flashback friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday, wherein I shamelessly post blog posts of yesteryear in the name of familial nostalgia!


dear God, thank you for a good appointment

Bug had his 18 month appointment today, and the doctor said he’s a genius and is ready for grad school. Just kidding…but Bug is doing well. He now weighs a whopping 20 lbs. 14 oz and is 30-some odd- inches long. That puts him in the 1st percentile for weight and the 5th percentile for height – perfect for his growth curve. While my gut (and inability to catch a deep breath) tells me that Baby Deuce will be a bit bigger than Bug, I really hope I can remain calm if he drops down on the growth chart as Bug did. It’s crazy to remember all of the energy I spent worrying about Bug’s weight – only to see that he’s happy, healthy, and cute as can be.

The only concern I wanted to bring up to the doctor is that J. Bug doesn’t seem to be talking as much as his peers. Don’t get me wrong, he babbles all the time – but it doesn’t seem to me like he says actual words a lot. To prepare for this appointment, I kept an eye on Bug this past week and jotted down any words he said. It turns out that he’s talking more than I think he is! Even though his words aren’t all very clear (for example, “thank you” is more like, “dah-oh”), our doctor said that as long as he was communicating the thought with a consistent sound that it counted. So in no particular order, here are the words Bug can currently say (and for kicks – how he actually says it):

1. Mom (Mmmm-mmmuh—muhmm)
2. Daddy (Daa-yee! And yes, it’s always said with an exclamation point. This is by far his clearest word)
3. All Done (ah-duh)
4. Yes (Des)
5. Church (chooch)
6. Jesus (Jeeeee-suh)
7. Dog (Da)
8. Moooo (Mooooo :))
9. Paci (eye-see)
10. Juice (jooce or joot)
11. Hi (hi. hi. hi. hi. hi. This word seems to get easily stuck on repeat)
12. Thank you (dah-oh)
13. There (der)
14. Hello (hey-yo? He says this when he’s pretending to talk on his cell phone)
He also signs All Done, More, Puppy, and Water. We’re currently working on Help and Potty. I noticed a big difference in his vocabulary when we started signing with him. I think once he realized that he can communicate what he wants in a way that we understand he took off in learning words.

The doctor was also very impressed with Bug’s social skills. He said Bug made great eye contact, and he interacted with the doctor right away. He asked if Bug could hand him the car he was playing with, and Bug happily gave it to him, then pointed at it to ask the doctor to make it go. The doctor asked him a few other questions (“Where’s the car? Where’s your belly?), which Bug understood and to which he responded.

…And then came the dreaded shots. The nurse let me hold Bug in my lap, for which I was grateful. I’d really been hoping to avoid the look of, “How could you let them do this to me?!” The sweet bug got one shot in each leg. He cried and kind of stiffened the affected leg, and I gave him his paci and some kisses. Once the nurse was finished, she said “Okay buddy, we’re all done!” so I signed “all done” for him to let him know no more were coming. I was amazed that he immediately stopped crying. He wanted me to cuddle him for a minute or two before getting him dressed, but was then perfectly fine. Oh, the joys of being able to communicate with your child!

Once the appointment was finished, I was attempting to do damage control to the now demolished office. I asked Bug to hand me his car that was on the floor, and I held out my hand. Bug excitedly ran to me, put his hand in mine, and then grabbed my other hand. He then bowed from the waist and closed his eyes. I momentarily thought, “Is my child bowing to me? I mean, I’m a good Mom, but certainly not that good,”and then I realized he wanted to pray.

“Dear God,” I said, “Thank you for a good appointment for Bug. Thank you for reassuring Mommy, and thank you for growing him and molding him. Thank you that he knows you and loves you, and God…thank you for his life. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen”

Bug lifted his head up, let go of my hands, and clapped.

