Things Toddlers Say 

Hey Tuesday! Hope everyone had a good start to their week yesterday! We celebrated my father in law’s birthday (twice!) so it was a good day for us! Here’s a little bit of what my kids have been saying this week… 

 EK: What time is it?
Me: 8:55
EK: That’s a really good one.
Later…
EK: What time is it?
Me: 12:14
EK: Aww… I really don’t like that one…

Upon hearing that I was going to my college roomie’s 30th birthday party (at a bar)…
EK: Aww! I want to come!
Me: I’m sorry, babe! I wish I could take you, but I can’t this time.
EK: But I want to have a girls’ night! And Joe wants to have a boys’ night!
Me: (Dying with laughter and texting my friends) We will REALLY soon!

Getting in the car…
EK: Mom, I can’t do it in my skinny pants!

Waking up from a nap…
EK: Are we gonna go to Georgia now?
Hubby: No, we’re going next week.
EK: Yeah, that’s a good idea, Dad!

EK: Can we have a flying car, Mommy?
Me: I wish. There is no such thing, babe.
EK: But Harry Potter’s blue car is a flying car!
Me: Touché. But Harry potter’s car is magic. And it actually belongs to the Weasleys.

Me: Hey babe, J just took a dump. (I know, I should find new parent slang.)
EK: Yeah, he’s a dump truck! Dump truck! Dump truck! Dumpy, dumpy, dump truck!  (Obviously in a sing-song voice)

EK at bedtime: Do we have school tomorrow?
Me: Nope!
EK: Do we have church?
Me: Nope!
EK: Just stay at home?
Me: Yep!
EK: Well, can we have special breakfast?
Me: I’m never off the hook.

J: I want truck! (Pointing at a tractor)
Me: That’s a tractor, buddy! And you can go get on it!
J: Yay! Truck! (Squealing with excitement)
Me, after several minutes: Alright, why don’t we go see everyone?
J: NO! I WANT TRUCK!
Me: Okay, we can play another minute or two…
After several more minutes, I’m rescued by my friend Chris, who lets J play on the “truck” for another 10 minutes.

Hubby: It’s Gon Gon’s birthday!
EK: Aww! We gonna sing to him and he gonna smile at us and we gonna be so happy!

Well, that’s it for this week. What have your kids been talking about?

5 Reasons Having 3 Under 4 Is Awesome and Terrifying

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Having small children is amazing. It’s amazing if you think endless piles of laundry and cabinets being emptied out onto the floor is amazing. It’s amazing if you think snuggles all day every day and being able to make all their sadness go away is amazing. I’ll let you choose which definition you think I like more.

With three children under the age of four, I’m challenged with keeping little bodies safe, fed, clean and happy. They depend entirely on me for those things. You take for granted how easy it is to keep yourself safe, fed, clean and happy – especially if you’ve got a messy child, or a child going through a growth spurt, or a child who is too brave for his own good. Here are a few reasons I think that having three little children depending on you is difficult:

