Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adventures of the Four Non-Blondes

So this past Saturday was the Raven Rock Rumble 5 & 10 mile race. Just so we are not mis-led, this is a trail run and the terrain goes from steep to down right dangerous.
There were four of us, all 30(ish) moms of two. We registered for the 5 mile and just hoped to finish it in under an hour. We are all just happy to be leaving the double joggers at home for a change. Yes, it's a little strange that to us Bliss is running full speed without toddlers. And even more strange is the fact that not only did we PAY to run this race but we also PAID for a babysitter so we could participate. All in all, this is one expensive race and we want to do our best. We took the far right of the runners line up, mid range of the 300 participants. We're off and set a good pace. It was unlike any race I had ever ran. Some of the trails were so narrow that you could only run in a single file line. Admittedly, we were in the first .5 mile when I slid down on some slippery leaves but I quickly recovered and didn't even loose my pace. We eventually spread out a little, Angie was in front leading the way and I was pulling trail for our little team but I was still on pace. That is when we hit our WALL. It came in the form of a 100 yard out and back to what they call the fish traps. Otherwise, it was just a straight down and uphill journey of torture. It was stairs and NOBODY likes to run stairs. It was murder on the thighs and crushed our pace. I was so happy to see the clearing up ahead and see the onlookers cheering. I noticed one said, "Great Job, you're halfway there." HALFWAY!?! I was already at mile 5.2 and I was DONE. I kept looking for the scorekeepers to clock my time. I pass the refreshment table and see Angie motioning us to cross victory lane backwards. She mentioned something about having to run through it. I did as she said and then asked for the full explanation. So, it turns out the 4 mom's of 2 all started the race with the 10 milers. We ran the first half of the 10 mile race which was apparently much harder than our 5 mile course should have been! So we had to cross the finish line backwards to clock our time. No, not a one of us is naturally blonde but we sure had a moment that day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jackson-isms Part 3

I have been collecting these little gems for quite a while in hopes of posting this blog and life keeps getting in the way. I keep a little notebook in my purse so that when I hear these adorable words, I wont' forget to record them for your entertainment and my memory. Each of them has a storyline behind it but here goes.

On the 2 minute drive to church one Sunday, we hear the song "Love of my Life" by Jim Brickman and I tell Jackson that this is the song they played at mine and your daddy's wedding. He asks me, "Was I in your tummy then?" NO, it was about 2 years later but I did wonder if this was a sign of the times. I'll have to invest in teaching the sequence of life to him more diligently.

Jackson was setting up an elaborate Geo-trax train maze in his room and it spread across the room. Roxy, as usual, was right in the center of us there. She had made her bed amidst the trax. He didn't like her near the trax thinking she would mess up the moving trains. I told him to leave her there, she was protecting him. He loudly hissed, "Roxy doesn't protect me, GOD protects me!" I guess he's right.

During Lincoln's crying fits in the car Jackson is always great to try and put his paci back in or do something to make him stop crying. He does get frustrated sometimes but he is always gentle and always willing to help me when I'm driving. Several times I've contorted my arm backwards to replace the paci only to find that Jackson's little hand is already attempting to replace it. I told him, "Jackson, you sure are a good big brother, I wish I had a big brother like you." and he asked me, "Mom, Could you get ME a big brother? I want to have 2 big boys" Somehow I think that would be hard to do buddy!

I admit sometimes I resort to using the threatening technique to achieve obedience. Mostly over picking up toys or eating dinner. Normal 3 year old behaviors but I always expect more out of him. So I told him if he didn't __________, I was going to whoop is tail.(in my most southern voice) He proceeded to tell me in a whiny tone "but I don't have a tail!" How do you keep from laughing.

We were loading ourselves in the car one day and randomly Jackson uttered this little bud of knowledge. "Mom, there's a golden road in heaven and when we die, we can walk on it" Now this is something him and my dad have obviously discussed at some point but is vision of it is right on!

Jackson was throwing a little 3 year old tantrum about something one day and I wasn't really feeling it. I stopped him and to make fun of his crying I asked him, "Did anybody die for you to be acting this way?" Not expecting this answer he said "Yeeeesssss." I asked Who? and he (still crying) said "Johnny Cash died a few years ago." That was not the reason for the crying but it got my attention. Another bit of knowledge from my dad but seriously, how many 3 year olds know Johnny Cash or care that he died?

