Monday, May 31, 2010

The Hamburger

The other night, we were supposed to go over to Anna and Robert's for burgers.  But Chad ended up working late, so Max and I went without him.  We also ate without him and just hung out for a while, to see if Chad would be able to make it.  But with bed time quickly approaching, I decided to make him a burger and meet him at home.  I put lots of effort into it, making it just how he likes it.  I paused for a minute to decide if I should put ketchup on it or not-- if we're at home, he does not use ketchup, but if we're at a restaurant where ketchup comes on the burger, he likes it.  So I decided to go ahead and put ketchup- along with mustard, mayo, cheese, lettuce, and tomato on it.  Perfecto.  Just the way he likes it.

I wrapped it up and headed home- planning to stop off for a milkshake on the way to make his meal complete.  Chad then called while I was in route and told me not to worry about the milkshake.  When we got home, he was already there, so I handed him the burger and went to put Max to bed.

A couple minutes later he was hollering for me, so I stuck my head out Max's room and he wanted to know why I put ketchup on his burger- he didn't like ketchup.  He actually says something along the lines of, "Do you even know me?  Since when do I put ketchup on my burger?"

I then explained my logic and went back to putting the baby to bed.

Ok, slight hiccup, but not a deal breaker- he could tough it out and eat or wipe it off.  No big deal.

It isn't 20 seconds when he starts hollering again.  Seriously Chad?  It's just ketchup-- put on your big girl panties and get over it.  But being the loving wife that I am, I stuck my head out again to see him holding the bun open and saying "where is my burger?"

Yes, I had forgotten the actual burger.

I tried to tell him it was a BLT, without thinking, and this pushes him over the edge.  "It's not a BLT, there is no meat, there is no B, where is my meat? What do you expect me to do?"  I lose it here- dying laughing, tears rolling down my face, can't catch my breath.  I get the baby to bed and I'm still giggling.  And the giggling turn to cackling... again. I begin snapping pictures of Chad holding his burgerless burger, and this makes him more mad.  I retreat to the kitchen to call Anna and leave her a voicemail with the story.

Chad sits on the couch for about 10 more minutes holding the bun- he is at a loss with what to do.  I break it to him that he has to have leftovers- lasagna or chicken it is- and this starts the pouting.  Meanwhile, I'm still laughing... not a good combination.... for him.

But it's the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dirty Laundry

After yesterday's blog post, and the 2 loads of laundry that accumulated in about 10 minutes, it is only natural that today's post be about just that.  Laundry: the bane of my existence.

A couple weeks ago, I had two back to back tweets about laundry.  I then had a friend thank me for my confession :)  And I realized that I needed to discuss it further to free myself of the burden and get it off my chest once and for all.

Tweet #1: Laundry is defeating- I work to get it all done and folded, then on my way to put it away, I notice the laundry baskets have new debris

Tweet #2: The other day I took Max out in public w/ gunk on his shirt bc I'd just finished his laundry & wasn't ready for anything in his basket yet

My first problem is that we have 4 laundry baskets around our house:

We have Max's that has to be washed with special detergent because his skin is sensitive:

We also have Gabe's basket:

Then we have the one from mine and Chad's room:

And we have Chad's paint clothes.

And I'm picky and OCD so I can't just do one load- I have to do it all, all the time, and get it all folded and put away or else it doesn't count.  And it's so cyclical that I just can't stand it.  Chad started the habit before we were married of wearing 2 pairs of socks to work each day, and then a fresh pair when he gets home-- plus he wears work clothes then showers and puts on new clothes for the evening- and sometimes we go to the gym, which adds a third set of clothes.  Gabe is just as bad-- he wears many outfits a day and never re-wears pj's.  Are you supposed to re-wear pj's?  And Max is a baby- so he not only dirties an outfit and pj's each day- he also goes through at least 3 bibs, a couple wash clothes, a burp cloth and blankets.  And I am just as bad- I have work clothes, play clothes, gym clothes and pj's too.

