As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to life...back to reality

And so real life begins again. No more staying in my pj's and watchingn Playhouse Disney with Hannah and feeding Charlotte while everyone else gets up and out. No more spending hours holding Charlotte and feeling her fuzzy little head against my neck. No more watching TLC all day. Or doing laundry in the middle of the week. Or having picnics on the living room floor.

Back to work for me tomorrow. And while I have missed working, I have a feeling that I am going to miss my sweet babies even more. The first few weeks of my maternity leave drove me crazy...just sitting at home all day, church being my only outlet or way to see people. The last two weeks, though, the kids have been super busy and we have had lots to do in the afternoons and evenings. It was perfect...a day of being at home, getting things done, enjoying the quality time with my little girls. Then off in the afternoon to the football game, the concert, to church.

Fortunately, Hannah and Charlotte will be able to stay home this week, so it won't feel so bad leaving them. Unfortunately, Charlotte is dealing with some tummy/formula issues and it breaks my heart to think of her hurting and me not there to comfort her.

And unfortunately, not a thing I can do about it--the having to leave part. And I know that, like with all of the others, I will get used to being away from her every day. But right now, that's little consolation.

Since it is my night to get up with her...maybe I'll be ready for a little break by 6 am????

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last night was ELCA's homecoming football game, and I ventured out without the little girls for the first time since Charlotte was born. I'd been to the store, to get my haircut, left them in the nursery at church, but this was the first time I had left them for a long period of time. It felt strange, and for a while, my heart and arms ached for them. Then the chaos of Homecoming at ELCA began and I was hot and sweaty and there were tons of people, and I was glad they were home bonding with Daddy!

Both Josh and Maranda were on the Homecoming court this year. Josh, of course, wasn't here, but Maranda looked stunning!
The Chargers won something like 53 to it was a good night!
Today, on what is supposed to be a rainy Saturday, we are cleaning the house in preparation for Josh to come home/Maranda to come over/me to go back to work. We'll also step out later to take Sarah to get her sports physical (gotta love Walgreens Take Care Clinics!) so she can compete in her first varsity competition next Saturday, and then to get haircuts.

Josh's plane lands at 7:11 pm. We can't wait to see him!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Girls Will Be Girls

This week we've had only girls at home, with Josh in Hungary. And it has been a hot bed of hormones!

All little girls...and big girls love to dress up. Here is Hannah dressed in her Halloween costume. May I say that she is wearing this only AFTER she threw it at Maddy for "ruining her life" when she couldn't hold the pom pom correctly. She did end up liking the costume, after I told her that I would give it to some other little girl who wouldn't throw it and she cried big fat fake cries for a few minutes.

Sarah and Maddy, dressed up for Pirate Day at school. Not sure why they decided to add Pirate Day to Homecoming week, but they enjoyed getting dressed up!

And of course, Hannah had to get in on the Pirate action too!

Charlotte turned one month old this week, and as a birthday gift of sorts, I got her an activity mat. My sweet Aunt Mary sent us a gift card, thinking that surely we had everything we needed, seeing as this is our fifth (little did she know that after Maddy, and then again after Hannah, we purged everything baby, convinced that they were indeed the last) Here is Charlotte enjoying her mat for the 5.7 seconds that she did. Then she realized that, " mommy is not holding me and I am not crying." Yes, her one month birthday was spent being a crabby pants!

And like with all of Charlotte's things, Hannah had to try it out first!
Tuesday night, Maddy's chorus gave a concert and here is Hannah. Do not let the smile fool you. She was right in the middle of being "that child," --loud and jealous and busy during the concert instead of listening nicely--and she reverted to the "if everyone is paying attention to the baby sister, then I will just act like her too!" mode.

And here is Maddy right before they started singing. She did such a beautiful job singing and praying, but was also smiling on the outside while horrified on the inside. The reason? The capped sleeves on the shirt that I bought her while she was at school. Yes, I am rolling my eyes at this one.

And just because...a picture of my sweet "baby Charlotte."

