Friday, October 28, 2011

My 28th Year

So you may know that I really really like birthdays, like really. I'm known for throwing myself parties and for celebrating a birth month, rather than a birthday. My friends know all about it- my BFFA Ruth always texts me on the first day of October, and Anna is sure to mention it all month long, giving me good reasons for treats that I need (ok, want) and I even get Facebook bday posts about how it's my month... not just my day (Thanks for reminding me and the world, Cami!).

My husband is not so much a birthday person- or a special occasion person actually. He doesn't remember dates, he doesn't make a big deal out of things, and although he has been doing good in the card department on all special occasions in the past year, I'm pretty sure it's due to my constant nagging and not due to the love for those occasions.

(Note to Chad: keep up that cards regardless of your reasons behind them.)

So you can imagine my horror when on Tuesday, the 25th of October and my first day as a SAHM, I looked at our family calendar and noticed that it was still on September. I had missed the month of October, my birth month! My real birthday was just mere hours away and I had forgotten to incessantly mention it at every turn, I had missed all opportunities to beat it into the heads of my loved ones, and I was pretty sure this monumental national day of celebration was going to go unnoticed.

I could not have been more wrong.

Last week, I was sitting on my bed with my computer in my lap, like I do most evenings after the boys go to bed. Chad mentioned that he had gotten my birthday present that day. I was a little shocked-- to be honest, he doesn't usually do the present thing-- not out of meanness, he just doesn't know what to get me, he's not the shopping type and he's kind of busy owning a business, being a husband, being a Dad, etc.... now this has been a bit of an adjustment for me because my own Dad is just the opposite-- he shops, he thinks about gifts, and he picks "the perfect one". He's known for it. So I paused for a second and then just smiled. He went on to ask if I wanted it right then. I said no, and went on working. A few minutes later, he busted back into the room with a big back, ripping a package out of it while saying "I just couldn't wait, i just couldn't stand it".  And he gave be a Brookstone lap computer desk thingie. Um, was this my man paying attention and getting a great gift?? YES!

But with this, I was pretty sure my actual birthday would be kind of brushed over.

It wasn't.

So yesterday morning, I got an early wake up call from Max, yelling in his bed at 5:30am that he wasn't sleepy and he needed his birthday party cake. The night before, while I was out at a ladies event, him and Uncle Eli had made me this (Both of my brothers and my parents call me "Lou"):

My favorite confetti cake and icing with peanut butter M&M's to decorate... my other favorite :)

So after trying to coax Max back to sleep to no avail, we rolled out of bed and I saw this on my dresser:

Every girl's dream!  It was a pair of diamond earrings from my husband. UMMMMMM, seriously??????? I was ecstatic. And he was at the gym, so I couldn't even squeal in his ear!

So naturally, Max and I had cake for breakfast:

Then this woke up and beckoned me with this face:

(I got to see it because I'm a stay at home mom!!!!!!)

Then, we had a really fun play date at our house-- but those details require their own post :)

Then Wednesday night, I headed to youth group to spend the evening with my group of middle schoolers and then last night, Uncle Eli graciously kept our boys so we could go on a hot date! To Stoney River. (Aka my favorite restaurant with the best steak, ever. )

And the next night I went to Pappasitto's with some of my best leading lady friends-- it was a wonderful night, which included cupcakes and cheese dip-- and I had such a great time.

I received so many calls, texts, Facebook messages, and cards. I was loved on and encouraged and spoiled rotten. All for my birthday. With no pomp and circumstance on my part. Now, that's what I call a perfect birthday! And I can't help but dwell on how blessed I am.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2 Men in a House

So I live with 2 grown men. Which truly has it's perks. For instance, there is always someone to help me carry heavy things, unload my car after the grocery store, or take the small children to and fro. There is also always someone who is willing to distract small children so that I can do things such a cook dinner. And I'm never scared- because who is scared with two grown men in the house?

But there is a downside as well. And I'm willing to bet it's a man thing-- not just a Chad and my brother, Eli thing. And no, I'm not talking about the need to wander around the house in their underwear, although that does happen.

I'm talking about initiative-- you know seeing what needs to be done and doing it. For some reason they don't have that.

See this?

They have been there since Sunday night. They go up there.

But I canNOT reach up there. So I put them right hear thinking that one of the two men would surely see the problem and take care of it.

But nope.

They eventually were moved.

By me.... to here:

Because we ran out and needed a replacement. And I am able to reach that.

I am not complaining. This is merely an observation that solidifies the Mars and Venus thing. And the fact that men really do need a honey-do-list. But I'll take this over a house full of women any ole day! Let me assure you that being the only female has it's perks!

