Thursday, December 23, 2010

hands down the scariest moment of my life...

Oh my word. Today has been one crazy, scary day! For starters, yesterday, we lost Jonathan's paci... I know I know, we should have given it up long ago, but he still gets it at night time. But I have been determined not to spend any more money on pacis, so when they are gone/broken/lost... we're done. So that was yesterday. He actually went to bed okay last night without too many tears. Good boy. He didn't sleep as well as usual, but all things considered, did okay. Then, at 4:30 he woke up and wanted milk, which is weird for him. I gave him some water and sent him back to bed only to be woken up at 5:25 am again. He wanted another drink and when he got back in his bunk bed, he started coughing and then what sounded like choking. Then he projectile vomited... BLOOD. I didn't know it was blood until I turned on the light and I almost freaked out. It was so much blood. Seriously... so much blood. I yelled for Billy to call 911, but then, Jonathan stopped bleeding and was just freaking out. So we changed him, cleaned him up a little and Billy just held him. I had enough wits about me to call our pediatrician on call and the ENT emergency call number. We waited a few minutes and heard from one of our pediatricians - Dr. Trace, who was an angel. She helped me be calm and rational, when I was really about to fall to pieces. We needed to get to the ER fast. We had Jacob to consider though, so we called our dear friends, Andy and Lisa who live up the street and they were here in 5 minutes. I hated to wake them up, but we needed someone. THEY WERE AWESOME... while we were gone, they cleaned up all the blood. They even took all the bedding to their house and washed it. Not even their child's blood... amazing. amazing amazing friends. I was overwhelmed by their love.

So fast forward a few minutes... we were in the car on the way to Baptist East ER because that's where our ENT wanted to check on him. We got there and everyone was great. Dr. Gould (ENT) called and said he needed to do another operation. GULP! Poor little baby. He had to cauterize (?) the area to stop the bleeding. Bless his little heart. So he went to the OR and got the special juice and they wheeled him away. Again. Three surgeries for my sweet baby. The procedure only lasted 15 minutes and we were with him within an hour. He was a crazy wild man after the surgery. I hate anesthesia. Hate it! We got home and he calmed down and ate a little bit and then rested. He's really had a pretty good day overall. So sweet and so brave.

My prayer for this little guy is that there is no more bleeding. That he sails through this recovery like a champ. And that he never has to see the inside of a hospital again. Seriously. As I reflect, this is undoubtedly one of the, if not THE scariest moment of my life. I honestly thought my baby was going to die this morning when it all started. I thought my baby was dying. As I type it, tears are filling my eyes. I am so grateful that everything is okay and we are hopefully out of the woods. I love my kids so much and can't imagine anything ever happening to one of them.
When I was running today (when Jonathan was resting!) I kept thinking about Mary. How awful it would have been for her to see her sweet baby Jesus tortured and in pain and ultimately crucified. Wow. Just wow.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

prayer from Jacob - totally uncoached!

Dear God,
Thank you so much for Christmas. Thank you for sending your son to be born on this earth so we can celebrate Christmas. That is the best gift ever God. We really like that gift. Thanks. We love you, Amen

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a difference a year makes...

So, one of my best friends has been encouraging me to write this post for a long time (thanks Rachie!!!) and I've hesitated. Don't really know why, but it's been difficult for me to figure out a way to get it into words... so here goes. I know these aren't the best pics to get my point across, but they are exactly one year apart.

This was our Christmas card pic last year - taken by the oh so talented Angela Wisley. :)

This is our pic taken this year by my parents' neighbor - we did our whole family pic this year - they turned out great. I'll have to share those soon.

So, what's the difference you ask??? (besides the fact that my kiddos were WAY MORE COOPERATIVE THIS YEAR...) DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!! I've lost nearly 40 lbs since last year's picture. HOORAY!!! I know he angle of the pictures make it a little hard to tell, but holy cow, I know (and only I know) what size those jeans were last year. Let me just say that they are out of my closet now. And I hope forever!!!!!

I don't really know what happened to me weight-wise. I had two kids in less than two years, true, but I actually lost most of the baby weight pretty quickly and then I stopped nursing. My appetite didn't exactly get the memo that "the girls" were no longer helping me burn 500-600 extra calories a day, I suppose. I was eating crappy food all the time and exercise??? What's that when you have two babies to chase. So, last year when I went to the gyno for my checkup (July 2009), I got a big ole lecture... I weighed more than when I delivered sweet Jonathan. Can you say wake up call??? But I didn't get my butt in gear until that November.

