Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chad turns 25!

Last week, my favorite person had a birthday!  It was exciting times considering how much Max loves birthdays and he was more than willing to celebrate his Daddy with cake, waffles, parties, and a Braves game! But we kicked off the celebrations with a little surprise party....

Our good friend Matt has a birthday 4 days before Chad, and him and his wife-- Danielle-- were awaiting the arrival of their new baby, Molly. So I called Danielle to see if she wanted to have a joint party for the guys- I would handle everything and she could just show up. They are some of our closest friends and we share a lot of the same friends, so it would be easy. She came up with the idea to make it a surprise and so that's what we did.... kinda....

We invited all of our favorite church peeps via email-- classy, I know-- but it was last minute and Danielle was about the have a baby which means I can't possible do real invites or even an evite. I then came up with a cook out menu, our sweet friend Heather volunteered to take care of the cake and introduce me to the world of Costco cakes (YUM!) and voila, a party was born.

The were two little hiccups, though... it's kind of hard to have a surprise party at your house for your spouse, because well, they live there and they see your bank account. So basically I cleaned the house "because it was just that time of the week" or so I told Chad, and made lists and a banner, and then had to wait until the actual day to do anything. My brother came by and saved the day by keeping the little boys so me and Gabe could run all the errands without toting small people. And we survived. But let me tell ya, convincing your husband that he needed to leave the house for the better part of the afternoon, dressed and clean, was awkward. He eventually decided that he was going to use that time to work which means he would come home dirty and I pushed back a little but decided that would blow my cover and he could just be dirty and stinky at his party. The second hiccup was when the two birthday boys both arrived a few minutes early.... about 3 minutes before all our guests arrived! So it was a surprise in the sense that they didn't know it was going to happen, but there was no "SURPRISE" moment if you know what I mean. Funny now, but I admit at the time, it was a little upsetting for me... all that work and no surprise. But it was fun none-the-less!


#1. Good food
#2. REALLY good cake
#3. Baby Molly was there and due to sick kids, it was the first time I got to meet her in person-- her 10 day old day.
#4. Our super amazing fun friends with wonderful kids filled our home and yard and it was just great
#5. The two birthday men-- obviously Chad is just wonderful, that's why I married him, and Matt is just great too-- like I said before, he is one of our closest friends, I just love his wife to death, I work with Matt at church-- he's our family pastor and I volunteer/teach in Middle School a lot, and they're part of our small group too-- his heart is stellar and I hope between him and my hubs that my boys grow up to be just like these men.

Happy Birthday Matt & Chad-- we love y'all and thank God for you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- The best yet!


Today, at the ripe old age of 26 months and 5 days Max had his first injury that required band aids. Now don't get me wrong- he's worn band aids before after shots or because his teeth itched making him need one on his chest and other such shenanigans but this was a fall-off-the-bike take-the-skin-off-both-knees kind of injury. And I handled it just as poorly as he did. There was crying (from both of us) and blood and full body tremors. And the memories of such scrapes flooded my mind- blah!

First there was the blood curdling scream which sent me running in his direction. He was walking towards me with both hands stuck straight out and his legs stiff. I scooped him up and checked out his knees and there was lots of blood. So I put him on Chad's tailgate and ran to get Neosporin and bandages and cold paper towels. We doctored them up and then he had to sit with me for a good 10 minutes. Then he tried to get down but it hurt to move-- remember that? Eventually (like 597 minutes later) we kind of recovered only to be time for a bath, aka the worst part of this kind of skin scraped all nerves exposed sort of ordeal. You know, you put your legs in the water which brings the sting like you've never been stung before-- then you pull them out of the water and somehow your skin shrinks and you think you'll never be able to straighten your legs again. Max did not handle this part so well- he lept out of the bath and digressed by about 20 months. He had to be carried like a baby, dressed like you would dress a newborn, wounds re-doctored and then he waddled to brush his teeth and climb in his bed. Picture knees bent while he walked hunched over like your great grandma. And of course his bottom lip was stuck out so far that I'm surprised he didn't trip. Oh it was bad people, but now that we've checked this milestone off the list, we'll both be better for it, I'm sure. But I'm sure we'll have to discuss the major injury at least 20 times a week for the next 3 weeks. Oh the joys of two year olds :)

I love this little booger and I'm super bummed about his boo boo- but overall, I give him a 9 out of 10 for bravery, courage, pain management, and drama!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Max and some antics

Our little Max is quite a mess these days-- well he's always been a mess when it comes to food and such, but I mean his personality. He's all over the place, too smart for his own good, has a great brain and great ideas and doesn't miss a thing!

