Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Cheer!

I have been praying for many things lately. 
I try to fill my head with praying instead of worrying.
What a challenge!
But it gets easier everyday.
So my latest prayer has been for a real crib.
When Brooke was in my belly, I decided I was not going to buy a real crib because we had no idea where we were going to be stationed or living.
She was so tiny that it worked really well and we never had a problem.
Brayden came along.
four letters.
He broke the pack n play after 3 months of use because he was so big.
I had to get the pad replaced because he bent it.
Well fast forward to my huge one year old.
He bent the boards again.
I took him out and tried putting him into the toddler bed.
He was not ready.
Brooke was independent and LOVED being in a big girl bed.
Brayden is a cuddlebug who still acts like he is 6 months old.
So my prayer for a real crib began.

The Lord has provided EVERYTHING I have needed for the kids so far so I knew beyond a doubt a crib would be in my house.
Oh and I prayed I would have the crib before Christmas.
Well, Today my answer to prayer came. 
A wonderful Christmas present came in the mail allowing me to go on Craigslist and buy this wonderful crib for $60!!!!

 It is solid wood and only had a few scratches. Its converts into 4 things and had all the parts.
The adorable bedding is bedding that I bought long ago and have waited to use on a real crib. I used the pads and blanket on the toddler bed but now I can use every part! 
He was so excited when he saw it all put together. He wanted to get in right away and proceeded to squeal in delight.
Right now he is in bed singing himself to sleep.
(A sure sign he is content and happy)
Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
We have plans to eat a picnic on the beach, make gingerbread cookies, have a sleepover and skype family.
Blog to ya'll later!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas cards!

Ok, so today my cards are coming in the mail from Shutterfly and my goal is to get them addressed and mailed out either today by 5 or tomorrow.
I need your addresses! 
Oh and to clarify, your home address not your email address.
Last time I got some email addresses :)
I have 50 cards to send out and I really don't think I have that many friends, so if you want one let me know! 
You can email me at

Have a good week getting ready for Saturday!
I don't know about your kids but Brookelyn is so excited she can't even contain herself.
We promised we would bring our big king size mattress into the living room on Christmas Eve and have a sleep over so we can wake up and see the presents.
Every morning she tells us about the sleepover and the presents that Santa is bringing her.
(No, she doesn't really believe in Santa but she decided she likes pretending)

It has been pouring rain here for the past couple days.
I am going kind of crazy being trapped in the house.  I have truly decided I only like the rain looking out from a window.
Taking the kids outside in it is a nightmare!
Aaron is going to do the Christmas shopping for the kids :) 
It will be fun to see how a Daddy brain works and what he gets them.
I want the kids to make something for him but haven't come up with anything creative.
Any ideas?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

oohh Brookelyn

We are still struggling with Brooke waking up dry. She hates wearing diapers but her little bladder cant even make it a couple hours. Last night she took her diaper off while still awake and woke up (in the middle of the night) soaking wet. We were talking about it this morning and the convo went a little like this

- " Brookelyn, Mommy needs you to be a big girl and stop wetting the bed"
- "But Mommy I don't wike my diaper"
-"Ok, then you need to learn to wake up and go potty. 
-"mmm... (scrunches her nose) I can't"
-"Then leave your diaper on so you don't soak your bed"
-"Well, (forming a mischievous grin) at least my diaper is dry!"

   A phone conversation with Grandma Mindy

"Hi Gwamma! Mommy is going to hava baaaaby! 
Its a girl and her name is Maddewyn.
Gwamma, Mommy cwied all day long.
Daddy was naughty. Him spank Mommy.
Him go to him room and scweamed!
*disclaimer- Aaron has NEVER spanked me nor does he yell at me*
Gwamma, Santa is going to bwing me presents.
Snow coming to our house.
We decowated the whole house."

"Mommy I just talked to Beka on the phone and we need to buy jellies and cheeses. (talking on her cell phone) Oh hi Beka! Whats your number? Oh! 121? ok!"

"Mommy I wan a lil sisster so bad! How about twins Mommy. Is that ok?"
-"Well God already decided Mommy just needed one baby in my tummy."
(After explaining to her how the little baby will grow and make my tummy really big)
"Mommy I have wittle baby in my tummy!!! Its going to get real  big and poke you. Can I have a baby Mommy?"
-"Not until you are a big big girl"
-sigh. "I want to be a big girl. My arms are going to be so big! I can't wait for my hands to be so big!"
silent pause.
"No I don't wanna be big. I wike being wittle"
-"Why do you like being little Brookelyn?"
"Cuz I like dressing myself and I like eat."

