Dress Up

Owen just scooted out the door for the day dressed as spiderman. His school is having a halloween party......but I am not sure he was supposed to show up ALL day in costume. I also considered the fact that they are serving lasagna for lunch, and the outfit is a one-piecer making "potty time" a nightmare. I thought maybe just taking his costume to put on at party time would be a better idea. However, I could not convince my child of this.

Before leaving he asked me a question that has stuck with me ( well maybe because he asked it about a dozen times in a span of 5 minutes).
"Who are you going to be today mommy?"
First I tried responding with something easy......"Owen's mommy".
Apparently that was not exciting enough.
Then I tried to appeal to the superhero in him with "super woman".
Apparently they don't show that cartoon anymore so there is no such thing if you are 3.
I started to get desperate and told him I could be "Dora".
He considered this a bit longer before declining.
He finally agreed with an old classic......."a ghost". He looked around for a sheet.......but settled for a few "boos" before he was out the door for a day filled with future cavities.

I am still in my pjs and don't plan on dressing up as anything.........but it's not a bad question to ask yourself first thing in the morning.....and not just on halloween.
So, who are you going to be today?

evangelical campaigning

All this last minute campaigning is getting to me. It is the ugly kind with attack ads and robo-calls. When my phone rings, I think if this is another campaign call I will scream. Someone ( or usually just a recording) goes on about their candidate. If it is a real person they end with the same question, " Can we count on your support?". The first (and only) question and chance for interaction in this conversation. Usually I have hung up by then.
I think we can learn a few lessons about how to express our faith....from politics.
1. cold calls don't work. pretty much stop handing out tracts and tell the bullhorn guy to shut up. People might care what you have to say if you just have a real conversation, not an agenda. Opinions, votes, ideals and even souls are changed in friendships and relationships NOT random phonecalls or signs in your front yard ( same goes for bumber stickers...)
2. getting nasty only turns people off. Nothing turns me off to a candidate more than a nasty campaign or attack ads. Same is true for judgemental Christians. We are all hypocrites....so I am not talking about that...but we should be expressing love not looking for faults.
3. not respecting the opposition. I have a few friends that I try REALLY hard to avoid politics with. Mainly becuase they can't seem to have a conversation without implying anyone who doesn't agree with their party lines or specific issue is an idiot. Even when I agree with this person I still try to avoid the topic. Others make statements like you can't be a Christian and a democrat ( or republican depending on who you ask). When conversations about politics (and religion) gets ugly it is because we act like anyone who doesn't think like us is wrong and ignorant. You don't have to agree with someone to treat them with respect and listen to what they have to say.
4. passion. This is a good thing. Alot of people are really passionate about their party right now. They want to talk about it ( even if it leads to some heated discussion). They want to convince you how great their guy ( or gal) is.......and lots of people are at least trying to make informed decisions ( although it is hard with all the nonsense out there). I get at least a half dozen phone calls a night and piles of junk mail about it. It litters the news and commercials. It sneaks it's way into most conversation. Why doesn't our faith infilitrate our lives in this capacity??

pictures from friends

These are from my friend Tina
Click to play pictures from Tina
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To see more great pics of Tess check out my friend rhonda's site www.snapshotsonlocation.com, click on view my session, login Tess, password pictures

ear plugs

I have a housekeeping secret that I am about to reveal. About 30 minutes before Shaun gets home I like to start a load of laundry and/or dishes. That way when he gets home it "sounds" like I have been domestically busy all day.... instead of just watching daytime tv and breastfeeding.
So yesterday while moving the wet clothes from the washing machine over to the dryer .....I notice a weird squishy object. Upon further investigation I discovered that they were earplugs. I thought it was a bit odd....but just figured Owen had been playing with them or occasionally Shaun has to wear them on site and maybe he left them in his pocket. Case closed.
Until about 4:45 am and my daughter is making crazy night noises so loud I can't sleep. ( really she sounds like a lawnmower.. it isn't even snoring more like perpetual grunting). By 5:15 am (still awake) I start to connect the dots ( all that daytime law and order) and suspect that my sweetly snoring husband might be smuggling these into bed. I start to wonder if I can find the ones I fished out of the dryer.....but only make it as far as the couch for a few more hours of my own slumber.
I could still hear her from the living room by the way!

