Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Babies

I entered my kids in Regis and Kelly's Beautiful Babies contest today... What do you think of the photos I chose??

I'm not sure how's they will tie for top prize (after all, traditionally only one first prize is chosen), but I'm sure they will!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back-sliding

It seems like every where I turn, lately, I'm dealing with backsliding.

For a New Year's resolution this year, I decided to give up pop. It's actually been a little easier than I thought it would be. I'd attribute that mostly to the fact that I haven't had pop around the house. A couple of weekends ago, my parents came over to visit me and the kids, and they like to drink pop. Diet Pepsi, to be specific. That's exactly what my vice was, and I thought I had successfully given it up. After all, it had been over two weeks since I'd indulged in a bubbly glass of goodness. My mom was sweet enough to not even have it in front of me, but I insisted that it would be fine. Throughout the evening, I kept looking at it, thinking about how good it would taste, but I managed to stand firm on my new quest for a healthier me. After they left, there was one bottle left on my counter, unopened. A few nights later, I went into my kitchen to get a snack, and reached for that bottle, poised to open it and pour myself a drink. Only as I had started to twist the top did I even realize what I was doing. Without even thinking, I almost backslid into a bad habit I had worked so hard to break. I quickly moved the bottle to our back porch, in hopes that not seeing it would help me continue on my journey. Last night, I managed to get rid of that last bottle, so it would no longer be a temptation for me.

I also made a commitment to myself to start blogging more regularly in this New Year. I wanted to make my goad at least four posts a week, something I'd managed to keep up with for a short while. Until this last week, when I could not find words to put on a page, or find the time to upload pictures. As quickly as I had made a commitment with myself, I managed to break it.

It's not only reserved to me, this problem I've been noticing. My dear Jayce, my three year old who has been successful at potty training lately, has also recently backslid. It's definitely taken some work on both of our parts, but he had been doing so well. I had even started telling people of the success of my method. Then last night, he decided he didn't care anymore. Again, I have a three year old who refuses to be potty trained.

Lately, I've been involved in a bible study for women through my church. We've been going through a study guide on developing an abundant life, specifically by focusing on our priorities. It has really made me evaluate my life and my relationship with God in a very positive way. One of the things I've been convicted of through this study is how my relationship with God is developing "fruit". Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things." Ephesians 5:8-9 says, "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what it good and right and true." Philippians 1:11 says, "May you always be filled with the fruit of you salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God." I was reading through these verses a lot over the past couple of weeks, feeling very convicted about how my life was really reflecting God. Ironically enough, or not so because God is that cool, a friend of mine, who does not go to the same bible study, asked me to do the Beth Moore study of the fruit of the spirit with her. I really think God is trying to get a point across to me, don't you? After going through some of these studies, I've really been feeling challenged to exercise more patience in my life, specifically with my family. I know this an area of my life that I need a lot of growth, and I've been praying for God help me choose patience instead of impatience and anger at situations and people.

Wouldn't you know, this afternoon we had one of "those" days when it seems like life (Satan) is trying to bring you down, is trying to take away any and all progress you've made towards living a fruitful life. Instead of stopping, breathing, and reaching out to God when I was getting frustrated, I snapped, I yelled, I jumped to exacting punishments instead of showing God's love to my kids through me. Every where in my life, I'm experiencing backsliding. When is it going to stop?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Me! Monday


Yes, it's that time of the week again. I've definitely had some "moments" this week, so get ready to laugh!

I definitely did not walk outside for 5 minutes while my kids were having a snack this past week, and have my 3 year old son say to me upon my return, "Grayson just had the knife!" I did not realize only after hearing that comment that I had left our Cutco knife a tad to close to my 1 year old while he snacked. I did not have my 3 year old tell me that he took the knife away from the 1 year old and put it on the other side of the table. I always stay right by my kids when they are eating and I never leave things that are dangerous too close to little hands. I most certainly do not leave my 3 year old to protect my 1 year old from my stupid mistakes.

I did not get so fed up with changing poopy diapers on my 3 year old, who waits to poop when he's in bed at nap time or bedtime, that I took the advice of a respected mother and "threaten" my child. I did not tell him that he will no longer play with his favorite toys (the Cars) when he poops in his diaper/pull-up. I did not do this after hearing of a couple of parents who've had to resort to this. This kid has been #1 potty trained for a couple of months, but refuses to try for #2. I did not announce my plan to him over this past week. He has not pooped on the potty 4 times, and in his diaper 2 time. I do not see a light at the end of this tunnel....