(As she is watching me type some of this blog)
"Mommy what you saying?
MOMMY! I know what you saying... I don't like it.
Ugh be quiet I am trwying to write. Mommy say d-r-y-z."
-"What is that?"
"Its from our house, or from the neighbor"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh the weather outside is... sunny?!

I must say it was wonderful waking up to news articles about the loads of snow Minnesota is receiving and then I received my daily weather alert saying it was going to be 80 today!
Made my day start off smiling :)
The kids are outside right now soaking up some sunshine and having play time with Daddy.
With a few quiet minutes I thought I would get another blog in.
Aaron took some good photos of the kids enjoying the sun so I thought I would share a few.

Brooke has five shirts on in this picture.
"Cuz I need some"

This is old news but the kids finally got their first haircut.
Brooke was 3 and Brayden was 1.
I loved his little curls but people were starting to think he was a little girl.
Brooke's hair was all the way down past her waistline.
I took videos of them getting their haircuts.
Brooke sat fine because she was watching a show,
Brayden screamed and cried and jerked his head.
I wouldn't make you suffer through it!
here is a pre-haircut picture tho

I must say though it doesn't really feel like Christmas around here!
Alot of our neighbors put up pretty Christmas lights and outdoor decorations.
The kids love driving by or walking by very slowly to enjoy the sparkling lights.
Another reminder Christmas is around the corner,
Christmas cards are coming in the mail!
I love receiving them so keep on sending them to me!!! :) 
I am getting on the ball today and start making mine.
I am going to make mine on Shutterfly.
They have this WONDERFUL holiday promotion where if you blog about their wonderful services you receive 50 free photos!
I used Shutterfly all through high school and even printed my grad photos through them!
I love how they have many different options of what to choose from.
I also liked some of THESE styles so I think it might take me awhile to pic one that I like.
Just a warning,
my Christmas cards and letter will probably be more like a Happy New year letter so maybe I should just skip the Christmas and do THIS.
Oh another really cool thing that Shutterfly does are these awesome picture books.
As a graduation present, or maybe it was an I miss you present,
my best friend made me a photo book with tons of pictures of us!
It was like a scrapbook without all the hard work.
My kind of deal.

I need your address!!!! 
Please be so kind and to email your address.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Glued to the couch

I didn't realize it had been so long since I updated this blog.
Sitting down just made me realize I haven't even blogged about our trip to Seattle. 
Which was a month ago.
But then again,  I just did the laundry for the first time since the trip so I guess blogging wasn't the only thing ignored.
*My children always had clean clothes. I have to wash their's about every other day.
Hopefully this holiday break will give me a chance to catch up.
Why so lazy you ask?
Morning sickness.
For a while all I could eat was what sounded good which meant no cooking and alot of eating out.
That is kind of ok because we are bargain hunters even when it comes eating out and we try to still eat healthy when eating out.
But it got to the point that our cupboards were completely bare.
Thankfully right at that same time I had a small break from the ickiesickies so I planned a bunch of meals and went shopping.
For several days I made amazing (if I do say so myself) food and was very proud of myself for being a real housewife again.
And then this week happened.
I don't really feel icky but I can't eat.
Several times this week I would put food in my mouth only to immediately spit it out and walk away from the table. 
Another strange thing this week, my couch seemed to have grown a huge magnet. 
I can't get off the couch! 
The kids have been wonderful.
Except they have started fighting with each other. 
That is a new one for me.
Brayden will pull Brooke's hair. Brooke will push Bubba. Bubba screams and runs in for the attack. Brooke swings her arms and sometimes makes contact.
Brooke is quite the independent 3 year old. She is really trying hard to be a  big help and loves 'cleaning' her room.
(She shoves it all into one bucket or a corner)
Brayden is still attached to me like he's 6 months old. 
I think he might have jealousy issues when the new baby comes.
Speaking of which, every person that Brooke talks to gets told that Mommy is having a new baby and its a girl and her name is Maddewyn.
(We don't know what it is yet as I am only 10 weeks)
I found this really cool app for the Ipad that shows a picture of the baby at every week so we can watch it grow.
She loves checking on the baby and commenting on how tiny it is. 
When you ask her when the new baby will come she says this summer in a very matter of fact way.
One thing that has helped me feel better is running or going for long walks.
I want to try to run as long into the pregnancy I can and then when I get too big just go for walks.
Which reminds me...
I need to go for a quick run before the kids wake up from their nap.
more updates coming soon!!!
I need so see what photos or videos I need to post cuz I know I have alot!
Have a good weekend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sad sad day...

