28 February 2010

Good Golly, Our Molly!

Before Molly was born, I wondered often how I'd love another baby the same way I love Lucy.
After Molly was born, I realized that I never would. I love Molly in a way completely unique to her, with no comparison to her big sister. Now I understand how a parent can say, "you're both my favorite."

She's 100% one-of-a-kind. A perfect, sweet, rambunctious, boundary-pushing, cuddly, hilarious little barrel of joy. I couldn't have dreamed up a better kid. Molly isn't just a funny kid. She's proof that every baby is planned by our Creator down to each last delicious detail.

Happy Birthday, Poppers! We love you!

(stay tuned tomorrow for the full birthday post with pictures and tear-jerking stories!)

26 February 2010

Someone found the black crayon!

But it wasn't me. I actually have no idea where it is. I know it's here somewhere because I keep finding little black crayon creations on my kitchen floor. But I haw no idea where the actual tool is, because Lucy just keeps giving me this clueless look when I ask here. Not really sure where to go from here...


I have had a blue-ribbon calorie counting week. I've also changed my Lenten sacrifice to adhering to a 1200-calorie diet. It hurts worse than giving up desserts just because I'm restricting myself and can't waste the calories on desserts anyway, or I'll starve to death.
However, Andrew and I have a date tonight and I want to enjoy it. I'm not sure how to enjoy Red Lobster in 600 calories or less. I might just have to give in in the name of a healthy marriage. I'm going to look it up in my Lose It app and see what's halfway decent. Restaurants are tough.

Misc Phone Pics

Molly playing with mama.

Pantry invasion!

Sleeping beauty!

Andrew plans to have her playing well by 3!

Cupcakes for Jenny!

Newly refinished coffee table.

Molly at Rosa's

Relaxing on the kitchen floor!

Fairy picture fail.

Pretty Lu!

Ta da!

Being a baddoweena.

Making things for Mimi. Yesterday was a Grandma day, today's a Mimi. The crayons never stop around here!

Well, it's 6:40 am and my time is incredibly limited. Someone is going to demand something very, very soon. It's the Law of Seven. "You will not see 7 am without a toddler or infant demanding snacks or PBS." It's really the foundation of our family life.

Two days till Poppers is ONE! Can't wait for all the fun! Tomorrow we'll be taking her out for portraits, since it will be warm and sunny. I've got the birthday onesie and pink tutu all ready to go! I can't wait to see what we get. Lucy's final portrait was so quirky and cute. I think I'm going to try balloons and see how she does. I also have an idea for a super cute pose, but I'm going to have to bust into the birthday presents early. It'll be worth it!

24 February 2010

Y'all, I am tired. I am anxiously awaiting news of the birth of my Godchild, preparing for Mo's 1st birthday, getting the house ready for a Merkel-invasion, continuing to potty-train Thing 1, training for a 10k, feeding my marriage and refinishing furniture. It's a wonder I'm even blogging this right now.
If you were to ask me how today went, I would say the following.
"A man brougt a terribly ugly little dog to my house, part of my Amazon order arrived, I still can't get Lucy to sleep through the night, Molly repeatedly threw herself down the slide at McDonald's, I tried the sweet chili sauce and it was heavenly, I saw several huge planes, I'm wondering just how this program will have me running a 10k in 6 weeks and my kitchen is clean.
A 10k is like, a bazillion miles. I'm aware that people do it all the time and that I have to do it to run a marathon someday, but it feels like a lot on Day 3. I'm enjoying it. I've decided to complete this program and then see where I am as far as needing/wanting to join WW. I'm also counting calories, which is depressing but ultimately rewarding, I guess.
Still don't know what day I'm having Mo's party. Maybe the 1st or 2 d. If we wait any longer, Lucy's head might actually explode. I told her we'd party when Mimi got here, and I'd better deliver. This morning I was showering and she galloped in and said, "We'll need balloons, too!" Yes, yes we will...

