Thursday, August 31, 2006

"I obey Mommy"

ahhhh sometimes it's just too much! I love my boys so much!! This morning we had to go to a 4 mo. well baby check- up for Ben (shots and all). Charley woke up early this morning and we didn't make him go back to bed so he was already tired when we had been at the appointment for an hour. He sat in the stroller for over an hour and was sooo good for me. He squirmed and complained a little, but didn't cry or throw a fit or really fuss a lot. I gave him some treats and promised him a few donut holes afterwards if he was good. We were there so long I think he forgot about the donuts, but he was still very good for me. Then, when we got home and I thought he would run wild after being strapped down for so long; he began to exit the car (instead of making a break for the front seat to "drive") saying, "I obey Mommy." I praised him thinking, "ok we'll see what he wants or how long this will last," but as I asked him to go to the front door (instead of run around the yard) he again said, "I obey Mommy." This continued all the way up the stairs into the house and afterwards as he threw away the bag from the donut holes and as we went to wash his hand and finally as I laid him down for a nap where he is now. He just kept saying it over and over again and it was so sweet! I was praising him for it and trying to let him know how good he was for obeying, but since I've been reading "Dare to Discipline" I learned that I shouldn't overly praise him or else it won't mean anything (I think that's the jist of it). Maybe it's don't overly reward him or the reward doesn't mean anything, or maybe it's both, maybe I should go reread that section :) Anyway, my heart was about to explode from how good he was today and I just had to tell someone so I thought I'd blog it and let everyone know. I figure, 2 year olds are going to have their terrible moments, and Charley has definitely had his, but I want to remember these wonderful moments too, when he's temporarily an angel :)

I just pray and wish that I could be a good enough parent to deserve the two little blessings God has given me. I know I can't be perfect, but I'm thankful that God's grace is bigger than my parenting abilities. I also hope that I obey God as serenly and as constantly as Charley obeyed me this morning. I hope that "I obey God" when I want to crawl in the front seat and drive, or when I want to run wild in the front yard or even when I don't want to wash my hands or rest. Thank you Lord for these little blessings and little lessons in life, and thank you that there are so many yet to come. Amen.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fall is here!

Well, we may not have a/c up here, but we do have early fall! I know it's not officially fall, but it's been wonderful up here in RI lately . . . high's in the 70's lows in the 50's at night ahhhhh. I feel bad for all my TX friends of course, but I heard through the grapevine that it's been nicer down there lately . . . in the 80's with a breeze? :) We actually put our big heavy comforter back on the bed because it was getting so cool. Of course, we still have our windows open so we can enjoy the cool breeze, but it feels so nice! The cool breeze blowing through the house, while you're cuddled under a big comforter! We were made to hibernate, I just know it :)

Anyway, I've made a few preparations for fall and winter . . . last weekend we did a bunch of trimming and yard work and I planted some mums. I've also been looking all year for sales on winter clothes for the boys. It's cold here for so long that I don't want to stay inside all winter like I did last year when I was pregnant. And now I'll have 2 boys instead of just 1! All that energy is going to want to go outside whether it's 20 outside or not! I hope not though :) I've been resisting joining the YMCA up here because it's so expensive, but we may have to if that's the only way we can all get out in a warm place where they can play. We'll see. We still plan on going down to TX for Christmas hanging out there and in Colorado and several stops in between here and there so unless TX has a colder more brutal winter this year, we'll get a break from the RI weather when we're there.

I still can't wait for the first snow though! I think Charley will be old enough to really enjoy it this year. Ben will probably think we're on a different planet, if he only knew about planets. Speaking of planets . . . I was kinda sad when I heard that they voted and decided to knock Pluto off the list of regular planets and call it a dwarf planet. My nostalgia for that little guy is of astronomical proportions. :) (tee hee, no I'm not crazy, that one was for my father-in-law). Maybe by the time my kids learn about planets, it will be back on the main list, or maybe there will be a whole different system of categorization. Who knows.

