Monday, June 30, 2014

Stay-at-Home Mom Reflections:


I have hit a good groove with life as a stay-at-home mom. As crazy and as strange as it might sound I think it took me two full years to get to the point where I can say I love staying at home all the time and I get to the end of my day with my brain mostly in tack and satisfied with how the day went. All along I have known that what I was doing was best and that it is a huge tremendous monstrous blessing that I even have the choice to stay at home currently because so many moms want to but have to work to make ends meet. But that did not take away from the fact that it was a hard adjustment going from working and living outside the home during the day to all of my waking hours being devoted to taking care of small humans. 

I think having Jack has helped because now life is so much busier. Just trying to keep up and stay on top of feeding, clothing, bathing, and playing with not one but two children just adds so much to my day. Henry is older now and we can actually play together, talk, and interact. It is not nearly as lonely as those first years of me and baby Henry together all day. Sure it is crazy town over here lots of times but trying to survive the crazy keeps me energized, fulfilled, and entertained. 

I am also finding so much more joy and fulfillment in what I am doing. The first several years I truly felt like I was missing out on other ministry opportunities due to being tied down to home. I felt out of the loop and somewhat secluded. But now, I have found a happy balance of using my home to minister to others as well as loving and ministering to Henry and Jack. My current mission field. My daily, day-in day-out mission field of seeking to raise boys that love the Lord and love others. It is a high calling and I am so thankful I have found peace and fulfillment in being faithful to love, serve, and care for my family. 

I have found peace in being able to finally admit to myself that I think I have arrived at a good place on this stay-at-home mom journey. Obviously there are still hard days and I am not finished being stretched and pushed and constantly growing and changing. I never will master this whole 'mom' thing, but it sure is nice to feel more comfortable in what I have been called to do at this time in my life.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

7 Months:


Jack...

- You love love chewing on all the things you should not chew on...like computer cords, our shoes, and Henry's wheels on his bike.
- You have quite the scream that tests our patience on a daily basis. It generally comes out when we are feeding you and you get frustrated because you want food faster or you would rather be chewing on the spoon. It is high pitched and makes our ears ring. So, maybe you could just bring it down a few notches.
- You are sleeping generally through the night. You go to bed around 8 and then nurse around 6 but go back to sleep until about 8. So that is really really wonderful. Thank you very much.
- You are eating more foods and have not turned your nose up at anything yet. The favorite is sweet potatoes. Other favorites foods: avocado, peas, and pears. And the pizza crust I gave you the other night to gnaw on was also a big hit.
- You are close to crawling but mainly just army crawl or rolling wherever you want to get. You get faster by the day.
- You can sit up in the cart at the store!! And in a high chair in a restaurant!! My favorite baby milestones. Still working on sitting up on the floor by yourself but thanks for mastering the highchair and the cart. And just like that my life has gotten ten times easier.
- The other night I was holding you and running through the yard kicking a ball with Henry and you laughed and laughed. It was such a sweet, deep belly laugh. You also like to be thrown in the air. And when Henry talks to you in a funny voice.
- Walking in to get you out of your crib after your nap or when you wake up in the morning is one of the best times in my day. You face lights up and you give the sweetest cuddles.
- Your father is working very hard on getting you to say 'Da-Da' and I hate to say it but you do. Not necessarily associated with Dad yet, but you love to sit and talk and 'Da-Da' is a favorite to say.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Henry's (or all of us?!?) Getting Spoiled:


We are getting so spoiled this summer. Aunt Emily is close by and comes for a visit regularly. The other morning Henry woke up and the first thing he said was "Aunt Emmy sleeping in her room? I go see her?" and I had to break the news that she was not here and had left the night before.

We are also getting spoiled by the summer staff and Henry asks on a daily basis "my friends coming to play today?". There is a pretty constant stream of people in and out of our house and they generally stop and play with Henry for a little bit. He is loving the extra attention and I am enjoying the breaks from being Henry's only playmate.

And our cook Bill gets donations for a food kitchen he runs in town and often brings us some extras. Luckily for Henry, it is generally a box of fruit. Lots of blueberries and cherries. Henry's most favorite food of all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"You can't get me":






One of Henry's very favorite things at the moment is being chased in our front yard. He gets this little look on his face and says "You can't get me" and then takes off running. I was talking to Emily the other day about things that I am trying to do as a mom, especially as a mom to two boys. I am trying to be okay with the idea of loud, fast, rough, and dirty. They are boys and kids and I want to make sure I am not holding them back with nagging and a constant string of "no's". It is not natural for me and I like order and peace and clean so it is going to be something that I am going to have to consciously work on. For the rest of my life most likely.