23 February 2010

Please Pray!

As Renee prepares to deliver sweet Baby T this afternoon, please lift all of your thoughts and prayers to Heaven. This is going to be the hardest afternoon of their lives together as a married couple and as parents. Please take some quiet time today to offer fervent prayer that this experience be peaceful, joyful and full of love.

I'll update when I know something.

With Love,


22 February 2010

Y'all, I have news! I have a guest post up at Classically Catholic!

Since Andrew and I decided that announcing the decision to homeschool felt like we were saying we were more committed to our children than non-homeschoolers, I'm not going to announce it.

Just mentioning my guest post. That's all.

I'd like to say a huge "thank you" to Ms. Suzanne for inviting me to post!

21 February 2010

So In Love.

How blessed I am. I've found yet another piece of furniture just begging for my love. Does my husband object or moan about it? Not a word. He just hands me his wallet and happily carries it to the car to wrestle it in.

We need a truck.

I spent most of today letting Andrew sleep in, praying that Stinker will decide to be born, praying for Renee and refinishing a big, gorgeous coffee table. It'll replace our nice one in the family room and that one will join the real lookers in the formal living room. It took two days of diligent sanding and cursing, but the coffee table is now smooth, stripped and covered in a beautiful sea-blue enamel.
I've got two super sweet chairs coming for the formal living room, and my hunt has begun for end tables. I need a tallish one for the family room and "something interesting" for the formal living.
Did I mention the new family member cost a mere $20? This could become an addiction.

Prayers Please

I've updated on Renee- please click on the link to the left!

That's not big! Lucy corrects me.

I finally caught it on film! When we play around with Lucy and she realizes that we're being sarcastic or "funny" as she says, she often corrects us with this ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE little head tilt.

Considering how often she does it, it's amazingly hard to capture (because it's quick) on film! Check it out! Right after my hand enters/exits the video!

Mommy says Thank You...

Highlights of this video?

"Mommy says Thank You and I say Thank You"

[Lucy has been teaching US manners, as she learns herself!]

"I'm a big girl and I don't use pacies!"

[pacifiers, which have been outlawed in the Cooke house for months now... random!]

19 February 2010

40 Days of Lent

Lucy and I are working on this today, to keep track of our Lenten journey. It's just so cute and I think Lucy will really benefit from seeing each day! This site has so many cute things for young Catholics- I love it!

h/t to Barbara @ MommyLife - thanks!

Update posted

I posted a new update on Renee- please take a look and keep praying!

17 February 2010

Why Yes...

...there is a doctor in the house!

Refinished Business

So I had this vision...it was a whopper. I want to do the guest room in black, white and aqua. (Do we say turquoise now? Are they two different colors? Whatever)
Thankfully, I have a husband who trusts my visions. He's a peach.

I will not be painting the guest room, but you get the general idea when you see the colors I want to work with. A little splash of apple green, too. You know, elegant and perfectly lovely. Like me. (ha!)
So we started the project with...THE DRESSER. The dresser has been with us for ages now. It's heavy, damaged and not too pretty any more. (Mom C, I asked him if her was sure this would be okay- he assured me it was- please yell at HIM if he was wrong!)

Mmmm...dated furniture...

So it became part of my vision. I bought a sander and went to work. It turns out sanding was totally fun and I didn't screw it up once! (The sander also has my name Sharpied on it now. Hands off, honeybun! My love affair with the sander probably deserves its own post.)

(That's Andrew's hand. Mine are dainty. I wear a size 4 ring, you know.)

We sanded for the better part of 2 hours, but look at that pretty, clean dresser just waiting for a new coat of paint!

And then we set to painting. With oil-based paint. And two babies in the garage with us. Hey, when you have the vision, you just power through, people.

Look at the excitement on my face - I should do this full-time!