Well, gotta go curl up in bed. If only there was a fireplace in our bedroom! :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Just a quick post before bed . . . today we went hiking in the Norman Bird Sanctuary and got some great pictures of all of us. We had so much fun walking through the forest, it was beautiful! Charley walked over rocks and slippery ground very carefully on his own for most of the way, and did a very good job maneuvering over it all. I carried Ben in the snugli and Will had Charley in a backpack for part of the way. We all had a great time! Hope you enjoy the pics!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I can't seem to get out of the tired rut I've been driving in for the past, oh I guess, 4 months (since Ben was born). I don't know if it's having a newborn, or if it's the combination of a newborn and a toddler, or just that I can't seem to get myself in bed before 10:30 . . . I'm just tired. I'm sure it doesn't help that Ben has reverted to nursing through the night again. He was sleeping through the night at around 2 months old and ever since we came back from Norfolk, he's wanted to nurse every 3 hours again. It's funny because Charley has actually been sleeping later! Go figure :) I think Ben needs to start rice cereal and that's why he keeps eating through the night. You saw the picture of how that went though :) We'll try again soon, but for the time being, I'm having some very long days.

On a happy note, Charley has used his little boy potty a few more times and I'm so proud of him! We're not ready to go diaper free yet, but hopefully it's the beginning of the end :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

overwhelmed . . . in a good way

It usually happens when I'm running errands at night after the kids are in bed, and I'm in the car at night by myself that I get caught by the thought of how big God's blessings have been in my life. I almost want to cry, and sometimes I do, just thinking about how much I love my boys and my husband and how lucky I am to be living the life I do, and enjoying what God has given me. I think about how big God is and how amazing it is that He would look down and bless me so much. My next thought is usually, "God, please don't let me screw it up." Realizing how blessed I am is a good way to moderate my own selfishness when it starts to creep into my attitude. I'm so thankful that God reminds me of these things periodically . . . and probably just when I need it.

Monday, August 21, 2006

waaaay ahead

Do you ever find yourself preparing for something difficult even if it won't happen for another few years? Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Will deploying, and even though I know he won't even have a chance to deploy before he gets to a ship (not until 2009) and even then it's not for sure that he'll deploy after that, I still feel like I'm trying to gear up and prepare now for him to be gone. Maybe it's because the trip he took for a week was so hard, and I know deployement will be so much harder than that . . . who knows. I just feel like praying a lot and developing a game plan for how to handle it now, so that when it finally comes, I'll be ready. Of course, I know that God will give me the strength I need then, and that I don't need it right now, so I shouldn't worry; but as long as I can keep from worrying about it and just stick to simple ideas and prayers, I think that's ok. In the past, just thinking about having to deploy one day would scare me, but lately, I feel like things will go well and I'll be able to get through it alright, with a little more dignity than the one week Will was gone a few months ago. :) I know it will still be pretty rough, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge now instead of fretting about it, which is good. I mean, it would be great it he never had to leave, but he probably will, so I might as well, get ready. I'm still really enjoying our time together now though and I definitely won't let the fact that he'll be gone at some point 3 years from now, put a damper on that. We're going to have a fun 3 years ahead!! More to come on that though, there's some news waiting in the wings . . . !

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tinkle, tinkle little boy

Big milestone today . . . Charley used his little potty for the first time today!! He had been telling us for awhile that he had to go, but he'd go too soon in his diaper for us to run to the toilet. So we just kept telling him that he should tell us before he needs to go and then we'd go. Finally, tonight, he held it long enough to make it to the toilet and go! Of course he got treats and lots of praise. He was so proud of himself! It was so cute! In fact, he was so good, that later when we were giving him a bath, he told us he had to go again, and so we put him on his little potty all soapy, and he went again! So now it begins. I'd love any input or suggestions from all you pros who have been through this before. We're going to take it a day at a time and see how it goes, but with practice and encouragement, I think he'll be potty trained before too long. Yay for Charley!! (ps. thanks to my hubbie for the catchy title) :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

everyday things

Here are some cute things that have been a part of our day lately . . .

Daddy & Charley cooking together

First try at solid foods didn't go so well

Daddy loves snuggle time with his boys

Charley loves to drive in his Cozy Coupe Car

Of all the things, a real life mini-excavator came to pull up shrub roots next door. Charley was enraptured!

