Breathe… Even When Your Children Paint Themselves with Chocolate

This time of having a sweet, adorable, can’t hold long enough little baby has just been so wonderful.  He’s already 3 weeks old, and I’m wondering how he’s gotten this far already without it seeming to have taken that long!

With all the new changes that come with adding a new little family member to your mix, one of the hardest things for me is finding balance between nurturing the two of our sons.  I was worried about this beforehand – how would I spend enough alone time with my oldest, how would he respond to having me less – having to share his mommy that he’s had all for himself for the past 4 1/2 years?

I found a surprising answer to my worries one day soon after we’d brought our baby home.

It was time for my husband to go back to work, I was calm and peaceful – I could handle this!  My husband usually leaves after lunch with us and we watch him leave outside as my son races his dad to the end of the block.  He comes back to our cozy house like a little warrior and it’s nap time.

This time though, he really didn’t want to take a nap… and after days of us letting him forgo naptime, I decided maybe he was old enough to play on his own while the baby and I settled down in the bedroom.

I popped in a movie, snuggled up close to our baby – smelling his heaven-like scent – and we drifted off into a deep, much-needed sleep.

Maybe an hour or so later, I was woken up by the sound of water rushing & my son screaming for my help.  In a serious daze and confusion, I stumbled into his restroom down the hall expecting some kind of emergency and found the sink, the floor, and my SON all covered in dark brown…

CHOCOLATE???!!!

Seriously?!?!

He was standing there at the sink, furiously scrubbing away at his dark-brown colored arms and legs, with a look of terror, crying and shouting at me that it wouldn’t come off!  Still in confusion and bleary-eyed from sleep, I shouted over his crying “What on earth did you do?  What IS that???”

“CHOCOLATE!!!!  It won’t come off!!!!!

Why… OH WHY did you paint yourself with chocolate, Baby???”

I thought it’d make you laugh” (he said to me crying).

At this point, it was so hard not to laugh, and yet I was upset that he would do something so crazy while it was naptime & I was so exhausted caring for a newborn.  I wanted to be mad at him, but it was so hilarious!  I took the washcloth from him and started scrubbing his arms – it really WAS hard to get off… this boy had really, REALLY rubbed the chocolate into his skin!  I worked at scrubbing him inch by inch until we finally got him cleaned up… the chocolate disaster bathroom would have to wait for later – when I had more energy to scrub again.

We had a talk about it – a “you know what you did wrong, right?  You won’t do this again, right?” kind of talk, and decided we would forget about the incident.  I think him enduring the shock and horror of thinking he might be chocolate-covered for his lifetime was punishment enough!  😀

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And now I’m in a Bible study to learn how to Breathe…  how to find freedom.

To not let things consume me – like worrying or stressing over my time with each child or being addicted to the glow of social media.

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This is a journey of finding freedom.

Freedom to write with more purpose.

Freedom to choose my words more wisely…  instead of feeling enslaved to keep on arguing.

Freedom to choose to be respectful, even toward someone who’s been really disrespectful towards me (that’s a difficult one).

Freedom from being enslaved, worked up, stressed out… freedom to breathe.

(Bible study is Breathe by Priscilla Shirer 2014)

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Inspiration

autumn_leaves_picture

I swear I can smell Fall in the air when I go out early in the morning on our patio.  I truly have a love for all the seasons – I appreciate the changes in each – but I think I love Fall a little bit better.  Summer has been wonderful, yes, even while pregnant and over-heating from just being outside for 5 minutes in the afternoon.  But thankfully, we live very close to a huge waterpark, and that’s been our playground all summer long.  The best feeling is walking barefoot in sand!

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Or for a kid, playing in it!

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The summer has been incredible also in that we got to see our son involved in sports – his first ever season playing soccer, and he’s already really good.  His last game he scored 3 goals, and played really well!  He’s athletic like his daddy and I were.

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He’s the one in the middle, they are all so adorable!

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He’s throwing the ball in, I’m behind him sitting down.

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It was wonderful going to his games every Saturday… love this little boy so much!

