24 February, 2009

{can my favorite boy really be 5?!}

5 years ago tonight...

...I was cancelling my evening plans and frantically packing my hospital bag.

...I made plans for my wonderful father-in-law to stay w/Emma.

...I was afraid I couldn't love another baby as much as I loved my girl.

...I didn't know if I would remember how to deliver a baby again.

...I prayed my son wouldn't have to spend any time in the NICU since he was 5 weeks early.

...I knew our family was almost complete.

...I knew life would never be the same.

Little Man,

Tomorrow is your 5th birthday. 5! How did that happen so fast? I'm not ready for you to be 5 yet. It makes my heart sad to know that you're no longer a little boy who needs his momma to do most things for him. I wonder what you'll want to know about yourself when you read this someday. Will you care that you came into this world 5 weeks early? Will it matter to you that you weighed 6lbs 8oz? I don't think so! You'll want to know all the fun and silly things you did as a little guy. So, here are some of my favorite "Eli" moments so far:

  • You screeched like a bird when you first found your voice. Our home sounded like a wild bird sanctuary and people calling usually asked if we had a bird. Nope, it was you!
  • You greet every morning with a huge smile and end every night with a promise to "see you when the sunshine grows up".
  • You can't help but boogie whenever you hear music. It has never mattered where you were or what you were doing, if there's music playing, your booty's a-shakin'!
  • Everyone you meet is an instant friend...doesn't matter if they're young or old, they're your friend.
  • No one has ever cried alone when you're around.
  • You love with your whole heart and you give the greatest hugs!
  • You don't ever want to be a man or a dad. You just want to be my boy forever.

Eli, I love being your mom! I love how tender your little heart is and how much you love Jesus!

Happy birthday, Little Man! You're my favorite boy ever!

19 February, 2009

{bitter yuck isn't kidding around}

My boy is almost done sucking his thumb!!! I can not even begin to tell you what a huge thing this is for him. This boy has sucked his thumb since he was around 4 months old...that's a long stinkin' time. And he's loved every minute of it!

A few weeks ago, the kids' dental hygienist told me about a product another mom had used on her child who sucked his thumb. It's called Bitter Yuck! and is a spray used on dogs and cats to stop them from chewing on things. So, I went to PetsMart, found the spray and like every good parent, I tried it myself before forcing it on my boy. I about died it was so nasty, but I couldn't let Eli see me scurrying for some gum to cover the wretched taste left in my mouth. I then called the company to verify that it was indeed safe to put on my boy's thumb. The lady I spoke w/laughed and asked if I was serious. I told her that I was absolutely serious and wanted to know if there was anything in this "natural" product that would harm my boy. She told me it was a 100% natural, water-based product and would be ok. So, at nap time that afternoon, Eli had his first taste of Bitter Yuck! And, let me tell ya, he was NOT happy in the least.

He is doing so great now...10 days later! There were a few times in the first few days when he would put his thumb in his mouth, make an exasperated sound, then run to the bathroom to spit and get a drink all while yelling that he'd put his thumb in his mouth again. But all-in-all, he's doing great! I don't think I really expected this stuff to work for him since nothing else we've ever tried has come close. Today, he told me we needed to put more on b/c he couldn't taste it and wants to be a big boy. How proud is this momma?!

He never just sucked when he was tired...he was just so in love w/his little thumb that it was almost always in his mouth. When he started eating cereal, he would take his thumb out of this mouth long enough for me to put a spoonful of cereal in and right back in went his thumb. When he got a little older it didn't matter if he was playing w/cars or trains, he'd find a way to continue playing with his thumb in his mouth. The images below are just a very small sampling of the thousands of shots I have of Eli w/his thumb in his mouth. It's quite obvious how much he's attached to that silly little thumb.

The photo below is at bedtime that 1st night. He was bitter! He kept crying and saying that he just loves his thumb. It really was sad.

Way to go, Eli! You're so close!

13 February, 2009

{in a funk}

Have you ever found yourself to be stuck in a funk? That's where I'm at now and have been for a little while now. I can't really describe what I'm feeling...I'm just in a funk. Nothing bad has happened. Nothing major is stressin' me out. I'm just in a funk. Seriously, now that I've said "I'm just in a funk" so many times, I think funk sounds like it's not even really a word!

Anyway, I'm pretty sure what has me in this funk, but there is literally nothing I can do about it. It is absolutely something that only God can change. I'm really trying to be patient and trust and believe that God knows this deepest of my hearts desires. But I'm tellin' ya...patience has never been one of my strong suits.

Here's the deal: I grew up in a picturesque little town of roughly 400 people. My friends and I rode our bikes all over town, walked to the park or the tiny grocery store(which my parents owned for a few years), played on the school playground and were able to just be kids. The town, at the time, was 4 streets wide and 6 streets long...a few years after my parents moved away a new street was added, making it 5 streets wide. Really!

I remember leaving the house on sunny summer mornings with instructions to be home when the street lights came on. If my friends and I were playing at the park and doing something we shouldn't be doing, the "mean" old lady across the street would yell at us by name to quit foolin' around before we got hurt...she'd even call our parents if she felt so inclined. In probably 4th grade, Crystal, Brenda and I started a sticker club. We met every week at Brenda's to show off our newest Lisa Frank stickers that we all kept in super cool sticker albums and we even paid dues. Does that happen anymore?

I went to elementary school and jr high with pretty much the same 5 or 6 kids. Then I went to a high school that merged 4 surrounding towns and there were 33 in my sr class. Everyone knew everything about everyone and it just worked...for the most part. Of course growing up in that tiny town, I complained that there was nothing to do...we couldn't go to the movies often, or the mall b/c the "city" was a whole 20 minutes away.

