Thursday, April 29, 2010

Backseat Driver

Brooke has been overly concerned about my driving lately. She recently learned about the different lights and what they mean so if I'm stopped at a green light because of traffic or whatever she says, "GO, Mommy!" And heaven help me if I speed up through a yellow light (not that I, a police officer's wife, would ever do that)! I definitely answer A LOT to Miss Brooke about my driving.

The other day I got pulled over by one of John's co-workers (just for being on my cell phone this time... Not for some crazy speed or anything!) and that has just blown Brooke's mind ever since. After that encounter Brooke asked a lot of questions about why Daddy's friend came to our car and I tried to explain it to her without totally trashing my image. I said, "I was talking on my phone while I was driving and I shouldn't have been. I made a mistake. I'm sorry." So now, wouldn't you know, that Brooke keeps me accountable to staying off my phone when I'm behind the wheel. Tonight she said, "Mommy, get off your phone or Daddy's friend will come to our car again." It actually kind of killed me inside that she was RIGHT!!!! Haha

What my sweet Brooke doesn't realize is that she is going to get paid back times a MILLION when she starts driving (many years from now)!! I'll happily remember back to these silly times and we'll laugh like crazy:-)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Social Misfit

Having my first baby just months after my 21st birthday has made it very difficult to find friends that I can relate to. People my age are really living it up right now... Traveling, partying, going to school, etc.. NONE of my friends from high school have kid and the majority aren't even married yet. Because of that, I tend to click more with older people because they are the ones that share a similar lifestyle with me. However, I'm insecure about talking to these types of people because I feel like they think I'm just a kid or like I'm not as good of a mom due to my age. I know these are just feelings but maybe they're true? I'm too strapped down for people my age and too young to relate to people that have children the same age as mine. Very weird.

I've been feeling like this for a while now but when we go to gymnastics I feel it the most. All of the moms sit there and watch the kids in class and they are all probably 8 to 10 years older than me! One of them was actually a teacher in the high school I went to and now our daughters are the same age. All of the moms talk and laugh and I try REALLY hard to fit in but somehow I don't think I do. I realize that this is a silly 45 minutes out of my life each week but it kind of lends to the feelings I already have about not really fitting in.

There are so many misconceptions about young parents, I feel... Like we're not as stable or like we got married because I was pregnant (which is SO not true) or like we somehow lack the responsibility that older parents have. These are just stereotypes but sometimes I feel insecure about being a young mom. It's just weird... some moms have kids into their 40's and when I'm 40, Brooke will be college-aged. Very odd!

Does anyone else have a hard time "fitting in?"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One Income Family

Staying home with our girls is what I feel is absolutely necessary right now. I'm not judging other people's convictions on that issue but for us, it's non-negotiable. Truthfully speaking, I couldn't imagine shipping them off to day care for 40+ hours a week and I am not willing to forfeit these precious years with them. Despite the fact that we live a very comfortable lifestyle and are able to provide well for our children, we definitely have to manage our money wisely to do so and we make sacrifices.

We live in a world that is so driven by the almighty dollar. Our culture is inundated by excess and it's impossible to "keep up with the Jones'" anymore! I want to obviously give our children the best life possible and for them to have nice things. Who doesn't want that??? When I look at the future, though, it's easy to worry about the probable cheer leading shoes, piano lessons, braces, allowances, prom dresses, and on and on and on the list goes. As I think of those things it's easy to doubt that staying home is really giving them what's best. After all, if I worked, they would have more "stuff."

Then, I stop and remember my childhood... My dad was a pastor and our mom stayed home with us. When we were young my parents didn't have excess money to just blow but do you know what? I don't remember missing out on one single thing as a child. We enjoyed simple things like walks, trips to the park, cook-outs, and movie nights at home. I had a blissfully happy childhood that was jam packed with amazing moments and my parents did it on ONE income. This crazy world can really trick us stay-at-home-moms into believing that we're depriving our kids financially but what it boils down to is that our children want US and not things. I heard it once said, "Our family needs our presence, not our presents."

The most important thing that I need to remember when I think about how expensive these precious girls are is the wonderful verse in the Bible that says, "God will supply ALL of our needs, according to His riches in glory." Isn't that incredible? Without that wonderful promise in scripture I'm not sure how I would tame my human tendency to worry. We may not always have what we WANT but God has promised us that our needs will be met. That is just amazing, if you ask me!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baby Steps

Today, out of the middle of nowhere, Adrienne took a step!!! Assuming that it was a fluke, we continued to play on the floor and I didn't get overly excited. Then, only minutes later, she took 3 steps in a row and continued to do it all day! Her record is 5 steps in a row but I'm sure before long that will increase. Yikes! She also started standing up from the sitting position without having to use anything to pull up on. What a busy day today!

