Thursday, October 28, 2010

The First Run with The Pumpkin Patch

A couple weekends ago, me and the other 2 mommies in our small group decided to get our 3 babies together for another photo session.  The last time we did this, it was nap time and the bambinos were quite fussy.  Also, baby Reed was so little, that we had to keep our eyes on him the WHOLE time because Max and Haven wanted to touch his eyes and pull on his limbs.  Anyway, the pictures we got really summarized the struggle to capture them :)

Considering the time of the year, the obvious perfect place for pictures would be the pumpkin patch! So everyone met at my house at lunch time.  It took a while to get us all fed, then we fed the babies and changed them and made sure everyone was as cute as could be in their fall gear.  Then we loaded up in the mini van, and headed about 8 miles down the road to the Pumpkin Patch.  When we arrived, there were moms and kids everywhere!  It was obviously THE place to be. We got out all 3 stollers, got all three boys strapped in, got all 3 diaper bags out, and grabbed our cameras-- and finally, we were off!!

As we started walking towards the pumpkins, a less than pleasant woman asked, "Did you all just get here?"  We grinned and enthusiatically replied, "Yes!!"

Lady:  " Well you can't be here.  You have to have reservations."

Danielle/ Lisa:  "Oh... ok, thanks."

Me:  I stood there starring at her like she had 54857 heads.  In my OCD way, I had gone to the website several days before and saw nothing about having to have reservations-- we just wanted some pictures for Pete's sake.

(Scene change:  we turn around and head back to the van)

Danielle/ Lisa:  "That's weird-- there's lot of other people here"  "Yeah, funny, hahahahhaaa"  (Please notice their attitudes)

Me:  Still not talking, still in a state of shock, mouth hanging open, and totally caught off guard.

By the time we got back to the van, and packed everyone and everything back up, and wiped the seat from our brows, I had snapped out of it slightly... but I still could not believe all the effort and time and planning that had gone into this little adventure/ photo session turned bad.


So, choice number 2, head down the road to the park, we'll snap pictures there, and it will still be fall and adorable.  We pull up tp the park and our idea doesn't seem to good anymore... I mean, it's not like they can play on the playground... and where are they going to sit??  And then Reed dozes off.....


So, it was time for the last resort.... DAIRY QUEEN!!  By this point, all 3 babes were napping, or needed to be napping, we had toured Woodstock, and so we drove through the drive thru, order 3 blizzards and headed home.  It was a delicious end to quite an awkward adventure!

I did manage to get a couple photos before we left... they should help describe the funny-ness of the day!!

[caption id="attachment_1108" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The 3 Amigos"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1114" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Look at this little Love Dove, yummy!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1112" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Alright, sit for the picture...."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1110" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Wait! Haven, come back!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1111" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Max, go back! Sit down and stay put!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Oh, snap fast!!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1109" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Finally :)"][/caption]

Later that afternoon, after the girls and babies had headed home, and after Max woke up from his nap, Chad got home.  We were sitting on the couch talking, and being entertained my Max, when all of a sudden, we heard a racoon in the trash:


He was after our blizzards!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Gabe is in the midst of his 3rd soccer season.  And  this has definitely been his best year yet!  He has scored a couple goals and he's gaining some confidence, and he's less afraid and more aggressive, too.  This Saturday was a great game-- and Gabe got another goal and was so excited about it-- but let me tell you about it in his words :

According to Gabe "Well, the first thing that happened was the kid was throwing in and the kid tried to trick me.  And he threw it in and I happened to be close to that guy who he threw it to.  It came straight to me. So I dribbled it down and I dribble it to the side a little bit-- the side of the field and I had a shot of either side of the goalie.  Then I kick in the right and score."

AND then, he turned to his teammate, jumped up in the air, and CHEST bumped him.  Seriously!  He CHEST BUMPED!  It was classic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

27 Birthday Blessings

All month long, I've been celebrating my birthmonth, but today is my actual birthday!!  SO in order to celebrate my 27th year, I've made a list filled with 27 of my favorite blessings:

1. My sweet Jesus saved my soul!

2. My husband Chad, who can always make me laugh, and has the most wonderful curls and dimples

3. My baby Max, who thinks I hung the moon :)

4. My stepson Gabe, who has a heart of gold and is always challenging me to be a better mom

5. My wonderful family (My mom and dad, and two brothers)- it's really a cool thing to have a family that you really enjoy being around and who feel the same about you... even though they know you really well!