And there she is, all freshly painted with brand-new hardware and a sexy shine! I am so beyond proud of myself for learning to refinish an old piece of furniture. We couldn't for the life of us find hardware that would fit in the top drawer, so I improvised with some black grossgrain ribbon and some fancy knot-tying. Who knew dating so many Boy Scouts would come in handy so many years later? Monkey's Fist, anyone?

Yes, you may drool over my gorgeous new dresser. If I told you how many hours I've spent staring at it, you'd stop reading this blog.
Next up, we're searching high and low for a bed to put in the guest room. Baby steps!

15 February 2010

Such A Short Time

I've been on the fence about weaning Molly. She'll be one next week! I truly can't believe how quickly this year has flown by.
I'd really like to nurse to 2. I thought I'd be over it by now, but Molly's only quiet, relaxed time is when she's nursing. I think she needs it as much as I do, if only to calm her busy mind and body for twenty minutes.
She's nursing 2 or 3 times a day now; she likes to nurse and snuggle when she wakes up in the morning and when she gets up from her naps.
WHO recommends breastfeeding until age 2. I would love to nurse until then, and Andrew and I don't yet have plans to have another baby, so I'm all for it. I would, however, like a short (long?) break between nursing and pregnancy. It's a tough decision. I thought it would be weird nursing an older baby who was learning to talk. Instead, I'm finding it to be really, really neat. Molly loves to pull off and tell me things. She actually babbles in her baby language and gestures in her little ways about breastfeeding. It's so neat to see her trying to talk to me about this and knowing she'll never remember it. It's sort of like seeing an ancient civilization before it's gone. I'm a witness to the simplest of simple pleasures. Now that she's nursing for comfort and not hunger, it's nice to be the one and only place she can just let it all go.
I thought I'd be itching to wean right about now, but now that we're here, I'm not so sure...

14 February 2010


Did one of you little fools pray to Saint Anthony for me?? I kid you not, I walked into the living room and both Mommy and Grandma were lying on the floor as if to say, "We're right here, dummy!"

Catholics and their Saints...a strange, wonderful mystery.

I'd Like To Report A Missing Person. Two, Actually.

Grandma's gone.

Mommy, too.

I think they know something I don't...

If you have any information on the whereabouts of these two fine ladies, please contact Sergeant Laura at www.plantedandblooming.com. Reward offered for valuable information. (Must be related to missing toys; not just valuable information.)

12 February 2010

From the mouth of a babe...

"The whole wide word is in my stomach!"

That's right folks. You heard it here first. We are all merely microorganisms in the digestive track of one Ms. Anna Lucille Cooke.

If this revelation shocked you as much as it shocked me, leave a comment!

- A

11 February 2010

Where Two or More Are Gathered

Update, Sunday 2/21
Please start praying. Renee has been admitted to the hospital with internal bleeding due to a detached placenta. Please pray that the doctors can stop the bleeding and stabilize Renee before it becomes too serious. I'll update as I know what's going on- it's hard to get all the details from MD to TX!

Update, Friday 2/19

Hi there Everybody,
I spoke to Renee this afternoon and they were blessed with a very successful ultrasound. They were able to see the baby and get some more answers, and I know they're both so happy about that.
The baby does have several markers for a chromosomal disorder - what that is, is not clear yet. Often in these cases, it's a matter of genetic testing after the baby is born. It has been determined that the baby will not survive, but there is really no timeline. Renee sounds cautiously peaceful and is really now just wondering what will happen next.
Renee does not, however, have any issues with her placenta and will not be on bedrest! This is a wonderful piece of news because she'll be able to get out there and stay busy and won't have to be sitting all day, turning things over and over in her head. This will give Shawn and Renee the opportunity to seek healing and really do what they need to do to talk this out, spend time with the people they love and stay active, and that's a huge blessing.

