Looking at the Big Picture

Our house sits on a corner lot, and our eating area is surrounded by two large windows. This allows us to be very watchful (a.k.a nosey).

As we ate lunch the other day, one of our very pregnant neighbors was outside. She's so pregnant that her shirts no longer cover her belly.

As the boys noticed her belly, all eating stopped and many questions ensued. "Why is her belly showing", "Why is her belly so big?", etc.

I explained that she is pregnant and will have a baby girl soon. To which Garrett (almost 3) replied, "When I get bigger, I have a baby girl and be a good daddy."

And my mind immediately carried me down the road, envisioning my baby boy being a daddy, holding his baby girl for the first time. I teared up with this little vision and had to bring myself back to the present in order to keep my emotions under control. I looked deep into his little brown eyes and said, "Yes, Garrett, you will be a good daddy someday."

That small glimpse into the future reminded me to look at the big picture here. I tend to get stuck in a rut, focusing on the fits, the messes, the arguing, the monotony of our present life.

Someday Garrett will be grown and gone. Someday he will give his love and his heart to his own family.

His preschooler fits will cease. Tears will rarely come to his eyes. His chunky cheeks will be slim. I imagine he'll shave off his curls. I wonder what he will enjoy doing.

I need to remember to look at the big picture, because I am prayerfully raising these boys to be godly men. And because they are God's children, I must remember that His plan is bigger than today's fits and messes. He has great plans for these little men, and all I need to do is prayerfully and gracefully guide them in the right direction.

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

Part of our morning routine is "circle time". Circle time is when we sit together and review the following things:

  • the day/date
  • the month
  • the season
  • the weather
  • our address and phone number
  • the states (The boys have memorized 19 states thus far.)
  • Bible verses
  • Bible story
  • prayer.

I introduced the state of Missouri to the boys yesterday. I questioned them on it this morning, and they couldn't quite get the correct name to come out of their mouths.

At first, Missouri was named "Sophia!" I have no idea where that came from, but Liam (4 1/2) was quite adamant about it, until Jack (3) corrected him and said, "NO! It's Misery!"

I promise I did not teach the pronunciation to be "Misery", but we all had a good laugh over it.

How YOU Doin'?

How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions? Me? I am happy to report that I'm stickin' with them.

But if you believe that, then I have beach-front property to sell you.

I set out to eat better and exercise more this year. I did well for maybe two weeks. Here it is January 28th, and I'm already failing.

I stepped on the scale yesterday. Yikes!

And then I had a nightmare last night. In my nightmare, I was sporting a chunky body in a swimsuit on the beach in May.

Wait, that wasn't a nightmare. That was foreshadowing.

I will be wearing a swimsuit in May in Destin, Florida. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is. If I don't get busy, I will be sporting a chunky body in a swimsuit.

So I've pulled out my Weight Watchers book today. I'm going to be counting points again. I lost 17 pounds on WW nearly 3 years ago, so I know I can do it. Thankfully, I don't need to lose that much this time around, maybe 10 pounds.

Why am I blogging about this? Because I want you to hold me accountable. No, actually I do not. I will throw darts at you if you ask me how I'm doing with my points!

But misery loves company, so I want to know who else is already struggling to follow through with resolutions? Is anyone else out there needing some motivation? If so, leave me a comment.

And if you are interested in that beach-front property, you can leave me a comment with your bank account info.

We Had Us A Party!

Because Jack and Garrett's birthdays are only 26 days apart, I planned a joint party for them this year.

My poor kids got stuck with a Poor Party Planning Mama! Poor boys. But I have a friend who has a real knack for party planning, and I asked her a month ago to help me think of something easy and fun for three year-olds. She listed several fun ideas, but I quickly decided that this was the best idea for us.

Thanks to Jenny, we had a Fire Fighter Party, and let me tell you, it was a HIT!

I called our local fire department and chose Fire Station #2 for a morning tour. The fire men greeted us and took us on a tour of the entire station. They were very accommodating and informative.

Because our roads were slick this morning, we witnessed two live emergency calls! It was priceless to see the 9 kids' faces when the alarms sounded, the lights glared, and the men went into action. Even the parents were fascinated!

At the end of the tour, the kids were able to climb onto one of the trucks. My boys could have stayed there all day.

Jack loves hats, so he was the first kid to ask to wear a real-live fire man's hat.
And what one of them does, the other must do also. Garrett, my shy boy, was a little overwhelmed with all the new people, but he told me later that he "wuvs the fire station!"

My big boy Liam.
This rookie fire man was volunteered by his peers to dress in full gear for the kids.

Then, we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and cake.
Party favors purchased at Party City.
And can I just tell you that, as I was lighting these candles, I had one of those moments, where I mentally asked myself, "Are these really my kids?!" Sometimes I still need to pinch myself to help me realize how blessed I am with three beautiful boys!

