And How

Saturday, July 30, 2011

No plans, just go.

My awesome hubby told us earlier this week that he wanted to take the kids (and me, of course) to Virginia Beach since we hadn't actually been to a beach at all this summer.  Out of the two of us, I am definitely more of the "planner" (which actually doesn't say much because I'm actually not a planner at all) and Pack is usually the "anti-decision maker" (because, well...he has a VERY difficult time committing to dates and thinking ahead unless it's work-related).  BUT....he booked us a hotel for a night and got us all psyched up for an overnight vacation (which, to be honest, is about all we can handle with out little guys lately).

Our plan was to have a nice supper, let the boys get some energy out in the hotel pool, and then hit the hay so we could have lots of go-juice for the beach on Saturday.  We did all those things, but it didn't go as smoothly as we had planned.  We had our celebratory supper (celebrating not cooking, of course) at the Cheesecake Factory and realized we were demonstrating why many restaurants are banning children these days.  We saw not just one, but three couples opt to wait longer for table than sit next to us (Oh, WHY didn't they let us have a booth????).  In our defense, we had to eat and at least we went early before the crowd really started pouring in...

On the walk back to the hotel, we passed a cute little cupcake shop and I thought a little sugar would help get my stress level back on track, so we picked up some to have after our swim and hurried on to hit the pool.  The pool was great and the boys had fun (after Jude got over his 15 minutes of being terrified of the cold water and begging for the hot tub).  We thought after a nice dessert, bath, and prayers, the boys would go right to sleep while we watched HGTV.  We were wrong.  It took Jude an hour to give up the fight (after many threats) and then Penn decided he didn't want to be awake alone and tried to wake Jude up by bending his finger backwards.  What was he thinking???!!!  After settling that, we cut the T.V. off and we all drifted off to sleep.

This morning, our boys woke up with plenty of "go-juice."  We were all eager to get out of the little hotel room and hit the beach.  After an awesome breakfast at our hotel and a quick shopping trip for beach snacks and a couple more toys, we were ready.  Getting a parking place close to our spot, was grossly expensive, but worth it when we were having to lug a beach bag, shovels, buckets of toys, umbrella, and two wild little men across a busy street.  Once we touched the sand though, we hit our stride.

From mid-morning until mid-afternoon, we did a lot of playing in the water and a lot of this:

Yeah...I'm the mom that packs a disposable cup and spoon for sand what!

Filling the bucket with sand so I could dump it over and break it...oops!
Sweet beach baby:)
It was pretty fun getting sandy...and thanks, Pack for not making me look like a fatty:)
Hey sunscreened your boys, now would be a good time to sunscreen yourself!
Beach play wipes you out!
More creative sand toys:)
When we decided it was time to go, we grabbed hot dogs for the boys, some Chick-fil-a for us, and we were homeward bound.  It was a great trip and I'm so thankful that our life here allows us to make no "real" plans and just go.  I'm also thankful for a husband who knows how to "roll with it" and take some initiative when I don't even know that I need him to.  We had a blast and I can't wait to go back!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hellloooo Second Trimester!

I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to say those words.  Let's face it...this baby has made me pretty miserable these first 12 weeks, but it looks like the tides are turning!  I started feeling a little more human about a week ago, but then we had a very busy weekend of LOTS of traveling and late nights.  Needless to say, it took me a while to recover.  I'm proud to say I've been Phenergan-free for three days now (a big deal, even though I was only taking half a pill before bed each night) and tonight I made my first home-cooked meal in...a long time.  And it's not chicken nuggets or anything frozen either...HA!

Dinner's a big deal because I literally have not been able to stomach the thought of cooking for a huge percentage of this pregnancy.  Honestly, I don't even like to grocery shop and I normally LOVE to shop here!  But today I made a decision to subscribe to a meal planning program that will make my shopping trips less stressful and I don't have to think ahead as much (because, as we all know, thinking and pregnancy do not go well together).  It's a highly-recommended site and it only costs me $1.25 per week (paid every three months).  It's a price I'm happy to pay to be able to provide healthy meals for my family again.  If you aren't organized or motivated (ME!  ME!) enough to plan your own meals right now, definitely check out  From what I can tell, the meals are simple and can be customized to a particular diet (low-fat, gluten-free, etc.) or even to what store you shop at (Walmart, Kroger, etc.).  I can't wait to try out some more and get some new meals into our rotation.

