Monday, August 24, 2009

We're done!

Today I finally began the tedious job of sorting through the kid's clothes that they have outgrown so that I can put them in the JBF consignment sale. I worked on it all day and never even got around to actually putting them on hangers or tagging them and there is a whole tote of more in the attic still to be brought down. The crazy thing is I did this just a few months ago for all spring clothes and I still have piles and piles to dig through of just fall clothes. It is like they reproduce if they touch each other or something. I certainly don't remember buying everything in every store in the whole world but it all seems to end up here. But at least I have begun and all the clothes are in neat piles according to size and type. Which, by the way, girls have a gazzilion different categories of clothes... tanks, tshirts, dressy shirts, dresses, skirts, bloomers, tutus, sweaters, jeans, capris, shorts, cotton shorts, dress pants, tights, leggings (that's right, there is a difference), and then matching outfits, while Jack just has pants and shirts. And that doesn't even include the different shoes and accessories! Crazy! You would think that I wouldn't be in such shock over all that a girl requires being that I am one. Hmmm.

But while I was going through all Addie's clothes it hit me that she will never be that tiny little blob, beautiful blob, but still a blob, ever again. And not just that, but I most likely won't have another little blob to dress into tiny little blob baby clothes again either. That's right folks, we are done. At least that is the "plan." I know, I know...we plan, God laughs. Well He is probably slapping His knee right now and we are very much okay with whatever He chooses if He decides to perform a miracle. But we feel complete as a family. It's a nice feeling. It took me a while to feel this way. Levi said two was enough when we were pregnant with Addie(it boils down to dollar signs and lack of hands to him) but for me I wasn't sure. Even while enduring the 2 o'clock and then 5 o'clock feedings I still wasn't sure. I don't mind all the hard stuff about having a teeny one. I actually really love it and having Addie reminded me of just how much I love the baby stage. So I was worried that here I was wanting to do the baby thing again while my husband didn't. So Levi and I both prayed that God would change one of our hearts. Well, I can honestly say I was the lucky winner. I don't really know when it happened but now I have such a peace and a true joy about our family as just the four of us. We make a pretty good team and seem to be a good fit. I think God matched us up pretty well. He's good at that sort of thing. =) Plus this means no more morning sickness, expanding belly, anxiety over the fear of stretchmarks, maternity clothes, raging hormones (until the glorious menopause), or the issue of "the middle child." But like I said, God might have a complete different plan for us Popes, who knows? ;)

Addie managed to sneak away during my clothes sorting and I found her playing in Kleenex. I let her keep playing because it just looked like so much fun! Then she ate some so the fun had to stop.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why do I do this to myself?

I am sitting here with a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream barely able to type because I am scarfing it down so fast. What is the reason for the calorie binge...Addie's birthday party. I have all these great ideas but no talent to put any of them to work. I have decided on a Mad Hatter tea party theme and have been searching for neat decorations and ideas and am overwhelmed with how many cute things are out there. We are going to do a topsy turvy cake (kind of looks unstable, like it is going to fall over) and little cookies that say "Eat Me" (which seems a little crude) and little cups that say "Drink Me." I have found the cutest raspberry colored pettiskirt and cupcake top for her to wear but I still need to order it. I'm a little nervous about ordering it now when I still have two more months to come across something I like better but it takes 8 to 10 weeks before delivery so I should just do it. I found Jack the cutest little tshirt that has interchangeable ties that velcro to it. Need to order that as well. It is one of my latest Etsy finds. (completely obsessed!) Because this is a party for a 1 year old there really can't be games or much structure which is kind of a bummer because there are a lot of neat things you can do pertaining to this theme, like play croquet or decorate silly hats, or actually use pretty little tea sets and get all dressed up. I think I'm going to have to do this theme again when she gets a little older and I can go all out. I found some cool props that I could use for pictures and table settings. I actually came across a Mad Hatter's hat that really looks like the real one (cartoon one). And on ebay there are these giant tea cups with saucers that are big enough for Addie to sit in (Cute pic idea) I am still tossing around ideas for party favors. I have thought of personalized cups with crazy straws and Alice in Wonderland books. I'm not really in love with either idea but at least I still have little while before I have to make up my mind. I would love suggestions if you have them. Whew...I feel much better now that all those ideas are out of my head and on paper errr...I mean computer. Now I just need to actually order this stuff and turn my focus to halloween.

