Friday, July 31, 2009

Not as what I thought it was going to be, but good nonetheless

Well, this week/weekend isn't ANYTHING like it was planned to be as of last week. This past week and it's happenings have taught me a lot about how "my ways are not God's ways". And I still don't know why everything worked out they way it did, but it's all for a reason.

Since May, this week was supposed to be slotted to have the kids at their Gommy and Poppy's house while I stayed at home, cleaned, organized, sewed, and prepared for Mossling #3. This past Sunday, I was supposed to drop off the kids and have Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs at home. Patrick and I booked a hotel room in Asheville to have one last hoorah before our family of 4 graduated to be a family of 5.

Until my ambitious mother broke her wrist last Friday.

My poor mom. Not only was she (er...IS she) in a lot of pain, she's emotionally spent from having an empty home instead of a full one. She has one arm in a cast, the other wrist tender from a sprain, and a knee with a big ol' strawberry. Both of our plans were hung out to dry, and we're still not sure why, but we both keep telling ourselves it's for a reason. And it is, but the reason is still unknown.

We were still planning on going to Elberton to visit mom and dad this weekend, but my mom was still feeling very poorly after her fall that she asked us to postpone our trip for a time where she can at least hold the kid's hands (something she felt she couldn't even do). SO, on Wednesday, we decided to come to Charlotte instead of Elberton. And since we already purchased our hotel room in Asheville, the kids came with (again, not what I had envisioned happening!). Our last hotel stay with them was...well, it was not fun. BUT, I had a different perspective this time: have fun, no matter what time bedtime is. So, instead of heading to bed at 8:30, we headed to the pool. We swam for about an hour, showered, and enjoyed each other for a few hours before our 10:30pm bedtime. At least they fell asleep peacefully.

Now, we're in Charlotte. I'm exhausted and have no clue when the kids will be in bed, but that's OK. We have no plans while we're here, which is unusual, but I didn't have any time to make plans! So, we don't know what's on the docket for tomorrow or Sunday, but we're here and we're together. I don't know when we'll be able to go to Gommy and Poppy's, but hopefully before this little guy arrives in late Oct. If not, then again, there is a reason.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new.

We said "bye bye" to our faithful Ford today.

We weren't really in the market to buy a new car, really. We put tires on the Explorer about 3 weeks ago, realizing that the routers needed to be changed pretty soon. A few days later, a dreaded "noise" began. It started vibrating and humming whenever it accelerated and it just got worse. We talked about getting another vehicle eventually, after the Explorer died (it had 155,000 miles on it), but really no sooner.

Until last week.
My mom was telling me that my Dad heard about a way to get some of that "Obama Money" that is apparently floating around by getting rid of your car. There was some new legislation that was passed today called "Cash for Clunkers", where the government is giving 3500-4500 for cars that meet certain "clunker" requirements. We never considered our vehicle a clunker, but after some research, we determined that our beloved Explorer was eligible. After comparing the Kelley Blue Book value of the Explorer to the 4500 it could potentially rake in from Uncle Sam, we decided to look at purchasing a new vehicle more closely.

It's amazing how comparable new cars are with used cars (Cash for Clunkers is only eligible for trade-in towards a purchase of a new car). Patrick did the dealership legwork while I worked the computer keyboard, searching sites such as,, and We learned the ins and outs of Cars for Clunkers and were prepared for how to get what we wanted for a new vehicle. We decided to shop for an American car and Patrick test drove a Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura. After looking at the cars (and some imports and small SUVs), we figured we could be the best deal for what we wanted with Saturn.

We've been looking and dealing with this decision for over a week - should we/should we not get a new car; should we/should we not fix the Explorer, etc. We finally made a decision and were able to close the deal today because the Cash for Clunkers legislation passed and we were able to get what we wanted. Not only did we get $4500 for a car worth $2500, we also got an additional $200 for the scrap metal, since our Explorer will be crushed and recycled to be made into something a little more friendly to our environment. We also got an additional $2750 cash back from Saturn for a model that was listed below invoice (and Saturns usually sell for MSRP, not invoice). SO, we got a really great deal on a new car - a 2009 Saturn Aura.

