Monday, August 31, 2009

I Think It's Time...

Adrienne has slept in a cradle in our room for the last 3 months now. I have been serenaded by the sweet sound of her sucking her thumb each night and if I wake up and am worried about her, I hear her breathing and instantly know that she's okay. I love having her close and I love knowing that she's safe.

BUT... I'm afraid she's growing out of her cradle:-( Whenever she moves the whole cradle thrashes about with her. She also pushes her face up against the side of it and I'm starting to worry that she'll suffocate herself or something. Thankfully, we have the amazing Angel Care Monitor that will notify us if she stops breathing or else I would feel absolutely scared to death to leave her in there for that reason.

It's just so hard for me to think about Adrienne sleeping alone in her big girl room in a CRIB and not in her little cradle. "Graduating" is always so emotional for me for some reason. I love that closeness and sense of security that I feel just knowing that she's a foot away from me. Our upstairs is pretty big and there's a small hallway leading to her room, which lends to my apprehension about this transition. I wish that she was RIGHT next door to me but I don't think the floor plan is changing anytime soon!

My baby is growing up... And MUCH too quickly. It seems like just yesterday that my precious Brookie was in a cradle in our room. Or wait, let me edit that... It seems like just yesterday that Brooke was in our bed in our room nursing all night long. Lol! Just to clarify:-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Bunch of Sicko's

It seems like sickness has taken my little family by storm. At midnight last night I heard Brooke crying, which is so NOT like her. I went in her room to check on her and she was absolutely burning up. Poor baby! I took her temperature and it was a whopping 103. I snuggled close with her until her fever broke and she drifted off to sleep.

This morning, her fever was 102 but she was extremely happy, had an appetite, and was showing absolutely no other signs of being sick. I was in desperate need to go to the walk-in clinic (more on this later) so I decided that I would just ask them to look at Brooke while we were at it. As it turns out, they couldn't find anything wrong with her... No ear infections, no strep throat... nothing. They said that it's just a virus that should pass over the next couple of days. I sure hope they were right, though. In my opinion, the caregivers at the walk-in are NOT as reliable as our primary care physicians.

So, then it was my turn. I suspected that I had a kidney infection because I was having this horrible pain in my lower back. After some tests and stuff, they discovered that I have one whopping infection with a fever and everything. I knew I didn't feel well! The lady put me on an antibiotic but she said that she didn't know if it would do the trick. She said that she fears that I'll need a much stronger antibiotic that is not safe for breastfeeding moms and that I may need to pump and dump to take a course of it:-( I'm sorry, my health is important to me, but Adrienne's well-being is much more important. For one, she hasn't ever had a bottle and second, she certainly has never had formula. That would be completely unfair to her. So, I'm just praying that this antibiotic works over the next couple of days. If not, I honestly don't know what I'll do...

As for Miss Adrienne, she's been a fussy wreck today as well. Every time I tried to feed her she would scream and she had a slightly elevated fever. I sure hope that that's the extent of her sickness and that tomorrow she's completely back to normal. Wishful thinking, huh?

I just put Brooke to bed about an hour ago with a fresh dose of Ibuprofen in her. Her fever was 102 before bed and she had some pretty nasty, runny diapers so I'm thinking it might be a long night. Tomorrow we have church and Hudson's 3Rd birthday party and I'm thinking we're probably going to have to sit out on those:-( We'll make that judgement call in the morning.

John is luckily feeling fine! Phew! He's working 11-7 tonight (which was supposed to be his night off). I'm trying super hard to support him in this whole overtime frenzy of his, but having him home tonight would have been MUCH better than extra money. I always think that though!

Okay, I'm off to send my man out the door and then hopefully get some rest myself. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What A Man!

The Sheriff's department where John works is extremely low on cops right now. Several have transferred out and due to budgetary reasons, the county isn't allowing them to hire more right now. It's tough... They have inadequate back-up much of the time, which obviously is very scary, and many of the shifts have been greatly under-staffed lately. Because of this, that means that there is overtime galore. There is so much money to be made right now, which I suppose can be a blessing and a curse!

