Friday, July 30, 2010

Meany Head and My Boo

I started this post on Sunday- almost a week ago.  I was planning to brag on my husband and call out the sneaky snake (aka Satan) for the “meany head” that he is.  You see, every time I take long enough to think about my great hubby or get stopped in my tracks from his awesome-ness, then within 24 hours, no joke, we are in some sort of huge fight.  The bible makes it clear that Satan is our enemy- it even compares him to a roaring lion, prowling around looking for someone to desire.  So he attacks our marriage anytime we’re doing it well.

Well, I didn’t even get this post finished, because of the craziness of the week, but Satan still got us to fight.  Meany head!  But I’m going to brag anyway.

So back to Chad.  I just want to tell you about him for a minute.  I hope through this blog, you already know that he’s a great dad.  He loves our boys, he’s the kind of dad that plays with them AND kisses on them.  I know that combination is rare, but it fills my heart with such excitement that it just makes me want to explode with love when I watch him in action.  He’s also very hands-on and involved with their upkeep- he’ll feed them, bathe them, change Max, tuck Gabe in, etc… although I am the mom and that stuff probably comes more naturally for me, anytime he’s needed, he is willing and able to jump in.  I always tell him that if something ever happened to me that my mom would need to move in for months, but really, when it comes down to it, he is a very competent daddy.

And as a husband, he’s great too.  This past Sunday, I had a big stack of postcards that I needed to write on and mail out for all our volunteers in the children’s ministry at church.  Chad and I coach together in this ministry.  When Chad saw me working on these, he asked if I wanted help.  I actually laughed at him, to only later ask him to help.  He did, too, no problem.  And then the more I thought about it, I wondered just how many husbands would actually volunteer help with that?

I know that seems like a little thing, but Chad will do anything I need him to do- he’ll go to the grocery store with me or for me, he’ll clean the kitchen if I’m overwhelmed, he’ll help with laundry—and he’ll do all of these in one evening after a hard day of work if I ask.  He’s a servant, especially when it comes to me.  He loves me and I think he’d probably do just about anything in his power to make me happy.  And of course, his sense of humor is incredible too- he can make me laugh- all the time- even when I’m trying really hard not to laugh.  And he is my very best friend in the whole wide world.

All of this is 100% true, yet why do I focus on the stuff he needs to “work on” instead?  I never hesitate to point out a flaw but I rarely even acknowledge his strengths.  And if on some rare occasion I do, then the meany head I mentioned above slithers in and causes a ruckus.

But here’s the catch- Satan has already been defeated, so why do I keep letting him win?  God was victorious over Satan and sin forever, at the cross.  And so I’m deciding right here, for all to see, that he doesn’t get to have that hold over me or my marriage anymore.  I know Chad and I are still going to fight, and I know we’ll always have things to work on, and we won’t always agree.  But I also know that if I focus on his strengths and love him for who he is, then we can bust up Satan’s party in the midst of our marriage and we’ll be better spouses and parents for it.

Do you hear that meany head?  I’m on to you.  I know you attack me when I take time to count my blessings and admire my husband.  So I’m calling you out- and you don’t get to do that anymore.  And I’m telling all my friends about you too, so they’ll strong arm you right of out their marriages too.  No more stupid fights when things get going really well.  No more stupid fights on the way to church or on the way to tell others about God.  Sorry, game over because you just lost your foothold here!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Pick Me Up

I've listened to this song a MILLION times today and I just thought I'd share:

Bad decisions and TMI: More #2...

Yesterday, I potentially made my worst parenting mistake to date.  I took Max to the funeral.

I didn't realize it right away, but Monday was a hard day for me and it shook me up quite a bit.  It was hard to come face to face with death and realize that it is a reality.  Dave, Katie's dad, was the 2nd parent of my friends (MY AGE) to be buried this month.  That doubles the number of funerals I have been to my entire life!  The "scene" on Monday was very surreal and like a real-life episode of CSI.  I know there are people that encounter stuff like this all the time, but for me, it was new, and it really rocked my little world.

I've really struggled since then with worrying- about the men in my life- Chad, Max and Gabe, my brothers and my parents too- and anyone else I came in contact with that I could possibly worry about.  I've been a lot more sheepish about leaving Max- even just in his own room at night- and I keep waking to go in and check on him hourly.  Which brings me to the funeral- I "couldn't" drive 60 miles south and leave Max at home- I just wanted him with me.  So I brought him.

But unfortunately, he acted JUST like an 11 month old- what was he thinking?  He wanted to crawl around and play and chat.  He squealed when I took something away that was making too much noise, and laughed and clapped when he was proud of himself, and he had no qualms about making noise.  We stood at the back of the service so I could still hear, yet let him crawl around, but he wasn't quiet.  I had my stuff on the back pew and several people came in late and sat ON it.  So then I was stuck.  I was really torn about what to do- I wanted to hear and be a part of the service- I wanted to walk though this with Katie too, and be able to remember the Truth the was spoken into her heart at the funeral, so that I could repeat those words to her over the weeks and months to come.  But my child was disrupting everyone.  I took him out briefly and it calmed him down, but about 7 minutes after we came back in, he was at it again- being an 11 month old.