10 more minutes

This morning, early, I could hear Tess waking up. I wasn't quite ready to start my day or provide breakfast. I remember thinking....just a few more minutes of good sleep. I reached over to the side table and attempted to hit snooze. I wasn't being funny. I meant it in that sleepy state. Turns out babies don't come with that button.

Mickey D's

My favorite restraunts include: Uncle Julios, Pirahana, Bonnells. O's favorite is easy and much cheaper. McDonalds. He could care less about the food...it is all about the toy inside the Happy Meal. He can spot the golden arches about a mile away. He thinks it is so great that there is even a song written about it. You know, "Old McDonald". Last time we drove past Owen said he wanted Old McDonalds. I laughed, and asked him if Old McDonald had a farm. He replied, matter of factly, "no he had french fries".

sleep does the body good

This morning as my husband woke up around 6:30, I was just taking Tess into the other room for breakfast. He looks at me puzzled for a moment and asks if we slept somewhere else. I say no, and return with a puzzled look of my own. He responds, "but I slept".
We all got some much needed sleep at our house last night. Of course I was up for atleast an hour around 3 am, but that is nothing compared to the dozens of times we were up the night before. This is the first time in months ( yes I know she is only 3 weeks old, but I swear she was keeping me up long before her birthday!) that I have gotten 4.5 hours of continuous uninterrupted sleep. Who needs 8 hours. 4 feels amazing. We almost feel human. I just might shower before noon. Cross your fingers that this trend continues.
I think we will keep her after all.

costume party

We were invited to a big fun costume party last weekend. The party is always a bunch of fun and I was excited for Owen to go. He has been wearing his spiderman cosutme for weeks now already.
Me and Shaun were struggling to think of costumes. Until I stumbled upon a few wigs.
I was Hannah Montana and Shaun got the mullet wig and could go as Billy Ray. Owen thought we were hillarious. Most everyone else needed an explanation.
Tess was a skeleton......mainly b/c all the baby costumes seem so big and I refused to have her be a pumpkin.
The next night we had a Sunday School social. I told O we needed to get ready for the party and he got all excited and ran to get his spiderman outfit.....again. I took some serious explaining that not every party from now on required costumes. I tried to convince him to go as Peter Parker......It seemed to work and we got to leave the mask at home.

4 walls

I spent most of the last 36 hours enclosed in my room. On Saturday night me and Shaun had devised a plan that would give us almost 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep each. I was proud of the plan and eager to double my sleeping allotment. My shift started at around 2 am. If I went to bed at 8, after feeding Tess. Shaun could give her a small bottle when she woke up then bring her back to her bassinette in the bedroom. Around midnight, I woke up to Owen coughing. I didn't remember anyone giving him his asthma medicine and thought I'd give him a puff before going back to sleep ( I sitll had 2 more hours!). He immediately projecttile vomited all over the couch.
We can not be sick.
102 degrees says we are.
So the 6 hour of sleep plan was thrown out the window and it was revised into divide and conquer.
Shaun got Owen ( and to clean up the icky mess) and I got Tess.
I closed my bedroom door and made it the germ free zone. Sort of. I probably got the easier end of the deal but by mid afternoon my 4 walls were closing in. I took Tess and we made our getaway to Borders. She must be allergic to public place because after our first step in the door she started screaming.
I purused slighlty faster than usual and checked out and headed back to my room.
Now not only do I have great big-dark-lack-of-sleep-circles under my eyes, but I am pretty sure I am getting bedsores.

