Thursday, May 30, 2013

6 Weeks Going on 6 Months

We took our not so little man to his 6 week check up this week, or as Harrison said, "We took Wils to the doctor to get shot." (aka, vaccines:) By the way, Harrison and Jefferson are not fans of the whole shot thing. Probably shouldn't have let them witness that part.
You would think that fact that Wils is in size 2 diapers, or six month clothing may have clued me in as to his large size, but no. It wasn't until the receptionist at the front desk questioned my type of appointment wondering if I meant the 4 month one. Pretty sure he's just 6 weeks.
So when my smiling, rolling over (back to side/front), "talking", head holding, reaching and grabbing 6 week old topped the scales at almost 12lbs and measured 22 inches the doctor labeled the guy long and large. My handsome not-so-little man is also sleeping 6-7 hour stretches at night, knows how to sleep and eat on the fly, and is super laid back to just go with the flow.
Thoroughly impressed with his ability to interact, bear weight on his legs, attempt to reach for things, and smiling at his brothers' antics the doctor was convinced the guy was going on 6 months. I would at least agree the boy eats as much as a six month old!
This handsome man has captured all of our hearts in the few weeks he has been here. These past six weeks have been so rich and blessing filled as we get to know our youngest son and brother. Wils, we are so thankful for you and look forward to each day with you as you grow into the man God has created you to be! We love you with all our hearts!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Real Heroes

Boys are just born wired to admire, mimic, seek out, and become super heroes.
We have a whole trunk crammed full of masks, capes, weapons, and shields...everything one might need to be a super hero.
We have the usual bumps and bruises that come with attempts at wall scaling, leaping off cliffs, and trying to fly.
We have boys who will go days only answering to "Captain America" and "Optimus Prime".
Yet just as they are born with a bent towards the hero, I'm proud to say my boys know what makes which one real.
Even at their young ages they know our military serve to protect and sacrifice and these heroes in uniform are truly "super" to them.
 
They love hearing stories of family and friends who have served or are serving our country and my boys innately know these heroes are "for real brave", as they say.
Who knows if one of my masked, caped little heroes will grow up to be a hero in uniform, but I do know that we are all very proud and truly grateful for all our real heroes...thank you for serving!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

When Did This Happen?

This precious little face melts me...and he knows it. He has the most mischievous grin, dimpled cheeks, and stop you in your tracks eyelashes. This amazing little man has been in our lives for almost two years and I'm having a hard time believing that.
I have no idea where the last two years have gone and how Jefferson the infant has transformed into Jefferson the little man. He can play drums and sing, wrestle and count, and is an NFL quarterback prodigy with his mean spiral pass.
This guy knows his way around the kitchen, the way to push his brother's buttons, and the way into anybody's heart. This little guy will be two in a matter of weeks and I have no idea when that happened, but I can't express in words how every day of the past 2 years has been richer because of this guy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Acres of Energy

I woke up at 5:30am in a panic. I totally had missed Wilson's cry during the night. I raced to his crib expecting to find my child wrought with feelings of starvation and abandonment.
But the awesome kid was fast asleep, snoring. He had never woken up! I quickly counted up the hours...six! Six glorious uninterrupted hours of solid sleep.
Do you know what this means to a parent of a newborn? It means you have just been given the equivalent energy level of a venti espresso and a new lease on life.
So what does one do with a sudden rush of well-restedness? You load up your equally as charged kiddos, drive an hour into the middle of nowhere and pay for the pleasure of bending over in the hot sun and picking your own strawberries.
Of course, my boys have unmeasurable amounts of energy no matter how many hours of sleep so it didn't take them long to discover their own sort of strawberry field entertainment.
My goal was to pick enough of the red berries for homemade strawberry jam. Jefferson's goal was to eat them as fast as I could pick them.
Harrison's goal was to turn them into mushy exploding air assault weapons and he ended up with several war wound stains.
Somehow we made it through the adventure with everyone alive and well and sticky. Strawberry picking was a pretty good choice for messy adventurous boys and a momma with six straight hours of sleep under her belt.  
But when you've got smiles like this and precious little men to expereince life with who cares how much sleep you get. It's a badge of parenthood I wear proudly and totally worth every hour spent in sleep or not.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Money Down the Drain