But now. Now that I'm a mom and am raising kids of my own...my heart longs to be back in that perfect little town. My heart breaks that my kids don't know what it's like to have a yard to play in. My kids have a 15x20 plot of 1/2 grass and 1/2 cement for a back yard. My kids can't play in the front yard because we live on a busy street in a not-so-great part of town and I can't always be outside to watch them. So, they're confined to their cement playground surrounded by a 6ft high privacy fence. My kids can't spend a day exploring the world around them because God only knows what sorts of things they'd dig up in the empty lot next to us. My kids have been jolted awake at night by the sound of gunshots in our surrounding neighborhood. My kids have had their home invaded while they slept in their beds 2 stories up. My kids deserve better.

So you see, my Mommy heart is very discontent. I'm praying that God will move us to a place with wide open spaces. I'm praying that I can be content in the waiting.

Apparently, I could describe what I'm feeling!

09 February, 2009

{25 random things about me}

1. My Mom and I have the same middle name, Kay. I feel a little bad sometimes that I didn't carry that on w/Emma, but Emma Kay just doesn't sound near as good as Emma Grace.

2. I hate, hate, hate the fact that my little brother and his family live so stinkin' far away. I've never even met my niece, Bea...isn't that horrible?! But, they'll be here soon...I can't wait!

3. I grew up only having 2 cousins, Scott & Andy, on my dad's side of the family. Now Eli is the only boy on my side surrounded by 5 girls. Ironic, huh?

4. I have freakishly small hands. It's a Rooks thing I'm sure.

5. One of my most favorite thing in the world is Andes Mints straight out of the freezer. I don't keep them in the house b/c I'd eat the entire package in one sitting.

6. I used to have a very short fuse. I would blow up and yell at just about anybody over anything. Anger is still my first response, but God sure has done and is doing a good work in my life.

7. I don't like to be told what to do, how to do it or when to do it.

8. I went to a small high school...33 in my senior class. I loved it!

9. It hurts my heart that my kids are growing up in the middle of the city with a 15x20 plot of "yard" to play in. I grew up in a small town where I could walk to the park, the store, my friends' houses and not worry about anything. The rule when leaving the house for the day was to be home when the street lights came on. There were always adults around keeping an eye out for the kids of the town. They didn't hesitate to yell at us if we were doing something we shouldn't and they also would call our parents.

10. I did not carry any of my children full term.

11. I never in a million years thought I'd ever homeschool my kids. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it's also the most rewarding.

12. I'm pretty transparent...what you see is what you get.

13. I've never understood the purpose of having a favorite number. I think it's just weird. A favorite color, I get. A color can do things for you...bring out your eyes, cheer you up, etc. But a number, it brings nothing to the table for me.

14. I lock my children out of the house when they continually run in and out. My mom did the same thing to my brothers and I when we were little.

15. I got chased by an angry goose when I was about 4 and I couldn't get in the house b/c my mom had locked me out. Thanks Mom, that's probably why I don't like to be chased.

16. There were 8 "T" names in my wedding...Tonya, Tonya, Travis, Travis, Travis, Tim, Toni, Thad.

17. I was offered a scholarship to play tennis at a dinky college in SW KS after high school. I wish I'd gone.

18. I've only thrown up one time in my life and it was not pretty!

19. I'm fiercely loyal to my friends and family. I'd be tempted to gut you like a fish if you talk trash on someone I love. And just forget it if you hurt one of them...I'll never be your friend again.

20. I procrastinate like the day is long...I always have. It's my very least favorite thing about myself.

21. I had 3 goldfish in college...boB...who died after about 2 weeks. Then I got Calvin & Hobbes...they lived several months and died within hours of each other.

22. I pray daily that my kids will desire and develop a personal relationship with Jesus at an early age and avoid some of the mistakes, heartbreak and consequences I suffered.

23. I cherish the relationship my Dad and I have now. It wasn't always so pretty when I was growing up b/c I was rebellious, disrespectful and I always had to have the last word. God has done an amazing thing for my Dad and I.

24. I hope to one day be as gentle-spirited, peace-minded and loving as my Mom. I've some pretty big size 6's to fill. If God can change Peter, He can change me!

25. I have 1st hand knowledge of where the magic scarf comes from.

Making this list was a little hard, which totally surprised me. I guess I don't normally sit down and just think about myself. Anyway, feel free to take this to your blog and share 25 random things about yourself with others. It's fun!

04 February, 2009

{deal or no deal}

So yeah, I'm little behind on bloggin'...sorry 'bout that all my faithful readers! ;)

In case you didn't already know that I'm pretty bright and a quick learner, let me tell you a cheese story.

In a far away land, there was (for one week only) an amazing deal on cheese. This deal was briefly mentioned on a blog I visit, but it was my friend Shawna at Growing Blooms who shouted its worthiness. Then my friend Jean Lo'raine at Finding Jean, finally convinced me to trek to Dillons to bestow upon my family mounds and mounds of cheese.

Have a look-see for yourself:

{and yes, I know we totally need to defrost our freezer!}

Now for the thrilling part of this story...the money I spent and the money I saved!

My TOTAL for 95 packages of cheese {plus 5 boxes of granola bars that were also an amazing deal, a .99 bag of apples and a $1.49 container of Organic Baby Spring Mix} was $64.37.

My total SAVINGS on all that loot...ya ready for this?...$325.27!

$325.27 SAVINGS...are you kidding me!!!!

In case you're wondering if I've been converted to the ways of the thrifty and wise...YES, I HAVE!!! {and you should too!}