In closing, I'll leave you with a picture of our first E-Mealz attempt and my first homeade attempt at much of anything lately.  If you try it, let me know what you think! (By the way, this is obviously a picture of the leftovers...lunch tomorrow-CHECK!)
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole (not pretty, but yummy and easy on the heartburn)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Typical Jude

We're in Florence now, which means I get to sleep in while the kids wake up and watch cartoons with Grandaddy and gorge themselves on chocolate chip cookies every morning (Why fight it when we're staying at Grandma's for free???). Anyway, I was happy that this trip home coincided with some other fun things like Vacation Bible School at "the old church" and my Daddy's birthday (which is today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!). Mom asked me if I would decorate a sheet cake for him if she made it and since I LOVE my daddy AND my mom's cakes, I said, "Certainly!" Now I don't do cakes very often...mainly just family birthdays and I've always known that I could never sell them. There are three main reasons for this:

1. I don't think my cakes look good enough to sell (and I'm not just being modest.)
2. I get tired of doing it VERY quickly.
3. on.

I thought originally that I should wait until the boys were napping to give it a go (that "thought" was actually the voice of reason and good sense), but then I reconsidered thinking that I might want a nap as well. Bad idea. The cake itself didn't take very long and I thought it turned out pretty cute since I only had three colors to work with. I sent Pack a picture of it with the message, "How does this look? By the way, it's too late to make changes, so tell me good things:)" Here was the finished product with some wonky stripes.

Less than one minute after I took this picture, I left the kitchen to find the large cake box that my mom had put in a hallway closet for me to put the cake it. I new it didn't have a chance to stay uncovered. I was gone two minutes...two minutes too long. When I came back, Jude was holding a broom and the cake looked like this...

I sent Pack a picture with another message that said, "I could cry." I really almost did.  After reminding myself that I am NOT an abusive parent, I "monitored and adjusted." This was my best attempt at fixing it...

And it's not even lunch time yet...  Oh well, Happy Birthday to my sweet, loving, handy-man Daddy.  Hope you like the cake that YOUR grandson and I made together;)  Love you tons!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where I Am

For me, it doesn't matter how many times I've been through this, I'm always reminded of how precious and fragile a baby is. I'm 10 weeks now and although my morning sickness is not completely gone yet, I'm definitely feeling good more than bad. But I'm painfully aware of how welcome even the bad is for women that are longing for their babies. I'm really trying hard not to focus on my sickness, but to give thanks for each week that passes. This baby is growing and I have the muffin top to prove it;)

My two little big boys though are really...ummmm...teaching me a lot lately about discipline. You can hear me yelling "NO, JUDE!!!!!!!!" all throughout the house lately because little man has either spilled powder all over the bathroom, gotten a stubborn stain on the carpet, dumped the sugar dish in the kitchen, or some done something else that my hormones perceive as a disaster. And a conversations with Penn lately goes something like this:

Me: Penn, please clean up your room.
Penn: Um, no thanks, but thanks for asking.
Me: I wasn't asking, Penn...clean it!
Penn: can do it.

And that's usually as far as I make it before I start losing it...I am not known for my patience. I feel like I've tried all my tricks. I've asked nicely, I've made it a game, I've done time out, I've taken away his costumes (which is huge), I've put him on t.v. and computer restriction, and I've spanked (which doesn't seem to work for us, by the way), but nothing seems to work and I'm exhausted. So if you've got any fresh thoughts on the "Penn refuses to follow directions" situation, I would be most willing to try. I'm pretty desperate.

I do however, LOVE my boys and I know God is using them to help point out a lot of flaws in my own character. Maybe I'm the one that needs to be worked on the most. Well...I guess that's all I've got for now. And Jude just got too quiet, so I should probably check that out...