Friday, March 30, 2012

Who Does He Look Like?

Sometimes I get asked who Jack looks like-- ok, I get asked that a lot. Sure, Max and Jack have similar qualities, like their overall coloring and their bright blue eyes, but similarities pretty much stop there.

Well, this weekend, I was working on a craft project for the boys new rooms (details on that later....) and I stumble across this, which I'm framing in a "pinterest"fashion, and I just stared in awe. I brought it to Chad and he about died. Then I showed it to Max and he told me it was Jack. But it wasn't.... it was baby Gabe, check it out!

This is baby Gabe:

Now add a couple rolls, and you get baby Jack:

So, who do YOU think he looks like?
BAhahahahahhHAHAHA! Love these boys!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 Months Strong... And Growing!

It's the time again... in the month by month of our sweet Jack Henry. (Well actually, it's passed time, but I'm pretending that it's actually March 21st right now, as I write this...)

Jack is still the same- he's wonderful and perfect and rolly and kissable and happy. His schedule is the same and we have it down to a science. He can miss his first nap or take it in the car or in a stroller, and he's still pretty great. His afternoon naps rock- and they're right in line with Max's and they can even nap in the same room without causing a ruckus. FINALLY. He sits and leans all the way forward and moves around and rolls about and gets on all fours and reaches things he needs, but he will NOT crawl. Not that I mind, because that will majorly change life as I know it, but he's just so funny. I can see him in his video monitor crawling all over his bed, but out in the light, nada. My gut tells me that he's gigging me-- you know the ole "I can't do it myself so you'll have to carry me" move.

He eats like a champ... a funny post on that to follow... and he finally had a tooth pop through TODAY and the next is on the verge. My kids are late teethers in that they're almost as late you can can go and yet still be considered "on time" by the pediatrician. From what I've read, this usually means they're going to have healthy teeth-- lovely! I mentioned last month that I was holding up on the finger foods because Jack still seemed so little to me, but I got over that because he gets so antsy in his high chair. So he eats peas and carrots, corn, small pieces of cheese, cheerios and chex, graham crackers, small bits of bread, small bites of fruit like strawberries and grapes, small bits of turkey, and he LOVES bananas.

And when I say "antsy" in his high chair, I mean his darn banshee scream-- and really, me and Chad are about to be pushed over the edge in this arena. It's so loud and horrific and it's actually blood curdling. It's Jack's means of communication-- he needs more food, or he's ready to get out, or he wants held, or he's been left alone and doesn't approve, etc.... oh my goodness. Someone teach the kids some words already! I tried to go the signing route BUT he realizes how quickly the banshee scream get results so he's not even pretending to participate with me. AND if I put my hand over his mouth and say no screaming, he laughs at me. And guess what, Max thinks this is funny-- not the laughing, but the screeching, so he does it too. Luckily he's old enough to understand and so he gets disciplined for such things, but not before my ears are ringing. Geez Louise-- who is in charge of these kids?? I get so embarrassed when we're in public- we can never be in a store without everyONE there knowing that we are indeed there. Thank you Jack. And I know that Mom of the year just wouldn't react to it, but I'm not her, and I dare you to be around it not react! I even asked his pediatrician, basically begging for him to say it was actually harming him or his vocal cords in some way, but he only laughed and gave one of those "this too shall pass"responses. Great, thanks!

Ok, enough about that, everything else about my baby man is 100% perfection- his legs are still chubby, and his cheeks, well, they're comparable to a chipmunk. His light hair is still growing and thickening and his baby blues are just delectable. When we go places, people stop in awe... until he screams, then they laugh at me :) His common nicknames are "slim" "chubs" "chubba-bubba" and of course, Jay Bay. And to Max, he's "my Jacky-Jack". Jack keeps his eyes on everything, especially Max who can always entertain him. Those two are already bonding more and more- still no aggression or meanness on either parts- and I just can't wait to see them in action in about 6 months to a year. Max is going to be the quiet, reserved one with the ideas and Jack is going to be the little dare devil, quick to try out anything Max suggests. He already dive bombs out of our arms regularly and he loves being thrown in the air and swung around- something Max never enjoyed.

Jack's newest tricks are clapping, playing pat-a-cake, waving, blowing strawberries, and fake coughing, which is his favorite-- I'm not sure why he thinks this is so fun, but anytime he hears anyone coughing, whether someone he knows or a stranger, he'll mock them and then laugh. I think we have an entertainer on our hands, folks!