By this point, I was so flustered, embarrassed, and frustrated.  I could tell the service was almost over and the last thing we needed was for us to be standing at the back when the recessional happened- so I just snatched up Max and left.  By the time I got to the car, I was sweating and on the verge of tears.  I packed Max in the car, and started driving only to get caught in 5 o'clock traffic in downtown Atlanta.  By this point, Max was ready for some real mommy attention, and he was more than ready to be out of his seat.

My attitude wasn't good.  I was mad at him. But every time I adjusted my mirror to look at him, and I saw his cute face, I melted.  And then he would start fussing again, causing the cycle to start all over again.

I tried processing what would've been the right thing to do- God, Chad, and Max are my priorities in life-- but in this situation, Katie was too.  I was really stuggling with how to be a great mom and a great friend at the same time.  I was also feeling really selfish for bringing him, just because I didn't want to leave- but after this crazy week, Max was really feeling Mommy-neglect, so I knew it was best for him to be with me too.  Just not at a funeral.

Almost 2 hours later, we were about a mile from our house when Max started pooping.  His face when he does this is classic-- it's like it so much work, even though what he's working on isn't exactly "firm".  This got me laughing which was just what I needed.

After I parked the car, I got Max out, slung him on my hip, and began to gather all of our stuff.  All of a sudden a hear a big plop... then another.  I look down and there are BIG globs of poop on the garage floor.  I look at his car seat and there's a ton there too.  I look at the baby, yep, affirmative, all down his legs... and lastly, I look at me, in my nice, dry clean only clothes, and yep, all over me as well.  As I stood there holding Max like a bomb that was about to blow, I couldn't even think straight.  The child has impeccable timing.

Tears filled my eyes and I peeled his clothes off and took him straight in to the bath tub.  As I became more acquainted with the situation, I realized that it wasn't the "quality" of the poop that was the problem- he wasn't having stomach issues or anything-- it was just the quantity.  It was like a 2 month back up made its appearance, right in the midst of my major frustration and pity party.  Really?? And he is VERY regular, so I'm really unsure as to where he was storing it!  Once I got myself cleaned up, I called Chad to warn him about the "chocolate surprises" in the garage.  Luckily, recounting the situation for him got me giggling a little.

He came in and hosed out the garage and I cleaned the child.  After the mess was cleaned up, I put Max in the living room to play so I could work on dinner and the laundry pile that was beginning to resemble Mt. Everest.  But immediately, Max started fussing.  I looked at Chad and said, "This is NOT my favorite day, I'm really frustrated and I think my head may pop off."

He responded,singing in perfect tune, "Lean on me... when you're not strong... I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on...."

Oh thank goodness I married comic relief.  Again, I laughed.  And laughed some more.  And headed to the kitchen to conquer the night.

The child was relentless- fussing and squealing the rest of the night.  But it wasn't until I was cleaning out his high chair after dinner that it hit me-- I've been a bad mom this week.  I haven't sat once to play with him, I haven't sat down once to teach him something, I haven't even been singing our good morning song when I get him out of his crib first thing or singing about body parts and animals on the farm as we drove.  Max was acting out because he needed my attention.  And I was frustrated because I didn't have any attention to give him.

We did make it to bed time without my head popping off.  I tucked him in, with our normal routine, and shut his door, expecting not to hear from him again until the morning- which is his norm.  But immediately, he started screaming.  As in bloody murder.  Chad and I looked at each other with eyebrows raised and I went back in.  He was standing at the edge of his bed with his arms out towards me.  I picked him up and cuddled him into my chest and immediately he fell asleep.  I stood there for a few more minutes, thinking about the work I needed to do and get to my boss, and again, feeling frustrated.  I laid him down in his bed, and again, SCREAMING!

So I picked him up, cuddled him in, and he went right back to catching some zzzz's. I sat down in the rocking chair and rocked and rocked and rocked... and before long there were tears rolling down my cheeks.  But I wasn't mad this time, or overwhelmed and flustered-- I was crying because it took the 11 month old to remind me that this was what life was about- tasks could wait- but it's the people all around me that God has called me to-- and cuddling up my favorite little baby in the whole entire world was the ONLY thing I needed to be doing right then.

My heart melted, and all of a sudden, I was very content with where God has me right now- I can be a mom and friend at the same time, because He called me to both.  Thank you God for using the little things (both literally and figuratively) to remind me how precious life is!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tweets That Never Happened

This week has been emotionally exhausting and I feel like I've just been going through the motions as I think about my friend and her broken heart.  I haven't done any laundry this week or cooked a meal, and thankfully our Maggie bathed Max today while I was at work.  I have errands to run, and emails to respond to, and things to plan.  But there's just not time right now.  I've also been MIA on twitter, and yet for some reason, my brain thinks in tweets.

I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.  So this post is purely a little pick me up-- these are real life thoughts I've had these past couples day, and yes, I did think them in tweet format-- but yet they never made it to twitter.

So if I’m sending MY son’s first birthday party invitations, does this mean I’m an adult? #didntgetthememo

I just stood at the automatic paper towel dispenser waiting for 10 seconds before I realized it wasn’t automatic#spoiled

My husband said “I’ve missed you tonight” and I replied “Thank you for cleaning the kitchen. #speakingeachotherslovelanguage

Gabe starts 2nd grade on Monday- wasn’t his 4th birthday just the other day? #timeflies

Sometimes I forget to eat for so long that McDonald's sounds AMAZING.  But I still don't go there.#haventlostallmycommonsense

All add some more as my weird brain thinks of them....

