Monday, April 23, 2012


A recent blogpost from a friend reminded me how quickly the kids are changing and growing. She compared them to little goldfinches...if you don't stop from time to time to watch them (or watch for them) they are simply gone. I've been trying to keep this in mind through my days, and am finding myself tucking away countless moments, thoughts, images and conversations that I know are fleeting and I know I will quickly forget.

"Mom! MOM!!! Can you stop the WIND??"
"No, Mags. Only one person can stop the wind. Do you know who that person is?"
"Yeah. Dad."

One day, I put the kids in the car and had to run back inside to grab something and I came back out only to hear the sound of pealing laughter coming from the car - from both of them. Then I heard Maggie yell,
"Hey Mom! We're being funny! We're doing funny faces!"
Shocked - and curious - how Howie could be doing a funny face for her, I raced around the car...only to find Maggie squeezing his cheeks between her forefinger and thumb. I was appalled at first - she was squeezing HARD! But apparently he found it hilarious.

Maggie has lately started to burst into tears whenever something displeases her (ahem, H man), and has also found the need to exclaim,  "I'm just SO SAD!" Glad that she could clarify what the tears mean. I secretly find it very sweet that she wants to express her emotions both physically and verbally.

Maggie loves to "check on" things and people. The best part is that she has to tell you what she's doing and she loves to refer to me, Gary and Howie as "my mom," "my dad," or "my brother" us.
"Hey Dad. I'm just going to go check on my mom. I'll be right back."
"I'm going to go check on my brother. I'll be right back. Hey Howie, you doing OK? OK. Hey Mom! He's doing OK!

Maggie and her friend Charis. I LOVE these two together!! There are never enough pink things, shoes, babies, bags or goldfish for them to share. Oh, and Howie annoys them both equally. I frequently hear from both of them, "H-MAN!!...NOOOO!"

I received an email from a friend - who also happened to be Maggie's Sunday School teacher this week - explaining how they learned about Mary and Martha this week. Apparently she asked each child if Jesus were to come to their house if they would cook and clean or sit at his feet to listen to Him. Maggie said "sit and listen." She then asked the group in general who chose wisely (meaning Mary or Martha), and without hesitation, Maggie piped up "I DID!!!"

I found myself drawing parallels between showers and clean floors last week. Once done, I am hesitant to do anything to undo them. For example...showered yesterday? Hm. Better not do anything that requires sweat or dirt for at least two days. Cleaned the floor today? You better bet that we're going someplace ELSE for dinner tonight!

I'm not sure how it is possible to find Yogurt Hands in so many places. Especially because we don't necessarily eat a ton of yogurt. Maybe I just need to clean my chairs more frequently.

Having an almost toddling boy has made me recently realize the true value of having a soft ottoman/coffee table at the center of the room. Little did we know how much abuse that thing would get...

Most of my Howie snippets I shared in his One Year update, but one image that has been consistent lately is me realizing that he is not in the family room. In fact, I don't see him at all. Then I hear a scamper in the playroom and find him perched on Maggie's chair looking and pointing out the window. I really need to get a picture of this.

After a year I have finally discovered the key to making it through Target (or any public place) with both kids. (Not the hat - the popcorn. Although the hat is cute...)

My MOTY nomination has been in full-force the past few weeks. This was a rather slow day that involved me pushing Howie in the shopping cart and Mags pushing her baby in the stroller. There may or may not have been a race involved. Oh, and FYI that thing can FLY on the pergo. But you didn't hear that from me.

She's turning into quite the helper/shopper. Does she know the meaning of a LIST??

SNOW!! It's true! On April 11 Cleveland finally showed its true colors. For the record, today is April 23 and the high was 41. Remember when I wanted to move to California?? Yep. Still do.

A strangely appropriate outfit...

A tackle or a hug? I honestly don't remember.

I "built" this "house" for them at least three weeks ago. Finally last week, on the day that I thought its days of just taking up space in the playroom were through, they finally stopped ignoring it. It's been their new favorite hang out spot for a week now. Oddly enough, they don't mind being in there together.

Holding her brother's hand to cross the street.

I was hoping that Maggie's shorts from last summer would also fit this year. Apparently she's tall or something. Parental approval aside, I'd say that her potential as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader is high.

Yes - she wears the boots EVERY day. And yes, they are always on the wrong feet.

Even reading this now I know there are so many things I'm leaving with these two is crazy, funny, sweet and non-stop.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Year

Unlike Maggie's first year, which seemed to me very full and very timely, it seems impossible that a year has already passed since we welcomed Howie to the world and to our family.

We have felt a huge transition in the past few weeks, and I think we are entering a very fun stage with our little man. I remember loving this age with Mags, and so far it is not disappointing.

From learning to stretch his limbs to his vocal chords, he is growing and changing and developing in so many amazing ways. His little (or rather large!) personality is practically bursting out of him. He is constantly making us (and others) smile, laugh and run after him.

He knows no boundaries. As I've written lately, he will climb over, through, around and off of just about anything. No walking yet, but he cruises everywhere and can speed-crawl like an olympian. Poor Mags. He wants to be everywhere she is - and have everything she has - once he's walking she won't have a moment's peace.