I was so excited to take her to church tonight to show off her new skills to our family but she didn't "perform" much. They LOVE to do that, don't they?? She took two steps for my mom but it took some coaxing from me. Every time she would stand up she would get SO excited and then fall down. Lol! I LOVE this stage!

I was making lunch today so Adrienne was playing in the kitchen. She got into the snack cupboard and stood in there for the longest time throwing my canned goods and boxes of cereal everywhere. It was actually hilarious, minus the cleanup afterwards. John had a bag of beef jerky in there that wasn't sealed all the way so she helped herself to a piece and sucked all the flavor out of it. When she was done she opened up the box of Cheerios and threw it in there. Life is crazy now! Lol

After her nap I was doing some housework in the living room and she wandered into the playroom. I assumed that she was fine because I was like two feet away from her but when I peeked in on her she was STANDING on a rocking chair going back and forth and trying to reach things on the book shelf. For crying out loud! She keeps me laughing and VERY busy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More on Gymnastics...

I got so sad for Brooke at gymnastics today. There's a small group of regulars that come but in this particular class there were several random new kids that showed up. Besides Brooke, there were 5 girls and 2 boys. They girls were really bubbly and outgoing and they all kind of seemed to click instantaneously. Then there was my sweet Brooke. She just kind of sat off by herself, timid and quiet. It broke my heart. All the kids, despite being her age (many of them younger than her) towered over her, making her look so, so tiny!

The other kids seem to be naturals at actvities that they were doing and Brooke was so afraid. She was giving it a good effort but I could tell that she was really having a hard time putting her fears aside. I know my girl and I can tell when she's struggling with something simply by looking at her.

Then, there's that teacher again... The one who yelled at her for being "disobedient" when she was scared of the highbars. Anyways, I was nursing Adrienne and I saw Brooke walking out of the gymnastics area to come find me. When she opened the door I heard the teacher yelling, "Then GO, Brooke! Don't just stand there. GO!" It wasn't a sweet, reassuring voice, either. Poor Brooke had tears in here eyes so I obviously asked the teacher what the problem was. The teacher said, "She has to go to the bathroom but she just stands there. I don't get it." Think about it... She's 3, she doesn't really know anyone in the class, she needs to go potty, can't find her mommy, and the teacher's yelling at her. UGH. I just cringe thinking of how she must have felt at that moment:-(

I talked to the teacher after class and she gave me this whole song and dance about how Brooke's showing improvement and how she's fine. I, of course, didn't buy much of it because I know when people are being fake. This is what gets me, though... If I ask Brooke if she likes gymnastics she says she does and she never complains about the teacher. In fact, she even asks to go back to class during the week. It seems like MY feelings are more hurt here than hers!

I feel kind of anxious about sending her back next week. No mommy wants THEIR child to be the "odd man out" and of course I want my child to succeed and feel included. Then again, Brooke has a completely different temperament than me. Maybe she's fine sitting on the sidelines and keeping it to herself? I just don't know! Or maybe I'm a mother hen who's taking this whole thing way too far?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random Happenings

The thought of organizing my thoughts right now sounds exhausting so forgive the jumbled words!

-Two days ago Adrienne learned to climb the stairs and now she's on them constantly and climbing them at warp speed. We have a gate we can put up to prevent that but she pulls on it and screams. Lol. It's frustrating because we have to put it at the third stair up (because there's no wall at the bottom) so we can only stop her from going all the way up but the bottom stairs are still game. Life will never be the same!

-Brooke has been a major disaster over the past few days. I have absolutely no idea what's bugging her but she's been so full of attitude and extremely grumpy. I hope she snaps out of it soon because it's just a lot to handle when she's like this. It's like NOTHING gets through to her.

-For all you cop wives out there... Don't you hate how people just randomly use your husband's name to get out of a ticket when they don't even talk to you in person??? People are so rude! It seems like people only have time for you when they find themselves in a bind. Ridiculous!