Now, more than ever, Shawn and Renee need your prayers. Please pray that God just holds them so tightly as they prepare to meet their baby. This is going to be so, so difficult for them. Please pray with me that God can really bind them together and help them to cling to one another and the Lord as they each mourn separately and together.
And please pray for this little baby they're about to meet. Babies do experience many, many things in the womb and this darling baby has much to experience on his or her journey to the outside world and beyond.
God never gives us more than we can handle, but we never have to handle it alone. Please continue to offer your love and support to Renee and Shawn and their sweet, sweet baby. We will continue to send meals to the family, so that they can focus on everything they need to focus on and still have meals together. If you're in the area and would like to contribute, please email me. If you're NOT in the area but would like to contribute by having a meal delivered, you can email me for that too! As we think of ways to reach out to these wonderful parents and their boys, we'll continue to update.
I'll continue to update you as I know more. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

Update, Tuesday 2/16

Hello Everyone!
Wonderful news! Renee and Shawn will be heading downstate to Johns Hopkins THIS WEEK for a high-level sonogram and additional testing. This is absolutely an answer to SO many prayers!
Renee was able to get in touch with a specialist today and had the great blessing of actually speaking to the DOCTOR at length about the baby and her own safety. As is stands, Renee has now been ordered to do absolutely nothing until she's seen on Friday and will be seen first thing in the morning.
Renee's appointment yesterday was positive in that the baby's heartbeat is strong and steady- Praise Jesus!
We are so, so happy to hear about the immediate response of this wonderful doctor. Regardless of the outcome of the appointment, getting Renee and Baby T out of the hands of her current providers was the most pressing issue and that has been resolved! Most importantly, Renee is going to be in the care of a doctor who realizes that Renee's greatest wish is to see this pregnancy through to the natural end, whatever the outcome; what a gift! She is more than willing to help Renee continue to choose life and that's what is giving Baby T the greatest chance right now - what an answered prayer!
As you continue to pray for Renee and Baby T, please keep the following intentions in your hearts and prayers:
  • That Renee be able to rest as much as possible this week
  • That the trip downstate is swift and uneventful
  • For the personnel performing Friday's tests, that they can find real success in this ultrasound and get plenty of helpful pictures
  • That Renee can get some information on dating her pregnancy so that a plan can be made for getting that baby out safely!
  • That they find enough fluid to keep Baby floating long enough to grow a little longer
  • That Renee's hemorrhage is still at a manageable size and can handle some more steady growth for Baby
(And I have to add, I'm really super hoping that somebody finds out the gender of this baby...but I suppose that's a little selfish, now, isn't it? :-)

Friends, this has been a very, very positive week. Your prayers are not going unheard. Getting this appointment for this week was nothing short of a miracle! Let's just keep our eyes on the prize and pray that this upcoming sonogram is hugely successful!

(And a special thanks to Katie and Jesse this week for getting meals to the family- your friendship is such an example! Thank you!)

Original Letter - Friday 2/12

Dear Readers, I need your help and prayers.

Andrew and I have known Shawn and Renee for many, many years. They're truly like family to us, both so willing to give and love without reward. Shawn works as a Resident Director for a state university and they have made great sacrifices to enable Renee to stay at home with their two boys, Benjamin and Jacob. Seeing Renee blossom into the amazing homemaker she is has been so wonderful. She delights in her time with the boys and is really an astounding role model for so many. Her constant cheerfulness and silliness is endearing and always so refreshing. Renee and Shawn are eternal optimists and keep the people around them full of hope. You'll never leave them withot taking a sunny outlook with you.

Renee is 22 weeks pregnant with her third sweet baby and has been given very scary news. It turns out that Renee has very low amniotic fluid, putting the baby at serious risk. Due to the lack of fluid, they have been unable to get informative sonograms or an amnio to figure out the extent of the danger the baby may be in. Renee also has a placental abruption that is there but it sort of lying in wait, if you will. The baby is in serious danger, but no one really knows how much or has any sort of timeline. Renee and Shawn are just hoping to get that sweet baby to a point where they can safely deliver and move on with a true evaluation of the baby's health. They have been told that it doesn't look hopeful, but all things are possible in the Lord, as we know so well. Under advisement of termination, Renee has great strength and is giving that baby every chance in the world by choosing LIFE.