My days keeps getting better and better as I mother my little loves. Jack, I canNOT get enough of you. I love holding you, even if it is holding you back from crawling. Your hugs and excitement when you see me melts me every time and your sloppy wet kisses are to die for. The quiet moments right before you close your eyes for the day are still my favorite- I love rocking you and feeding you as you doze off- I gaze at you, smell you, and rub that precious hand of yours, thanking my God for every bit of you. You are a great great gift Jack- God did a great work when he knit you together in my womb. Always remember that- and use it for His glory. I love you my precious boy- my baby you'll ALWAYS be!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Party Time!

The first three weekends of March started spring off with a bang for me and Max. For three Saturdays in a row, we kicked off the weekend at a birthday party- and I'm pretty sure all three of these friends were given to us by God for the long haul, so it looks like this is what March may look like for several years-- a birthday party trifecta!

The first was our friend Roman from church. Him and Max have actually been in the same class for a while, but God crossed my path with his mommy's path at the beginning of this calendar year and I just love her! She has two boys, close like Max and Jack, and then she just had a precious baby girl. What a great combo :)  Roman is the younger brother and turned two in March. His party was a Monkey Joe's and although Max was a little timid because it was a weekend and the bigger kids were out and about as well, Jack was really wanting to have at it. Too bad he can't even crawl! AND Max still talks about the party like every other day- for some reason, it really made an impression in his little mind-- he loved the birthday chair Roman got to sit in and the BIG inflatable Monkey Joe that was as high as the ceiling. Boys :)

Then, the second weekend, just me and Max headed over to Elizabeth Grace's 3rd birthday party-- I really just can't believe that little nugget is THREE! Anna and I talked on the phone almost everyday of her pregnancy, then about halfway through, I joined her and started growing out little man, and Max and Liz have been two peas in a pod since. Especially now that Anna and I both get to be SAHM's and we go to the same gym. If Max hasn't seen Lizzy in about 48 hours, he starts asking me where she is like every 20 minutes. And they really keep each other occupied. As weird as it is, if me or Anna need to get something done, we ask if we can borrow a kid so that they'll play together. Anyway, I digress....

Lizzy's party was a Curious George party complete with monkey finger puppets for "no more monkey's jumping on the bed" peanut butter and banana sandwiches because that's was George would eat, and various other monkey things. The party was a hit, and Max still carries around the party favor: A Barrel of Monkeys game, like he just got it. Oh, that boy! (We also had waffles together after the gym the actual morning of EG's bday-- we're hoping it will become the annual tradition, much like Max's donut tradition.)

And lastly, the final party in March was Reed's second birthday. And again, this was a big one for me, because in my mind, he's "the baby" of our small group-- Max was August, Haven was November, and then Reed rounded out our "three's a charm" in the boy department in March. It's really fun having boys SO close together with mommies that you see so often-- we compare war stories and really just get time to cherish all their sweetness-- not to mention that they are all good buddies and enjoying playing together anytime it's possible!

Well, Reed was a St Patty's day baby, so his very pregnant mother who is seriously amazing, planned a super cute, super yummy, and super fun GREEN birthday party, despite being ready to birthday baby Molly any day! If you want to see everything she put together, go check out her blog: St Patrick's Day Birthday (P.S. Her blog is always full of great ideas, recipes, how to incorporate Jesus into holidays, decor, etc... it's a good one to follow!)

Our crew was there (minus Gabe- he had a soccer game and was with his Mommy and Shawn that weekend) and we rocked our green:

Don't I have cute men in my life??

And seriously, this little is just too much! How could you not love that face?

I snap picture like this all the time... Chad is such an "in action" Daddy- takes the boys places, plays with them, shows them things, wrestling, swinging, golfing and always GIGGLING!

The Three Musketeers: (L) Haven (M) Max (R) Birthday boy Reed
But my favorite line from Max in regards to these parties always came a couple hours before as we were getting ready to head that way. We'd be getting dressed and in typical Max format, he'd ask where we were going. I explain that we were going to so and so's party and where it was going to be and what the theme was and he's say "I'm going to help ______ eat their cake." And then he'd repeat that line at least 20 times as we were en route to make sure I knew where his priorities laid-- and of course, how helpful and kind he was, looking out for his friends like that-- he wouldn't want them to have to eat all that by themselves... always a servant :)

Happy Birthday to our sweet friends and thank you for letting us be apart of your celebrations!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We're Going To Zoo Zoo Zoo, How Bout You???

