Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Say What?! Some of Max's Finest

When the sun was shining in the room through the window, making all the little dust specks in the air appears, Max says, "Oh Mom, look at all those frweetos!"(Mosquitos)

When Baby Grant came to play for a couple hours while Jill had a meeting, I changed three poopy diapers in a row- two of Grant's and then one of Jack's. On the last diaper, Max inquired what was in that one. When I told him poopy he said, "Poopy again? That's disgusting!" (Where did he even learn that word???)

While talking about God, and the "Praise God" song we sing (Doxology) I asked Max if he knew why we praised God. He said he didn't know so I used his arms and said It's because God is SO big, SO strong, and SO awesome. After a minute I asked, "Now who is big, strong and awesome?" and Max replied, "Max is!" I said, "NOOOOOO, who is big, strong, and awesome?" He yelled, "I AM, MOM!"

Chad sat on the steps in the garage while holding Jack and gave Max step by step instructions for feeding my brother's dog who lives with us right now. When Max got back in the house, he brushed off his hands and said, "Whew, that was hard work."

Jack was fussing in the living room while I was in the kitchen getting food together. I asked Max to go check on him and then I hollered "What's wrong with our baby, Max?" He came back into the kitchen with a droopy face and said, "It's because he doesn't like me, Mom."

On Sunday, after arriving at Brad and Lisa Weaver's house for dinner, Lisa who was literally 12 hours away from delivering baby (we didn't know that at the time!) scooted into the bathroom for her every 10-minute potty break, and Max looked a me and said "Isa having her baby now?"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My lil 8 month old

Mr. Jack has done it again-- he's grown and grown and reached a new level... the 8 month old level! It's crazy to think this little man has already been in our lives that long. I'm even starting to think about his first birthday party already- craziER!

It probably goes without saying, but this little guy is quite a joy. He's so laid back and he loves to be held and cuddled, and as long as I'm not super crazy busy, this is just the best combo ever. We've finally gotten into a groove with sleep-- we've dropped naps/ changed naps/ added food/ figured out the bottles, and we've now got it to a fine science....

7:30 a.m. Wake up! Eat 7-8oz bottle

8:00 a.m. Breakfast
(2 spoonfuls of baby oatmeal and applesauce)

9:30 a.m. Nap (2 hours)

11:30 a.m. Eat 6-7oz bottle

12:00 p.m. Lunch
(4 cubes of green veggies w/ fruit mixed in)

2:00 p.m. Nap (2 hours)

4:00 p.m. Eat 6-7 oz bottle

4:30 p.m. Dinner
(4 cubes of orange veggies w/ fruit mixed in)

7:00 p.m. Bath and pj’s

7:30 p.m. Eat 7-8 oz bottle in his dark room with sound machine on, then bed!

So him and Max still nap during the same time block in the afternoons (PTL!) and he'll take his first nap on the go if we're out and about. He is mostly sleeping through the night... although I still have to get up at least once and give him his paci.... so I still haven't sleep through the night since I was pregnant with him, BUT right at this very moment, I'm not complaining. Jack is completely swaddle-free at this point-- he wears a sleep sack for warmth (because I'm scared to death of SIDS) and he usually rolls to his side and cuddles his buggle that Jill got him. 

Jack sits up on his own and will play for a bit. He's even starting to feed himself puffs-- which gives me a few minutes during the dinner hour to cook without an armful. He'll play in his jumparoo and he still loves to swing-- it will calm him down when he gets all fussy before bedtime. His hair is coming in more and more everyday-- it's really light like the rest of our clan, and unfortunately, there are NO curls. Oh well... we'll have to try again with the next Bowman. He is growing like a weed- I can't wait to hear his stats at his 9  month appointment-- really the kid is just so "substantial" as my mom says-- he's rolly and chubby and even getting long on me-- crazy! He can still wear 9 month clothes, but the 12 are best-- and not ANY too big. This is the first time since his birth that his size/ seasons aren't lined up with Max, so he is now getting his own clothes... no hand-me-downs! They'll even back out again once he gets to the toddler sizing, but for now, he's his own man :)

Honestly, I just can't get enough of this baby. And when I get tired and worn out, he just gives me that smile that cuts straight to my heart and we're all good again. Jack- you're precious and loved. You're beautiful and perfectly made.You've got me (and your Daddy!) wrapped around your little pudgy fingers and we're pretty speechless when it comes to our love for you. Thank you for being so sweet and happy, thank you of being such a wonderful part of our family, and thanks being so easy-- now I understand how NOT easy Max was/ is!! Isn't that what little brothers are for? I thank God ALWAYS for giving you to me-- what an amazing gift I received on May 21st, 2011. I praise Him for you Jack!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

All In

Today is the birthday of a very special lady (nope, I'm not talking about my mother, although she is certainly a very special lady!)-- it's someone God put in my life over 12 years ago and I haven't been the same since. After every interaction with this woman, regardless of the reason we're interacting, I walk away with a passion to be a better mother. So today, in honor of Kellee Hall, I want to talk about something God has been showing me...