Chad is willing to help with laundry- and when it mounds up (like the above picture which accumulated in just one laundry- free weekend) he'll fold clothes, etc... but he doesn't do socks or anything that isn't 100% cotton.  He also doesn't fold Max's clothes because they are too small, or my clothes because they are too confusing.  And I can't even begrudge him, because back to the OCD/ control freak thing- there is a right way, and if he doesn't do it that way, I re-do it.

So I have to commit to doing at least  loads of laundry a week and I put away everyone's clothes the majority of the time.  Again- I bring this on myself because I can't wait for Chad to get around to it- although he will- so I just do it all for everyone so that it can be completely done.

Full hampers really irritate me, and I won't fold clothes that aren't fresh out of the dryer even though folding the warm clothes does make me sweat.  Lots of times Max wants to help too, so I have to carry him down, load him and the clothes in the basket and lug them all back up the stairs.  Then he dumps out the basket and plays in the clothes while I fold- but heaven forbid I take and fold whatever piece he has deemed his "favorite" in that load.

And as soon as it's all done, it starts again because someone took a shower or woke up and got dressed or came home and changed.

So I guess I'm done complaining- but I must confess that I don't foresee things changing anytime soon- I think I'll be running a laundry mat for the next 18+ years.  So you might see my kids with gunk on their clothes again soon... but don't think that it's because their mother doesn't care, or she doesn't notice... she notices... but she's just too OCD to allow a garment in an empty basket if she hasn't had ample time to relish in the results of her hard work.

But I guess when it comes down to it, it's all really a blessing.  We have plenty of clothes, we have a really good washer and dryer, I have a big man, a little man, and a baby man all counting on me for clean clothes, and the messing them up is really the fun part anyway.

Note to self:  As your blessings increase, the amount of laundry increases.  So laundry is really just God's love pouring out all over you (and your house)!  Enjoy it.  Love it.  Be thankful for it.

(By the way, you should follow me on Twitter @lbowman24)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

TMI: The Poop Edition!

Yesterday, I was sitting at my computer working while Max was supposed to be sleeping.  But he just kept talking and talking and eventually got pretty fussy and I decided that since this was out of character I would go check on him and maybe even rock him for a bit.

Side note:  Max is an all-star pooper- he poops in the morning and mid-day.  It's always just the right amount and it's like clock work.  We've never had messes or explosions or any of that nonsense.  Our only "event" is when he was 6 days old and I changed his diaper, lifted back his legs, and the runny newborn poop shot out like a water hose.  My mother-in-law rushed in to save the day and had the floor, the changing table, and his crib (which all got hit by the spew) cleaned before I had even finished changing Max.

Do you see where this might be going?

So back to yesterday... I scooped him out of his bed and noticed this:

[caption id="attachment_525" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The clue that something was amiss"][/caption]

And I thought to myself, well that's funny, and I shifted Max to my other hip to check it out a little closer... and when I did, my hand was gooey.  Why yes, I did have poop ALL over my hand.

Ok, because I am immature and inexperienced, I panicked.  I had NO idea what to do.  I didn't want to put him down anywhere, but I didn't want to hold him either-- so I toted him by his arm pits, while trying to pull his clothes off him, to the bath tub.  He was laughing hysterically and thought this was a game.

No Max, this is not a game, this is a CRISIS!

[caption id="attachment_526" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="So proud!"][/caption]

Once I finally got him undressed, I was stumped once again.  Do make him a bath because that means he'd be splashing IN his poop.  But how else do I get him clean?  And what about his outfit that has poop all over the inside and the outside?

[caption id="attachment_527" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Yes, that is what you think it is..."][/caption]

At this point I remember a friend's kid who got really sick- like a horrible virus that lasted for days-- because he somehow got feces in his mouth.  So I wiped him down with baby wipes, then put him in the tube and wash him off.  I get out a new towel, wrap him up and lay him on the floor while I run to his room to get hand sanitizer so that I can rub it all over his body.  No, I don't usually rub hand sanitizer all over my baby, but I could think of nothing else, short of steaming hot water and clorox to ease my mind about the nastiness.

Apparently, while I'm grabbing the bottle, he pees all over the rug that he was laying on because when I got back and sat down to sanitize the baby, I got pee all over my butt.  Yes, I managed to sit right on his pee-puddle.