Shawn and Renee sound so peaceful and are just waiting for a miracle. They need every prayer you can muster, night and day, to feel the hands of The Great Physician during this ever-so-delicate pregnancy. Their trust in the Lord is strong and they know that every single prayer is heard.

Will you pray with us? I'll do my best to update you as things become clearer for Renee and Baby.

Every day that he or she is safe inside Mama is a day closer to a possible delivery. Renee is on pretty strict bedrest, but her spirits are high.
If you live in the Western Maryland area, please join the list to deliver a meal. No time for a meal? Drop a batch of cookies or a distraction for the boys. You can email me or leave a comment here to get on the list! If you live in MD, VA, DC, PA or WV, please join with us in searching for resources to fight for Baby 3. Renee and Shawn need to hear success stories and positive percentages!

Above all, please pray for this baby with the same passion you'd give in prayer for your own child. By storming Heaven and offering ourselves in fervent prayer, we can surround Shawn and Renee with strength, love and support as they face the challenges and decisions they have ahead of them.

You'll never meet a couple better-equipped to face the challenges that life hands them, and we know that God will never give us more than we can handle. But He never intended us to handle these things alone. We belong to each other and Renee and Shawn belong to us. Please pray, and ask those around you to pray - there is nothing we can't handle with the power of prayer and love for one another.

Pleased as Punch!

Mommy's little equestrian!

"And Mittens"

Upon entering the living room and taking a peek out the window, her first words this morning were "And mittens". Before I started laughing she snuck in a "Yes, I need a jacket and pants and I need mittens to go outside".

I didnt ask you!

On a drive home from the local Kohls where Lucy and I were just wasting some time racing up and down the aisles. Lucy told me TWICE that she needed to use the potty and TWICE we went RACING from the far side of the store to the restrooms. In a public restroom, for the first time I believe, we went #1 AND #2! Very exciting. But that's not what this story is about......

The following blog post is based on a true story... experienced... last night.

Leaving the store at around 830PM, the following conversation occurred in the parking lot as I began backing out of our parking space:

L: "I'm not tired! I don't want to go to bed!" [frantic]

A: "Well sweatheart, it's getting late" [calm]

L: "But I went to bed last week!" [she's been on this last week phrase kick and it just absolutely cracks me up]

A: "Yes, yes you did. In fact, probably 7 times last week." [calm but confused and trying not to laugh]

L: "Sometimes I do go to bed" [nonchalant; she's also been on sometimes I... phrase kick lately, which is the cutest thing ever]

A: "Yes, sometimes you do. And if you ask me, it looks like in about 15 minutes when we get home, you'll be ready for bed tonight" [calm, matter-of-fact]

L: "I didn't ask you." [calm, matter-of-fact]

A: "Excuse me?" [calm but trying to make eye contact, trying hard not to DIE laughing]

L: "Sometimes I do go to bed" [avoiding eye contact and mumbling a little bit, so cute]

Thereafter the conversation circled around last week and sometimes for another 13 minutes until we got home and we put her cute little butt to bed.

- Andrew 11 Feb 2010

10 February 2010

Motherly Pride!

I would also like to extend my congratulations to Lucy, who is now fully potty-trained after just 5 days of this big-girl business! She and daddy had a date tonight and she went on the potty at Target twice without batting an eye. I didn't say a word to her all day about anything potty-related and she handled it all on her own. So, so, so proud of my big girl!

Texans Having Kittens.

Have you ever seen Texans prepare for snow? It's simply unparalleled. I can't even describe it. I thought and thought of a way to convey the tension and panic that comes before snow in Texas and was still coming up blank.