This new little baby already has a bone to pick with me.
He or She has insisted I drink NO COFFEE.
WHAT?!?!! you might be asking.
Jana not drinking coffee??
It is a sad day.
The smell makes me sick to my stomach and if I taste it I get the dry heaves.
I guess the blessing is that I cut out caffeine easily.
I usually stop all caffeine when I hit my 3rd trimester so the baby is born with no addictions.
I don't know if a baby can really be born with a caffeine addiction but if they can be born with other addictions, and coffee is very addictive, I assume its better to be safe then sorry.
If I can eliminate as many things as possible that reduce a screaming crying newborn, count me in!
But seriously, only 7 weeks in?
I started going to bed at 9:30.
To replace coffee I am going to go buy some yummy tea. 
I have been drinking this pregnancy one that really helps morning sickness.
In other news,
Brayden is now in a toddler bed!
He was getting very restless and crabby in his pack n play so we moved Brooke to an air mattress with pink sheets and she is quite thrilled to have a "big girl" bed. 
I do not feel like buying a real bed right now. I am going to wait until the new baby is ready for the toddler bed and then buy the older kids a bunk bed.

I think this week I am going to tackle potty training.
Anyone have any tips for little boys?
I have NO idea where to even start.
Do I make him sit or stand?
Naked or underwear.
oi. It overwhelms me but he has shown several signs that he is open and willing so I need to take the plunge.
Prayers and tips would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, November 19, 2010

7 weeks!

I had my first appointment yesterday! 
Brooke is so excited about this baby so I decided to take her along.
The nurses kept telling her she gets to meet her new baby today.. 
She was so thrilled because she literally thought she was going to meet the baby. 
They started the regular sonogram but could not see anything because I wasn't that far along. 
So we switched to the other kind and still really couldn't see the baby!
I guess he or she was hugging my uterus so it was really hard to make it out.
Ooops. I just called my child an it.
Forgive me.
To Brooke it looked like a blob of nothing in something shaped like an upside down rainbow.
She kept looking over at me and beaming.
I think even though she couldn't see her baby shister she felt very big and tried her best to act grown-up.
We saw the little heart beating and of course I got emotional.
I have a little human inside me that is going to come out, Lord willing, breathing, crying, wriggling, sighing and wanting to eat. 
What a miracle that a "little blob" is our baby #3.
It just overwhelms me.
God is so GOOD!
Psalm 139:13-18 is my favorite passage right now.
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well. 
 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be. 
 How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
   How vast is the sum of them! 
 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.

If you think about it, please pray that I find a Christian midwife. 
Aaron and I have decided we would really like to have the baby at home and I have seen what a blessing a Christian midwife can have on a birth.

So it is looking like Blessing #3 will be coming end of June beginning of July.
I am not stressing about trying to figure out a due date because they never actually turn out that way! 
The baby comes when he or she wants to come.
I was hoping I was farther along just so I could be done with the nasty feeling but oh well.
Aaron is currently at the store getting me cottage cheese, fruit-yogurt-granola, whole wheat english muffins and poptarts because those are the only things that sound good!
I think I am having a girl.
All I want is salty.
Brooke's pregnancy was all salty and Brayden's was sugar.
Oh and in both of our families the pattern goes Girl Boy Girl.
I wonder if history will repeat itself?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brooke's prayer

A couple of weeks ago Brooke came up to me and asked if she could have a baby sister.
I told her it wasn't up to me and she should ask God.
Excitingly she exclaimed, "OK!!!"
"Dear God,
May I Please have a baby sister?
(jumping up and down screaming)
I burst out laughing and forgot about the prayer....
the day came and I realized that God answered her prayer.
Sort of.
God has blessed us with baby #3 due sometime this summer!!!
I have an appointment next week to find out exact due date... I will update when I find out more.
Praise God for blessing us with another little miracle!
Maybe I should mention one more prayer Brooke had.
I am a little scared to because she prayed for
 a brother AND a sister.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Banana muffins

 Muffins are  one of my comfort foods.
One of my favorite memories growing up was waking up to the smell of freshly baked muffins.
I would sit there doing my school eating a hot muffin loaded with butter.
Real butter by the way...not margarine...

Now that I have kids I want to make muffins for breakfast but have had a hard time finding a tasty yet healthy muffin. 
If there isn't a cup of oil there is cups of sugar. 
If its made with all whole wheat flour they are so stiff that the babies won't eat them.
I found this recipe on this Website
The kids ate them all morning long and then wanted them for lunch.

*notes on the recipe
-I forgot to put the oil in but I didn't even notice it missing. 
-Instead of the extra half cup of white flour I did 1/4 cup wheat germ and 1/4 cup ground flax
-I used almost 3 bananas so maybe that is why I didn't need the oil
-The apple helps sweeten the bread but its subtle enough that the banana really shines thru.