Most days end in me peeling hardened, sticky, stained, and streaked clothing off my equally dirty boys. It is extremely rare to make it through the whole day in the same outfit for any of us. This results in constant cycle of laundry and a constant use of suds with which to clean them.
After figuring up how much of the budget was going towards laundry detergent and being literally washed down the drain I started doing some research. Thanks to Pinterest I didn't have to look to far to find recipes, ideas, reviews, and tips.
Now I'm keeping our clothes cleaned without a ton of added dyes, perfumes, and chemicals and only costing me fractions of cents per load. Estimated cost of all the ingredients is around $6.00. Depending on the kind of bar soap you use and the amount of detergent you use in each load you can get about 576 loads out of your ingredients.
I was skeptical of the homemade detergent actually working on my boys excellent staining skills but it works amazingly well. I've noticed our clothes seem cleaner actually and residue free as name brand detergents actually deposit agents on laundry to repel stains and chemically brighten whites that leave clothes feeling heavy.
Our homemade detergent takes a morning of watching and stirring a pot off and on, but then it makes 2-3 gallons so I don't need to make another batch for at least 6 weeks. The recipe has taken me a few times to troubleshoot it a tad to my personal liking, but it's totally worth every dollar saved and light fresh clean clothes.
1 Bar of soap ( I have used Ivory and Fels Naptha)
I Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda (found on the laundry detergent aisle)

Grate soap into a large pot, add 1 gallon of water.  Cook over low heat until soap is dissolved. Add the borax and washing soda and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of cold water. Stir well. Using funnel transfer to gallon size containers. Depending on how much water you add this makes 2-3 gallons of detergent. I use about 1/2 cup per load.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stand Up Comedy

Can't seem to go a day around here without some hilarity exploding in the form of mix-mashed vocab and quips from my boys. Yesterday the boys saw a cat on our porch and begged me to let them out. "No, I don't think we should go chasing the poor little cat.""Mom," Harrison chimed in, "We aren't going to chase the poor little cat, we are just going to surprise him!"
And then there's Jefferson who is quickly expanding his own comedy routine. After fighting me on sitting still at the table to finish his lunch he started calling for his Daddy (who was at work), "Daddy! Help me!" I explained to Jeff that if Daddy was here he would agree with me which shocked him into exclaiming, "No way!"
And then I overheard them playing dressed as a cowboy (Jeff) and a pirate (Harrison) engaged in some warfare. Harrison clawed at Jeff who attempted to dodge the blow and took a nasty tumble. "It was totally an accident! I couldn't control it!" "Oh no," I explained, "You do have control over your hands and what they do." "Yes Mom, I control my hands, but I'm a pirate and I have a hook and that I just can't control."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Details

One month ago today I saw Wil's little face for the first time. His precious little squinched up face with chubby cheeks and pouty lips as he protested the bright lights and cold.
Over the past four weeks that little face has already changed so much. That same newborn face has now been beaming with smiles and those pouty lips now call out to us in "coos".
It's the details I want to remember, the ones that change so fast. The tiny rolled ears, the pudgy wrinkled fingers and toes, the round little belly.
One day the fingers will grow long and strong, his hands will callous, his face will mature, and he will become a man just like his big brothers are doing.
And that's why I pull out the camera, write down the little things, and capture the moments so when I'm towered by these three men I'll have the details of their tiny beginnings.
I'll be the sentimental momma tearing up over these little pictures, remembering how fast one month, one year, ten years go by. I'm savoring every minute, every shutter snap, every hand hold, every smile, every day. Happy One Month my precious Wils!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day x3

Started Mother's Day off with a 3am feeding full of cuddles, coos, and several of his first little smiles. 
 Got breakfast in bed - Jefferson bought me his left over poptart while I was feeding Wils. 
My little men brought me flowers, fresh picked dandelions, they insisted I tuck in my hair, which I did proudly.
Went to my Panera, my favorite, for lunch. Only spilled one drink, had one melt down, one lost food item on the floor, and Harrison only introduced himself to one elderly lady and engaged her in a discussion about pirates and Iron Man...she was a great sport. 
Got home and only had to mop the floor once when Jefferson decided to "help" clean the floors himself with his drink cup.
Got to watch 30 minutes of a movie of my choice before homemade chocolate chip cookies were requested by my little men. 
Got 5 perfect construction paper cards covered in colored lines, squiggles, and doodles lovingly drawn by the men in my life. 
Got too many hugs to count, 1000 "I love you's" even more "thanks for being my mom's", and I can't begin to count the blessings I have just from being a mom.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Good Things Come In 3's