What have you not done this week? Hop on over to MckMama's blog to see all the other Not Me! Monday posts!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

25 Random Things

I've been inspired by my friend to post something (that doesn't have to do with bathroom remodeling), and since I haven't had my camera out since Christmas, I think it's time to let you know 25 Random Things about me... again:

1. It seems like everyone around me is pregnant or having babies right now.
2. I feel very left out of the loop because a lot of those ladies are people I've had babies with (at the same time) before, and I'm not pregnant.
3. We "tried" for 2 or 3 months this summer, but it didn't happen. And I was insistent on not having another "summer baby," so now we are waiting.
4. I want to be pregnant right now.
5. After I told my husband about all this the other night, he texted me from work to tell me that one of his co-workers just announced they were expecting, and another friend announced she was expecting too. Seriously??
6. I cried last night watching all the news coverage on Haiti. It's the kids that are hitting me the most. There was an orphanage that was damaged in the earthquake, and although no one was hurt, it is unable to be used currently because of the fear it will fall in the after shocks. Two American women (I'd assume missionaries, but they didn't say) are running it outdoors now because it's unsafe to go inside. Most of those kids were in the process of being adopted to the US. I just wanted to hold them.
7. The story that affected me the most was of a 17-18 month baby girl. Her house collapsed in the earthquake and her family was killed. Yesterday, a news crew heard the baby crying, and managed to pull her out of the wreckage. She was in there for 3 days, absolutely alone, and scared. She's Grayson's age.
8. I never really thought I had the ability to take another child into my home through adoption. I just don't know if I could love an adopted child the same as my own birthed children. That sounds horrible. Last night, watching those children sleeping on the ground outdoors, seeing that baby pulled out of the wreckage that was her life, my heart was opened. I still don't know if it's a real possibility for Jeremy and I, but it would be something I could consider now...
9. On a much lighter note, today I got out one of Jayce's birthday presents. It's "Hooked On Phonics." I'm planning on starting today or tomorrow. I don't know if this counts as homeschooling, but I'm going to try to teach my child to read on his own. I hope "Hooked On Phonics" works for me!
10. I desperately want to finish remodeling the bathroom (oops, sorry, I did say no remodeling talk...) and kitchen. I want to do that to raise the value of our house so we could consider trying to move in the next couple of years.
11. Want to guess why I want to move so desperately? I need more space for more babies... See number 1-8 on this list.
12. After we do the bathroom and kitchen, I want to refinish the floors. I believe doing all of that will give this house a totally different look.
13. I am 16 days into drinking only water, and it's actually going well. However, I desperately want to have a diet Pepsi. I thought it would get easier, but instead, it's almost getting harder.
14. Because I challenged myself to only drinking water for a month, I would like to ask some friends to be available on February 1 to go out for a Perfect Margarita. Heather?
15. I really don't know if I spelled "Margarita" correctly, but the spell check isn't catching it, so maybe??
16. I am excited and saddened for February 2.
17. February 2 is the very last premiere for LOST. I'm excited to see how the series ends, but I'll be sad that it is no longer on TV.
18. I don't think I am as good of a mom as I'd really like to be. I aspire to be a great mom like some friends of mine are, but I don't really think I'm making the grade.
19. I allow my children to watch too much tv.
20. I am a very lazy person. I don't like housework, so I try to not do it too much. It doesn't bother me to have dishes in the sink or baskets of laundry to fold sitting around, so I tend to allow that to happen.
21. I have thought about homeschooling, but I really do think that I am not organized enough to really do well at it and I don't want my kids to suffer anymore than they need to because of my laziness.
22. I usually clean (I mean, really clean) when I have company coming over. I thank my mother-in-law for coming over 2 times this week, because if she hadn't, I would still have dishes in my sink and crumbs on my counter. I think she would tell you that my house was still disheveled (we were still under construction both times!!), but it was certainly better than before I had invited her!
23. I actually enjoy confessing these random things to whomever randomly reads this. I mean, I know that I have a few loyal readers (friends and family), but still there's something cathartic about making confession "publicly."
24. I have never been separated from my children for more than 2 days/nights since they were born. That being said, we are planning a trip with some good friends in October and we are leaving the kids behind. I don't know how I'm going to do with that. My husband said the same thing the other day...
25. I no longer aspire to be a popular blogger like MckMama or CFhusband like I've said in the past. I've realized over the past few months that I'm no interesting enough, I don't post enough, all I talk about is my kids, and I don't want the backlash that comes with being "known" on the internet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Update!

