Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm over it

I have a new blog location

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celebrating Wren

Our little Wren turns ONE today!
How can this be? I cannot say.
She will not recall that you were here,
After all, she's only a year!
But greater friends are not to be had,
And we'll remember, her mom and her dad.
So celebrate the special day that little Wren flew our way!

This weekend we celebrated our beautiful, fast growing, one year old daughter! It was so fun to have a little birthday party for ourselves. I mean, for her. She only knew that everyone was doting on her all day, but that was nothing new really. It was a beautiful day for a morning brunch, here are some pictures in very random order.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm a Little Smaller Today

Today I sat in a spot I have been many times before. Fourth pew back, large sanctuary, a thousand others filling the rows. We are away from home, attending a couple of conferences, then Georgia for a week, then a family cruise. I haven't had time for expectations on this trip. Just planning, packing and being nap-food nazi for my kids has kept me too busy to adequately prepare myself for these events. I'll even go honest here, after dropping the kids off in childcare I was just looking forward sitting empty handed for a while.

Here is where I'm not going to say anything stereotypical about southern baptist mega churches. I'm not going to mention that a person might expect them to be impersonal and sterile, or that the pastor could be expected to be flashy and insincere. I'm also not going to describe how some believe that they are lovers of money and do little for their community or the world unless it benefits their own interests or name.

All that not being said, a spirit of humility and encouragement came to me as I sat in that sanctuary. I felt that the Father gave me a brief glimpse of the bigger picture. This was the church, my church and the world church. I saw myself as a little notch on this great timeline of eternity, with past quickly retreating and future speeding my way. I sat there believing what I tell others and what the bible tells me, that I am an eye and the missionary two pews back from Iran is a foot. The sweet elderly ladies with the covered dishes are hands, and the non-flashy pastor is perhaps a tongue. One day my way will be obsolete, but my life won't, my work will remain. Others will flash to the forefront for their brief blip on the eternal timeline, and then fade with the Spring.

I love this, I love the way I'm sometimes cosmically put in my place. It makes sense when the God who tinkered the gears of the world into motion opens the hatch and gives us a peek. I'm so thankful to those who have supported us in all kinds of ways over the nearly eight years we have been at it. Its the way of the Christian I think, to come under someone when they are new and wobbly. Then to hold their hand when they are more steady but ready to walk. Then maybe they still need someone to watch them from a distance just to make sure they make it home alright. I'm sufficiently chastised by this experience, I hope I can be this sort of Christian to others.

I wish I had more pictures of our trip, but her are a few. One of the highlights was when my dear friend, Courtney drove down from Nashville to hang out with us for a day. It was WAY too short and I'm already scheming about a weekend away with her sometime. Finn and Carolina came too, Maggie was in school, we missed her.

I'll post some pictures of the fun cruise soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Potty Training

I said I would wait until he was three. I said I would wait until after we returned from traveling next month at least. My strategy was to not have a strategy. I thought that if I just casually mentioned the potty from time to time (like four times a day), and if I didn't pressure him to use it (except to bribe him with matchbox cars), then he would just one day wake up and ask to use it and I would not have put any effort into potty training at all. I figured that if I started talking about it now, he could just take the next few months to think it over and formulate his own plan. Look, I really want him potty trained, I just didn't want to potty train him.

The thing I didn't count on from this whole non-plan was that it would work so quickly. One day I was monologuing about underwear to him and happened to mention that there was statistical evidence that a person could run nearly three times faster wearing underwear over diapers. I also quoted the sage, Henry, from the time honored classic "The Potty Book for Boys". He states, "I'm a big boy now, I can run and jump and play. I don't want a wet diaper to get in my way." The illustration on this page clearly shows Henry running much faster than he was three pages back wearing his diaper. That was the clincher. Jude put on a pair of underwear and ran up and down the hall (really fast) for a half hour while I folded laundry and congratulated my unsuspecting self.

Since then, which was about a week ago, we have been engaged in what I can only describe as an in depth, nearly scientific, exploration of bodily fluid. Now, my parents will tell you that when I was a child I would cry if I got my hands dirty until they cleaned them. I may or may not still do that. See, diapers I have never loved. But at least they are absorbent and have a waterproof outer, and armed with a pile of wipes I can count on one hand how many times in the past two and a half years that I have actually made contact with I'm really careful.

He's been great for the most part. My non committal approach seemed at first to have been golden. He wet his underwear just once in the beginning and just a little. He figured out quickly that he had the power to hold it and would do so until I made him sit on the potty. Day two he was telling me when he needed to go. I was about to start writing my book, "Lazy PottyTraining, They'll Go When They Want To" when the poo hit the fan.