Meanwhile, you can follow me on twitter: @lbowman24 and ideally I'll actually use it again soon, ha!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Day to Remember

Yesterday was a very sad day in our lives and the lives of our dear friends Katie and David.  Unfortunately, the pain won't just last a day either.

Katie and David are in our small group and have been our friends since before we were married.  We met at church and just clicked.  We love doing life with them.  Recently, Katie accepted a new job... at the same company I work for.  She has an incredible brain and work ethic, and she is type A and organized, so it has been just WONDERFUL working with her.  With the 2 of us working in sync, but on separate tasks, we manage to get 10 times more things done... and it's just the beginning.

Anyway, yesterday we were at work, and you could tell something was "off" with Katie.  I began asking her what was wrong and she explained that her Dad was missing and she was sending the police to his door.  (He lives about an hour and a half south of us.)  As the story kept unfolding, it didn't sound good, and honestly, we began thinking though the worst possible scenarios.  Our boss is a very wise and godly man and gave very clear advice on why Katie should go down there immediately and meet the police. I rode with her, and I'm grateful that Chad was in Atlanta working, so we picked him up on our way through the city and took him with us.

When we arrived, two officers were already there, and since Katie is the "next of kin"- with her permission, they could knock down the door and go in.  As soon as this happened, her worst fears were confirmed- Katie's dad, Dave Cannon, was dead.  He had been dead for many days.  Katie's mother met us there, so Katie, her mom, Chad and I just stood there and watched the story unfold and many lives be changed forever.  We know God is sovereign and that God is good, but this is tragic, nonetheless.

The house was considered a "crime scene" for several hours, just normal protocol.  It was eventually decided that he died of a heart attack or stroke, instantly, without any pain.  Although this siutation is horrifying, knowing he just went to be with God, without suffering, is very comforting.

(Katie's husband, David, was in the midst of taking finals, and was unreachable for several hours.  But he was able to get to Katie by yesterday afternoon.  Katie's younger sister, Amy, was at band camp.  Katie and her mom went to tell Amy what had happened after all of this.)

Once we were released from the scene, I drove Katie up the road to find a bathroom, before she began making plans about how to handle everything.  She looked over at me and said "You agreed to do life with me, not death- I'm really sorry you're having to be apart of this."  She then began the "business" side of being the executor of the estate and talking about the funeral.  She was really worried about making sure the service honored her dad.  I stopped her and pointed out that the service should celebrate his life, it should speak Truth into the hearts of Katie and her sister, and it should be a time to worship our Heavenly Father.  Instantly, her shoulders relaxed, and I think for a minute, she actually felt the peace of God.  Then it was like a floodgate had been opened and she started running through how loving her father was, how big his heart was, how much he cared for her and Amy, and it was a very sweet moment.

At the time, I was just in robot mode.  But when I got home last night and began processing the day, I began to analyze all of it a little more.  I had held my dear friend when she found out her father was dead, I cried and prayed with her in the 100 degrees temps of south Georgia as the story unfolded.  And I will continue to love on her and grieve with her over the next days, weeks, and months to come- what a blessing!

This is why God set up the church- this is why God set up community- we need it to live- when need it to stand with us.  And when you're in relationships with others, then it isn't hard to walk through death and tragedy, because it comes naturally, our of love.  Our small group consists of 3 other couples as well, who were praying as we drove to the house.  They continued praying when we received bad news, and they began organizing on the home front.  None of us feel what Katie feels- but we love Katie- and we are doing life AND death with her.  And my point is that because we are in "this" together-- whatever "this" may consist of-- that even when "this" gets hard, it's easy to support each other.

If you don't already have one, you need a support network.  You need a body of believers who are committed to speaking truth into your life, even when it's not what you want to hear, and are willing to walk with you, daily. God created it and called us to it because he knew we needed it

What a blessing to be able to walk with friends through this.

And lastly, please pray for Katie and her sister Amy, as they deal with the tasks and heartache associated with such a loss.  The have a very small family and need the body of Christ loving them, praying for them, and speaking Truth into them.  Thanks friends!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Please Help!

Ok, you mothers have wisdom and I need some!  Max, now a little over 11 months old, has been waking up in the middle of the night for over a week-- why??  At first, I thought it was a growth spurt and I would fix him a bottle, he would gulp it down and go right back to sleep.  This is how he was as a new born too-- when he woke up in the middle of the night, he only wanted to eat.  He never tried to play or wanted to be cuddle.  I was only there to meet his hunger needs, then I was sent back to my bed :)  Thank you, Max!

But now, for the last week, he's been waking up between 3-6 am-- for about an hour-- and he cries HARD until I come get him.  It's like this really high pitched squeal that is awful.  When I go in there, he'll relax on me for a bit, but then sits up like he wants to talk or play.  I don't let him- I leave the lights off, and just sit, not talking.  If I lay him back down before he's ready, he screams and scream and screams.  But if I go sit with him for about 20-30 minutes (silently, in the dark) then he'll go back to sleep.