For those of you like Chad who look at the title and say, "what is that about?" it's a very lovely song by Raffi that should be known and sung by all. If you're as lucky as me, you can download it on your iPhone and listen to it in the car 47 times in a row, at your 2-year-old's request.

But back to my original point... last fall, we bought a zoo pass after visiting as Danielle and Reed's guests and having a lot of fun. It's such a great thing to have with kids Max's age because we can get there when it opens, see everything, eat lunch there that we brought from home and be back in the car, headed home, by nap time. And of course, since it's outside and involves a moving stroller, Jack is game, too! We've already gone to the zoo about 8 times since buying the pass- we've gone with several friends, we've gone with Uncle Eli, we've gone with Annie, and then this past week, we took Gabe-- which naturally presented many photo opportunities :)

Gabe was out of school this past Thursday and Friday, combined with absolutely wonderful Georgia weather in the midst of March, and two other delightful blue eyed boys, and we had a winning combination!

Gabe hadn't been to the zoo for years and he was pumped! Max loved following him around, and Gabe made sure Max knew and pronounced the exact names for all the animals- it was fun!

The weather was so good, that all the animals seemed to be out and about and so happy and playful. Monkeys were jumping, gorillas were carrying their babies around, the tiger and her babies were frolicking, the elephants what eating and turning about, and all the animals in the petting zoo were up for a good petting and a new hair-do-- and we loved the show they were all putting on for us!

Maybe you noticed Max's wardrobe change halfway through the pictures... that was because he decided to wet his pants while sitting in his chair at lunch! Why?? Who the heck knows, but I had to pack everyone up, all the food, and traipse over to the bathroom. I set Gabe up outside with the rest of his lunch, I took Jack in with me, strapped in the stroller, and had to position him outside the stall because it was tiny, and then I begrudgingly pulled off Max's wet, nasty clothes. You know, I never pack a change of clothes but decided to just incase, and see what happens? That's what I get for being prepared! And about 30 minutes later, when we were leaving the zoo, I remembered that I didNOT wipe down the chair Max was sitting in at the time of the accident. I was horrified. Ahhhhhh, hopefully no one discovered that the hard way.

And in case you just want to see some extra cute stroller shots of Jack- here ya go-- To DIE FOR!

It was a DE-LIGHTFUL day to be a mom :)  Maybe next time, we'll bring Daddy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Conversations to Remember

I've mentioned it 1000 times but Max is just so fun and funny right now. His brain is always on and sometimes I can actually see the wheels turning. The normal, day-to-day conversations are completely awesome and hilarious- but they're mundane-- the things you don't remember long-- so I'm going to document one that just happened:

Max and Jack were in the bath tub and Max was playing with a white rubber duckie that had on a scarf and a top hat- it's the Christmas edition. Max pushes it under the water and it makes bubbles and Max says "the duck just pooter tootered!" I tell the duck to say excuse me and then Max brings the duck up on the ledge and says "the duck is looking at you." So naturally I respond with a "Hi duck, I like your red and white scarf". And this puts Max's brain into motion....

Max: Oh he does have a scarf around his neck- like the big dinosaur
Me: The dinosaur at Annie's museum?
Max: Yes, the bigger bigger one.
(Keep in mind that this was in NOVEMBER when Max was at Annie's house and the Dinosaur's at the Children's Museum were dressed for winter/ Christmas)
Max: Remember the big green dinosaur? It's bigger like Gabe and me. And there was a yittle green dinosaur like Jack. (He petted Jack gently while referring to him.) But the other one was bigger like Gabe and me. Are all the boys bigger like me and Gabe?
Me: No, some boys are yittle like Jack.
Max: But Gabe and me are bigger.
(Obviously the child doesn't notice that him and Jack are almost the same size- a mere 21 months apart- while him and Gabe are SEVERAL feet and 7 years apart.... details!)
Me: Of course
Max: Can you get me out? It's whelly (really) not too warm in here.
Me: Ok, I'll wash you
Max: Let's do it! (long pause) Do you wash me because you yove (love) me?
Me: Yes, I sure do love you!
Max: Well I yove you bigger bigger!

The end.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baby Jack's Dedication

On Sunday, our new church (over a year old at this point... so maybe more of a toddler than new....) had it's first baby dedication and we got to be a part of it. It is so special and emotional for me as the mama of this precious boy and his Daddy got a little teary too. You know, when God hands you little people and entrusts them to you, it's just so much of a bigger deal than you can ever imagine. It is a constant battle of the flesh vs. Christ in us, trying to love, guide, direct, and train up all three of our boys. More than anything, we want them to know Christ and the power of his love- how they are a part of God's plan, and how accepting Jesus as their Savior and receiving God's gift of eternal life is more important than anything on this earth. My throat gets tight just typing this. We take this job very seriously and we proud to stand in front of our church and commit to raising Jack for the LORD. We are honored and humbled that the congregation stood with us, promising to help.