Monday, October 24, 2011


About this time last year, we had an ending of an era as we, the Bowman family, made a switch to the swagger wagon. And although I traded in what was left of my cool points to make that happen, in hind sight, it was the way to go. And yes, I am "that person" who wouldn't be caught dead driving a minivan, now swearing by them. Lord help me.

Anyway, here we go again, changing our theme song... today I turned in my letter of resignation at work... I am now a Stay-at-home mom. Or if you're down with the super cool lingo, it's SAHM. This is something Chad and I have been praying over for 2 year- the 'if' this was what we were supposed to do and then the 'when' of it all, and finally this past Friday, God made it clear that now is the time.

So although my time at Investor's Watchdog has been so great, and I've learned so much, and even been a part of a book from start to finish-- it's time to move on and head home. I'll miss my wonderful co-workers, my great boss, and most certainly the peaceful quiet of my office-- especially in the chaos of raising small people and keeping up with a house full of boys and their messes but for now, this is exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I am so excited.

We're not sure how long I will be called to be home- 6 months, 6 years, 6 decades-- but for now, just know that I'm am relishing the blessings and the fruits of my husband's very hard work. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and my sweet husband has made this dream a reality. And we give God all the glory for that!

Now I don't plan to wear sweats all the time, or stand at the bus stop in my tennis skirt-- but I will probably drink some extra coffee daily!  I don't plan to take up baking, because then I will take up eating, and that would totally offset our gym membership. And I really hope I don't start calling Chad 376 times a day asking what he's doing... but I'm not going to make any promises, because I've learned my lesson about "I would never" statements.... hence the van in my garage and the crazy 2 year old that I still bring into public places....

So here's my box, all packed up, and heading to my new job: Managing Director and Co-founder at Bowman Enterprises... the pay is not so hot, but the rewards are endless!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jack is growing up!

Did you know that my sweet baby is 5 months old today? That's big time, folks. I know he's been in my heart and arms for a while now, but it just doesn't seem like 5 months at all. With Max at 5 months, I was so exhausted, I couldn't see straight. Mainly because that child had to eat around the darn clock. AND I had already been feeding him food for a LONG time. But things are different this go around....

Jack just rolled over for the first time, and I was sitting with him on the floor and thought it was coming, which means I was able to turn on my video camera and catch it-- this is the real deal, live, for the very first time!

He also had cereal for the first time. And he's doing really well BUT I'm having a problem working it into the daily routine. He's obviously getting inferior treatment because he's baby #2. But I'm also way more relaxed which works in his favor... you win some, you lose some, guess it's time he learns that now :) I've also made my first batch of baby food for Jack-- so hopefully I'll actually get around to letting him try them!  Although he is a second baby, he will still get all homemade baby food- and this time I'm even doing some with a dehydrator (Thanks Aunt Nancy!) so it will be easier to take on the go.

And I would tell you that we're going to avoid sugar at least through the first year, like we did with Max, except that his father gave him a taste of Menchies ice cream already. Yep, I about died and Chad heard about. Something to the tune of, "Oh my goodness, are you crazy? He could have allergies to eggs or dairy or anything and we don't know yet. I had tons of allergies as a baby and he was so sensitive to breast milk for the first 3 months of his life, oh my goodness what if what if what if, ahhhhhhhhhhh" to which Chad responded, "He's fine, he liked it." And that was it. Oh men! Especially mine, aka the MOST laid back man in the world. He might be the death of me. Not because he's going to murder me but because he never worries or raises his blood pressure over anything, so I raise mine twice as much to compensate.

This month, Jack has started talking and cooing a lot more (which I didn't know was possible)- but I think it's because he's trying to keep up with Max-- he knows he better start now if he wants to get a word in. He also still despises tummy time. Like a lot. Jack cackles when Chad puts his hands or his feet on his whiskers. And I know they say separating anxiety doesn't start yet, but this baby knows- if it's not me, Chad, or his Uncle Eli, he's not interested or happy. Which is so weird, because with us, he's the most laid back baby ever, to the point that we almost don't believe what the nursery workers are telling us! Jack is still the most cuddly baby, ever. He loves being held and snuggled and smelled and kissed-- he even gets so excited that he tries to eat you or suck on your cheek-- ahhh, what cuteness.

Jack's schedule is delightful- he eats between 7 and 7:30 am, at 10:30, at 2p, at 5p, and at 8p then he goes down for the night. He still wakes about 80% of that time at 5am, but I think it's just habit, because I don't feed him- I just lean over his crib, put his paci in his mouth, put my cheek beside his, we smell each other for about 30 seconds, then he goes back to sleep. It doesn't even make me tired. I just need to convince myself to actually stay awake after that- then I'd be rockin and rolling on my day and time with Jesus before I see the whites of any eyes. Now wouldn't that be something? (Like a dream.)