6. My wonderful friends who bring me joy, love, and entertainment

7. Our small group that is committed to doing life together and help me be the wife and mom God called me to be

8. The children's ministry at our church that pours into our children, and that we volunteer with

9. The women's ministry at our church- the bibles studies, women, and girl's night out!

10. My grandparents, all of whom are still alive, and healthy, Praise God- they love me and my boys!

11.Our cute little house and our cars that run well (even though I did lose cool points this year when I converted to the swagger wagon)

12. My job, and all my co-workers- I enjoy working with them

13. Our two wonderful sitters that keep Max several mornings a week-- they love him and care for him and put me at ease each time I leave

14. My in-laws that love me as their own and spoil my boys to death

15. The dunkin donuts right beside my work

16. The many love stories and wedding that we got to be a part of this year, and the 2 that happen in November

17. All the technology like digital cameras, iphone, internet, and blogs that allow me to capture all our memories and share them with anyone who may or may not care :)

18. Pumpkin spice lattes

19. Books to read... for fun and for wisdom

20. Naps under a quilt

21. Football! (Go Dawgs!)

22. Our health

23. Sunshine, and cool breezes, and fall weather

24. My "Happy 60th Birhday" card from Elizabeth Grace

25. Babies-- all babies-- not just mine-- I just love them and their little faces and their little minds and their little hearts and all the joy they bring to me and the world!

26. Birthday cake and birthday donuts and birthday cards and birthday notes and birthday texts and birthday gifts

27.  27 wonderful years, surrounded by friends and family, constantly pointing me to the cross

P.S. I've way more blessed than just 27 times-- that's just the way God is!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, we loaded up in the mini van and headed to Berry Patch Farms to ride the hayride and pick out some pumpkins.  We met our friends, the Spiva's there.  Last year, we made the trek up to Burt's Pumpkin patch on the only Sunday all month that it didn't rain.  It took over an hour just to get into the parking lot, AND then 30 more minutes to find a parking spot.  Needless to say, we just weren't up for all that this year!  But Berry Patch proved to be just what we needed- a great place for families, a 10 minute drive, plenty for the boys to do, and lots of pretty pumpkins... or as Max says "BALL!"

Gabe was in charge of picking out pumpkin-- and I think he was looking for the biggest possible pumpkin that he could actually pick up by himself :)

Check out all the changes a year can bring:

[caption id="attachment_1095" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Bowman's 2009"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1092" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Bowman's 2010"][/caption]

My face shrunk but my baby grew :(((((

I also tried to talk all the boys into posing for the camera-- but with 3 VERY busy boys, a whole field of pumpkins and tractors constantly driving by, it was quite the task.... but check out these three cuties:

[caption id="attachment_1093" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hudson (2 years old) Gabe (7 years old) and Max (1 year old)"][/caption]

Once Gabe picked his pumpkin, he also ventured over to the gourds.  He decided on a long skinny green goard and a round wart-cover gourd.  Now let me give you a sneak peek into Gabe's brain:  He then decided that the skinny goard looked like a bat, and the round goard was the ball.  Which obviously means that we need to carve our pumpkin to look like a baseball player.  And did I have anything that would hold the bat in the pumpkin's hands and maybe something to hang the ball in the air so the pumpkin could be at bat?

I kid you not.  The child is ALWAYS thinking...  I'm going to try to convince him that triangle eyes and a toothy grin is the way to go, but I'm not so sure he's going to fall for it....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Max: 14 months old

Oh my dearest little boy, how you have stolen my heart and changed my life in more ways than I can fathom.  I know a lot more about love than I ever did before... and I know a lot more about exhaustion too.  I still think Mommy-hood is the BEST gig around- but you're bringing me to my knees and my wits end a little more often nowadays!!  You want to explore everything and you are far too busy to have your diaper changed.  You do not hesitate to kick or hit me when I don't give you your way, and I feel like I am constantly disciplining you.  I know it is for your good, but I hate it at the same time.  I spend what little free time I have reading books about what the bible says about raising you.  I want to be the best mommy- and exactly who God has called me to be.