  1. Mobility. You’re always trying to keep track of who can reach what and how quickly and in what way. I’ve got a three year old daughter who basically has her run of the house. There’s pretty much nothing she can’t get to. If she’s too short, she moves a chair to give her a boost. I have an almost two year old son who is a thief. He can find pretty much anything I hide or keep out of sight. I have a two month old son who is completely immobile… for now. But the first time he rolls over? Gone are the days of sitting him on our bed while I get things done. When will he roll over? I hope I don’t find out the hard way.
  2. Car Seats. I’ve got three children in large, five-point harness car safety seats. That means I have to drive a car big enough to accommodate this. Just before we had our third, we sold my Camry (2003, baby!) and got a (large-ish) mid-size SUV, complete with captain’s seats and a third row. It is enough room to fit all three seats, and even hold another adult back there somewhere, but I’m realizing how annoying it is that not a single one of my kids can buckle themselves in. I have to strap in each and every one of them when we get in the car, including the ones in the back row. Heaven forbid I’m wearing a dress, or the neighbors get a show while I’m getting the kids in the car.
  3. Meal Time. This, all things considered, isn’t as bad as it could be. Most of the time, my big kids are great eaters. They eat what Hubby and I eat, almost without fail. My youngest is obviously not eating, but taking bottles, so he needs someone to feed it to him, unless we time it to happen right before or after. But when the rest of us sit down to eat, there are two main issues. My threenager can’t sit in her chair for more than 90 seconds at a time (We end up threatening to throw her food away. She knows she has to be finished to get up, so if she’s up, we “assume she’s finished” and tell her we’re throwing the food away) and my not-quite-two year old eats great for most of the meal, and when he’s done, his plate and the rest of the food hit the floor immediately, with no warning. Hubby and I share meal duty: one is always convincing EK to stay seated, and the other is always on the lookout for flying food/utensils from J.
  4. Lack of Self-Sufficiency. Sometimes, I take for granted how self-sufficient EK is. At 3 1/2, she usually goes to the bathroom by herself, she can dress herself, feed herself (if I make the food, of course), move herself around (with less concern about her running off) and basically entertain herself. With J, I’m still changing his diapers, dressing him (he’s at least getting more helpful with that), making sure he doesn’t run away, fall off something, or spill my favorite nail polish all over my bedroom floor (oh wait, that happened last week). And D? Well obviously at two months old I’m doing everything for him. I don’t mind – really, I don’t. But sometimes, it’s nice to go out to lunch with mygirlfriends and not have to order their food, ask them not to spill their water in their laps, and keep them from throwing the plate in the floor when they’re done. I don’t even have to take them to the potty!
  5. Bedtime. Every single one of them needs (or thinks they need) a long one-on-one with both parents at bedtime. They all also need (or think they need) to go to bed around the same time. We end up tag-teaming. We have a pretty good routine, but especially now that we’ve added a third kid with the same bedtime into the mix, we have had to get creative. Rotating through rooms, lullabies, soothing promises of tomorrow, and a little extra screen time have saved us from heartache, but also lengthened the time between family dinner and grown up freedom considerably.

My family is good crazy, needy and wonderful. Each day is an adventure, full of giggles, snuggles, messes and walking really slowly. Just surviving a day is the most hilarious, challenging, and heartwarming thing I could ever do.

The Day My Son Threw a Tantrum

I know that toddlers throw tantrums. It’s a widely-known fact, at least among the parent community. Yes, I know they happen at seemingly random times, I know they happen at expected times (Oh, he wanted the chicken nuggets but now he wants the mac and cheese?) and I know that every time is inconvenient.

  
Yesterday, my son threw a tantrum. He’s thrown one before, like his sister before him. I typically just wait a minute or two and distract him with something. But this time… this time was different.

Y’all, I’ve never seen anything like it.

When I picked J up from preschool, he ran to me, shouting, “Mommy! Mommy!” just like always. He popped on his backpack and followed me down the hall to pick up his sister. I was carrying D in his little bucket seat thing, because who wants to unsnap the kid from his car seat for a 5 minute trip into the building and back out? Anyway, as we were about to leave the building, J plopped down on the floor and said, “No!”

No? He’s never been sad to leave preschool. Not like he dislikes it or anything, but he isn’t exactly begging to stay. So I said, “We’re gonna go home to eat lunch!”

“No!”

Still no, eh, kid? “We’re gonna eat bananas and see Daddy!” (Bananas and Daddy are his favorite.)

“NO!” (Throws self onto floor, basically bashing his head against the ground.)

Bring out the big guns, Mom. I scoop him up with one hand (I’m still holding D’s carseat in the other.) and carry him out the door. He’s screaming and flailing so hard I’m losing my grip, so we plop down in the courtyard. We’d made it about 20 feet. I let him lay there and holler, then scoop him up again. At this point, EK is sweetly following behind me, carrying J’s backpack. Bless her sweet heart.