One month old. Hard to believe. Looking more and more like her Daddy to me.
*No longer sleeping long stretches of time during the night. I can officially say she has her days and nights mixed up!
*Finding her voice and crying a lot more. Still not reminiscent of Hannah, but more than before.
*Staying awake for longer stretches of time (mostly in the 2:30-4:30 am timeframe)
*Finally out of newborn diapers and newborn sleepers. Still has little bitty chicken legs, but she's gotten long...and chubby cheeks!
*Taking up to 4 ounces of formula at a time, but not an easy burper.
*Very gassy
*Doesn't smile at us yet, but her face changes when she is content. You can tell she is happy.
*Holds head up for short periods of time.
*More than anything else, enjoys being held.
*Goat noises...still making them! (tho Sarah would argue that she sounds more like a horse!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Hannah and Charlotte before church this morning (excuse Charlotte's face...she was a bit "milk drunk" at the time.
And believe it or not, this is Charlotte's only dress...and the first time she has worn a dress! HA! I think Hannah had a dress for every Sunday straight through the first two years of her life!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You early childhood types will appreciate my own version of the opening lines of the classic Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. (And yes, I did rewrite it from memory, thank you very much!)

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house... All that warm warm, wet day. I sat there with Hasnnah. We sat there, we two. ... And we sat there and wondered, "What can we do?" Too wet to ride bikes. And too wet to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all...

Until Hannah started crying that she was bored and "Please play with me!"

It has been raining for days. It has been pouring all day. So that stranded us inside, as it was even too wet to go anywhere and lug the kids in and out of the car. So housebound--and without brothers, sisters, or Daddy to play with--we were. What fun. :)

We played countless games of Backyardigans on the computer.

And then printed out our pictures to color. One of Hannah's favorite things is to take paper out of the printer when you are printing something. She will run from anywhere in the house to come and "help you" when she hears the printer.
And after 5.7 seconds, when we got bored coloring, we turned our paper over and traced our hands. Hannah actually did this all by herself...I was quite impressed, as she usually shows no interest in anything paper/pencil related!

Of course, all this was done one handed until about 12:30 because this cute little burrito refused to stay in her bed longer than 5.7 seconds without making frantic goat noises.

After I changed her out of her too cute outfit and into a warm fuzzy sleeper and swaddled her, she slept for longer, and we were able to have even more fun! We played school with this book--learning all about how different animals sleep. Hannah remembered her new word--hibernate--and I sorta felt like a homeschooling mom there for a minute!
And we also watched this movie...twice. Now, she only likes the first thirty minutes of it, but still....

We are ready for the sun to come out and for our sisters to come home!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bursting and Breaking

My heart is torn today. On one hand, it is bursting with pride for my baby boy, not so much a baby anymore. He's, as I write, on his way to Budapest Hungary. He is with a group of four students from our school that were chosen to participate in a youth leadership conference. They are the only US school chosen, and Josh is the only one chosen from his group to be a group leader at the conference. I am so proud of the man he has become, the values that he has, the strength of his convictions and faith, the way he has overcome and achieved.

On the other hand, my heart is breaking just a bit, as he flies across the ocean to the other side of the world. Three separate flights, three plane changes, 22 hours in the air, 10 days away. I know this is what we've prepared him to do, and that we've done our job, but still, the momma heart inside me feels as if a little bit has been carved out and taken with him.

But enough of will be a long ten days if I focus on the momma heart and not on God's will for his life, so onto sweeter things....

Hannah helped Josh pack last night. "Rolled up" all his t-shirts for him and presented them to him with a "Ta-da!"

One last time in the tent with her "brubba"

My world traveler before heading to the airport.

I had planned to take pictures at the airport, but we were running late and had to stop and get gas, and then at the gas station, the card reader didn't work, and it was pouring down rain, and we were late, and pictures. It was a quick good bye (because much to Josh's chagrin, we were late--he is soooo me!) and off he went!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"I can do it all by myself!"

Hannah wanted to make her own lunch today. Really, she was rather insistent on it. So, I thought...why not?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Quest Continues...

Yes, the quest for a clean house continues this week. The kids are off for Fall Break, and since we couldn't go to the beach this week like usual, I thought why not have a little fun and clean the house???? HA! The kids were not too thrilled, but still, we started on Monday morning with Sarah's room. Every inch, every drawer, the closet...nothing was off limits. Below are three contractor trash bags full of trash, broken things, clothes that were outgrown, stained, or unwanted. And for those of you who don't know what a contractor bag is, they are BIG.

Sarah sitting in her bright, pretty, CLEAN room (complete with clean comforter and all!)
And yes, my friends. This is the floor. Most of which you could not see until we undertook this project.