John and I had a long talk about the abundance of overtime available and he's going to work 40 hours of overtime over the next 9 days or so. John doesn't want to do this and I don't want to sacrifice our time together, but opportunities like this help us put lots of money in the bank. He's supposed to be off tomorrow night and Saturday night but he's working the overnight shift on those nights. He's also doing a million half shifts before and/or after his regular shifts. When it's all said and done he'll have 40+ hours of overtime in his check. To top it off, on the 5Th he's doing security for a speedway around here and then he's doing wedding security immediately after that. It's hard to imagine how he'll fit it all in, huh?

I have the utmost respect for John- For this, but for other reasons too. First of all, he consulted me about whether or not I could handle this rough week of not having him around. Though he is always trying to get us ahead, he would have totally been sensitive to me if I had said that it was too much. Also, I respect him because he provides for us so well yet he isn't a workaholic. He picks up lots of overtime and is constantly striving to make sure that we're financially sound, but he would never sacrifice us for money and he knows when enough is enough. I have the most amazing husband and feel extremely blessed that he picked ME:-)

We're thinking that we're going to put some of this mega overtime money aside and take a really nice vacation in February... When it's cold and crappy in New York. It may be a tough week ahead of me (and him- the poor guy!) but when we're basking in the sun while everyone else is shoveling snow, it will all be worth it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 Months Old!

To my sweet Adrienne:

Before you were born, I was so anxious about how you fit into our family. I knew that I would love you and daddy and I were absolutely certain that we wanted our family to grow, but all of the changes that were going to come kind of scared me... Until I met you. Once I heard your sweet little cry and gazed at your breath-taking beauty, I instantly knew that life had become so much more wonderful than before. You have been the most perfect addition to our family and these last three months have really been a much easier transition than I could have ever imagined!

You have the most amazing personality. While you are an easy, easy baby to take care of because you are content and you sleep like an absolute champ, you also have a feisty, goofy personality that commands my attention. When you are smiling at me or talking to me, I honestly cannot keep my eyes off of you. I want to hear everything that you have to tell me and it is with joy that I coo back at you. I know that one day, before we know it, you'll be able to carry on actual conversations with me and tell me what's on your mind. I can't wait for those days, but right now, I'm just holding on tightly to your babyhood and not wishing a moment of it away!

Each night before you go to sleep I say a quiet prayer over you and thank God for allowing me to be your mommy. I thank him for your health and beauty and ask him to prepare your future for you. I also ask for wisdom to be the very best mommy that I can be for you because I know that you deserve the best and only that! As I put you in your bed, you quickly find your thumb and drift of to sleep all on your own. I check on you about a million times a night and you always seem to be sucking frantically on that thumb!

I have loved watching Brookie adore you and learn how to be your big sister. Sometimes I think that she thinks she's your mommy! She's always concerned about you being warm enough or that you're nice and full. She loves to help with your bath time and she absolutely hates when you cry. Pretty soon you'll be big enough to actually play with her and I cannot wait to watch the two of you grow up together and become the strongest, most reliable support system for one another.

Miss Adrienne, there are not words to let you know how loved you are. I get choked up when I think of just how full my heart is for admiration and pride for you. You have changed my life and I am so thankful for the past three months and am eager to watch you grow. Mommy will always be here for you and you will always be loved unconditionally.

I love you, sweet baby!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Family Fun Day

We had the best day today!!! Life has been so busy lately and with John's new schedule things are only going to get busier, so we took a day and just relaxed together. It was much needed!

First things first, we went to the Science Center. They have all sorts of science experiences, animals, crafts, an awesome outdoor play area, and various other interactive games for kids. Brooke had such a blast and we loved being able to watch her little eyes light up as she explored uncharted territory. She was a bit intimidated by all of the older kids and was a little bit more reserved than usual, but she warmed up to the idea of being there after we started to have some fun.

After our fun morning, we headed for some Mexican food for lunch. John really hates Mexican but he goes for me because he loves me:-) Brookie polished off a hard taco and some beans and of course about a million chips. It was so funny because there was only one chip left and Brooke was eyeing it. Obviously I didn't care if she ate the last one but I was trying to teach her manners so I told her that she should ask if anyone else wanted it before eating it. Little did I know that she would start asking that question before taking a bite of anything the whole meal. Lol! She keeps us laughing for sure!!