There's not much info on Auras out there, since it was introduced in '07, but it has really cool features, such as standard On Star, automatic and manual transmission, bluetooth capability, MP3 outputs, etc. We found a model with a few bells and whistles that we weren't expecting to be able to afford, so it's been pretty exciting.

Patrick and I have learned a lot about appreciating the other person's strengths during this whole process. He wanted to make sure he got the car he wanted by working the dealerships, testing the cars, and figuring out color/interior and other things. I wanted to make sure we got the price right, crunching the numbers and making sure we were getting the money we desered from the government AND the dealership. I didn't want to do what he did. And he didn't want to do what I did. Therefore, we made a great team in this whole process.

The kids like Daddy's "New Gold Car". Ethan calls it a sports car and could spend all day in it. Never in my life have I EVER had a brand new car and it feels a little weird. I have to say, though, that it was a great deal. Neither of us are feeling "buyers remorse" and are very glad to have a new addition to our vehicle family. So, if you're in the market for a car and are interested in knowing any info on the clunker bill, let me know. I'm pretty well versed :-).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Squirelliest of all Squirelly Girls

Mallory is a gem of a little girl - not too girly yet not a tom-boy either - just a little bit of both. She's a smart little cookie when it comes to letters, numbers, and reading. One of her favorite activities is reading words, forming sentences from the word that she read or finding an object that the word is or the word describes. She loves to read books that have to do with letters.

Her favorite toys are letter toys. Let me tell you a funny story about one of her letter toys. The toy I'm referring to is called "Red Toy", she calls it red toy. Anyway, the letter "M" on red toy stands for "Museum". There are several settings on the toy where you can learn about where the "museum" is (next to the place on the toy that begins with "N" and "L"), what you see in a museum, what time we go to the museum and how to spell museum. Well, one day, my mom and I were talking about what I was going to do with the kids and I said "Well, I'm thinking about taking them to the m-u-s-u-e-m today" to which Mallory responded "Go to the museum!". I was dumbfounded.

Our most common nickname for Mallory is "Squirrely Girl". It's appropriate for her, since she darts from here to there and everywhere with mind-blowing speed. She crawls, jumps, climbs and cavorts all over house and the objects therein. She has no fear of playgrounds and the vast climbing structures that are usually around. She has climbed a rock wall (with ease), has excellent hand/eye coordination, and has all the energy of a few 3-year-olds when it comes to playing outside. She's an atheltic little mite.

She is still very non-social, though. She clings to mommy or daddy whenever a stranger is around, screams at other little kids if they even LOOK at her, and is not very pleasant with an unsuspecting stranger who tells her how beautiful she looks. We're still working on her social skills...

Our daughter loves compliments, though. She'll pick up her books, run into the living room, and say "You did a GREAT job cleaning up your books!". Or, she'll put her clothes on for the day, run into the living room and say "You look SO BEAUTIFUL in your _________ (pink shirt, stripped shirt, white shirt, etc)" or she'll say something to the effect of "You did a GREAT job putting your clothes not on backwards!". Patrick says we need to teach her some humility, but she does share compliments with her brother, telling him how beautiful he looks in his clothes or doing a great job eating all his dinner or something to that effect.

Patrick is getting a little choked up seeing his baby girl growing so quickly. When we check on her at night, she's usually sleeping in the same position that she used to sleep in as a baby. She'll want to cuddle in the mornings or snuggle up while watching a video, only lasting a few minutes before she's...well, being squirelly. We wonder how long she'll want to do those things. Though we are excited about baby #3 being a boy, I know that Patrick will be wanting another little girl down the road because he'll miss his baby girl. BUT, Mal will always be his baby girl.

She'll be the squirreliest.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A little bit o' Ethan

My boy is so smart. Seriously. When I compare what Mallory was like when she was almost 20 months old to what Ethan is like, he's STRIDES farther along than she was. I don't think I had a conversation with Mallory until...well, until just a few short months ago (just before she turned 3), not that I don't think Mallory is smart, it just took her a lot longer to communicate with us. I had my first conversation with Ethan the other morning:

Scene - Ethan has woken up from his evening sleep and is happily talking to himself in his crib. Mommy goes in to get Ethan out of bed.

