Friday, January 29, 2010

Brotherly Love

Apparently boys have a certain instinct that compels them to wrestle.

Well, ours kicked in this week and Eli and Landon have been rolling around on the ground ever since. They have really had me laughing.

This makes me wish I had a twin. I love that they have each other.

This video is of Landon feeding Eli chips off of the floor. Eli thinks it's hilarious that Landon is shoving food in his face. You just never know what is going to make them laugh.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New Craze

Landon and Eli have been "leading singing" at church for several months now. By leading singing, I mean waving one arm in the air while we sing. It's pretty much adorable and catches the attention of everyone around us.

About a month ago, they started leading singing around the house. They find a book...any it, assume the correct arm position, and start singing and waving their arm around. It's just precious.

It's become our favorite activity. They spend a lot of time each day singing together or walking around the house leading singing.

If you watch the first video closely, you can also see them bow their heads to pray at different times.

These are seemingly small things, but they put a big smile on my face every single time I see them. It's amazing to me how much they can learn at such a young age. It's also a constant reminder of how careful I need to be with my words and actions, as I have four little eyes on me at all times just soaking it all in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I think it's time...

for a picture post!

It's been a while.

It's beautiful today, so we spent the morning at the park. It's been so long since we've been able to go and I wasn't anticipating all the running I would have to do to keep Eli and Landon out of the water, out of the street, and away from the geese. I am worn out!

 Here are a few pictures from the other night right before bed.

 Have I mentioned how grown up my babies are getting? They can now sit in booster seats when we go to a restaurant. What? When did they become little boys instead of babies?

And they don't want me to feed them anymore. They are quite happy to do it themselves. We like to experiment with feeding ourselves places where mom doesn't have to clean up!

 That's about all we've been up to the last few days.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little Recap For You...

Since about 10:48 this morning, I have been trying to load the dishwasher. This is a seemingly quick and mindless task, but an hour has now passed and I have yet to accomplish this simple chore. Let me recap the last hour for you.

10:48 - I open the dishwasher and load 2 dishes.

(sounds of pages ripping)

I discover Eli and Landon ripping pages out of my cookbooks. Great.

Discipline...redirect...clean up mess.

10:55 - Unscrew tops of sippy cups and disconnect all parts.

(Sounds of running feet....Landon brings me a pair of open scissors.)

Eli and Landon have pulled out the dining room chairs, climbed up on the table, and dumped the contents of my sewing basket.

Discipline...redirect...clean up mess.

11:04 - Put sippy cups into dishwasher and rinse a bowl.

(Too quiet...bad sign)

Eli and Landon are on TOP of the couch. I'm not talking about on the seating part of the couch. I mean crawling on the very back of the couch (that isn't pushed up against a wall), teetering on the edge.


11:10 - Where was I? Oh yeah...silverware.

(I hear bells, which means they are in the cabinets in the living room)

Sure enough...the entire contents of six shelves have been removed.

Discipline...redirect....clean up.

11: 18 - Just a few more dishes to rinse.

(The hutch door opens...I run over with soapy hands)

Eli and Landon, in the 15 seconds it has taken me to get to them, have found a sharpie marker and removed the cap.

Discipline...redirect...move all sharpies to a higher location (who put them there anyway?).

11:23 - Forget the dishes...they must wait until naptime. These boys cannot be left alone.

We own half of Toy's R' Us. Why do these toys not interest us?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Better Day

It's Sunday.

We're all feeling better.

Dad's home after being gone two nights.

It is warm enough to play outside today.

Queue the hallelujah chorus!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Little Sweetness...

There is absolutely nothing exciting about this video except for the fact that I love it when Eli and Landon play in their room together. Here they are reading books and talking. Eli even leads singing for us at one point although it's hard to see. I love the way Landon uses his hands to talk.

There could not be two sweeter boys than these.

And here is Landon this morning. He brings me shoes and sits down in my lap for me to put them on. Then he high steps around the house...quite pleased with himself.


Maybe it's because we've been sick. Maybe it's because it's winter and we can't play outside all day. Maybe it's because my children have entered the most challenging stage we've been through yet (don't worry...I'm not so naive to think it will get better from here.) Or maybe it's because I have been stressed about things that I can't control anyway. But whatever the reason, it seems as though I've spent more time feeling frustrated than I have spent feeling all other emotions combined lately.

If there is one thing I've learned over the past year or so it is this: being a stay at home mom is not as easy as it seems. Maybe this transition would have been slightly easier had I started with just one baby, but as things turned out...I jumped in with both feet to an, at times, overwhelming situation. It's not the work load that gets to me. Sure...there are mounds of laundry, constant dirty diapers, planning the next meal before the current one is even cleaned up, sticky floors, dust so thick you can draw pictures in it, and rings in my toilet. But that's not really what makes it hard.