He is crazy, frankly. 100% energy. 100% spaz.

He loves to say and wave hi and bye, which is absolutely adorable and is also amazing to me as a parent when I recall the blank stares that Maggie would give when people said hi or bye to her. Oh wait. She still does that.

He also loves anything with wheels. I can't remember if I've mentioned this or not. He's absolutely obsessed with them. Even though his only words right now are "hi," "bye," and "dada" (which he says for everything), he will take a car (or a train or a box or a graham cracker) and go, "vvvvvvvv" as he moves it across the floor.

He LOVES the bath. We used to love this, as it was a go-to "happy time" for him. Now everyone loathes it. He is the biggest tub splasher I have ever seen. It's like he has determined how to get the most water up with each splash. Maggie often chooses to take solo baths. However, this is a frequent exchange:
"Howie! STOP!! I'm SO SAD! You're getting me SO WET!"
"Well, Mags, you ARE in the tub..."

 Oh - and CURLS! A recent and very unexpected turn of events. I'm not sure what to make of it yet, as some days are super curly and other days it goes back to being dead straight...I think I'll let it grow for awhile and see what it decides.

He still loves to eat. Not sure how this kid remains in the 8th percentile for weight, but I'm just chalking it up to the fact that he inherited his dad's metabolism.

Oh, and he's started screaming like a girl. Mostly when he's mad. (Maggie may have the attitude, but he's got the temper!) But also just to be loud. Like in a restaurant. Or at 2:30 a.m. That's my personal favorite.

 Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Party Like it's Your Birthday

I will likely regret staying up this late to write a blogpost tomorrow morning. But probably not as much as I will regret not having posted in WEEKS when I am looking back at our life ten years from now.

In case you were wondering (or maybe you weren't), yes, Howie has been ONE YEAR OLD for nearly a month now.

As things would have it, none of our family members were going to be around on March 31, so I (reluctantly) put my party planning hat aside and amped up my expectations for a super fun family day. I still have no idea how those expectations were going to manifest themselves, but with two toddlers, it is a) hard to plan things in advance, and b) often takes much less to thrill than anticipated so I decided it was probably safe to wing it.

During my decorating and Birthday Fairy efforts the night before, I started to feel a little off-color. By midnight I was out of bed facing the reality that I had acquired some sort of stomach bug. The next morning I did not feel like I got hit by a truck - I felt like I got run over by a truck. I didn't even SEE the birthday boy until 2:00 in the afternoon!

I am not sure what it is with my kids and lame first birthdays, but it is not a trend that I am becoming fond of.

So long story short, we did NOTHING birthday-related that day, and chose to push back our celebration efforts for the following Saturday, when Grandma and Papa would be in town anyway. Howie may not have known the difference, but Maggie was very convinced and confused because, "He already HAD his birthday!" This is coming from the girl who chose to unwrap his Birthday Fairy gift (in his room) during a time-out and call down the stairs, "HEY MOM!! Can you come upstairs and open up this race car that I just found in Howie's room??!"

It's a good thing that he'll never remember any of this. Oh wait, except for the fact that I've just permanently jogged his memory via the blogosphere for the rest of his life. I'm sure by the time he's old enough to care things like blogs will be completely obsolete.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trust and Obey

Tonight Maggie had a little mishap in Chick Fil A that resulted in a split lip. There was lots of blood and lots of tears, but I am oh so thankful that there were not things like broken teeth or stitches.
Funny how your parenting instincts kick in during a moment of crisis and you feel yourself being strangely calm and clear headed in situations (blood!!) that would normally make you queasy or cover your eyes. (And by you I mean me.)

It wasn't until we were home and everyone was calm and heading to bed that I started reflecting on it all.

How heartbreaking to see your children sad and hurt and scared! How many times have I told Maggie to be careful while running or to slow down or to pay attention? It was such a helpless feeling to see her in the state she was and know there was nothing I could do about it. Accidents just happen. And some things are completely out of my control. And at the end of the day, there are some things I just can't protect her from.

After she calmed down, had a Popsicle and read a few books, she set aside her sullen expression and got gussied up in her latest princess attire and marched around the kitchen - high heels and all - announcing, "I'M THE PRINCESS OF THE CASTLE!" To which Gary and I looked at each other and said, "She's just fine."

After her princess debut the three of us sat on the floor and had a very sweet moment singing songs like "Come into my heart", "Nothing but the blood of Jesus," and "Trust and Obey." Maggie then recited her latest memory verses - Romans 3:23 and John 3:16.

As my heart swelled with pride and love I was suddenly taken back to the pit in my stomach about what had happened earlier in the night. I keep hearing her little head smack on the ground. All of the feelings of helplessness and wanting to protect her overwhelmed me again. Then it dawned on me that her little life and her faith are much like her fall tonight. There just are some things I can't control. I can't protect her from everything - physical or otherwise. I can warn her, train her and guide her, and then it is simply up to the Lord. And it is my job to place her little life in His hands and then Trust and Obey. However, unlike her physical fall, which made me jittery to even see her walk around in her heels afterwards, I am supremely confident in her future with her Heavenly Father (and not me) in control. She is His child - I am here only to point her to Him. And while I teach her to Trust and Obey I need to do the same.