But let's talk about all the wonderful things about you-- this weekend, you crossed over from a crawler who walked sometimes to a walker who crawled sometimes to a walker who doesn't crawl at all because he's way too mature for that.  Seriously- this was the change of events from Friday to Sunday. You want to "pooosh" every button and light switch you see, you still think anything that is round is a "ball" and should be thrown, and you sign "please" now when you want something.  We listen to your praise CD in the car all the time, and your new favorite song is "This little light of mine" because you love doing the motions and hiding it under a bushel.  You are adorable.  I know it and everyone else thinks it too.  And do you want to know my favorite thing in the world?  No matter what you're doing, even if it involves balls and dirt and being a boy, I can say "Max, I need a kiss" and you'll come right over and oblige me.  99% of the time, I can talk you into a hug too!  You're learning so much- and you understand so much- I can tell you to go get your shoes or go find Daddy and you do it!  Life with you is always new, fun, and exciting.  Have I mentioned that I'm so glad you're mine?

For some reason, your teething has stalled out.  I'm going to ask the doc about it at your 15 month appt, but you don't seem to mind.  You eat like it's your job- and you're a good eater.  Whole milk has added some padding to your bones, and your double chin is on it's way to becoming a triple.  And that just means that there is more to kiss.  You've had your second hair cut this month- I  must've passed the "hair growing like a weed" gene on to you... sorry about that, it gets expensive!

I am officially wishing a stage of yours away- this is first for me- I want the separation anxiety to be gone and never come back.  I know you love me and that I'm the best mom you've ever had, but when I leave you with your 2 very wonderful sitters, you should not scream your head off like I'm murdering you.  It breaks my heart and I just can't take it.  Monday mornings are the worst. Please stop it.

Gabe has always loved you- and now he is excited that you are more like a little boy and less like a baby.  He loves playing with you and pulling you around in your wagon.  And when I tell you to stop growing, he gets on to me, and tells me to stop it :) He also loves your toys and can make you laugh anytime.  He does try to lock you out of his room sometimes, and doesn't want you to touch his stuff ever, but he's learning why this is not ok.  Just remember, he was a only child for a long time before you came into his world and stole some of his limelight- so really, this is all very minimal and doable.

Your dad just loves you.  I guess that's a given, but I mean he loves to watch you play and loves to play with you.  We still sit around and just talk about you and watch you, and pretend we know what your thinking.  We do commentary on your play by play too.  Your dad also like to take you exploring- and he throws you around on the bed and you just giggle.  Every time he gets close to you, he kisses you and my heart just melts.  It's one of my favorite things-- that and donuts :)

Your schedule has been the same since about 12 months

7:00a:  wake up

7:30a: breakfast

9:30/10a: 2-2.5 hour nap

Noonish- lunch

2:30p: 2-2.5 hour nap

6p: dinner

Between 7:30/8- bed time

It's a great day and you're a great sleeper!  And when you're awake you play so hard!  You're pretty good about playing with yourself when I've got stuff to do, but you love when anyone sits on the floor and plays with you.  You still get into things all the time, and I still pick up after you constantly, but we have a fondness for each other, so I let you mess and you let me clean!  We go well together.

Because I'm scared of allergies, I still don't let you do anything nuts, or seafood.  And because I'm worried about what citrus stuff does to my tummy, I don't let you do that either.  We only let you drink milk and water, and plan to protect you from all that sugar that you don't need for as long as possible!  Your favorite thing is still fruit-- you're a fruitopian!  And maybe, just maybe, I've been letting you eat candy corn since it's fall... you say please with a cute smile on your face, and hey, it's corn!

You're my very  best baby and I have more love for you than I can shake a stick at!  The more I learn about parenting and what God says, the more serious I'm taking my job as a parent.  I pray that we instill in you a healthy respect for authority, so that you will allow God to be Lord over your life very soon.  I pray that you choose our ways, as your own ways, and therefore choose Jesus.  I can't thank Him enough for blessing me with you-- I can't thank Him enough for the fine art he crafted when He made you-- and I can't thank Him enough for allowing me to be your mommy.  I love you Max!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Sleepover

** Note:  I wrote this last week and forgot to post it, oops!

You know how last week consisted of "embarrassing bath time" pictures of Max and his friend who is a girl, Elizabeth Grace?  Well this past weekend, they also had their first co-ed sleepover.  Things are getting serious.  At this point, we're not worried, especially since they were both confined to separate cribs in separate rooms, but don't fret, they were under full parental supervision the entire night. :) And not the kind of "supervision" at the after-prom party, where the parents insist they'll stay up all night with the kids and that no one will sleep, but yet they stay upstairs and never check in on the teens. (In regards to this, I would like to point out the obvious, the "sleeping" isn't the problem... and if the teens were wanting sleep, they'd go home, duh!)