Before heading home for the day, we went to this beautiful park right along a lake. It was just the perfect scene: I was nursing Adrienne under a huge shade tree, the water ahead was sparkling and sail boats were off in the distance, and behind me John and Brooke were running around a laughing hysterically. At that moment, life just felt like total bliss. Ya know? I was surrounded by the three most important people in my life, as well as God's beauty. What an amazing feeling! We stopped and bought some bread for Brooke to feed the ducks and there were absolutely NO ducks near the shaded area that we chose to settle in. John and Brooke went to go lure some in our direction by flashing their bread and before we knew it we were absolutely swarming with ducks, geese, and pigeons. Brooke LOVED feeding all the birds and she wasn't even remotely afraid of them. I, on the other hand, was all freaked out that they would hurt her or something. I'm such a mom. What can I say??

We finished off our night by having a casual dinner at home... Pulled chicken sandwiches, french fries, and brownie sundaes for dessert. It wasn't the most healthy of dinners but on a day like today, who cares?!??!

The girls are both bathed and in bed now and I'm going to top off this wonderful day by watching a movie with John. Could life be better??? I think NOT!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Parenting is Scary Stuff

I was at my allergist's office the other day and John was in the waiting room with our girls. The nurse who performed my allergy testing (which is a whole different story) heard a baby fussing and commented on it. I said, "Oh, that's probably mine. I have a newborn baby girl." Of course I was proud and practically glowing with pride because I love bragging about my precious babies. She said, "Oh, I'm SO SORRY." Frazzled, I replied, "Why are you apologizing? I have a 2.5-year-old daughter in the waiting room also. I love being a mom." She repeated, "I'm sorry."

As the conversation continued, she basically polluted my mind with how horrible parenting is. I found out that she has a 16-year-old daughter and as she put it, "girls go down hill after infancy." I asked if she had any other children and she told me that "one was more than enough." I seriously was astonished because I have never heard someone talk about parenting like such a plague before. She listed all of the daughter's struggles with school and boys and behavior and the list went on. It was actually kind of depressing and really, offensive. I do NOT need sympathy in regards to the fact that I have two beautiful daughters.

In a world of so much dysfunction and with such twisted views of parenting and family, I am SO thankful that I have God's word to lean on. Being a mom is difficult enough on its own, let alone when somebody lends discouraging, unsolicited advice. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." While I know that proverbs are practical advice for daily situations, they are NOT guarantees like other things in the Bible, I still firmly believe that if I seek God and honor Him with my parenting decisions then He'll bless my feeble human efforts.

It is so scary to look out into the world and see what I'm up against- Teen pregnancies are at a sky-rocketing rate, more kids than not are engaging in recreational drug use and underage drinking, and so on. It freaks me out to look at my children and know that I am going to have to equip them with the tools to fight the worldly temptations that will be practically thrown at them. That's such a big responsibility and it's one that I do NOT take lightly. The Bible says that if anyone lacks for wisdom that they should ask for it. This whole situation has reaffirmed to me that I need to be petitioning God's throne for as much wisdom as possible if I am going to succeed at raising women of God!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Catch Up

John was off on Wednesday and Thursday, which is why I have been M.I.A. We usually spend one of his days off doing all of our running around like grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, etc... As always, his days off just fly by way too quickly!

Before we could enjoy our time together, John came home from work on Tuesday night with some discouraging news... He will, once again, be going to the evening shift (3-11) against his wishes. UNBELIEVABLE. They are so short staffed right now that even though John has seniority over like 5 or 6 guys, he has to go to this dreaded shift. He was supposed to be on days until at least the end of September and after that, he most likely would have been put back on days but if not, he would have gone to nights (11PM-7AM). The department is short like 5 guys so they chose to run a skeleton crew on the night shift, which is why that's not an option for John right now. I'll admit, I've been struggling and John has too. We hate that shift and it's going to completely shake up the routine that we've worked so hard to establish and our time together and with our extended family will be limited. I know that God has a purpose for everything and that in the grand scheme of things this is a minimal thing to endure, but really, I'm growing weary. Every single time that we adjust to a new schedule things get shaken up again. I'm ready for a consistent schedule. One day, right?