During Jason's recent visit home He and Jackson rented Ghostbusters movie. He hadn't watched it before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then at bedtime we did our whole routine and Jason and I went to bed soon after. We were watching TV when Jackson entered our room and came up to his dad and seriously and vividly said, "Dad, there's somethin' strange going on in my bedroom." Jason quickly caught on that it was related to the movie. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!

Every time we leave the house Jackson and I go in rounds over combing his hair. He was dressed to walk out the door and I was fixing his hair reluctantly I'm sure. He looked over to Jason's sink and said, "Mom, I want to smell like daddy!" In a moment of sweet joy, I tearfully said I want you to smell like daddy too and gladly sprayed Jason's cologne on him. He told everyone at daycare that day that he smelled like his daddy. Later that night, I told him is was bath time and he protested saying he didn't want to wash off his Daddy smell.

After a long crying spell in the car Lincoln had finally fallen asleep. I was relieved to hear the music again and probably carry on a phone conversation when I hear him starting all over again. I immediately asked Jackson what happened, why was he awake again. Jackson told me, "I woke him up, I wanted to play with him." Really? Are we talking about the same crying baby? I guess a brothers love knows no bounds or is it sounds(really loud crying sounds)?

Only the child of a high maintenance kinda girl would recognize this but at Disney world, Jackson told my mom one morning, "Nana, you need your toes done!" Smart and fashion savvy. I think mom's pedicure was scheduled pronto after our trip.

Jackson regularly plays with the children that live next door. They, being great neighbors, also feed us on a regular basis. One night, Jackson ate dinner over there and they called me and said they were having steak salad and asked if Jackson would eat it and I said, he doesn't eat it at home but try it and if the other boys eat it, he just might. When he came home I asked him what he had for dinner and he said he ate salad. I acted surprised and said I didn't know he liked salad and he told me I don't like it here but I like it over there!

One morning at the breakfast table Jackson passed a little gas. Being a boy, he thought it was Sooooooo funny. I requested that he say excuse me. He told me, "Mom, God makes us poot. He doesn't poot but he makes us poot." So, there you have it. The infinite wisdom of a three year old.

That's it for round 3 but I'm sure there will be more and I'll keep that notebook handy to compile them. It won't be long and we'll begin throwing in a few Lincoln-isms to accompany them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In my next 30 years

"I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here ,In my next thirty years

In my next thirty years"

I guess we've all noticed like to choose song titles/books in reference to my blogs. I thought this was more than appropriate considering I hit the big 30 this week. I even came up with a few things I want to accomplish in my next 30 years.

I want to raise these boys under the grace of God. I want them to grow up knowing that God loves them even more than I do and his grace is sufficient. I want them to learn virtues not just through teaching but by witnessing us act them out. I want them to be generous and patient. I want to teach them the value of education both in school and out. I want them to know and appreciate that I chose to stay home with them. It's my job and I take it seriously. I want to lead them in the right directions in choosing college, careers and more importantly in choosing a mate. I want to more consistently keep that in my prayers. I feel like my parents prayers were answered in that for me and my sister.

I want to trust Jason that he will continue to make all the right decisions for our family and his career. He has always led us in the right paths. Before he even knew me, he was making decisions that would better our future. He is seeking higher wisdom and I know that. He wants and knows what is best for us and I should trust in that.

I want to keep up with all the great friends I've come to know over the past 5 years. These people have been my family in more ways than friends of civilians ever know. We celebrate birthdays and holidays as if it were tradition. We laugh, cry and encourage one another through some of life's greatest challenges. My life wouldn't be the same without them. My children wouldn't be the same without them. I've always heard "it takes a village", I'm thankful for my village.

I want to run a half-marathon. Yes, 13.1 miles is my goal. I might even do it 2 different times. I fell in love with running when I realized it helped me to lose the weight after my first baby and then with the 2nd. I love the thrill of the race and the fact that I'm only racing against myself. Most people aspire to do the whole 26.2 but I'm still convinced I'll be happy with the 13 miler.

