Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo has come to an end. I didn't post every day this month, but I decided about half way through that I was ok with that. Considering I have posted maybe once a month in the last year or so, I figured missing a few days here or there this month was still a vast improvement.

As a conclusion to this month of thanksgiving, I thought I would list, as I have seen on many blogs lately, a few of the things for which I am thankful.

::My wonderful family, of course, and the new baby we are about to welcome.

::The amazing group of women that I get to call my friends.

::My friends' children that are growing into great people too, and who bless my children with their friendship.

::The home we settle into more every year and the traditions that we are starting to develop here as a family.

::The opportunity to be able to stay at home to raise my boys and create a loving and warm home for them and my husband.

::Knitting and other crafty pursuits that offer me a chance to be creative and productive.

:: Finally finding a church that we feel is right for us and our family.

::And so many more things - more than I can even name and list here. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011

Over Thanksgiving weekend my step-brother and his wife were in town with their four month old baby. We spent most of Thanksgiving Day with them, and got a glimpse into how they boys will act with a small baby around. I knew they liked babies, and overall they acted very much how I thought they would.
Landon was a huge help, and wanted to hold the baby a lot. He understood a lot about how he needed to support the baby's head and hold onto him so he couldn't slip away.
Coleson had mixed feelings about the whole thing, and would ask to hold the baby only to push him out of his lap about 20 seconds later. Coleson was very concerned every time the baby cried though, and spent a lot of time taking him various toys.

It was sweet to see them with the baby and watch them give him kisses and gentle pats.
This pretty much sums up how I really expect it to be though, with both of them right there in the middle of the action. I have no doubt that our baby will be very loved and showered with attention from his big brothers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27, 2011

I should have posted earlier, before I spent an hour browsing on Amazon for various Christmas presents. I found some good things, though, and a few things that I will get a little closer to Christmas and have them shipped directly to the recipients. But, since I spent so long playing on the internet it's time for bed now and not time to piece together a nice post. So, maybe I will get those pictures from the weekend uploaded tomorrow and put together a real post. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011

Right now, I am...

:: enjoying a quiet house because Tyson is out with some friends and the boys are sleeping.

:: feeling like I should probably get ready for bed, but also feeling like it sure would be nice to spend some time reading.

:: holding off on starting a new knitting project until I get a few other projects out of the way.

:: thinking about what I need to do in order to celebrate Christmas in less than a month (!!!).

:: grateful for time spent with old friends this afternoon, seeing their children and catching up on their lives these days.

:: anticipating going to church in the morning and then decorating the Christmas tree with the boys.

:: itching to do some holiday baking.

:: wishing I could be out having a few beers with my husband.

:: wondering which craft project I should tackle next.

:: hoping to enjoy the last day of our long, lovely holiday weekend tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to be thankful for, but I am especially thankful for my family, wonderful friends, our home, and the life we are living. We have it so amazingly good, and for that I am thankful everyday. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011

I find some days that my patience is gone before the day even gets going. The worst part is that I usually don't know exactly why. Sure, the kids are bickering, the dog is begging for a walk, there is a pile of dishes in the sink, and I need more coffee, but none of those things is usually what is really bugging me. I try to take my vitamins, get enough sleep, spend time with good friends, and do things I enjoy, all of which help so much. But sometimes it just doesn't help enough. The last couple days have been like that for me. I feel quiet and withdrawn. I always come out of this funk after a few days, and feel normal again, but for those few days I generally spend a lot of time contemplating things I want and need to change in my life. Sometimes the changes take place, most often they don't. I always wonder what I should be doing so that I don't feel like this. But then again, maybe it's what I need sometimes. Time to look inward and withdraw a bit.

Largely, I hate the way I feel so low on patience with these little guys during those few days.
Because they really are sweet and they really are just little boys. They are trying to feel their way around in the world so much more than I am, and they actually handle it with a lot more grace than I do. I suppose I have a lot to learn from them, and the foremost lesson is, most often, patience. More, and more, and more patience. Patience for their strong emotions, patience for their slow steps, patience for their constant questions, and patience when they need to snuggle and I need to make dinner/wash the dishes/fold laundry/be somewhere on time for once.

But goodness, it's hard to see that most of the time. Maybe that's what these days are about when I feel so off. Maybe they are about my struggle to let go of me and be even more for them when they need it. Interesting thought. Perhaps I will put it to the test tomorrow and see if my patience returns a bit, because it would be nice to have it back for the long holiday weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

"Don't complain." Those are the words I read today when I really needed them. They were on another blog, talking about the same thing I had been complaining about far too much lately - being pregnant.

