Sunday, August 30, 2009

Helpful Hints

Parenting is a one ever perfects learn as you go...let God be your parenting will probably mess up once or twice and feel guilty, but God has perfectly orchestrated you to be parents.... Anyone ever told you those little wise proverbs about parenting? People along the way have told me these and many other little tidbits about being a parent. Okay, so here's my truth to these: If parenting is a journey, every day feels like a marathon without proper learn as you go, sometimes minute by minute and you almost always second guess mess up once or twice every hour and FEEL OH SO GUILTY (and if your neurotic like me, you wonder if you are seriously messing with your children's' futures)...if God has orchestrated me to be a parent, then why do I feel so inadequate...

Parenting is sure stretching me, that's for sure. Now, as a caveat, I love it. I really do. And I'm learning a lot. Here's some helpful hints I've gleaned along the way:

1. If there's a family outing planned right at naptime - skip it. Every time!!!!! Especially if your little guy has an ear infection and is cutting two teeth. (sorry Tay - we sure made your birthday lunch memorable today!!!!!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR!!!!

2. If you hear your husband whispering into the monitor at night "bring the flashlight," it's probably best to get the flashlight and go upstairs as quickly as possible...the culprit for the flashlight?? a potential poopie diaper from a sleeping toddler.

3. Don't let your toddler go birthday shopping if you want to keep everything a secret! :-) I'm milking this one for all it's worth this week!!!!!!

4. Don't ever ever ever give your toddler the syrup bottle when everyone's eyes are shut saying the prayer. (we had breakfast for dinner tonight - a fun tradition for us!)

5. Don't go to the ballpark with out baby wipes - a bunch of baby wipes. For that matter, don't leave the house without wipes - always a recipe for disaster.

6. To get anywhere on time, plan to tell yourself that the start time is actually 15 minutes before the real start time. Why oh why does getting out the door take so long?

7. Never leave your 15 month old alone with a container of puffs (you know those fruity little treats from Gerber???) oh - and if you do this, make sure you have a vacuum handy!!!!!

8. And of course, the best for last...cherish every moment and laugh all you can or YOU.WILL.GO.CRAZY!!!! Be thankful for the blessings of children.

Here's a couple of pics that totally show the personalities of my sweet boys. OH and it's important to note that all these lessons come from the last three days. Never a dull moment in the Stover house!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

God always keeps his promises

Don't know if anyone else saw it last night, but after the storm, if you stepped outside you saw what I saw... a breathtaking rainbow that literally stretched the entire length of the sky. It was a great reminder for me that God sent a rainbow to Noah to remind him that He would never leave him or forsake him. The same promise rings true today and I'm so thankful. I got to show Jacob the rainbow and was able to tell him the story of Noah again - what a great teachable moment. The pictures don't do it justice, but here's a glimpse of God's glory!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

what we've been up to...

The past couple of weekends have been quite eventful and very "social" for us. Last weekend was birthday palooza (Billy's sister on the 14th, my mom on the 15th and my mother in law on the 16th). This weekend, we've been visiting with an old friend of Billy's family - Dennis, from Denmark and his lovely friend, Tina. Dennis was a foreign exchange student who lived with the Stovers 20 years ago. It's been a lot of fun. Here's a few shots from our very busy weekends...

Friday, August 21, 2009

lessons from my kiddos

Well, I know I posted a few months ago about lessons I learn from my kids - well, at that time, I wasn't sure I actually learned anything from my kids, but boy was I wrong. Not only do I learn from my kids, but I also continue to learn more and more about who they are and who they will become and It scares me a lot, but I love watching them grow and bloom. Today I learned two very distinct lessons from my kids - one very profound and one not so profound, but oh so very important.

Episode 1: We went to the park today - it was a perfect day and I love taking the boys to the park. We went for a nice long walk and then played on the playground. When we got there this little boy ran up to Jacob and said "hi, I'm Aaron." Well, my little sometimes shy guy proved that all wrong - he was completely taken with his new little friend and proceeded to follow him around like crazy for an hour or so. Jacob was quite conversational and it was really cute...what's so profound about this, you ask??? Well, it got me thinking about who Jacob will become one day. I believe he is going to be somewhat of a follower. Not that that's a bad thing at all. In fact, I think being a leader is sometimes much much harder than a follower, but being a follower means one thing. You follow the example of someone else. Well, this realization has had me whispering a new prayer today for my little man - that God would place amazing people in his life that are worthy of following. So many people have bad motives and any one person can have so much influence. I pray that even as a little boy, God would place sweet little friends in his life that are good listeners and that obey their parents. And as an elementary school boy, friends that are learning about Jesus and that like school and listen to their teachers. And as a middle school boy and high school young man and a college guy, friends and mentors that lead him toward Jesus and teach him that it's okay to do the right thing - even if it's not the popular thing!!!!