Jack still naps after every feeding, although after his 5p feeding, you never know what you're going to get. Bed time is much quicker if he doesn't sleep, but the evening is much longer too-- you know what I mean?

Jack went back to the doctor this month to make sure his ear infection was all better- it was- which means they stuck him like a pin cushion with those darn vaccines. Oh I'm so torn about those dumb things. It's one of those things that I really wish God would send me a text message about- just visibly confirming what He would have me do. Jack also went from 14lbs 10oz to 15 lbs 4oz--- ummm, yeah, he loves to eat :)  The lady at the grocery store deli kept saying "wow, he's healthy." Ha!  His 6 month clothes still fit great- so far, both boys have been right on track, clothing size wise. He still has precious wrist rolls and ankle rolls, he still has 3 thigh rolls, I still love watching his little chubby fingers work, and finally, he's starting to get a neck, some hair, and beautiful long eye lashes.

This baby is so wonderful that I'm already ready for more- I wouldn't even been sad or scared if I had twins (although don't tell my husband that!) You see I've been scared of twins since before I had my first-- doesn't that say something about Jack's sweetness? I'm addicted to that baby!

Jack, you are a joy! It doesn't get any better than sitting with you on my lap and listening to you coo. Your smile is electrifying-- and I love when I'm pushing you in the stroller or the grocery cart and you flirt with me. Just know, that I'm all about you! Both of your brothers adore you and your Dad is very guilty of taking you off to an empty room so he can enjoy you all by himself-- he's already started rolling you around on the bed getting you ready to wrestle. And even if your Uncle Eli is rushing out the door, he always has time to stop for you. You might think that you actually have 3 parents, because of how much we all fight to hold you and kiss you. Lucky for us, you love us all-- it's all those other people that cause you stress. I really wish you'd just stop where you are for a couple months. I love you with a love that you won't understand until you have kids... and even then, you might not understand, because you'll be a Dad, and there is just something about a mother's love that can't be put into words. But still- there is a bigger, greater love than mine- it's a love that is perfect. It's your sweet heavenly Father who created you and knitted you together in my womb- you're His masterpiece and He'd do anything for you-- He proved that already when He sent his son to die for you. I hope you accept that gift really soon. It will change you life and your heart forevermore. I love you my baby J. You're the best!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have several close friends who are about to add baby #2 to their brood in the next couple months. And so I thought I'd pass along a tip-- the key to success when you're 2 on 1 is multi-tasking. Now there are many ways of doing this, and you will have to come up with what works for you- but the idea is to keep both children in your line of sight and busy and thinking they each have your full attention simultaneously.

Here is just one example:

To each her own!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One More Rant

Can I talk about potty training again or are you over it? Over it? Oh well let me just say one more thing:

I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We are still in the midst of Chad working weekends on a really big project and he came home last Sunday to me ranting and stomping and sweating because I had cleaned up no less than 4 accidents in an hour. An hour, people. That's practically impossible. I couldn't pee 4 times in an hour unless I'm pregnant and even then, I'm not so sure.

I'd say "Max, do you need to go potty?" He'd say no and then pee. On the floor, in his high chair, in his car seat, on me. Wherever. Just as long as is wasn't in the potty.

So as Chad walked in, I lamented about the horrible-ness of this all, once again,  spitting and spewing because this child is smart, he's in control of his body, he knows where to put his pee, he has the ability to do it, yet he choses not to. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I went to spank him and noticed the welt on his booty from the last time (10 minutes ago) and I crumbled. Yep. Wasn't going to do it. Right then and there I decided that I was not going to beat my child over his potty training- he'd get it when he was ready and I'd offer him diapers until then. Fine.

Chad was ok with this- assured me I wasn't a bad mom and that I wasn't failing and so I went down to the storage shelves and got his big trash bag of diapers and brought it up the stairs. I asked him if he wanted to wear diapers and he gave me a resounding yes. (I was half-hoping that he'd be mortified to be put back in diapers like a baby and that it'd sent him running to the potty, but no such luck.) So after his bath, I put a diaper on him, and he danced around the house like he was the cat's pajamas. He kept saying "Look at my diaper Mom, do you love it?" He was proud, like really proud. And off he went to bed in his diaper, happy as a clam.