Here is what Chad read out loud to Jack:

Baby J, We promise to raise you in a way that encourages your love for Christ and a personal relationship with Him, first and foremost. We pray that you discover the gifts God has given you, and that you use them for His glory. We hope to instill Godly character and integrity in you, through our personal relationships with Him, and we commit to love and pray for you unconditionally. 
Here is the verse that we pray for you:  
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. Psalm 86:11-13 

And here are some cute pictures-- most of them are in action and capture us in all of our glory. But let's be honest- it just doesn't get much cuter than my 4 guys.

Jack was so funny- trying to dive bomb out of my arms, lurching for his brother's hair, and even banchee screaming for the whole congregation to enjoy. Max was acting like a two year old, jumping around, poking Gabe, and even pulling on my clothes, while Gabe stood their trying to listen to what Chad had to say. I couldn't help but giggle, with tears in my eyes, at that sweet moment. I just loved it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gabe is a big brother... Again!!

And no, this isn't my sneaky way of telling you I'm pregnant again or that we've added another to our brood secretly. Instead, Gabe's mom and stepdad welcomed their first child into the world this afternoon, Gabe's first sister!

Today at 3:10pm, Kimbrel Lynn Kirkland was born, weighing in at 7 lbs 12 oz, and 21 inches long.

Mom and baby are doing great and professional big brother Gabe is already in action:

Welcome to the world Little Miss- You are a much anticipated blessing! We pray your heart will find Jesus very soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Things We Do For Our Children...

At my gym, the Kids Klub offers fun crafts each week centered around a theme. Last week it was all about transportation, and during the time Max was at the gym, he got to make a sail boat and a hot air balloon. He was very proud of these creations and so I hung them on our fridge. He likes to take people into the kitchen and say "Look what I did." Now of course, it's the same three people over and over: Me, Daddy, Uncle Eli, Me, Daddy, Uncle Eli-- but each time we act wowed by his work and so in essence, egg him on.

So anyway, this week, it's all about zoo animals. Great, right? WRONG. Because Monday, first day of the week, first craft of this theme, I walk in to Max and Lizzy waving s-n-a-k-e-s in my face. Yep. Green ones. With decor done by those little tykes, complete with polka dots, and stripes. Slithery ones too. And Max, he's just thrilled by this creation, even though I've taught him to promptly say "Yuck!" anytime anyone mentions the s-word or if he sees one. And by sees on, I mean on tv, because naturally, I do not come close to those things and neither do my children.

In case you don't remember, I have a crazy fear of those things- I lose sleep when I allow my mind to think about their existence, I take the longer route if I fear one might possibly live on/ near the shorter route, I check the toilet for them, I check my driveway for them, and when I'm feeling brave, I even look in the trees above to make sure there aren't any hanging around my head. And this is a whole different level of fear than the kind you play pranks with- I lose complete control and ability to think like a rational being when those things (the s-word) come into play. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not. Not even a little bit. I literally have thought through how I would respond if one was coming after/towards/ near my children and I can't honest say, I don't know that I'd have to guts to go get them and save them, because of my own freezing, terrifying, fear.

So with that being said, back to the green S-word being waved in my face by my proud 2 year old. So he loves it, I mean LOVES it- like more than anything he's ever made. I snatch it out of his hand quickly and drop it in my gym back. He puts his hand sanitizer on like a good boy then asks for his creation. I tell him it's in my bag and start walking-- surely he'll forget about it. He's two. Plus, I'm not above bribing him with candy. He asks again-- pleads, rather. So I mention his favorite colors of M&M's... he's not swayed. He wants his darn paper s-n-a-k-e-- he wants to "holds it in dis hand" to be exact. So of course I hand it over- because if I make a big deal about it, then surely he'll be on to me in a way that admits weakness and shows him how important this is to me that this thing disappear FOREVER (The Sandlot kind of forever-- you know FOOOORREEVVVVVVERRRRRRRR), so in order to show that it is not important at all (IT IS!) I fish it out of my bag and nonchalantly hand it to him like it's no big thing.