Aaron even enjoyed these muffins and he hates healthy muffins.
I would encourage you to try them and let me know if they were a hit in your house!

Another sidenote.. If you followed the link to the website you will find MANY other kid friendly, yet easy and healthy recipes.  
Even if you don't have kids there are many easy recipes that adults would like.
I LOVE tater tot casserole but it is not very healthy as it is loaded with sodium. 
The shepherd's pie is a huge hit in our house and a good substitute for tater tot casserole.
So is the potpie and crock pot oatmeal.
I  made the other banana bread recipe and it was a huge hit as well. 
Very similar to this recipe but you use a whole cup of wheat germ and barely taste it.
Happy baking/cooking everyone!

Apple Banana Muffins (Makes 24-28 Mini Muffins)
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Agave OR Honey
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Bananas, mashed
1 Medium Apple, peeled and grated (Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji or Golden Delicious are good choices)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Grease a muffin tin or line it with muffin cups and fill each cup 3/4 full with the batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Serve.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Momma's Boy

If you have been following my blogs or know me,
you know that I LOVE coffee.
I roast my own, have a certain way to grind it and brew it.
My mornings are not good unless it is started off with a yummy cup of coffee and some time in the Bible.
Recently... we have a new coffee addict...
If I drop coffee beans on the floor he comes running and pops them in mouth.
(For those of you who know me really well, you will remember a time when I use to eat coffee beans!)
He brings his de-de over and wants me to dunk it in my coffee for him.
This morning we learned, don't leave your coffee unattended at the Roli house. 

Quick Favor!!!

I am in a contest (sort of) to get a free trial of cloth diapers. If you have a few minutes would you mind voting?? I have always wanted to try them so this is my chance! Thank you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tu-Tu's, Kitchens and Carnivals

This past weekend I packed up the kids and drove down to Coronado to visit my friend who's hubby is still in the Navy. She has a one year old as well so we thought it would be a fun playdate.
And I LOVE where she lives.
Coronado is a little island right next to San Diego and there is a huge military base there.
That is where Aaron actually spent alot of his time in the Navy and our first dates were in Coronado.
The base was putting on a Fall festival so we loaded the kids in strollers and walked over.
Brookelyn went crazy!
There were ponies, a mini ferris wheel, a merry go round, a bouncy house and many more fun things.
Of course I had no camera so you will just have to picture her riding a pony for the first time but signing 'all done' the whole time.
She hated the merry go round because it jerked and there was nothing to hang on to.
She loved the cotton candy.
And she loved the clowns that painted her face.
They also had this fluffy bunny named Coco that she was thrilled to be able to pet. 
There was a table with caramel apples and everytime she walked by the lady handed her one.
WHO gives a 3 year old a huge apple without asking the mother??? 
I had 3 by the end of the night...

I don't think she realized it was a carnival celebrating Halloween. 
There were no decorations excepts some cute scarecrows and hay bales.
All she saw was little girls dressed up like bumble bees, princesses or fairies.
She happened to be wearing HUGE tutu that my friend let her borrow so I was alittle worried I was confusing her.
But someone made a comment about trick or treating and she stomped her foot and said, 
"No!! We don't like trick or treating. Its icky."
I think we got our point across!!

She was very sad when she had to take it off and leave it so I thought to myself I better get one for her.
But cheapskate me, I refuse to pay $30 or more dollars for one,
So I went to good ol Walmart
I found tulle for $.99 a yard! 
I looked on a pattern and figure out how much I needed so I decided I could splurge and get another color that was $2 a yard.
After some pretty ribbon I spent a total of $10!
*note to other cheapskate moms- bare necessities I could have made it for less
I went home and took her old tu-tu (our wonderful neighbor lady had brought over bags of name brand clothes cuz her little girl had out grown them and Brooke's favorite article was a pink tutu. She literally wore it to shreds.)
I cut off the tatters and re-used the elastic band (you could even use an old pair of underwear elastic)
to make this
I also took an old headband she had and added more ribbon to match.
She was THRILLED!!!!
She wears it non stop.
Even to the park.
Its a good thing I didn't spend alot of money or else I would cringe every time it gets dirty.

