"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans!

We are so busy at our house! Normally I like to put the Christmas tree up the Friday after Thanksgiving, but Cody has to work Friday. And our upcoming Saturday and Sunday are shot. SO we put the Christmas tree up this past Sunday, and I'm SO happy we did. Nothing brings me more peace and happiness than a room lit up by a Christmas tree :) The boys are doing a good job of staying away from it and not trying to pull at it. Although it helps that I purposely have not put very many ornaments along the bottom of the tree :)
We started putting the tree together before the kids went down for naps. Then when we were ready to actually put up the lights and ornaments we put them in their beds. This is Brandon trying to figure out what the heck all that prickly stuff is :)

These two pictures were taken right after Brandon woke up... seeing the tree for the first time. He just kinda gawked at it for a while ;)
"Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments. The one on the left is the new one I got for Brandon... the one on the right was Jaden's two years ago!

I am super excited for a four-day weekend... although I'm going to be needing a vacation from my "vacation!" Our plans are as follows:
Thanksgiving Day - Morning - breakfast at my parents before they head to Cedar Rapids to spend the day with my grandpa. (We try to alternate Thanksgivings every other year - so next year we will be spending the bulk of the holiday with my family. All of my cousins are spending it with their spouses' families this year, too. So next year we will all be together again).
Noon - heading to Aplington for Thanksgiving meal at Cody's grandma's and Cody's dad's side of the family.
Evening - supper at Cody's parents' house with just us and Cassi and Ella - and helping Tim and Deanne put up their Christmas tree.
Friday - Morning - Cody has to work all day so the boys and I plan on going to my parents' to "help" them put up their tree. (We will probably hinder their progress - sorry Mom and Dad).
Afternoon - taking the boys home for naps.
Evening - Holiday Hoopla kickoff downtown Cedar Falls. A fabulous event. Have I mentioned in previous posts that I love where I live?? Well, I do. I LOVE where I live :)
Saturday - UNI hosts the opening round of the football playoffs in the Dome. Kickoff at noon. I will be a nervous crazy mommy all morning waiting for this game. I LOVE the playoff system. There is nothing like it. Nothing. The excitement and anticipation... wanting to win SO badly... it's just wonderful. "The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat..." Can't wait.
Sunday - family pictures/Brandon's nine-month pictures/Jaden's "3-year" pictures at 11:00. (Pray for me and for this experience!)
Noon - ANOTHER Thanksgiving gathering in Aplington.

Do you think we've packed enough into four days? Not to mention our washing machine decided to stop working. And I'm a little nervous how the kids will handle all of this craziness. Especially since Brandon has come down with yet another ear infection. But the doctor put him on a powerful dose of a five-day antibiotic last night. I'm hoping he's doing better by tomorrow or at least by halfway through the weekend. We have his nine-month checkup next week, and I will be discussing the possibility of tubes with his pediatrician.

That's it for this post! The next month is pretty crazy... especially if UNI can pull out a victory this Saturday! So with all this hustle and bustle, what do I plan on doing during my one hour of alone time over my lunch break today? I'm going to go to Barnes and Noble, sit on my butt, and read a book ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Living with a hunter

I love my husband.

I don't love looking at cute, adorable... but dead... animals.

So.. we are blessed that although Cody is a landscaper, he gets paid salary and doesn't have to go on lay-off when it turns winter time. He goes to work every day as he's one of the managers and there's always things to get done. But... often times now he gets off somewhat earlier. So the last two days he's gone duck hunting at about 4:00 in the afternoon.

Last night when we got home shortly before supper, he walked into the kitchen - carrying a freshly dead and adorable duck. (I have a soft spot for ducks). Jaden loves ducks as well. So -- Cody called Jaden to the kitchen and had him pet the cute duck. Jaden said he wanted to hold the duck. Cody said, "No... he's sleeping! We don't want to wake him up." Jaden accepted that and went back to playing. Cody then cleaned two ducks after the boys went to bed last night and stuck them in the freezer. I think Cody thought Jaden would forget about the duck.

First thing Jaden says when he wakes up this morning: "I want to pet the duck!" Cody told him the duck flew away. Little does Jaden know that the duck is sitting in our freezer waiting to be thrown into the crock pot.

Sigh. I do love my husband though.

"Bring the Rain"

You know what song I love right now? This one:

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on You, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead, I draw closer through these times
So I pray...