We are just about done!! Jeremy put up the missing wall a couple of days ago.
Grayson got the privilege of taking a bath in the kitchen when he had an unfortunate experience with oatmeal (feeding himself - which he's doing great at!). He loved it.
He got to play with kitchen tools and containers while bathing because I forgot the toys in the bathroom.
He also got his first haircut while bathing. That actually worked out really well, although I'm really sad that he finally required a cut. He had the cutest blond curls, and I'm afraid they are gone now.
Jeremy got the tub surround trimmed and fitted for our shower...
... and with a little help from me, got it hung!
We initially ran out of the adhesive, but after yet another quick trip to Menards this morning, it's all up and now we are waiting for it to dry for 24 hours. By my calculations....
... tomorrow I get to take a shower in my own bathroom! Don't look now, but we are almost done!


(Well, except for replacing the floor, the toilet, the sink and cabinet.... but we are talking about that yet!!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Leak The Remodel

According to my husband, it all started when I decided to take a shower one afternoon...

Friday afternoon I jumped at an opportunity to get in the shower before we went out to eat with some family. Just afterward, Jeremy went downstairs and noticed a puddle underneath our ancient hot water heater. We know it's only a matter of time before it does finally die a slow and painful death in our basement, but that ended up not being the problem. Somewhere in the plumbing between the basement and behind the shower, the cold water had a leak.
Now, if you don't know us personally, or you haven't been to our house before, you need to know that back when Jeremy and I were newlyweds and ambitious, we bought a "fixer-upper" in hopes of putting in a little time and some money and turning a profit someday. Fast forward 7 years (yes, we've been married 7 years now!!), and we still own that house, without the work done on it that we had planned. That means plaster walls, goofy plumbing (think a combination of galvanized, PVC, copper, and a jumbled mess), old electric work (knob and tube to brand new wiring and everything in between), etc. Naturally, there was no shut off to the shower, and there was no easy access to the plumbing behind the shower. Which is how we ended up in this mess....
I have to admit, I love having a husband that is willing to tackle many (most?) of the problems that happen to befall us with our old house and finicky cars. What he doesn't immediately know what to do (which isn't much), he looks up and researches or contacts a friend that does. I don't know if it's the inborn "cheap" side of him that doesn't want to pay for repairs that he could potentially do himself, the fact that he watched his dad do the same thing for years, or the fact that we didn't have the money for a weekend plumber's bill, but Jeremy decided to fix this mess himself.
Slowly but surely, this "quick fix" has turned into a full-out bathroom remodel. As it turns out, we never did find the "reason" for the leak, but we did find all kinds of strange plumbing behind our shower. So much so that Jeremy decided to tear it all out and run new Pex lines to ensure we would not end up with problems again.
Jeremy found some oddities during his demolition. Things like old knob and tube wiring ran directly behind the shower, in the same wall as the water.... Again, I'm thankful for family who's been so willing to help out. My brother-in-law was willing to come over and help determine the validity of this old wiring. As it turns out, it runs electricity to all of the lights on our main floor, so it had to stay. However, he was able to advise Jeremy on how to keep it in a safe manner.
It hasn't been exactly easy to have our one and only bathroom under construction for 4 days. I'll admit to having to jump over 3 tool boxes, a shop vac, various tools, and other paraphernalia to use the bath room one night.
Of course, (I apologize now for the TMI, but this is a part of our story - if you don't appreciate gross stories, skip ahead) our children decided to get sick during this remodel adventure. Monday morning (our anniversary), both boys woke up with diarrhea. Grayson's was mostly contained by his diaper, but Jayce was covered from his armpits to his toes. As a mother, your first instinct it to clean him up and get him in the bath... but we didn't have one. We got out our baby tub and bathed him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Jeremy's mom has been very cooperative in allowing us time to shower at her house (and watching the kids while we do!), so we haven't had to come to that yet.
Grayson even wanted to get in on the action, but with out it being necessary it didn't happen. He did have fun playing in the tub until it got put away.
Last night (our anniversary), I went to my bible study while Jeremy was working on the bathroom and some of his family was here to help handle the kids. When I came home, this is what I saw! The faucet, handle, and shower head were installed!!
Today Jeremy has been working on checking the plumbing work for leaks (none!), and installing new drywall. When all this ends, we should have new plumbing, a new tub surround, a new tub faucet and handle, and, if I have my way, a new floor and toilet also! A full remodel.