So, when Rachie invited me to go to Boot Camp with her, I went. And! But, here's a secret. I loved it. It is challenging as heck, but I started to go regularly. It meets 3 times each week. It is such a sacrifice - of time, energy and money. But, Billy and I prayed about it and thought it to be worth the investment. I paid in advance for one 7 week session and just said, "we'll see what happens." Now, I didn't start to lose weight immediately. But I started to feel so much better and so much stronger. My boot camp teacher gave me some personal challenges early on that really helped. Finally, after 3-4 months, I started noticing some changes. but, here's my confession... I wasn't really changing any of my eating habits. It wasn't until this summer that I started to change the way I was eating. Here's a couple of things I've changed:
* I used to eat whatever I fixed for the boys for breakfast - usually carbs like Cinnamon Rolls, Crescent Rolls, Pancakes etc.
*NOW, I hardly ever eat those things... my breakfast is usually a nutri-grain bar or a scrambled egg with some cheese and maybe some ham or turkey for added protein
* when I worked full time in Frankfort, I ate out nearly every day for lunch. But I wasn't making healthy choices. I was eating McDonalds or Steak N Shake or Dairy Queen... or something like that.
* Now, I hardly ever eat fast food. I still eat it occasionally, but definitely not once a week! And I've STOPPED EATING LEFT OVER CHICKEN NUGGETS from my boys' happy meals. Geesh.
* I have given myself personal challenges. I will never be the healthiest eater because I am so picky. But, I have quite a sweet tooth that I've had to tame. I have put myself on a no sweets diet several months out of this year. I am currently on a no sweets diet for December (but will definitely cheat on Christmas!) because I want to lose 3 more pounds before the end of the year.
* oh - and probably the most significant... I've really upped my cardio. I've been running a lot. Nearly every day until this pesky snow and ice stuff started... I am working toward running a 10 mile race on January 1. You can pray that I can make it... lately, the longest distance I've conquered is 4 1/2 miles.

My results??? almost 40 lbs lighter and I can fit in most of all my pre-Jacob clothes! YEAH!!! So glad that Ann Taylor clothes never go out of style. :-) I wore some pants last week that I definitely hadn't been able to get in since 2005 - right before I got preggo with Jacob. Exercise is important to me and is one of my priorities. I'm so so so so so grateful that Billy is supportive and agrees to be superdad while I exercise 5-6 days a week. I only do Boot Camp two times a week now due to my work schedule and the finances. But I've found some personal motivation to keep it up on my own. The Boot Camp is awesome though... I would highly recommend it. It's an interval training class - with cardio and strength training combined. Let me know if you would like to join me. :-)

I also appreciate your encouragement... keep it coming! This is a lifelong journey. I never ever hope to see those big girl jeans I wore in last year's Christmas pic! :-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

bless his heart

A sweet shot of baby boy just afer he came out of the recovery room. He was out of it... but did keep perking up every time he heard Andy-Tale's voice. :-)

Before the procedure... sweet boy had just been given the sedative before they took him away from us. Can you say LOOPY???

Before the procedure (and the magic juice that helped him not be afraid)... goofy boy!

My little bubby had surgery on Monday. Nothing severe. Nothing major. (he had his tonsils and adenoids removed) BUT, he's still my little baby. And I was a mess. Short and simple. So was his sweet daddy, who didn't sleep a wink the night before and was with his bubby every step of the way. Jonathan was a real trooper. So very brave and amazingly calm. Love that sweet boy. It's been a long week with very little sleep. Today was a pretty good day for Jonathan - he rested lots, read books and drank two whole cups of milk and a yogurt drink. We are praying that he increases his fluid intake each day and regains his strength. He's very weak, but still sweet and happy - well, maybe not happy all the time. Actually, he's pretty darn cranky a lot of the times. He hates his medicine, so we have to force it and he's battled a fever all day today, but thankfully, he is peacefully sleeping as we speak and is currently fever free. And he ate a yogurt and a piece of cheese tonight.

While we were at the hospital and since then, I have been overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to the Lord. So many people have showered love on us it's unbelievable. God has provided in small ways and HUGE ways this week. We are blessed beyond imagination. Not only did God lavish his love on us in practical ways, but also really worked on my heart! We saw several families in the hospital whose kiddos have cancer. We were waiting at registration by a mom with a six year old with stage 3 brain cancer. Man oh man, I was humbled and heartbroken for her. I know God has a plan for all these sweet families and I don't know any of their names, but I know God does.