Mommy: Hey Buddy! Did you have a good sleep?
Ethan: See Daddy?
Mommy: No Buddy, Daddy went bye-bye.
Ethan: Daddy bye-bye blue car?
Mommy: Yeah, Buddy. Daddy went to work in his blue car.
Ethan: See Gommy?
Mommy: No Buddy, Gommy isn't here today.
Ethan: Gommy bye-bye silver car?
Mommy (chuckling): Yeah, buddy. Gommy is bye-bye in her silver car.
Ethan: See Mommy!

He's by precious boy. He loves his Daddy and has a special place in his heart for his Gommy, though he loves seeing his Poppy, Grams and Pops, too. The other day, he pointed to the dining room chair his Pops usually sits in when he comes to visit and said "Pops chair". Whenever he sees me on the computer or cell phone, he says "Talk to Poppy". When he sees a picture of his Grams, he points to it and says "Eems! Eems!". He knows them all and loves them.

Ethan talks up a storm and is already starting to recite some of his ABC's and pick up lyrics from songs. He says please and thank you with being prompted and kindly gives Mallory her Doggie if he ever finds it laying around (it's rare the Doggie is laying around, but it happens...). When we're around town, he points out circles, rectangles, squares and triangles in things that he sees; it's just unfortunate for my germ-o-phobia that he likes to point out the square tiles in bathroom floors of every restroom we frequent while out (and we frequent a lot of them...). He also loves trucks. While we're out, he can spot the difference between a car, truck, Hummer, Jeep, big rig, tractor, dump truck, motorcycle, police car, fire truck, and ambulance. He knows his vehicles!

Though he has MANY sweet qualities, he knows how to throw a tantrum. The boy will run mindlessly in any given direction if he doesn't get his way, sometimes into walls, chairs and tables which makes his excessive screaming more screech-like. He can cry and scream with the best of them, but once his big blue eyes (albeit, red-rimmed) turn to me and he confirms he's "'kay, I sowwy" (and I repeat it to him...), his crying usually subsides and he's good to go.

He's our sweet buddy and keeps us laughing and guessing all the time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Intentions. Really.

I have a host of things I'd love to post on my blog: things that the kids are doing/saying, what I've been up to, what I'm enjoying the most these days, how hectic life is, pics, parties, everyday things. I have intentions of writing and posting, yet my intentions go to bed with me during the kid's afternoon naps. I'm so tired all the time, carrying around an extra XX lbs and rumbly tumbly baby. Mallory and Ethan keep me on my toes, teaching me more about patience daily (since we seem to fight the same battles daily), and I often question if anything I'm saying or doing is getting through their heads.

I've been learning what it means to "lean on the everlasting arms" of Jesus lately.

I often feel like what I say to my kids isn't sinking in, what I do isn't appreciated (since what I do is to clean up messes to it can become a mess again), and when the end of the day approaches, my accomplishments seem frail and meaningless. I've learned lately that in the occupation that God has called me to, my responsibilities are what they are and I'm learning to take joy in glorifying God in changing diapers, wiping dirt off the floors and pouring one more cup-full of detergent in my washing machine.

I had a breaking point today. In the midst of strapping the kids into their car seats today, beginning to haul them around every which-way this morning (starting at 7:30am!!!), Ethan said to me "Mommy, kiss!" to which I leaned in and he gave me a HUGE head-butt right in the nose. I buckled over, he started laughing and Mallory says "Silly Mommy!". I don't know, but it just made me cry. Big tears. I realized at that moment that no matter what I do, or what "angels" they seem to be, they are sinful - just like me - in need of Jesus. I realized that I couldn't take my anger or frustration out on them and I could either choose to love them or be rude to them. Needless to say, I loved them by remaining quiet, trying to wipe my tears and hold myself together without them noticing too much, and biting my tongue as they pinched, screamed, and hit each other throughout the morning - disciplining them quietly and patiently, quelling my bubbling wrath in the process. Motherhood is tough. And doing it patiently is tougher.