real pants

On Thursday I put on real pants for the first time in months. No, I have not been running around pantless.....but I mean real pants. That zip and button and everything. No stretchy waisteline, no belly band and no draw strings.
No, I am not one of those girls who wore her skinny pants out of the hospital. My belly is still a bit jelly. I still have a sensative incision and actually haven't been brave enough to rip off all the steri-strips ( think of about 30 mini bandaids over c-section incision). But there are a few pairs of fat pants that I can fit into. Usually I would be all for pj or work out pants for all occasions ( something I never outgrew from college). Putting on real pants and blowdrying my hair are amazing feats these days and suddenly make me feel like a person again.
It's funny. There are these baby milestones coming up, like smiling and rollig over. All the magazines and websites give you expected dates for this to happen. I think there should be new mom milestones as well ( extra time added for repeat new moms). Here is my list:
1. Real pants - 2 weeks
2. Memorizing the daytime TV schedule - (2-3 weeks)
3. First meal out - (2-3 weeks)
4. First meal out you are able to enjoy without worrying about screaming or a warddrobe change ( 2-3 years)
5. A decent night's sleep - (2-3 years)

I could go on with my silly list....but am too tired.

Big Tex

I love the fair. Corn dogs and carnies and lemonade and rides and the foul smell of livestock. Shaun took Owen yesterday......and it was so hard for me not to go along. Owen was totally wiped out when he got home!

Click to play State Fair
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On Monday night I ventured out for my Monday night bible study. I managed to read the right chapter and take a shower and was eager to get off the couch and away from daytime TV for a few hours.
Tess slept in someone else's arms the whole time. I tried to hide my yawns, and to be honest I missed most of the conversation. I may have read the chapter, but very little of it sunk in.
One thing that did hit was they started by doing introductions. But not the normal kind. Not Hi, I am ..........., I am a teacher, a mother, a friend, etc. No titles were allowed. We often describe ourselves based on titles. What we do, who we are to other people. But who are we when those are stripped away. Kind of like Job.
I liked the idea of the assignment. I like to write and figured as soon as I started typing some kind of profound answer would stream out.
But I am struggling to find any words.

I am a child of God. That is something that can't be stripped away. That is about all I can come up with. And quite possibly all that matters.


Sometimes we want God to be fair.
We look around and see everyone else getting a break.
Lately I have been the girl getting the break. My life is good. I just had a baby girl with the right amount of fingers and toes. My husband is a big help. And in the middle of all this economic mess, both of us have stable jobs.
I have friends who always seem to be hit pretty hard. Marital stuff, job stuff, kid stuff, money stuff. All of it. All at once. And all the while things seem to be going so smoothly for everyone else around her. It has started to affect our friendship.
Some people would say, but you don't really know what is going on. People who seem to have it together -- usually don't. I won't pretend to have it together, but sometimes I wonder when the roles will be reversed.

God doesn't work that way. We don't really want him to. If he was fair, if we got what was coming to us......well we would all be in bad shape. Some of us get more, some of us less. Some of us experience trial after trial. Others seem to have it easy. God's main concern with what goes on in our life is how we respond. What we do with it. Do we cling to him? Do we help others if we have more or have been there before? Are we becoming more like him?

God isn't fair, but he is good.

family of four

Today we went out for the first time. All four of us. We filled up the car. It was weird to look in the back seat and see 2 car seats. Both filled. Both ours. The plan was to go to the store ( Owen wanted green juicy juicy...which I imagine he meant to be apple juicy juice). Owen wanted to go to the pet store ( otherwise known as the Mansfield zoo). Shaun wanted to run into Lowes and I was craving a meal out. 3 and a high chair.
We pulled into the parking lot. Shaun got O out, I slipped Tess into her sling and we made our way across the parking lot. I beamed at the ease of this. No big ass stroller to lug around. I could handle two after all. We wandered through the Halloween aisles picking out candy and contemplating costumes. Tess started to fall asleep and O, although he refused to ride in the cart, still stayed pretty much by our side. We headed to the baby section and I started to feel tired. Owen started to stray. And I was ready to go home even though we only had 2 items in our cart and none of the things we had come for. We found the juice boxes and turns out WalMart does not carry juicy juice. Tess still slept, but I was fading fast. I informed the boys that they needed to pick out there lunch here -- there would be no eating out today. We grabbed a few more snack items, I took Owen to look at the lobsters ( that is close to going to the pet store right?) while Shaun perused the frozed food section for his lunch. I had to choose between chasing Owen down or letting him push the cart (into people and things). I went with option B and apoligized along the way. We checked out. The entire outing had taken maybe 30 minutes but I was through for the day. We headed straight home. No Lowes, no pet store, and frozen pizza for lunch. 2 seems like alot even if one was asleep and at my hip the entire time. 3 and a high chair will have to wait.