Anyway, EG's mom, Anna, had a night on the town with some friends and EG's dad, Robert, was in Ohio with his family for a football game.  So EG came over in time for dinner and Chad and I took the two tots in the minivan to a local burger and shakes joint.  We sat outside and enjoyed the weather, and the kiddies were dolls!  Afterwards, we played in the courtyard between the restaurants, and I just don't understand how the night was so peaceful.  We had TWO children between the ages of 13 months and 19 months, and they let us talk, there were no tears, there were no fits or fussing, and they actually played together lovingly.

Then when we got home, they got their baths, their pjs, and went to bed.  It was drama and fussing free- crazy!  After all was said and done, I wasn't even tired and worn out like I had expected!

The next morning, the "downside" to the sleepover slapped me in the face at about 6:05am.  Elizabeth Grace woke up to discover she was not in her bed and she wasn't super pumped about this.  She started crying for her mom, and I ran in to rescue her... but not before Max woke up, and upon noticing that he WAS in his bed, decided that it was definitely time to get up and play.

So the day started early, but after a double breakfast of yo'baby yogurt, cinnamon toast, and berries, we headed out to a neighborhood-wide garage sale.  You see, this dynamic duo NEEDS a radio flyer wagon, with seat and seats belts for trick or treating, and the $170 price tag at babies r us wasn't too appealing.  Lucky for us, EG's big neighborhood was having a huge yard sale and tons of houses had out the baby gear that they had outgrown.  I thought for sure there'd be a wagon there, so we embarked on our search after picking up EG's mom for the fun.

AND we found one!!  It's perfect and Max already loves riding in it and Gabe loves pulling him around.  It's a win/win for the whole family :)

After the yard sale, we drove over the river and through the woods to the North Georgia Premium Outlets, and did some shopping-- just moms and tots.  Max and EG were delightful and Anna and I enjoyed our time together.  It was a fun adventure, and we got some bargains.  Again, a win/ win for the whole family.

But during the shopping trip, Max also got his first kiss.  Yes, I know, the bath, the sleepover, and the first kiss all in one week.  Like I said, it's getting serious :)  EG was putting the moves on him, but Max was leaning into it.  I think the feelings are mutual, but take a look and decide for yourself:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Heavy Heart

Do you ever just get overwhelmed with sadness?  I'm just heavy right now.  And none of the stories are mine- and none of them are touching me directly- but somehow, they all seem to affect my soul.

Leslie Evans:  A young lady my age, married a man with 3 children, 2 years after his wife/ their mother had died from Breast cancer.  Shortly after getting married, they discovered they were pregnant, WITH twins.  They were elated.  But then she went into labor early, and the twins were born at about 21 weeks, and did not live.  Shortly after giving birth, Leslie went into cardiac arrest.  She was down for 17 minutes before they could revive.  Leslie passed away October 7, 2010.

I have been following her blog, reading her story, watching videos of her life, and I cannot put into words the hurt in my chest.  I've been praying for this family I don't know, and asking God to bring them peace.  I don't understand why He allowed this man to lose 2 wives, and these children to lose 2 mom's.  I don't understand why her body couldn't carry the babies full term, and why the water had to break early.  I don't understand why these parents lost their daughter, and a brother lost his sister.  And that's not even touching on the friends that lost, too.  Honestly, I just can't make any sense of it.  And I don't know her.

(A blog about her:  (Very worth starting at the beginning)

Lila:  My co-worker, Cherie, has a 3 year old niece who went to the doctor on Monday for a cough, and was sent straight to Children's Healthcare for Leukemia.  This little girl will start chemo tomorrow that will last for the next 2 years.  And Lila's mom, who lost her own mother to cancer, has to watch her baby, lay in a bed, while chemicals fill her body in order to fight this nasty disease.  Meanwhile, Lila's father also has a type of inoperable brain cancer, that will eventually take his life, although he doesn't have any effects/ problems with it now.

