Monday, December 29, 2014

8 weeks down.

Since you've been gone...

Charlotte: This girl can officially say that she has 2 front teeth! The right one FINALLY broke through the gums (the ittiest tiniest little bit of it)... it has a long way to go and push itself out, but it's just about there. She is so ecstatic, that she tells everyone who comes into contact with her. It's absolutely precious... I never knew what she'd look like with front teeth... and now that I've gotten a glimpse, it's just so strange. She's so unbelievably beautiful. She had off from school this week as well, and has enjoyed every single moment. She is playing nonstop, and it was tough to get back on track with school today. Normally, she'd still have off... but she chose to do school right now, so that she could have off a few days/week when you get back home. Smart girl.

Marley: The strangest little rash appeared on this little girls foot this last week. I'm not sure if it's because she walks around barefoot, a lot... or what it was. It was super itchy at first, and then turned into blisters all over her heels. It was so painful to her, that she started walking only on her tippy toes. So, the day after Christmas (your birthday) we made a pitstop at the doctor's office to get it looked at. According to the good ol' Dr.... it was something in the family of poison ivy. SO STRANGE... it's winter after all. He prescribed her a steroid cream, and no shoes, only socks. So, 2x a day, I've been rubbing this steroid cream on her feet, and she's back to running around normal. Let me just state for the record, that while she was running around on her tippy toes, she looked mighty cute. She's been in great spirits.... all things considered. Keeps on playing like a champ. She adored Christmas... but I'm not sure what she liked more, the opening of gifts, or the handing out of ornaments at the elderly home. She was so exhausted that by her afternoon nap, she slept for 4 hours!

Finn: This little man is closely approaching 5 months old... and I think it's crazy to see where the time has gone. You left right before he turned 3 months... so that means we are almost 2 months down. He is laughing more and more (he loves when I attack his belly, with my head of hair) and smiles a lot, especially when he first wakes up from his sleep/naps. That's usually how I gage whether or not he's napped long enough... if he wakes up crying, or if he wakes up cooing. He's taking the binky more and more, which helps get him down for his naps a little more easily. This week, I start some sleep training with him... you're SO lucky that you're not around for this. I'm hoping that by the time you're home, he'll be on a solid sleeping routine. Hoping is the key word. For now, I'm transitioning him from his rocker, into his crib... so far, he's not a fan. I need to figure out how to make it cozier for him.

Me: I'm doing alright... I thought the holidays would be difficult, without you around... but they weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. I think I'm just so focused on the kids, that it leaves me with literally zero time to sulk. I'm knee deep in poopy diapers and housework, that I barely have time to just sit and think... that doesn't mean I don't miss you, or pray for you daily... nope, it just means that I have crazy amounts of distractions. I'm FINALLY putting the final touches on your package, and will have that off in the mail soon. It's just a little "taste of home" heading your way.

Story of the Week: While we were at the doctor's office getting Marley's feet looked after, Doctor Wilbur was sure to check out everything on Marley's body. He does such a thorough job... wants to rule out any/everything. He looked at her feet first, checked her ears, looked in her mouth... and lastly, went to listen to her heart. When he did... he said, "Charlotte, do you want to take a listen... listen for the Boom Boom Boom?" Marley (who was sitting on my lap), immediately started touching me and padding me on my breasts. Charlotte started to giggle, "Dr. Wilbur, Marley calls Mommy's boobies, 'boom booms'. You should just say, 'heartbeat'." Charlotte and Marley giggled some more, Dr. Wilbur joined in on the laughter, and I was left with a red face.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014 recap

The presents were set out on Christmas Eve... I cleaned like a crazy person (as a present to myself)... the next morning, Charlotte was awake first, then Marley, then Finn... When the girls came out of their rooms, they entered the living room, and instead of heading straight to the tree... Charlotte exclaimed, "WOW, Mom... the house is cleaned! Was Angelica here last night (our housecleaner)?" Yup, the fact that the house was cleaned mattered more so than the gifts... and at least her comment left me smiling, instead of feeling guilty for not giving as much attention to my house these days. There was a sweet package all the way from Japan from a dear friend who sent the sweetest little gifts for me and my clan (vintage kimonos, an ornament for Finn and a mug for me) and a package from another friend all the way from my old stomping grounds in New Jersey, filled with coffee beans ( I cannot wait to fuel up on them... they smell delicious.) 2 big boxes from the grandparents in Harrisburg... the girls could barely handle opening any more gifts, there were that many! Note to self for next year, feed the kids breakfast BEFORE opening gifts.... and don't let Charlotte rush through the opening (otherwise she'll start opening everyone else's presents... enough said.) We ate breakfast after opening gifts, and then headed straight to the elderly home. We were able to chat with Daddy for a few minutes... making the day even that more sweeter. We ate dinner and had fellowship at a friend's house, and the kids were all in bed by 8... such a sweet day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Leak What We Love

"We leak what we love." says Bob Goff... amen. This Christmas Eve, we created some salt dough ornaments... 50 to be exact, to handout on Christmas Day to the sweet folks at an old age home nearby. From spending time with Charlotte making these little treasures, to handing them out along with hugs and smooches... we leaked what we love. We prayed on the way to the old age home that we would be lights for Jesus to the sweet folks that lived there... we loved on them until our bellies started to growl, and the babies started to meltdown in need of naps. Such sweet moments...

