Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All About Adrienne

I seriously have the world's most content, happy little baby on my hands. She just glows with excitement every time you look at her and she is always giggling and smiling! My Adrienne is also quite the talker, too, and she can be really loud when she gets going. Her temperament is wonderful and I love her and who she is so much!

Even though she is content, she has this little tiny streak of a temper to go with her sweetness. 99% of the time she is happy but that the 1% of the time that she's not, watch out world! In those times, she tolerates nothing less than exactly what she wants! Lol

I have come to the conclusion that there has never been an "easier" baby to take care of than Adrienne. When she's tired, all I have to do is put her in her crib and she falls to sleep on her own almost instantly. She takes great, long, and regular naps now, which is a huge help to me! She also continues to sleep great at night- Usually 13 or 14 hours a row but sometimes she'll go for up to 16 hours straight! When she wakes up, she doesn't cry or get upset, she simply talks to the birds on her sheets or lays there happily sucking away on her thumb. If she happens to fall asleep in the car, she transfers perfectly into her crib every single time. Even if she wakes up for a minute, she requires no coaxing to go back to sleep. What more could a mama ask for???

My only complaint is that I can't seem to get this baby girl to roll over! Because she is just so content, if I put her down in hopes of her rolling, she gets frustrated and puts her thumb in her mouth and goes to sleep. Brooke started rolling over at 3 months and that was because every time I put her on her belly she would get so mad that she figured out how to roll over quickly! I know that Adrienne will roll eventually but right now it seems like we're slightly behind, which is perfectly fine. She has started to roll on her side from her back and her belly, which is a start, but I look forward to witnessing the real thing... Hopefully soon!!

We go tomorrow for Adrienne's 4-month check-up and I look forward to finding out how much she weighs and all of that. It is so much fun to watch these girls grow and I intend on savoring every minute of it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No-Sleeping Blues

I seriously think that I might pull my hair out right now. Brooke has been really difficult regarding naps and bedtime lately, but tonight is the worst that it's been... Ever.

I had planned on putting her to bed at around 8:30, which is a little bit later than her regular bedtime. We got in late from church tonight so I thought that I would cut her some slack and let her enjoy being home for a bit. The whole night I gradually told her, "You're going to go to bed soon. Okay?" She smiled sweetly and said, "Yes, mommy!" Well, here it is, almost 10:30 and she has been screaming HYSTERICALLY for the past two hours. She's been screaming, "I'm not going to bed. I won't go to bed." She's had multiple spankings and several phone calls from her daddy and she is still not budging. As we speak, she's hysterical.

The worst part of this all is that Adrienne has now been woken up 2 times. Adrienne usually sleeps through anything.. I mean you can vacuum her room while she's sleeping and she doesn't budge. That tells you how very, very, very loud her defiant big sister is being tonight.

This is the pits... I have TWO crying babies when both of them should be sleeping. I hope John gets out on time tonight because I could really use some help right about now!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday and she turned the ripe old age of 40. Lol! I won't divulge to you her real age but I can assure that it's slightly higher than the age I said:-)

I wanted to do something extra-special for her so I volunteered to have her party at my house. I told her that she could have whatever she wanted for dinner and of all things, she picked my homemade lasagna. I made homemade sauce (as usual) and I started it early this morning so it would simmer all day long. Man, it turned out really delicious, if I do say so myself. We also had a nice spinach salad and fresh Italian bread. The only thing that could have made the night nicer would have been if John didn't have to work. His absence was constantly on my mind the whole night but it was still a really nice night. My sister-in-law, Amanda, made homemade ice cream cake that was out of this world and in my opinion, it was the best part of the whole meal!