This was a really fun party that I highly recommend! It was easy to put together, fun for everyone, and budget-friendly. The fire station tour is free and educational. Some fire stations will even give you a room for your cake-eating and gift-opening. Your only cost is your food (optional), cake (NOT optional, are you kidding!), and party favors.
Thanks to my Colorado friend Jenny for this fantastic idea! I miss you greatly, girl!
I created a really cute invitation that went out on fire truck paper that I can share at a later date for anyone interested.

Wordless Wednesday: Liam's Photography

Not so wordless: It's pretty silly that the only recent photo of Rick and I is this one taken by our 4 year-old!

What Do I Need to Know?

No one told me that parenting boys requires great Lego skills.

Liam: Mommy, will you build me a house with 2 doors and 3 windows?

Mommy: Me? Don't you want Daddy to do that for you?

L: No, you.

M: Can you find the instruction booklet for me? I can make it if I have a picture to follow.

L: Just build a house, Mommy.

M: (Sweating) Okay, here goes nothing.

10 minutes later: We quit with both of us in tears.

Besides great Lego-building skills, is there anything I should know about mothering boys?


When January 1 rolled around, I made one resolution...to spend as much time in as many doctors' offices as possible. This is one resolution we're doing a darn good job of keeping.

Today was the eighth doctor's visit in three weeks. I'm thinking Rick needs to go back to school to become a doctor. Then, he could peek in the kids' ears and throats to diagnose infections and save us some money and time.

When I call the pediatrician's office for a sick visit, I feel like saying, "Go ahead and take 1/2 of my day away. Really, we have nothing better to do today."

Maybe next year I should resolve to spend more time in Cancun!

The Birds and the Bees

We had some good friends over for dinner Saturday night. The mommy is 6 months pregnant with baby #2. Towards the end of the evening, she became hot and took her sweatshirt off, which left her belly covered by a t-shirt and yoga pants.

Liam noticed her bump and said, "You have a baby in your belly?" To which she replied, "Yep, she's in there." Without missing a beat, Liam asked, "You swallowed her down to your belly?"

That sounds like a perfect explanation to me.

What are some similar statements/questions your little ones have had along this topic?

A Field Trip

We have been studying the letter K this week, and I decided to treat the boys to a field trip today. What better place to visit for the letter K than Krispy Kreme!

I decided to keep this morning's destination a secret, and the boys could hardly stand the suspense during the 15-minute drive. They said things like, "Mommy pleeeease tell us where we're going!" But I loved the torture!

My boys have never darkened the doors of Krispy Kreme, so when we drove up to the building, they didn't know what "Krispy Kreme" meant. I had to actually explain what it is, which cracked me up. I have a feeling that if we drove by this building on a daily basis, they would no doubt figure it out, but we are rarely in that area.

As they got out of the car, they jumped for joy, as if they could feel the sugar entering their bodies by osmosis. I managed to get a picture of them before entering the building.
Liam was so excited to see that it's a "factory! A FACTORY, MOMMY!" The boys actually watched the doughnut-making process for a long time without asking for a doughnut. I thought they would request a snack immediately, but they were content to watch the process.

Jack was especially fascinated. He couldn't pull himself away, even when I said, "It's doughnut time!"
I'm just kickin' myself for not taking pictures of the eating process. I'm sure you can imagine the chocolate icing and sprinkles covering their faces and hands. It took nothing short of the miracle of baby wipes to clean them up.
After loading our bodies with more sugar and fat than we need in a week, we loaded up to run a few errands. The pictures below explain what took place after the sugar crash.
Although Liam looks sweet and innocent, this photo was taken after he threw a toy at Jack's head. And I read him the riot act about how to behave with or without sugar running through his veins.
And Garrett, who is usually a ham for the camera, was ready to cry at the mere idea of one more photo. And Jackson decided that a cat nap was the best way to handle the sugar low.
I must agree.

I'm not in charge

Recently, my mom and I were running errands with the boys in tow. We reached that wall otherwise known as lunch time and knew that we better stop to eat before risking a public meltdown. And I'm not necessarily speaking of the boys' low blood sugar. I might be speaking of my own behavior when faced with hunger.

We asked the boys what they wanted to eat, and they said "PIZZA!" as usual. I'm not sure why we even ask anymore.

Garrett took it to another level and requested Pizza Garden, his favorite pizza buffet.

I asked Jack and Liam if they thought that was a good idea, and Liam said, "I don't know. I'm not in charge."

That's right, buddy. You're learning.

You Look So...

While riding along in the car the other day, I had the Jayhawks playing in the background. I love the Jayhawks!

"You Look So Young" was playing. Jack and Garrett were chattering about this and that, apparently oblivious to the music. But Liam was riding along quietly. About halfway through the song, he asked, "Mommy, they singing 'you look so yum'?"

"No, baby. It's 'you look so young'. But you can sing it however you like!"

Jayhawks' fans...what's your favorite song? If you have another band that reminds you of the Jayhawks, tell me about them, too.

On the Topic of New Additions

Because Sally the acorn and Cocky the rock don't require too much of me, we've been entertaining the idea of baby numero quatro. Actually, I've been entertaining the idea for a while, maybe six months or so.