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me, what's a little rain?
So I pray...

****Don't take this the wrong way... there's not a whole lot of rain in my life. But when there is a cloudy day, this song does wonders for my spirit!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dentist and Steps

We had a big day yesterday! I took Jaden to the dentist for the FIRST time. For any local mommies out there looking for a good "pediatric dentist" -- I recommend All Smiles on 1st Street in Cedar Falls. They were wonderful! The whole experience was so much improved from what I remember the dentist to be like when I was little ;) The moment we walked in the door, Jaden noticed the basket of blocks and cars waiting for him to play with. He dug right in! They also had a lot of kid's books there to read while we waited -- but we didn't have to wait long at all. Before we went to the back, the receptionist told Jaden that if he was good for the dentist he would get a balloon when he was all done. She gave him a list of colors to choose from, and he told her he wanted the blue balloon :)

Missy was the hygienist that worked with us. Jaden and I had been talking about this experience for a week leading up to the visit - we even read "The Bernstein Bears Go To The Dentist" at bedtime. So he was excited to have his "teeth cleaned." But of course once we got back there and they put him in the chair, he was slightly hesitant at first. There was a big flat screen TV hanging over his chair that had cartoons on... so that was nice! Missy was SO beyond friendly with Jaden -- but when she asked him to open his mouth for her for the first time (she had the little dentist mirror in her hands so she could see the backs of his teeth) -- he immediately turned to me, reached out his arms and got tears in his eyes. I thought... "uh oh here we go." BUT Missy immediately grabbed the new toothbrush he was going to get to take home with him and asked him if he would show her how he brushes his teeth. Well, Jaden loves to brush his teeth at home so he did this very willingly. And that was that! From that point on, he cooperated with everything they needed to do for him. He opened his mouth wide "like an alligator" every time they asked him to. They counted all his teeth (he has all the teeth he should have at this age). They let him touch all the tools that were going to be using. (Which is huge for Jaden because he LOVES to touch new things). Missy kept saying to me, "we're just going to build trust throughout this whole visit." And they really did. They cleaned with the little vibrating brush they use for adults -- we told Jaden there was "candy" on it -- and he loved the blueberry flavor ;) They put a special coating on his teeth before he left (I guess it's the new thing to do now) -- and she showed him how it looked like frosting before she actually put it on his teeth. When we left he got a dentist pack with a new toothbrush, sticker, pencil and a little hourglass he can use to make sure he brushes his teeth long enough. He also got his blue balloon of course ;) We go back in six months, and Missy is the one who scheduled our next appointment -- and it will be with her again. She said they try and make sure kids see the same person every time they go. It was a great experience, and I'm just mad at myself for forgetting to bring my camera! Jaden looked and acted so grown up and he was so good throughout - that it almost brought me to tears. He's getting so big!

THEN last night... Brandon climbed up two whole steps all by himself! He once again was trying to follow Jaden and Cody into the bathroom at Jaden's bath time. I was watching Brandon by the steps, and all of the sudden he pushed himself up to a standing position -- which is the first time he's pushed himself up to completely standing. Then... before I knew it... he started climbing up the steps! He made it up two of them, and by that point I was shrieking and he was giggling because he was so proud of himself! This was shortly before his bedtime, and the whole experience must have recharged his batteries because normally he is out like a light by 8:00. Well.. I put him in his room THINKING he was sound asleep at 8:00. But when I walked by his room about 10 minutes later after putting Jaden to bed... THIS is what I saw when I peaked in Brandon's bedroom door:
He was kneeling in the corner of his crib just smiling while looking out his door. He had managed to grab a blanket of his that was folded up on top of a hamper by his bed - and pulled that into his bed with him. He was trying to grab his turtle that was on top of the hamper as well. (We have one of those turtles that projects stars up onto the ceiling at night). He was WIDE awake.


AND then I watched as he tried to stand up in his crib. Well that prompted me to go grab Cody... and we had to lower his mattress again -- to its lowest point. Now if he stands up he can't fall over on to the floor. I am just amazed at how fast he is growing. Our first year with him is going even faster than Jaden's first year... probably because I'm about 20 times as busy.

He and Jaden also played together for a while last night -- with Jaden's cars and car garage. I watched as Brandon would grab hold of a car, put it at the top of the garage and push the car down the car ramp - over and over again just like he sees Jaden do. If the car would tip over, Brandon would put it back on its wheels the way its supposed to be. He learns so much just from watching what his big brother does!