I choose to try to keep my focus on the great things in life and thank God every single moment - the good times and bad. Thanks all for your prayers and well-wishes for Big Bad Jon... keep em coming. Recovery will be a long process!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

How to keep the main thing, the MAIN thing

So, we, I'm sure along with many families with little people sturggle with Christmas season and often ask do we keep the main thing, the main thing this year? Christmas is definitely one of my most favorite holidays and I have so many awesome memories from my childhood. Now that we are building traditions of our own, I want my kiddos to have wonderful memories as well. I want them to have fun, I want them to enjoy Santa and presents and making a snack for Santa and his reindeer. I want them to be excited about family traditions and all the hustle and bustle of the season. BUT, more than that, I want them to understand the deep deep meaning behind Christmas day. That God loved us so much that He sent a Savior to be born - who would live a perfect life and then die for me and you. A Savior that gives us hope for tomorrow and a purpose for living - to share the good news with others. So, how do we teach our little 4 and 2 year olds these truths? What about you??? Any ideas? Here's a few traditions we are trying to set...
1. We make cupcakes for Jesus's birthday on Christmas Eve. That's what we leave for Santa and his elves
2. We read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before the day gets started - before we even walk downstairs and see the stockings and presents under the tree
3. We decorate like crazy - our house is beautiful and I tell the boys that this is the biggest birthday party ever, so our house should look beautiful for the King!
4. This year, we are trying this one... since Jesus received three presents from the Wise men, we are giving our children 3 presents each. (I'm not sure how this will play out with "santa" presents just yet...)
5. We have mangers/nativity sets all around our house -- see???

This one is our new additon this year and! My dad made the manger and the star and some friends of my parents made the figures. The boys got to go with me to find a baby Jesus and took great care in putting him in the manger. I really love this!!!

This one is very special to me. I got this unique hand-carved nativity set when I went on a mission trip to Zimbawe, Africa. The details on this set are exquisite! You may notice that Baby Jesus is missing... each year, I save him and bring him out on Christmas morning and make a really big deal about putting him in his special spot. This year, I'm thinking of wrapping him up and putting him under the tree and making him the last present that's opened.

This one is in the boys' room. It's the Little People nativity set. SO cute and so perfect for little hands!

I quadruple heart this one. It's hard to see because of my weird camera angle, but this one is so sweet. The little figures are cloth and can fit right into the little barn and it velcros up nice and neat. My friend Whitney got this for Jacob when he was born and I love it so much. The boys have both carried this little set around, chewed on pieces and kissed baby Jesus with slobbery kisses and sticky lips. For some reason, this one is the easiest for me to tell the story. And I have probably told them the story about 20 times already this season.

And finally, this one reminds me of my childhood. This nativity set always had a special place in my living room growing up. I love it's rustic look. When I got my first place on my own (and was totally broke by the way) my mom let me pick some of my favorite Christmas decorations to take with me to start my collection. How cool is that?

I know that despite my attempts, Jacob and Jonathan will super excited about the presents and may say "what's my next present?" a few times that day, but I sure hope at least part of the day is totally 100% focused on Jesus, our Lord.

What about you guys? Any ideas?

Friday, November 19, 2010

my day started off with a BANG thank you very much...

So, this is what Jacob would describe happened to him today... that a shot as big as Kentucky came after his leg. In reality, it wasn't that big, but oh my word, he had to get SIX crazy shots. Yes, you saw that right.. SIX shots. And a finger prick, which may have been more traumatic than the six shots. I've never heard him scream like that. He was screaming at the top of his lungs "WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT TO ME?????" "IT HURTS." And he screamed loud for what seemed like 30 minutes. It probably wasn't that long, but it seemed like forever. I had to endure the screaming two separate times - the finger prick at the beginning of the visit, and the six shots at the end of his 4 year check up... Poor baby. And tonight, he's walking around like an old old man with arthritis. It's kind of funny - I hate to laugh at him because I'm sure his legs really are sore, but I have had to turn my face several times. You see, my Jacob is somewhat of a wimp. God love his heart. Seriously - a paper cut puts him on the "disabled list" for at least 2 days. And blood? Oh my goodness. Don't get me started. :-)

Can't believe my baby is already big enough for his 4 year check up at the doctor. My how time flies. I love my little man so much - I really do hate that he was hurt today.