[caption id="attachment_528" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Clean baby/ Murky water = disgusting!"][/caption]

After sanitizing the baby and changing my shorts, I rinsed out his clothes-- there were chunks and a severe gag reflex involved in this part of the crisis.  Then I headed to his room- aka The Disaster Zone.  I removed his bumper, his sheets and his mattress pad, wiped down the whole bed with lysol disinfecting spray, and then fixed everything back up.

Remnants of the crisis:

[caption id="attachment_530" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Disaster Zone"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_529" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The Bathroom"][/caption]

Meanwhile, Max leisurely enjoyed his afternoon bottle.

[caption id="attachment_531" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=""What's the problem, Mom?""][/caption]

Just that morning I had had an email conversation with my mom about how Max was old enough to necessitate a stuffed animal or two in his crib, as he does lay in there and talk for about 10 minutes before each nap.  So of course he also pooped on his new friends, lion and dog.  They, too, were added to the laundry.

So let's summarize:  Max exploded and I had to wash him, sanitize him, wash the bathtub, disinfect the bathtub, launder the towels, the rugs, his clothes, and everything he touched, change the sheets and mattress pad on his bed, and then clorox his whole room.

I took a picture of  myself when it was all over, because I was sweaty and nasty and I wanted to use it as blackmail when Max gets old enough to be embarassed by this- but the picture was much too horrible to even acknowledge it's existence.  So the story in itself will have to be enough.

Are you grossed out?  I am!  But this is blog-worthy because I must make note of this so that when Max thinks he's too cool for me and he wants me to leave him alone and drop him off at the corner because I embarrass him, etc... I'll be able to show him all the many things I went through for him and he'll have to love me.

I wish I was spiritual enough to have a good attitude about it while it was happening- I mean Jesus loves us and we make way bigger messes- but as soon as I got pooh on my hands, it was all downhill.  Parenting does indeed build character, and a tough stomach!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Who Does He Look Like?

Chad and I get this question a LOT-- with both boys.  And it makes us laugh.  A Lot!  See why, for yourself!

[caption id="attachment_498" align="aligncenter" width="214" caption="Chad in First Grade"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_499" align="aligncenter" width="209" caption="Gabe in First Grade"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_500" align="aligncenter" width="231" caption="Chad as a toddler"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_501" align="aligncenter" width="212" caption="Gabe as a toddler"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_502" align="aligncenter" width="269" caption="Preschool Chad"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_503" align="aligncenter" width="215" caption="Preschool Gabe"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_504" align="aligncenter" width="210" caption="Chad's portrait"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_505" align="aligncenter" width="210" caption="Gabe's portrait"][/caption]

So who do you think Gabe looks like?

Kind of scary, huh?

Well.... it doesn't stop there!

[caption id="attachment_508" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Me with my Dad"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_509" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Max with my Dad"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_510" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lauren's shirtless play time"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_513" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Max's shirtless play time"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_512" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lauren at the pool"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_514" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Max at the pool"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_511" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lauren whining"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_515" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Max whining"][/caption]

Luckily, the cameras have gotten better with time, as has the hair styles and decor.  But what happens if/ when we have another child?  We each have our clones, so who will the next one look like?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Story, the UNabridged/ Abridged version

Our story has finally been added to our homepage.  Click on the tab above to get all the gory details.

But I couldn't decide  whether is was the abridged version or the unabridged version.... I kept looking up the meaning and differences between the 2 and debating.  The abridged version has words left out-- which obviously, this does, as I can not remember every single word of our story.  But I want to make sure that I point out that this is the LONG detailed version for people who want all of the scoop.

So if you just want the basics facts, stick with the "about" tab, but if you just need more because you think we're so fascinating (ha) or you like cyber people watching like me, then grab a snack (because it will take that long) and sit down for the story.  It twists and turns- and jumps around- to make sure I hit all the high points- but eventually the story does get told.

Enjoy :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Shakes of a Lambs Tail

And with two shakes of a lamb's tail, my Max is 9 months old!  (He actually arrived at this status on Wednesday, but his 9 month check up wasn't until today, so I had to save this so I could include his stats!)

A couple BIG things have happened this week-- one of them fun, the other, scary!!