I wanted to take a before picture, but Sarah...she doth protest. Loudly and clearly. Which makes me think that I now have a bargaining tool to get her to keep it clean!
Maddy's room is scheduled for Thursday--but she got a head start on hers. I'll post pictures of hers later in the week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


RECODATIONS (reck-uh-day-shunz) Pretty things created by dragging out craft suplies and gluing them on paper. Otherwise known as decorations.

We met Uncle David and the cousins for lunch at Nanny's today after church. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera, but the memory lived on in Hannah's mind once we got home. Hannah's best friend of the day, cousin Marilyn, made a cute little hat after lunch using ribbon and beads and a straw hat. Hannah pronounced them "recodations" and as soon as we got home, just had to make some of her own!

New goal for the rest of maternity leave: One post a day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 weeks already...

Hard to believe that Charlotte is 3 weeks old already...almost one month she's been with us. In some ways this three weeks has flown, and in others, it is hard to remember what life was like without her. Three weeks in and I have yet to find my stride. The house remains a mess, the laundry remains done but unfolded, I remain unable to get back into the groove of mom and wife and housekeeper. Today, I mopped for the first time in three weeks. And yes, it was as gross as it sounds. I matched socks for the first time in about three months...and threw away 47 matchless socks. I haven't gotten dressed in anything other than shorts and a t-shirt in three weeks except to go to church, I've yet to do hair and make up except to go to church, and I am sure that my husband is wondering where his wife, who always used to match her shoes to her outfit and jewelry--even just to hang out at home, has disappeared to. Let's just say I"m working on it. Hey...I shower daily. And that is an accomplishment.

Why? you may ask. You had three under the age of 6 at one a single mom. While working three jobs. And going to school. Add one infant and you lose it? What's up with that? See this sweet little face below?

Sweet sweet girl. So smart. So imaginative. And so very very jealous. When she is home with us, which is three days a week, she is up at the crack of dawn in our bed...usually before sun up. When I am not feeding/holding/changing Charlotte, Hannah is at my side. "Put baby Charlotte in her bed and play with me!" And does she want to play blocks, or books, or playdoh, or doll house or games? No...she wants to play in her room. Cave, spiders, explorers, bunny and mommy, school, kitchen, or anything else that requires me to be in her room, away from Charlotte and any other chore I may have, pretending. While I am grateful for her active imagination and superb verbal skills, she is wearing me out! And mommy guilt just won't let me say no.
And see this little--although growing so fast already--one? The child who didn't like to eat? That is all she wants to do lately...that and be held. Look how long she is getting. Here she is with Maddy modeling one of her too cute newborn outfits that she is finally fitting into. (although, the pants still will fall to the ground...the girl has no butt and the tiniest little chicken legs. Baby Baggy Knees is her nickname!)
She does enjoy her bath. OK, maybe enjoy is a bit strong. She tolerates it and it gives me a break in the change, feed, burp, rock, try to put her down cycle.

Too cute.
And for those of you who said, "Just wait until her due date. She'll wake up. Don't you worry." I'd appreciate no "Told you so's." See this clock below? Can't see it but the time is 2:19 am. How do I know that? Because I had been up for two hours.

And this was Charlotte. Look tired to you?
Many things cross your mind as you embark upon your second straight hour of rocking in the middle of the night.
*What an amazing blessing. Thank you Lord.
*Thank you that she is not screaming like Hannah did.
*When will this child go to and stay asleep???
*There is an amazing amount of clutter in this room.
*Maybe we should buy a full sized ironing board.
*Where would we put a full sized ironing board?
*We have much more UGA stuff than Clemson stuff.
*When. will. she. go. to. sleep?
*I think Sweet Pea has a flea. That's what she's doing in there...scratching.
*Have my thighs really gotten fatter since I've delivered? That doesn't seem right.
*Do I care right now?
But in the end, as I put her in bed, changed my puke stained shirt, pulled my sweaty hair up in a pony tail, and got a drink of water, my final thought before falling asleep again was "Thank you Lord. You have blessed me beyond measure. And please, please, please, let her stay asleep!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fun with Hannah and Charlotte

On Friday, I had both girls home with me, so Charlotte did not get the usual attention she gets--i.e. getting held all day long. Instead, Hannah kept me busy when Charlotte was sleeping, and begging to keep me busy when she was awake!!!

Dressed up for "ballet school"

In her tree house after playing "explorers"

Dressed up like an "astronaut" What an imagination my little one has!
Charlotte did get her first bath in the bathtub this week...and true to nature...she lay back and enjoyed it!