I just want to say a few words about my mom: Growing up, I can remember her being the "Susie Homemaker," "June Cleaver," "Hostess with the most-ess" type of a woman. She stayed home to raise my siblings and me and she was always seen doing laundry, cooking meals, packing lunches, and carrying on other household duties. In addition, she was a wonderful help-meet to my father, as he was/is a pastor, and she complimented his ministry so well by hosting many dinner parties for church members. Her ministry was always carried out in her home- Whether it be towards her children or to the members of my father's congregation. She was warm and compassionate when I was sick, forgiving when I was wrong, Godly in her discipline tactics, and she could cook anything. It was from her example that I realized that all I wanted out of life was what she had... A job as the keeper of my home. Because of her, I've learned so much about supporting my husband, running a household, and being a hostess. The list could go on for miles, really!

Now that I'm grown, my mother has turned into a true friend. She is so much like me and she seems to get me in a unique way that many don't. She was the youngest child growing up, as am I, and I feel as though we identify well in that area. She's also clumsy, accident-prone, and absent-minded like me and between the two of us, we're always losing and misplacing things. She's the person who I call when I want to be told the truth... not what I want to hear. She's the one I go to for unconditional love and support. She really means the universe to me!

As my girls grow, I sure hope that they remember me as fondly as I do my mother. I have big shoes to fill but I'm thankful for the role model that God has provided for me in my mom.

Happy Birthday, Mom!!! Love you lots!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sick, Sick, Sick

It's been a long couple of days. We have all be sick at one point or another (except for my precious Adrienne) and it's just getting OLD.

My dad has a new tradition with Nathan and Brooke on Wednesdays- He takes the two of them for a date. Most of the time they go to McDonald's and eat lunch and play for a long, long time but yesterday was supposed to be a special date to Chuck E. Cheese. For days on end all my daughter talked about was how she was going to Chuck E Cheese with Papa and Nathan and she was going to eat pizza, ride the horsey, and not be afraid. She was glowing with excitement. Well, yesterday morning her lofty plans of date day with Papa came to a screeching halt when she started throwing up:-( I just wanted to cry for her because I felt so bad. She threw up the first time and then we were snuggling up to watch Curious George. Of course, right on cue, a Chuck E. Cheese commercial came on and she said, "I'm going there today with Papa and Nathan!!" I had to burst her bubble and tell her that she wasn't going and she cried. I seriously had the hardest time not crying with her, too! She then threw up two more times within the hour, had a bath, and was 110 percent fine the rest of the day. Odd, huh? I can name several days where she has thrown up in the morning just to be fine the rest of the day. Morning sickness, maybe? Lol

I have been struggling very, very bad with my asthma and allergies lately. I've been waking up at night not being able to breathe and my lungs have been so tight that sometimes I'm not sure how I'll take the next breath. It's awful. I'm also horribly allergic to everything on the face of the planet so not only do I feel like garbage all day, but I'm up all night coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and blowing my nose. You would think that after being on a million different medications and inhalers and having weekly allergy injections would be enough but NO. I'm really run down and frustrated because I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate living like this. It's starting to really get the best of me! On top of that, I've had a perpetual nagging headache and my stomach has just been off. Fun times.

John has also had the same headache deal going on and he had to go back to work today. Vacation is officially over and his resumption of his normal schedule could not have come at a worse time for us, all things considered.

I pray that tomorrow will be much better because I'm ready to have a healthy, happy family again!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Date in History

Exactly a year ago from today I found out that I was pregnant with Adrienne! Isn't it amazing how quickly time flies? The day before we got the exciting pregnancy news, Brooke sprained her ankle and ended up not being able to walk for over a month. As you can imagine, I remember seeing that positive pregnancy test and thinking, "How in the world can I take care of TWO babies??" Now that Adrienne is here, though, all of those unknowns and uncertainties are completely gone and life feels normal and as it should be. I'll never forget this day and how special it was to my family and me!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Brookie at Play

Brooke just amazes me lately! She has this insane ability to entertain herself for hours on end. Sure, I engage her and try to join in on the fun, but she really is most content to do her own thing.

Lately, she is obsessed (by every meaning of that word!) with Little People. She has the barn, the house, the car garage, the airplane, and the bus and she seriously will play with them for the entire day. She has so many of the actual Little People and they each have names that she uses consistently and she never deviates from them. I'm not quite sure how she keeps them straight! It's funny because she'll ask me if "Brookie" can do something and most of the time she is referring to the fictitious Little People Brooke. It's very confusing sometimes!