These are the things that make it hard:

The Solitude
For a person who is rarely physically by myself...I sure do feel alone sometimes. Something about spending 75% of my day with two toddlers makes me feel isolated I guess. By the time Dustin gets home, it's either almost or already dark and we just have a few hours to spend together, most of which is taken up by dinner, baths, playing with the boys, and the 2 hour bedtime war (more on this later). Don't get me wrong - I love this time, but it doesn't lend itself to a lot of adult conversation. I'm not a big fan of talking on the phone and even if I were, Eli and Landon take full advantage of the time I spend on the phone to whine and cry in my ear making it impossible to carry on a conversation. Anyone who has tried to talk to me on the phone knows I'm not lying.

The Monotony
We do the same thing every. single. day. It's just a fact - small children do better with schedules and events they can predict. Honestly...I do better with these things, too. But I also get stir crazy as well. Sometimes I feel like I'm not really accomplishing anything...I get up and go through the same routine every day and at the end of the day...what do I have to show for all that time and work? Sure, my children are still alive (barely most days). And my husband isn't starving (because he ate some form of hamburger meat mixed with a can of condensed soup). And my house hasn't completely imploded into itself (regardless if it seems that way). Some days I feel like I barely scrape through the day only to get up and do it all over again.

The Feedback
Or should I say, lack thereof. Guess don't say things like, "wow, my clothes smell great" or "this hot dog you heated up for me is delicious" or "did you clean the floors? because when I was eating off of them just now, they seemed cleaner"...they generally don't notice the little things. There's always the feedback you get in public, "you have your hands full" or "oh look! double trouble" or my personal favorite, "I'm glad it's you and not me." Wow, thank you so much for the encouragement. Just what every young mother needs! My two bosses don't operate like most's don't get a lunch break, a paycheck, an annual review, or an honorable mention.

The Mental Stress
Fact: even the happiest of babies are not happy all day every day. I consider Eli and Landon very happy boys, but they still spend a significant part of our day whining and crying. That constant feels like it just slowly eats away at me until I almost snap. At the end of the day, when I've said "No" 3,758 times, when I've listened to two babies whine and cry, when they have demolished yet another sentimental object, when they each have at least three new bruises, and when I've witnessed 49 fits...I'm just mentally spent.

Nothing can really prepare a person for motherhood. It's a joy that cannot be quantified. It's a love as intense as pain. It's an indescribable sacrifice. It's a tremendous responsibility. 

And the stakes are high. 

Really high. 
I have their minds, and their hearts, and their souls in my hands. And when I think about this stage....this season of time that will pass by all too quickly....I count my blessings because I am never alone (and I do mean never), I get to spend each day with the two most handsome and loving boys I have ever known (make that three), and the rewards are great and numerous.  Their smiles, laughs, hugs, kisses, growth, development, and happiness are more valuable than any paycheck could ever be. I love my job...I really really do.

 Maybe my frustration makes me a bad mom, but I'm guessing it just makes me...normal.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mama said there'd be days (weeks) like this...

Our week has been filled with:

dr. visits
restless nights
lost appetites

short naps
on-call nurses
sweating babies

rocking chairs

lethargic babies
strep throat
trips to lubbock
diaper rash
cool baths
cold applesauce

as well as...
lots of cuddling
calls and texts from friends
offers to help
visitors bearing gifts
cards in the mail
lots of coke (for mom)
and a lot of encouragement

Eli and Landon have really done well despite the discomfort and pain I'm sure they are experiencing. They really are the best! are you. Thank you for all of the offers to help and encouragement!

New Years 2010

I have a lot of catching up to do, so we'll skip Christmas for now and start with New Years.

As kind of a last minute idea, Dustin and our good friend John thought of having a reunion with our group of friends from college. By the next week, we had accommodations, invitations had been extended, food had been planned, and my excitement level was very high! We left Eli and Landon to spend New Years with Neva and Randy and we took off to the hill country. I think there were 19 of us in all over the three days and we had a lot of fun.

We rented some cabins in New Braunfels right on the river

Almost everyone arrived the afternoon of New Years Eve and basically over the course of the next two and a half days, we had a 42 tournament, ate a lot of food, talked, sang, relaxed, played games, caught up on each others' lives, and laughed. I laughed a lot. I normally do.

What a great time

We checked out Saturday morning and boy, was I ready to see Eli and Landon. I slept the whole way to Iraan to make the time go by faster and I ran in the door to see them when we got there. They both got huge smiles on their faces and ran right towards me...but, they went right past me and right into Dustin's arms. It's tough having to compete with Dustin...he's just so much cooler than me. They eventually let me pick them up without crying to get down and see just took about 30 minutes.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday My Sweet Amy

I would like to interrupt this blog for a very important announcement.  Today is a very special day for me because on this day not so many years ago a little girl was born who would grow up to meet a boy who would fall in love with her and make him one of the most blessed persons in recorded history.  This girl, now a beautiful woman, is the mother of two boys who have way to much energy and are always trying to find as many ways possible to hurt themselves or destroy whatever is in their path.  Despite such obstacles, the boys are still alive and are the sweetest boys alive and it is only because of her.  Her husband (me) does not deserve such a woman and thanks the good Lord everyday that she chose to share her life with him.  I love you my sweet Amy and I always will.

Happy Birthday!
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