We made it another 20 feet before I almost dropped him on the asphalt. At least by now we were across the little road to the parking lot. I let him lay there another minute or two, gearing up for the next big push to the car. EK is still being her sweet self, and D is squinting in the sun, ready to be angry at a moment’s notice.

I football-hold J on my hip (he’s sideways) and haul him and D the last 20 feet to the car. He’s FREAKING OUT, tears, snot, gasping for breath between screams. At this point I’ve passed through the “These things happen” stage into the “Oh my gosh is he going to asphyxiate?!” stage. I’ve put him down next to the car, and he’s laying on the pavement on his back, screaming his head off. EK climbs in the car, I put D down, and get to work stuffing J in his seat. I offer him water (“NO!”) and a snack (“NO!”) and give up. I manhandle him into his carseat, afraid I’m hurting him because of how I’m having to hold him down. He’s planking about as hard as I’ve ever experienced (His abs must be sore!) so it takes me several minutes to get him fully strapped.

Still afraid he’s going to choke or puke, I carry a screaming D over to his side of the car and click his seat in. I close all the doors, and take a deep breath. The battle isn’t over.

I call Hubby. No answer. This is an emergency, I think. Call him again, and he picks up. Over the screaming, I shout, “J is freaking out! I need you! I don’t know what to do! I’m worried about him!” Hubby walks me through turning on the in-flight movie. Thank God for cars with TVs. I don’t use it often, but in this case I pulled out all the stops. After 4 minutes of Despicable Me, he gets quiet. Not happy, but quiet.

We pull into the driveway, and I leave the car on. I get out D, all of the bags, etc, and take them inside. Finally, I turn off the car, and start getting the kids out. As soon as I’ve unsnapped J, he starts flailing and screaming again. Onto the pavement he goes. I walk EK inside, and D is yelling (obviously) probably because it’s time for him to eat. I go back out for J, offering a squeezy pack of applesauce. He takes it, takes a sip or two while we walk inside, then throw it down. RELAPSE into banging his head on the ground. Y’all, I’m not kidding. Every time I stand him up, he flings himself onto his belly and bangs his forehead on the ground. I can’t get him to stop, so I move him to the carpet. (He still has a rug burn on his forehead.)

Finally, I remember the bananas. I managed to hand him a banana and get him to start eating it. I carry him upstairs while he’s eating the banana and get his juice from the fridge. Only then did he finally calm down (and eat a second banana). It was a grand total of about 35 minutes of doing the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen (with the 6 or 7 minute movie break in the car). Then he took a 3 hour, 45 minute nap. AND I WOKE HIM UP so he’d sleep at bedtime.

Poor guy had a hard day.

Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day

My story is one of redemption. It’s a story of loss, of sadness, of time passing very slowly… and a story of the sweetest redemption I could’ve asked for.

After I had my daughter, Hubby and I didn’t wait to get pregnant again. We didn’t try necessarily, but we knew we wanted another, so we just waited it out. When EK was almost 11 months old, we found out we were pregnant again! How quickly you grow attached to the little one in your womb. Just the idea of that baby was the most wonderful thought in my head day in and day out. But two weeks later, I was feeling terrible and crampy, and started bleeding. By the time I got into the doctor’s office for an ultrasound, it was already clear I was losing the baby. Hubby was leaving town, I had to work, and I didn’t have time to properly mourn. I couldn’t believe it had ended so quickly and quietly. Or was I glad it had ended that way, instead of further along and with more to-do? I don’t know.

But after three months of waiting to try again, of being sad every time I even thought about babies… I was chatting with some girlfriends, asking how much longer it should be before I could move on and try again. I was startled, taken aback by the question. The subject had been a little taboo, or else people hadn’t even known about it. So when I got my calendar out, counted up weeks… I realized it had been plenty long enough to have started again and been trying.