She is also in love with her baby dolls. That girl probably has over 10 of them but she plays with all of them. She loves to dress and undress her babies and she is often found with her shirt up "nursing them." The other day we were getting ready to head out of the house and she insisted on packing her babies a diaper bag. In the bag she packed extra clothes, blankets, a bottle (which I'm not sure why because she's a nursing mom!), and some socks. Not too shabby, I would say! Today she and I took our babies on a walk... She pushed one of her babies in her little stroller while I pushed Adrienne in the real stroller. She thought that that was a lot of fun and onlookers sure got a kick out of her, too!

I love that Brooke has such a great, content personality and that she loves to use her imagination. Some of my favorite moments of the day are spent watching and listening to her as she is playing. I always love to see what she'll come up with next!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Big Switch

A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was time for Adrienne to make the switch to the crib in her room because she was out-growing her cradle. Every time she would move, the cradle would move with her and it was starting to startle her a little bit. I knew that moving her into her crib was imminent but I couldn't quite follow through with it because it was so emotional. I told myself that after vacation we would make the switch and when we got back, I actually did transfer her as planned.

The first night, which was Friday, was really rough... On me, that is. I knew that Adrienne had to make this change and I even knew that she would do great. After all, she's Adrienne and she would sleep on a roof or concrete if she had to. I took her into her room, rocked her, prayed over her, and sang her a few songs. I held onto her tightly and stared at the crib. I knew that I had to put her in it but I just felt like I was letting go of "baby, baby" days by doing so. Finally, I put her down and she instantly found her thumb and fell to sleep. I stood over her crib and cried and John came in and hugged me and said, "It's okay, honey. You can cry. Just do your mom thing." He knows me all too well:-) Sure enough, she slept like a champ in her crib and I woke up to her cooing and laughing at 9 the next morning.

Adrienne really is sleeping wonderfully in her crib! Nap times are still going great and if anything, they're a little bit longer because she's not waking up to her creaking cradle. It was a seamless transition for her, but for me, I still feel kind of sad. I just look at that empty cradle in our bedroom and remember back to when she was so tiny. Even though she's not even four months old yet, she is getting so big and she has changed so much from that tiny infant that she once was. I miss hearing that precious sound of her sucking on her thumb and being able to glance over and be reassured that she's okay. I still feel like I have to be semi-quiet in my room at night but I don't have to be because she's down the hall. I'm not sure why that seems so sad to me but it really, really does!

I know from parenting Brooke over the last 2.5+ years that I do NOT do well with change regarding my kids and them growing up is SUPER emotional for me. I also know, though, that each new stage brings something amazing to enjoy so the joy always, always outweighs any of the other things that parenting may bring!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're Back!

We got back from our vacation around 8 last night. The trip flew by but we really, really enjoyed ourselves! The only downer to the whole trip was that our camera broke so I couldn't take any pictures:-( They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so I better get to typing to make up for that!! Lol

Our trip started off in a REALLY negative way. John had a horrible toothache that had been keeping him up at night it hurt so bad. Thankfully, the dentist was able to squeeze him in at 8 that morning before we left. We were expecting for it to take about an hour or so but after 2 hours and $2000 later, he was done. The poor guy needed a root canal and he also had a bad infection under his tooth so they had to drain it and do all kinds of fun stuff to him. What a fun way to start off, right?

Bound and determined to not let the dentist disaster get us down, we started on our merry way. The girls were AMAZING. They rarely fussed or complained about all of the driving so that was awesome. When we got there, we checked in to the hotel (which was beautiful, by the way) and did some driving around and ate some dinner.

On Thursday, we walked on the beach and enjoyed looking in the little stores and stuff. We then decided to take the ferry to Lewes, Delaware to visit Rehoboth beach and the outlet malls there. Little did we know, the ferry ride was an hour and a half each way. YIKES! The waters were really rough that day and John and I both were both sea sick each way. That kind of put a damper on things but Brooke enjoyed the trip. It was a fun thing to do but that boat ride was a big chunk of our day. Oh well. Live and learn, right?