Well on top of my exciting tu-tu find, I was driving home from Walmart when out of the corner of my eye I saw a garage sale with a little play kitchen.
I whipped my car around as fast as a I could and almost ran over to the lady and asked how much.
I was cringing because around here people ask way too much money for stuff because they pay way too much.
Her answer?
I said give me 5 seconds to call my hubby and make sure I can spend the money.
Right as I am calling another lady walks over and starts trying to barter for it.
I got really nervous but Aaron said yes and the garage sale lady said first come first serve so it was mine!
And I know it was the Lord because I never carry cash but that day I happened to have it and I had just been to the bank and almost put it in my account but for some reason my heart told me no.
If THAT wasn't enough she had boxes of play food and dishes.
I filled a trash bag she said make me on offer.
I HATE being rude so I asked if I could have it all for 45.
She said yes!
Aaron and I had been looking at them for the kids and decided they were too much money.
I didn't even ask the Lord and yet He KNEW what I wanted and gave it to us anyway.
I called my Mom ecstatic.
She instantly brought to mind the story in Genesis 22 when God is first called Jehovah Jireh or The Lord will Provide.
Abraham has been instructed to kill his son. 
Abraham had faith in God and even told His son that God himself will provide a lamb.
A lamb was provided and Isaacs life spared. 
Now, a kitchen is trivial in comparison but God does things in our life to bring us close to Him,
so we look at those big or small things, 
and the only thing we can do is give Him ALL the glory.
Don't you think that every time Abraham looked at a ram, he was reminded how God provided
 and then worshiped Jehovah Jireh?
Every time I look at the kitchen it is a small reminder that our Lord God takes care of us and provides my every want or need. 
He knows whats in my heart even before I ask or say it.
If this little kitchen brings me to my knees in awe and full of worship, can you imagine how Abraham felt?

You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wings Brookelyn style and coffee Mommy style

Ahhh... Naptime. My favorite time of day. 
Brayden has been really cranky due to eye teeth coming in and Brooke always has an attitude.
They must lay in bed at night, conspire a plan to wake up as early as possible to make Mommy as cranky as possible.
I am NOT NOT NOT a morning person.  
Naptime is when I am finally alert, awake, full of coffee and ready to take on the day.
So in my alertness I am going to blog :)

Brooke loves to help cook. It has been hard for me to learn to let a 3 year old help.
I am a control freak and somewhat a perfectionist so trying to allow her freedom to make a mess is very difficult for me.
But I am trying.
She eats everything if I let her help.
I'm talking everything.
Picky eater? 
Get them involved with making their food. 
I was making wings for Sunday football and Brooke wanted to help.
She licked the spoon after every stir. 
(Didn't tell my company that small detail)
Then she decided to let Bella lick her fingers after every stir.
I made her stop after that because no one wants dog spit on their wings.

Despite every wing either being touched or chomped on they turned out 
pretty finger lickin' good!

On a sadder note... 
My espresso machine broke AGAIN.
3rd one in less then a year.
And I thought by buying the more expensive one I would be fine.
Maybe I make too much coffee to keep up with those machines...
I was so frustrated because when I called the company they said I needed to pay $15 (again) so they could ship me a new one.
I thought about it and added it up.
I bought the machine for $99.
That one broke so add 15 to get another one.
That one broke so add another 15.
If I kept going at this pace my $99 dollar machine could turn into a couple hundred dollar machine! 

I decided I needed a different approach to making my fresh roasted coffee.
I brainstormed.
And then it hit me.
How do the Italians make their own personal coffee??
With this GENIUS little moka pot.
It was around $30 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
No machine parts. No electric cord. Plain, Simple and has the potential to have a very long life!

 Wondering how it works?
You put water in the bottom part.
(If you enjoy having a thick crema you can add a little sugar into the water.)
Then there is this little funnel filter that you put the grounds in and it fits into the bottom part.
You screw the top and bottom together and put it on your stove.
After a few minutes the water starts boiling and passing thru the coffee
so it looks like this in the top part.
Perfectly made espresso ready to do with as you please.

I add a little milk so its more latte but you could drink it straight, add water to make an americano or froth your own milk for cappuccino. 
I HIGHLY recommend getting one of these if you enjoy espresso.
There are no parts that could break (unless you drop it)
and its really easy to wash and take apart.
The coffee doesn't come out tasting like plastic or dirty pipes like when you use an espresso machine.

Coffee/playdate anyone??

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bubba Dumps

Funny nickname, huh?!
We don't really know how it started.
Well the Bubba part started because Brooke couldn't say baby when I was pregnant.
All she could say was, "Bu Bu"
He has been Bubba, Bubbas and Bubbs since birth.
Lately though he goes by BubbaDumps, Dumpers, Dumpies, DiapyDumps... etcs..
Typing this it sounds way gross!!
But when you see this little face, Bubbadumps seems to fit him perfectly for some strange reason!
I have been putting him on the potty here and there because I am determined to have him potty trained before he is 2.
I refuse to change 2 year old diapers.
He has gone #2 a couple of times so he is at least comfortable with sitting there.