Ready for Fall!

I’m addicted to all the wonderful Fall foods to cook… just some from last year that I posted recipes to are the Mini Apple Turnovers, the Creamy Potato Soup with Sausage, and the decadent Traditional Chocolate Tart that has changed Christmas dessert for me forever now.  All recipes can be found here

There will be many more delicious recipes this coming season to look forward to!

Some links that are awesome:

Pregnant Mommy Rant (Things you really wish you could say to people when you’re pregnant… but you can’t)

An interview with the gorgeous Gigi Hadid on her beauty routine

Miranda Kerr’s 7 Rules for Adulthood (See if you’re stuck in immaturity or are really growing up)

The Terror Next Door

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Our neighbor is the blonde one, the other was his cousin just visiting

I don’t know what the deal is with the Chihuahua breed.  We have the sweetest family next door, but every time their little house dog comes outside he feels he his responsible for barking as if we are heathens going to take over their property, and turn him into a chorizo sausage.  It’s pretty hilarious as we’ve tried different tactics to make peace with him….  Once I held out a beautiful yellow dandelion flower through a hole in the fence.

 

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He ate it.

Maybe I should’ve tried bacon.

He barks as though he is a huge, terrifying dog – something fierce and to be feared!  Our two cats also find him amusing… they sit close by and quietly watch him foam at the mouth, barring his little teeth, and making the most ferocious bark he can muster.  They don’t even bat a kitty eyelash.

One time, my cat Ese, who is a lot like me, honestly, was a little closer to the fence than normal… and that dog was doing his usual barking that made his entire body lift off the ground.  The sound must’ve gotten to her, or maybe the vibrations from being too close to the sound source, but I saw her green eyes narrow, and her kitty paw lift up to strike him.  She let out a feline HISSSS that actually made the dog jump, stop momentarily, and then resume his routine.  Ese turned as if she knew she’d already spent too much effort for a cat, and walked back over to the patio where she relaxed for another nap.

Another time, the brick in the picture blocking the hole in the fence actually came down, more than likely from the vibrations of continual daily barking, and the little dog was free to explore our backyard.  I was just enjoying a cup of coffee and looking out the big windows to our patio, when I saw a tiny little yellow dog… only as big as a puppy!  I was excited… until I realized it was our Terror Next Door.  I have to admit, going out there to face him made me a little scared!  Would he really bite my ankles?  Was his bite as bad as his bark?  He certainly wasn’t a friendly dog by any means… thinking of the flower he ripped to shreds.

I mustered my courage to get outside and try to put him back, he was, after all, only the size of my foot… nothing to be scared of, I told myself.  I got outside, it was Quiet… the Terror Next Door was nowhere to be seen.  I looked around our yard carefully, afraid he might jump out at me from behind like a Ewok from Star Wars, and finally came to the conclusion that he must’ve found his way out.

I went back inside and tried to enjoy my coffee again… I looked out our front windows – it was such a beautiful morning.  And then I saw him, terrorizing the kids on their way to the bus stop!  Barking and barking, his little body lifting off the ground with every sound emitted… I knew I had to do something, he could get run over by one of the coffee-crazed workers, or worse, stolen by one of the children who merely looked at him and said, “AWWWWW.”  They didn’t know what I knew… they didn’t know what the little Terror was capable of!

I rushed outside not knowing how I’d round him up, but determined to get that dog back where he belonged, next door to us.  I came at him telling him to Go Home, and he barked his usual bark but backing away towards his house and front door.  I kept going forward, amused that he was actually afraid of me, the woman he barks at almost daily with ferocity!  I got him backed up all the way to the front door, and his owners came out – seriously the sweetest people!  They thanked me as I told them of his little adventure through our yard and on the street in front.  We laughed and I told him bye.

He growled.

Secretly I think he loves me… maybe I like him a little more than I thought, too.