Tell you what. Google "Superbowl Screaming Chicken" and watch the first video that comes up. That oughta give you a visual.
Andrew and Lucy are at Target killing time. Molly is in bed and I'm on my heating pad. My stinkin' uterus is convinced she's her own person...yet again.
Today was just about the longest day I've had since moving to Texas. It was a really fun day, but may I remind you about, you know, the uterus.
So, we had friends over to play this morning and had Miss Addison here all day while her daddy ran errands and got stuff done. She's just about the cutest kid you've ever met and she fits in well with Lucy and the MoPOD. (Molly, Path Of Destruction) The three of them just get along so well- I usually don't notice Lucy doing her thing during the day, and Addi just settled in next to her and they stayed busy playing quietly all day.
I somehow started up a double batch of Cajun Pasta for the freezer and worked on tha this evening. I have no idea how I added a third kid to the house, kept everyone fed, the house clean and actually had a hot dinner for Andrew. God was truly leading me today!!
So now, my back is reliably out and I'm just reeeeekaxxxxinnnggg...I hope to be showered and in bed by 9:30, juuust like last night.

Well, I hope everyone is making it through this week! What a long and busy one it's been!

09 February 2010

One Of Those Days...

I'm not snowed in, but I kinda wish I were. Today I'm just overloaded with all sorts of things to do, and I'm tired. I just want to go back to bed, but it's covered in laundry...I'm going to fold that today. Or Thursday.
Molly woke up with a perforated eardrum and a bad mood. Lucy woke up demanding donuts and friends. So we went to my Mom's group and the store, along with a trip to the pediatrician and a quick lunch in the car with Daddy. This afternoon I have to finish (start?) my book for book club tonight, An Exorcist Tells His Story by Fr. Amorth. It's heavy and not exactly the kind of reading you dive into. Not a word about slingbacks OR brownies. It's interesting, but it's hard to just pick up and do a few pages while you're going about your day, so I really haven't gotten far enough to contribute to the discussion tonight. Not only that, but all I had to take to share was a box of Betty Crocker lemon squares. Blech. So those are in the oven and the girls are reluctantly trying to take naps. Who knows...maybe I can squeeze in a few more chapters before Molly is up...
Tomorrow I'm hosting playgroup. I'm very excited, but I wish I had mre time today to clean my house and get ready for that. Not enough hours in the day...

08 February 2010

Swapping Secrets

It takes very little to ruffle me. I love taking care of the girls and most days are easy-peasy and super fun. Maybe it's the Texas sunshine, or maybe it's our routine. A lot of people read my blog and ask me how I do it all. (Andrew can tell you that I simply don't. Laundry sits, dishes sit and children cry, but that's just life, isn't it?) It's easy to make it look easy on a blog- I don't have to show you Molly standing in Lucy's pee at 6:30am on Saturday morning or the bite marks on her arm from the gym on Friday. Blogs are magical in that they make things look so darn effortless!
So if I seem to have it figured out, I can assure you, I'm probably just showing you the really fun parts.
But homemaking is an art, like anything else. Just like Andrew has worked so, so hard to become a really good negotiator at work, I work really, really hard to make my work an art form. I would say my art is still more like stick figures than the Sistine Chapel, but I'm sure I'm like a fine wine.
What helps? Here are a few tips I stick to, to keep things running smoothly.