We get to the car, and I try to throw it under the seat while I buckle him in, but he asks for it again. We stop at Publix on the way home, and again, I try to hide it down beside his carseat while I'm getting him out, but again, he finds it and clings to it with pride and joy. Now why he has so much pride and joy in this dumb piece of construction paper is beyond me- I mean we make stuff all the time, he makes stuff at church all the time, and we have a perfectly cute hot air balloon and sailboat displayed on our fridge. But nonetheless, he carries that green, slimy, slithery thing throughout the store, waving it around and showing it to other shoppers. He delicately protects it as we go out into the blustery day, and continues talking about it like it's a gift from the Lord. I park him in the cart at the back of the van, while I grab Jack and begin to strap him in and put the 2 grocery bags in the car. I'm almost done when I hear, "Ohhhh MOMMY, MY S-N-A-K-E-- I yost it, I yost it, heeeeellllp." (When help becomes a 6 syllable word, I know it's bad.) I turn around to see the thing blowing across the parking lot. I turn to Max in relief, prepared to tell him that this was the Lord's Will and it is now gone forever, only to see huge, and I mean HUGE crocodile tears running down his cheeks.

So what was I to do? I did the only thing a loving mom could do. I went running and dashing and scurrying all over the blame parking lot trying to catch the thing. And when I did (under my shoe) I had to make myself bend over and pick the thing up. I handed him to Max, who beamed at me in delight and literally hugged the thing to his face. And as soon as we walked into our own house, Max asked for a piece of tape to hang the darn thing on the fridge.

So now, not only did I chase the darn thing and rescue it from it's demise, it lives in our kitchen. And did you notice the red spots on it's head? I'm sure that means it's the poisonous kind. This is against everything I am. But that's love, friends-- true love. The things I do for that boy........

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh Joy

I just finished my 7th load of laundry in one day. Actually, in one day that wasn't supposed to include any laundry at all. Today, we were supposed to drop off papers with our accountant on the Marietta square, then head to the park for playing and a picnic, then home for naps (for everyone!) and then to Step Class. But instead, this day has been all about the stomach bug. Oh joy.

Max woke up around 2am and came to our room- I walked him back to his room, laid with him for about 5 minutes until he fell back asleep then tiptoed back to my bed. About an hour later we repeated this same drill. This isn't the norm for him, but in my sleep fog, I just went through the motions and didn't think twice about it. Around 4am, I made it back to my bed again and I was just settling in when Max started crying, loud! Now this is really really unlike him, sleep fog or not- so I sprinted to his room and his hand was out while he stood on his bed. I grabbed his hand (in the dark) and was met by a handful of chunks. And that's when the smell assaulted me as well. So I scooped up Max and dropped him in the bathroom, went and roused Chad for reinforcements- mainly because the boys share a room so we needed to handle this quick or the whole house would be awake. Somehow Chad can sleep through multiple feedings a night but I only had to whisper "Max puked, I need your help" and he was on his feet, in action. That was impressive.

Since then, I have spent about 12 hours with the sickest little boy- he has kept nothing down, he sat in my lap and puked while I held a big bowl and perfected my catching abilities and he cried. All of these things broke my heart :( His stomach would rumble, his gut would wrench, and again and again and again, he would dry heave. He also managed to make an unbelievable heap of laundry. But now he is sleeping soundly- but not before he sobbed in my arms because of how bad his arms and yegs hurt-- which is from dehydration :( Oh my baby! He doesn't really get things and if he does, it's a cold, and he goes on with life as normal except with snot. But this has knocked him out. He hasn't moved or played or talked. Crazy.

BUT my point is that while all of this was unfolding and I was waiting for my doc to open, I remembered the wonderful Laura Hunter from my church, co-author of The Moms on Call book that I highly recommend to ANY parent. So I sent her a Facebook message really quick and she gave me some info that you might want... Just in case this bug makes its way to your house because word on the street is that this thing is making the rounds....

She said that with this bug, it usually lasts about 12 hours. She said not to give them anything until they have gone an hour without vomiting. This is digestive rest. And then, once it's been an hour, give them a tsp of water, pedialyte, or heavy syrup off of canned peaches every 10 minutes, for 3 hours, while awake. IF they make it to 3 hours, then start giving them 2 tsps every 10 minutes for 3 more hours. If they make that, then you can start with soups, crackers, dry cereal, etc... NO milk for 24 hours.

Now we just wait and see if any others in this household will be struck by the kiss of death for 12 hours.... Wish us luck...... AND I hope you don't need to use any of those pointers above!