Father, thank you for counting and knowing the hairs on Bug’s head. Thank you for loving him more than I’m capable of. Thank you for his sweet spirit and his independent nature. And God…thank you for his life. Amen.


let’s foster

I have a gazillion thoughts that I’d like to convey, but unfortunately very little time to do so. At the moment I’m printing, finding, filling out, scanning, saving, and uploading exactly 1.5 million documents. At least that’s what it feels like. After a solid year of praying and researching, Shawn and I have decided to move forward with being a foster/foster-to-adopt family. In the middle of all my paperwork last night, it hit me that the season in which we currently find ourselves is similar to what pregnancy felt like with our boys. We’re nervous and excited. We’re doing everything we can to prepare, but are well aware that we’ll never be fully prepared or know into what we’re getting until we’re in the thick of it. And just like I documented so many aspects of my pregnancy with my boys for memory’s sake, I want to document this process, too. Our thoughts, emotions, preparations, prayers, fears, hopes…all of it. I’d love for our future adopted child[ren] to look back and see proof of how much they were wanted, prayed for, and prepared for, and I’d love to have a record of our own thoughts and emotions. So at the moment I’m working on all of the paperwork required. I’m kidding about it being 1.5 million documents, but it’s well over a hundred documents. Most of which needs to be filled out by the first week of our training, which also happens to be the first week of the boys’ school. The month of September is dedicated almost solely to training, we have about three training sessions a week. From what I understand, after September we’ll be busy preparing for and hopefully passing our home study, then we can be praying for and expecting our first placement…likely around Thanksgiving or Christmas. Just like with our pregnancies, there’s a sense of apprehension and almost giddy excitement that I’m feeling. We’re looking forward to seeing God’s handiwork, and are taking each step as it comes!


flashback friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday, wherein I shamelessly post blog posts of yesteryear in the name of familial nostalgia!

MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010

mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010

old school sunday

Mamas – we love you so very much!


happy mother’s day!

I may not have the chance to post tomorrow, so I wanted to wish all of you mothers and mother figures a very Happy Mother’s Day. The world would likely come to a crashing halt if it weren’t for you and your influences. Thank you for your sacrifices, your love, your tenderness, and your discipline.

I’ve been reflecting today about how blessed I am. Both my Mom and my Mom-In-Law have shaped the kind of Mama I am today. I understand how blessed Shawn and I are to have Moms who support and encourage us as opposed to criticize and tear us down. I can’t count the many times I’ve been told by my Mom or Shawn’s Mom that I’m a great mother and am doing a wonderful job. Those words have meant more to me than I could possibly relate, and it couldn’t mean more to me to hear it from those two women. So thank you for being wonderful mothers to Shawn and I when we were young, and for continuing to be loving, nurturing, and encouraging to us as adults. Thank you for loving Bug (and Baby Deuce) as much as we do, and for being an amazing influence and example of women of God for him. Shawn and I recognize and appreciate how blessed we are to have your presence in our life.

We love you so very much, and we want to thank you for loving us enough to sacrifice, enough to call us out, and enough to support us. Thank you, Moms.


flashback friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday, wherein I shamelessly post blog posts of yesteryear in the name of familial nostalgia!

FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2010

all is well

I had another appointment for Baby Deuce this morning, and I found myself a little nervous about it this time around. This was the glucose appointment, which meant that I’d have to drink what is basically liquid sugar and be tested for gestational diabetes. I tested negative with Bug though, so it wasn’t that part that was making me nervous. Because of the contractions I’ve had, I decided to have them check to see if I’ve been dilating or if the contractions have been doing anything funky. My fear was that the doctor would find changes in my cervix and that I’d have to start modified bed rest.

As an aside – Shawn has informed me of the possibility that not everyone in the world would like to hear about my cervix, or in fact – have a visual of my irritable uterus. I am aghast that my cervix and uterus wouldn’t be of fascination to everyone, but I suppose he does have a point. So this is my official disclaimer that any of my posts having to do with pregnancy, childbirth, and/or postpartum recovery will probably contain lots of words that many of you would really rather pretend don’t exist. I’ll try to post a forewarning so that you can skip said details and can get back to Bug cuteness ASAP.

That being said – “Your cervix looks great!” is what I heard the doctor exclaim. She said that so far there wasn’t any cause for concern, but that they’d keep an eye on things. She also mentioned that she could feel either the baby’s head or butt bouncing up and down on my cervix (he was going nuts-o because of the glucose drink). So thanks for that, kiddo.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to know to that I can continue as I have been! I’ll still try to take it easy when I start contracting – just in case – but no need to fear bed rest anytime soon. Can I get a whoop whoop (or if you’re from North Carolina, a yee-haw)?