We have been on vacation recently, his schedule was/is all messed up.  He also is being switched to milk right now.  He is crawling and pulling up and cruising around furniture a lot. He may be getting teeth?! He has 6 right now and there are a few buds on his gums, but nothing looks "close". And his cry is almost like he's in pain- but only in the middle of the night- not at nap time, so I don't think it's ears-- but I don't know.  He has missed at least a nap, if not both, the past few days too, but again, this problem has been going on for over a week.

Any thoughts/ experiences/ feedback you have is awesome and I WANT to hear it.  I'd love to know why this is happening and if there is anything I can be doing on my end to meets his needs.  Because of waking up, he's sleepier during the day for sure, and just not himself.

By the way, I do still give him a bottle about 30 minutes before bed- and he doesn't usually finish it all.  So this is another reason I'm thinking it's something besides hunger and/ or a growth spurt.

I prefer to think that all of this is just because he misses me-- but if I need to be more open-minded than that, I will :)

Please leave comments below or email me at

Friday, July 23, 2010

TMI: Peeing on the floor

Good morning.... it is a good morning here at the Bowman house... Max slept until 8:45 and Gabe is still sleeping!  This is a MAJOR accomplishment!  I've cooked, cleaned, worked, and emailed already!

Anyway, Gabe slept in Max's room last night in the extra bed because my brother spent the night.  So when Max woke up this morning, at the first noise, I ran in there and grabbed him and a new diaper and brought him downstairs before he could wake up Gabe.  I got his old diaper off, but my Max, he LOVES to be naked, so he did not want a new one to replace it.  If he was a few years older, I'd be worried, but he loves crawling naked, dancing naked, and playing naked.  He's adorable and he knows it!  You should just see those butt dimples!

So this morning, he talked me into letting him go naked.  After the diaper removal, I walked into the kitchen to get my phone.  Then... I came around the corner to find Max standing at the couch, peeing, standing up, like a grown man and so PROUD.  And it was with such force that there was psssss noise! I did get an in-action picture, but I don't want to be flagged as "dirty" so you'll have to settle for the after-picture.

And don't worry, I did scrub it with that pet carpet cleaner, so we are disinfected and germ free.  But it DID crack me up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I met my friend Rachel the day I started 6th grade.  I was new in town, after moving over the summer from NC, and she was in my homeroom.  I'm going to be honest and tell you that I was drawn to her because of her curly hair- I loved it from afar and wanted to be her friend to get near it!  I had stick straight hair and she had long gorgeous ringlets all over her entire head.  We ended up having several classes together for the next 6 years, we cheered together, hung out together, spent weekends together, and really just grew up together.

A few weeks ago, her mom, Laura, suddenly passed away.  It was quick and tragic and very shocking for everyone.  Of course all of our friends came together to support Rachel and her sisters and to celebrate her mom's life- her mom was VERY involved with everything her kids did, so we all knew her well.  At her funeral, one friend spoke about her story telling abilities-- she was awesome!  And if they story was funny, she would start laughing before she had even told the story.  She was a wonderful lady.

With that being said, I also want to point out that "we" as friends can support them, but there is no way we can understand what they're going through and what they're dealing with-- I mean they lost their mom.

I have been reading a book called "You are Captivating: Celebrating a Mother's Heart" by Stasi Eldredge and then when this happened, I couldn't help but to really analyze the heart of a mother and the mother/ child relationship.  As I continue to read this book, it's really kind of two-fold for me- first of all, it's talking about me as a mother, and secondly, I finally understand my own mother's love for me, since I know live that daily.

My point to all of this is really just to encourage you to be thankful and appreciate your own mom-- she is one of a kind, regardless of her shortcoming, and she loves you like no one else on earth.  I also want to ask that you pray for Rachel and her sister's Sara and Clara, and also for their Dad, John.  Just pray the God will heal their hearts and show them how to move forward after this tragedy.  And lastly, I wanted to share a few quotes from the book- they're deep, but they're sweet, they are encouraging, and they are something to think about :)
pg 5: (Talking about right after her first child was born) I hadn't been this moved since I first surrendered and invited Jesus to come and take his rightful place in my heart as my King.  I loved my husband passionately.... but this!  This was altogether different.  This fierce, abandoned, protective, devoted love was wholly new and profound.  I had become a mother.  Everything in the world changed.

pg 5: Now, not only had my body grown, but my heart had expanded to the point that it no longer fit inside me.

pg 30: Every single time we choose to put our children first, before our needs and our wants, before our dreams and our desires, before our rights and what we deserve, a little bit of out selfishness dies and a little more holiness takes root in our hearts.

pg 30-31: When you cry out to God in the midst of weariness and loneliness and sorrow for the strength to love, for the wisdom to discipline well, for the grace to respond with patience, for the help to soothe the ache in your heart, he deepens his presence in your soul and changes you ever more into the woman you desire to be; the woman you are becoming-- the woman you were created to be.

pg 32: In the midst of our laundry lists, our carpools and craziness, our meeting and making lunches, God is bring forth life in us.

pg 42: Daughter of Eve, image bearers of a life-giving God, you are called to bring forth life.  All of us.  In our children, in our relationships, in our homes, and in the Kingdom of God.  Yes, it will cost you dearly.  Just as it has costed God dearly to love.  But he will tell you it is worth it.

pg 46: The most important thing we are to offer as mothers-- is mercy.