In much more exciting news... Today has been the first super successful day of potty training with Brooke!!!!!!!!!!!! She had been wearing her panties around the house on and off over the last couple of weeks, but today was the first day that she would actually tell me if she needed to go! She peed on the potty three time this morning, with only a slight accident due to not getting there quite quickly enough. Then, she was playing with Nathan who was over and got distracted and pooped in her pants. Even though we had that accident, I still consider today a success! When she wakes up from her nap I'll be ready to start again!

Miss Adrienne has been an absolute sleeping machine lately. HOLY COW!! She slept from 7:30 last night until 11:30 this morning. You better bet that I was ready for her to nurse when she finally woke up! She usually does at least 12-13 hours every night but lately she's extended it to 14-15. It's just nuts! She's always very happy and smiley when she wakes up and not as eager to eat as one would expect. She's just a great sleeper. I'm still not quite sure how I got blessed with TWO of those!!

Tonight my whole family is going to Outback to celebrate my parent's achieving a HUGE goal. It's always nice, but hectic, to get everyone together and I look forward to it very much!

I have two sleeping beauties so I think I'm going to go pick up from this morning's chaos. Luckily Alison and Nathan helped pick up the toys from our play date but there's always MORE work to be done!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Brooke officially turned 2.5 on Saturday and I'm blown away by how quickly the time has gone by. I think back to last year and how big I thought 1.5 sounded, but in retrospect, she was really just a baby then. I look at her now and I'm astounded by her capabilities, understanding of things, her communication skills, the amount of love she gives, and the list goes on and on and on. Being mother to a rambunctious toddler has its difficulties, but really, it is so rewarding to watch Brooke on her journey to being a little girl- NOT a baby. It will never get old! Here's what she's up to these days...

*She adores her sister. If Adrienne is crying she will go up to her and say, "It's okay baby sister. Mommy's coming." She's always overly concerned about making sure she has enough blankets over her (yes, even if it's a 91 degree day like today!) or that she has a wash cloth for her goopy eyes in the morning. Brooke is so helpful, loving, and precious to her sister and I love watching it!

*She always tells me what to say. She'll say, "Say, 'Brooke, do you want to go to the park?'" Or, "Can I have a cookie? Say 'Yes.'" Lol! There are times when I don't say what she wants me to and she often gets mad at me, but I'm certain that we can't have a 2.5 year old dictating our day!

*She is very particular about her hair lately. She has this new liking for headbands and some days she refuses to take them off, even for bed. Whatever. I'll pick my battles, right? I usually wear them while I exercise and she likes to wear them because she looks, "Just like mommy!"

*She's SUCH a girly girl. She still hates to get messy, is petrified of bugs, and is very fussy about her clothes, shoes, and hair being messed up. She also argues with me about which shoes and clothes she'll wear. Just the other day she wanted to wear her winter boots out with her sundress and I had to veto that one. She carries a purse virtually everywhere she goes and if I forget her special, fancy "Sunday Purse" that my mom got her for church, then Sunday mornings are tough. Haha

*She so vain. (She's my daughter so I can say it!) When we were on vacation she looked in the mirror at the hotel and said, "Who is that beautiful girl? Oh, it's Brookie!" She'll also say to Adrienne, "She's so pretty just like her beautiful sister." Lol

*She randomly comes up to me and kisses me and say, "I love you, Mommy." If that doesn't make your day, what will? She'll also say nice things to me like, "Mommy, nice hair" or, "You look so pretty today!"

Overall, she has just turned into such a big girl lately. She has her days, but mostly, she is the sweetest, most loving little girl and we are always entertained by her. I love being her mommy more than I could ever express!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Learning to be Content at Home

Even though my whole life I envisioned myself as a stay-at-home-mom and wouldn't trade my "career" choice for anything in the world, I'll be honest, I struggle sometimes. Up until recently, I was a non-working mom, but I was NOT a stay-at-HOME-mom. You see, everyday I had to pack our schedules with something to keep us busy just so we could get out of the house. If I had nothing to do I would quickly make something up to do just so I wouldn't be cooped up in the house all day. When it was just Brooke and me, this schedule was great, but now that Adrienne has joined us, it's really become too much and ya know what? That's okay!

