Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treating 2010

We trick or treated tonight (Saturday night). I know it is not Halloween, but it worked out for our weekend plans.  The kids think it is great.  Halloween is now a two day event. More candy = fantastic.

This year we have a fireman (again), batman (borrowed) and a giraffe (again). So for a grand total of $5 (batman sunglasses), I think we are pretty darn cute.

Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010

Colin and Titus being the poor pitiful littlest brothers strapped in a stroller.
Halloween 2010

Most beautiful batman ever.
Halloween 2010

Colin's turn in the giraffe costume.
Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010

Pic of all 5 cousins = The best we are gonna do.Halloween 2010

A little pre-trick or treat jumping.
Halloween 2010

Upon examining the contents of the boys pumpkins post-candy collecting, one thing is clear: Walker understood the "only take one piece from the bowls people have left on their porches"rule, Eli did not.  They went to the exact same houses.  Eli has twice the candy.  I suppose I will be stealing from his stash twice as often as Walker's.  What a fun evening and candy is awesome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Days

Some days everyone needs their own train track.

Some days they don't need mommy to force them into sharing and taking turns with their brothers.
Sick Day 10.26.10

Some days mommy needs to intervene before Baby destroys the whole thing.
Sick Day 10.26.10

Some days, when the oldest boy is sick and super tired, he just wants to lay down next to the train he created with all the energy he had and know that no one smaller than him is going to destroy it.
Sick Day 10.26.10

And that's okay.  Some days when you are feeling really crummy it is okay to just be four and let mommy do whatever she can to make you feel better.  And for this little boy, laying down next to his train in peace makes him feel better.

**He is doing much better today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Visiting God's Country

Auburn 10.23.10
On Saturday visited Auburn to show the boys game day on The Plains.  It feels so right to share a place with so much history for us with our children.

Auburn 10.23.10

It was an amazing day filled with sunshine, friends, play, lemonade and all the beauty Auburn has to offer up.

Colin Auburn 10.23.10

Auburn 10.23.10

Auburn 10.23.10

Colin Auburn 10.23.10

About game time we headed back to our friends The Hall's house to watch the game on their TV (you know how expensive tickets are, right?).  We started our journey back about 10 minutes later than we should have.

We must have been quite a sight.  I was wearing Colin in the mei tai, where he eventually fell asleep.  We forced Eli into the stroller.  He was not happy but after a few minutes he decided riding wasn't so bad.  After a couple of blocks Walker's "muscles got too tired" so up on Jason's shoulders he went.  We made it back by kickoff, but only 4 of the 10 legs did the walking.

We are so grateful to the Hall's for their hospitality.  Their house was great for game watching, kids playing and littlest napping.

The evening ended with a fantastic victory and some Momma G's.

Let the record show:
We made it home around 10 pm and Colin was still babbling and smiling as I laid him in the bed.  That kid is amazing.  The other two were out cold.  Nobody slept in the next morning, of course.

Courtesy of game day traffic we had our first little-boy-has-to-pee-in-a-cup experience.  Not that you care, but documentation is important for future use.

The first Auburn trip, pre-Colin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On A {Very Good} Day at 4pm

The background music is James Taylor.

Trains are being brought into the station and their containers unloaded.



Blocks become sky scraper cars.

We have a garbage truck on the kitchen table.

Little boys play in laundry baskets, but fold no laundry.

Dinner {and yesterday's coffee} sit ready on the counter, and the kitchen sink is completely empty of dirty dishes.  This proves miracles are possible.

There are three pumpkins for three boys and I cannot believe the blessing of it all.
10.21.10 (edit)

Some afternoons need to be remembered because nothing exceptional happened, but some amazing things did.  That was today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Weekend Away

Observations from a weekend in Palo Alto, CA.
  • The other side of the country is really far away.  I didn't think through the implications of being thousands of miles away from my children.  They have stayed away overnight before, but I was still close.  If they really needed me, I was available.  I came to the realization that I was thousands of miles away from my kids after we landed.  And then I had a panic attack. I cried all the way to the car rental counter.  I know they are fine.  I know they are taken care of.  I just didn't think about the trauma the physical separation from my children would cause.  
  • Not as many people babywear in Palo Alto as I expected.  I saw a couple of Bjorns, but in general, babies were in strollers.  There are lots more babywears in B'ham than Palo Alto.  I expected it to be the other way around.
  • This is a college town.  There are lots of college girls.  I wanted to walk around with bolt of fabric and add 4 inches to everyone's skirt.
  • Having no time limit on my prayer time is amazing.  I can do this at home, I just have to be more disciplined.  Taking time to listen to the Lord is so important.
  • I think this would be a good town to come and learn how to minister to the homeless.  They are part of the community and people to not appear to feel uncomfortable around them and they interact with them.
  • It should be a general policy not to look at your family blog or pictures while you are that far away from your children.  Not helpful.
  • It is important to spend time with my husband.  More important than the missing of the kids.  I love slow meals, easy conversations and late nights with him.  We could not have this at home.  I know and appreciate this.  Date nights at home often end at home depot or at least with the vacuum and folding laundry.  We can't do that while away and that is important.
  • Community is important in Palo Alto.  General courtesy to strangers is not.  Smiles and greetings are hard to come by, but everyone seems to know everyone.  Not right or wrong, just different.
  • On Saturday night the sports bars/restaurants have baseball on all 10 of their TVs.  NO college football.  Funny and different.  I retreated to my fancy hotel room to watch the Auburn game.
  • Hotels are fantastic.  We had chocolates on our pillows.  Clean sheets.  Clean towels. Slippers and robes. Fresh coffee in the morning.  And NO dishes to wash.
  • Flying is a little fun.  It is amazing to think we live in a time where we can go from one side of the country to the other in one day.  I love seeing God's handiwork from that vantage point.  But then, after a bit,  it is just kind of uncomfortable and tiring.  Grateful for it, but once every few years is enough. IMG_0883
  • Isaiah chapter 1 and 6 are amazing and convicting and amazing.
  • Jason met MC Hammer.  Awesome. MC Hammer
  • One of my favorite luxuries is taking my sweet time getting ready.  It's free, so I'm going to try and do that more often, you know, when the opportunities presents itself. 
  • We took exactly zero pictures of ourselves.  Boo.  Promise we were there together.
  • Upon returning, "normal" life cranks right back up. I love and loathe that at the same time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Will Never Complain