We are excited for this weekend. The UNI basketball team has a big game tonight that we will get to watch. (They're playing at Syracuse). Then the last regular season football game is tomorrow night... and if we win, we're on our way to being conference champs... again! Some friends of ours have a brand new baby girl, and I get to go see her on Sunday (she will be only a week and a half old). Cody is not wanting me to go see her because he thinks it's going to give me "baby girl ideas." HA. He has nothing to worry about. I am very content and happy with my THREE boys :) I also have my Christmas shopping list completely figured out -- I know what I'm getting for our boys, for our parents and for most of the other little ones we have to buy for. Now I just have to go PURCHASE everything. So I think I'm going to try and get a big chunk of that done this weekend because there are some big sales at Target and Toys R Us right now. It will be nice to have the big bulk of that all taken care of. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Caught!

Brandon is on the move! He spends a lot of time now trying to climb up the steps from our living room to our hallway where our bathroom and all of our bedrooms are. Here he is looking guilty!
Whenever Cody or Jaden - or myself - go up those steps for any reason, he tries to follow us! Last night when I took this picture he was trying to follow Jaden and Cody into the bathroom so he could watch Jaden take his bath. He just adores his big brother!

(Just to clarify - the dark spot at the bottom of the picture is not a stain on our carpet. My camera has been putting those spots into pictures lately. Maddening! I need a new camera so badly!) :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brandon's 8-Month Pics




Check out the growth chart tab at the top of the page - it has been updated as well!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Never Grow Up"

Our little Brandon is eight months old today already. So isn't it fitting that I heard this song for the first time this morning?

*Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cuz you're dreaming
So I tuck you in and turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up - don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh darling don't you ever grow up - don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
No one will desert you
Just try to never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mama's dropping you off
At 14, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday
And call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember she's getting older, too
And don't lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs

Oh Darlin, don't you ever grow up...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Milestone Reached

Brandon will be eight months old tomorrow, and he has reached another milestone. He's been sitting on his own for quite a while... and crawling for almost two weeks now. But last night he started getting himself from the crawling position -- to the sitting up position -- all by himself. It used to be that he would crawl to the toy or object he wanted and then play with it while on his tummy or roll over onto his back. Now he grabs it and sits himself right up to play with it! He did this over and over again last night before bed and was pretty happy with himself ;)

...In other news, we have survived a brutal week. From my previous blog post you know that we were battling flu and colds and bronchitis like crazy. Well Jaden made it through the weekend without throwing up again (after he threw up twice on Friday). His cold also seems to be getting much better. However, Cody went back to the doctor on Saturday morning and had to be put on meds for a sinus infection. Poor guy has had bronchitis and now a sinus infection --- he sounds awful. By Saturday late afternoon, Brandon was as fussy as ever. He's not getting a tooth, but he was having trouble sleeping and eating... so... we took him to the same doctor Saturday afternoon that Cody saw Saturday morning! Turns out our little peanut had an ear infection in one year AND a sinus infection. I didn't think his cold was horrible because he didn't have a lot of snot coming out of his nose... well, it turns out it was because it was all draining down the back of his throat. When the doctor looked at his throat, all he could see was thick green mucus. :( SO Brandon got put on medicine Saturday night. Then yesterday Cody threw up in the afternoon. I now have the cold, but I would much rather be sick than have my kids be sick so I'm dealing with it. Brandon slept better last night than he did on Saturday night -- he's not completely back to being himself... but he seemed improved last night. He also was very excited to get to daycare this morning. He's been cooped up in our house since Wednesday morning so he was having some cabin fever issues! Kinda bummed this all happened around Halloween... but hopefully this means our Thanksgiving will be healthy! (Fingers crossed!!) Since we weren't healthy enough to trick or treat in the neighborhoods we took the kids to the mall yesterday for the mall's trick or treating. Neither of the boys were too thrilled with being in their costume so the pictures aren't very good... but when I get them loaded on my computer I'll share them with you all.

Tomorrow night I am taking Jaden to the first UNI basketball game of the season! Can't believe it's already that time of year. The games are too late in the evening during the week for Brandon, but Cody and I are going to take turns taking Jaden to them because he will really enjoy them, and it will give each of us one-on-one time with our little Jaden-man. I'm also excited that there's only three full work weeks left before Thanksgiving week... and I cannot wait to get our Christmas stuff put up!