Yes, we dress our kids up on this very pagan holiday. I know some people feel very strongly about this but I'm not one of those people. It doesn't bother me if you are but I'm not. With that being said I'm really excited because this year I have two kiddos to deck out and I can't help but do a theme. So I have decided to go with....drum roll please....Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. I'm not too sure Levi is going to approve of his son wearing tights but Jack is excited that he gets to carry a wooden sword and pretend to fly. And I think Addie will just make the most beautiful little Tinkerbell with her blond hair and big blue eyes. I found a really cute Tinkerbell inspired tutu and wings on Etsy, yet again. But we are going to Canton in September so I'm going to hold out to see if there is anything better there.

And now that I have my October all planned, kind of, I should start freaking out about Christmas!!!!!!! I need more ice cream!!!! ;)

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Girl

Today we took Addie's 9 month pictures and had a blast! I never thought having a little girl would be so much fun, granted I still have the teen years to suffer through, but seriously, she rocks! Not only is she the most beautiful baby girl ever (I know, I'm partial) but she is also really, really cool. She already has the sweetest personality and is really funny (she gets that from me. =)) Any time music is on, or even just a steady beat (such as Jack hammering on everything in the house!!!!) she does this funny little dance where she kind of bounces and sticks out her chest. It is so cute!!! And she has the most mischievous little smile when she knows she is doing something she shouldn't but I can't hardly get on to her because she just makes me want to kiss her! She loves all animals and they love her. She is not afraid of any of them. She just sticks out her hand for them to lick her and then giggles. She has this way of looking at you as if she is trying to read your mind and she will win every staring contest every time. She loves to clap and every time a customer comes into our store or someone stops us in the grocery store, she has to show off her clapping skills. She loves when we play dress up with tutus and bows and nail polish but also loves to wrestle and crawl all over her big brother and Daddy. She is already the most amazing little girl I have ever known and she is only nine months old. I know I'm gushing but I am in love, what can I say? ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Captain Jack

The other day Jack was playing and I asked him for a kiss (my mom always annoyed me because she was constantly kissing or hugging me and now I do it to my kids...hmmm) and he replied, "No thank you, Momma. I'm a pirate and pirates search for treasure. They don't kiss." And I explained the even pirates kiss their mommys. And he said, "No they don't. They don't kiss their mommys, or their daddys, or their Addies, or the Uncle Matts, or their Jengas (my sister's dog that comes home with her when she visits...I hate that dog.)" So my feelings were very hurt and I was so afraid that he was already too old to want my kisses. But then later that night I tucked him in bed I asked if pirates give goodnight kisses and he replied very seriously, "Momma, I'm not a pirate any more. I'm just a boy." Ohhhh, if only he could always stay "just a boy."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just Saying No

This last week was booked solid with playdates, doctor's appointments, school clothes shopping, birthday parties and even a grown-up party. I am amazed that I allowed our schedule to get so crazy but it just sort of happened without me realising what was going on. This last year I decided to take a break from all of my extra activities that I can so quickly fill my time with. I just wanted to enjoy Addie's first year and to really focus on the needs of our family. This was not as easy as it sounds. In fact, I still feel nauseous every time I say "no" to something or someone. I am naturally a people-pleaser. I want everyone to like me and to approve of how I spend my time. Well, in my latest (and yet to end) quest of discovering who God made me to be I have decided that I cannot do it all. Actually some days all I can do is manage to keep the kids fed and alive. I came to a point where if I was going to maintain all my previous social, church, family, wifely, and work related obligations I was going to have to get on some sort of medication. I am dead serious. But because nursing Addie was at the top of my priority list I decided to forgo meds and give up the activities instead. And even though I still cringe at saying "no" I am so glad every time that I do. For a while I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing. It felt selfish to say no to volunteering opportunities, invitations, playdates, girls nights, church potlucks, family reunions, etc. and I kept expecting God to show me the error of my ways. Because in all honesty I never heard God speak in His best Darth Vader voice, "Jessica, I want you to only focus on your family during this time. Give all the other stuff up." But through relationships I have with other mommies I felt like God was showing me that it is okay to enjoy different seasons in life in different ways. My kids need me more now than they ever will and I just feel really comfortable taking a break from all the stuff that will still be there when my babies are no longer babies. Right now I may not be able to attend all the events or make all the meetings but I can love and serve my family to the very best of my ability. And even then I don't always do that well but God is gracious and blesses my efforts regardless. ;)