I love you Mom!

And Max, thanks for being my boy-- I love being your mother!

God, thank you for the gift of my Mom and for allowing me to experience motherhood-- what a blessing!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Bowman family reunion... Colorado style

One of the reasons for being MIA is due to a little family vacay!  Chad's parents work at Snow Mountain Ranch, in Colorado over the summer (this is their second summer) so Chad's bro, Jeff and his family (wife Carrie, and boys Steven and Zachary) and us, headed to the ranch for some Bowman fun.

Unfortunately, the week started out with Max and Chad sick-- luckily Chad pushed through it, but Max had a horrible fever and just wasn't himself.  It would've liked to unnerve me- being so far away from our doctor- but he turned a corner on day 2 and I knew he would survive.  Unfortunately, by day 3, I was sick- blah.  Max also threw up for the first time in his life- and it was while we were driving our rental car to the ranch, and it wasn't just once... and it wasn't a small "baby" amount... and it was NASTY... Poor Gabe!!  I about had a fit, too, because we were driving and I just wanted to be with my sick baby.  I should make a public announcement to Max's future wife that I hope to gain control over this extreme need to be with him anytime he is sick by the time she is in the picture.

[caption id="attachment_778" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mr. Sicky... sad :("][/caption]

But apart from the crazy germs and such- the trip was full of fun adventures!  Some of the adventures will just have to be described with words, since my sickness took away some of my brain cells causing me not to take near enough pictures-- but I'll include what I can.... and somehow I managed to NOT take any pictures of the gorgeous scenery, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

There was ziplining, roller skating, rock wall climbing, swimming, canoeing and canoe gaming, fishing, golfing, horse back riding, alpine sliding, eating, shopping, white water rafting, birthday celebrating, putt-putting, trampoline jumping, ball bouncing, gold mining, and napping that all took place over 5 days.

We also learned travel tips such as not getting coffee right before you board a plane when you have 2 car seats to gate check and 2 carry-on bags, and 2 children.  Secondly, Advantage rental car has GREAT deals and we great cars- easy to work with too- especially through online reservations.

This was Gabe's first time for many things- like white water rafting and horse back riding. That kid plays HARD and then sleeps hard, and then does it all over again!  We were really proud because he never showed any signs of fear-- which is a new thing for Gabe.  I guess that means he's growing up!  (I can NOT believe he is starting 2nd grade in just a few days... where has the time gone?)

While rafting, we saw an eagle's nest.  The mom was out soaring looking for food along the Colorado River and the eaglet was in the tree waiting for his lunch.  It was really cool- especially because Gabe LOVES eagles.

Next are pictures of the Alpine Slide, Gabe in a CRAZY slingshot ball, and Chad doing a flip on a huge trampoline:

Max wasn't big enough for any of the activities that day so he played football instead- his new favorite pastime! He also wore big boy jeans several times on this trip (thank you Chelsi!) and he was just so darn adorable in those things that I can NOT wait for fall!  Last time it was cold, he was a new baby and wore soft knit stuff... now he's all boy!

Speaking of cold, did I mention that it was in the mid-forties in the mornings and got up to the mid-seventies during the day-- can you say heavenly??

Unfortunately, Max and I spent lots of time in the room taking naps and resting our sick bodies, but I did manage a quick photo shoot... and it's pretty cute stuff!

My Uncle Neil and his family drove a LONG way to have dinner with us one night-- they live in Colorado Springs and Gabe met them when they came to Georgia for Thanksgiving this past year.  This is a picture of my 2 boys and 4 of 5 of Neil's kids (aka my cousins): Nicole, Nathan, Abby, and Zach.

While we were there we got to celebrate Grandpa's birthday- with the whole family together.  It was special for all of us.  But that bring this trip to a close and it also bring summer vacation to an end for us, too.  Luckily I didn't have any breakdowns about the realities of being a mom, although I did do 2 loads of laundry :)  A lady I work with says "You can either have a family or have a vacation, but there is no such thing as a family vacation if you're a mom."  Unfortunately it is true-- moms don't really get a break- even on vacation, but let's be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Changing My Theme Song

So if you haven't noticed, I've been MIA for a while... blame it on July!  So I'm going to start with this weekend-- and work backwards-- until I'm caught up... this could take a couple days!  But there are a few things, that just can't go unpublished!

Ok, this all started with talks of adding another Bowman to the clan.  Please note that there is nothing in the oven, it's just that we're beginning to think about the ingredient list and what we need before this becomes a reality.  I have mentioned my wonderful car before and how I bought it MYSELF when I graduated college and started working at North Metro Church- and I love it.  But the car just won't fit 3 car seats-- this is nutty, I know- and Gabe is 7 and seems kind of weird for him to need a seat, but he has to be 4'9" or 80 lbs to NOT ride in a booster seat and he isn't close to either of those markers.  So, with baby #3, comes car seat #3, all needing to buckle at the same time, meaning we need a bigger car.