The home that we visited specializes in care for folks with dimentia... and I couldn't help but jot down (here on the blog) some stories so that we can remember our time there:

Charlotte immediately made herself at home... introducing herself to the ladies that sat around the fire, sharing where she lived, how old she was, and which princesses were her favorite and why. She handed out an ornament to each, telling them that she made them for them, and one of the ladies immediately bit into the ornament thinking it was a cookie. She immediately said, "Oh this cookie is awful, it is so hard... it tastes terrible." Charlotte started to giggle, as she put her hand underneath her chin, waiting for the lady to spit the ornament out into her hand (we sanitized after, no worries.) and said, " Silly grandma, that's not a cookie, I told you it was an ornament for your tree.."

Many were still in their rooms, and so we walked around. We knocked on doors to hand out ornaments and gave hugs whenever we were greeted. We left ornaments on the handles of those that didn't open up for us. As we walked by one, Charlotte immediately put an ornament on the door... I asked her why she didn't knock. She stated, "Because, can't you hear him snoring? He's definitely sleeping, and we don't want to wake him."

Marley sat on quite a few laps, and each time it was time to move along to another room... she cried, not wanting to leave.

One of the ladies had hearing aids, and of course Charlotte had to point out how her and the lady "matched."

As we circled back around to the fireplace, the same ladies were still sitting by the fire. Charlotte let them know that we were leaving. The one sweet lady, asked us who we were all over again... Charlotte had to answer their questions all over again... She was confused as to why they didn't remember her answers from the first time we met with them. It was such a bittersweet moment. Charlotte gave them hugs and told them that if they believed in Jesus that one day they will have new bodies in heaven and that they will remember her. Oh how I love her...

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy 33rd Birthday love.

Happy Birthday sweet love of mine/Daddy... hard to believe that you're 33. Glad that you get to taste those numbers a few months before I do. Although we made it through Christmas without tears... we shed a couple this morning, knowing that you weren't here to celebrate your special day with us. You know how we love a good celebration... so we went out, grabbed some of your favorite food (Big Truck Tacos) and Charlotte demanded that we grab cupcakes "just for you"... Know that you are being celebrated today, and are fiercely loved...

Don't worry, I think Finn totally feels your pain on missing out on the scrumptious cupcakes/tacos (he has to wait a little for my body to turn it into milk in order to get some). 

And because we love you so... the kids and I made a list of 33 "We love the way..."s :

1. We love the way you cook us bacon and egg Saturday morning breakfasts.
2. We love the way you tickle us. 
3. We love the way you say, "love youuuuuuu" 
4. We love the way you hug us and squeeze us tightly. 
5. We love the way you build things for our us... forts, a beautiful table, shelves, etc.
6. We love the way you sing opera during bathtime.
7. We love the way you sing "moon moon moon" to us at night.
8. We love the way you always want to drive whenever we go anywhere.
9. We love the way you finish our food for us... without you around, we have so many leftovers.
10. We love the way you let us climb on you like your a jungle gym. 
11. We love the way you are silly with us... we miss your sarcasm.
12. We love the way you know how to fix our problems (usually with food or sleep). 
13. We love the way you smooch our faces.
14. We love the way you challenge us, and encourage us to keep trying.
15. We love the way you make us drink kale smoothies.
16. We love the way you toss us in the air and rough house us.
17. We love the way you snuggle with us.
18. We love the way you pray and are real with God.
19. We love the way you stand up for what you believe in.
20. We love the way you dream.
21. We love the way you always keep us on time.
22. We love the way you lead the household.
23. We love the way you smell after your shower (Charlotte specifically said this.)
24. We love the way you smile.
25. We love the way you like to explore and go on adventures with us.
26. We love the way you "bite our butts" (Charlotte specifically said this one as well.)
27. We love the way you comfort us when we are sad.
28. We love the way you read us books, and make up your own words.
29. We love the way you provide for our family... by working so hard.
30. We love the way you chose to serve our country.
31. We love the way you make jokes, especially in awkward situations, to break the tension.
32. We love the way you make us feel protected.
33. We love the way you love us... unconditionally.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Want, Need & Handmade

When it comes to giving for the kids, we go super simple and easy... We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in our house, and don't do the whole Santa gig... Seriously, we stay away from all events where Santa may appear, for fear that Charlotte will "spill the beans to some little one"... Just today, someone in the grocery store asked, "Are you being good so that Santa can bring you lots of presents?" ... Charlotte's response was awesome. "Ha ha ha ha, you're so funny... Santa doesn't give me presents, Mommy and Daddy do... and I always try and be obedient, because God wants me to." Oh, I could have smooched her face off. We do give gifts to our little ones, but again... we don't go crazy. We do 3 gifts: 1 want, 1 need and 1 handmade. Works for us, and works for them. So this year, it was a little last minute, but I put together the sweetest little handmade dolls for each of them... think of them, as "mini me's". Each one has a little wish on their arm, of something that I hope they will be, or continue to be... I hope they cherish these for years to come...

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