Friday, August 30, 2013

On Marriage

So we were riding along in the car and Max asked when Averi and Brian were coming again. They are our sitters who keep our boys when we go out on dates, but the problem is we had a baby and forgot about dates. Oops.

Anyway, I responded something like "oh yeah, we need to have them over again really soon." (Hint, Chad, hint.)

So after a few moments of silence, Max asked "Why don't they have any boys or girls?"

Umm.... I decided that talking about premarital sex at the age of 4 would probably be a bit much and just decided to shape his over all thinking on the subject with a simple "Averi and Brian are not married yet-- you get married and then when you're ready you have a family."

Max responded with an "I know."

(Well then leave me alone so I don't have panic attacks trying to pick words for such a question little smarty pants.)

Again, some more moments of silence.

Max: "Well why do "so and so" have a girl and they got unmarried?.... guess they won't be having anymore babies."

So now I'm really sweating, because obviously divorce is something that is all around us- hello, Max has a brother from another mother, Max's Daddy is divorced, and all that really not fun stuff that will one day be openly discussed with our kids- but for now I just responded with the super mature "Who told you that?"

Max: "Mommy, I know they were married and then they got unmarried last year. (Long pause) Are you and Daddy going to get unmarried?"

AHhhhh finally a question I know how to answer! "No Max, we are married forever. God tells us in the bible that marriage is forever and we believe it's really important to obey God- when we obey Him, it's the best way. You know how sometimes you disobey Mommy and get in trouble? Well when you get unmarried, you disobey God and it causes A LOT of trouble."

I then go into how God is going to show him someone who's really special when he grows up, and he will marry her, and leave mommy and daddy and start his own family. And I add for good measure "and you'll be married forever and you'll have lots of fun and be in deep love."

His next response was the best yet, but you must know the back story first...

At the beginning of this week, Max had his first sleepover at his friend Lizzy's house. When we met up with them to pass Max off, Lizzy asked "Do you want to sleepover, Max?" And he replied, "Yes, because you're my best friend." And Lizzy responded "Well if you marry me, we can have sleepovers every night." Max grinned ear to ear but was a little taken aback by the whole thing. Let's be honest, he comes from a long line of men who don't like to share their feelings and all this marriage talk was a bit much. He also doesn't have a sister or anything that makes him play bride and groom or any of that fun stuff. And truthfully, we avoid all "girlfriend" talk with our kids because we feel really strongly that you date to find who you're going to marry, and well no one from this house is getting married anytime soon, so all of this is just a really foreign concept for him. Well Anna and I just died laughing nonetheless, and it was so sweet and hilarous. But it all never came up again.

Or so I thought.

Now back to the car discussion....

Max says "Well Lizzy wants to marry me, but maybe I'll marry Molly when she's 6 or 12. Is she two yet? When is her birthday?"

Of course I sent this information to Molly's mom (Danielle) and dad (Matt) who happens to be the family pastor at our church... he responded that he is beginning to work on a curriculum about marriage for our preschool department :)

Oh kids these days... make your mama sweat! I just pray that the Lord gives me the right words when it really counts- you never know what's going in one ear and out the other, and what is going to pop back up when you lease expect. Thank you Lord for these kiddos and these moments- but I pray you're the One shaping them through me-- not me, of my own accord!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Batter Up!

I've decided that I'd be more effective at blogging if I actually learned to tell a quick story "quickly"-- imagine that. So here goes my first attempt...

So Max is obsessed with baseball. Really obsessed isn't a big enough word for what he is- the moment he awakes, he's ready to play. Of course this meant that we signed him up to play tball this fall, thinking it would relieve some pressure on the rest of us to pretend like we want to pitch it and watch him play imaginary ball all day long. But no, there has been no relief. We've just stepped it up to a new level.

Once we got the email informing us that Max's team would be the Orioles, we had to head to Dick's (what he calls "the ball store" the next day because he needed gray baseball pants and a helmet.

This is serious business folks.

Then I had already picked out new cleats for him for his birthday and let him open them 3 day before his birthday and 1 day  before his first practice ever.

The child was elated. He floated on a cloud as he ran bases around my living room for the rest of the day.

Well, early Saturday morning (8am) was his first practice... and none of us wanted to miss it, so we loaded up the van.... all 6 of us.... to go watch Max practice tball. 

And when we got there, our little athlete wouldn't speak or make eye contact or throw the ball for the first 15 minutes. Um, can you say anticlimactic? 

Finally he loosened up a bit-- they were supposed to throw the ball towards the bucket which served as a target. Most of the kids had a hard time getting it in the general vicinity. But Max? Well, he either got it IN the bucket or hit the bucket every single time. 

Then he moved to some hitting practice. The coach tried to tell him where to stand and how to hold the bat. Max looked at him with disgust, turned and got himself ready, and then bunted it off the tee. He is very proud of his bunting skill. We're just glad he didn't switch hit for them.