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Monday, August 10, 2009

My favorite

Ever since Levi and I were dating we have done this thing where we ask what each other's favorite part of the day was and now we do it as a family. Jack's "favorite" is ALWAYS playing his video games (even if he didn't get to play them that day. I don't think he quite understands the concept yet.) Today I was struggling to come up with a favorite. It was just one of those awful days when you don't know if you are going cry or laugh. (I managed a mixture of the two which was kind of weird.) It started out okay with the normal minor things like Addie spilling my coffee on the playroom carpet and running thirty minutes late to a play date. We went with our friends to McDonalds and as I walk into the play area where our boys are playing, I hear a splashing sound. NO KIDDING! I look up and Jack is standing in this plastic car that is hovering above my head (not directly above) and pee is just pouring out of the hole in the bottom. I am in so much shock that I don't even know what to do. I just stand there trying not to cry while my very sweet friend, Anna, picks up Addie and then proceeds to clean up Jack's pee with napkins. I finally snapped out of my stupor and managed to yell, "Jackson Miller get down here now!" I marched him out to the car to change his clothes and realized the pee was the least of my problems. UGH! I am so tired of blogging about pee and poop but it seems that is all my life consists of sometimes! I, having been in this very same situation before, get out the walmart plastic sack I have stored in the console after the last time and threw Jack's clothes in it. We went back in and finished lunch while I tried to start breathing normally again. After lunch we load up in the car and it smells HORRIBLE! That sack had been in the hot hot hot car and was unable to contain the smell of baked poo. Just great.

I decided that today was just blown and tomorrow would be better. I just needed to get through the evening and it would be over soon. But fortunately God reminded me of all the blessings I had experienced during the insanity of the day. First of all, I always enjoy our Monday play dates with the Stutzmans but today I was overwhelmed by the true friend that I have in Anna. I mean seriously, how many people will clean up someone else's kid's pee? I think I would have just curled into a ball and died right then and there if it hadn't been for her. Secondly, Addie got her first tooth today which is exciting. (So far no biting.) Then an amazing thing happened and Levi got home before 10:45 and we were able to play together as a family all evening long. So when I look back on this day I actually have a hard time choosing a favorite due to having too many to pick from. And the day isn't over yet. My "favorite" may be yet to come. ;)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Seriously, how does poop get there?

At the beginning of every month I have to gather up all my store's bank statements, receipts, and misc. documents and balance the previous month's accounts. Not a big deal, just time consuming. So I woke up with the determination to just sit down and get it done. Unfortunately that determination didn't last past one cup of coffee so I decided to at least be somewhat productive and clean the kid's side of the house. Dun Dun Duuuuunnnnn!!! I never know what I will find when I actually do some major cleaning and today beat the time I discovered Jack's wall of boogers that he is so very proud of. I was cleaning the cedar chest in Jack's room when I noticed some gunk on it. This is not unusual for our house. Before kids all I had to do was dust, now I have to follow up with a wet rag because there are always sticky places on everything. But today's gunk was extra gross. I, being a typical mom, decided to use my nails to scratch aways the gunk only to discover it was POOP! I don't know how in the world Jack managed to get poop on the side of his cedar chest. He must have backed his dirty bare booty up to it while on his hands and knees! SOOOOO GROSS! But it is all clean now and sanitized. I also managed to discover a rotting tomato in the fireplace. (I really do keep a pretty clean house. I don't know how I missed that.) And I found two missing puzzle pieces!! Score! (Does anyone say "score" anymore? If not, I'm bringing it back.) I felt so accomplished after tackling both kid's rooms and the playroom that I decided to go ahead and do all the bathrooms as well.