(oh and our pediatrician says my hubby owes me big time for having to do THIS check up all by myself. I agree, don't you????)

Monday, November 15, 2010

My new normal...

It occurred to me at one of my many "random thought times" that I hadn't yet blogged about my new schedule and what is now my new normal - whatever the heck normal is! My life has changed a ton in the last 6 months and I couldn't be happier about it. Here's a breakdown of key moments that led to my new schedule. I had a baby - yes 4 years ago. I was blessed to have my first sweet baby boy. At the time, I was working full time and went back to work when he was 12 weeks old and while I loved my job at the time, I felt like a piece of me was being broken every single morning I had to leave my little man. So, after about 6 months and lots of praying, I left my job and went to work for the AOC doing a part time gig. I worked 3 days a week and it was pretty cool. I helped plan a major conference and was still somewhat flexible with my little guy. Then, 4 short months after my part time gig started, my bosses talked me into (tricked, bribed???) working full time as a supervisor. Now, mind you, I was flattered that they respected my work ethic and wanted me in a full time capacity. They even said "you can work from home 2 days a week." Well, I accepted and then... GOT preggo again. So, I worked from home during the whole pregnancy with Jonathan and even when he was a newborn. Let me just tell you - working from home DID NOT WORK for me or my office. I was miserable and wasn't a very happy mommy either. I was getting up at 5 every morning and working before the boys got up and then after they went to bed, I was working until midnight most nights so I could get all my hours in for the week. After several months of this, Billy and I decided it needed to stop. So, we proposed a "new" plan for our employer. We would both work 4 days a week and Billy would be off on Mondays and I would be off on Fridays. So, that's what we did. I went from happily part time to working 4 long days and we made it work. I still felt like I was missing out on some of the most memorable times in my boys' lives. And we had fantastic child care, so no worries there either. We did this schedule for a little more than a year and I had this overwhelming tugging at my heart telling me I needed to be home more. I know now that this was God's voice telling me that my children need me. That my children will only be this small once. So, last January, I made a serious proposal to my boss to reduce my hours to part time. He accepted my proposal, but said he couldn't make it happen right away. So I waited. and waited. And waited. I approached him again several times over the course of 6 months with no news. Then, on April 29, I found out I was losing my job thanks to the state budget crisis. Now, don't get me wrong, I was devastated...but amidst it all, I heard God say to me, "see, I told you to be home more. Now, go. Obey me." So, without hesitation, I began to search for a job that would allow me some flexibility. And I found just that.

On July 19, I started a new path - I'm now a therapist at a place called Square One Specialists in Child and Adolescent Development and I LOVE IT!!!!! Great atmosphere, great people, great challenges and decent income. And I'm back in the saddle of helping others, which is my passion! Here's the best part..... (drumroll!) I'm home with the boys 5 out of 7 days! YEEEEEHAW! I work Wednesdays and Thursdays and I really do love it. The other days I'm hangin' out at home with my two favorite fellas.

Now, my new normal took a little bit to become adjusted to, I must admit. I suppose my expectations of being a stay-at-home-mom were of glamorous days with smooches and happy boys all the time. Being a SAHM (most of the time) isn't quite as glamorous as I imagined. Here' s a glimmer into my new normal: * sweeping the kitchen floor at least 5 times a day * acting as a referee for two boys who seem to wrestle all the time * transporting to and from preschool * stepping over toys, I mean tripping over toys * eating left over chicken nuggets (yuck!) * looking at the clock and thinking seriously - how much longer til daddy gets home? * Playing hide and seek for hours on end * going on long walks looking for wildlife * setting up playdates (thank the Lord for playdates!) * trying to maintain some type of structure and schedule * and playing playing playing.

Being a SAHM might not be so glamorous, BUT I LOVE IT SO!! I love reading books up on the bunkbeds, and teaching the boys games like Ring Around The Rosey and Mother May I, and using our mornings for creative learning time. We've gone through all the letters and are now focusing on numbers. I love sleepy hugs after nap time and I love wild hair in the morning. I love being outside with my boys and I love taking them on adventures and I am getting used to the fact that my house is never perfectly straight and my floors are sometimes sticky and the toys aren't always in their proper place. One day, I hope my boys know just how much time and energy I put into being their mommy. I am far from perfect. I yell at them (that's another post), get frustrated sometimes and for a brief second, wish for some peace and quiet. But I promise that I would not trade my life with anyone on the planet. I am a most blessed mommy and wife and am perfectly content. Thank you Jesus for all the small blessings that make up a day in my life!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Big Bad Jon

Jonathan… you constantly do or say things that I think are so cute. So, just so I never ever forget them, here's a few things that you do at 2 1/2. I love you more than you'll ever know!