Later that night, Uncle Eli, Max's manny, came home and I told him that Max would be in diapers the next day. Eli told me that I was crazy and that I shouldn't give up, but in a really nice calm way. So then I was BESIDE myself, fretting about what to do. Oh the angst. What was right? I spent most of the night wishing that these children came with manuals and a very descriptive section on potty training that said something like: "The optimal potty training age for this child is 23 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days." Now wouldn't that be nice?

So I think the spirit of the Lord fell on my that night because I woke up renewed- with restored grace and patience for my little potty training fool. I even wondered if Lamentations 3:22-23 was referring to potty training: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

So when Max woke up, I walked in his room and got him out of his bed, took him potty, as was our ritual, took his diaper off and dropped it in the trash and put his undies on him. He asked where his diaper was and I told him it was in the trash, and neither one of us said another word about it.

And the child hasn't had accidents anymore. His only hiccup is trying to figure out when he's done done when going #2. Like he does his business then he says he's done and he gets down and gets cleaned up, and then he goes a little more in his pants.

AND I don't have to ask him if he has to go- he tells me. I don't even make him go unless it's nap time, and he's been waking up dry like a champ. Seriously people, how do you explain that?

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Mom Advice- in honor of Naomi!

This post is dedicated to Maggie and Josh Stewart. If you remember, before Jack arrived unannounced, Maggie kept Max 3-4 times a week. She was wonderful and she still has a special place in his heart. From time to time he'll ask, "Where Maggie go?" You can read more and the Stewarts here:

Well Maggie moved to Louisville, KY with her husband because he is now in seminary there. But they moved as a family of 2.5. That's right, Maggie is pregnant with their first child and we got to be around for the first half of the pregnancy.

I remember when she said "I want to tell you something" to which I blurted out "You're pregnant!" I had told Chad the day before that I thought she was pregnant because she had that glow and flushed pretty cheeks and she looked sleepy (the first trimester is this sleepy that can't be described or understood until your pregnant.) She was barely pregnant at all but she shared the news with us-- and we were so excited for them!

Well tonight, Josh posted on Facebook that they're headed to the hospital and they expect their sweet baby girl, Naomi, to come into the world sometime tomorrow. I was at the gym when I read the update and I started crying-- the ugly cry- I was so excited! I picked up Max from the Kids Klub and told him Maggie is having her baby and all night he's been going around the house singing "Maggie having baby" to the tune of the ABC's. I keep thinking of them and praying for the labor and delivery and now I've compiled a list of my top 10 pieces of advice for the new mom because there is nothing else I can do, ha!

Lauren's Top 10 Pieces of Advice for New Mother's:

1) Seriously, sleep when the baby is sleeping. You've heard it a million times because it's true and because it's hard to do. But even if you have to wear dirty clothes because you need to do laundry SO bad, still sleep when the baby is sleeping.

2) Ask for help. Like for everything. If you need someone to bring you the baby, bring you dinner, help with the dishes, etc, ASK. Even if you felt like so and so was fine and had to it together by such and such week, she did not. No one does. It's hard at first, it's a huge life change, ask for help.

3) You're the mom, so you can set whatever rules you want. If you don't want people to hold her for a while, then people don't need to hold her. If you want everyone to wash their hands twice while you supervise, then that's what they should do. If you don't want anyone to touch her hands because her hands touch her face, then that's the rule.

4) Don't let the nurses at the hospital, the lactation specialist or the pediatrician make you feel like an idiot. Answer their questions, hear them out, and then remind yourself that God chose you and Josh to be her parents and He will give you what you need to do that job. If you start to feel like you're the most horrible parent in the world when any of those people are around, ask them to step out for a minute and pray. Then call someone you trust if you need to, but don't get pushed around.

5) At some point, you're going to lose it and fuss at Josh like you've never fussed before. You may even begin to think he's the most horrible person in the world. It's not Josh. It's sleep deprivation. And it's the devil. The devil likes to capitalize on a new mother's sleep deprivation. Cut him off at the pass- when you're head starts to spin, your eyes start to flash and you start to yell, call it for what it is and let it go. You'll feel totally different after a nap and/or a good cry.

6) Any other time that you start to yell or act crazy, it's out of fear. It can be tiny fear, or big fear, but it's out of fear. So when this happens, remember that you and Josh are on the same team. And he does love her like crazy- he just doesn't have the hormone surges that you do.

7) Around 3 weeks, you'll hit a rough patch- it'll be bad. I call it the 3-week hump. I remember telling Chad that all I do is feed a baby and asking why I even bothered to wear a shirt. This struck when Chad went to the bank- to me it felt like he went on a luxury trip, because if I wanted to leave the house, it took hours and hours of preparation and I could only be gone for about 30 minutes before it was time to feed the baby again. Just hang in there- it will all even out, it will become your new normal, and it will be amazing!

