedEnvelope.com... 

They have the neatest personalized gifts for absolutely every one and every occasion...especially for the littles in my life.  It's in my favorites...at the top...I'll be going back for more.

and this book cover...

Through today (10 pm EST), Jamie is giving away free PDF copies of her book.  Here's the scoop on how to get one...http://www.steadymom.com/2012/02/free-mindset-for-moms.html if you want one too.