  • You say "Don’t" when you mean won’t or can’t.. (like if we say Don’t jump on the couch… you say “I don’t.” Or if you can’t see the tv, you say “I don’t see” if we say “don’t touch… you say “I don’t I just wooking.”)
  • Whenever someone asks you your name, you say, "I'm Bad." (we call you Big Bad...after the old song "big bad Jon.") Such a bad habit for us, but oh well...

  • You say thank you very well and use please most of the time, but we are still really working on that one!

  • You follow every move Jacob makes – good or bad!

  • You respond pretty well to timeout

  • You call Jacob “bubup”

  • “Don’t wash my hair “– we hear this every night at bath time.

  • You love gogo(yogurt) but it must be PEACH gogo…..or you may give it back.

  • You like Batman almost as much as your brother; and when you see the joker or penguin you say “bad guys.”

  • You Sing the sweetest prayer at meal time with Bubup that goes something like this while opening and closing your hands – “Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap; open shut them, open shut them, fold them in your lap. Thank you Father, thank you Father, for our food, for our food, many many blessings, many many blessings, amen amen. Dear God, thank you for our food and nourishment in Jesus Name Amen.” It is so cute, but honestly when you do it all by yourself, it goes on and on and on... :-)

  • You say “Wait a Minute” many times a day.

  • You took your first drink of coke (unless we didn’t know otherwise thanks to his Aunt Amy, or grandparents :) ) after we bribed you to eat all your food and then you looked at us and said “Me like Coke”

  • You are sleeping fairly well in the bunk bed and say “bunk bed” whenever someone mentions sleep. However, you still gets up probably every other night and I hear you say “where my pacis go?” and then you run to the gate and cry for mommy. Not cool, little guy. NOT cool!

  • You say “hep me” – A LOT.

  • When we go to Ms. Maureen’s every time, you say “Omi’s street (Naomi is one of the boys’ sweet friends from church), Amy’s street, and Ms. Piggy’s street (one of Mamaw’s friends – Ms. Peggy.) So cute!

  • At least 117 times a day, we hear, “ Bubup poosh me or Bubup hit me.”

  • When we say, what are the rules, you say “no hit, no poosh, no poke eyeball, no sceam”

  • You buckle Jacob’s car seat nearly every time we exit the van. It makes Jacob crazy!

  • You always wants to go “pierce’s way” home – to see the big ghost (at Halloween) and now, the Turkey in one of our neighbor’s yard and you are very worried about where the ghost has gone.

  • Calls your Mamaw and Papaw “Moomaw and Poopaw” - I think it’s so cute I never correct you!

  • You love the songs Saving the World and Sweetly Broken on our iPod.

  • Your nite nite routine includes the following songs and you know every word! How Great is Our God, Oh How I love Jesus, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Up on the Housetop and the I love you song from Barney.

You make us so happy and keep us laughing! Love you like crazy!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been such a fun family time for me. Growing up, I lived out in the country, so we always spent Halloween at my Pappaw's who lived in town. He loved loved loved it when all the family was together. He would get a bunch of "cheap" candy and we always complained and then, he would trick us and bring out the "Good stuff" for my sister and I.... M&Ms. All the little trick or treaters thought it was so cool to see their teacher - my mom was a first grade teacher -and they thought she was a movie star or something. She just loved opening the door and seeing their surprise when they saw her. We trick or treated a little and went to visit my other grandparents too. Such fun! SO, when we started our little family, I knew Halloween would always be fun. This year did NOT disappoint. Yesterday, Mamaw and Papaw came over early and carved the pumpkin (very cool! It had a Bat-a-rang on it). Then, Grammy and Pa came and the boys got all dressed up in their Batman and Robin costumes and the fun began! We made a few stops to some very important people in the boys' lives (Ms. Mary, Ms. Maureen, Aunt Amy and Uncle Jerry and Mamaw and Papaw's). Then we came back to our neighborhood and trick or treated a little. Our neighborhood is a pretty hoppin' place on Trick or treat night... last night, we had 236 trick or treaters (and we shut the door at 6:30!). Then we went to FBC for Fall Festival and it was fabulous! Way to go FBC!!!! What a great community outreach opportunity.