Kellee is the mother of three wonderful children-- her eldest, Grant is a football player for his high school. At the beginning of December, Chad and I and all our boys stood beside their entire family-- grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins-- as Grant and his team played for the State Championship for the 5th year in a row. They were all dressed in green and they cheered their guts out as they had time and time before. I couldn't help but notice how "all in" Kellee was when I came to the game her son loves. Her passion for her children and their hearts is SO contagious.

Back in the day, while working at North Metro Church, there was a group of students who got together to start a revolution among their schools- they worked hard with a united vision across many ministries, many churches, and all the schools. One of their ideas was that everyone should have the same t-shirt as part of Revolution Week, so one of the guys got his Dad to buy a huge order of t-shirts and they would then sell them for cost to students across Cobb County. That Dad was "all in"-- he didn't question his son, or ask for a guarantee of breaking even-- he just believed in what he was doing and literally was willing to put his money on it.

Several years ago, when coaching cheerleading, there was a wonderful young lady on my squad named Callie. Shortly after starting college, her passion for baking was heightened and she started making stuff in her kitchen at home. I followed along on Facebook as she posted new, beautiful, and yummy things constantly. And before long, her and her mom were opening a shop to further this dream, while she continues to get her college degree. Her mom now works with her as they grow their business: Callie's Cupcakes and Creations . If "I believe in you so much that I'll go into business with you" doesn't say I'm "all in" then I don't know what does.

For some reason, God brought all these stories to the fore-front of my mind about a month ago and I just can't shake it- I am passionate about doing this for and with my kids. I want to be a mom who is all in-- who believes in my children and supports what they do with all that I am. I'm not sure what that will look like in the years to come, but I've had some great examples. For now, I think it means being "all in" when my kids are up in the night, sick, teething, or growing. I think it means embracing, and answering, each time Max asks "where are we going Mom" or "what are you doing Mom" even though he already knows the answer. I think it means potty training with patience, cleaning up after Max-make-a-mess Bowman when he finishes eating and teaching Jack how to eat solids, even though it's easier not to.

I'm sure this list will keep growing, but I pray my boys recognize my love and passion for them, I pray they feel supported and believed in from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes, and I pray that that "all in-ness" leads them to the feet of their Heavenly Father, who was SO all in when it came to us, his children, that He sent his son to make a way for us to be with Him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Reason to Celebrate

On Friday, we picked up Gabe and got this:

That's his latest report card. Did you notice that his lowest grade this semester was a 95? A 95! Lowest grade! Needless to say, we were impressed and very proud of his hard work. I never want our kids to be "defined" by their grades BUT I do want them to be very diligent in their studies as if doing everything for the Lord (Colossians 3:23) so we do want to make a HUGE deal when this is accomplished. So that is what we did! We asked Gabe how he wanted to celebrate and he picked dinner out with the family and Chuck E Cheese. (Honestly, he asked to go to Toys R Us first, and we shot that down. The child just got 40 million toys for Christmas, and his bday is next month at which point he'll get 40 million more toys AND he's a little obsessed with "stuff"so we encouraged him to come up with something else that wasn't "stuff" so Chuck E Cheese was choice #2.)

Uncle Eli offered to stay home with baby Jack so that we weren't lugging a baby, worrying about fussiness and bed times, and we got to enjoy our big boys for the night. This was Max's first time to Chuck E Cheese  that he remembers (he visited once when he was 6 months old for Gabe's birthday) and Gabe showed him the ropes. These two had a ball! They went through their 90 tokens in about an hour or so, and racked up enough tickets to pick out several pieces of candy and small toys as prizes. And although Max wasn't really a fan of Chuck E Cheese himself (he's rather scared of people in costumes) he hasn't stopped talking about "when we went to the game store with Gabe". Gabe pretty much mastered most of the games, and was a stud on the virtual jump rope.

And Chad and I just really enjoyed being the parents to some really great boys. We all had fun playing games and celebrating Gabe and his awesome grades. Way to go GTB, we're so proud of you!