On Friday we headed home through New Jersey and took our time. I lived there for about 4 years so it was fun to visit my old "stomping grounds" again. We drove past our old house, went to the mall that I grew up going to, and most importantly, ate a Chick-Fil-A (My FAVORITE!!!!). We got lots of great deals for the girls at the Carters store there and I got a bunch of new (much-needed) clothes at Old Navy. It was nice to have no agenda that day and to just enjoy being together.

I'm happy because John doesn't have to go back in until Thursday. I'm excited to spend these next couple of days doing a bunch of nothing as a family and taking things kind of slow. John's going to the Buffalo Bill's game tomorrow with a bunch of guys but after that, we have nothing planned!

In other news, Adrienne has two teeth coming in. Unbelievable!! She's been gnawing on things but I just thought that she was way too young for teething. Boy was I wrong! The good news is that she seems completely unbothered by teething and unless I looked at her gums, I would have had no clue. What a good baby I have:-)

Alrighty, all of our laundry from our trip is done, folded, and out away and the house is clean. That means that it's time for a movie with my wonderful husband. I'm out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Little Gymnast

Today we started Brookie in gymnastics!! It's a mommy and me program so I get to participate with her, which is lots of fun. The session is every Tuesday from 10-10:30 so it will give us something to look forward to every week.

Brooke looked so cute- She had her little orange yoga pants on, Nike's, a T-shirt, and her up in a ponytail. She was definitely decked out in her finest work-out gear and she was so proud! I was disappointed because I didn't get a picture though. Man, I'm a bad mommy.

They had group time for the kids in the beginning where they taught them little exercises like a pike, curl, and a butterfly. The lady who taught it was very good with the kids and brought it down on their level really well. Brooke was hesitant at first but I helped her do the exercises and she did fine.

The rest of the class was free time... They had little uneven bars that the kids could hang on, a balance beam that was on the floor, this long trampoline that they could jump on, and a huge pit full of foam blocks. Most of the kids had been there before and they were going crazy and participating in everything. Even the kids who had never been there before were super into it. Then, there was Brooke. My Brooke, she's so hesitant and apprehensive to try new things. She likes to kind of sit back and observe before trying something new and she is VERY shy when she's in a new setting. I found myself 1) not being able to identify with her because I jump head first into just about everything, and 2) feeling sorry for her because she was in her own little world while everyone else played. I think that eventually she'll get the hang of it and she won't be afraid anymore. I'm hoping that this helps her learn a few more social skills, too. It's just her temperament and that's fine with me!

We leave for Cape May tomorrow so I have LOTS of packing to do. I HATE to pack so I better get my butt in gear and just get it out of the way already!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Happened to the Sanctity of Marriage?

I am sick of hearing the word "divorce" used so casually and freely in our society. Everywhere you look, divorce is seemingly taking a foothold on the majority of the marriages. I feel like people say, "I'm getting a divorce," as casually as they say, "I'm getting a new pair of shoes." Maybe that's the problem.... Maybe people think that spouses should be changed as frequently as shoes? It appears to be that way.

I hate it when I hear people saying, "We are just two people going in two different directions." Okay, I get that... I know what it's like to live with another person and have to make our two very different and unique ways of doing things somehow align. It's not always an easy task and though I love my husband with every ounce of my being, marriage still takes unending effort. A whole lot of people these days think that they can just look for the door when things get too choppy. It's like they really didn't mean it when they took the sacred vows of marriage. I realize that there are, in fact, Biblical grounds for divorce- Abuse or infidelity- but I don't think that having different ambitions or plans than your spouse should ever be reason to call it quits.

I despise how infidelity seems to be the norm in our society. There are women out there that actually allow their husbands to have mistresses. There are also marriages where couples mutually fool around with other couples because they feel as though this keeps their marriage fresh. I don't understand why couples cannot remain faithful to their spouses and why so many are willing to give up a loving, stable relationship for a night of passion. It makes me sick when I think about it. Sex was given to married couples by God to be one of the most beautiful, intimate expressions of love yet it's scoffed at by our society and has become so perverse.