I want to make time for myself. I want to keep up the image of "the girl with matching earrings." I know a good mommy always needs to take time to be herself outside of kids. It's not always easy to do. So many days, my legs need to be shaved or my toes get neglected but those are the things that make me a girl and around this house I NEED to be a girl.

At the end of that next 30 years I want to become the grandparents that mine were to me. I have nothing but respect and love for my grandparents. I was lucky enough to grow up near both sets of my grandparents and I am a better person for having known them. They filled my childhood with loving memories and tradition that I hope to pass on when one day Jason and I have the honor of becoming grandparents.

In my next 30 years, I want to revel in the wisdom that only comes with age. Try not to worry about the wrinkles and gray hairs that are inevitable. I want to make an imprint no matter where this life takes us. I want to be better, in my next 30 years.

Friday, November 13, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This

Everyday I wake up and wish it was April. Some days while drinking my coffee I find myself gazing to the clock in hopes that it says 8pm instead of 8am. I admit that I am wishing my life away. I feel like everyday is a struggle of some kind all linked to the same problem. The problem is not the kids (although they do contribute). Some days I lack the desire to play Peter Pan or make googly faces to occupy a 5 month old. I want to eat a meal all alone or better yet, with adults only. I want to go to the bathroom BY MYSELF! Don't get me wrong here, this is still the greatest job I've ever had. The problem lies with the absence of the other half of this parenting team and my best friend. I'm very proud of him and what he's doing there. I'm proud that he has the strength of mind to be away from me and the kids and know it's all going to be ok.
Recently on an everyday drive down 87 listening to a country station, I got a much needed reality check on wishing my life, or the time with my children away. It changed my perspective anyway. I still wish every second he was home with us but I need to take the time to enjoy the babies while they are still babies. These are the lyrics that changed my week.

by Trace Adkins:

"You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll love you forever

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

This is the title of one of our favorite books. It goes through the life of a little boy through manhood and how in each stage of his life his mom goes into his room and picks him up and rocks him back and forth signing the verse above.
Tonight, my great big nearly 4 year old boy got up 30 minutes after bedtime and asked me if I would rock him to sleep. You know what I did? I picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth.
So many nights recently, bedtime couldn't come fast enough. I feel like I've gone 3 miles past a marathon and I just want some time to myself. My day starts at 6am and spans 14 hours until 8pm. Then I'm not officially "off". I just get a 6 hour break. Despite all the bad days and hardships, It's the little moments like this one that still make this the greatest job I will ever have.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saving money but losing my mind...

Yesterday I thankfully had the boys in hourly care for a few hours. I NEEDED to be away from them to appreciate being their mommy again. I had to get a few things for Jason because the PX has apparently had some type of stocking issues and doesn't carry shaving cream right now. So in my time off, I perused Target and stopped by Walgreens before arriving at the commissary. I am attempting to learn the art of coupon shopping. I have friends that are very successful at it saving around $30-40 every 2 weeks on groceries. I have accumulated several weeks coupons, printed some, read the deals blogs and organized them into the binder system recommended by the pros. I enter the commissary with my large zipper notebook and checklist in hand. Halfway through the store, I realize that my time has ran out and I have to go get the kids. I knew it was close by so I left my cart there and picked up the boys. By this time, it was 5pm which is quitin' time for most of the army and they all stopped by the Commissary today. It was POURING down rain as I attached Lincoln to my front carrier and ran to the door while Jackson squealed that the umbrella wasn't covering him. I should have taken this as my clue that this wasn't a good idea but I pressed on. I had already bribed Jackson for good behavior with a green lollipop but this was short lived. I continued the SLOW process of matching products with coupons while Lincoln protested it was time to eat and Jackson (who had already been placed in the cart for not listening) proclaimed it was time to go home. At the checkout, thankfully, the guy was understanding and appreciative of my coupon shopping effort. I carefully unloaded the cart while still wearing the baby and restraining Jackson from handling all the candy on the isle. Yet the fun still wasn't over after a whopping 3 hours total in the store. I got us to the car but we weren't dry. Being a good mom, I let Jackson eat his lunchable in the car and dinner was done but we still had to unload said groceries, feed the baby and get these guys in the bed while putting groceries away. I knew I had lost it when I was getting the boys out and find Lincoln sitting in a carseat FULL of check mix that Jackson had dumped on him. I probably spoke more loudly than I should have in my display of anger but it was the pinnacle and it had been crossed. By 11pm, I finally had the perishable items put away and had to call it a night. The end of the most stressful grocery store experience I have ever encountered. All in all, I saved $34 off my grocery bill but I just might have also left a little part of my mind and enthusiasm for coupon shopping in the store.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sometimes, Daddy knows best