The other days, as I was walking around to his side of the car he said "Yook Mom, yook at my trick!" And this is what I see...

Today, I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher while Jack was in the living room playing and Max was fluttering back and forth between us. Jack started fussing, and since he's new to the whole crawling thing and hasn't quite grasped that he can actually crawl off the rug, I started calling him: "Come here Jack, come see me!" So Max runs into the kitchen with me and says "Come here Jack, come see us!" Max thinks he's a little adult :) (And no Mom, you can't comment about how he gets this from me or how I sat at the "adult" table since I was three.)

The other day, I got Max a Mickey phone from the Disney store-- he's still obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and really he learns so much from it, that one or two episodes a day has actually proven to be good for him. Anyway, back to the phone-- y'all, it's like he's a teenager. He's always saying "where my phone, Mom" or before we head somewhere "but I need my phone." He keeps it in his pocket and then says "I'm getting a call" and pulls it out to talk to Annie, Mickey, Daddy, Pop, Eli, and Grandma. I even had to tell him that phones were not allowed in his bed and that he had to keep it downstairs when it was time for night night. Seriously? He's two!

Speaking of that- he rode up beside me on his bike, stuck his hand out and told me he needed some money. Where did he even get that? We don't talk about money with Max or even put him in the possession of any money. Now I know I'm not ready for that stage!

Now back to Mickey for a minute-- I need to give that show proper credit for teaching Max ALL the shapes. The kid is a wiz at his shapes and colors and has even masters a shapes app on my phone. The other morning he called me into his room to see the pentagon that he made out of his train. Yep- he said that word. Actually he called it a hexagon first, paused to count the sides, then corrected himself. He's two.

While we drive, I use that time to quiz Max and talk about different things. I love that I have his attention, and he really is the most talkative little thing when he with me or his Daddy, so why not use that time for good? Well anyway, I've been quizzing him about our family-- like who is Daddy's mommy? And who is my Daddy? We've gotten pretty extended-- into spouses, and how me and my brothers share the same parents, etc... Anyway, today he starts quizzing ME! Ha :) He starts with "Who is your Daddy?" And I mess up on purpose so he can correct me. Then who is my mommy and who is Eli's mommy. Then he says "Who is my biggest biggest best boy?

This stumped me because I was totally not sure where he was going-- I point out that he's my big boy from time to time and I always call him my "best best best best best Bubba!" so I was thinking that maybe he was referring to himself but I told him I didn't know. He shouts, "GABE! I yove him."

Last night, I was eating my dinner on the couch and looked around for my water. I said out loud to Chad that I was just sure I had carried into the living room with me but couldn't find it. Max disappeared and then came right back carrying my water. He took initiative and brought it to me after hearing me talk about it. This really just melted my heart more than I can find the words to explain-- what an awesome character trait to have-- initiative. I hope that's something he has for life! My oh my, how the Lord could use that!

Max also has reached the age where helping with Jack is big fun for him- he'll get stuff for him or run to him if he fusses. Yesterday, while Chad and I worked in the yard, he pulled him in the wagon. What are big brothers for if not for wagon rides?

Thankfully, Max loves donuts like his mother. It's ingrained in him. And thankfully Ray opened a new donut shop about a mile from our house- I'm talking hot of the press bakery donuts that are usually still warm if you go before 10am. Well we hit up that place a lot when it first opened and then I went on my sugar free kick which includes denying my household of most sugars as well. I took a brief sugar free break for Easter and somehow Max clued into that. Not that I've ever explained the donuts have sugar or anything, but he must've noticed that I loosened the reigns on healthy foods and veggies because he woke up 4 days out of 7 last week "needing" donuts. (Gabe used to "need" Huddle House, btw-- one of my favorite Gabe-isms!) Anyway, Max convinced me 3 out of those 4 days- and he can easily put down 3 donuts for breakfast-- and these aren't the small Krispy Kreme donuts-- these donuts are big! (I only let him have 3 once, and the other 2 days I cut him off at 2. Also, after a lot of reading and research I am back on the sugar free kick-- but I'll share all that in another day or so.)