The results of the glucose test are determined from a blood draw, and I should have those within a week or two. The glucose drink is about the size of a bottle of water, and you’re supposed to drink it all within five minutes. The nurse and I were talking about my contractions and she was taking my blood pressure as I was drinking, and I ended up finishing it in about a minute and a half. After the nurse left the room, I could overhear her discussion with the doctor.

Nurse: “She just finished the drink and would like to be checked because of contractions she’s having.”

Doctor: “Wait. She finished the drink already?”

Nurse: “Yep, it couldn’t have taken her more than two minutes.”

Doctor: “Wow, really? That has to be a record (said with awe, by the way).”

“Weeee-he-ellll,” I wanted to answer with a slight swagger to my step. “That kind of extreme tolerance for sugar isn’t something everyone has, and I have to say – I’ve trained for this exact moment. That’s right. I eat it in moderation, but my preferred dessert would put the average person in sugar shock. I’ve been known to have double chocolate brownies sprinkled with Reese’s Pieces and drizzled with caramel sauce for dinner, and I’d say it’s paid off today, wouldn’t you? I mean – holding the record for being able to drink liquid sugar in a minute and half is puh-retty dang impressive, eh?”

And then I realized that these facts are probably not something of which I should be proud. So when the doctor proclaimed her amazement at my fast-sugar-drinking talents, I simply replied, “Yeah. I figured I’d drink it quickly to get it over with.”

But secretly…I’m a little proud.


flashback friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday, wherein I shamelessly post blog posts of yesteryear in the name of familial nostalgia!

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010

living on love

In just eighteen short work days, I’ll become a stay at home Mom. I’ve talked pretty openly about my excitement for this transition – a dream Shawn and I discussed when we were trying to get pregnant with Bug, a dream I physically ached for in Bug’s early days of infant hood, a dream I secretly believed would never happen, and eventually – a dream I realized needed to be a reality for the sake of our family and our marriage. I’m officially counting down the days until my family can be my utmost priority. I’m looking forward to keeping J. Bug on a consistent routine, and I’m looking forward to allowing Shawn freedom in knowing that he can work hard and his home and son are well cared for.

I won’t beat a dead horse – you all know why I’m so passionate about staying home. What I haven’t discussed in as much detail is what our new budget will look like. The budget I affectionately call our “Livin’ On Love,” budget (formerly known as our, “Holy Crap, We’re Broke As Heck” budget). I have to admit that I haven’t always had the best attitude about what our new budget will look like – mostly because this woman knows how to stretch a dime and I was having a tough time stretching our dimes to cover everything. I actually think “haven’t always,” may not be the best description. How about – I have been stressed out, freaking out, worried, anxious, angry, upset, guilt-ridden, and did I mention freaking out…about what our new budget will look like.

We inadvertently found ourselves in a catch-22 a few months ago. I needed to give at least a six month notice before leaving my job, so we needed to make a decision by the beginning of November. Even though we knew things would be extremely tight, we decided to commit to me staying home. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we then got pregnant about a week after I gave my notice. On the one hand – had I known that we were soon going to have two kiddos to raise on one income – I don’t know that I would’ve quit my job. And to be honest, I struggle with feeling really guilty for doing so. On the other hand – there’s no way we could continue our game of “pass the Bug” with two kids. We would have to put our kids in daycare. The cost of daycare alone (not to mention all of the “extra” costs associated with such) dwarfs my income, plus I know I’d struggle with the guilt of that decision, too.

So here we are. As of June 1st, our family will be officially living on love. That’s not to say our bills won’t be met because – by the grace of God – they will be. It IS however, to warn our family and friends that we will be cheap. We won’t be able to go out to eat with you, and we won’t often be able to do activities that cost money. You may just have to accept a tight hug and “we love you” instead of a gift at Christmas or your birthday, and we won’t be doing any traveling in the foreseeable future.

We’re sacrificing – a lot. So much that it frightens me a little, honestly. Thankfully though, Shawn and I both agree that the stability and sanity of our household depends on these sacrifices. When we look back at these years, we won’t be thinking about the game systems, clothes, or dinners with which we lived without. I pray that we’ll remember the times we chose the health of our family, our marriage, our children, and Shawn’s ministry over trying to keep up with everyone around us. Doing difficult things doesn’t come easily or naturally, but at least in our case – it’s necessary.