Originally, Rick wasn't too keen of the idea. He was sufficiently worn out from the three boys that tend to sap his energy, free time, and cash. And there are certainly days where I understand that train of thought.

However, when I think about how close my mom and I are, I know that I must obtain me a shopping buddy, I mean a daughter.

These boys prefer shopping at the Home Depot. Me, I prefer Lucy or Ann Taylor Loft. But I digress.

Although we're raising our boys to be a close-knit family, I fear that when they get married, they'll leave and cleave, as they should. But if I have a girl or two, I hope to still have the close relationship that my mom and I have.

Rick has slowly come around to the idea over the past few months. He wants a girl to spoil. She won't be worth two cents, once she wraps him around her little finger.

I haven't made him aware of how much a girl can cost her daddy's bank account, so help me keep that under wraps, okay?

Anyway, we've been talking about a baby casually, here and there. "What will we name her?" "When is the time right?" "What room will be hers?" Yadda, yadda.

I know we're getting closer, but in my mind, it still seems about a year away.

Until a couple nights ago.

As we climbed into bed, Rick said, "When we get our baby girl, we'll put her bassinet in our room."

What?! I didn't realize he was that close to taking this plunge.

"The boys never slept in our room, because we couldn't sleep through their every whimper and the crinkle of the diaper," I quickly reminded him.

"I know, but this might be our last baby, so we better enjoy her," he said sappily.

But she might need a sister....

We must be pretty close to jumping into the adoption process. I still think we should wait until Rick gets another raise in the Fall, but I think if I said, "Let's go now," Rick would be ready.

The thought of another baby is exciting and scary. Another little one to love and cuddle. Another mouth to feed. Another little one to watch explore the life around her. Another one to end our sleep. Another life to shape. Another college fund to support. More cuddles and giggles to enjoy.

Will one more be enough? I don't know. I can't imagine being finished ever, but it will have to end somewhere! I guess I'll slow it down and try to enjoy today for what it is.

A New Addition

We have a new addition!

No, we have not adopted another baby. I wouldn't be quiet about that! I would fill you in on every detail. It would be something like, "Hey, we've decided to adopt again." And then, "Hey, we started the paperwork." Then, "We're working on our home study." Finally, "We're in the hurry-up-and-wait mode." Lots of photos of our new baby would fill the blogoshpere soon thereafter.

Instead, Liam grew tired of asking for another dog or a cat. I think he figured he might as well give up on me, because I keep telling him we don't need another animal. So he's adopted an acorn.

Internets, meet Sally.
Sally came from Bear Creek Park and now resides in the CupRunnethOver home. Because there's no room in this inn, Liam made her a bed of straw in a plastic bowl. I've convinced him that she does not need water.

But he decided she did need a cousin, so he's also added Cocky the rock. Look close, and you'll see Sally's playmate snuggling in.
Incidentally, I have no idea where these names have come from. I feel pretty sure that Liam will not be naming his baby sister, whenever she comes to life.

Where Have I Been?

Whew! It's January 7, 2008! It's just hit me that it's a new year. It has been crazy around here since December 24th. I figured that life might slow back to the normal craziness by January 2nd, but it hasn't. There's this extra level of chaos that doesn't seem to be waning.

Our Christmas was nice. We stayed close to home and spent time with both sets of parents. The boys received way too many gifts, so I spent the 26th finding homes for their new toys.

But what have I done since then? I'm not really sure. It's all a blur! This photo reminds me that we stayed home on New Year's Day. It was a PJ Day, and we made hats out of the newspaper. Of course, we watched way too much football.

The next few days are, once again, a blur. I must be getting old, because I can't remember why I've been so busy, but I've been busy. Have you ever felt that way? Please tell me I'm not alone!
Just a couple nights ago, we pulled out the new air popcorn popper. The boys were thrilled with the physics lesson. Rick and I were not so thrilled with the taste of the popcorn. Really, air-popped popcorn tastes like air. I might as well save myself the calories and gulp down some air that's already hanging around me.
After our Aggies lost the Alamo Bowl, we decided to concentrate on basketball. Above, Jack and Rick are watching the Ags beat LSU 79-53. Whoop!

Just yesterday was Jack's third birthday.
Here he is blowing out the candles on his brownie. He requested cheeseburgers and brownies for his birthday, so we had the grandparents over for that fat-filled meal.

And because he's three, and Garrett will be three next month, we decided it was finally time to take down the cribs and allow them to stretch their wings and fly into big boy beds.
Here they are this morning. I made a HUGE deal out of the fact that I found them both in their own beds.
Garrett was sure to tell me this morning that his birthday is "NEXT!"

And Jack was sad to hear that his birthday is officially over. "It is over?" Yes, baby. But they have an awesome party coming up in a few weeks. More on that later....

Really, this post is going nowhere, so I'll wrap it up. My brain still feels like it's in a holiday fog, so I apologize for the random and boring post. I hope to get my routine back soon, which will help my blogging greatly.