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!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So another big event that happened this summer was the weaning of Brayden. 
I think this story though needs some background so rewind a couple years to when I was pregnant with Brooke.
In preparing for her birth one of the first things you have to discuss is to breastfeed or to bottle feed. As soon as we asked the question,  we wrinkled our noses, said, "Disgusting!" and vetoed that idea. I knew breast milk was the best thing for her but the idea of it really grossed me out. 
Aaron was even more grossed out! Poor thing. 
Well Brooke was born and I tried feeding her.
She rejected me instantly.
We found out later she was tongue tied.
I tried and tried to get her to breast feed because she was only 5lbs and I knew my milk was the best thing for her. 
I ended up pumping for her as long as I could but then had to switch over to full formula.
I was really sad to quit,  but I didn't have alot of breastfeeding support for a tongue tied newborn. My mom, who knows everything about it, was also stumped because of the tongue. I was so stressed and alone since Aaron was back in Italy and Brooke cried and cried and cried. 
Feedinsg were a nightmare because I had to pump and then feed her. 
My best friend Bre came to stay with me for two weeks. I wouldn't have made it through those weeks without her! She sat up with me while Brooke screamed waiting for that bottle. I think I scared her out of having kids ;) My sisters and mom would also take the baby trying to give me a break.
(Can I just say I wish I could live at home for the first weeks every time I have a baby??!! Nothing better than having your Mommy take care of you!)
The bottle and formula brought relief and peace.
No more screaming Brooke and crying Jana.

Fast forward to a big fat pregnant Jana.
No, I am not posting a picture of that pregnant belly! Lets just say after I had Brayden I had 40 personal pounds to loose. Too many Mcgriddles and pizza ;)

I watched the movie the Business of Being Born.
COMPLETELY changed my view on babies
Right there I decided that Brayden was going to be completely different.
I was going all natural
(Brooke was induced, I had two epidurals because the first one didn't work, she slept for days after birth and it took awhile for me to recover)
And I knew I wanted to breastfeed him.
Surprisingly, when I talked to Aaron, He was on board!
He wasn't grossed out. If he was he hid it and supported me.

The Lord allowed me to deliver Brayden naturally. Almost on the I405 bridge, but naturally!
I held him as soon as he came out and my heart melted.
I held him up to eat and the little guy latched on instantly!
In that moment a special bond was formed.
I was thrilled that he actually wanted me!
Until the pain associated with breastfeeding started coming.
Then I wanted a bottle so bad! But I wiped the tears and persevered. 
side note- No one told me that breast feeding hurts almost as bad as a natural delivery! I was sure once I delivered the pain was gone. WRONG!!! hello 3 weeks of MORE pain!!! 

The pain finally went away, my milk came in regularly and nursing was a natural part of my day.
I thought I would only nurse til he was 6 months old. Well that came and went..
He was over a year when I finally started the process!
My heart was starting to break and panic took over.
Every feeding that I cut out I felt emotionally something was being cut off.
I felt if I stopped nursing I would loose that bond.
A bond I longed for with Brookelyn.
I still long for that. She is very independent and not cuddly.
The thought of loosing that special time with Brayden scared me.
I also started panicking about his health and all the allergies he could have by switching to cows milk.
I probably called my mom everyday crying.
She coached me through it step by step.
My arms felt empty as I watched Brayden run away not needing me.
I started getting baby fever.
I cried out to the Lord everyday to help me release the anxiety and just let Bubba go!
And then the peace came.
Brayden was just fine without my milk.
He didn't have any allergic reactions to cow's milk.
He STILL cuddled me.
He will still grab his blankie and bear and crawl into my lap.
The biggest benefit that the Lord opened my eyes to..
Aaron gets a chance to cuddle the baby!
I was so blind to my feelings that I didn't see Aaron's.
He told me he was glad I was done  because now Brayden wanted to cuddle him,
Brayden never cuddled with Daddy.
And it is the sweetest thing to see those two cuddling. 
I still get twinges that I wish I could just feed him.
But I think I will get those feeling the rest of my life.
I fell in love with breastfeeding and the bond it helped me form with my child.
I giggle when I think about how it used to gross me out. 
I thank the Lord for allowing me a second chance with Bubbs.
Brooke was a blessing and the Lord orchestrated every detail, but with Brayden, it was like a second chance to do things the right way.