  • Watch your language - I'm not a "Stay-at-home mom." I'm a Homemaker. Is there a difference? Of COURSE there is! When you say "homemaker," you elevate yourself to what you really are - a living saint who breathes life into her family and provides so many graces to the people you care for. As a wife, you give the greatest love to your husband by being present and really throwing yourself into your work with love. As a mother, parenting doesn't stop at the front door. You're called to take that maternal love out into the world and care for those you know with the same gentleness and grace. Learning to love a child can prepare you for so much more than what's behind your four walls. You're not just a housewife, you're a HOME MAKER. Doesn't that sound more hardcore?
  • Wear an apron - This sounds insane, I know, but when I wear an apron, I transform. I'm more present. I'm more attentive. I'm more feminine and nurturing. I'm just more. My apron really does transport me to a time when women gave and gave and gave. It drives to me to give me. Not only does it help me focus and really step into my role, but it reminds me that there was a time when homemaking was something that people prepared for and excelled at. Looking for the perfect apron? I like Boojiboo and Kitsch'n Glam.
  • Call your mother - The women who've gone before you know what it takes to get the job done. If you're lucky, they also know how to really do the job with grace and love. Learn from them. Are you lacking in the nurturing mom department? Some are. If you're really, really looking for a mentor, ask around. Your fellow women are always looking for someone else to mother and when it comes to really learning to manage a household and cope with the demands of doing the job, it's as simple as picking up the phone to get through the day. Call your church office. Say, "I'm a young (or not) housewife and I need someone to talk to who's been there and done that. Can you recommend someone who might just be willing to have a chat and give me some advice?" Chances are you'll end up with another mother who's looking for someone to help. I usually call Grandma Susie on the tough days. She always just says, "This too shall pass!" and things seem more manageable.
  • Seek inspiration - There are so many places to find inspiration to re-energize your vocation. Keeper Of The Home brings me peace. The Homemaking Cottage is a great place to find a little support. Holiness for Housewives is a wonderful little book to inspire, as is The Domestic Church Room By Room.
  • Get organized - Clear those countertops and throw stuff away. Empty those closets and re-fold the linens. I guarantee you, organization is just what you need to feel more peace as you go through your day. Knowing where things are and being able to grab what you need in a flash is part of what makes you Supermom! When your house is clear of clutter, your kids respond in kind. Turn off the TV and turn on some classical music. iTunes is just full of relaxing music. It'll quiet the kids and your mind. Have too many thoughts swirling around? Jot them down and vow to think about it LATER. Never spend naptime cleaning. You NEED that time to recharge and revive. Take a hot shower and eat chocolate. That's why God makes them sleep, honey!
  • Pay attention to your husband - I'm inferring here, so listen up. Men respond when you respond to them. If you just happen to be "really tired" when he needs something ("something" being things I won't discuss on a blog my grandma reads), he's going to be "really tired" when you need something (like a babysitter and takeout on the bad nights). It's so easy to put time with your significant other on the back burner, but when push comes to shove, this is the very basic, very important first step of your married life. Don't ignore it. I know the last thing you want at night is another person pawing at you, but try to offer the same smile and energy you give to your daytime business. You'll be so, so, so rewarded by a husband who feels loved and cared for when you set aside the time to focus only on him.
  • Relax, already! - There is nothing that can't be cleaned or tended to the next day. The best purchase we've made to date is our DuraHide furniture from BigLots. If you have a BigLots near you, make haste! This furniture was what we bought when we were trying to furnish a house on a small budget. It looked much nicer than the price indicated and boy was it an awesome buy! I clean the sofa ($350) and loveseat ($250) with baby wipes and 409. They look as perfect as the day we bought them and I'm not afraid to let the kids live in the living room! I'd suggest driving across several states to buy this furniture, if you have to. Everyone thinks we have dark leather furniture and just care for it really well. Our little secret. :-)
  • Pray - I don't have time to sit down and pray every morning. My prayers usually go something like, "Lord help me!" "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" "So help me God..." and somehow those work. It's perfectly okay to throw up a "Thank you Lord!" when you realize your child isn't choking on a thumbtack. He hears them all. We always say grace and I tell you there's just nothing cuter than an 11-month-old learning to lace her fingers together. I feel like the more I whisper, "Please give me patience" throughout the day, the more patience I'm given.
  • Take pictures - Do yourself a favor and buy the best camera you can afford, and USE IT. These moments will be gone so soon. When you look back, you won't remember the bad things. So even if you're exhausted and at the end of your rope now, take those pictures and reminisce later. You'll have nothing left but cherished memories. Andrew and I don't remember the sleepless nights. We remember giggling over Lucy's tangled up sleeping form and hitting the deck when she moved in the dark. We don't remember the tantrums. We remember the "I sorry Mommy. You happy now?"s that came after them. The negatives of the job do fade away. I have a job where I'm allowed to take pictures all day, and I do it! There is nothing better than flipping through those pictures of sweet sleeping babies after a day of fighting with an opinionated toddler.
"I prefer the word 'homemaker' because 'housewife' always implies that there may be a wife someplace else. " ~ Bella Abzug :-)