He has been walking like a big boy since he was 11 months old. 
Now he is running!
He is a bruiser.
I have never seen his head or legs without scars, bruises, scratches, bumps..
His skull must be made out of steel because if it wasn't I am sure he would have brain damage with the amount of times he smashes his head!

He is a very finicky eater.
He must be a texture person because he goes through moods where he loves big boy food and then other days all he wants to eat is baby food.
He loves to sneak to Brooke's little table and eat all her food before she gets back!

Brayden hates his baths.

He cries and cries when I make his bathe with Brooke. 
He is a cry baby!!! He cries all the time and usually for no reason.
He will be happy one minute and in the next something will happen to upset him so he cries.

When he wakes up from a nap Brooke runs in yelling,
"My Bubbadumps! hewwoo!! I wuv you! You wan some toys?"
She grabs every toy she can and throws it in for him.
Poor guy usually can't move there are so many toys, but it keeps him happy!

Like the big bruise on his head and cheeks?
 He loves to cuddle.
He will cuddle with anyone. And I mean anyone!
If Mommy or Daddy can't hold him he runs around with his arms up until he finds someone to cuddle with.
If there is no one, he cries until one of us picks him up!
He loves playing in the dog kennel. 
Bella is so gentle around him and just makes him giggle like crazy! 
The two make an interesting pair.
Bubba pulls, pokes, scratches and hits poor Bella but she just sits there and takes it.
They love chasing balls together but Bella is faster so she grabs it first making Bubba scream like a little girl until she drops it for him. 
When Bella is in her kennel, Brayden opens all my drawers, pulls stuff out and slips it to Bella to chew on. 
If Bella whines enough to him he will open up the kennel and let her out.

This is a picture of when we first got her but it show the start of their relationship!

Brayden can say a few words.
Daddy (of course!) football, (again, of course!) Hut Hut, all done, he can say Mommy but refuses to and cracker.
He an say enough where we know exactly what he wants.
Completely opposite of Brooke because she didn't talk for the longest time and we never knew what she wanted! 
We taught her to sign which really helped so we tried doing it with Bubbs.
Yeah, that didn't work so well.
He finally just now figured out how to sign more the correct way. 
(I have been working on it since he was a couple months old!)
He is either being stubborn or inherited my poor hand eye coordination!

faking it already

I had asked Brooke to come out to the living room and help me clean up.
I heard her fake cough and tell me she couldn't come out.
I went into her room to find out why and this is what I found.
(she is in her bed)
When she saw me, she faked coughed, took a sip of tea and told me she was too sick.

Birthday treats

When Grandma Joy was visiting in August we had an early birthday party for Brooke.
We made cupcakes but Brooke realized the only part of the cupcake she liked was the frosting.
So for her real birthday we decorated sugar cookies which were dyed pink.

A birthday tradition in my family growing up was you got to choose your favorite meal and Mom would make it for us.
We did the same for Brooke and she picked out a TV dinner.
She decided that the corn dog tasted best dipped in the chocolate pudding.
We tried giving her ketchup but she insisted she liked it the way she was doing!
"I do myself Mommy!"
hhmmm.. who does that remind me of....

Proud Mommy of a BIG GIRL!

The morning of Brooke's birthday, she announced to me that she was now a big girl.
That was a shocker because for the past couple of months in a sad moan and pout lips she would say,
"I not a big girl Monny, I a baby"
I asked her if she wanted to trade her De-De's (paci) in for a bike. 
She jumped up and down screaming,
"YYYEeSSSS!!!! I uh big girl! I uh big girl!!"
I was very skeptical but since she was finally on board I prayed, and prepared myself for the battle.
We went to Target, picked out her bike and came home.
Bedtime came.
She started getting really sad and stressed. 
We read Bible stories, prayed and cuddled. 
When she would ask for her De-De we would say if she had it, she would have to bring back her bike.
To my complete surprise, she said 
"No! I want my bike!"
It took about an hour to get both babies in bed sleeping.
But I couldn't believe we stopped the pacifiers just like that! 
The next day naptime was a little rough but only took a half an hour.
Bedtime was the same.
We had a really good day and then she found a Deet and wanted it back.
 Back to bad nights but it gets better each time so I am not discouraged!
 When she wakes up she makes sure to tell me that she slept with no De-De.
I am really glad I took some other Mom's advice and waited til she was ready.
Sure made the transition a whole lot easier.
I am happy and excited she is growing and learning but every new step is a reminder she isn't my little baby anymore.
She is my big girl that is growing up way too fast!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a gift from God..

Three years ago to the day I was laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a lovely Pitocin cocktail, watching college football, eating jalepeno potato chips and waiting for labor to start!
 The miracle of the day, 
Aaron was right next to me!