 

Ewoks

The Marriage Project – Fun Questions My Love & I Asked Each Other

So… my post is a little late today because I wanted to wait for my husband to do this thing together.  It’s fun to randomly do these kinds of questions with each other, why save romance for anniversaries and Valentine’s Day?  So here’s our little marriage project questions answered from both of us, a way to get to know who we are a little better.  S is me, and P is my husband.

 

1)  What is the best thing (to you) about being married?

S – I love the intimacy of completely knowing someone, loving them, and getting to live daily life with them… when you’re married to your best friend, life is easier… you don’t argue as much, and when you do argue, it’s very passionate and to the point – no faking agreement, you’re driven to have that person close to you again, so you get through things much faster.  And if one of you is going through a hard time, you have the other there for you, you aren’t alone in the things you face in life anymore.  You actually enjoy each other’s company.  We’ve seen soooo many couples divorce or continue in really unequal & unfulfilling marriages that it almost seems uncommon to have a great one.  I think I’ve heard that we are in the 10% that do at this stage.

P – I love that I married someone I knew so well. We could talk about anything and just enjoy each others presence. I love how we know each other so well we cannot keep anything from each other. I love how we put the others well-being over our own. When we have arguments they are not fun at the time but when we look back most the time we can laugh since we really do try and work through the arguments and get to have very passionate make up sex. I love how S can be such a tease some times and how she can look beautiful all the time. I love how when we go out she dresses up without being slutty/ revealing in what she wears and still looks amazing (I catch guys all the time while we are out checking her out and I have to fight back wanting to punch them in the face, especially the ones that are either married or in a relationship). I love having someone I can go through the ups and downs of life with knowing that they will always be there, since I took the time to get to know them by concentrating on true loving relationship that was not centered on sex.

 

 

2) What do you wish you knew earlier in your marriage that you know now?

P – I wish I knew the proper way to argue because at first I was only thinking of my point of view and getting it understood. I know now we need to talk and actually listen when we argue because most the time you will realize how silly the argument is or at least get the differences that are disagreed upon sometimes that are not on opposite sides of the spectrum.

S – You know, we’re really lucky that I worked at a bookstore our first year LOL… I had every Christian (and some secular) marriage books literally at my fingertips.  If I had a question about something (which, of course, I always did) I could easily find it in one of the books there and get fast, expert advice on virtually any topic.  We also were preventative and went to a class called Dynamic Marriage at our church that was more designed for couples who were in crisis… we definitely were far from crisis, we were blissful, but it was an eye-opening experience to the misery that many couples experience every day.

 

 

3) How do you balance time for each other with children & work?

S – We’ve been married almost 7 years, and have always treasured our time together, but it does take effort to make sure date nights, or even conversations happen.  For the past year, P’s been just enveloped in his work/career trying to get through special training that was demanding and physically exhausting, and now we’re dealing with awkward schedules and tons of mandatory overtime for him.  We try to have at least a monthly date night where we go out and just be together (we’re really good at not spending money to have fun), but our goal is to get to where we have our weekly date nights again… dating when you’re married really is so important.  And just talking, some of my absolute favorite moments are when P comes home in the morning and we have intimate conversation over coffee together (well, I’m drinking coffee at least), it can be about anything, but it’s usually really deep conversation, and it just feels so intimate.

P – We try to find anytime that we can to just be together just the two of us. It was easier when it was just the two of us being able to go out whenever, and not having to spend money. Now we make sure we can have at least one date night where we go somewhere alone and just enjoy each others company. We attempt to have at least a few minutes a day to talk about what is on our minds and at least once a week spend some good quality time with each other at our home when we are the only two up.

 

4) What do you love most about each other?

P – I love S’s feminine charm and how cute she is. I love how S is, and acts like a woman all the time, however it is adorable when those few moments happen when she reverts to a  girlish charm for a short period. I love how S can wear her emotions on her sleeve like when she gets mad, I cannot help but smile and laugh which makes her even madder. I love how S goes after what she wants, and is very passionate about it, and I will just leave it at that (it is over her entire life, but particularly in those special moments only I get to experience).