8) Get the baby on a schedule. But don't start this until she's 2 weeks old. Until then, just love her, enjoy her, smell her, feed her, change her, and then love her some more. Then, at two weeks, get on a schedule. It doesn't have to be a certain schedule- do whatever works for you- but then do it around the same time every single day, whether you're home or on the go. Babies love it, they thrive with a schedule AND you'll always know what she needs. Note: if the baby is supposed to eat at 3pm and she's ready to eat at 2:45, let her eat!! That is basically 3pm and it's not messing up your schedule. It took me a lot to get there although is seems really obvious now!

9) Be committed to breastfeeding for 6 weeks. It's going to hurt at the beginning, it's going to be really frustrating, and you're going to be able to find something or someone who is willing to talk you out of it. But God made it for babies, it's always ready and the right temperature, it travels well, it's full of nutrients, and it gets easier! If after 6 weeks it's still not working, or something is off, then feel free to move forward as you see fit. Then tell yourself you tried, your worked hard, and you are in no way a failure. Special notes: if after the initial soreness heals/ goes away, you start to feel sore again, call you doc immediately-- it's probably thrush and you want to get medicine right away. If you start to feel like you have the flu, achy, and a fever, it's mastitis, call the doctor right away.

10) You are a great mom. You are Naomi's very best mom. You prayed for this child and God blessed you with her. God has equipped you to take care of her. And this time is very short- although in the middle of a sleepless night it will not feel that way. This will fly by- you'll never have it again- because next time you'll have Naomi and your next bundle too. Soak it up, don't rush getting your life back together, don't rush to the next stage when she sleeps or sits up or plays. Just enjoy every single moment and spend those quiet middle of the night moments praying and thanking God for your girl. It's amazing what a little thanksgiving does for your perspective and your tiredness :)

We love y'all, we're praying for y'all, and we're SO excited for you! Can't wait to see pictures!!

**If you're a mom and have other tips to add for Maggie or any other new mother who may stumble across this, please do!!

3 Little Pumpkins...

It's that lovely time of year again-- beautiful leaves, crisp mornings, and the inevitable pumpkin patch visit that results in many adorable pictures of my favorite little people. It was our second trip with the Spiva family and yet we managed to get no pictures of the boys together or looking in the same direction. (Maybe just maybe that's because one of the is 2 years old and one of them is 3 years old....) And Jill has a new pumpkin in her tummy, and I canNOT wait for his arrival, but I didn't get any pictures of him either. Actually, I don't think I have even one trace of an adult actually being there at all, but I can assure that the boys did not travel alone.

So without further ado, check out my cutest little pumpkins:

And here are some of the boys and Hudson (or not.)

Happy Fall Y'all!
Wait, too cheesy?

Ok fine, then let's just end with a picture of our pumpkin picked special for the Bowman family by Gabe and my punkin Jack :)  Look at that resemblance- it's uncanny!

And that baby J is the most precious thing I ever did see. Enjoy him!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Passing Gas and Shaving-- and how they're related

This may be TMI for you or you may think something is seriously wrong with me, just from the title of this post-- but just go with me on this for a few minutes...

Ok so farting, passing gas, or "pooter tooters" as Max would say, I'm not a fan of- they actually really bother me. Before you even say it, yes I am aware that everyone does it and it's natural, but not everyone appreciates it or thinks it funny. So I really don't want this to be a method for humor around our house. And I'm not talking about a "no fart zone" because then we would surely all swell up like balloons until we burst! I'm just meaning that I don't want it to forced out, waved in other people's directions, done on anyone's head, laughed about, done to the tune of the alphabet, praised, or a source of pride. Make sense?

Well anyway, I've discussed this with Chad many a times, because I can say it and preach it a million times, but if the father doesn't get on board, it's not going to happen.

So far, he's not with me. Now he's not against me- but he's just not with me.
He still thinks they're funny, to an extent. And certain foods causes "them" to flow like the air he breathes.

So I started in on him, "Remember when we were dating- you never farted!" I went on trying to prove that his "I can't help it" statement wasn't true- because clearly he did help it for months and months and months. He told me that he didn't want to gross me out or turn me off then, and now he feels comfortable around me. So of course I question why he thinks bringing "locker room" behavior home is attractive to me now, after marriage. I've been trying every route possible to explain that while "natural" bathroom behavior is absolutely natural, that it doesn't have to happen all the time, that others shouldn't be able to hear it, and announcing what you must go do isn't really necessary. Really, "I have to go to the restroom, be back in a few minutes" gets the point across just fine!