This is cool because my car is worth twice as much as we owe on it, SO selling this car will give us the extra cash to buy a new (old) truck for Chad with cash, sell his truck, and get me a new car-- meaning that when it's all said and done, we'll only have one car payment.  We'll be able to make double payments regularly and pay it off quickly, since we won't have a truck payment (which is currently our boat anchor) which will take us one giant leap closer to being debt free: our ultimate goal.  We currently write checks for the stupid tax, monthly, and this would help us see the light at the end of that tunnel- wahoo!

So this weekend we began the process of narrowing the field for a good, safe, reliable car with a 3rd row of seats.  My favorite option is the Sequoia, so we headed to the Toyota dealership.  The first problem we ran into is that our 30 year old house has a garage that is only 6 ft, 5 in tall.  And Chad is insistent for safety reasons, and loading and unloading, that I be able to park in the garage.  So we showed up at Toyota with our tape measure, only to find out that basically every full size vehicle was knocked off our list with this one criteria.

So we move onto mid-size vehicles- The Highlander, all the crossover vehicles, and even some new 4runners come with 3rd row seating.  We're looking around and admiring their features, only to open the back and discover that there is NO storage or trunk room in these types of cars.  This is not an exaggeration- if we wanted to take all of our children on a trip, would we have to all hold our toothbrushes in our hands and wear the same clothes the whole time we were gone-- there is not room for a stroller- let alone a suit case, or the double stroller that we will need in the future.

Strike 2.

So we begin processing the original plan again- the full size vehicle, and realize we might be parking outside.  Luckily, I don't melt (although I'm endlessly trying to convince Gabe that I do) so what's a little rain while carrying children and groceries?  At this point, we are hit with strikes 3 and 4:  #3- Full size vehicles don't have any trunk room either-- they have a better 3rd row, but when it's folded up for sitting, the trunk room is very minimal.  Daily, I carry a stroller, 2 ballpark chairs, a tote-able picnic blanket (perfect for any ground playtime or diaper changes) and a big bag full of reusable shopping bags in the back of my car.  This does not include the diaper bag, my purse, my children, or myself that ride in the front of the car... and we're talking about just the average day.  #4: In order to keep Max's car seat and new baby Bowman's (that has NOT been formed yet) car seat buckled in at all times, the middle row would have to be bucket seats, so that Gabe and any other car rider could get to the 3rd row, without 15 minutes of unbuckling, wrestling, sweating, and re-buckling... only to do it all again when we arrived at our destination.  Fun? No.

So what is our next option? My nemesis:  the mini-van.  I have sworn my ENTIRE life the regardless of how many children I had, I would never drive a minivan.  I have ALWAYS said that I would drive a bus before I would be consumed by "the mini". I LOVE being a mom, LOVE it-- but I am not ready to turn in my cool card completely. After the tummy pooch body addition, the never have time to dry my hair because someone else always needs something dilemma, the same deal with make-up, buying baby stuff instead of clothes for myself, realizing that carrying at 22lb chunk of baby isn't that great when wearing trendy high heels no matter how cute they are, have crumbs and smears on every outfit, toys decorating my living room, and my realization that even on vacation I have to do laundry, I honestly only have 3 cool points left, and a mini-van would trump those, no doubt.

My mom had 3 kids in car seats without getting a van-- although the car seat rules have changed quite a bit since the 80's as have the car seat bulkiness- but there are people out there that do it... I just know it.

The worst part is the salesman we were working with had 3 kids and his wife had a dodge caravan and was so pumped when they upgraded to a Toyota Sequoia ONLY to then trade that in on a Honda, Odyssey Mini-van within a year, because of cargo space and the ease of having a van.

Really guy?  The last thing I need is you and my husband ganging up against me and simultaneously trying to talk me into "considering" a van.  Even as I type, the word "van" makes me shudder-- and it's not because anything is wrong with vans, I get it- they're awesome, they're sensible, they're effective.... but I'm like a teenager doing anything I can to be "cool" despite the 17 pimples on my nose.

But somehow I got talked into test driving a Toyota Sienna anyway- it was pimped out- fancy, buckets seats, all the gadgets, and rode like a charm.  This was devastating and all around depressing for me.  I am currently still processing... I mean eliminate debt- AWESOME, lose cool card- TERRIBLE, have enough room for another Bowman- AWESOME, driving a mini-van after promising myself I would "never"- TERRIBLE.

So this may be my new theme song and music video, and courtesy of my BFFA Ruth, let me just say:  Mini-Van, MEGA fun!

Monday, July 19, 2010

T-minus 1 month...

Mr. Max,

You are 11 months old today.  That means I am planning your first birthday party, and I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I've already had one full year with you and I only get 17-ish more, before you run off and act like a grown up.  I'm constantly trying to wrap my heart and brain and fears around the facts that you are not mine-- but that you are God's and that He loves you more than I do- but I've just got to tell you-- this isn't easy.  And I constantly struggle with it.

But I do want to celebrate who you're becoming-- you can't really be classified as a baby anymore-- you're on the move and you're independent and nosy, and you're always exploring everything.  You can see things that I can't see- even microscopic pieces of fuzz on the carpet, and you are so fast that you can get it in your mouth within .5 seconds of seeing it.  You HATE it when I scrape it out of your mouth, and you make me feel like I'm a horrible mother for depriving you of swallowing such gross things- even though I know I'm doing what's best for you.