Let's start with the scary:  On Wednesday, Max's 9 month day, I walked into his room after nap to find him on his knees, peeking through the bumper at me.  It was precious.  So I left to get my camera and came back to find this:

Problem? Um, yes! but doesn't he look proud of himself?

And now, the fun:  Yesterday Max went to the pool for the first time in his entire life.  And he LOVED it.  He played and played and played.  And by played, I mean splashed.  Which was kind of unfortunate for me because the water was cold and I'm afraid of cold water... ok not really afraid, but strongly dislike it, and so while standing there with him so that he wouldn't drown, he splashed me.  And thought it was really funny.

And in typical 9 months old form, he threw a fit afterwards when it was all over!  Oh the joys of raising children :)

Some new excited things for Max this month:  when he waves, he says "buh buh" (aka bye bye).  He discovered his favorite food:  watermelon.  He now hugs, which looks to us like a head butt- leaning straight forward, no arms used.  He does hold his own bottle- finally, and although he prefers me, if I'm in the room/ home, he doesn't cry when I leave or drop him off somewhere.  I'm not sure how long that will last, but it's nice for now.  He wear 12 month clothes, still has skinny feet, has gained extra cheeks and rolls this month, and is pretty great at crawling backwards- yes backwards- or log rolling to where he wants to be.  He got his second tooth on Mother's Day :)  Both are on the bottom.  He is still in size 3 diapers.

Max weighs 20 lbs 10 ounces (50th  percentile), he is 28.5 inches long (59th percentile) and his head, well, it's big: 18.5 inches (90th percentile).  According to our doc, it's normal for his height/ length to kind of stall right now-- he said that Max wants to let the other kids catch up :)  And when the doc left the room, Max waved and said "buh buh" and it stopped him in his tracks- he was very impressed and even said that this was advanced for Max's age.  Music to his mom's ears!  But let's be honest, considering his parents, it was a given that he would be quite the wordsmith.  Poor kid.

Max is still wonderful and it still all way too fast.  We're looking forward to summer, and enjoying the awesome weather.  I thank God for this opportunity to be Max's mom- the best job in the world, and I'm so glad I get to do it with Chad.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Impulse Buy

99.9% of the time, when I'm at a store, I make at least one impulse purchase.  It's usually very minor- in the form of some ice cream bars that we don't need or a bottle of wine to go with dinner.  Sometimes I get Max a shirt he doesn't need, or a teething ring- even though he has two already.  Gabe is really good at talking me into things we don't need, but he makes a good salesmen! My favorite impulse buys are when I find a really awesome organization tool that I just NEED and then I rush home so that I can begin using "it" to straighten up something right away.

My impulse buys rarely cost more than a couple dollars- so it's not anything major- but it's like I can't make it out of the store without one.  But today's cracked me up.  I was at Wal-mart- which is like 2 miles from my house.  And in the check out, I decided that I just HAD to have a pack of fruit mentos.  I rationalized it by telling myself that I only wanted the pink ones and that I'd save the orange and yellow ones for Gabe.  He'd love that.

But I ate them ALL on the way home.  Please note how far I said the store is from my house.  And I made no other stops on the way home.  The worst part is that I don't even like orange, and after this weekend and the parties and the eating, I was trying to avoid sugar.  Ha!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 16, 2010

Aforementioned, Gabe was baptized this past Sunday.  It was a really special day for all of us.

On Thursday night, Chad's parents flew in town.  They live in Texas and we really don't get to see them that often- the norm was like twice a year- but this year, we've gotten to see them more.  But what makes this a really big deal is that Chad's mom (aka Grandma) does NOT like to fly.  Like at all.  But Gabe, not knowing this about his Grandma, decided that he really needed them both here in order for the baptism to be a success.  So he drew them a picture, connecting Georgia and Texas with a cross and mailed it to them.  If you didn't already know about the unseen power of grandchildren, then this will demonstrate it for sure:  They called the day they got the letter about booking a flight.  Now is that love, or what?