And then he fielded some ground balls before running the bases.

By this point, my child who has dreamed of running the bases since he escaped my womb was overtaken by his introversion and melted down. Luckily Chad was able to maneuver him through the last 5 minutes without any permanent damage. But after Max was able to process through it all, he declared his first practice as the greatest day of his life.

Slowly but surely, our little Jock is relaxing a bit-- although communication is not his forte, and he won't be caught dead actually speaking audibly to his teammates or coach. It really is too bad there is no "i" in TEAM for Max's sake-- but this will be good for him. 

Life can be properly divided into 5 compartments now-- we play baseball, watch baseball, read about baseball, talk about baseball, or GO to baseball.

And that's it!

His first game is September 4th- it should be highly entertaining! Details to follow....

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Let me just make that clear. Somedays, it seriously is survival of the fittest. Beginning at 11:30 last night, I was up about every 30 minutes for some reason or another, and then Max and Jack have been up since Max's 5am potty break. And by up, and I mean "HELLO WORLD, LET'S PARTY!! ISN'T THIS A FINE TIME TO START THE DAY!!!???!!!!!" It really isn't good. But I've come to the conclusion that I need a t-shirt that reads "I'm not nearly as stressed as you are watching me". This rambunctious 4 year old, the rambunctious 2 year old and their baby brother are my sidekicks all the live long day. I can do nothing "real quick" and I'll never again "jump in the car really fast" or "run a few quick errands" BUT loading and unloading this crew, eating meals and simultaneously carrying on conversations, holding one fussy kid while scraping another fussy kid off the floor, cleaning up one mess while new ones are made, etc... well that is just normal life for me. There are several times a day where I literally break out in a sweat because getting a certain task completed- like nap times, clean up, getting dressed, baths, etc...- literally leads my body to believe that it's exercising.  But again, it just doesn't even faze me... besides the fact that I always feel greasy! Sometimes I get "that look" from strangers and friends alike, and it takes me a minute to realize they are overwhelmed by me and my brood and assume that I am too.

Case in point: Yesterday, Danielle and I took our crew of 5 between the two of us... ages 4,3,2,1,and 0 and played at the gymnastics place for a bit then headed to Moe's for lunch. While at Moe's our kiddos, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best behavior in the world, were steadily at a 9. But by the end, as we were trying to parade out the door, there was a long line of others trying to obtain their lunch, and our cute little crazies decided to do happy screams as we made our way out. Like loud. But again, they were all happy and just being silly. The high school students in there literally looked over their shoulders in disgust. I saw it as my contribution to their own personal birth control. The people in line were cringing. And Danielle and I, literally laughing! This is after some random man came up to our table and said "Does one of you drive a Toyota Sienna? Well you left the door open." (Wonder why he assumed it was us.....)

I do not want to live in the stage forever- I just don't think it would be good for my health, my blood pressure, or the bags under my eyes- but for now, I just really do enjoy it and it always makes me laugh. My days are busy and long, ohhhhh yes they are. But who else has stories like this?

But because of aforementioned busy days, my blog memories are suffering, so I'd like to perform an iphone camera dump of "Lately" in order to get certain things on the books forever!

So... Jack learned to roller skate...

And he also choked on a Mentos while I was driving. Like I had to do the heimlich maneuver and it is by the grace of God that he is still with us. I am not joking. But I cannot discuss it or else I'll be in the fetal position. I was so shaken by this that it took me about 30 minutes before I could drive again-- it took Jack about 30 seconds before he fell asleep. At least one of us wasn't scarred for life.

Jack also has started "disappearing" for a few minutes every day and coming back with a wad of wipes and a diaper declaring that he's "stinky shoo-wee"-- I know I should take this as a sign to potty train the boy seriously, but I'm not mature enough for that yet.

One Sunday morning I laid out clothes and asked Chad to get the baby dressed... when I went to get the baby out of the car I noticed a huge white floppy tag under his chin like a beard... Chad hadn't seen it and couldn't believe that baby clothes would be buttoned in the back. I would elaborate, but I'll just stop after pointing out that this baby is Chad's 4th. Fourth.

My bathroom always looks like this- I hang that towel, wipe the bright blue kid toothpaste from the sink, and stack the stools away multiple times a day. Chad had mentioned several times that I am wasting my energy and that such tasks are pointless... I respond by pointing out that 99% of my daily tasks could be categorized the same way... why do laundry, it's just going to get dirty again? Why feed them and clean the kitchen, I'm just going to have to repeat it all in 2 hours? Why get them out of bed, I'm just to put them all back again shortly. But someday folks, there will be no toothpaste to wipe and they'll be able to reach the towel hanger, and my life will then again have a point :)

This is 3 of the 4 brothers the day before Gabe headed back to school- we ended the summer with one last swim at my parents before it was time to buckle down and have a real bed time. These boys melt me.