Needless to say, the boys were sufficiently sugared up and had so much fun. And truthfully... SO.DID.I. Oh, how I love establishing traditions with my family that are similar to mine as a little girl. Halloween is not about scary icky stuff to me. In fact, all the commercial stuff about Halloween is a major turn off, but the fun, fantastic family time??? Can't beat it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A preview article...

(Okay so, I'm shamelessly using my bloggy to preview this little article... I'm submitting it to a couple of newspapers and regional magazines. Seriously, let me know if ya'll have any suggestions on how to make it better!)

“Stop doing that.” “No No.” “Don’t even think about it.” “Quit it.”
Any of those negative phrases sound familiar? As a mommy of a preschooler and a toddler, I must admit, those phrases seem to roll off my tongue without even giving a second thought. And wouldn’t you know, they happen to be heard in my house probably 127 times a day? Sometimes, I feel like a broken record. There’s got to be a more effective way to get my point across, right?

Correction is an imperative part of parenting and must occur on a regular basis. No one would argue with that. However, I’ve found that changing my thoughts and the way I communicate with my children makes all the difference in the world. “Positive parenting” has transformed my approach to parenting and has enabled me be more optimistic.

The purpose of this article is not to place guilt on parents, but to empower and educate about alternatives to being caught in the tailspin of negativity. Naturally, dangerous situations and/or behaviors will require an immediate “No” response. That must not change. “Positive parenting” encourages parents to save “No” for significant instances, and rely on positive statements for all other situations.

“Positive parenting” has transformed my little family and has made being a mommy much more enjoyable. The underlying premise is to ensure that child(ren) understand what behaviors are desired or expected as opposed to only being told what not to do. Parents should communicate clearly the replacement behavior that is expected. For example, if a parents wishes that his/her child would stop screaming, rather than saying forcefully, “Stop that screaming right this instance,” try a statement such as “We use our inside voice when we are in our home. Screaming is for playing outside.” Then, demonstrating alternative behaviors such as whispering or singing will show the child the desired behaviors. The end result? No screaming… exactly what was desired in the beginning of this scenario.

“Positive parenting” is not a technique per se, but is a conscious effort by parents to choose positive words. The more it is used in daily interactions, the more it permeates an overall familial attitude.

Parents, remember… none of us is perfect! At times, we will still need to rely on trial and error and “our best guess” when dealing with our little blessings. “Positive parenting” is one tool that can help you with this tough job!

You are not alone. All parents struggle and desire solutions to help make parenting manageable. If you would appreciate support, would like to learn more about “positive parenting” and other parenting strategies, and would like to meet other parents who are fighting the good fight, Coffee Talk may be of interest to you. Coffee Talk is a parenting group offered at Square One: Specialists in Child and Adolescent Development. Square One is a unique, multidisciplinary practice which serves children and their families for developmental, behavioral, emotional, speech-language, and academic concerns in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas.
If you’d like more information about Square One or “Coffee Talk,” please contact the office at (502) 896-2606 or visit our website at

Friday, October 22, 2010

18 kiddos, lots of mommies, pumpkins, paint and tattoos...

That's what was up at the Stover house today. We did a Halloween/Birthday party today and it was!!!! We have a little group that gets together on Fridays and today was playdate in honor of my little four year old. We did some great craft projects and the kiddos were so cute! We made super hero capes (fabric paint+Halloween costumes=trouble) - I learned too late and finally got out the old t-shirts for protection! We also had batman tattoos, face painting and regular painting and of course... cupcakes. The costumes were the best part. Such cuties!!!! I'm gonna try to post all the pictures - I can't believe I didn't get a picture of sweet baby Jules.. she was so sweet and quiet in her little car seat. Next time, baby Jules, you'll be my FIRST pic! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today, mommy and Jonathan got to....

Since they were on fall break last week on Jacob's actual birthday, we got to celebrate today.
I took cupcakes - yellow ones of course and got to hang out with Jacob for half of preschool!

This is a shot of his class waiting to go use the restroom. They really do sit that still and listen so well. They've clearly learned a ton in the first 6 weeks of preschool. While each little friend goes to the potty, the others get to sing songs. SO CUTE!!! Jacob has shared most of these songs, so Jonathan knows them too. He sat right by his bubup and looked like "one of the gang." They sang "three little muffins" "zippideedoodah" and a little song about an owl and one about 3 speckled frogs eating bugs. SO Cute. I can't express how my heart swelled watching Jacob interact with his teacher and his new little friends. He seemed so grown up. And so obedient. He was the line leader and "king of the day" - complete with a crown and a sparkly ring and a cool gold whistle.