On Friday night, we got to celebrate Grandma's birthday and Mother's Day with them, and on Saturday morning we all went to Gabe's last soccer game of the season.  Then Saturday afternoon we began "getting ready" because on baptism day, everyone, from all sides of of Gabe's families were invited over to our house for lunch.  Grandma and I got to work in the kitchen and Chad and Grandpa helped with the list for a little while before getting a list together of their own and started fixing things that I never even knew were broken!

Saturday night we enjoyed a cookout with my Dad's side of the family.  And managed to get to bed somewhat early.

When we woke up on Sunday morning Gabe said "It's May 16th- finally!  Today is my bab-bah-tism." (Yes, he still calls it his "bab-bah-tim" and I can't find one good reason for correcting this pronunciation.)  We were all so excited.  Once we got to church, Gabe was getting a little nervous, but Chad was still cool as a cucumber, although he the one having to do some public speaking before baptizing his eldest son.

But when the time came, it was more precious than we all imagined.  Gabe's video testimony was awesome- it's no wonder The Bible urges us all to have faith like a child.  They just get it- and it's simple, and real, and Truth.  Angela (Gabe's mom) got choked up immediately, causing Chad to get choked up and look at me, and I found myself wiping my face with Max's burp cloth for the remainder of the time.  Chad's wording and conversation with Gabe beforehand was awesome- it just made me proud to be married to him, and to get to raise children with him.  Gabe looked at his dad while he talked with such admiration.

Then it was party time.  Me and Grandma slipped out of church early to get everything together in the kitchen before everyone showed up... but we didn't quite slip out early enough!  We had about 5 minutes before cars started pulling in... lots of cars... and I had not set the AC low enough before church. But Angela, her mom, her grandmother, and her aunt jumped in right away, and we had dinner on the table before too much sweating was done.

There was enough food to feed an army- an army of approximately 45!  That's right, there are over 45 people between Chad's family, my family, Angela's family, and Shawn's family (Gabe's stepdad), and our support systems, that love Gabe and wanted to celebrate this awesome profession he made.  There were even more than 45 at church, standing up to support him as he got baptized.

[caption id="attachment_440" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Because of rain (that never happened) we had to set the extra tables in the garage!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Max had watermelon for the first time at Gabe's party-- it's his new favorite thing and his reason for living. The funniest part is that it makes him burp like crazy!"][/caption]

My hope is that when Gabe gets older and is able to rationalize things, he'll notice how everyone came together for this one event, more so than anything else in his life, and see it a testament to how incredibly important it is to have Jesus in your heart.  Hopefully, he'll live in the the truth that there is nothing in his life that will be a bigger deal than this- not his graduation, his wedding, his children's birth- nothing!  And as Chad pointed our during his baptism, all of the love, from all of the people that gathered on Sunday, does NOT even compare to the amount of perfect love his Heavenly Father has for him.  Go Gabe and Go God!

Blessed, blessed, SO stinkin blessed!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reading Between The Lines

If you've met my husband, then you know that "friendly" doesn't even begin to describe him.  Everywhere we go, he is running for mayor-- shaking hands, meeting people, kissing babies, flirting with old women, etc... He never meets a stranger, and it is NOT uncommon for him to meet someone in the grocery store and then actually keep in touch with them.  He loves people, all people, and there is never a crowd that's too big.

Me on the other hand, I try to hide from people.  I wish I was exaggerating- but unfortunately, I am not.  If I walk into a store, and see someone I know, but I'm not really in the mood to talk, I avoid them.  And I'm talking about people I genuinely like!  I may see them coming straight at me, so I'll duck behind big rack. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I'd just rather do my own thing, at my own pace, without much chatty chat.

So imagine my discomfort now that Max is a social butterfly as well.  Naturally, he runs most of my errands with me- and this is great fun for both of us... until he starts talking and waving to every passerby. He sits in the cart and picks his "friend" and begins making his move.  He'll click at them, wave, talk, grin, clap, etc... Like to strangers.  Any and all of them. Male, female, young, old.  And it's very awkward for me because I don't know whether to acknowledge the person he is talking to or just pretend like I don't know it's happening.  Sometimes we'll be walking up a long aisle, and he's just a talkin with someone... and then they start talking to me!