I will never complain about October weather that requires shorts instead of jackets.

We are making up for lost play days during the extremely hot July and August.

And we are storing up these days of play and vitamin D, in hopes we make more than enough deposits to get us through cold and wet winter days

And Colin demands to wear a hat, which makes Grandma Hermie very happy.

He puts it on himself.

We will take all the sunny warm days October has to offer.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Little Play House

Backyard play is like magic for these boys.  There are trucks and rocks and dirt and open spaces and no reasons to be quiet and it is fantastic.

I love our backyard.  One of the reasons we bought this house was for the open flat backyard.  At the time we thought we were buying this fabulous yard for our dogs. HA, they say now, HA.

Anyway we don't have a lot of backyard play equipment, but we do have a little play house.

It has served us well.

Colin outside today.
Backyard Play 10.5.10

Backyard Play 10.5.10

Backyard Play 10.5.10

Walker the weekend Eli was born.
Opening the door
I had this picture in my mind's eye the whole time I was photographing Colin today.  One of those tingly mommy moments.

Walker in Spring of 2008
Playing Outside

Eli at about the same age as Colin is now.
Playing Outside

Monday, October 4, 2010

Backyard Play Fall 2010

The weather has turned to crisp and fantastic.  And we are enjoying every moment of daylight we can squeeze out of day.

Backyard 9.28.2010

And look who has joined the evening playtime
Backyard 9.28.2010

My how much has changed in a few short months.

I think someone told him this wasn't our first evening of backyard play.
Backyard 9.28.2010

"Daddy throw me up high in the air!"
Backyard 9.28.2010

Backyard 9.28.2010

Backyard 9.28.2010

Backyard 9.28.2010

Trying so hard.
Backyard 9.28.2010

You should come and play, too!
Backyard 9.28.2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Babywearing: What keeps Baby and Momma Happy

Babywearing has been under scrutiny lately. This is my babywearing storing in a nutshell. I cannot imagine mothering without my baby carriers.


My first baby, Walker, was a sick quite a bit as a tiny baby.  He was a very good baby, considering, but he had several ailments that made him uncomfortable.  He had terrible reflux, chronic ear infections and both of these issues were exacerbated by the fact that I was unable to nurse him exclusively.  All of his issues were made better by being held close and bouncing.

I was watching Oprah (this was over 4 years ago, and I've asked for forgiveness so you should forgive me too) and she was having one of those giant baby shower things.  One of the gifts was a Hotsling.  As soon as they started describing it, I knew it would help me provide the comfort he so desperately needed.

When it first came it was awkward for me and Walker.  After a short adjustment and learning period it gave me the freedom to care for Walker while still having a free hand.

When Eli came along 14 months later the sling was only more important.  He had some colic and I had a 14 month old to chase.  Eli about lived in the Hotsling.

By the time Colin came along I had done much more research and knew I wanted to add a ring sling to my collection when he came along.  He was the best baby ever, but still wanted to be near mommy and mommy wanted her baby near more than ever.  With every growing baby, those sweet cuddle moments become more valuable.  Also, I like to go with my kids and slipping him in a sling made keeping up with a 2 and 3 year old much easier.

We are now in the mei tai babywearing stage and still loving it.

I love and need the bonding experience of babywearing and the functional help of having my hands available. I'm all for baby safety, and my slings only help me keep my babies and toddlers safe.

All 3 boys in the Hotsling (not at the same time, of course).

Babywearing at the pumpkin patch.

Babywearing on sick days.

Babywearing on snow days.

Independent toddlers still want to be held close.

Babywearing in Disney.

For more information on safely babywearing visit the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance  Position Paper.

Written as part of Stephanie's Call to Action at Adventures in Babywearing.