Thursday, December 29, 2011

Choosing to Enjoy

Okay so I was having one of those of those mornings when my Glenn's now 3 year old is threatening to hit me every 3.2 seconds, when my Glenn's 6 year old is sassin' me and talking back, when my Glenn's 5 month old puppy jumps on my couch with her muddy paws, when I hit my toe on the corner baseboard and scream "GOOD GRAVY!" (that's my form of a curse word), the kind of morning when I look at the clock in absolute exhaustion and see that it is only 9:15 am.  Today was that morning.  The kind of morning when I don't think I can make it through the day without pulling out my hair or screaming "GOOD GRAVY!" 20 more times.  I felt myself getting very grumpy and not enjoying my boys or my time with them at all.  I knew I had a choice, a choice to wallow in my grumpiness or to enjoy my role as mom.  So I turned my frown upside down and had some fun with 2 very special boys.

I love Benjamin's ability to just play.  He loves trains and will push them along the track while making his own adorable train noises.  I love his sweet little voice that says: "Play with me mommy."  I know there will come a day when he won't ask his mom to play with him anymore.

I played several games of "Guess Who" with Caleb.  I love his reaction when I guess his character, its like magic to him or something, he always seems so surprised.

He's concentrating so hard on the game.  Love that face.

"Mom, stop taking my picture!"

(have I mentioned that I love this face?)

Caleb got Legos for Christmas and so far I have made a house, I have made a car, and I have made a helicopter.  And Benjamin has played with all of my creations. :)

I love this face too.

The weather was beautiful in Texas today so we spent about 3 hours outside this afternoon.

Benjamin got this t-ball set for his birthday.

Bubba gets a turn too.

The boys had too much fun on the see-saw today.  They were giggling and laughing like crazy.  It was too cute.  They have really started playing more together the past couple of weeks.  I'm not sure if it is because Caleb has been out of school so he is around more, or just Benjamin growing up, but it has been really nice to see them enjoying each other.  Benjamin just craves Caleb's attention and is constantly asking his bubba to play with him.

A moment of giggling captured.

"Look Ma, no hands!"

Caleb's legs get quite a work-out with the see-saw.  He would stand up and hold Benjamin up on the other end.  Then he would squat down and push Benjamin back up.  That is some serious work for those quads.

So a morning that started off very rough with the potential of turning in to a very rough day...instead became a wonderful day spent with my 2 boys.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that they won't be young forever, they won't always be living in this house, they won't always be around for me to enjoy.  Sometimes I have to actually make a choice to enjoy them, to take the time to focus only on them and our time together.  I'm glad I made that choice today.  It was a really nice day.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 
-Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jesse Tree ADVENTure: Days 23-25 & Christmas!

"Make cookies and take them to the neighbors"

Caleb helping to stir the ingredients.

The finished product.  :)

"Open Stockings"

 We let the boys check out the goodies in their stockings on Christmas Eve.  The pictures above are "finger lights", these little lights that you can wear on your fingers (hence the name "finger lights).  The boys thought those were pretty cool.  We also gave them some "silly putty", candy, and a couple of other small goodies.

"Merry Christmas!"

I've mentioned before how much Caleb enjoys playing games and he was in major need of some new ones (I can't play another game of "Chutes and Ladders" people!)  "Guess Who" was Glenn's idea and Caleb loves it.  We have played it a dozen times and he really enjoys it.  We also got him a game called "Story Cubes", this is an awesome game!  So simple but such a great activity.  It really requires some creative thinking but its a lot of fun.

We got Benjamin a "Monster Jam" truck holder.  It holds 15 monster trucks (plus we got him a couple of monster trucks to add to his collection).

 That afternoon we went to see Gammy, Grandpa Al, and Aunt Rachel.

Caleb got a big box of legos and a new Wii game.

Benjamin got a HUGE recycling truck that he LOVES.  He answered to "trash man" the rest of the night.

Our completed Jesse Tree.