It usually starts out with "How old is he?"  And then they comment on his size- everyone says something different- "Oh, he's a big boy" or "I thought he was only about 7 months".  I always get the "Wow, he's so cute/adorable/ precious" comment as well.  And usually by this point, I can make my getaway.  But sometimes you'll get the person who wants to give you their advice- I've heard all sorts.  And they don't stop just because you start walking away- they follow you!  And let me mention that Max is still winding them in-- cooing and batting his eyes- just to make sure he's proven himself to be the most wonderful baby in the world.  (Which he is.)

I want to tell you about my most recent comment.  And it happened TWICE in the same day, at TWO different stories by TWO different people.  The conversation went like this:

Stranger: (to Max) Oh hi there (to me) How old is he?

Me: Almost 9 months old

Stranger: Oh, what a big boy.  He's just beautiful- I love his eyes and his smile.  Wow.

Me: Thanks (and I begin trying to make my getaway.)

Stranger:  What does his Dad look like?

Now you may not know about my hidden talent, by my roommates from college can attest to the fact that I am FANTASTIC at reading between the lines.  For instance, if someone sends me an email, or gives me a look, I can tell you what they really meant.  So let me tell you what that comment really meant-- Stranger said "what does his Dad look like?" but what Stranger was really saying was "You are clearly not cute enough to have that gorgeous of a child- there has got to be another reason for it- and the only possibility is his father."

The first time, I answered politely- because Stranger had the same color hair as me, and was about my build, so I was thinking that she probably wanted to find a spouse like mine, so she could have a baby like Max.

The second time is another story.  When Stranger asked "the question", I replied "I'm not sure- I don't know who his father is."

Needless to say, I was free to make my exit at that time, as Stranger turned red faced and walked off. I walked away chuckling...until the Holy Spirit struck and I found myself marching back over to Stranger to apologize for my rude comment and explain that I did indeed know his father, but had just let my insecurity get the best of me.

Now who walked away red faced?  I'll give you one guess.

Monday, May 17, 2010


We have had 2 back to back fun-filled, people-filled weekends and my life has yet to recover.  But in the mean time, I thought you all needed to see this video of my child prodigy.

(Grandma went to Gabe's class to be mystery reader and this is what Max had to say)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scaredy Cat

Last night, I had Raisin Bran for dinner.  And the night before I had leftover pizza that was 2 days old and I finished the ice cream out of the carton.  I also have not run the dishwasher all week.  Why?  Because Chad is out of town.  Which has it's upsides, like not having to think about meals, let alone go to the grocery store.  I also have no expectations for when he'll be home and if he'll be able to help me get things done around the house, or take care of Max when he walks in the door.  But the upsides kind of end there because somewhere along the line, I turned into a BIG FAT chicken.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I never saw it coming.  I lived by myself for a year and barely remembered to lock my door.  Then the last year before I got married, me and my bffa Ruth lived together.  And I was never scared.  I even made fun of people who couldn't stay by themselves.  I thought it was funny that grown ups, with kids of their own, had to go stay with a friend or with their parents every time their hubby went out of town.  But things change, unexpectantly.

My first sign was February 2009 when I stayed with the Hall kids for a long weekend while their parents went out of town.  The first night I was there by myself- Chad wasn't coming until the next night.  I was pregnant, so when I got everyone to bed, I decided to go to bed myself.  But my mind started racing and my heart started beating out of my chest-- what if the boogie man came and wanted to get the kids?  How would I protect them?  What would I do?  Luckily, I was pregnant so sleep overtook me eventually and the next night Chad was there.

In June of 2009, Chad left for Albania on a mission trip.  He had a security system installed before he left and then my mom was here the majority of the time because we were working on Max's nursery.  But again, I was pregnant, so even on the nights when she wasn't here, and I would worry, I fell asleep from pure exhaustion before too long.