I've got to say, I just don't understand this either.  As a mom, my insides scream upon hearing this story.  When Cherie told me about this yesterday, I cried, and as I type about it today, I still cry.  When it comes to Leukemia, she has the "good kind" but parents take their kids to the doctor for strep- not leukemia.  And I can not imagine how powerless and helpless it must feel, to be a parent, watching something like this.  Again, I don't understand.

Kate McRae:  I have been following this little girl's story for over a year.  Right before she was supposed to start kindergarden, Kate was diagnosed with brain cancer. They were able to remove a portion of the tumor, but due to location, couldn't get all of it.  This little girl has been going through new treatments to try to beat this malignant cancer.  Her parent's faith and prayers are edifying and real.  You can hear hurt in her mother's typing, yet total reliance on God.  Again, parents with no control, nothing they can do to change the situation, and at this point, they just wait to see if the treatment worked.  They go back periodically for MRI's and other tests hoping to hear that the tumor hasn't grown, but expecting/ dreading the worst.  All they can do is wait.

Her prayer blog:

** These are by no means all the stories about stuff like this, I totally understand that-- these are just the ones on my heart and mind right now.

Stuff like this makes me just want to put my people in a bubble to protect them.  It makes me want to use my time to write them love notes, and kiss them all over.  I mean what if?

But chances are, this won't happen to us.  And I'm pretty sure that trying to explain to God that I was too crippled by what might've happened to actually discipline my kids or train them, or too worried about what could've happened to love my neighbors and serve my husband, and too consumed with fear to spread the Good News, wouldn't be a good conversation to have with the Creator of the Universe, and a God that willingly gave his perfect son's life for my sin, so that I could spend eternity with Him.

I am not one to question God, and this is not to say that understand everything.  I do NOT.  But that is because He is God and I am not- and I don't have to understand everything- I just have to trust him.  But if I'm honest, that's not always easy.  I know He's BIG and I know He's LOVE and I know He's FORGIVING.  So tonight, I just pray that have the courage to be the wife, mom, friend, co-worker, daughter, sister, etc that God has called me to be, and that I'll surrender control to the only ONE who deserves, God. Tonight I am casting other people's burdens on Him- to God be the glory, forever, amen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday Funday

So yesterday seemed like just the normal Monday... Chad and I both headed out to work and did our thing.  Gabe had the day off from school and went to the pumpkin patch with his mom and his grandparents, and Max spent the morning with his sitter.  I rolled in right after lunch like normal, hugged my boy like normal, and started about our normal business.


A wild hair hit me!

I called Chad and said "Let's go to the Braves game tonight".  His obvious reply, "But we don't have tickets".  So I told him I'd work on it and call him back.  At about 2:45 yesterday, less than 5 hours before the game, I found some tickets online and bought them.

Max took his afternoon nap, I did some work, then I loaded up my boy and headed south...

This was without Chad, because Chad was working south of the airport yesterday.

So naturally, we did what anybody would do- he headed to a truck stop to shower, and I brought him clean clothes and body wash.  Now the obvious question:  Who knew you could shower at truck stops?  AND where do you even find a truck stop in downtown Atl?

Well, Chad knew, thanks to his cross country driving, post Hurricane Katrina.  Apparently, you can pay $5 to use a shower.  So with the help of his handy dandy iphone, he found a truck stop just south of the Stadium, I dropped his stuff off to him (and kept driving around while he showered because truckerland made me nervous) and then we headed to the game.

This part of the story really makes me laugh!  He showered at a TRUCK STOP just 37 miles from our house... thank you Atlanta traffic for being so awesome.  That just makes the spontaneity that much better!

Now our seats were at the top, but the stadium was packed and rowdy, and there was hope through the entire game- which are always the best games!  Max loves the energy at the stadium, and doing the chop, and it was so fun to be at Bobby's last game. When you grow up in the south, Bobby is baseball.  And Bobby is the Braves.

[caption id="attachment_1057" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="(that's Bobby on the screen!)"][/caption]

I'm so glad we decided to be wild and crazy.  It was a late night, especially for the little man, but he was a champ.  And although the game didn't end with a "W", it was still an awesome night to be a Braves fan!  Go Braves, and thank you for our Monday Funday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer: Check!