Some cute pics of Ben at 3 1/2 months old. He loves to sit up and play with and "gnaw on" the toys on his swing. He's rolling over easily now and pushing himself up for a good
amount of time. I can't believe he's growing so fast!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

One last cute picture

The boys at Cam & Mary's townhouse when we stopped for naps on the last day of our visit.

There were so many other people whom (?) we saw and forgot to snap a picture of, and it makes this little record feel incomplete, but at least we have some wonderful memories. We forgot to take a picture of our friends who are newlyweds, Tim & Jada (thanks for letting us stay with you), and Cam & Mary (thanks for letting us nap at your place while you were at the beach). We also got the chance to have breakfast with Dick and Verna, and lunch with Ian and Rachel and their daughter Audrey. Oh yeah, at the last minute we got to see some missionary friends of ours from Tab, Carton and Shannon and their son, Parker. They serve over in Brussels and happened to be home for a visit. Our trips overlapped by one day! On our day in Annapolis, Will ran into the plebe we sponsored when he was up here in RI at NAPS. His name is Tyller. I'll have to post a plebe pic of him now that he's at the Academy.

There were others that we had plans to see, but things fell through at the last minute because the boys needed to nap and I needed them to get sleep since we were pushing them hard with a crazy schedule. They took some 3 and 4 hour naps! I felt bad because both boys came home and got a small cold, but I think that was because of the night that we drove through on our way home and it kept them up a lot. They're getting over it quickly though and haven't missed a beat.

One good thing lately though, is that Charley hasn't been getting up as early as he was before we left. I don't know if he's still catching up on sleep, or if he's just changing his schedule. If he had kept getting up that early, I decided to just let him (or make him) stay in bed and let him know that it's not time to get up yet. A short conversation with Verna helped convince me of this. But I think that if I hadn't tried adjusting his schedule in other ways, and realizing that he still needed sleep, I wouldn't feel comfortable making him stay in bed. Fortunately, I had tried everything, to no avail, and now realize that it's a training/discipline issue. He hasn't gotten up before 6:30 or 7 yet though, so I'm not too worried. We'll see what happens though :)

I'm just glad we'll have a long time before our next trip. We'll drive to TX in December, if all goes well, and take a long vacation through January when Will has more time off. We're planning on going skiing and on going to the Caribbean somewhere. We haven't firmed up plans or dates yet. That will be an incredible and long trip! Stay posted :)

People we saw in Norfolk

We really enjoyed our time last week in Norfolk. We tried to remember to get pics of everyone, but I know we missed a few so apologies to those folks. Here are a bunch of pics of people and kids we saw. We can't wait to see you all again.

Navy friends Tommy & Amy w/ daughter Anna

Amy & new baby girl, Sabrina "Izzy" (born the day before Ben). Thanks so much Tommy & Amy for letting us call you up at a moments notice to come crash and eat or hang out at your house. You were life savers. Thanks for being so flexible with your time and open with your home.

Charley (2 yrs old) & Lydia (3 yrs old) watching Veggie Tales. Thanks so much, Barry & Jenn, for letting us stay with you while we were there. I hope everything goes well for you in the move to D.C and with the birth of baby #3 "Baby Boy" in December. They also have another daughter, Katie, who is 16 mo. old. Our prayers are with you Jenn and Barry and your handful of arrows :)

My younger cousin, Alicia (13 yrs old) and me and my Aunt Teressa holding Ben and Will in front. Most of the inspiration for coming to Norfolk in the first place was to watch Alicia pole vault in the Junior Olympics. She did a great job and it was amazing to watch her jump. The heat index that day was well over 100, I think it was maybe 115 or so (no joke). They got to go hang out at the beach while they were in town and we really enjoyed spending time with them since we don't see them often in Rockwall, TX (near Dallas) where they live.