THEN we had Max, and in September, when Max was about 6 weeks old, Chad's grandmother passed away.  We had just been out to Texas to say goodbye, so he went to her funeral without us.  I had both boys by myself for one night.  Once I was tired, I crawled in bed to catch some zzzz's, but my mind started going crazy-- if there was a fire, how would I get both boys out?  If there was a storm, how would I get Gabe to wake up quickly, while simultaneously getting Max and going downstairs?  And what if someone broke in-- would I be too scared to react or would my cat-like reactions save us all and get us on the news?  I worked myself up into such a tizzy, that I stayed awake until Max's 3am feeding.  Luckily, the nursing hormones kicked in and made me so sleepy that my eyes shut as soon as he was back in bed, and I got a couple hours before it was time for another day.

Last month, Chad took Gabe fishing and Max and I stayed home.  Those 2 nights were miserable.  I contemplated having Max sleep with me and I don't even believe in that.  I tried to read until I fell asleep- but it didn't work.  So I tried listening to my ipod until sleep found me- but that didn't work either.  I had the alarm set, Chad's big truck was outside because he had taken my car, I left a light on downstairs, and I checked on Max 20 times- I knew everything was fine, yet I was convinced that some attacker was outside watching me and I soon as I shut my eyes, he'd come in to get us.  We survived, but barely.

And now this week, Chad has been out of town for work, and I've hated it.  I decided to bring a big, sharp knife to bed and keep it on the table by the lamp.  I got it in the "right" place and got settled, and then decided that the assailant who was about to break and enter, might use it against me, and if I was bleeding, then I wouldn't be able to protect Max. So I put it back in the kitchen. Then I turned on Seinfeld, and got snuggled in bed, thinking that because I had seen them all, I would fall asleep because I wouldn't have to know how it ended, and the noise would keep my from hearing the house settling.  That didn't work either, because I pictured my aggressor standing over me, every time I closed my eyes... so I feared closing my eyes.  I went to check on Max for the umpteenth time, and he just lifted his head looked at me, rolled his eyes, and rolled over to go back to sleep.  Even the baby knows I'm ridiculous.  But I heard about a baby getting kidnapped, out of their own window, while their parents were sleeping in the next room-- and although it was like 20 years ago, I was just sure the same guy was outside Max's window waiting for me to go to sleep.  At some point, I did sleep, and I obviously lived to tell about it- but barely.

But Chad comes home today, so all you bad guys can go pick someone else to prey on, because my protector will be here and you won't even enter my mind.  So ha!

But isn't that weird?  I was never scared before I was pregnant, so I'm assuming it can be blamed on my motherly protective instincts.  But all the same things could happen any night- not just when Chad is gone- but I don't even think one thought about it when he's here.  And what about the poor women who have a husband who has to travel often?  Or the single mom?  And let's be honest, if something happened and the house burned down or someone broke in, God would still be God and He would still be good, yet I lay awake, paralyzed by fear. Thank goodness for my own personal body guard, aka my knight in shining armor, aka my most handsome blessing, aka Chad Ryan Bowman.  I love you!  So glad you're coming home!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just Bragging

Gabe, sweet Gabe.  I really don't even know where to start when it comes to this child.  I met him when he was 3- a little ball of energy, with chubby baby hands.  He had a big poof ball of blonde curls on the top of his head, and told me that for that day, he was 5.  (Now he was really 3, but he had decided to be "5" for the day.)  That day, I bribed him with candy for his affections (lots of candy) and played spider man with him, and it's been love ever since.  Luckily, his Dad and I also fell in love, and now we all live happily ever after!

Well a couple big things are happening in Gabe's life right now:

#1.  Gabe got glasses.  We were driving one day when he started telling us about signs he couldn't see, then he started to have similar conversations with his teacher, and so his mom took him to the eye doctor.  This was the outcome:

Now I'm sorry about this next comment- and I realize I'm biased- but you just do not get more handsome than that as a 7 year old!  And let me just toot my own horn and say that in this picture, Gabe looks just like his Dad- minus the glasses.  Even his dimples are at the exact same place.  When I took this picture, the resemblance actually startled me.  I couldn't figure out if Chad turned 7, or if Gabe became a man.  Crazy.