When I got home, I took a test that had been waiting in the bottom of my bathroom drawer, awaiting just such an occasion as this uncertainty. I waited with bated breath… and when I finally looked at it, two bold, pink lines were showing.

Positive.

Positively pregnant.

I could barely believe what I was seeing. I somehow had ovulated and conceived without any sign. I was baffled, and still thought it was a mistake. Could the pregnancy hormones have hung around this long? Could it somehow be a false positive, staring back, taunting me?

It wasn’t.

My grief dissipated, and my heart hung on to this new little one… who is now 21 months old, my sweet Joseph. I know that this isn’t always the happy ending parents get after losing a baby. I know that the grief is more intense the longer the pregnancy and older the baby. I know that multiple losses cause more and more pain. But there can be redemption in the midst, and joy in the morning. It may not be identical to my redemption… but it will come.

Infant and pregnancy loss are real, folks. And they are truly tragedies, spoken and unspoken. Remember those who have lost little ones, big ones, tiny ones, and grown ones. It’s never easy to lose a child. Hug someone’s neck or send a note to say you remember. It will go a long way.

This post is in honor of infant and pregnancy loss awareness day (October 15) and month (October) in 2015.

Things Toddlers Say

Today is Tuesday! And it’s a special Tuesday – my college roomie Anne’s 30th birthday! She always likes these posts, so I’d like to dedicate a little humor to her on her birthday!! So here it is… a little humor! My kiddos are getting more and more talkative (if that’s even possible!) every day, and J is using more actual words these days. I’m still looking for a new name for the series, since EK really isn’t a toddler anymore. Well, here goes!

  

 We’re working on counting to 20 (with both bigs) and EK basically does it, except for “five-teen” but J can only really go to 5, and just says “TWENTY!” really loudly whenever we say 19. I’d say they’ll both have it by kindergarten.

So, I say, “Boom bam!” a lot. Like when I put dinner down in front of the kids, or when I finish whatever EK asks me to build with blocks (think “ta daaaa”). So today, EK was building something, and when she was finished, she said, “Boom bayam!” This followed:
Necie: What?
EK: Boom bam!
Me: She got that from me.
EK: Yeah. I say it. I say it to Joe Joe when he naps. It’s so silly.

EK, building a box: Look! I made a fox!

EK, climbing into a chair, and I hear a bump: Ouch! My panties!

EK and I were painting, and I did this:


EK: Mommy! How did you DO that?!
My self-esteem boosted, I am now applying to get my PhD in art. (Absolutely not.)

Having a discussion about eye color…
EK: Davis’ eyes is blue.
Me: Yes!
EK: Jofess’ eyes is blue.
Me: They are!
EK: Green and blue! Green and blue! The wheels on the bus say “green and blue”, all through the town!
We can now safely say that “The Wheels on the Bus” can be turned into a song about anything.

Sitting on the couch, drinking my coffee…
J: One, two, one, three, GO! (Chucks Lego castle across the room and it hits my foot and explodes.)

EK, unprompted: I love you, fahdder and mudder.
Hubby: We love you, too. What else could you call me?
EK: Ryan!
Hubby: What else?
EK: Ryan Hsu!
Me: …Names like Mommy and Daddy are in the past.

In the bathtub, EK takes the foam number 8 and sticks it up to her eyes. “Mom, look! I wearing gobbles!!”

I can’t make this stuff up, you guys. Not if I tried. What could you never make up that your kids come up with?