Sure, the girls and I get out enough... We meet up with my sister, Alison, and her two kids periodically, we run errands, go grocery shopping, etc... But the majority of our days lately have been spent around the house. We paint, bake cookies, play with dolls, read books, blow bubbles on the front porch, take nice walks, do some cleaning and laundry, along with many other activities. It amazes me how quickly the days fly by at home! I think that my attitude has a lot to do with it... If I wake up and think, "Gee, I'm going to be home ALL DAY. What the heck will we do?" Then it usually ends up dragging, but if my attitude is in the right place, it's so much better.

I think that my need to be out and about so very much is based on a couple of things. First of all, I'm a very gregarious person. I not only enjoy the company of others, but I NEED it. I've really never met a stranger and when I'm out of the house, I usually end up talking to random people and having pretty interesting conversations. I really just like people. It's also hard for me to stay in the house more because I worked as a hostess at Red Lobster starting from the age of 16. Eventually I became a waitress and after being at Red Lobster for 5 years, I quit to stay home with Brooke. I was used to be out most days of the week meeting different people and interacting with others. If you take all that away and stay home with your kids, it's a little hard to transition!

Now that I have made a bigger attempt to stay home, I really feel like life is less stressful. When we wake up in the mornings, we don't have to rush, rush, rush to get out the door and if Brooke takes an hour eating her breakfast (which trust me, happens frequently), then it's no big deal. We just take our time and there's no tension. I think that the extra special things that we do when we're home... Like making cookies.. really helps Brooke feel loved and valued. We did those things before, but now the frequency of such activities has increased and I really try to do one extra-fun, just-for-Brooke thing with her each day during Adrienne's morning nap. Adrienne has also fallen quite nicely into a regular nap schedule, which has been awesome! She goes down for her morning nap an hour after she wakes up and then sleeps for about 2 hours. After we all have lunch, I put Brooke down for her nap and then Adrienne and I have about 20 minutes or so of one-on-one time before she goes back down for another long nap (Sometimes it's up to 4-5 hours).

Another awesome perk to staying in more is that I'm saving so much money! I'm putting less gas in the van (which is a gas HOG) and I've also decreased my spending on food purchases that we rack up when we're out during lunchtime. I can't argue with that!

I still have a long way to go before I'm completely content to spend some days not leaving the house. I've already come so far and I think that it will most likely get easier from here!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What About the WORKING Man???

I am so frustrated and ticked off at our society right now. I think that people are abusing public assistance and I fear that our government is making is easier and easier by the second for people to not work. We just keep giving lazy, capable people handouts. I do want to preface my thoughts, however, by saying that I feel that sometimes unemployment and public assistance programs are necessary. There are many, many hard-working Americans who are in desperate need of such programs due to layoffs and other issues related to our poor economy. I commend them because I know that they most likely have their pride hurt when they have to utilize our government's resources.

We live in a very, very impoverished area. Sure, there are nice parts, but the heart of the town is filled with disheveled, filthy homes, dirty kids, and so on. Really, that's just the tip of the iceberg to describe the condition of this town. If you drive through the town on any given afternoon, you see these people sitting out on their porches doing nothing. I know, from experience, that if you ask some of them where they work they say, "Oh, I can't find a job." Funny, if my family was hungry and in need of clothing and shelter, I would have a job at McDonald's or wherever by tomorrow. I guarantee it.

The good news is that New York State is giving each of these families $200 PER CHILD for back to school assistance. (Click here to read the article for yourself.) If your child is between the ages of 3 and 17, even if they are not IN SCHOOl, rest assured, you will have a nice check coming to you. There's a catch though...You must be on Welfare to be able to have this program. Otherwise, you don't qualify for it.

So, basically, the crux of it is that if you are hard-working individual that busts your butt to provide for your family, you will NOT receive any stimulus to help you with your children's school expenses. Instead, you will just have to scrimp and scrape and save and budget wisely to take care of your child. OR, you can work and do absolutely NOTHING and the government will give you a nice reward by sending an oh so generous check. OUTRAGEOUS.