And lastly, we've been working with Max a lot on words or things we don't say, even if others do. We talk a lot about using kind words and words that show a pure heart and we talk about using our words to honor and respect God. Anyway, he's been picking up A LOT of stuff recently-- including "darn it" and "dang it" and "oh my gosh". He even retorts with "fine" in a really sassy way from time to time too. We know exactly who each phrase came from BUT none of them are our children, so it's a battle we're fighting with him, just trying to instill the importance of a pure heart, because it's what the mouth speaks from, at an early age. (If you use these or allow your children to use them, we are NOT judging, we just aren't cool with it for our own kids.) Anyway, yesterday, TWICE, I dropped things and mumbled "darn it" under my breath. And both times Max and his little dog ears says "what did you say?" Sometimes Max just asks me that, being nosy, or for clarification, so the first time, I almost said it AGAIN but caught it right before it slipped out. He wasn't needing clarification-- my boy was calling me out! Let me just tell you that raising kids is so good for my heart, my mouth, my habits, and my humility.

Now let's all just give a little "Awwwwwwwww!" Isn't this boy just precious? I'm one blessed mama, that's for darn sure!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Big Boy Jack!

This month has been crazy up in these parts, thanks to our not-so-baby J! Apparently going from 10 months to 11 months, in his opinion, is quite a big deal, and he was really stepping it up. This time last month, I told you about a tooth that had split through, well now he has four teeth- the top two and the bottom two- sticking out enough that they show when he smiles :) And he has two more on the bottom that have split through. I need to point out that all this teething hasn't really changed his demeanor at all. Now you can't beat that with a stick!

I also mentioned last month that the child didn't really move....well that has changed too! A couple weeks ago he started dragging his little bottom across the ground, while in seated position, like a dog dragging it's booty on the ground. I kid you not. He also uses his arms to pick his body up (while in seated position) to pivot. Try it-- that's hard! Then about two weeks ago, we started hearing a lot of cackling when we'd put him to bed and we go to check on him to find him STANDING UP. That's right, the kiddo who can't crawl can pull up-- on his bed, the couch, a dresser, etc... He's also a pro at getting himself from any position to sitting up, which is what he prefers. He seriously flops around in his bed like a dying fish for a good 20-30 minutes before every sleep- sitting, laying, tummy, side, head first, feet first, flip, flop, twist, turn-- too funny to watch on the monitor. He can get anywhere with that method-- he'll use it while playing on the floor, too. WELL, this week, he started crawling. For food. If I put puffs on one side of the rug, he'll crawl like a pro to get there. And sometimes he army crawls, too. But the boy can get around. And he can do it quickly, oh no!

Jack will says "uh-oh" every time he drops something, which is like every 5 seconds because it's his favorite game. He likes to drop his paci behind his bed and then shout "uh-oh" until I come in, move his bed, retrieve it, and hand it back. This is just a riot. For him. He'll say what a cow says: "booooooo"-- or a ghost, whatevs. And as of right now, he loves throwing everything- balls, toys, blocks, from behind his head with his LEFT hand. He might be our little lefty. He might even be a pitcher! But for now, we're enjoying the idea of another little Bowman athlete. We're going to seriously enjoy a ballpark or two in the next decade!

He still loves to eat, although the added movement is thinning him out much to my dismay. We had a sick visit the other day and he still hasn't cross over to 22lbs so I think the chunk is slowly waning. But believe me when I say that there is still plenty to ogle-- especially the legs and cheeks. My boy is yummy! I still do baby food twice a day-- an orange and a green, but smaller amounts because he is eating a lot of finger food, including fruits and veggies and such. I also disobeyed all the rules (I so would NEVER have done that the first go round) and started giving Jack some whole milk this month!  He just won't take formula during the day- like at all- so he gets a big formula bottle in the morning and another at bed time, and then whole milk during the day. In a bottle, in a cup, it doesn't matter. But he still prefers if you will hold it for him although he's able and willing to hold it himself if you walk off and leave him. He is SO messy- almost as messy as Max-- seriously, it's not even right. Unless you ask my parents who say it's payback for all the clothes I ruined until I was 12 years old.