With my other two boys, I loved being pregnant. I felt good, I loved everything about it. People would ask me how I felt and I always thought it was such a silly question - of course I felt great! I was pregnant! But with this baby, I don't always feel so great. I was sick for almost the whole first half. Since then I have been tired constantly and generally don't feel well most of the time. So it's been easy to complain because it's been easy to focus on the things that aren't so great - they are on my mind much of the time.

But today as I was feeling really bad for myself and starting to wish away this pregnancy, I read those words. "Don't complain." And they are so right. There may be much to complain about, but there is far more to be thankful about. Inside me is growing new life, a new human. He is already his own little person in there and he is such a miracle. All babies are. I am so blessed to be joining in this creation and this state is so, so temporary. This is likely the last time I will be pregnant, and I need to make sure I am not wishing it away and complaining about it. Because really, it's a wonderful place to be!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011

Last December, we started thinking about getting a dog. We had family in town for the holidays that brought their dogs, and our boys loved them. They liked to chase them, pet them, be chased by them, and have them lick their hands and faces.

Maybe, we thought, our boys needed their own dog. So I began pouring over the animal shelter websites and Craigslist for the perfect family dog. I made a few calls, but nothing seemed quite right.

Then one evening, I happened across a Craigslist posting for Jasper. The post even said he would be a perfect dog for a family with a stay-at-home mom and little kids. I called, chatted to the owner to see if the dog met our criteria, and we made plans to go meet him and see if he would fit in well with our family.
We spent maybe 15 minutes with him before we knew he would be perfect. We told the other family we would think about it and call them, but when we climbed in the car and looked at each other we knew we had to have him. I ran back up to the house and told them we would be there to get him in the morning.

And he really has been the perfect dog for us. We marvel all the time that we got so lucky to find a wonderful dog like Jasper. I can't believe another family willingly gave him up, but I suppose they had their reasons.
He is lovingly loyal to us, and has everlasting patience with the boys. He is so well-behaved I can't believe it sometimes. And he is young, so we will enjoy him for many more years to come.
My boys definitely got a great dog to grow up with. Every boy needs a dog, right?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Fifth Birthday, Landon!

Landon turned five today. It was a day filled with family, friends, and cake.
Oh, and of course, new toys.
My sweet boy is five. It's been five great years of getting to know this amazing boy who is quickly growing into such a fantastic person. He is smart, funny, and so curious. He can be wildly intense, and it's been fascinating to watch him learn to harness that intensity into his passions. He loves video games and super heros, cars and airplanes, and all things physical. He enjoys preschool and can't wait to be in kindergarten next year. He is my first baby, and I am so lucky to get to be his mama. Happy Birthday, Landon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011

I took some cute pictures today of the boys playing in the snow, but now I can't find the cable to download them from the camera so that will have to be another post.

Tomorrow is Landon's birthday, and he is so excited. He is turning five, which seems like such a big deal. He is no longer a toddler, or a preschooler. He is a kid. He will start kindergarten next fall, and I feel a little silly calling him my baby these days. He is just getting so big. I am excited for him, and for us, but it's a little bittersweet too.

All evening I've been watching the clock, like I do every year, thinking about the events that took place this night five years ago. Right now we would be at the grocery store picking up Thanksgiving food that my mom ended up cooking us because our baby was four days old and there was no way I was doing it. When we got home from the store my water broke, two weeks early, and I went into labor less that thirty minutes after that. It doesn't seem like it was five years ago. I think I will always remember those hours of labor and birth my whole life.

So, happy birthday-eve, Landon. We have quite the weekend of celebration planned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011

Tonight had many of the things I love about wintry evenings.

A snowy, dark walk with the dog. Take-out Thai food with Tyson after the boys are asleep. Snuggling up to watch three episodes of our latest TV show on Netflix. Checking to make sure the boys are tucked in under their down comforters. Finishing a knitting project and starting another.

These long, dark evenings make me want to curl up under a blanket, drink hot tea, and have more evenings just like this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

I left for Seattle for the weekend and totally got out of the blogging habit. Oops. But I am back now, and I plan to remember to post from now on.

My friends and I had a lovely weekend away, even though we did have a bit of an adventure with the pass getting closed on us. There was lots of driving, but there was also lots of fun shopping, good conversation, giggling, and knitting.

The boys didn't miss me too much, and Tyson assures me they had a great time. All-in-all,
I think it was a success!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

Tomorrow, my friends and I head to Seattle for the weekend. I am looking forward to conversations not interrupted by one of our collective ten children, a long car ride full of good snacks and music, sleeping without anyone trying to crawl in bed to snuggle, sharing good food, and taking the time to browse stores only available in a big city. I think it will be wonderful, and I'm also starting to think a weekend won't be long enough!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011

Today I . . .