And these pictures reminded me of this post and it seems just like yesterday.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Twitter Thread with Doug:

Doug is funny (as most of you know) and I love his twitter. But this is my favorite thread to date of his. I wanted it documented here as well:

Currently stranded in the guest bathroom trying to explain to my 2 year old how to retrieve toleit paper from another bathroom #teambuilding

He turned the lights out on me

Just heard the refrigerator door close...I don't think he's getting it

Tried explaining it again and he growled like Daniel Tiger when he gets frustrated

Danae should be home soon

So close..good try buddy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Doug's High School Reunion:





This past weekend we attended Doug's high school reunion. I think normally these are the types of things that people reluctantly attend, but not Doug. He has been excited for it for months. He loved growing up as a Jenks Trojan and spent his school days making friends of all different kinds of people. We had a tour of the high school on Saturday afternoon. We sweated our way around the campus and got to see all of the crazy new buildings that have been built since Doug was there. It is a very impressive school. Perhaps we will have some little Trojans someday. Doug should would not mind.

On Saturday night we headed downtown for the reunion. A very common thing I heard from so many people was "you got a good one"...and I smiled and  nodded in agreement and beamed with pride. I love getting to be married to Doug and it was reaffirming to hear some many people echo those thoughts. Doug has a fierce love for people of all kinds and it was evident that night. Doug introduced me to people of all kinds and all people that he considered genuine friends. I left the reunion even more in love with my husband and his heart for friendships and people.

After the reunion we went to The Tavern with some folks. As I sat at a bar eating mac and cheese at midnight I felt like I was in a different world. It is so far from what I am use to. I was pushed out of my little comfortable zone of being around people practically just like me the majority of my day to day life. It was refreshing and challenging to enter other's lives and love them and meet them where they are at. Doug and I both left The Tavern tired (!) but challenged to be more intentional in other peoples lives. Especially those so different from us.

We had such a beautiful time together with his old friends. Lots of laughs were had, Doug and Lonnie kept circling around me and dancing, Doug danced his crazy dance and people were doubled over laughing, and we had the same conversation approximately a million times. It was a pretty perfect weekend.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!:



This Father's Day we celebrated with an electric razor gift and some alone time for Dad. Henry and Jack both show their love for their Dad in their own special way. Henry uses words, hugs, and lots of running to hug Dad when he gets home. Jack smiles the biggest smiles of the day when Dad looks at him and he loves to just stare at smile if Doug is in view. 

Doug helps change diapers, helps with the nightly bedtime battles, carries them around, feeds them, bathes them, reads books, builds towers, and works hard to provide for their needs. But more importantly, he lays in Henry's bed at night and they talk about their day, he hugs and kisses freely, engages in their world (even if it means building another blanket cave and pretend to pick strawberries for the thousandth time), prays for them and with them, and dreams up many wonderful adventures for just the boys to go on. 

He is intentional, relational, a comforting presence, he brings laugh and humor into our home, and he leads and loves so well. We are all so so so happy Doug is the leader of our family!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Random Pictures From Doug's Phone:


My favorite jammies on my favorite two year old. 


This smile! 


Henry holding a cricket!!


When dad gets to take nap with Henry it is a great day. And Henry loves to lay extra close. 


One of Henry's best buds, Justin, took him for a little four wheeler ride. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Puddle Hunt:






We have had a lot of rain the past few days and cooler temperatures. I have honestly loved the weather! After dinner the other night we went on a puddle hunt. I put Henry in his swim trunks and we set off to find some good jumping puddles and puddles to ride our bike through. He loved running and jumping and splashing high. I think it is safe to say we all had a good time and the worst part was pulling off the muddy, dirty clothes to get him in the bath. There was a fine layer remaining in the bottom of the bathtub, which in my opinion, is proof that he played hard and well. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Brain Only Functions In Random Lists at the Moment:


- Baby legs...need I say more?

- We survived the first week of summer camp and we are well on our way through our fourth summer here at camp. Summers fly by..so really before we know it we will be having our end of the summer banquet and sending our favorite college aged people back to school. We are trying to enjoy the highs of summer camp and be diligent and patient through the hard things that come with the constant pace and the volume that comes with serving hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people three meals a day.

- And do you know what? Jack has stopped sleeping through the night. Perfect timing, son. I am just starting to think that my newborns know how to sleep really well and then they hit mid-baby stage and totally forget what they are doing in the sleep department. Henry did this and Jack is well on his way. I actually think it is teething. We are not capable of having a baby that can teeth with ease. For example, Henry has been cutting his two year molars for SIX MONTHS...I kid you not. And they are just now barely peeking through. I will weep tears of joy once all of my children have a mouth full of teeth. Big, fat, happy tears.