I heard multiple warnings about going from 2 to 3 kids. "It's a whole new ballgame," I was told, "Your whole life is getting ready to get turned upside down...it will be crazy...you'll be outnumbered...etc."
I spent the last few months preparing for battle, Armageddon, a stock market crash, or at least an electronics store level of chaos on Black Friday.
But since this handsome guy joined our family life has been so much more organized, full, and complete. Life didn't come to any crazy halt or explosion when Wilson arrived, it just became richer.
Our laid back third man is content to keep the pace of his adventurous brothers and is happy to ride along in the sling on our daily explorations.
I'm not naive enough to think there won't be bad days, stressful moments, or chaotic situations- we've had some-but 3 kids has been so much smoother than 2.
Going from 1 to 2 I had guilt and felt torn and spread thin between the different needs of each of my boys. But now I see the friendship between Harrison and Jefferson and their protection over their new little man. I've grown as a mom too and find more joy than stress during the crazy moments knowing these will pass way too swiftly. Three times the crazy factor has been three times as blessed in this house of men.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Church for Superheroes

We are on the adventurous search for a church in our new hometown. It's never been our favorite part of moving.I love being plugged into a church, knowing faces and names, growing, giving, serving along side friends that become family.
But with a long distance move comes goodbyes to your church family and being thrown into a search, sometimes rather eye opening, for the church home where God would have you serve and grow.
With multiple moves we've visited dozens of church bodies and can tell some crazy tales of the pulpits within. Church names, websites, and roadside signs are not enough to describe what goes on behind the doors.
We've seen suits and tie required and ripped jean deacons, we've seen grape juice & matza and kool-aid and crackers, offering plates and sacks, sprinkling and dunking, drums and guitars, pianos and organs. We've heard hell fire and brimstone and we've heard Gospel so watered down it could be a Beatles song.
We've seen families with kids welcomed and some where food, drinks, and children are prohibited in the sanctuary. We've seen clapping and arms raised, we've seen stiff robotic robed choirs. We've heard love your neighbor, ignore your neighbor, and what is a neighbor?
But I didn't realize how much the boys had been taking in during this whole process until I heard them playing the other day. Harrison was Superman and Jefferson was Batman and they were flying around "searching for the right church but we just can't find one anywhere."
One superhero asked the other what was wrong with all the churches they had stopped at so far? The problem? None welcomed capes, masks, and flying. They finally found one in their room that was full of other superheroes and they were ecstatic to be among friends. I think they're on to something, we'll just keep our eyes and hearts open for a church full of superheroes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Oh No He Didn't

Harrison: Mom, when are you going back to the hospital? 
Me: I'm not. I only had to go there for one night when Wils was born, and now we are all done with the hospital.
Harrison: But you will go back to a hospital to get the next baby out of your tummy right?
Me: The next baby? Let's just enjoy Wilson right now.
Harrison: But Mom, you have to have lot's more kids so we can have lots of fun playing! It's fun to have big families!
Me: Yes, but we just had Wilson and I like enjoying the three boys we have in our family.
Harrison: Yes, me too, I like the three boys. So, when are you going back to the hospital?
Me: (Face in palm)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Not Our Home

The cry of our heart from the moment we knew of each of our boys' existence was to pray for their salvation and daily place them in God's hands as Lord of their lives.
We know this will be a personal decision they each will come face to face with one day- to receive God's gift of salvation and forgiveness of their sins and live to glorify Him, or not. With the darkness in this world we cover them daily in prayer staying on our knees fighting for their souls.
When I was a little girl on the verge of accepting Christ as my Savior I asked many of the same questions Harrison is beginning to ask, but unfortunately this world has become a much heavier place in the decades since I gave my life to Christ.
Along with the cute questions of, "How does God get into my heart? Can He fit?" I hear my boys' now voicing questions about the seriousness of giving ones life to Christ I never contemplated at their age.
With their Daddy fighting hard to free a man halfway across the World, being daily tortured because of his faith in God, Harrison has pieced together that asking Christ into your heart isn't just a pass to Heaven and continue living the way you want.
His little heart is mature years ahead of mine at his age as he ponders his own decision of personal salvation. "When I ask Jesus into my heart my life isn't mine anymore. And if I have to go to jail because I love Him then He is still in charge." But what makes this Momma's heart swell is that this realization doesn't frighten him, if anything it has made him more bold as I see him growing closer to giving his life to Christ.
Our World is a scary place right now and becoming an increasingly dark place for those who profess a faith in Christ. I pray my boys never have to face punishment, imprisonment, or death for their faith, but I am learning from my little boy's boldness in Christ as he reaches for Him regardless of what may come. I pray to posses the same open love and joy to follow God no matter what He may ask of my life, knowing this World is not our home.