i {heart} faces

This week's theme over at i {heart} faces is "best face photo." I'm actually really busy right now with bathroom remodeling, but I thought I'd toss my beautiful son (one of them) into the mix of hopeful entries.


As always, hop on over to i {heart} faces to see all the wonderful entries!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Christmas of Pictures.

Settle in, maybe get a snack. I promised pictures today, and we definitely have some of those... This is a long post. Beware.
After our weekend of family Christmas', we went to the mall with my cousin's kids. Here's the older boys.
The younger boys.
We went to see the trains again. This is where Grayson got to wear his first pull-up.
Per family tradition, the boys both got to open one present Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning we had Jeremy's family over for breakfast. We mixed a little bit of Meyers tradition with Mahan tradition. I think it was enjoyable.
Grayson and Jayce got a stuffed Lightning and Mater for Christmas. They make good "movie pillows".Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Lauren opening their new game.
Here's Aunt Kalena opening her present from us. She spent the night with us Christmas Eve, so she got to see the kids opening presents in the morning before breakfast too.
For Christmas, we made Grandma a book titled, "Grandpa's Journey." It is excerpts of their CarePages posts along with photos that correspond with entries. I think she really likes it.
I hate to say it, but most of our Christmas presents this year were "Cars" themed. Here are the boys opening presents Christmas morning.
Opening presents at home, together.
A train set from Grandma. We are loving our new train sets.
Aunt Kalena gave Grayson a really cute book and a matching dog. Grayson adores the dog (he likes the book too, but he's only 16 months old) and sleeps with it now. He hugs it and kisses it.
Goofy Kid.
This was Jayce's present from Aunt Kalena. She made a big pillow that has Lightning on one side and Mater on the other. The boys love it.
We finally got some magnets for our fridge. The boys are constantly playing with them. Grayson is always trying to sneak them into our shoes.
Two boys in boxes.
So, we were so sick just after Christmas that I neglected to get any pictures of my parents at our house celebrating. Pretend that there are a few in here....
New Years Eve we went to my parents' house to have Christmas with Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel. Grayson perfected his Wii skills while we were there. Rachel did too.
Kevin and Rachel made the kids these awesome t-shirts for Christmas. On the front is our blog header, and on the back it says, "I'm a Celebrity on my Mommy's blog," with our blog address down the arm. Too cute!!!
Jayce and Grayson had so much fun getting in this box and playing.
Kevin and Rachel showed off their new Christmas socks. Normally, I wouldn't get such a ridiculous present for someone, but they go to this "Tacky Christmas Sweater" party every year, so I thought these might make a nice accessory to their "Tacky" Christmas sweaters.
Our Christmas Dinner, on New Year's Eve.
Aunti Rachel was kind enough to show Grayson her nice expensive camera. I think he even got to touch.
Uncle Kevin and the boys watched some fun videos on Kevin's computer. The boys enjoyed their videos, Uncle Kevin enjoyed his snuggle time with the boys.
Of course, we played games. Right into the New Year.
New Year's Day my Aunt Paula brought over her granddaughter (my 2nd cousin), Kaycie. She is so adorable! She loved Lexi, and Lexi loved the attention.
Now you've officially been caught up on our Christmas life, in pictures.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wordless Thursday? Pt. 3

You definitely know by now that these aren't wordless, right?? Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel gave Jayce and Grayson a Christmas present that was deserving of an entire post (not that their other presents weren't, but... you'll see).
Jayce and Grayson got homemade t-shirts from Kevin and Rachel that have our blog header on the front....
and they say, "I'm a Celebrity on my Mommy's blog" on the back. They also have our blog address down the arm.
Too cute, right! I warned Kevin and Rachel that they might regret me putting them on the blog - that they could get requests for some for other blogging mommies! (Pssst... I'll get you connected with them if you do! Rachel is starting her own web/computer design company and she's awesome!!)
So, what do ya think??