And then I was laying in bed the other night when Chad put his feet on my legs and commented on my shaving (or lack there of) and it HIT me: his farting is a sign of love and of acceptance.

Let me explain.

When Chad and I were dating, I would've NEVER EVER not shaved if there was a possibility of wearing shorts, a dress, a skirt or a bathing suit around him.  If there was a chance that he would come in contact with my legs, they were smooth as silk. Yet, now that I sleep with him every night- which increased the chances of him touching my legs daily by about 200%, I shave about once a week.

(Yep, I said it publicly. Me, the girl who used to shave everyday now shaves once a week. And unfortunately, I can't say that it's because my hair doesn't grow as fast. Stupid prenatal vitamins.)

Why do I do this? Because he loves me, he's stuck with me for life, and I know he accepts me (and my hairy legs). It's like his farting-- it's not against me, it's just that he's comfortable around me-- leaking odoriferous gases and all!

But I've just got to ask-- when did we get so backwards?? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Now that I do actually sleep with him nightly, shouldn't I be shaving more? And shouldn't he care MORE now about potentially grossing me out? I'm pretty sure the devil is to blame for this. Farting must be one of the devils many schemes to conjure up bad (stinky) feelings in a marriage.

Farting is to marriage as hairy legs are to love and devotion

And that folks, is my epiphany for the day. And this is after 3.5 years of marriage... just imagine what year 10 will bring. You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

These children make me laugh all the time!

For instance...

We pulled up to the park and Gabe shouts "Lauren you MUST take a picture of that hot rod-- that's the exact car I want when I get my license."

I'm keeping this picture forever-- or at least until I deliver this car to him for his 16th birthday :)

I was telling Max how much I loved him and he replies, "No Mom, I need to rest."

Max starts phrases with "I need that, I need that ________" fill in the blank for whatever object my strong willed child wants at that moment--sometimes it's my food or my water or my yatch (aka watch), my my favorite was the other when he insisted that he needed two cups before leaving the house:

On Monday evening, on our way to the gym, Max coaxed his father into giving him a donut because he "needed it to play with the kids" and then we turned around right as we were pulling in the parking lot to find this:

Yesterday morning, max hollered up the stairs "I miss you mom, come down here" and then as soon as I walked down he said "You can fix my breakfast now".


And lastly, Jack has a LOT to say as well, so I recorded it for you-- this is the cutest thing I ever did see!

I pray I never get too busy to listen to what these boys have to say :)

Monday, October 10, 2011


If you've ever read our WHOLE long story about how we Bowmans got to be, then you'll notice that the man responsible for our meeting is Christopher Coleman. He is one of Chad's closest friends and he is "Uncle Chris" to our boys.

Anyway, he was featured on GodTube and his story is INCREDIBLE-- take a few minutes to watch our Matchmaker's story. Even if you've heard it before, it'll remind you of just how BIG God truly is and that He does have a plan for us all!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Vigilant Investor

Shortly after I got married, I began working at Investor's Watchdog for Pat Huddleston. Pat and his family went to my church and he was a small group leader with the youth-- which is how I originally met him. He owns his own law firm, Huddleston Law Firm, and also founded Investor's Watchdog out of a passion for protecting investors of all shapes and sizes. He hired me as the Director of Research and Development and since I've worked here, I have done PR, marketing, organizing, product development, writing, social media, receivership work, research, investigating, reporting, and any other crazy idea we came up with! But my biggest, most time consuming, most anticipated project has been The Vigilant Investor.

It started years ago when Pat began penning this book. He handed me a book on finding a book agent and assigned me that task. After sending many (MANY) query letters, we eventually found the perfect agent, Wendy Keller, and once Pat signed with her, she sent us down the road for a successful book campaign. First I edited and re-edited Pat's book proposal, I've researched thousands of ways to market a book and many "how-to" articles. Then I edited and re-edited each chapter as he wrote the manuscript. Once he had a finished product, Keller Media worked to get us a publisher and before long, Pat had signed with Amacom. From there, while Pat worked with Amacom's editor to get each page in "final" form, I along with all his staff, began working fervently to market the book. We came up with every category of person who would benefit from the book and planned ways to reach them. We built followings, booked speaking gigs and radio interview, and did everything we could to spread the word. I also went through each chapter, sentence by sentence, labeling each fact in the book, and then worked to prove each fact. With the help of the rest of the staff at Huddleston Law Firm and Investor's Watchdog, Pat turned in his final book manuscript in February.