It's hard to not allow the abuse of marriage not get to me. It's everywhere you look. Jon and Kate Gosselin, who claim to be Christians, just called it quits and one of them claimed, "We did it for our kids." Oh yes, because your children growing up without the security of their parents loving one another is the very best thing for them. How courageous of you. There are also reports of supposedly upstanding politicians who have been tangled in affairs. Does the name Bill Clinton ring a bell?

I grew up in a household where my parents told me that divorce will never be an option. My parents have been married for just under 34 years and they still radiate love for one another. They still hold hands and laugh together and I can tell that they just love nothing more than being together. It's refreshing and it motivates me in my own marriage. John's parents have also been married for about 30 years and they also are an encouragement to me. I am thankful that in a world of craziness that I have two sets of parents that have proven that it can be done!

While it's hard not to focus on the insanity of the world around me, I know that I just need to focus on John and me. As Joshua 24:15 says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I'm going to keep loving and respecting my husband like I know how to do and I am determined to divorce-proof my marriage. I am NOT going to disrespect the sanctity of marriage!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm SO Excited!

I have LOTS to be excited about today!!!!! Here's what's going on:

*First and foremost, John is officially done with "overtime mania!" Hooray! That means that tonight he is coming home at 11 (or after his paperwork is done, whenever that may be)! It was a long 9 days or so but it will be well worth it when his paycheck shows up next week!

*John has tomorrow and Friday off and then he goes back in on Saturday and Sunday. After that, he will be off for 10 days straight! I cannot wait to be able to enjoy him during that time. We haven't seen much of each other lately.

*We were looking for a mini-vacation for next week and we decided that we would like to go to Cape Cod. There weren't a lot of places to stay directly in Cape Cod so we went on Priceline and selected the whole greater Cape Cod area as the area that we would be willing to stay in. We got a 3.5 star hotel, The Trump Marina Hotel, for $50 a night and it is absolutely gorgeous. It's right on the water! It's actually in Atlantic City, which means we'll be able to enjoy the shopping and the boardwalk there, and the drive to Cape Cod is only like 30 minutes. We leave next Wednesday and we're going to stay for two nights. We're considering extending it for one more night but we haven't decided yet.

*Brooke and I are having movie night tonight! We're going to make popcorn, drink juice boxes (or at least she'll drink one, anyway. I'm a Diet Coke girl!), eat candy, and cuddle up in my bed and watch Finding Nemo. I think she's going to love it! I'm always looking for special things to do with her like that.

I'm so thankful for all of this excitement after a week of "blah!" There is FINALLY a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you, God!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have been really frustrated at myself due to my inability to relax. It's pitiful, actually. Both of the girls are always in bed by 8:30 at the latest and I find myself using the remaining hours of the night to clean. In fact, I clean things that aren't even dirty. I mop the floors, even if you could eat off of them. I never leave dirty laundry overnight (because that just kills me). I never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. I vacuum at least every other night, if not more. I've also organized numerous closets, drawers, and cabinets. It's pathetic.

Sure, cleaning is a good thing and obviously there is a need for the house to be kept but it really bothers me that I have no idea how to fill time without doing work. I could turn on the TV while I wait up for John but honestly, I have the hardest time sitting there for hours on end. It just gets old after the first 5 minutes or so! Other than my blog, I don't have any hobbies. I love to play the piano but without one, it kind of doesn't help me at all. What the heck do most "normal" people do with themselves?

I don't think I'm obsessive compulsive about my house or anything, but I DO think that I clean out of boredom. Tonight there was absolutely NOTHING to be done in the house because I did it all this morning and I found myself getting kind of stir crazy. I really enjoy cleaning my house (sadly) and mostly, I love the satisfaction of a house that looks and smells so clean.