Currently

Hey, y’all! I hope you had a great weekend – I know I did! My mom visited all week last week while Hubby worked in the studio (super long hours). Except for his birthday. We totally partied and saw Third Eye Blind on his birthday! Then this weekend was great: Dinner at our favorite restaurant on Friday, relaxing day hanging out and catching up on Saturday, and then our church’s centennial celebration on Sunday morning! We’ve been busy, but all with good things 🙂 Anyway, here’s a little more about what we’ve been up to currently…

currently button

Wearing || Piko shirts! They are SUPER comfortable, and I buy the tunic-length ones and wear them with leggings. It’s a great fall item for your closet. If you’re local to me, I get them at our Ivy & Leo (not sure if other Ivy & Leo stores stock them) or online at Simply Dixie Boutique. I’ve gotten them from both places, reasonably priced, as well!


Interesting picture for me to choose just to show you my shirt, I know, but it shows the flowy nature of the fabric! (Pardon the tech pack on my waist… Not a pretty growth to have on your butt, ha!)

Celebrating || 100 years of Reynolda Church! We have 4 different Sunday morning worship services, in three different rooms, on two different campuses every Sunday morning. So for our centennial celebration,  we chose the biggest campus and asked that on this one Sunday, everyone meet together there at the same time for a huge service. Former pastors and members from all over came bearing stories of how Reynolda has helped make them who they are, and worship leaders from all venues were on stage together. It was a really wonderful day.

Watching the sermon from the balcony (thanks to Elaine for this picture!)
EK asked to take a selfie during band practice and Hubby totally photobombed.

Going || out downtown for Hubby’s birthday! We celebrated in two nights… first on Wednesday (his actual birthday) and again on Friday. On Wednesday night we had dinner and drinks with some family and friends, and then went to see Third Eye Blind (they are old but totally still fun). Friday we went out with our friends/neighbors to Honey Pot – our favorite local restaurant, where Hubby just happens to be long-time buddies with the chef.
Out for dinner at Finnigan’s Wake on Wednesday…

Hubby and EK being fabulously photobombed by his brother!
Getting a little blurry love from J.
Lala getting some love from EK… who is constantly on the move.

After the show…IMG_3579

Dinner on Friday…IMG_3642

Loving || time spent with my mom this week. I really appreciate that she can just hop up here for a week whenever we need her! The kids love having her around, too!

IMG_3634
Two peas in a pod.
IMG_3607
Who doesn’t want to be in costume?

Well, that’s about all of my crazy week I can remember. What’s up with you currently?

Don’t Forget the Sweet Moments

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

 Have you ever had one of those moments where your heart is so full that you think it might explode? One of those moments when you first realize you’re sure about the one you love? One of those moments that your children are playing nicely together and it makes you want to have another? One of those moments where everything in your life is just so, and you think, “All right, I’ve made it; it’s perfect.” Well I had one of those moments the other day.

My mom was in town for a visit, and she was rolling around on the floor playing with my oldest two kids, each dressed up in costumes (a princess and Mr. Incredible, of course). I had a sleeping two month old on my chest, and I was just gazing at my family, loving everything that was happening. I was looking at my little brood, and thinking, oh my gosh this is a lot, but I love it. My heart and my uterus were teaming up and battling against my mind on the grounds that we should have another. Obviously, I’m not thinking about that yet. (Cue my husband running for cover.) However, my heart was so full of love for the three little tinies I had helped create, playing so happily with my mom, making silly noises, and giggling till their hearts content. As Gary Chapman might say, this afternoon “filled up my love tank”.

I often get caught up in how difficult my days can be. Instead of appreciating things like giggles or silly mispronunciations, I can be bogged down by the messes or the shouts of “No!” when I ask someone to do something. I can feel like all I heard during the day were cries, even though that really isn’t true. I can look around my house, and think that nothing was accomplished. My sink is full of dishes. My sofa is full of laundry waiting to be folded. My bed isn’t made. My toilets have a ring in the bowl. But I should remember that moment of my children rolling on the floor giggling with my mom, and the feeling of a baby sleeping soundly on my chest. Life won’t always be easy; no one has ever argued that. But it won’t always be tough, either. Remembering each positive moment, committing to memory the sweet times and kind words, that will help the tough times seem not so bad.