I wouldn't be necessarily adverse to seeing the above families receive vouchers to purchase school supplies that are ONLY good for certain items. A NYS republican asked for that the be given to these people instead of cash money, but no, our government has decided (and I quote from an actual democrat) "That's one of the biggest problems with America, ...we don't trust anybody. We don't trust each other at all." Okay, so this is a fine time to start trusting people.. When OUR money that WE'VE earned is being spent for people to NOT WORK. I'm so thankful that we are learning to have faith in the fellow man at such a time as this. I know I'll sleep better tonight.

I just don't understand when our society is going to start teaching people that "If a man doesn't work, he doesn't eat" adage. Its a Biblical principle that our nation seemingly scoffs at. The Bible intended for the church to take care of their communities... Which meant that when people encountered tumultuous times, such as injury, unemployment, or being laid off, they were supposed to lean on their church for help. However, the government has taken the ball and started running and it seems like we'll never be able to catch up.

Another thing that I would like to know is when will we teach, "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him to fish, he'll eat forever." When, oh when, are we going to teach these people to FISH instead of just handing them fish after fish after fish that WE caught??? Maybe if we invested our tax dollars into trade programs or educational assistance then people would once and for all learn to fish.

So, Mr. Obama, thank you for your wonderful stimulus package and bail out plans that do absolutely NOTHING for people such as my family and me. Thank you that my taxes are going up but my benefits are staying the same, or worse, decreasing. Don't worry, though, my husband will continue to work hard because there are many individuals who depend on his salary to keep their own boats afloat.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

They Don't Belong to Me

One of my mom's co-workers had a grandson who got caught in his crib the other night and died. He was one week shy of his 1St birthday and I'm sure that nobody suspected he would never make it to that date. I bet invitations for his party were already sent out and I imagine that some gifts were already purchased for the special occasion. That little boy never lived to see that date that was so close.

That just goes to show that nothing in this life is granted to us. We can plan for tomorrow and hope that our future is what we want it to be, but really, in the end, it is God who is in control. It is by His sovereignty that we are being kept and to me, that is so reassuring, but on the hand, that's scary because sometimes His will means suffering, hardships, or even death. I love how easy it is to praise God and have faith in Him during times of financial abundance, healthy kids, good jobs, etc... But it's often hard to have that same amount of faith in God when we are caused to struggle. I know that I lack greatly in that area.

After hearing about that little boy, I just wanted to hold on even tighter to my children. I wanted to keep an even closer eye on them, but ya know what? It hit me. They are not MY kids. While I need to be an attentive, Christ-like, and loving mother, it is not ME that protects them or watches over them... It is their Heavenly Father who is in control and who has their lives figured out.

I've decided that if I am really going to give my children to God (not that He needs me to), then I have to let go of a lot of things. I can't worry about their futures... If they'll be healthy, if they'll make a total mess of their lives, if they will be taken from us at a young age, etc.. All I can do is pray and ask God for wisdom on how to raise them and be the best mom I can be. Ultimately, however, their futures are not mine to hold.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Back!

We got in late last night from our trip to Washington D.C. Overall, we had a very, very jam-packed vacation, but it was lots of fun. It's always so refreshing to get away from it all with my family. Here's what we did...

*Thursday: We left the house at 6:30 and on the way we stopped for breakfast and at the Gettysburg outlets. We didn't spend much time there because we were eager to get to the hotel and all. When we finally arrived at the hotel, we got settled in and then headed out for a trip to the beautiful mall and a nice dinner. It was a great day!

*On Friday, we took the Metro around the city. We first went to the National Zoo where Brooke enjoyed seeing the various animals. We had a nice lunch downtown before heading off to the Arlington Cemetery. At the cemetery, we saw the historic house of Robert E. Lee. It was so interesting to see his mansion! When we were done there, we headed to Maggiano's in the city for a nice, relaxing dinner. It was lots of fun!

*Saturday was spent doing lots and lots and lots of walking. We went to the White House, the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Memorial Wall, and the Museum of American History. Talk about a busy day! We were a little bit disappointed because everything was swarmed with people so we couldn't enjoy it as much. Oh well. That night, John and I went out to Joe's Crab with Adrienne and John and Patty stayed at the hotel with Brooke to go swimming.

*Yesterday we drove about half way home and then stopped at Gettysburg. It was actually pretty interesting... We saw Eisenhower's retirement home and farm and it was incredible! It was still decorated with all of his actual things and nothing had been updated or changed since his death. I enjoyed that so much! We also went to a Civil War museum there, which was alright. Everyone else loved it though!