This is what I was probably most excited to see... Jacob has talked endlessly about getting to ride bikes inside. He loves it. and.i.can.see.why. Who wouldn't want to zoom around on one of those things? " :-) Jonathan got to take part too, but mommy had to help him some.

Oh - words can't express how much today meant to me. I am admittedly a total sap and cry at commercials some times, and as I look back on today, it is easily one of my highlights as a mommy. My heart is full of emotion. Today taught me a lot. Jacob is doing great. He is learning a lot and is PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY. In my line of work, I see the unhealthy and abnormal behaviors so much that I need to see how well my kiddos are doing.
Jacob interacts beautifully with his peers, yet still thinks that Mommy hung the moon. You should have seen his little eyes when I showed up during recess time. He wasn't embarrassed at all. In fact, having mommy there (and the cupcakes) made him even cooler to his pals. Several of his little friends even took turns hopping in my lap during story time.

Today showed me that Jacob is healthy and well-adjusted. He listens well. He cares about others. He uses manners. EVEN WITHOUT BEING PROMPTED. He cares about his brother and wants him to be included. He was so proud to be Jonathan's big brother. Jacob is h-a-p-p-y and that, my friends, makes this momma 100% happy as a little bug.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Birthday letter

Dear Jacob,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a letter to you – and tonight, your 4th birthday feels like the perfect time. I can’t wrap my hands around the fact that you are already turning four. Time has gone by pretty fast little buddy. Sometimes, I wish I could freeze time and keep you just the way you are right this moment. You are loads of fun and you fill this house with laughter and joy. And you absolutely “wow” me with the things that you are learning right now. Just two days ago, we were outside with our besties Walker and his mommy Rachie, and you started writing Jonathan’s name (JOANTAN) – pretty close considering I have never ever showed you how to write his name or practiced with you. And then, you proceeded to write the entire alphabet. Amazing. Simply amazing. And you kept it all in a straight line and messed up only a few times. I couldn’t believe that skill – again, something you’ve never practiced or been taught. You are learning so many cute songs at Preschool – my favorite is the “Three Little Muffins” song, but I also like the “open shut them” and the sweet little prayer you sing before our meals. You got to be the line leader last week and you beamed with pride when you told me that. We saw Mrs. Boyd at Kroger last week and you thought it was magical – it is hard for you to imagine Mrs. Boyd as just a regular person, since at preschool, she is your teacher and the object of all your affection.
You are also working so hard on your behavior and obedience and I appreciate that more than you’ll ever know. You enjoy working towards rewards and I love rewarding your great behavior. Often, I just need to remind you to make good choices and you do just that! We still put you in time out some, and send you upstairs to think about your attitude, but honestly not very often. You are a very obedient and compliant young man. Busy, but overall obedient. You are a very patient big brother and often share with him or give in even when you really want something. Jonathan adores you and really looks up to you. You are a great role model and I pray that it stays that way forever. He’s always watching you, so please remember that!
You got bunk beds a few weeks ago and LOVE them and think it’s super cool to sleep on top. Too bad you still think you need to lay down with your daddy most nights. We pray that you start to feel safe enough to sleep all night long by yourself… we believe in you!!!! You can do it! I love it when you stand up in your bed and touch the ceiling and say “I can touch Jesus.” Precious!!!!
Speaking of Jesus, you are so interested in all things about Jesus, his death on the cross and the Bible in general. I love your questions and genuine faith. You are an example for me and your daddy!!!! You remember to thank Jesus for all the great things in our lives and constantly remind us that Jesus loves us more than anything or anyone else on all the planet. Oh baby, I believe you will be saved early and I pray that God does great things in your life.
You still love Superheros, especially Batman and your Batman party was a smashing success. I didn’t know that much Batman stuff existed. Wow – we are having so much fun playing Batman. I have a lot to learn… I’m so girlie that “playing good guys vs. bad guys” is hard for me. I just want everyone to be friends. :)
You are also SO VERY independent – putting on your own clothes, putting them in the dirty clothes basket, even trying to tie your shoes. Sometimes I just want to help you so I feel needed. :[ But you always remind me that you are in fact a very big boy.
You continue to be a very picky eater. Seriously, it’s pretty bad. You ate raisins today and I felt like that was a MAJOR success. Mommy and Daddy need to fight the good fight and make you eat better, but he are dragging our feet. In a bad way. Praying about that too!
Jacob-man, we love you with all our hearts and are so proud of the young man you’ve become.
Love always,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In keeping with our "letter of the day" process, today was "S" day. Sometimes I have good ideas, sometimes I am scrambling at the last second. Sometimes, something pretty cool pops into my head and I'd like to think today was one of those days. :-) We made School buses and talked about the Shapes that go with it (circles for wheels and rectangles for the door), we practiced writing S's on lined paper, colored Spider-man and (drum roll please...) made super silly super-hero sock puppets. I sewed buttons on for the eyes and we used markers to draw the faces and then used safety pins to put on the hair (pipe cleaners) and capes (scrapbooking paper). Oh - we had a ball. Sorry honey, you lost a pair of socks today! :-) But it was for a good cause!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da BATMAN