This is the day Jack decided that his helmet would be part of his attire for the day... it even had to go with us in the car... guess he's afraid of my driving... but before I knew it, he was out like a light. It's hard work holding up that head and a helmet!

We also went for some exercise on the Silver Comet Trail with my mom-- both Max and Jack insisted on riding their scooters... so this is how my mom had to walk:

And this was my view. I was having one of those "living the dream" moments as I captured this picture.

Jack has also taken to dressing himself-- he sees Max do this regularly too. The problem is that Max picks gym shorts and a t-shirt every day, while Jack's style is really more his own... there really aren't words to categorize it. And at least a day or two a week, the control freak in me releases all control and I actually take him in public like this.

Jack also got this hat in the mail from Grandpa and he refused to be without it for about 10 days. At this point, I snuck it away to wash it because it was stinky and haven't given it back yet... bad mommy!

And because Max likes to wear baseball pants everyday, Jack has talked him into sharing. And it's just the most adorable sight. They are rolled a time or two-- but he just loves to "dress baseball and play bases like Maxie."

Meanwhile, over the summer, Max and Jack became best friends. I think it happened around the time that they started sharing a room, but they can be found together all of their waking hours. And when one is away, the other misses them dearly. Last week, Max went to Wednesday night church and Jack stayed home with my mom-- on the way home, Max confessed "I just hoped that Jack would be there all night." They fight like cats and dogs, but they are each other's BEST BUDDY, too. It's exactly what I hoped for in my children.

In Gabe's book bag this week, I found this wrinkled up at the bottom-- it's his "about me" paper for the year-- here is what it read: "My name is Gabe and I am 10 years old. I was born in 2003. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. I like to play soccer. I have a very good teacher. My brother Max is very chatty. I had a whole week with my grandparents last summer. My little brother Jack just turned two, double trouble. Now you know about me."


And lastly, this is the face that bring me joy and tickles my soul each time I see his sweet face. He is my baby sunshine and he lights up my already bright world!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5th grade, here we come

On Monday, we went to Gabe's meet n' greet at his new school. We met his 5th grade teacher and we both loved her. He came home and said he was now excited to start school. Yay! We had been talking through his fears for a couple of weeks-- fear of not knowing anyone and a new school- but I kept telling him that he's great at making friends, teachers love him because he's respectful, and that he's a quick learner so he'll adjust quick. I guess after being in the school, he was convinced of that too!

So Tuesday night he packed his own lunch, picked out his own clothes and set his alarm. For 6am. That's brutal folks. His bus comes at 6:50am at the end of our street. I just can't imagine if he was a kindergartener. Truthfully, he probably won't ride the bus many days, but we want to establish the habit for him and for the bus driver so that if we ever need him to ride, it's an option. 

This morning he was in the kitchen before we were. He was chatty cathy and I was bleary eyed trying to find the coffee pot!

He fixed his own breakfast... a cereal bar and a protein shake and he snatched up his book bag and headed off!

I reminded him that no first day is complete without a picture and he obliged :)

Chad on the other hand wasn't quite ready for the barely lit walk to the bus stop...

And so the rest of us waited until 2:30pm....
The little boys voted for late naps so they could see his bus....
And took off running when I told them it was time....

We had to stand near the mailbox so the baby's monitor would still work while we waited for the sight of that big ole' yellow cheese carrying our Gabe home...

And when they spotted it....

They took off!
Some a little faster than others....

And all was well in the Bowman nest!

He came in the door all smiles and and stories-- he was handing me forms and telling me about the day. He loves a good day of organizing, and that's mostly what today was-- learning the ropes, labeling notebooks, making cover pages and color coding... be still my heart :)

Gabe- we can't believe you're in 5th grade! We're excited about your year and watching you keep growing into the man God wants you to be! We pray that you're always brave enough to be a leader and do the right thing, even when it's hard, and that you'll live and love like Jesus! Now just know that even though you think you're too old, I will continue to hide notes in your lunchbox from time to time, and your brothers will always be awaiting your arrival back home. Have fun, learn a lot, and slow down the whole growing up thing, geez! Love you buddy- more than you know or understand!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tour of The Rooms

My list of things to blog is pretty long-- hopefully I'll do doing one of my infamous blog pile ups over the next couple days-- babies are hitting milestones, big kids are starting school, we're all winding down our summer, God is working my heart over in a new way-- but tonight, we're just going to have to let a room tour suffice. Now really, 99.76% of you won't care one bit about this post, but since I do print my blog posts into a book to serve as lovely memories for me some day down the road when blogs and little blonde boys are a thing of my past, I need to post this.