So, that's my new chore- The find a hobby. Does anyone have any suggestions? Man, I really have no life! Lol! Relaxing should not be this hard!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Wow, it's Labor Day already? The summer is officially coming to a close and now we start to focus on all things Fall. Fall is actually my favorite time of year but it means that Old Man Winter is just around the corner. Blah!

I had a great Labor Day today! Our town has a parade and because we live right in the village, it was just about a 5 minute walk to get there. We don't have to hassle with parking or anything, which is always nice when there's a crowd! The parade started at 10 and I was just going to take the girls by myself so John could rest after working until 3 last night. Much to my surprise though, John set his alarm for 9to go with us. We were so happy to have him tag along! The parade itself was kind of lame but what can you expect for a small town? Brooke was just happy to be able to collect some candy though!

After the parade was finally over we walked down the road to the little fair that they had. It was really nice because there were all sorts of games for the kids and various craft vendors. It was pretty busy but Brooke got to play some games and stuff, which thrilled her to death! We also ate some lunch down there and it was actually really good.

John headed out to work around 2:30 so the girls and I spent the afternoon and evening with my parents. It was a lot of fun to be able to enjoy them and of course they were LOTS of help with the girls!

I'm super excited right now because John's not working any overtime tonight, which means that he should be home around 11:30 if all goes as planned! I'm really looking froward to spending some time with him tonight and to actually be able to fall asleep next to him. There's no better way to end a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lighthearted Moments

Sometimes, in the midst of the craziness, there are moments that just make it all worth while. Such moments almost provide the endurance to get through the day and to pull through the chaotic moments! This adorable Brooke story is one of those things that keeps me laughing...

Our neighbors across the street had two enormous shade trees in their front lawn. For whatever reason, they decided to cut them down last week, which is a real shame! At lunch that afternoon, Brooke was, as usual, going through massive amounts of napkins. Seriously, my daughter has a napkin fetish. I looked at her and said, "Hey Brooke, do you know where napkins come from?" I then tried to explain to her that napkins come from trees and then I jokingly said, "I bet the neighbors are cutting down their trees because you're using way too many napkins." She looked at me and giggled and we never revisited that subject again.

About 3 days later, the neighbors were having the enormous tress stumps sanded down. Of course the crew that was doing the work arrived at the crack of dawn, waking up my entire family. When I went to get Brooke up for the morning she ran to the window to investigate the news. Her groggy little blue eyes looked up at me and she said, "Mommy, are they making me napkins?" HAHAHAHA! I couldn't believe that she had not only remembered something that we had talked about in passing but that she had taken it so literally! My poor daughter is probably petrified of her napkin addiction now. Lol

I live for hilarious little moments like that! Toddlers come up with the strangest things, don't they?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Out of Touch

To be blatantly honest, I feel so out of touch with the world right now. I'm happy, I'm fulfilled, I love my life, and I wouldn't change it... But I'm starting to feel like that frumpy house-wife and NOT a 23-year-old young woman.

It's hard because I'm feeling so down on my self-image as of late. I bought all sorts of summer clothes for after Adrienne was born, assuming that I would need a little extra room, but because I've lost quite a bit of weight they ALL swim on me. I would buy new clothes but what's the point of wasting money on Capri pants and such when the warm weather will soon be over? I hate that feeling that my pants are going to fall off at any given moment!

My look these days is casual... If I have time to really fix my hair, that's a rarity. Most days it looks just so-so and when I look in the mirror, I'm not impressed by much. Everything about me is minimalistic and I've turned into to somebody so different than I ever thought I would be. I'm not complaining- I'm just remembering back to when I had different shoes and purses for every outfit, my hair was always in place, and lip gloss was a permanent fixture on my face. When you play with toys and wipe little bottoms all day, there's not really much to dress up for, now is there?

I would love to get all dolled up and beautiful, put on my nicest dress, and go out for a quiet, romantic evening with my husband but because Adrienne nurses so frequently right now, that will have to wait. I'm not complaining or wishing these days away (because I know that the time is way too fleeting as it is), but I do suppose that when we finally get out that it will feel like heaven.