. . . dyed yarn with Kool-Aid.
. . . ate the last chocolate chip cookie.
. . . tried a new recipe for dinner, and it turned out well.
. . . spent a lot of time with friends.
. . . snuggled my boys as they fell asleep.
. . . knit a lot.

. . . had a very nice day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

When you've been up since 4 a.m. for the third day in a row, "healthy" chocolate chip cookies (made with almond flour and honey) are completely acceptable as a mid-morning snack.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011

Lately we have enjoyed going to the Finch Arboretum. I had never been there until a few months ago, and I didn't realize what I was missing!
The first time we ever went, I think the boys would have stayed all day. They love that there is a creek that runs through the park and trees they can climb.
We never make it farther than a few hundred yards from the parking lot, and with 65 acres to explore, I know we haven't seen but a fraction of it. I think it will be a favorite place for our family for many years to come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6, 2011

Tyson has been gone the last few days visiting a family friend and every time he is out of town, even just for one night, I wonder how single mothers do it. We all miss him when he is gone and our family rhythm gets disrupted. I have come to realize that he helps me restore my patience at the end of the day by breathing fresh perspective onto things. I find it very hard to recharge without him here. I have also come to realize that my boys need some rough-and-tumble play with their daddy that I am just not capable of duplicating, no matter how I try. I think we are all itching to have him back this evening and get back to our normal routines.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011

Today we were driving home from spending the night at my mom's house. The boys had watched the Disney movie Aristocats, and we were talking about why the butler wanted to get rid of the cats. I told them it was because he thought that getting the money from the old lady was so important. Landon said, "But money isn't the most important thing, is it, Mom?" I told him no, that other things were much more important. I asked what he thought some of those things might be. He answered without hesitation, "Kids. Kids are more important than money." I added that all our friends and family were more important than money. I'm so glad that they know these things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

Today, Tyson left at 5 a.m. to go out of town until Sunday.

This morning I watched Gretchen's sweet baby James for a couple hours because her usual babysitter was sick. The boys were fantastic with him.

After he was gone, the boys and I walked the dog in the middle of the day. I usually walk him alone, after dinner.

The walk caused me to miss my midwife appointment and we had to reschedule it for after dinner. We rarely schedule things for after dinner because they boys usually go to bed right after dinner.

On the walk, Coleson fell asleep in the stroller and napped for the first time in weeks and weeks.

When he woke up, I did yard work, which is usually Tyson's responsibility. My pregnant body resented it a bit.

After dinner, and the subsequent rescheduled midwife appointment, I was responsible for putting the boys to bed. That's something else Tyson usually does. I fell asleep with them for a while.

Everything about today was a little off.
Not all of it was bad, but it made for a strange day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011

One of the boys' favorite things to do is go four wheeling. Luckily, we have two sets of grandparents with four wheelers who don't mind sharing with us. And one of those sets also has a lovely lake cabin at which to enjoy them. A few weeks ago, we spent a wonderful weekend at the lake and the boys got in lots of four wheeling time. I got in a lot of knitting, but that can be it's own post. My dad and step-mom took the boys out quite a bit on those four wheelers, and they had a fantastic time!
And when returning from a morning ride, what's better than hot chocolate with marshmallows?

Not much. Not much, at all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011 - NaBloPoMo

I have decided to do NaBloPoMo again this year, as I seem to enjoy it every year and it sure is fun to look back on my old entries. Courtney encouraged me to do it, so here we are!
Yesterday was Halloween, although the celebration started for us on Friday when Tyson's company hosted a trick-or-treat party in their office. The boys love visiting daddy's work, and the fact that they got candy this time too was a big hit.

Each of the boys also got to have pajama day at school to celebrate Halloween. They both wanted to wear their costumes instead, but were easily convinced to wear their pajamas in order to get to go to the party at school with their friends.

Last night we went trick-or-treating with our friends, followed with a little more in our own neighborhood. Captain America and the dinosaur (sweet costume made by my mom!) had a great time!
After all the festivities were over last night, they boys dumped their candy out on the table, chose their seven favorite pieces (one piece a day for a week), and packaged the rest up to leave out for the candy fairy. She visits our house every year on Halloween and exchanges candy for a toy or game. The boys love it, and they are always excited to see what she brings!

They fell asleep almost instantly after a late, fun night and this morning they awoke to surprises from the candy fairy. Landon got a new Wii game and Coleson got a construction trucks set. Everyone was happy, and now instead of a huge bag of candy to fight over every hour for a month, we have one very small bowl and a piece of candy to eat every day at quiet time for a week. Much nicer.

All-in-all, a successful Halloween! And now the holidays are upon us. Oh my.