Max and Jack are getting even closer- they hug on each other and kiss on each other multiple times a day. And no one can make Jack laugh like Max can. It's adorable. But unfortunately, this past week, they started quibbling as well. Mostly over me. If I'm on the floor playing with one, the other needs me, and so they start pulling at each other. Jack also likes anything Max has, and Max likes to take anything Jack has... out of his hands. Then Jack cries like he was dropped and Max hides and I shake my head in dismay. Sometimes though, Jack is so excited hugging Max, that he pulls his hair- this really upsets Max. And if for any reason Jack gets hurt- bonks his head/ falls over/ gets bumped- then Max cries harder than Jack, seriously! My Dad started calling Max "Fred" and Jack "Buster"so those are the names Max uses for them all the time-- when we're riding in the car, Max will lean over and say "whatcha doin Buster?" and they'll both giggle like it was the funniest joke ever. I know we're at the beginning of lots of wrestling and injuries and brotherly disputes, but it's going to be so much fun having these two boys so close together!!

Gabe is still the on-call babysitter in these parts-- he doesn't feed or wipe or cloth or diaper, but he is quite the entertainer, the paci fetcher, and can get a giggle anytime. He'll also carry Jack, help he change positions and protect him from Max and his golf clubs. And since Jack faces backwards in the car, and Gabe sits in the back row, they keep their eyes on each other everywhere we go. And anytime Gabe talks about Jack to anyone who isn't us, he calls him "my baby brother" instead of his name. That melts me every time! Jack is so very loved by both of his big brothers.

Jack's sleeping is great-- a 12 hour stretch at night and two naps-- he's happy as a lark most of the time, but does prefer me or someone he loves in eye sight at all times. Leaving this child alone is reason for meltdown. He's also into things-- like reaches and grabs and pour and tips-- food, drinks, toys, pony tails-- you name it, and he wants to mess it up. This boy is seriously fun and has quite the personality-- like I said before, he's going to be our crazy child for sure-- he has no fear and he's already working on being a little fire cracker. I'm working out and running a lot so I can keep up with him-- he's going to be running FROM me in just a couple months-- that I'm sure of!

Jack- you get better and better all the time and you started out awesome!  We love you like crazy, we're so grateful for you and we're proud of you. Your smile and laughter brings joy to everyone in our family, we just can't help but smiling and laughing too. Your hugs and kisses are by far the best part of you-- you are my little love bug and I am 100% ok with that being the case for life. Your Daddy and I have been praying for you to call upon the Lord's name and be saved-- we can't wait to see that happen. You are the BIGGEST blessing baby Jack- we love you love you love you!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Easter Celebration

I just love Easter- I love the colors and the clothes and the candy- but more than anything I just love the joy of celebrating the resurrection of Christ. It never gets old. This year was really great for me, I think because I talked about it with Max SO many times- it just seemed to get my heart ready- and as soon as I walked in the doors of our church on Sunday, I had sweet tears in the corner of my eyes.

We talked about it a lot with Max and as of his 3rd Easter, he was able to say that we celebrated Easter because "Jesus loves me so much he died on the cross for me." I really really tried to get him to remember the "and rose from the dead part!" but he didn't ever get that. And then we relentlessly talked about Sunday being a "Thank You Jesus" party-- and that we put on our best clothes to praise God for making a way for us to be with him forever in heaven. Max totally got that part and would ask every time we talked about it if he could go to heaven now. I love that my baby is excited about heaven, but it still made my heart catch because I am so not ready for him to go there. All my little selfish ways never cease to amaze me-- reminding me again and again just how much I need a Savior.

Church was just a sweet sweet reminder of the best Message ever, our pastor was great, the room was exploding with people, and I was there with all my favorite men.