-We finally switched Adrienne into a big girl carseat! We got a really nice one for an awesome price, which I was excited about. I must say, though, that having her out of her infant seat has presented all sorts of new challenges. Now she's got to have her jacket put on before getting out, instead of covering her with a blanket or her Bundle Me, and now it's extra challenging getting both girls in the house if they happen to fall asleep in the car. We'll adjust but I'm kind mourning the infant seat days. Lol

-Adrienne can sign "more" and "all done" now. She's a real pro! She can also say, "all done," too. So cute! She still won't say Mama though:-( Hopefully SOON!

I think that just about sums up what's going on around here. Nothing too eventful! Alrighty... John just left for work and I have some laundry to do before bed. A woman's work is never done. I tell ya!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Can't Live for the Weekend

After three amazing days together, John just left for work:-( The first night of the rotation is always the hardest... Rolling over and feeling nobody next to me, not having his help and companionship during the days and his comfort and night, and just being alone. It's life though, unfortunately!

Sometimes I feel like we only live for the days off. Ya know? It's easy to count the days on as wasted or to hope they pass by quickly but the awful truth of the matter is that the majority of the time, John has to work. With that being said, I can't wish them away because that's just an enormous percentage of our life that I would be allowing to slip by. I try so hard to focus on that and not to be sad when he goes back to work. One day, before we know it, we'll look around and wonder where the time went!

We really have a wonderful life together and I am so thankful that though we do "simple" things that that's somehow enough. We are thrilled to death to take our kids around the neighborhood for a walk or to cook out on the back patio. For Brooke, a treat is to go to Target and get a bag of popcorn while we browse the toys. It doesn't take a whole lots of money or extravagances to please her... Just quality time. As of late, she and John have been doing a lot of yard work together. These things that seem so "small" to us are what mean the most to our kids in terms of making their childhood something special.

I'm just trying not to live my life too fast! It seems like my human nature is always fighting for "the next thing" but I really don't want to miss NOW. What we have in this moment is absolutely incredible... A husband who I am insanely in love with and two precious, budding daughters who are my entire universe. We are so blessed!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I knew that when Adrienne got moving that things would never be the same but for crying out loud, life is inane! That child is seriously crazy!! She's a crazy climber, which Brooke never was, and it's hilarious to watch her attempt to reach the top of just about anything. She's at that stage right where I can't take my eyes off of her for two seconds because she's interested in light sockets, the toilet, and all other sorts of harmful things. It keeps me on my toes, for sure!

As a baby, Brooke just didn't get in to things. She was really content to play with her toys. Adrienne, however, has recently become accustomed to pulling anything and everything out of my kitchen cabinets and dresser drawers. With Brooke I never really "baby proofed" my house... I just stayed on top of her so I figured that this time around I would practice that same sort of logic. I'm starting to see that that's just not possible with Miss Adrienne! I had to put rubber bands on the kitchen cabinet with my chemicals in it and now she goes to it, pulls on the doors, realizes she can't get in and SCREAMS. It's actually comical to watch! We spent Brooke's infancy in a 900 square foot house and I'm quickly learning that containing a baby there was much easier than in the 2700 square foot home that we have now! I never thought I would miss my old, small house!

I have a feeling that Adrienne's going to take off walking before my eyes any day now. She's standing unassisted for maybe 5-10 second intervals and pushing walkers and toys all over the place. It's so cute to watch her little butt stick out as she pushes! She rarely crawls anywhere anymore because she usually finds something to help her cruise to her destination. She's pretty creative!

Man, relearning the ropes of having a baby this age has been quite a bit of work! And just think... She's not even walking yet!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just Like Mommy

Brooke has been such a "mini me" lately. I really love her recent fascination with me and how very much she wants to imitate me. It's a HUGE responsibility to have her listening and watching me so closely and I only wish that I could say that I never fail her.

The other day she told me "Wear your hair up in a bun, Mommy!" I said, "Why do you care about MY hair, silly?" She said, "Because Mommy, it's so cool when you do that and that's how my hair is right now." Let me just say, I'm noting this because one day, before we know it, she mostly likely won't want to be caught dead sporting the same hairstyle as me!

She also looked at me at lunch today and said, "Mommy, you're my very best friend." I said, "Aw, Brooke, that's so sweet,honey! You and Adrienne and Daddy are my best friends." (I didn't want to crush her spirit by telling her that my goal was to be her Mommy.. not her buddy!) She got a sad look on her face and said, "But I only have ONE best friend and it's you." Aw!!! Moments like that make me want to cry!