At the time of her birth, Aaron was still in the Navy, still stationed in Italy.
When I was 2-3 months pregnant with her I went to Italy to be with him and came back when i was about 7-8ish months. 
My biggest fear in coming back to the states is that Aaron wouldn't be able to be there for the birth.
With the military there are always unknowns and surprises.
They denied all of his requests for baby leave so we really thought he would miss it.
The ship was on schedule to come back stateside in November.
It seemed like everyday they had a new idea of how long they wanted to take and where they wanted to stay.
I even got an email one day saying they were thinking of changing the homeport to Guam or Hawaii.
I was a hysterical mess, but my wise Momma pulled me into her arms and we prayed.
She prayed with me everyday that Aaron would be home for the birth.
I knew the Lord works miracles, but when you are dealing with Navy, there aren't always miracles! 
Sadly, I was doubtful a miracle would happen.
The Navy finally approved leave, but it was weeks before my due date so there was still a good chance he would miss the birth!
I would never have gotten through those last couple months without my mom.
She came to every appointment with me.
Coached me through what birthing was like.
Helped me write a birthing plan.
Helped me figure out what to put in a hospital bag.
All that stuff that usually husbands help with.
Well, in a way my Momma was my husband for a while.
She gave me all the support and love I needed in the absence of my real husband.

For my 38 week appointment, Beth came with me because Mom was busy.
We had been monitoring the baby's growth since I got back from Italy and they had concern she wasn't growing.
If I remember right my placenta was even starting to separate from my uterine wall.
Anyway, at 38 weeks they thought she wasn't growing at all. 
They estimated her to be 3 to 4 pounds.
The midwife looked at the information and said, you need to be induced today!
I panicked.
Aaron flew in, in 1 day.
I begged her to let me wait until Aaron was in town.
She left the room to go discuss with all the doctors if that would be safe for the baby.
After what seemed like ages,
She said YES!
A miracle from the Lord!
Aaron flew in and ironically the hospital didn't have a bed for us so we had to wait a couple days to even get into the hospital.
We finally got in, went through with the induction, 
tried going natural but when I was getting contractions literately on top of each other I decided I needed the drugs!
The first one didn't work so I had to get a second one.

After the drugs, it was so peaceful!

We just sat there, still watching football, talking, laughing, not really realizing in a few moments our world was going to change drastically.
I calmly pushed her out and then watched as they whisked her away from me.
She was a healthy 5 and a half pounds!

We named her Brookelyn Grace.
Grace to remind us constantly of the grace the Lord has shown us over and over. 
He showed us grace by giving her to us!

She is spunky, sassy, creative, has a great imagination, stubborn, loves being a big sister, Daddy's girl, caring, bossy and independent. 

When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't even imagine how she would change my life for the better.

We did not deserve such a beautiful gift, but the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, sent her to us.
The Lord knew she was just what I needed.
We treasure our little gift named Brookelyn, everyday!

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalms 100:5

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the attack of the lazies

One of our favorite family hobbies is to eat out.
We love trying new foods and new places.
Last night we realized we eat out way too much.
I used to cook all the time.
Plan all my meals, prep stuff on the weekend so it would be easy throughout the week.
I even had us on a partly Vegetarian menu to save money so we could buy Organic meat.
And then I was attacked by the lazy monster.
When I am stressed this monster attacks in full force.
I have had a hard time getting used to watching a baby that isn't my own.
The Lord is softening my heart and helping me to love one her.
I have had a hard time getting used to having two kids.
There are days where I feel like super mom and then there are days I just can't figure out how to be a good mommy to them.
Overall, my stress in pretty much self induced because when I look at what stresses me out, I start to laugh.
The Lord is so good to our family.
So why am I still so lazy when I am stressed?
I put the cooking on hold. I put cleaning on hold. Laundry piles up until we have nothing to wear.
We eat out because it makes me happy.
Stress relief - no dishes, no planning, no touching raw meat (I HATE meat. it makes me gag)
But last night Aaron put his foot down and in a very nice and lovely way ordered me back to the kitchen.
Here I sit blogging instead of planning whats for dinner.
Go away bad monster Go!

As I am writing this blog, I just remembered what I read in 2 Chronicles 20 the other day.
Some background- the Israelites are facing a massive enemy army.

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."
  All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.

This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.

Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "

The story goes on with the children of Israel Praising God in the midst of their scary situation. 
Praising Him THROUGH the hard time.
Not just at the end.
I love the Lord's words to go out and face the battle because He is with us!
You could put your struggles, stress, hurts, fears, sickness in this story in place of the battle.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12

With the Lord on my side, I am going to face this monster of laziness and be triumphant!
"Give thanks to the Lord for his Love endures forever"
Go check out 2 Chronicles 20!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Never say Never....