I'm not going to go into tremendous detail here, I don't think my fragile tactile sensibilities can handle the painful memories. The last two days have humbled my potty training victory considerably. All of a sudden he has become afraid to poo. I mean, red faced, shaking, screaming, tears, bucking bronco petrified. He actually held it for two and a half days. And this kid is way beyond "regular". Needless to say he was pretty uncomfortable. When it became apparent that it was coming out whether he liked it or not, we had to cancel our plans for the day. All day. We stayed in and he screamed and pooped. All day. And we went through six pairs of underwear. And I emptied the potty 5 times. And there was an incident that ended with both of us in the bathtub. On a scale of 1 to delightful, potty training has been truly disgusting.

Now, I think we've turned the corner. I'm praying he doesn't regress when we travel. Regress. That's a term used a lot in potty training, apparently it happens enough. His diapers have been dry after naps and in the morning but I'm not ready to go there yet. I packed away the cloth diapers, there is no going back. My favorite part is that he is unbelievably cute in his tiny underwear.
Boxer briefs.

Ok, the underwear picture is at the bottom, I'm still trying to figure out how to edit my blog with the iPad. Here are some Wren pictures in a crazy mismatched outfit. I'm not sure what happened that morning...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It was so good. I thought Kevin was going to cry every time I turned around, he kept saying what a great day it was. I think it was a sort of coming of age for us as a family. Last year we didn't go home because we couldn't, but this year we could have gone but chose not to. I feel like we are kind of sinking into ourselves as a family, I mean in a good way. Instead of being an appendage to our extended family, we are becoming more and more that separate family unit everyone talks about. I feel ok about this, in ways that I didn't think I would. Maybe it has something to do with the kids, or maybe I'm finally maturing in this area. I suspect it's the former, though. Instead of making decisions the way that I am used to, based on how i feel or what I want, I find myself making them using this more complex equation that involves three other people. It's good. It's good for me. In the great and lengthy history of parenting this is common, I'm just catching up.

My birthday was a week before Christmas, it was a really nice thirty-third. I came downstairs that morning to "Birthday" by the Beatles (they say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too) playing on my new iPad! These are the only pictures I got, Sunday morning during our home fellowship. Evelyn made cupcakes and here is Jude surprised to find icing all over his hand after petting one.

This is a picture of that very brief time of all our lives when paper and ribbon are exceedingly more satisfying than what it contains.

I just love this little face.

When we decided to stay here for Christmas, Evelyn decided to come up and spend it with us. We were so excited and grateful that she would do this. It definitely took the edge off our lonely little Christmas. She spent lots of time holding Wren and watched the kids several times while Kevin and I went out, it was so great. She was here for two weeks and when I told Jude that she was leaving and that we were sad, he said, "we are sad, we will cry."

A lot of excitement about this nice bag Aunt Bek got for Jude and Wren.

I think Kevin got something he likes here.

Big boy watch.

I failed to get a great picture of the presents under the tree. This is the best I've got. Check out that sled! Too bad we haven't had snow to use it in yet. Here are the present highlights: Mimi and Papa gave Jude a cool sled and Wren some pretty clothes. Oma and Opa gave Jude perhaps his favorite Christmas toy, these cool cars called Automoblox that he can take apart and put back together. And they gave Wren this neat walker that converts into a riding toy and a shopping cart as she grows. Grandmom gave Jude and Wren some nice clothes and books. Kevin and I gave him a structure for his wooden train set, the sheds for the trains to "sleep" in.

Oh yeah, baby doll! So excited about baby dolls.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh, This and That

The weather was so great last week, we took some nice walks down by the lake. They are always happy to be outside. Oh man, what am I going to do with these kids this winter???

We did have one day of snow recently and then it went away. But not before this masterful wonder of wonders was built. With a corncob (omitted) pipe, and a button (carrot) nose, and two eyes made out of coal (rocks).

We did our Christmas decorating early, the week before Thanksgiving. Since we are staying here again this year I just felt like getting an early start.


Ok, that was a short jog.

This picture is over a month old, but it's a cute dress our friend, Glorianne, made for Wren. I get lots of compliments when she wears it.

Daddy Duck, Mommy Duck, Jude Duck, and Wren Duck. And also a 5th random duck. Please don't give Jude any more ducks, he has enough.

One of Jude's favorite activities is greeting Wren when she wakes up from naps by snuggling up in bed with her. But he has to have covers and he just can't fathom why she doesn't sleep with them.

Three in a chair.

Burlington has lots of parades. You would think that the day after Thanksgiving's parade, where Santa enthrones himself at the mall, would be a good one. 1 firetruck, 1 police car, 1 utility vehicle, 6 old men with tubas and french horns, and Santa on a poney = the world's lamest parade. Suckers...

This was fun, though. The pre-parade lineup had the kids swarming to see the firetruck.

We love going downtown in the evenings, there is usually some sort of spectacle. I really can't imagine what it must be like to do a handstand on top of 4 stacked chairs and a table. Over concrete.

Ok, here we are about to enter Ben & Jerry's.

Here he is after the first bite.

Big bite.

And here we are after consumption.

I don't have too many Halloween pictures, but here is one that I thought was funny. We went over to Jude's best buddy, Augustina's neighborhood to trick or treat. Don't my kids look really into this?