Patrick and I have been swamped with our respective occupations (him a little moreso than me) in addition to intentionally act out I Cor 10:24 with each other. It's been really, really hard to put "self" last on the list and each other first, but the fruits of our labors have been growing little by little. We're starting to understand what it means to "learn to love" and that by loving through serving God and each other really does cause a healthy, vibrant relationship to blossom. It's been a tough lesson. We're still learning. It's hard, hard, hard. It took us both to hit rock bottom to get this knocked in our head, though...and it was a big rock.

I haven't been behind my camera lately. Though I enjoy taking pictures, I now get bogged down with the amount of pictures I take, the time it takes to download and sort through them, then try to figure out what the heck to do with all of them. I'm trying to get over it, you know, the idea that what I enjoy doing causes me to have to find a chisel to carve more time into my already busy days. So I just put that aside. I have taken a few pictures lately and I miss it. I miss photography.

I have been enjoying cooking. I've been inspired by a cooking site that apparently has been around for a while, I guess I'm just not that "in" to what's in the bloggy world. Though I haven't tried a recipe from Deb's site, the food photos are enough to get me up and cookin'. I've been on my favorite recipe site a lot, trying to figure out what to do with some excessive ingredients I have laying around; our jalapeno and tomato plants are harvesting an abundance of produce. I've made some extremely tasty homemade mexican items, including sauces and salsas that have made my usually tastey dishes more tastey. Also, the in-season blueberries and peaches have caused me to whip up some great breakfast bread and lure me into a more healthy snack rather than a processed one. I've dabbled with new recipes, created some of my own, and have really enjoyed being in my kitchen. I love watching my family eat well, some of it healthy, some not, and enjoy it. I'm hoping to share some recipes with you because I've really, really liked creating these healthy, hearty meals for my family, feeling like I'm doing some kind of good for their bodies with my cooking.

Enough meandering for now, I guess.

I have great intentions of pairing recipes with food pictures I've taken, writing post after post on the kids, sharing other creative things I've tried to attempt, sharing about the littlest Mossling and what he has brought to our lives already, and such and such. For now, the intentions will remain, but I've GOT to take a nap before I keel over salivate on the keyboard.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Poo Poo

I have to post about this because this is my daughter's poopy time...

My daughter has taken to the potty very well. She is very good at holding her pee pee until she reaches a potty and has already mastered the art of holding her bladder through the night, which she's been doing almost right from the beginning. She has yet to master poo poo in the potty.

I'm thankful to say, though, that she is smart enough to change herself into a diaper, poop in the diaper, and patiently wait until we come and change her. There have been a couple of times where this has been disastrous, but for most of the time, there is little mess.

So, how do I get her to poo in the potty and not in her diaper? At this point, if there are no diapers in her room, she poos in her panties and it''s...not fun. So, do I patiently wait for her to choose to poo in the potty or is there some other tactic you recommend?

Monday, July 6, 2009

A great 4th of July holiday!

I'm feeling much better since my crazy weekend last weekend...

My sister was here the day I was discharged from the hospital and she left on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, my in-laws came in town and left yesterday, so this is the first day I've had the house to myself and the kids. Though I appreciated all the help over the last 7 days, it's nice to have the house back and start getting back into a routine. This week is crazy with DR appointments; Ethan had his 18-month well visit today (off the charts in all measurements and is doing great dispite a small cold) and I have a follow-up with my OB on Wed and then an ultrasound on Thurs. We also have other appointments throughout the week that are just going to keep me and the kids VERY busy. I'm hoping to do something fun with the kids this week at least ONCE.

We had a great 4th with Gram and Pops. We went to the Jonesborough Days parade and experienced lots of tractors, something which both kids enjoy. Mallory got to hold a bunny and they saw many different animals, include baby donkeys, ducks, and chickens. On Saturday, Patrick, Grams and Pops took the kids to the park and out to lunch so I can have some quiet at home (always a blessing!!!). After dinner on the 4th, we went to the carnival at church and stayed up until 10 to watch the fireworks. I loved watching my kids experience such a marvelous event. They did great staying up so late, but needless to say they CRASHED that night. Yesterday was a nice day of rest for all of us and are geared up for a busy week, though Patrick's work is plum crazy right now, so I'm hoping he's ready! I'm sure he's already looking forward to the weekend...

Here are a few pics from our weekend adventures and you can find more here, too.