You point at everything and your Dad and I explain what you're pointing out-- telling you what it's called and how it works.  That's also the international sign for "take me there"  and "I want that".  We've recentely convinced you to use your signing abilities instead of just whining and although you've been an incredible eater for months, you've recently developed an aversion to veggies.  I try to trick you by hiding them under fruit, but you're too smart for me and see right through my schemes.  You crawl and pull up on everything and just last week you graduated to size 4 diapers.  I've got to tell you that I really just want to keep you small forever- and although 12 month clothes still fit you, it hurts my heart that you wore an 18 month outfit to church yesterday and it wasn't any too big.

You smile and laugh and talk and talk and talk and you even say several recognizable words... you also pitch fits when you don't get your way and throw yourself backwards when we tell you no.  You obey 99% of the time when we tell you no, but that doesn't mean you like it!

You are adored by me and your Dad, Gabe, Annie and Pops, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Eli and Uncle Sam, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Carrie, and Zachary and Steven too.  AND the list is no where complete there.  You're smart. And you love your Mama... and she loves that about you!

You weened yourself at 8 months, and then recently decided you were too mature for formula too.  So this weekend, you had milk for the first time ever, and I skipped the bottle and went straight for the sippy cup-- and you drank it right up.  You still don't drink enough milk according to the drs and google, but you eat yogurt and cheese like it's your job and after one quick look at your thighs, I'm reminded that you're doing quite alright.

You like to pull up on things, but you're not interested in walking or taking steps-- crawling suits you just fine.  We let you pull over the dvds and tupperware, as well as the paperback books on the shelf in the living room-- so those are your first 3 stops each morning and after every nap.  As soon as you've made your mess, you move on.  I think you do this to spite me.  But you're cute- and I let you get away with it.

You are a blessing-- and I love your sweet face, your wonderful smile, your handsome eyes, your precious hands, and every single second I get with you.  I often tell you that I'm crazy and you drove me there, but you just smile because you know that I'm wrapped around your finger.  Thank you for being my son.  I love you and continue to pray that God will capture your heart very soon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Art Shows and Gabe-isms

If you don't know Gabe, you MUST meet him- his brain is unlike any other and he has the vocabulary of an adult-- well, actually, probably better than most adults!  At his ripe old age of 7, he already uses "sayings" and "quotes" and other colloquial language to spice up the average story.  That are side-splittingly funny- and I mean to write them down every time but often forget.  Lucky for you (and my memories) I did catch a couple this past week that I think you'll enjoy:

When talking about someone sleeping, "She was down like a light"

When Chad and I were talking about getting a bigger car for me, Gabe chimes in from the back (although we didn't even realize he was listening) and he said, "I want to get a new car for Daddy- a new fashion truck".

I was changing Max's diaper in his room, when Gabe bounces in and says "as a matter of a fact, this boo boo on my arm hurts the most"... not too funny unless you realize that I wasn't even talking to him-- and we hadn't discussed boo boos all day!

My personal favorite:  While driving to the grocery store, a country song came on and I started singing, like I normally do, and Gabe says, "You and Shawn (Gabe's stepdad) like country most of all... me and Mommy, we like beat music... we're crazy like that."  As if that wasn't enough to get me laughing, I stifled my giggles and asked what exactly beat music was and Gabe replied, "The stuff you shake to."

What a handsome little man!

Last week, I took Gabe to work with me-- he loves our sitter, but he also really likes come to work. So I decided that I'd invite him to come with me, and he was chomping at the bit to go!  It's so funny-- adults long for the days when summer consisted of cartoons and the pool, and kids love to go to work- ha!  Anyway, when Gabe is at work, he makes art... lots of art!  He brings his favorite pens, and the ideas run through his head the whole drive in-- he discusses them out loud with me as we ride :)

On this special occasion, Gabe made an entire art show, and invited my co-workers during lunch.  That's precious, right?  Well the signs make it so much better... I just wish I was in that brain of his- hilarious!  Let me give you the play by play:

This is Gabe making the different (master)pieces and I want to point out that when Gabe is working, you don't hear a peep from him-- and if I try to talk to him, he ignores me, ha!  I guess he's a true artist:

Once all the work was done, he put up the exhibit:

And I'll give you some close-ups so you can truly admire his brain-- first of all, the sign, just in case you're unsure where the show is located:

Secondly, the exhibit, itself:

And my personal favorite touch that he added is the sign on my door, pointing to the show-- I didn't get a picture of the "before" sign, but this is after he added a few more (master)pieces:

Yes, that's right.. under the word "Art fair", it says "expanded"!  Ha, I LOVE IT!

The exhibit included some puzzles that he put together, a box that he turned into a robot helmet, another box that he turned into a fish, a self portrait, that when you held it up to the light, you could see his skeleton through it (he drew his bones on the back of the paper for this effect).  He also had a book, and some sonic the hedge hog pictures.