So almost 2 weeks later (because better late than never, right?) I wanted to give you the low down on the breast cancer walk.  It was really a very cool experience- being a part of something so much bigger than myself- walking with survivors, fighters, and people who have lost loved ones.  There were people cheering and people crying-- without sounds too cheesy, it was really moving.

My mom and I walked together, and my Mamaw, currently cancer free herself, provided us with our t-shirts.  It's one of those things that everyone should do at least once- it brings a lot of perspective to your life!  And it was an honor to walk for Mamaw and her fight with that dumb, horrible, nasty, awful C-word.

Also, I wanted to make a special thank you to all of my supporters-- with your help, I was able to reach my goal.  Thank you friends and family, thank you thank you!

[caption id="attachment_1045" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Opening Ceremony"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1046" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The goose bumps on this GA gal's legs in the IN weather"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1047" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="me and my mom at lunch"][/caption]

Max also had fun in Indy-- it was nice to get away from our normal daily-ness and see lots of family.  Both sets of my grandparents were there- and they each love the chance to hug on (and laugh at) Max.  We got to celebrate my Mamaw's birthday, and I got to see a lot of my cousins too.  And let's be honest, Max was SPOILED.

He got another fire truck, because he clearly needs one in Indiana and one in Georgia... or so his Annie thinks!

He got several other new toys during a trip to target

And he had some man time with my Dad and brother, which included Dairy Queen.

[caption id="attachment_1048" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="(Doesn't he look like such a little man in this picture?)"][/caption]

Every time I think about the life Max leads, I just shake my head in agony- I'm mean he has it so rough- no love, no toys, no friends, no treats, nothing.

And to reward me for taking him to the land of spoils, Max screamed BLOODY MURDER all the way home on the plane.  He was pulling at his ears, and thrashing around.  He was exhausted-- but too upset to just give it up.  The people all around me on the plane were gracious (except for the flight attendant who needed a knuckle sandwich)- but I have NEVER felt so embarrassed my whole life.  I had no control over the situation, all I could do was sit and hold him, and try (for an HOUR) to calm him down. By the time we got off the plane, I was the one crying.  But we survived.  And we're stronger for it.... at least I am!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Opposite Sex and Other Embarrassing Pictures

*NOTE: Certain pictures were removed after some disturbing online data

Every kid has those bath time pictures that come back to haunt them later in life.  Mine were always with my brothers.  Once, Sam, the middle brother, wanted to get in the bath with me so badly, that he jumped in with all his clothes on.  He was just a toddler with jeans on, and he immediately realized that wet jeans weren't the way to go.  We have a picture of him standing, clothed and sopping wet, in the tub with me-- he's crying and I'm laughing.

Well, Max had his first experience with that... and it was with the opposite sex... me and Anna are GLEEK's and wanted to watch the Britney Spears GLEE episode together.  So we fed the kids at my house and put them in the bath together and got them ready for bed...

Elizabeth Grace didn't really want to get in the bath because she doesn't like bubbles- but she enjoyed playing with Max from the outside.  She also liked holding his hand... and obviously Max's grin shows he's a fan as well.... oh the whole opposite sex thing, it starts early, doesn't it?

They might kill us because of these pictures later in life- flaunting their business all about- but for now, it's so cute!  Elizabeth Grace did get in the tub once the bubbles were washed down and then she wore Max's "Captain Adorable" pjs- I'm not sure why I didn't capture that on film, but it was quite adorable, that's for sure!

On a slightly different, but still embarrassing, note, one of Max's new favorite things to do is to go into my bathroom... any chance he gets, and get out a headband.  His favorite is the red one and he loves wearing it.  When it's on his head, there is a proud grin plastered across his face-- priceless!

Oh, kids these days! Now that I'm a mom, and I get to laugh at my little guy so often, I totally understand and appreciate (almost) the torture my parents put us through on film... the bathtub scenes, the tape on the nose, etc...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Child Abuse

Last weekend, me and Max went to Indiana for a long weekend to see my parents, and grandparents, and my mom and I participated in a breast cancer walk (more on that later).  Well, while we were there, I abused my child- twice!

As a parent, you do stupid things from time to time-- like I walk into a room, without thinking through Max's head location and I knock his noggin on the door frame.  I have bumped his head on the top of the car, while getting him in and out of his seat, no less than 100 times in his first year.  Now that he crawls and walks, I have stepped on his fingers and knocked him over a few times too. Really, it's just super hard to be a baby.