At that point, all focus went to marketing and marketing alone. And not the cheesy "must sell the book for the sake of selling a book" marketing, but instead, "must sell this book to protect others" marketing. Pat is passionate about his work- and he is passionate about the help this book can offer to anyone who reads it. Whether your parents are close to retiring, have retired, or eventually will retire or if you ever plan to retire, then the book is a must read. Pat's experience and Pat's knowledge can save you, your wallet, and your nest egg from a heap of trouble!

So now, one year, and nine months after sending that first batch of query letters, the anticipation is over: THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE!

For more information on the book, visit the website:
To order your copy, check out Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All Clean!

My Max, a budding toddler, is giving me something to think about or work through each and everyday. His brain is unreal. And I know I'm biased, but come spend a couple hours will him and you'll be scratching your head too. He's perceptive and funny- he's creative and stubborn- his memory is UN-REAL- and he's just plain smart (and a smarty pants). And he's kind of rotten- which can be blamed on me for 2 reasons:

1) He is just like me- like all my daily struggles are his- you know, strong-willed, control freak, know-it-all, mouthy, etc.... Lucky for me (and everyone around me) the Holy Spirit lives inside of me and continues to reign me in daily... ok hourly... ok minute-ly. But seeing as though the little Max-man hasn't quite figured out salvation and asking Jesus into his heart, I am his Holy Spirit, and let's just say I'm not super awesome at that because he's so darn cute, which bring me to my next point...

2) I just love him too much and I let him get away with stuff-- in ONE 24 hour span my mom and my husband pointed this out to me (again, for like the millionth time)- my mom called me a marshmallow when it comes to the child and Chad accused me of being "soft". Hello, name calling-- I'm a word's person folks-- why they didn't choose words like "grace-filled" and "patient" is because I'm way passed those things. At least once a day I can be caught laughing when I should be spanking. But have you seen his eyes?

Ok, anyway, I'm soft- it is what it is. And no one expected it of me-- I used to be known as the bulldog by all the students in my youth group. (And even one of them told me that I'd lost it.) But motherhood does all sorts of crazy (wonderful) things to you-- and for me, that included making me soft. And I'll say it a million times: It's easy to be a great mom to a 2 year old until you actually have one!  I'm telling you, I was mom of the year, every year (in my head) until I had kids. And since then, humility has been slapping me upside the head, instead :) 

I did receive a pep-talk this morning from my Kellee (I think I need to do a post just on her so that every time I mention her name- which is every time there is any sort of milestone in my life- I can just link to her) and I do need to re-visit "What the Bible Says about Child Training" and this week, I did start carrying THE wooden spoon in my purse-- and now it is time to step it up and actually implement all those things.... but until then (because I can't implement right now-he's sleeping) I thought I'd share one more funny thing this child did, that may or may not have warranted discipline:

Yesterday morning I asked Max if he had to potty before I hopped in the shower. (He did not.) Then I came back 10 minutes later to find him sitting in a puddle of pee and milk. On my couch. He was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and had peed (and continued to sit there?!) and had also laid his milk cup on it's side and let is all drip out. 

Note #1: Max's new thing is to pee on himself instead of using the potty because "I can't want to potty" and so after much prodding from my husband, I  have finally decided to spank him for blatant accidents like that because the child MORE than gets the whole potty drill and just chooses to pee elsewhere because he's a stubborn ole poot! 

Note #2: Since Max could hold his own bottle/ cup, Chad has been adamant about setting it upright on a sturdy piece of furniture after drinking mainly because he doesn't want anything spilled on his side of the bed- but this transferred to the rest of the house as well, because who wants spoiled sticky milk anywhere? Not us.

So I sent the wet Max up to the bathroom while I got out the stain remover spray, followed by the upholstery cleaning spray and cleaned the couch and scrubbed.  I left the spray and the rag on the couch in case it needed a second cleaning and headed upstairs to spank Max (BLAH!!), wipe him down, and get him in new dry clothes. About that time, Jack woke up, ready to eat. So with a fresh and clean Max, I grabbed the baby and nursed him before heading back to the living room.

When I came back, Max was BEAMING- he was PROUD- and I'm pretty sure he knew it could go either way- there was a 50% chance that I too would be proud of him and there was a 50% chance that he would be in trouble. He looked at me with those bright baby blues, awaiting a decision.

"I cleaned my car, Mommy, it's all clean!"

So, he knows he's not supposed to touch any type of cleaner and he did douse my entire couch in cleaner and when I picked up the car later, he had sprayed so much cleaner in the car that it ran down my leg, but in that moment, I was just so in love with his brain, that I too was proud. And it really made me laugh!

But if you come to my house anytime soon, don't sit on that end of the couch-- it's still soaked.