I hate bathrooms, and not just cleaning bathrooms but just in general. They are just a source of stress to me. The other day all I wanted to do was go pee in peace. But of course both kids had to follow me in and while Addie climbed up my legs Jack kept wanting to drape his body over my legs as if he no longer had energy left to stand on his own. Why does peeing always have to be a group activity? We were at Costco last week and Jack decides that he has to potty while we are at the very back of the store. So I push that giant buggy all the way to the front, find a place to store the buggy, (praying that a worker won't go put all my stuff back on the shelves) and take both kids into the public bathroom. Jack insists that he has to take his shorts, underwear, and shoes completely off. So whatever, I'm just glad he didn't have an accident, so I am squatting down with Addie on my lap trying to balance her and the overstuffed diaper bag while trying to unbutton Jack's shorts with one hand while constantly reminding Jack not to touch anything! And how am I supposed to pee in a public bathroom with both kids? I can't put Addie on the nasty floor and have yet to figure out how to manage everything involved and still hold her at the same time while making sure Jack doesn't drag his hands all over the bathroom stall. But anyways, back to the cleaning of bathrooms...I especially hate cleaning bathrooms. And now that Jack is peeing standing up I have to clean them at least once and sometimes twice and week. (Maybe that is normal, seems like a lot to me.) But lately is has seemed that no matter how much I clean them, they always kind of smell like pee pee. But today I found the source of the mysterious smell. I was brushing my teeth when Jack came running into my bathroom as fast as he could while pulling down his underwear. I continued brushing knowing that he is capable of handling this on his own when all of a sudden I heard this "Thud da da da da." Apparently this was Jack's first time to potty this morning and he didn't have good control of his aim quite yet and had managed to hit the trash can next to the potty. He didn't seem to care and went about his business but I set to work and scrubbed that trash can down and then proceeded to clean every square inch of the floor, potty, and wall surrounding potty. I am so glad that the smell is officially gone (until tomorrow morning, I'm sure) and the house is spotless (until the kids wake up from nap time.) ;)

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yay for Ducktales

Somehow even though we had nothing on the schedule for the weekend, we still managed to stay busy. Friday was one of those days where...well lets just say that opening the bottle of wine that evening was the highlight. I decided to get all errands accomplished in one day with both kids. All we needed to do was go to Target, Costco, and Walmart. I seriously set out that morning thinking I would be home by naptime. HA! Fortunately between the PB&J sandwiches I packed for us to eat in the car and the sample tables at Costco, we didn't have to stop to eat. In fact, I really recommend Costco at lunch time. Jack was so well-behaved because there was a new food to try at the beginning and end of every aisle. Thank you Costco! The kids and I managed to survive Walmart (but just barely) and went home to discover a new Netflix dvd in the mailbox...Ducktales. THANK YOU LORD! Needless to say I let Jack watch all nine episodes so that I could be kid free for a little while during Addie's nap. Not that it was a restful time because I spent it putting away groceries. Surely there has to be a better way to grocery shop. I first put all groceries into my cart, then I put them on the conveyor belt, then back into the cart, then out of the cart and into the car, then out of the car and onto the kitchen counters, and finally out of the sacks and into the pantry or fridge. My muscles should really be a lot bigger than they are! Anyways, I put the kids to bed early so that I could prepare a romantic dinner for me and Levi since he was working late and was supposed to be home around 7:30. Well around 8:30 he was still working his tiny tail off (not complaining...very grateful for job security) and I decided I was going to attempt to open the bottle of wine all by myself. I have tried this in the past but somehow always get pieces of the cork floating in the wine by the time Levi takes it over. But not this time!!! I yelled a little whoohoo when that cork came out and did a little happy dance, not because I was dying for some wine but because I did it all by myself. Yay for me! Levi got home a little before 9:00 and we enjoyed the rest of our evening with our cold dinner, bottle of wine and stories from our day. Saturday was one of those days where you just know that God is saying, "You have worked hard. Take a break. Rest. I have planned this rainy day for you." So we listened and stayed in our jammies, made our favorite french toast (click for recipe,), and watched Ducktales again. For dinner we went to our favorite JoJo and Uncle Marc's house for a fish fry. There are some people God puts in your life and no matter what you do you just can't get rid of them. Well, Levi and I are those people to Joanne and Marcus. =) They try to shake us off but we always claw our way back. We lived in the same crappy apartments during college, got married at the same time and even did our premarital counseling together. I guess those things just bonded us because we no longer consider them just friends, they are family. And because they love us (even though they may pretend not to) they offered to keep Jack overnight so that we could have one less kid for the evening. YAY!!! Thanks for that guys. We love you too. Wow, nobody is going to want to read all of this. Oh well. So Sunday (today) we went to church which was AMAZING. Addie didn't stay in the nursery for very long, but we will try again next week. After the kids naptime we went swimming and rode the fourwheeler, all four of us on one fourwheeler. After some hinting, Levi drove out into a field covered in sunflowers and cut me a huge bouquet. He is pretty awesome. Came home and made tacos, which Jack pretended were airplanes and then did the bedtime routine. Wow. Not a lot of interesting activities but it's my life and I'm pretty fond of it. ;)

I can't get over how beautiful my baby is!

Little Addie playing with Pokey. Looks scary but isn't.

Jack eating his tacos, aka Airplanes.

My a Dickey's BBQ cup.