The girls were absolutely wonderful. They both did so well and were very tolerant of their schedules being out of whack. Both of them slept through the night every night and that was great!

As always, it's good to be back. We had such a wonderful time!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To D.C. We Go!

I won't be on until next Monday because we're leaving at 6 tomorrow to go to Washington D.C.!!! John's never been there so I'm excited for him and I'm especially excited to take Brooke to the FREE national zoo. Fun times are ahead! I'll be back next week with details....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Future is Bright!

I get so excited when I think of the days ahead. I love my life now and I'm definitely not wishing these precious moments away, but there are some amazing things to look forward to.

I dream of the day when my girls are the best of friends. Brooke is so enamored with her sister now and just seeing a glimmer of what's to come, really excites me. I know that when Adrienne is older that the girls will fight and bicker and they may even go through stages where they can't stand each other, but they will ALWAYS have the common bond of sisterhood. Nobody can take that from them. I love that they will grow together and be there for one another through the ups and downs of life. My sister and I were best friends growing up (and we still are!) and just knowing that my girls will have that support system for one another is incredible to me.

I look so forward to watching my children turn into the women that God has intended for them to be. I wonder now... What will interest them? Will they be athletic like their daddy or musical like me? Will they be outgoing or shy? Will they be book-smart or creative? Honestly, I have no preferences about any of those things and that's just the beauty of parenting. Regardless, I'll love them the same.

I can't wait for school days where I can help them with their homework, cart them around to soccer practice (or whatever it may be), and watch them make new friendships. I have always wanted to be a "room mother" who volunteers to help out with class parties and field trips, but something tells me that my kids won't think that's quite so cool. Lol

I love, love, love having my little girls and all of the wonderful things that comes with them! While I cherish these days now, it's so much fun to dream of the future just a little bit now and then!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We've Finally Hit the TERRIBLE TWO'S:-(

Wow, I'm one fried mama! Brooke has been going through this very rough faze over the last couple of weeks and it's been difficult, to say the least. I really feel as though she woke up one morning and said, "Hey, I'm two. I'm SUPPOSED to be a brat." Her behavior has been so uncharacteristic of her and it's discouraging at times. These are some of her latest antics...

*She now kicks, throws, or hits things whenever she gets frustrated. Before this whole new stage in her life, she would have calmly asked for me to help her and there would have been NO problem.

*She's exceptionally mean to other kids... Especially ones that are younger than her. Poor little Jenna has received the worst of it and I HATE that. I feel like she's the church nursery bully as of late.

*She thinks that when I tell her to do something it's optional and she often responds, "No," "I don't want to," or "Not yet."

*Whenever she doesn't get her way she throws herself on the ground and screams.

*She is SO mean to people when they say "hi" to her. For instance, my mom came over tonight and when she went to greet Brooke, she refused to even look at her and screamed. She and my mom have an amazing relationship, too, and they spend lots of time together. I don't get this one, in particular.

*It's Brooke's way or NO way. If she doesn't want help, heaven help you if you give it to her.

If you knew Brooke a few months ago, these latest developments would probably surprise you. She has always been a wonderfully sweet and compliant child and this has totally taken me by storm! She has her top two (FINAL!!!) molars coming in, which I know has to make it worse, but there is no excuse for this behavior. We don't accept any of the above behaviors from Brooke and we strive to discipline and punish her in a Godly manner, but sometimes I feel like it doesn't get through to her. It's so hard to be a parent, isn't it?? My mom is getting me the book, Have A New Kid by Friday, by Dr. Kevin Leeman. He's an awesome Christian author whose books I really enjoy, so I'm hoping that his book will impart some of his wisdom and expertise onto me!

I'm not trying to say that Brooke's all bad or that I don't enjoy her. I just want to clarify! In the midst of our days she will come up and kiss me or say, "I love you, Mommy." She often does really precious things that erase the struggles and frustrations of the day, but I just wish I could help her to not have such a difficult time with her attitude and behavior. It really does kill me to have to discipline her but I know that if we let things go now, at the ripe age of 2 and a half, then we're really going to have a terror child on our hands one day down the road!