S – I love P’s amazing attitude about life… he is so positive.   And maleness – he is such a guy, and it just makes me feel so pretty and feminine LOL… we are SO opposites that we often joke that he is like a dog in his actions and demeanor, and I’m like a cat – we’re literally that different….  But no really, he has a wicked sense of humor, and we laugh a lot together – which is just wonderful.  He’s an amazing and crazy dad to our son!!!  I can’t stress how happy this makes me 😀

 

 

5) What is your favorite moment you’ve had together?  What do you see in the future for your marriage?

S – There are a lot of favorite moments!  I can think of so many right from the start on our honeymoon together when we walked next to a river and pink crepe myrtle trees rained down their pink flowers on us when we walked under them… it was like a corny moment from a romantic movie – but so beautiful I can’t forget it.  Our “Babymoon” we took when I was 2 months pregnant with our son… we went to the coast for a few days – in the middle of winter!  But it was so fun!  We had a blast together, and just getting away from everyday life and getting into a hotel – eating at our favorite restaurants down there, all of it was so romantic and just what we needed to do before having children.  Our Love-Get-Away to Marble Falls a couple of years ago, our parents watched our son and we were FREE for a couple of days to stay up super late, go to a movie at 11pm, sleep in for once together as a couple, and eat breakfast uninterrupted at a French bakery!  Or when we had our son – watching P with him, taking such great care with his little tiny body… I’ll never forget moments like that.

What do I see in the future?  Hopefully more kids!  Hopefully more little Love-Get-Aways once a year or so… and more focus on spending quality time together, whether that’s fitting in conversations at home or scheduled date nights.  Making our relationship always better and purposeful.  And beauty… I want to make our life beautiful together.

P – There are many moments I’ve enjoyed. I enjoyed the “Babymoon” and Love-Get-Away, but I think some of the best moments are when something spontaneous happens and we can just enjoy it. We can be doing something and a random thing happens and we burst out in laughter both thinking the same thing, that our life could be a sitcom because you just cannot make up the things that have happened.

I see more children in our future, more Love-Get-Aways and our life becoming more of a sitcom with the extra children running around. I would love to take our children to places that we could enjoy as a family. I see our love and passion growing stronger, and being able to be an example to our children on what a marriage can be.

Hope you enjoyed it!

PS

Inspiration

A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.

Hugh Sidey

My son & I make it a point to visit my Grandpa once a week, he is in a home across town and usually we go on Friday mornings.  I really wish we could see him more.  He is so different from the vibrant, hilarious man I used to know; he doesn’t talk very much, he has the beginning of Alzheimer’s, and he’s often asleep at first when we come to see him… but when he sees us, he smiles again.

This last week we had to come on Saturday in the morning, and I was surprised to see how despondent he looked – maybe he thought we weren’t able to come that week at all, or maybe Alzheimer’s was confusing him again….  Whatever it was, nothing we could do could cheer him up or keep his attention, until I found an old book on his dresser Let Me Tell You a Tale by J. Frank Dobie, curious I showed it to my Grandpa and he immediately broke into a smile.  I asked him if he’d like me to read it and he nodded.

I read to him with animation, “Bigfoot Wallace and The Hickory Nuts,” it was ridiculous Texas folktale that had me laughing after the first page.  Grandpa started to fall asleep, as my 3-year-old pointed out gleefully, but I kept reading enthusiastically anyway, hoping he was just resting his eyes.  He suddenly let out such a loud snore I jumped & almost dropped the book!  My son started it – he burst into laughter at the ridiculous scene of his mother trying to read an animated story to a sleeping & snoring man, that I couldn’t help but join him.

My Grandpa woke up, saw us laughing (I tried to hide it and stop, it just wasn’t happening), and he broke into the biggest smile I’ve seen on his face for long time and asked me if he snored.  I told him Yes, and we all laughed for a long time.  I kept reading the rest of the story to him, teasing him periodically about not sleeping when I’m reading.

Humor, I’m so grateful for it – and blessed are the people who make us laugh, they are the ones who really have found something of value in life.

 

(To read it for yourself along with other Bigfoot stories, click here.)