Day 2 at Walt Disney World was spent at Epcot. Me being the infinite planner had researched our agenda and had a clip board type plan for touring the park. Upon entrance Mom and I were the "fast-pass" volunteers. We were tasked with getting coveted fast passes for Soarin'. We made haste toward our goal and left the men folk with the kids and stroller. After securing those fast passes we checked in to find Dad and Jason committing the most common tourist mistake of getting in an early morning long line for photos with the Disney characters. This was NOT on my checklist for this time of day. I had a plan and they weren't conforming. Jason assured me that this was THE photo opportunity of the day and since they were nearly at the front of the line they stayed. I impatiently waited on them and when they finally showed up I reviewed their progress in the photo department. I have to admit, I was pleased. Jackson was able to meet Micky, Donald, Pluto, Minnie and Goofy all in one place and it didn't end up putting us too far off my schedule after all. I admit it, sometimes he's right (more often that I'd like to admit!)
Later that day, we dined at Coral Reef in the Living Seas restaurant. It was a nice meal in front of a LARGE aquarium. We rode Soarin' at least 2 times and Loved it. We also checked off Fast Track and mission Space in the Future World Section of Epcot. Since later this night we would be attending Micky's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Jackson needed to nap so Mom and Dad took the kids back to the hotel and Jason and I spent the afternoon in the World Showcase section. Lucky us, it was Epcot's Food an Wine Festival. Jason and I started out in Greece. During the Food and Wine Festival there are booths in each country featuring wines and small tastes of the local foods. We began with a sweet wine, Greek salad and a gyro. From there, we went into food and wine bliss. In true vacation style, we indulged in wine and food from every country that we fancied. We had champagne, french cosmos, and margaritas. We ate croissants, soups and empanadas. We literally made our way around the world in food and wine. We laughed and ate and drank. We really enjoyed our afternoon together there. Looking back, this was the only time we spent alone the whole 2 weeks but it was really great to have him by my side and all to myself!

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Magic Moment

I still don't know who was more excited to arrive at the Magic Kingdom, me or Jackson. I have waited my whole life to see this place and yes, there was a small tear of happiness as I finally laid eyes on Cinderella's castle in all it's glory. After purchasing the obligatory mickey ears, we spent the evening in Tomorrowland. Jackson was really excited to meet Buzz Lightyear. He said, "I knew we were going to where he lived but I didn't know I was going to get to meet him!" The main event for us was to see the SpectroMagic Parade and the Wishes fireworks show. It is supposed to be the essence of Disney Magic and it didn't dissappoint. It was magical, enchanting and everything I had always dreamed of. The parade was the highlight of my week there, along with seeing it through Jackson's eyes.

"Linc-I am your Father"

With all the star wars craze lately, I couldn't resist the title. Jason arrived home on Oct. 15th around 1140am. We waited impatiently at the airport gate for him. In true mom of two style, I had everyone perfectly dressed and hurriedly out the house with a few minutes to spare only to have 2 dirty diapers on the way and then discover that those 2 replacement diapers were the only ones I had with us. Yes, that fully stocked diaper bag must have gotten overlooked. So with an hour delay that gave me plenty of time to ride the moving sidewalks up and down the terminal with Jackson in search of a diaper for Lincoln, you know, just in case! At last, I discovered the wall of overpriced necessities in the terminal shops and forked over a whopping 7.00 for TWO huggies dipaers. I have paid less than that for entire packs before but I guess you can't put a price on a dry bottom. Just as I finished the 3.50 diaper change, his plane had landed and stood to wait for the grand entrance. He was of course, nearly last off the plane and Jackson got to him first. Jackson and I were so happy to see him and Linc, well, Lincoln was just happy to have on a clean dry diaper.