breastfeeding nazis

They are out there in full force.
When you are pregnant people feel free to touch you, comment on how you are "carrying" or how wide your hips are. This is odd to me, but not nearly as odd as some of the comments you get after the baby gets here.
It starts when the lactation consultant walks into the room. The birthing/hospital experience is humiliating enough w/out some granola woman squishing my boobs, rubbing lotion on my nipples and showing me over and over how my newborns lips should be flush against my chest. She does all this with no concern as to how many people are in the room. She talks fast, I mostly just say yes. I know not to question or argue with this woman. What follows is about an hour long conversation about the merits and ease of breastfeeding with my mother-in-law. I disagree.
Every nurse and/or doctor seems to ask 2 questions before going any further. The first one is "When was your last bowel movement", and the second is "are you breastfeeding" or some slight variation. Both are questions I could do without.
On one of my first outings, someone commented that my shirt ( buttons down the top half) was perfect for breastfeeding, and you are breastfeeding aren't you. Then proceeded to tell me how great and easy it is.
So. Here it is. I am breastfeeding. I have shed my shirt in front of doctors, nurses, all family members, and a few friends. So far in only one public place.....but I am sure that number will increase soon. BUT, and this is a strong BUT.....you can't make me like it. Yes, I will use pacifiers. Yes, I will pump and let my husband give her a bottle. Yes, I will occasionally give her formula.
No it is not "easier". It sucks. It hurts. and it is kind of embarrassing. I did it for a little over 3 months with O and was so glad to have my body back. Happy with my small deflated chest. To not spray the mirror when I got out of the shower or leak or let down anytime I heard a baby cry. Owen thinks the breast pump is the funniest thing ever and I might agree if it weren't my body hooked up to it. Did I mention I hate milk. Milk is gross and I am not happy to be a producer of it. It stinks. Like sweaty socks. It really is just really fancy sweat anyways.
So for all you breast feeding nazis out there, back off. I will do it. This time for even longer. Not b/c of your persuading or pamphlets. I'd rather not talk about it or have you ask if my nipples are cracked. (yes). Don't shame me if I break out the formula or fully enjoy the process. It is good for the baby. Good for me. Did I mention it is free. And if I have to be awake in the middle of the night. It helps to have a cute little baby curled up in a ball on my shoulder after a feeding.

Who is Who?

Neither of my children have come out looking quite like I expected. Not like anyone expected. Owen had a full head of dark almost black hair. He looked like Shaun in almost every other way ( as long as you don't ask his mom).....but the hair totally threw us off. I was expecting blonde, or atleast light brown like mine.

Tess, was about 9 days early and a girl so I was expecting at least a pound smaller than Owen. This time I was prepared for the dark hair.....and was hoping for just as much as Owen. She came out bald on top. With lightish, and occasionally orangish looking hair. No eyebrows, no eyelashes and big full cheeks. She topped the scales over 8 lbs, and an once more than her big brother made his appearance at.
I couldn't place her. She had some aspects of her dad. My hands and feet......but I couldn't really tell who she looked like.

When I looked at Owen's first day pictures they look almost exactly alike.
I am amazed at how quickly they change. Not how fast they grow. That is expected, but how different they can become. The alsmot black hair turned blonde, almost white. The blue eyes turned deep brown. So now that she is here and we have gotten a good look and about a million pictures......I sitll wonder how she will become. Next month, Next year, Next decade.

The top picture is Tess.
Bottom picture is Owen.
Both on their first day.......