Episode 2: Not nearly so profound (but important nonetheless)... the lesson I learned from/for Jonathan today - always always always leave the bathroom door shut! Jonathan decided to go into the bathroom today (I guess while I was fixing lunch) and took everything that was in the bathroom trashcan and put it in the toilet. Fun times, let me tell you. Well, after a floor full of water, quite a battle with the plunger and 10 soaking wet towels later, it's all fine. Lesson learned - 15 month old little boys are curious little fellows. When things are quiet in the house, probably a sign that mommy should go see what's happening and not just be grateful for the peace. :-)

I love the way being a mommy stretches me and makes me rely on Jesus - I tell you one thing - I cannot imagine trying to be a mommy without the power and strength of the Lord!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summertime Cuties!

Summertime is one of my favorite times of the year! Spring is actually my favorite - new life with all the new flowers and trees budding... I love me some flowers. That's for sure! Here's a few shots of my sweeties after church last week in my flower garden!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

"I'm the King of the Bees, I don't like RULES"

Okay, so that's the quote of the day from yours truly, Mr. Jacob. Where in the world he got that, I'll never know.... BUT today during "nap" time (the term is used lightly in our house) Jacob told his daddy "I'm the King of the Bees, I don't like rules." Just like that. Matter of fact. No emotion. Nothing. I happened to be downstairs and I witnessed the conversation courtesy of the old faithful baby monitor. I don't know how Billy kept a straight face, because I was cracking up. Billy said to him, "what did you say?" Jacob repeated it again and then Daddy said "where'd you learn that?" Without skipping a beat, Jacob said "Vacation Bible School." HMMMMM... now that's an imagination. I happen to know what the exact curriculum from VBS was, since we were teachers too, and I can assure you that NOT liking the rules and king of the bees were not included in the week's curriculum.

Always an adventure at the stover house....

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"the doctor people glued my forehead together"

Well, today was one of those days that you just absolutely dread as a mother...I got the call from the babysitter... you know, the one that starts with "everything's okay, BUT...." And then your heart stops beating and you feel like you might just toss your lunch, which happened to be a tasty cheeseburger from McDonalds (I digress...).

Well, here's the whole story. Today at Ms. Mary's, Jacob had a little mishap with the kitchen counter and got a pretty yucky gash on his forehead. He was running from the living room to the kitchen and I guess forgot the corner of the kitchen counter was there. Right at forehead level. Poor little guy! Ms. Mary was a trooper - she managed to get him calm, clean up the mess - why do foreheads bleed so much???, and she even got a butterfly band aid on it. She called us to let us know what had happened and thought we should come see it just to make sure we didn't think it needed stiches. STITCHES????? I screamed in my mind??? My little guy might need stiches???? Holy moly, you might as well as said he'd severed his leg or something like that. (dramatic, I know, but seriously? This is my little man we're talking about!).

The other part of the story... I was all over the place today. Started out the work day by driving to Lexington for a conference. Then had a meeting in Louisville destined to start at noon...I was almost downtown Louisville when I got the call and decided to turn right around and head to check on my little guy. In the meantime, I called the pediatrician to see if stiches were in fact needed, could we do it at the office or would it necessitate a trip to the ER. FORTUNATELY, my pediatricians' office said they could do it if needed. So I trucked back to Shelbyville and went to rescue my little man.

Unfortunately, it was naptime for both my critters, so by the time I got there, they were both in near-meltdown stage. Jonathan was crying and Jacob was screaming NOT to take off his bandaid...but. I. Had. To!!!!! I had to take a look. It is just a little gash, but a gash none the less and was still bleeding pretty bad when I got there (about an hour post incident). So, after a phone call to Daddy, we decided to go ahead and take him to the doctor.