I got to catch up with my old high school friend, Daniel, while we were there. He's a SeeBee in the Navy now and is stationed at Oceana in Virginia Beach. He's doing great since he moved back to the states from Japan. Of course, he and Will talked Navy the whole time, but that was fine because you can only talk about people from high school for so long. : ) He enjoyed holding Ben and did a great job, probably from all the experience he's had from visitin Dana & Dave and holding their brood :) Thanks Dana for the current e-mail address. It was so good to see him.

Here we all are at Outback Steakhouse with Art & Anna . Anna is due with their first baby in January! Yay! Thanks guys for letting us stay with you our last night, and swim in your pool and watch your big screen . . . :)

On a side note, (for those of you who don't know) Anna was present (in the delivery room) for Charley's birth, since we didn't expect him 2 weeks early and my mom couldn't be there. She just came to visit us this past April just 2 weeks before Ben was born so we thought she might be there for him too, but he was 5 days late. This is the friend I always talk about meeting at the dog park just before I got pregnant with Charley. She's become a great friend since then and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding last July. I can't wait to see their beautiful little baby. We're not sure if it's a boy or girl yet. I'll keep ya posted!

We visited with some good friends from our Sunday School class at Tab Church in Norfolk, where we used to go. From L to R is Evelyn (17 mo.), Christianne, me, and Christy holding Ben (3 mo.). We were also all in a small group together. We had a lot of fun hanging out and watching our husbands play X-box :) By the way Christy, I have to say you have a gift . . . Ben looks nice and comfy.

And here are our husbands . . . playing X-box. From L to R are Will (my hubby), Will, and Dave.

This is Dave holding Owen. I couldn't leave out Christy & Will's new baby, Owen (9 mo.). He's probably saying, "Hey, you're not my daddy." He's super cute and it was the first time we had the chance to see him since we moved away from Norfolk before he was born.

One more just for fun . . . the two redheads wrestling and turning . . . redder :)


Fave Family Foto

(No red eye, yay! I just wish Ben was looking up) Posted by Picasa

Things that make your heart grow 3 sizes

I had to post this really cute picture of my boys reading together. Charley loves reading to Ben and they're at the age where it's safer than it was before. I can't wait to see all that Charley will teach him. Charley loves being a big brother and holding and helping Ben any way he can. When I'm nursing Ben and he unlatches, Charley will often put his hand on Ben's head and try to guide him back to latch on again saying, "Go ahead Ben, go ahead," it's soo cute! Sometimes I feel like my heart will burst from being so full of joy while watching my boys. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

only young once!

Hi All! We made it back safely to RI at around 10 Sunday morning. We ended up driving through the night from Norfolk when we left at 9 PM. It's exhausting, I don't recommend it. It was nice that we didn't have much traffic, but the kids weren't sleeping that well in their carseats and I don't sleep well in cars either. We might have stopped around midnight, but we hit an area on the Eastern seaboard peninsula that was booked for miles. When we finally hit Wilmington, DE, it was already 1 or 2 and so we kept going. It was such a long night. We drove through NYC at around 5 in the morning and still hit about 20 min. of stand still traffic, which was funny because we thought we'd miss all traffic coming through that early and not even on a work day, but New York is New York I guess :) We stopped for breakfast in Mystic, CT and took our time there; that was nice.

All in all, it was a great trip and we really enjoyed catching up with old friends and seeing my cousin pole vault. It was amazing to watch! I think she placed 4th which is awesome considering this is her very first year to pole vault, ever! We had a heat index in the 110-120 range just about the entire time we were there so we stayed inside a lot! Fortunately, everyone's A/C was working. Many thanks to everyone who made time to hang out with us and made meals for us, and especially those who gave us a place to stay at night or crash during the day when plans fell through or the kids needed a break. I'm sorry to those we weren't able to catch up with for lack of time or because the kids needed a break. Charley ended up taking 3 & 4 hour naps most days because we weren't able to keep them on a schedule. He did great for all that we put him through though. Hopefully, it will just make them both more flexible :)

We really love and appreciate all our friends and we miss you so much. It made us think about all the other friends we weren't able to see who live all over the country and how we hope we'll be able to catch up with you all again soon too. Until then, this is the best way I know to keep in touch so keep reading :) Love to all!