This little guy and his brain (and his imagination) has blessed many lives already.  Thank you God for giving us Gabe- for his laugh, his entertainment value, and his heart!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Uncle Eli

I have several new posts that I need to put together-- we've been busy over here in Bowman-land!  We really enjoyed the long holiday weekend and got to hang out with lots of our favorite people.  You can't beat that!  Not to mention that Georgia's heat wave temporarily went away for a couple days (although it is back now).  But I'm still getting back in the groove, so you'll have to settle for some cute Max pics with his Uncle Eli.

Uncle Eli came to town on Saturday- he did fireworks with us, ran the Peachtree Road Race with us, went to the 4th of July lake party at the Foster's with us, and then hung around all day yesterday to capitalize on Max time.  So after lazy-ing around all morning, we headed to Sprayground in Roswell.  I LOVE that place-- what a wonderful idea and it's only ONE dollar.  Nothing costs a dollar anymore-- we're going to be regulars there when Max gets just a little bit bigger :)

Here are some kodak moments that were definitely meant for sharing:

After warming up, Max was all about it!

Look at that smile-- he's such a HAM!

But let's be honest, it's way more fun if Uncle Eli gets in...

This shower was something the should be in Who-ville or some other Dr. Suess book, but I didn't get a good picture- oops!  Guess we'll have to go again :)

That picture and that face just brings me JOY! Pure, uninhibited JOY!

He's reaching for Uncle Eli... "Hey, why aren't you sitting here with me, I thought I had you wrapped around my finger like the other big people that fall all over themselves for my cuteness."

Max: "Oh, pardon my jelly roll hanging out the middle-- my mom loves chunky babies and insisted I work on growing it out-- bring on the ice cream!"

I had to get a picture of Max's figure from the back-- can babies have bad posture? Regardless, it's adorable!

He kept trying to "catch" the water- but he preferred to stay away from the big kids and just watch their shananigans!

Again, catching water...

Ok, that's enough precious baby water fun pictures for one day.  Thank you Uncle Eli for coming to play, we love you!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Achy Breaky Heart

Don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart... I just don't think it'd understand... and if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart
It might blow up and kill this WOman :(

But apparently being 10 months old means you're not a baby anymore. (Insert a million frowns here.)

Yesterday, Max signed his first word.  We've been working for months and months on the basics: more, please, all done, mom, dad, thank you, etc.... and then just this week we started with a few extras courtesy of a really awesome DVD, Baby Signing Time (thanks Anna and Elizabeth Grace).  So yesterday Max decided it was time for his first word and that his first signed word would be "shoes".  My heart melted. Let's skip the easy, obvious ones, and go for the gold!

Then last night at dinner, I didn't fix Max any baby food... because he ate the chicken pot pie we were having.  I should be celebrating this milestone, but this means he's a little person and not my little baby.  I didn't even have to mash anything.

As if that wasn't enough for my achy breaky heart, this morning, I made myself a smoothie and poured some in a bowl for him and added some baby cereal to thicken it-- but he would have none of it-- he wanted his in a cup with a straw-- no lid.  And he drank his very first smoothie like a grown up.

Now let's add some more fuel to the fire- at lunch he kept throwing food so I told him no.  Then, he did it again, so I grabbed his hand and told him "no" very sternly.  And he looked me straight in the eye and did it again- so I grabbed his hand and smacked it for the FIRST time ever.  And in response to his first "spanking",HE hit ME back!

(Just to be straightforward, you should know that I'm a bad mom and had to turn away instead of finishing the disciplining because I started laughing... we're going to have to work on the whole spanking thing!)

So this afternoon, when it was nap time, I changed his diaper and laid him in his crib with his snuggle and his passy.  An hour later, he was still in there talking and I heard this weird banging noise. Now he's all gushy, his snuggle is soft and his passy is rubber-- so there is no reason for any banging!  So I grabbed my camera (I knew it was going to be good) and walked in and apparently, because he is 10 months old and grown up, he decided that nap time was a no-go today and he'd rather do puzzles:

The little nugget reached into his toy basket that is outside of his crib and pulled the puzzle through the slats and just had a grand ole time.

Someone bring me a big bandaid-- these next few months (18 years) are going to be rough.  How come no one told me they don't stay babies long enough???

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mr. Wonderful, PM

I know grandparents are special and love their grandkids- but our kids have it really good. Both my parents and Chad's parents are all about our babes and it's quite nice!

The only problem... they live FAR away and we don't get to see them often enough for them to experience all Max's stages.  So this post is for them-- it captures Max's personality... he's a chatter box!  And his new moves.  To Chad's parents, he's know as Mr. Wonderful and courtesy of my mom, He's Perfect Max, aka PM.  (The child has it rough- can you tell?)

Disclaimer:  I have NO idea why I talk like I do on the videos.  You have the freedom to make fun of me behind my back.

This first video is just him talking at dinner- he apparently has a lot to say.

Did you get all that?  This is him all the time now- he just woke up one day and decided to speak- a lot- alebit jibberish.

Ok, this next one is him crawling (and my talking- begin cringing now!)

Pretty cute, I know!  But I must say that Max crawling without a diaper (NAKED!) is much cuter- but I didn't want to be arrested, so I'm not posting it :)

And lastly, this is the first proof we have of Max trying to copy everything Gabe does... welcome to the next 18 years of our life! (This is at breakfast Sunday morning hence the pj's and bed head.)