Then after church, we headed over to the Spiva's for Easter (DELICIOUS!)brunch and our egg hunt. We never have mentioned anything about a bunny in regards to Easter, and as far as the candy and the eggs, well that is just something totally separate and fun, not having anything to do with Jesus. We actually never even talked about any of it- so Max was just happy to have candy handed to him and he was precious at the egg hunt. At this age, every egg he found was great, and it was oh so fun. He carried his big basket, full of eggs, as long as he could, and finally had to hand it over to me because it got heavy. But that didn't stop him! And once it was over, he went right back to playing golf, and didn't even ask for candy. I seriously do not know what has gotten into him!  But don't worry, Chad and Gabe made up for that and basically had all of Gabe's eggs cleaned out before we got back home!

Max, Jack, and Gabe Bowman
Gabe holding Grant Spiva and Hudson on he left

We concluded the day by watching the Masters on tv-- and Georgia Bulldawg Bubba Watson had a killer win!  It was awesome, and Max really loved it because I call him my bubba-- so he was saying, two bubba's and we both play golf, then he would tell me that I love both Bubba's :) Max also determined that when he's bigger like Gabe, he will play golf on tv. He then asked if Chad and I would come watch him. Um, twist my arm little boy. And I just hope that Max gives God credit of this life and gives Him glory for his successes, like Bubba did- even if it's in something totally different than golf.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter-- Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from dead!

(Easter outfits were picked out by my mom-- Annie LOVES Easter and she loves dressing these boys-- weren't they just so cute???)

Spring Break 2012

You don't realize what a funny thing spring break is until you grow up-- unless you're in school, have kids in school, or you're a teacher, spring break tends to look just like any other week! And if you're one of the lucky few that do head off on a trip of some sort, a girlfriend said it well "vacation= cleaning up after the same people, just with a different view". HAHAHAAA!!!

Well this is especially true if you're a stay at home mom of small ones-- it's exactly the same, except the Kid's Club at the gym is more full, you can't go to any of your hot spots likes the zoo, park, or indoor play ground for fear of losing your small people amongst the throngs of big kids, and yet everyone still wakes up at 7am and wants breakfast. I'm NOT complaining, but for me and other stay at home moms, spring break is more about the spring and less about the break.

(Side note: my friend Lisa sent this my direction last week, I read every word and just nodded-- how monotonous-- yet how lovely!

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon, Gabe busted up in our spring break and added some spunk into the mix-- Max thinks Gabe hung the moon, so they were both thick as thieves the past couple days.  We didn't do anything too wild and crazy, but we have fun nonetheless and of course I captured a few of my favorite cuties in some kodak moments:

We took Eli to breakfast on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday. (Gabe was sitting beside me and we took our picture together, but I'm too vain to post it-- I looked like I had been run over about 24 times!)

Then we left baby Jack with Anna for naps and picked up Lizzy for some playtime at our favorite CatchAir. I had to stay right with the younger two the WHOLE time, but everyone had fun, sweated a lot, and then took good naps!  Gabe was great with Max and Lizzy the whole time too-- I'm serious when I say he's such a good big brother, I bet I'll never meet a better one.

And then on Friday, we dyed Easter eggs. This is the first year we've done that with Max, and he loved it. And Gabe is quite the artist, so everything was a masterpiece for him- he was very slow to choose what colors went on which eggs, how to decorate, and then had to make sure each one dried just so! He is our creative one, for sure!

I also worked all week on switching rooms around, decorating, cleaning out and throwing out, while I shuffled the boys all around. We're close to the finish products... pictures soon!

All that fun took us right up to Easter!  We really enjoyed the gorgeous weather that God blessed us with- plenty of sun but not too hot. And we loved our extra time with Gabe.  Spring has sprung, or as Max says "Look Mom, there's a BIG white dogwood and a red bud!"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mother of the Year

So I recently decided that I probably have a thyroid problem- which seems to be pretty "normal" after having children and it accounts for weight gain. Namely because, a couple months ago, I really buckled down at the gym- started going at least 5 times a week, burning at least 500 calories a day but usually more in the 700 range. I started watching what I ate, cutting down on my quantity of food a lot. Pre-baby, I was super active and super in shape- mostly just as a way of life, not really any major discipline or anything. And well, since growing people in my womb, things haven't been the same. In more ways than one. I had the double wave going on-- you know the arm flab that waves too, when you wave your hand. And the pooch, well, I'm surprised people didn't asked me when I was due. Not to mention that my chicken legs that were skinny thanks to my genes and my Nana, we just sausage-y instead.