(Can you tell they enjoyed the candy on the way home?)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Farewell Paci

We're 15 days into the month of January, and you can say I've up and made myself crazy.

Let's start at the beginning....

Max has been a paci baby his whole life... I have WAY more pictures of him with the paci in his mouth than without. Recently, between our "paci jar" and the "you're not in your bed" rule, we've cut down on it quite a lot, but with Max, if he's chill for more than 5 seconds than he needs his paci-buggle, which is one word, because they go together so strongly in his mind-- kind of like the Max version of pb& j-- you just wouldn't have one without the other.

Well somewhere along the line, (WAY back in 2011) I decided that on January 1st, 2012 that we would throw the paci away-- there are a couple reasons for this:
1) I was falling victim to social pressures and disapproval for allowing my 2+ year old to have a paci
2) Chad is constantly worrying about his teeth
3) I thought January 1st, 2012 was a long, Long, LONG way away

But on January 1st, when he got out of bed, as we had discussed for the previous 1-2 weeks, Max put the paci in the trashcan and it hasn't been seen since. I must say that he handled it WAY better than I did-- it made me sad, like real tears were shed, and it still hurts my heart to think about it- probably because it did cause him some emotional distress, but mainly, because it was his last "baby" thing-- it made him look young and tiny and like my little baby Max.

Max fared much better.... he was a little bit sad but he never could find words for what he was feeling. He never asked for it, but when it came time to watch tv or cuddle up for his nap, there was something missing and he knew it. For a couple nights and a couple naps, he didn't sleep as well and he slept a little shorter than normal. He'd wake up whimpering in the night, but within a few minutes, he'd fall back to sleep. Which is good, because this sad mama heart would not have stood for much more. But now, here we sit 2 weeks later and he's completely whole, completely happy, sleeping as good as ever. (But I'm never taking his buggle away-- if he wants to take it to college, I'll encourage it! Slumber parties? Go right ahead! Put it in his coat pocket the day of his wedding? You betcha, that's every woman's dream for her groom!)

But since ripping that band-aid off wasn't nearly as painful as I had planned, I decided to go all in-- we had a couple more "bad" habits going on at the Bowman homestead, so why not conquer them all at once? I wasn't sleep good anyway, so why not make it worse? So, the new rules for Jack include not being picked up/ fed anytime before 4am (he eats at 7:30 and then started waking up like every hour or 2 and screaming his head off....) and I went ahead and broke his swaddle as well. "Swaddle?" you say, "isn't that for newborns?" To which I'd say yes! And Jack. He loves it. It makes him so happy-- he'll be fussing and I'll go swaddle him and he's practically asleep before I can lay him down. But he's almost outgrown every swaddle I can find on the market AND he needs to be rolling around and playing in his crib to develop all his muscles and learn new tricks-- so I went all in. Can't you just see that crazy in my eyes?

If Jack wakes before 4am, I just go in and sing. Slowly but surely he's decided that while those songs are nice, he'd rather just sleep if he can't get to GOOD stuff (milk!). So 3 of 4 last several nights, he's only woken up once. PTL. AND he has already taught himself to fall asleep unswaddled. Sometimes he does still wake up in the middle of the night, but he's not mad. He talks, rolls around, turns himself about, does a little hokey pokey, and then goes right back to sleep. So, once this becomes the rule, rather than the exception and blogworthy news, then I'm just going to sing at 4am too.

February will be the month where all the Bowman people sleep through the night, every single night. AND I'm busting my booty in January to make sure this is the case! It's go BIG or go home-- team MOM rocks!

Max's first picture ever with a paci:

Max's last picture ever with a paci

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rainy Days

I woke up this morning at 6am to a humungous thunderstorm. I'm talking house shaking, light filling the very dark house, over and over and over. I just waited for it to wake the babes in my life from their slumber. As I laid there, I contemplated what kind of things a rainy day should be made up of...

In my kid-less days, it meant more sleep-- like way more than I needed, hot teas, books on the couch, and the occasional lifetime movie. When I surveyed my options, I realized that none of those would be conducive to the 2 year old in my life. Or that 7 month old for that matter! So what to do?

The obvious choice was to stay in our jammies all day and I could hope and pray for really long naps. But let's be honest, there isn't much adventure to all that. But what's a mom to do?

Wait for their genius child, full of genius ideas, that's what!

Shortly after lunch, in the midst of a magnificent, roof collapsing downpour, Max came up with this:

He needs yegs out (aka his pants off) and his flip-flops on....

He was a man with a plan.....

A kid on a mission.....

And quite adorable at that!