Our Christmas didn't go quite as we had planned, Caleb got a UTI and started running a fever.  He hasn't had a UTI in over 3 years.  With Caleb, UTI's are really bad news because they have a tendency to migrate up to his kidneys which has landed him in the hospital on two separate occasions.  I was able to get some antibiotics for him that day so I think we caught it early but I have been very worried that we would be making a trip to the hospital.  So far Caleb is improving, still running a fever but not as high and it is breaking easily.  Because of the UTI we weren't able to go out of town to see some family and have spent the past couple of days hanging out at home (which has actually been kinda nice).  I'm thankful to have the time to spend with all my boys at home.  Sometimes it is just nice to have nothing to do for once.  It's nice to have things finally winding down as the past few weeks have felt very crazy and hectic.  I took all the decorations down yesterday.  As much as I love all the lights, and snowmen, and ornaments, and Christmas cards....I was ready to have my house back.  Everything starts to feel like clutter after awhile so I'm glad to have things feeling clean again.  I'll admit to feeling a bit down this Christmas.  Not because it wasn't a special time with family but because I have felt like Caleb was disappointed.  We have always been honest with him about Santa but this was the first year that I felt like he was let down that Santa isn't real.  I think he started to really believe in the jolly fat man because it was all he heard about the last few weeks of school.  They even wrote "letters to Santa" in his class (he asked Santa for a CAT!).  Caleb believed that Santa was coming and he seemed disappointed when he didn't.  That made me feel bad for not letting him believe.  But Glenn and I made the decision years ago that we weren't going to do the whole Santa thing with our kids.  I've never doubted that decision but I hated that Caleb seemed less excited about Christmas knowing that Santa wasn't really coming.  I have tried so hard to make our own Christmas traditions and create family memories and I feel like stupid Santa is stealing the show.  That dude gets on my nerves.  The other night after reading our Jesse Tree devotional we asked Caleb what Christmas was all about.  His answer:  "Santa!".  Well good grief, we have been spending all this time reading stories about Jesus and his birth and the kid still thinks Christmas is about Santa!  What in the world are we doing wrong?  We have never ever told him that Santa is real, we have always shared the birth of Christ as the real reason we can he still believe that Santa is the reason for Christmas?  Its maddening.  I know a lot of families do Santa with their kids but still make it a point to share the real reason we celebrate Christmas and I wonder how they keep Santa from taking center stage.  I thought we would have an easier time because we were leaving Santa out of the picture all together so all we had to focus on was Christ.  But Santa still found a way in.  For those of you that have chosen not to do Santa with your kids, have you found that they are disappointed that he isn't real?  Does Christmas seem less "magical" to them because a big guy in a red suit isn't bringing them presents?  I'm curious to see how others handle this situation.  Okay, I'm done with my vent...I feel better now. :) 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas with your families.  Wishing you a joyous New Year!

(I've decided to go on a major sugar purge once these holidays are over! And I will admit right now that I haven't worked out since Thanksgiving!  Yikes!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jesse Tree ADVENTure: Days 21 & 22

"Celebrate Benjamin's 3rd Birthay! Go get donuts for breakfast!"

Yesterday was Benjamin's birthday, and even though we had his party a couple of weekends ago, I wanted to do something special on his special day.  Donuts are definitely a rare treat for us so the boys were beyond excited about going to the "donut store" to get Benjamin's "birthday donut".

 Benjamin chose the glazed donut.

Caleb chose chocolate.

Seeing bubba with a chocolate donut made Benjamin want one too. :)

"Craft Day: Make a Nativity Scene"

This is such a cute activity.  Caleb is such a fan of crafts and coloring, I knew he would enjoy this.  Click here to view the activity.  You can print them in color or in black and white and then color it yourself.  We did a mixture of both.

 So cute right?
(and yes, I realize that this is not an accurate depiction of the night Jesus was born.)

Caleb even enjoyed playing with the people.

For some reason there was a fire drill at the manger and all the kings, shepherds, the angel, Joseph and Mary had to line up and evacuate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Benjamin

Three years ago today Benjamin entered the world with quite a whirlwind and full-on craziness (you can read all about B's dramatic entrance by clicking here).  In celebration of my little guy's third birthday I thought I would reminisce for a bit, so bear with me as I write a letter to my second born son.

Dear Benjamin,

You are officially a big boy now at 3 years old.  I say that you are a big boy but there is still so much of you that feels like a baby to me.  It is remarkable to believe that three years ago you entered our lives.  Your grand entrance was not what we had expected or planned but God is good and His ways are higher than ours.  You were perfect, all 4 pounds and 7 ounces.  And we were beyond thankful that you were as healthy as you were considering the fact that you were 8 weeks early.

I loved how you were covered in all these tiny fine hairs.  It looked like peach fuzz.  You were just so sweet.

Five weeks in the NICU seemed like an eternity but I cherished our moments together there.  I was so anxious to bring you home where you could finally meet your big brother.

Caleb (or "bubba" as you like to call him) was smitten with you from the beginning...although he was not a fan of your crying.  To be honest, he still is not a fan of your crying :).

I have so enjoyed watching your grow, develop, and explore new things.

I love your passion for play and toys.  And I love your ability to play independently.  I love that I can hear you playing with your trains and construction trucks in the other room, I love that you make all the appropriate train and truck noises.  I love that you love anything that has wheels or wings.  Such a true boy.

I love all of your expressions and your cute smile.  I just love your face.

 I love your ability to sleep in the strangest, most uncomfortable positions.

I even love your thumb-sucking, burp cloth obsessed self.  (Although the burp cloths are beginning to look pretty worn and very well loved...they aren't going to last many more rounds in the washer...and I'm not buying any more).

I love that you will eat sour cream by the handful. I love that your favorite cereal is Honey Nut Shredded Wheat. I love that every time you eat a carrot you say: "I am a bunny rabbit". I love that you like your cheese stick cut up so that you have "cheese circles". 

I love that you love Izzy Bell.  I'm convinced that Izzy thinks you are a puppy playmate for her.

I could go on and on and post hundreds of pictures.  You are such a blessing to our family.  It is hard to remember a time when we didn't have you in our lives.  You bring us so much joy and laughter.  I love your personality (minus the tantrums), I love your independence, I love your imagination, I love that you are super ticklish, I love the way you say "vacuum cleaner", I love that you want to hold my hand, and I love that God chose me to be your mom.  You are precious to us.  Happy Birthday Benjamin!  I can't wait to see how you grow and develop in the years to come.

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