So insert gym/ food/ lifestyle change, and bam. All better. NOT! So naturally, I decided I had the aforementioned thyroid problem. But before making a doctor's appointment, I decided to give it one last go-- I cut out sugar for 30 days- I'm talking all sugar- like didn't eat bread, etc... not just sweets. I had protein shakes, lots of raw veggies, and meat. Small amounts of cheese, lots of tuna and humus on red peppers, lots of cucumbers and fruit- but not after 3pm, because even though it's natural sugar, it's not good in the evening when you're close to laying still for many hours. I committed to 30 days. It was hard, I was grumpy, but I just had to make sure it was truly a thyroid problem before I began messing with hormones and such.

Well the weight fell off. Literally. All the muscle that I had been building since November popped through, and I'm only 8 lbs away from my goal weight, but I'm only going to lose about 4 more and save those last 4 as cushion until I'm done having babies because I heard from many people that the yo-yo was bad for your skin. So it turns out that I had an eating problem, not a thyroid problem. What a HUGE disappointment. My body had changed, my metabolism had changed, and now, in my almost 30 year old state, I just can't eat like I used to-- you know, a vat of cheese dip and ritas with Ruth on a weekly basis. Bummer.

Well so this was a light bulb to me- if sugar (eliminating it) changed my body so quickly then what exactly does it do to my kids? Now you know I'm a whole foods baby food kind of gal- I make my own, buy organic, stock my fridge and my pantry with the good stuff, but I'm not a grinch, so of course we eat m&m's ice cream, milkshakes, donuts (hello, it's genetic), marshmallows, among other yummy treats. Luckily we haven't done the juice thing yet, but Gabe is obsessed with coke, and Max is obsessed with candy. And I haven't really thought much about it, because certainly the other stuff in our fridge balanced out. BUT this was the same theory I was using with weight loss-- I worked out so I could eat--- NOT! So my heart has been hardened, (somewhat! They are kids!) to sugar too. I've eliminated the stops for treats, cut out all cokes when we're at restaurants (when never have them in our fridge) and even didn't replenish the M&Ms jar when it ran out. The kiddos have handled it well, and even Max's bowel movements seem better- TMI, I know.

But it was easy with Jack-- he wasn't eating sugar because my kids don't until their first birthday....or so I thought! About a week ago, after my BSF bible study, I went to pick up Jack from his class and he was covered in black stuff. Naturally, I was perplexed because I had handed them my baby and his paci saying that he needed nothing, and would be fine until I came to get him. I asked what was all over him (and the woman holding him!) and she said, without even blinking: "Chocolate cookies." Ohhh there was fire in my eyes immediately. I don't give Jack stuff that size or that texture yet, there are so many ingredients in cookies that I've never tested on him for allergies, I was really allergic to chocolate as a kid NOT TO MENTION that I feed Jack whole foods, no sugar, freshly made baby food from my own loving hands. Luckily, the Holy Spirit lives in me and I escaped his room without saying anything too detrimental-- but not before noticing that they had given him a 6 ounce bottle of water. Babies don't drink much water and for some reason, he didn't want his lunchtime bottle....hmmm.......

Anyway, so I called Chad and told him this and even he knew that wasn't good. Or so I thought.Yesterday, when we were at IKEA, we stopped at their cafe for an after-shopping treat, which included large ice cream cones for Chad and Max and I looked over to see Chad putting it in Jack's mouth. I gave him the eye and he replied "He likes it!" Really? I'm shocked!

So apparently, this morning I decided to get on the bandwagon-- I gave my 10 month old bits of donut for breakfast. That's right folks, sugary dough, fried up, and dipped in sugar. And this is shocking, I know, but he liked it! So despite the knowledge in my head, despite my new disdain for sugar, I willingly handed it to my baby, with the "if you can't beat it, join it" motto. So I'd like to go ahead and nominate myself for mother-of-the-year, folks-- please cast your ballots, and vote for me!