#2.  At the beginning of April, all students in the state of Georgia, in 1st grade and above, took the CRCT test- a standardized test that the teacher prepares them for ALL year long.  Since Gabe is in first grade, this was his first year ever taking it and his teacher did an INCREDIBLE job preparing the class for it.  He was SO excited about it!  Day 1 of the test, he came by our house to get his soccer cleats and when I asked him how it was, he said "It was AWESOME".  Crazy kid!  Day 2 of the test had a similar response. And on Day 3 of the test, I picked him up from school and we went to the park to celebrate being done with the CRCT.  (Note:  He usually rides the bus home to our house, but because he was so excited about the test, he forgot to get on the bus!!  I stood on the driveway and watched the bus fly past me with no Gabe... only to then get a phone call that Gabe was at school waiting for me because he had missed the bus.) While driving, I asked him how it was and he said, "It was great, I aced it." Funny kid!  He obviously doesn't know about standardized testing quite yet-- I guess I prefer him to stay naive to the evils of the world- like such tests- anyway!

Well yesterday, he got the results and the kid ACED the math section.  I'm not even kidding.  And obviously he wasn't either!  He excelled in the other 2 sections as well.  Ha!  Amazing.

#3. This is my favorite thing-- on Sunday, Gabe is getting baptized at North Metro Church.  This has been a process for our family for several months now.  He asked Jesus into his heart several months ago, and then decided that he was ready to be baptized more recently.  Chad will be baptizing him, and all of his family (the MANY sides of it!) are coming to be a part of it.  I got to take him to record his video last week-- the video is the way our church has anyone getting baptized share their story, it plays on the big screen for all to see.  While recording, Gabe said "I asked Jesus into my heart so that he would take away my sins... (dramatic pause)... I had to, I just didn't want my sins anymore.

And that right there sums it all up.  This kid is smart and funny and adorable- but bottom line, Jesus LIVES in his heart and he is so stinkin proud of that, that he wants to tell the world about it!  And he'll start this process this Sunday

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Three Amigos

One of our family's biggest blessing is our incredible small group.  We have all met together for almost 2 years and we've grown in our relationships and loved in ways that I can't possibly put into words.  Christ is the center of our time together, but we also do life and marriage and jobs and families together.

A very cool thing that happened this year is that 3 of the couples (including us) had our first children and we ALL had boys.  And I can't begin to explain how happy this makes my OCD planning heart, but all 3 of the boys were born on a Wednesday, making them all have the same "week- day" marker.  They are all 30 weeks apart, total, and will all start school the same year.

So being the _________ (smart/ amazing/ crazy/ nutty/ weird- fill in the blank however you'd like) person that I am, came up with the idea to photograph the boys together, periodically- on Wednesdays of course- to capture their lives together.  God set them up to be friends, and I just can't wait to see how much awesomeness comes from it!  One of the other Mommy's- Lisa- arranged for us to get shirts made- they're adorable- and we plan to keep stuffing them into these same shirt as long as possible... even when it shows their midriffs!

Last Wednesday, we met for the first time.  Max was 36 weeks, Haven was 22 weeks, and Reed was 6 weeks.  Check out how precious they are!  (They haven't quite realized that they are BFF's yet, but they will.... in due time :))

They weren't loving the whole photo session- mainly because we tried to take their pictures during nap time, and let's be honest, what are the chances of having 3 babies happy, fed, dry, and smiling at the same time?  Little to none, right?  But we ARE going to keep subjecting them to this torture because eventually the pictures and memories will be VERY worth the pain :)

[caption id="attachment_382" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Max, 36 weeks"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_383" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Haven, 22 weeks, son of Brad and Lisa Weaver"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_384" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Reed, 6 weeks, son of Matt and Danielle Morgan"][/caption]

We have another baby in our group, a girl, Eva, who will be the object of all 3 boy's affections (once they realize their mama's are taken!) and could quite possibly be the demise of the 3 amigos- ha!  But she has a big brother for added protection, and Gabe has decided to take on the roll of big brother for all the kiddies, so I think we're set!

[caption id="attachment_385" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Lucky for us, Gabe played stepped up as a photographer's assistant during the shoot by providing funny faces, muscles, dinosaurs, and distractions as needed :)"][/caption]

** NOTE:  Lisa, Haven's mom, is a great photographer and is in NO way responsible for the pictures on this blog.  Hers are actually good, while mine are just for entertainment.