John's working overtime tonight so maybe I'll go do something nice for ME now that the girls are down. Maybe a fresh coat of nail polish on the toenails will be enough to perk me up? We'll see!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things Are Working Out!

I was extremely apprehensive about this big schedule change. I wasn't sure how the girls would do or how we would get by without John. Sure, it's been a little lonely and a bit isolating to not have him here, but ya know? We're getting through and we're really doing well!

I am so thankful that the girls have adjusted so perfectly! We've tweaked their naps just a little bit and all there have been no negative consequences, thankfully! Right now, our days look like this:

*Brooke wakes up between 8:30 and 9. If she gets up earlier than that, she comes to our bed to watch cartoons. Otherwise, we go downstairs and eat breakfast while John and Adrienne get a little bit more sleep.

*Brooke and I play together and get dressed until Adrienne wakes up. When she finally decides to get up for the day (which can be as late as 10 or 10:30), Brooke and I then give her a bath together.

*Adriene stays up long enough to have a bath, nurse, and to play on her playmat for about 30 minutes and then goes back down for 1.5-2

*I make us all a nice lunch everday and we eat at 12. Adrienne always wakes up right around then from her morning nap, which is great because then we all get to be together.

*At one, Brooke and Adrienne both go down for afternoon naps. This is our sared hour of the day because it's the one hour that John and I get to be alone while he's on this shift. We value the 1 o'clock hour VERY MUCH!

*John leaves for work around 2:30. Brooke usually wakes up just in time to see him off and Adrienne usually sleeps for a good while past that.

*Our evenings are almost always filled with a dinner invitiation from family, which is great, or by someone coming over. I like to be able to get out at least once a day!

*Both girls usually go down for bed around 8:30 (give or take) and the rest of the night is mine. I use that time to clean like crazy, mostly, and also I do my Bible study, take a shower, and do the laundry. I do get kind of lonely during this time but I try to just keep insanely busy. If John's isn't doing overtime, I always, always wait up for him so I have plenty of hours to fill.

I'm so thankful that this is all working out. It's definitely not ideal for our family, but it's nice to know that we can get through even when things are shaken up BIG TIME. Once I really feel settled in this schedule, John will get a new shift. Mark my words! Lol

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cooking with Brookie

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood include sitting on the kitchen counter while my mom cooked. I can still see that old kitchen in my childhood Texas home and remember the sight of my mom rushing around to get the food on the table. I loved that time with her and I loved watching her cook. She always worked so quickly and efficiently (and she still does) and everything of course tasted amazing. She was a real "Susy Homemaker" kind of mom.

Now that I am grown and have my own children, I see more and more what a sacrifice of time that was for my mom. See, I love to cook. It's often my haven and in the midst of a crazy evening, John will take over the parenting duties so I can prepare dinner. Now that Brooke is becoming more interesting in the workings of the kitchen, she now sits on the counter or stands on a chair and "helps" me cook. Can I cook much quicker and possibly better on my own? Absolutely. But, I love my daughter more than cooking and if her sitting in on this sacred time makes her feel as special as I did as a little girl, then so be it! I also like to think that these are the very early stages of me teaching Brooke how to keep a home and take care of her family one day. I know that I learned all that I know from my mom doing the same thing!

Lately I've been making it a point to make things with Brooke more often. Just the other day we made chocolate chip cookies together and she was actually very helpful in rolling them into balls! Although, once she saw me eating the batter I had a hard time getting her to stop eating it. Bad mommy! At other times, when we make less fun things, I give her her own bowl with some water and a spoon and she stirs it and says, "Can I boil it?" So sweet! Today we made homemade buttermilk biscuits and she got to measure out all of the flour, baking soda, baking powder, etc... We had the most fun together! It's a great learning tool, too, because we're constantly counting things when we're in the kitchen. Today I needed 2 cups of flour for a recipe and I purposely used 1/4 cup 8 times so she would have to count it out. It takes more time and effort, but it's quality time with my girl that I'm after!

20 years from now or so, I sure hope that my girls can look back at their childhoods and see just how much their mommy loved them. Little investments of time sometimes are the ones that mean the most!