Did you ever grow up promising yourself you were never going to be like your mother?
I did.
I had very specific ways I was never going to be like her.
Most are because I am alot more lazy than my mom is. 
For example,
I HATED rolling up the vacuum cord. It didn't make sense to me. Why go to all that work to wind it up if you are just going to unwind it the next day?
Funny thing is, Aaron had the same opinion. 
So for the first many years of our living in a house together, the cord was never wound up. It always looked messy, sloppy and in the way.
That vacuum blew up so we went in search of a new one.
I found the miracle vacuum.
#1 it was green!!!
#2 it has a button to wind up the cord BY IT SELF!!!!

Mom never bought "good" food. I promised myself my cupboards would be full of "good" food.
I remember the first time Aaron and I went grocery shopping together.
I think all we came out of the grocery store with was, pop tarts, sugar (all the really good kinds that mom never bought us. She was awesome at making us eat healthy) cereals, fruit roll-ups, candy, chips, soda and every other kind of "good" food you can imagine.
Eventually we have had to limit how much of that good stuff we buy.
But we still make sure we have a little supply of "good" food.
One thing you will always find in our cupboard,
a nice big box of sugar cereal.

Mom loves to organize.
Our dressers and closets were always perfectly in order. 
I HATED folding clothes.
Never really had a good reason. 
I just really do not like it!
My drawers were always a mess. Such a mess that sometimes you couldn't open them.
Mom would send me in to organize it.
Of course I was naughty and wouldn't do it so she would come in, take the drawer and dump it all on the floor.
I would begrudgingly organize my drawer grumbling the whole time. 
When it was done I wouldn't want her to see my satisfactory look because I really love an organized drawer.
Everything so neat and tidy. You know exactly where everything is.
Here is a picture of my kids drawers and you will see if I take after my mother.

Some traits I picked up from my mom that I like....

I remember Mom spending many a hours sorting our toys. 
But I loved it because when I wanted to play Barbies it was all there! 
She had a rule, no toys in the living room.
I never understood the rule until I became a mom who lets her kids drag out every toy.
When an unexpected guest drops by your house looks horrible!
Strangely enough, I love organizing the kid's toys.
Every night I make sure they are all sorted and we have all the pieces.
I love the feeling of going to bed with a clean room.
Brooke does too because every time I clean she gives me a great big hug and says, 
"thank you so much Mommy for cleanin my woom!"

When Mom cleaned the kitchen,
She CLEANED the kitchen.
Every nook, cranny, crack, spot, surface, hole, under, above, in & out.
It never really bothered me. 
I just didn't get it.
Until I had my own house to take care of.
When those little details are overlooked your house looks disgusting!
Our fridge was making an awful noise a while back.
So my Mom instincts took in and I pulled out the fridge, got out the vacuum and began cleaning. 
Aaron thought I was nuts but I got the noise to stop!
I remember feeling very triumphant and proud of my Mom for teaching me something that seems so insignificant.  
I may have a messy house, but my house is always clean, just like my Momma taught me.

The other day Bubba had gotten into the garbage can and got icky stuff all over the floor. 
I got so angry and started going on and on about the disgusting mess.
Aaron looked at me and started laughing.
of course that made me more angry and I asked him what was so funny.
His reply,
"Ok Mindy"
"I just got his flashback to when you were little, and I bet your mom freaked out at mess just like you are doing!"
I hate mess.
Mom Hates mess.
If we had a log of everytime my mom or I have said that.. 
It would make the Guiness Book of World Records. 
Mess on top of a stressful day/bad hormones/lack of coffee or chocolate 
makes for one very crabby mom.
Clean brings a happy peace. 
Maybe if I wasn't so lazy I would have more peace in my house...

Even though I have several things that I do differently from my Mom, 
I realized one day, I am still exactly like her,
but in my own way.
By watching her I learned how to take care of a house. Take care of myself. Take care of my children.
I inherited her good traits and some of her bad traits.
I gained my own ideas and opinions that when molded with what I gained from my mom,
 has brought me to the person I am today.
I wonder sometimes if the Lord gave me her bad traits so when I am really struggling, I can go to her and get help and guidance? 
Makes me smile that the Lord even considers that little detail important. 
Makes me feel even more loved that the Lord gave me an example to watch, follow, or not follow, model and learn from.
Thank you Lord for my mother and making me just like her :)

Just had to throw in a cute picture of the kids.
Oh, and I guess it shows one more difference..
I am feeding my kids hot dogs!
Ok, usually I am just like my mom and don't buy them.
But this was a desperate attempt to get them dinner before breakdowns happened!