The boys with their Papaw and Mamaw (or poopaw and moomaw as Jonathan likes to say)

Jonathan wanted in on the action too...

Jacob, Jonathan and Grammy and Pa

Rare family shot with everyone looking at the camera. :-)

Jacob LOVED his Batman baloons. We looked everywhere for those darn things... Billy had to make a trip to Louisville on party day as we finally located some.

Yesterday, we celebrated in big time fashion at the Stover house - also now known as the Batcave. Jacob-man has been really into superheros for quite some time and Batman is his F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E. So, of course when we started planning his party, we knew it must have a Batman theme. We had a wonderful, perfect day for a party and had so much fun with our family. Jacob had a ball - all day long. He was so excited from the moment he woke up til he went to bed. He is such a blessed little boy and so many people love him so much. My prayer is that we can help him have a grateful heart and thank God for all his blessings, INCLUDING all the cool Batman toys and clothing he got yesterday... :-)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Allow me to introduce...

My new friends, the marble jars. Being a parent is a bunch of trial and error experiments and recently, we tried this technique...and at least for now, we are seeing some success and motivation. There are so many things about raising two toddlers that are challenging (can I get an amen out there???), but one thing that just makes me crazy is having to ask my children to do something over and over and over again. I'm talking about some FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE. Nothing makes me happier than saying, "okay boys, time to go in" and they come running to the back door and say, "yes mommy." We seem to struggle a little at the Stover house with first time obedience, so I introduced a little reward system known as the marble jars. The boys helped me buy the marbles and jars (got em at dollar tree, so they didn't break the bank), then we talked up the idea. We even practiced a few times to make sure they knew exactly what first time obedience means. So, we are a few days in, and honestly are having a lot of luck with obedience. Each time they are obedient (well, not every time... that's really up to the parent) they get the opportunity to earn a marble. Sometimes a simple reminder about the marble jars will turn little disobedient hearts into those that wish to do what mom and dad say. I love to be able to give marbles totally out of the blue, like I was able to do today when we were outside and they both came right in when I asked them to. They are both working to fill up their jars for a "special treat" - they don't even know what the treat is, and honestly, we don't either. But they both enjoy it very much. Here's the kicker, though... for deliberate disobedience, we can remove marbles from their jar. Often, the threat of removing marbles makes them change their tune. Of course, we still rely on other discipline techniques to punish undesirable behaviors, so removing marbles is only one tool in that tool box. So, at least for a moment, the marble jars are working for us!

What about all you other awesome mommies???? What are your "tricks of the trade" to ensure obedience.

Friday, October 01, 2010

We've been so busy...

Jumping in the Leaves - happy Fall ya'll!

Hangin out with our buds!

Weekend excursion to the Game Farm (we had a funny experience there...we got to the Dragonfly Marsh and we told the boys to be really quiet and tell us what animal noises they could hear. At the exact moment we said that, another guest burped really loudly and Jacob said, "daddy, I heard a frog!" It was hilarious!!!!! I was about to die of embarrassment.)

Hangin with our little friend Walker. Three silly musketeers. Three amigos. Three CUTE boys n the bath - how good is my photography to not get any inappropriate images. :-)

And DRUM ROLL please: Jacob got his first little award at Preschool. He was like, "mom, it's no big deal." But oh my... I was so proud. He got the Teddy Bear Award on stuffed animal day. His little build a bear frog made especially for him by his big cousins Lauren and Taylor. My proud mama instincts were sure in full swing that day! :-)
Whew, September was a blessed month. We have so much for which to be grateful.