We moved into this house in February when I was big as a house and eagerly awaiting lil Sam's birth while simultaneously doing my best to keep him in as long as necessary. So things basically just got put where they were supposed to get if they were necessary for living everyday life. Life a bed, per say, and clothes. Pictures and decor were a thing of the future... like if/when mama got her head back on straight. Give or take a year or 20. Well somehow, this baby came out a sleeper. And. Gasp. He stayed that way. We are 3 months in and we've barely had a bad night- and only one was him. Which leads to my point.... I've finally gotten all of the boys rooms mostly together and the way I want them- give or take a detail or two.

Now, you should know that all of my boys and Chad were totally losing sleep until I got everything just so. Or not. Whatever.

But I am now resting quite well, because.... Ta da....

Baby Sam's Nursery:

This is what you see when you walk in....

And this is you look right...

This is the twin bed in his room with the banner left over from his baby party... my friend Danielle made it for his munch n' meet and I just love it, so it's a part of his decor now :) And I have a twin bed in their for the nights when it's a waste of time to go back to your own bed. Which hasn't happened yet except for one night when he had a stuffy nose.

Here is Sam's changing table, some pictures and a glimpse of his glider. I feed him about 50% of the time in this chair that was given to us by our wonderful friends the Canups.

And here are his curtains, made by my mama of course! I love them. And she always puts black out stuff on the shades so their rooms are D-A-R-K for naps! That's a blessing in itself.

Here is an "up close" of the pictures on the wall above the twin bed. These were also made by my mama. And no, she's not for sale. We're keeping her.

And his crib. I love how plain it is. It seems so soft and dreamy. That wild things picture is left over from Max's nursery but somehow we ended up with the same color scheme again, so I get a second use out of it- love when that happens! His shelves have a few baby books, a couple bins of baby toys, and lots of how-to mommy books... and of course his sound machine, my clock because I always have to know what time it is and how long he eats, even though he can eat as long as he likes, and my #1 favorite mom thing- his video camera.

Up close of the pictures over his changing table: a picture frame gift, a little cork board, and a picture I painted at one of those painting classes, made to go with his theme-- it says "This is the day that the Lord has made"

Remaining detail that needs done: recovering the glider

Now onto Max and Jack's big boy room:

from the door....

Max's pictures are taken by the one and only BrandelynLee Photography-- she's amazing! And of course their room is sports themed- what else?

This is Max's dresses and both of them have knick knacks on the shelves. Jack has a big dresser in the closet and they both have lots of hanging clothes room in the closet as well. We found the dresser on Craig's List and the knobs on the internet and the shelves from IKEA.

Here is the beloved bookshelf. They both love books- on their own and when I read to them-- they learned this from mom my who is a sucker for a good book. They could listen to her for house. Come to think of it, I could too. She does voices and sound effects and all. They also have a cork board to display all their church pictures-- my fridge just isn't big enough for them all!

The curtains are again made by the lovely and talented Vicki Noblitt and the dust ruffle too- all coordinating with the bed spread and sports theme but not matchy matchy. Jack also has pictures by the aforementioned BrandelynLee-- and those baby rolls get me every time I pause for a peek. What a boy, that Jack. And that Max. And Gabe. And Sam. Chad too. Ok, all my boys.

Here is Jack's bed-- it's also passed down from the Canups- with matching stuff made by my mom. And yes he's 2 and in a crib for as long as it lasts... meaning, as long as he doesn't crawl out. Why? In a word? Containment. And it's a glorious thing. Of course they have a set of golf clubs, my old rocking chair painted to match, and a laundry hamper so they can clean up after themselves.

Remaining detail that needs done: The valances need pinned so that their more squared and the inhabitants of the room need to learn to go to sleep. 

(please send me a note, a detailed letter, some bullet points, or a poem on how to get them to GO TO SLEEP, when sharing a room, if you have any advice on the matter. They think it's a party. Every night. A party that last many hours. But once they got to sleep, they sleep like little angels til morning. Don't you after a good party? Go figure.)

And Gabe's Man-Cave (he named it!)

The view when you walk in....

His bed, and yes, he makes it that neat himself, seriously.

His cute lamp I found at Target, and his picture from Homegoods.

His Hawks banner his Pawpaw won for him, along with his desk. He did lots of his work here when he home schooled, and still does his bible study here, too. His board is for "important things" as he says and not many things make the cut!

And here is his Gabe-collage made from some of my favorite pictures as he's grown up-- I want to keep adding to it, not only because he's adorable, but as a reminder of how God has grown him up. The black dots are wall decals from Target and you can write on them with chalk-- right now they are some great verses from the bible that I want him to focus on during his 5th grade year. There is nothing better than clothing yourself in scripture!

And his shelves are covered in his favorite books, bins of toys, and lots of lego creations.

Remaining detail that needs done: A picture of some sort for over his shelves-- hoping to find a good soccer one but nothing has grabbed my attention yet. 

And that does it for the tour, thanks for visiting!