When we got there, Jacob was fine. Playing happily...until we went into the room. Moms, ya'll know exactly the kind of fear I'm talking about, I presume. It was ugly. The nurse was great and managed to listen to his heart and look at ears and all the routine stuff with no problems. When conversation turned to the little incident with the kitchen counter, it was entirely different. The doctor came in, and we held him down long enough for her to get off the bandage expertly applied by Ms. Mary and get it all cleaned up to see what we might need to do. Here's the options we were given: stitches (which of course involves a needle), glue, or some procedure that would require him to be velcroed to a table for 30 minutes....wait a minute. Did you say velcro my child to a table for 30 minutes??? I started to cry and the doctor said she would just see what was needed. Fortunately for all of us, she decided that the best course of action was the glue - quick and painless (except for the sensitive ears out there). Jacob flat out screamed at the top of his lungs, but fortunately, it really only lasted 30 seconds. Dr. Schuster was fabulous. Jacob was brave. Daddy was braver. Jonathan was oblivious to the whole thing. And mommy -well, mommy was nervous, but thankful for a strong husband and a great doctor and staff. And thankful that the doctor chose the glue!

Then, we piled in the car and headed home for an ice cream treat. I know it REALLY wasn't that major, and he is definitely going to be 100% fine. Still.... I'm just saying that when it's your own child, nothing is worse than seeing them hurt or scared. NOTHING. Heartwarming to think that God's love for me is even deeper that that which I felt today for Jacob. Heartwarming and Humbling all at the same time!!!!!
(oh - the title for this post was inspired by his conversation with Grammy and Mamaw on the way back home from the doctor... "i was running and the kitchen counter hit my head and it was bleeding and then we went to the doctor and the doctor people glued my forehead together.")

Monday, August 03, 2009

Dear boys,

Time for the monthly installment of the letters to my boys. They are such a joy right now - really enjoying each other!!!

Dear Jacob, You are a really funny kid - I know I've told you that before, but you really make me laugh. You have found a new favorite thing lately...Daddy found some random little show on Noggin (didn't even know we had that channel) called Jack's Big Music Show and YOU. LOVE. IT!!!!! It is all about music, which is your favorite thing. There's a song on it called "I'm gonna catch you" and you are so cute when it comes on. You grab your guitar and sing right along and do all the motions. We HAVE got to video tape it - it is just too precious!

Jacob, you are learning so much about Jesus right now too - you love to sing "Jesus" songs and always tell us what you learn in Sunday School. You got to go to your first VBS last month and let me tell you... you loved it!!!! You still sing the songs and talk about the things you did. What fun! You are also a very good big brother. You are very protective and don't like it at all when mommy or daddy have to say "no no no" to your little brother. You always want him around and are so patient with him when he messes up your puzzles or jumps (or mauls) on you. You have started calling him "daily dub," which is one of our silly little nicknames for him.

You also started drawing people last week - really cute - you put little legs and arms that aren't attached to the body, but it's really cute. I will cherish those first people drawings forever! (and I was the first person you drew - lucky me.) You tell me all the time "you're a cool mommy, mommy." and I. just. melt!!!! I love you little man! You are a GREAT little boy and I am so proud of you for working so hard to follow the rules and listen to mommy...we MIGHT, just MIGHT be getting close to over the terrible twos. :-) LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!!!!

Dear Jonathan,

Hi little buddy - I cannot believe you're already 14 months old. That is just unbelievable! You are growing so fast. It is evident to me now that you are tall enough to open every drawer in the kitchen and tall enough to reach the on and off button on the TV in the bedroom (not that you would ever do those things...) You are a very curious little guy and I love watching you explore. Your sweet babysitter, Ms. Mary, even says sometimes you just wander off and find something to entertain yourself. So funny! You are most definitely going to be a lefty - your left hand seems to get preference for eating with a spoon (YOUR NEWEST TRICK!!!!!) and throwing balls. Daddy says he'll have to get real creative when he teaches you how to play ball since he's a righty and you're a lefty. :-)

Jonathan, you are going through a bit of an "i need my mommy stage" and while it's sweet, it worries me a little bit. Especially at church. Don't worry little buddy - mommy will always come back for you when I leave you somewhere! Always! I want you to always feel safe and loved!

You continue to LOVE LOVE LOVE your big bro. He is definitely your hero. You two are really starting to play together and I just love to sit back and watch. Sometimes he leads and you follow, but honestly, he admires you just as much. He follows you too. You two have really enjoyed playing outside together lately - you love to find random water puddles and just splash away. You also LOVE it when I blow bubbles for you. Those shiny round bubbles just amaze you (me too if I'm honest here...).

Jonathan, we are so proud of you and love you so much! You are a miracle my little guy - pray that you see yourself that way to!

Much love to you both,