Sweet comments from her are frequent around this house. Little things like, "I'm thankful for you, Mommy," or "You're a good cook, Mommy!" really perk me up. That little girl is quite the encourager!

Brooke constantly follows me all over the place... When I get dressed, she likes to pass me clothes piece by piece (and sometimes try them on!), when I do my makeup, she, of course, requests rosy cheeks, and when I'm cooking, she stands right beside me on her chair, wearing an apron and all! Every little intricate detail of my day she is interested in and I usually have to explain my smallest of actions to her. For instance, I exercise when the girls nap and then take a shower. Every day, without fail, Brooke wakes up and inquires as to why I exercised and why I took and shower and why my hair is wet. Now she'll finally say, "You exercised because it keeps you healthy and now your hair is wet." Lol. She's so much fun:-)

I love Adrienne's stage right now and I don't want to wish any of her baby time away but I am REALLY looking forward to the days when she is older like Brooke. This preschool age obviously has its challenges but it really is a blast and the activities that you can do with a child this age are endless. I LOVE IT!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Man, I am so fried right now. Despite the gorgeous 75+ degree weather, sunshine, birds chirping, flowers blooming, wonderful husband, a wonderful family, and two precious girls, I felt defeated today. Do you know the feeling? It's like I just couldn't snap out of that mood I was in and nothing seemed to go my way.

In all fairness to me, the girls were A LOT this afternoon. We had some things we needed to get at Sam's for the church today, which went fine... Minus Brooke's incessant whining. It went down hill from there, though, when both girls fell asleep about 10 minutes from home. Sure enough, we pulled into the driveway and both of them woke up and just would NOT go back to sleep. The rest of afternoon was spent with horrible screaming, arguing and disobedience from Brooke and Adrienne was just fussy. I had both girls outside on the porch and we were playing with sidewalk chalk (check that... Brooke and I were playing with sidewalk chalk while Adrienne tried to eat it!) and when I told Brooke that we had to go in for a minute so I could use the bathroom she just FLIPPED out. It took quite a bit of work to get her to obey and it was not a pretty sight. From her screaming I'm sure the neighbors thought I was beating her! The worst part was when I had to take her outdoor privileges away to get my point across. Warm, sunny days are rare in our neck of the woods and I think it might have hurt me worse then it hurt her! It was just awful.

We came back in to play where both girls played tug of war over everything. We have TONS of toys and a huge toy room yet they were both fixated on stealing from one another. Brooke was being so mean to Adrienne and not budging (like she usually does) and Adrienne started biting her anytime she got angry. My girls are normally so sweet and goofy and happy. I don't get it!

On top of the girls being completely out of sorts, John had to work his Thursday night overtime so we barely got to see each other, which never makes for an easy time on my part. I am so thankful for the hard worker he is but Thursdays are just LONG days in our household. I'll admit that I don't always have a great attitude when Thursday rolls around. Maybe it would help if I changed my perspective?

I am thankful that God's mercy's are new EVERY morning and that tomorrow we'll start with a clean slate all over again. I just peeked in on my sleeping beauties and while today was rough, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I love my daughters and staying home with them is a joy... Temper tantrums and all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Hey all! I haven't had a chance to get on because John's been off and we've been crazy busy. What else is new, right??? We were so fortunate to have John off on Easter. It really made for a special day and I was so thankful to have him not only with us but actually well rested! It doesn't happen often on holidays so we're excited when it does.

Easter was really awesome. Church was absolutely incredible and it was a wonderful day to celebrate Jesus not only dying for our sins but also rising again. It is such an amazing sacrifice that He made for us on the cross and I seek to not be mindful of that each and every single day.

We had a jam packed day after church. My parents were leaving for their 13 day trip to India that afternoon so we went to have lunch with them and to wish them off. Then we had dinner at John's grandma's that afternoon. We got home late and just had enough time to unwind and relax for a nice movie. It was a great day but the best part was that the weather was in the 70's!!! I can remember having snow on the ground on Easter so it was a real treat. It was the first warm Easter I can remember since we moved here like 12 years ago!

Here's a precious Easter story for you... I wore my wedding day jewelry to match my Easter dress. On top of it being sentimental, it was expensive, too, and I was so sad to discover that I had lost one of the earrings. I was looking for it and Brooke said, "Mommy, I know you're sad about your earring and you must have a lot of questions, but Jesus died on the cross for our sins to save us. And Mommy, He has nails in his hands. You will see your earrings again one day when Daddy buys you new ones." Aw, how precious is that???? I was so amazed at her childlike faith and how somehow the Easter story that she had heard so much about was the first thing that came to her mind to "comfort" me. I love that girl so much! By the way, I found my earring. Boy was I happy!