4 Years, Continued.

So, we had a wonderful anniversary. We took the girls out to Outback on Thursday night and ate ourselves silly. Molly screamed happily through most of our meal. We came home and put the girls to bed and settled in to watch Mad Men until we passed out.
Andrew worked a half day on Friday and then came home for a group nap. We love group napping. It's like a sport here on the homestead.
On Saturday, Andrew sent me off to the spa for a Detox Wrap. It was just blissful. I doubt I'd ever spend that much on soft skin, but the results were just mind-boggling! I think I'd actually do it again. Maybe a winter thing. I took the opportunity to drink mimosas in the quiet of the dark spa and got my eyebrows done before I left. You know, it may be pricey, but there is nothing like a trip to the spa to renew your commitment to taking care of your body and doing what you need to do to maintain peace and order in your mind. It was just perfection.
On Saturday evening, Jenny and Addison came over to play with the girls while we went out for a movie. We saw Dear John and it was actually really good. I think the book ended a tad differently, but it was still good. We went to Movie Tavern, which is fabulous. There is nothing like wings and beer at the movies. It was just so nice to feel a little date-night normalcy down here in Fort Worth. We haven't seen a romantic movie in ages, and I don't think Big Love counts...
I can't believe we've been married 4 years. It feels like just yesterday, but it feels like so long ago at the same time. We've been in flux since the day we said "I do." We've moved 6 times, had two babies, changed jobs, traveled and made so many decisions. And it's still been the easiest 4 years of my life. Being married to Andrew is sort of like a movie, most days. He takes works hard, takes care of the girls, plays constantly, kisses with intent and always says he's sorry. It shows in the considerate little people we're raising. Lucy's passion and care for others is so amazing, and I think I have our marriage to thank for that.
Well, it's raining and icky outside. Andrew took my car to work, so the gals and I are just cleaning and doing our thing. I would love to organize the kitchen, but that'll be up to Miss Molly. She tends to run the house when I don't have an extra set of hands to distract her!

07 February 2010

4 Years of Marital Bliss!

Happy Anniversary, Andrew!

More about our FABULOUS anniversary celebration later. I'm pooped and it's Sunday night. I'm going to bed, y'all.

Picture Catch-Up!

So Mimi got Lucy and Molly a dollhouse for Christmas! Molly loves it. She's really a Daddy's girl, you know...

In other news, Molly is now sitting at the big table...

...and in the potty. Molly really knows that something about this potty is special. I think she's catching on to the fact that marshmallow consumption is really climbing and the potty has something to do with it!

If Molly doesn't have a plastic person in her mouth, she's wandering around with a toothbrush. It's oddly cute and endearing. And the fresh breath is just lovely.

I sent cookies to Lisa this past week- she's hugely pregnant and miserable, so she really needed them!

Molly has taken to just lying on the floor and relaxing, which is terribly cute. Everything about this kid is cute.

These are the cocoa brownies I was talking about. If you haven't made them yet...why not?!

The super-awesome Keep Calm print! It just makes me sigh and smile everytime I look at it. Want your own? Click HERE.

Doesn't she make you want to kiss those cute little cheeks??

Spending a little time on the bike.

Lucy's CutieHat from Aunt Lisa!

Cappy The Finger Face. It's a long story. I may tell it later.

Two Cappys!