But it gets worse.

While on our way to Indy, Max was charming ladies on the plane.  Then as soon as we landed and came through the terminal, my Dad was waiting on Max with open arms.  After collecting the baggage, we drove to my parent's house about 30 minutes away.  As soon as we walked in the door, my mom snatched him and began playing with him and kissing him all over.  Sounds like love, huh?  Certainly not child abuse.

Well, here's the kicker- somewhere along the way, Max pooped, and I did not know it.  I could not smell it and it was not typical "pooping time" for him.  So when I finally changed his diaper- hours after the last diaper change- his hiney was BRIGHT red, with a raised diaper rash.  He screamed while I tried to clean him. SCREAMED.  And although I would like to blame this on some sort of allergy or ongoing problem, I can not- he is not allergic to anything we know of at this point, and he has never had a diaper rash in his whole 13 months of life.

The worst part?  It got more painful before it got better- and it lasted for several day.  All because his mean mother didn't change his diaper.

The best part?  He had to go around without a diaper so he could dry out and I got these pictures :)

But the child could not get a break.  The abuse did not end there.

One day during our visit, my mom and I, took Max out and about as we ran errands.  We went to target, and Macy's, and MacAlister's for lunch, before stopping at the grocery store to fill up the pantry.  Throughout it all, Max was hunching over funny and wouldn't sit up straight in his car seat, high chair, or the carts.  I kept fixing him and tightening the buckles, and he would tuck his chin and growl at me.  In my own defense, the child was tired- my Dad makes it his goal in life to make sure that Max doesn't have to fuss for any reason, so he doesn't go to bed until he's ready to just lay down and sleep- so I just thought Max had a bad attitude from sleep deprivation.  My mom and I kept laughing at him, and even growling back so that he would growl at us again.  (I think this is called antagonizing...)

After all was said and done, we arrived at home, and I went to change his diaper for nap time.  As soon as I got his shorts off him, I noticed that there was something in his onesie-- right on his spine... it was one of those HARD, PLASTIC numbers, with SHARP edges, the have a magnet on the back that you can stick on the fridge to spell out things and count.  While playing with all the letters early that morning (as in 4-5 hours before this nap time), Max must've dropped it down his shirt.  While we were on our errands, I changed his diaper and didn't notice it.  So for 4-5 hours, this little, yellow "7" was digging INTO the baby's back.  His spine was literally bruise (from my sitting him back up and buckling him tighter!) and he had red indentions all over (from the car seat and me changing his diaper!) and he hadn't cried or complained, he had merely growled.

But let me make this public profession:  I, Lauren, felt HORRIBLE about the abuse I heaped on my child.  I will do my very best to be much more careful with this precious little man, my favorite punkin pie, the apple of my eye.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wedding Weekend

This weekend, the last of the Porton Posse tied the knot.  And it was so much fun that I decided to make a top 10 list:

10 reasons why weekend weekend was wonderful:

# 1. Wendy and Brian Mitchell are now WENDY AND BRIAN MITCHELL!

# 2. It was a gorgeous fall day, and the reception was at a barn and it was decorated beautifully and they served amazing chicken with goat cheese, sweet potato casserole and the yummiest cupcakes AND Little Debbies (thank you Brian!)

# 3. Carlton made this face

# 4. Uncle Eli came and spent the weekend with us, so he could keep the boys and they had so much fun that Gabe asked if we would please leave again-- He is so good with the boys, Eli is going to make  a great dad!  He even kept my house clean and unloaded the dishwasher and did dishes- we all love when he comes around!

# 5. My bffaa, Ruth and I got to read scripture- we were honored to be a part of the cermony

# 6. The McCords (seen below) rode with us in the swagger wagon... you've truely "arrived" when you get to drive up to a wedding, with your dear friends, in your mini-van.

# 7. This hotness was my date!  (He even came home with me after the wedding!!)

# 8. This was the last PP wedding... we're all hitched now!  (Not pictured: Jill and Jonathan were in Colorado visiting family and going to the UGA game- they were missed!)