In closing, here's a few pictures...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts on the Future

I have always been content without a college degree. I went to college for two semesters but chose to drop out because I hated it that much. In fact, I can remember calling John on my first day of college crying and telling him that I never wanted to go back. I continued to go and struggled horribly for another two semesters until I just decided that it wasn't for me and quit. I honestly don't think there's shame in that and I'm truly happy that I got to get married, have babies, and focus on being a homemaker. How awesome is that??

I'm not a student. It's very hard for me to do well in school for some reason. I can study for hours and get a C when many others I know don't study at all and get an A! I'm not trying to cling to the past but I'll never forget studying and studying and studying for a biology exam in high school, only to get a 75 or so, and my teacher came up to me after class and said, "You're not glorifying God with your work ethic." Yeah, that stung. I did try and I did give it my best... It just wasn't good enough. I think from that point on I played the stupid ditz or the troublemaker or the comedian because it was so much easier to pretend that I didn't care. I also have quite a hard time focusing or sitting still. To this day, even in church, I have to really, really work on paying attention.. Even though my dad's the pastor and is an absolutely phenomenal speaker. It's just how I'm wired.

Despite my contentment without my degree, I have to admit that I look at the degree that others have in my family and it sort of makes me feel a bit inferior if I focus on it. Out of John's brother and his wife, John's sister, my brother and his wife, and my sister and her husband... Everyone, including John, has some sort of college degree- but me. Not a one of them was scared off by the challenge of college and they committed themselves completely their schooling successfully. While I don't want to work outside of the home now, I can't help but wonder what their futures are like as opposed to mine. Take my sister (Love you, Alison!), for example... She's an RN and even though she's taking a break to raise her precious family, when they grow she will have that wonderful career to focus on. As for me, I'll probably serve in the cafeteria at school or wait more and more tables. There's not shame in that but I just want MORE for my future.

Ever since I had Brooke and was blown away by the care that the nurses gave me, I have longed to be a nurse... Secretly, of course, but I don't feel like I'm smart enough to ever complete the necessary schooling. Then when I had Adrienne the longing got deeper and just last week when Brooke was in the hospital, it was even more magnified. I can think of nothing more rewarding (short of being a mommy and a wife, of course) than being a nurse and getting to interact with people and to actually do more for them than serving them food. John and I had a long talk today and over the next several years I'm going to pray about maybe going back to school when the kids are in school. He even suggestd that I meet with a college counselor to discuss me taking a few online classes over the next several years to get any prerequisite classes out of the way. It's a long way off, for sure, and it may never happen but I am truly excited at the prospect. It would be amazing to have an exciting career to look forward to when the kids are grown and it would also be nice to have the ability to contribute financially one day. Again, I just don't know.

I almost deleted this entire post because it probably sounds like such a joke but I decided against. After all, these are my thoughts... They're not right or wrong!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank God for April!

Minus our fabulous vacation to Myrtle Beach early last month, I feel like March was dominated by sickness. That stomach bug was off and on for Brooke and then Adrienne and John got and then, of course, Brooke got it again. I am SO thankful to God that I never got sick though. Such a blessing! Needless to say, I was super happy to turn the calendar today to APRIL and I was not remotely sad to see March go. Lol! March 2010 will go down in history for being a hard month.

In other news, my girls have each had a major milestone and I'm very excited...

*Brooke- Yesterday morning she not only picked out her own outfit (that matched and everything) but she also took off her pajamas and fully dressed herself, too! The only mistake she made was putting her leggings on backwards but I didn't want to crush her spirit so we had backwards leggings all day:-) I was SO proud of her and now that her confidence is boosted she won't let me dress her anymore. It's kind of nice having her able to help get herself ready but in a way it's kind of sad. Dressing herself is such a big girl thing and I'm not quite ready to let her get that big!

*Adrienne- Though she has been doing the army crawl for months and cruising all over the house she finally, over the past week or so, learned to crawl on all fours! I'm so excited! Crawling is my favorite baby stage and I love watching her. Go, Adrienne!

Having kids is so much fun, isn't it? Each new milestone, no matter how small it may seem, is a huge victory. What did we do for entertainment before them?