On a totally separate note, especially if you're a Mommy or hoping to be one, check this blog post out:

She is a friend of a friend and I've been following her funny stories for a while- but what she had to say today got me-- what would you have to say in an interview?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Say What?! Borked

A couple times a day, Max brings me a toy or do-dad of some sort, and holds it up saying "I borked it". Clearly he means that he broke it- but he prefers to use the word "borke".

Now here's my dilemma- I love this made up word of his- I love that that's what he hears when someone talking about breaking or something being broken. I'm not sure if it's the configuration of his face and mouth when he makes this word or his little voice that I love so much, but regardless, it's one of my favorite things and I may or may not purposely break things just to hear it said.

So how do I make sure this stays around for a while? Do I go on like it's normal and not draw any attention to it? Or do I change my own use of the word to "borke" to reinforce it's use? I want to make sure he doesn't ever realize that he's pronouncing it incorrectly... at least not for a year or two!

Here's the deal- Please, no one fix this. I LOVE it when things get borkened!

Say What?! Dumber than a 2 year old

The first started about a week ago.  When I'd ask/ tell Max to do something that he didn't want to do he'd respond with "I can't do it"-- make sure you read that in your best 2 year old whiny voice.

My Instructions: Max, clean up your toy.
Max's Response: I can't do it!
My Instructions: Max, let's go take a bath.
Max's Response: I can't do it!
My Instructions: Max, time to head home.
Max's Response: I can't do it!

Are there any words that make a mother's skin crawl more? Oh how I cringe at that statement.

So I started explain, "Max, it's not the you can't do it- you can- you just don't want to.  You need to say "I don't want to".

(Obviously I wasn't thinking when I was teaching him to sass me- but I was trying to get him to understand the difference, not to back talk me. But if he does say it, I may just respond with "well you're not the boss!" just for kicks. No?)

Anyway, so after this round and round of him telling me that he can't and me responding that he could but he just didn't want to, he found a fix that trumped it all:

My Instructions: Max, pick your cup up, it's spilling on the couch.
Max's Response: I can't want to
My Instructions: Max, eat your sandwich.
Max's Response: I can't want it.

At that point, I realized I was dumber than a 2 year old. I had no come back for the kid- I mean at least he was honest-- he clearly couldn't bring himself to want to obey.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Say What?! Sleans

On Friday, I had Gabe try on some new clothes that my mom had gotten for him. I thought I heard him call the pants "sleans" but I thought surely I was mistaken and went on.

Saturday rolled around and I told Gabe to go put on a certain pair of pants before we headed out the door and I could've sworn he said "sleans" again, but then I decided that it is my birth-month, which means I'm getting closer and closer to 30, so maybe my ears were failing me and I shrugged it off. Again.

Then Sunday morning, I was scurrying to get all the boys ready and Gabe came down the stairs in the clothes I had laid out for him and the jeans he had on (that he got at the very end of last season, that had been worn about 3 times total) were MAJOR high waters. So I sent him back upstairs and gave him specific instructions on which pair of pants he needed to put on so then he came into the kitchen holding the pants and said "You mean these sleans?"

I stopped dead in my tracks:

Me: What did you call those?
Gabe: Sleans.
Me: Sleans?
Gabe: Yes, sleans, why?
Me: Gabe, those are called jeans- how did you get to be 8 years old and not know what these are called?
Gabe: I thought they were called sleans- jeans for skinny people.
Me: Sleans? Gabe, you made that word up.
Gabe: Oh! I didn't know I did.

And he turned and walked away. At this point,  I couldn't contain myself- this is the same kid who has had a VERY extensive vocabulary since I met him at age 3! I was laughing so hard that he came back down the stairs. He looked at me for a second and then started giggling too.

Then once we calmed down, I told him that when I finished my diet that I was going to wear sleans too :)

Jack's 4 month Stats

On Jack's 4 month day, we hadn't visited the doc yet, so I didn't have his scoop-- but the doctor basically told me that he's perfect- which I could've told you all along :)

Despite his big head, his precious chunk, and his chinS, Jack is actually in the 50th percentile for everything-- even height, which he was on the small side last check up.

Jack weighs 14lb 10oz
His head is 16.8 inches
His length is 24.8 inches

And he now fills out 6 month clothes like they were made just for him.

Don't you just want to eat him right up??

And on the way to the doctor, Jack was sitting in his seat cooing which makes Max giggle. He cooed and cooed and finally, Max looked at him and said, "You make me happy baby Jack!"  All I could say was "me too" because my throat threatened to close up forever and my vision got blurry. That Jack Attack is bringing joy to our whole family, what a blessing!