# 9. We got to have a dance party- and we even danced to Baby Got Back-- this was super fun since I now have more "back" than I've had in the past (thank you Max)

AND #10 Mine and Ruth's shoes were so sassy and amazing that they hurt our feet, so we had to sit in chairs a lot towards the end of the night.  But then the Journey song came on, and we had to dance (while still sitting in chairs) in honor of Finn and Rachel (GLEE!) and Chad caught it on video.  (Note:  I had one glass of wine all night- so no, alcohol is not to be blamed, we are just this amazing... or as Chad says "you two were acting a fool") (Note #2: Our table was the last table before the dance floor, hence all the beer bottles on the table- those are not ours):

It was a great weekend and a wonderful wedding.  It's so fun to watch God bring people together- especially these two :)  Wendy and I were friends for years, as single girls, and we got to walk through life with each other, as God brought our men into our lives and now we get to do marriage together, too! Hope y'all are having an amazing time in Costa Rica!!!  Congrats!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home Improvement

Remember that show?  When it first started, I wasn't allowed to watch it-- maybe because it came on after my bed time- I don't remember for sure- but it was always a hot topic at the lunch table and I was the left out dork who pretended I knew what everyone was talking about... lame.  AND to make matters worse, I didn't even have a crush on JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and I didn't have his poster anywhere in my room.  Lamer.

But this post is not about that!  It is about our house... and it's being improved :)  We bought this house a year and a half ago while I was growing Max.  It's an old house- almost 40 years old- and we bought it when the market was at the bottom and got a steal of a deal! We had high hopes of all the things we were going to change and add and fix and do. We moved in May, aka the middle of Chad's busy season, then we had a new baby, and it was all down hill from there.  Not to mention the ole saying that a plumber's house always needs plumbing and a painters house always needs painting... and I'm married to a painter... and our needed a lot of painting... you see where this is going?

Well something amazing and wonderful has happened to Chad:  he has just finished the outside of our house and it is incredible.  Before the new paint, it was a dark beige/ tan on the top, horrible orange on the shutters and doors, and the brick was somehow a beachy orange color with the random mocha brick thrown in every now and then, with no rhyme or reason.  Does reading it make you cringe?  If so, you're right on track.  But now look at it:

If you ignore the yard, it just lovely and wonderful and home-y!

Another thing that has happened makes my organizer heart go pitter patter... I got a pantry!  And another work station. AND granite counter tops!  It literally doubled my space in the kitchen and it's amazing.  Chad and his Dad did it, and it looks so pretty and works just like I imagined.  I was using a black wire shelf from target- like the kind that you keep in a garage- IN my kitchen. And I really like for things to be pretty and decorated and organized and neat- so can you see why this is beautiful and wonderful?

And here is some more of the granite:

Oh beautiful!!

Before we moved in, we got new carpet.  Then Chad painted all of the old brown wood work upstairs in an antique white.  Our room, Gabe's room, and Max's room are all painted, decorated, curtained, and "done" and the downstairs got a new coat of paint as well.  We replaced the sliding glass doors that worked sometimes with pretty french doors, and we had this super weird "Mexican take out window" the looked from the kitchen to the living room- and thank goodness, Chad filled that in as well.  We're on a roll and it's becoming more and more like home!

The yard was (is) an atrosicty when we moved in... and unfortunately neither of us are yard/ gardening people.  BUT Chad did cut down tons of trees in the front flower bed, and we had several days of burning to get rid of all the brush.  We also bagged over 60 bags of debris and weeds and ugly bushes too.  My Dad spent several days cleaning out a flower bed that was similar to picture of a jungle. Now we just have a guy come mow for us until we get our next stash of cash together then we're going to build a retaining wall on the right side of the driveway, put in steps instead of the uneven and unsafe sidewalk, and even out the front yard for a nice play space.  Then we have to take down all of the trees in the front yard (cha-ching $$$$$) and then my Landscape Architecture brother Eli, will come in and do his thing, and then our yard will be set!

In the meantime, Chad has a guy lined up to come re-so our master bath-- it's like 2ft by 2ft-- apparently small bathrooms for the master were the in thing in the 70's... so the boys bathroom is 3 times the size of ours, seriously!  Then Chad also got a bid to re-tile their bathroom as well, and we'll get a new sink and renovate a few other things and we'll be set.

The list of things to do is still LONG but the progress is great and it makes driving up the driveway that much better!  Thanks for all your work Chad, it looks wonderful!