- Doug and I had a pretty perfect date night the other night. We went into town and got coffee, two movies, and two different brands of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream. We came back home and had an ice-cream taste off. You will be shocked to know that Blue Bell beat the off Walgreens brand. The extra .50 is worth it. We sat on the couch and watched Secret Life of Walter Mitty and both teared up at the end. Even though Doug had figured out the ending halfway through the movie. It was a sweet movie and a fun night dating each other.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dinner With Favorites:


We drove to Tulsa on Memorial Day to have dinner with some favorites. We were going to get puffy tacos at Elote but it was closed thanks to the holiday so we ended up eating dinner at Pei Wei. It was a wonderful and memorable dinner for sure that we will not be forgetting any time soon.

After dinner we went over to Eric's parents new house. It is a beautiful and unique home. And the kitchen almost made me cry it is so beautiful. We laughed at Watson while he played in Winston's cage, Jack jumped in a jumping toy, and we all got to catch up with each other.

It was a wonderful evening in the middle of a super busy time. Nice to be away for a bit with some of our favorites.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2.5 Year Henry:



- Pretty much every time you get into bed you say "oh, its so comfy cozy in here"
- You know almost all of your ABC's. You get B, C, D, E, G all mixed up. But I don't blame you. They all sound almost exactly a like. When you see the letter K you say "K for Keena!" with a big smile on your face. And you say "H is for me". And you can count to the teens. It changes regularly how far you remember. You are a color and shapes pro.
- The obsession with diggers, dozers, and tractors continue. You say "When I get bigger. I going to drive tractors". You love to just sit and dig and dig with your little back hoe loader.
- You love your bike and zip around super fast and call it your dirt bike. I wonder why...
- Favorite books are : Pete the Cat and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
- Some favorite foods: cherry tomatoes (which you call potatoes), fruit snacks, granola bars (which you call salad bars), cheese and crackers, popcorn, and sonic water with lime. But really...you eat just about anything!
- Favorite shows/movies: Daniel Tiger, Frozen, and your Mighty Machines movie is still getting a lot of love.
- You love to paint, color, and draw in notebooks with pens and markers. Especially Sharpies. Somehow you know it is the one kind of marker I don't want you to color with because it will stain.
- You have a very kind and caring heart. Baby Abe was here the other night and was crying and you were very concerned. You brought him a baseball and a bat to try to help him stop crying. You are very aware when I am frustrated or upset. You are quick to ask "how you feelin', mama". You are also very concerned if we are sick or hurt. You continue to ask "mama, back hurts?".
- You are still not interested in potty training in any way shape or form. Every once in a while you will sit on your potty. But for now..you love your diapers. And that is totally fine with me.
- You are very coordinated. You dribble a soccer ball around the yard, run super fast without falling, and climb up and down hills with ease.
- You are still very apprehensive around unknown people. Especially when they are pushy and want you to talk to them really bad. You are stand-offish and you only play and talk on your own terms. That usually means at our house with just a few people around.
- Your fits have lessened and we are not having to discipline nearly as much as we have had to in the past. You are starting to figure things out more and it is much easier to talk through things. And you often say "I get better." Which you are. And we are. And we all are getting better.
- You have started talking to yourself when you are playing and you like to try to have long conversations and tell us stories. I love watching your little mind work when this is happening.
- You ask on a daily basis what my favorite sport is and what certain animals eat [We saw a snake last night down in camp and during bedtime you asked "what do snake eat, again?" about 5 times in a 5 minute time frame]. You are hungry for information and facts.
- Hardest things lately: brushing your teeth continues to be a battle (just open your mouth and keep it open, son!!), listening to mom and dad especially when you are playing with another kid, not running away from us, and transitions from one thing to the next is hard.
- Best things lately: When we tuck you into bed at night your put your arm around our neck. It is the sweetest. Your dancing is awesome. Watching you play with other kids. How much you are drawn towards Jack and love running in to see him in the morning.

Monday, June 2, 2014

6 Months:



Jack...
- 17 pounds. 28 inches.
- People comment most often about your tuft of hair on top of your head and your sweet smile
- You love staring at cups...especially glass cups full of water.
- You are talkative and you woke up in the middle of the night the other day and talked and talked and talked. You finally fell back to sleep.
- You have had cereal and bananas. Not super crazy about food yet. And you don't seem to miss it if I forget to give it to you. So we will wait a little longer to fully embrace solids. You have loved the rice mum mum's. More for the chewing though I think.
- You have started to get a little more vocal when Henry messes with you or if he takes your toy. Let the sibling rivalry begin.
- You are still chewing on everything!! Especially Henry's old bug toy, your paci, and our hands.
- No teeth yet..but all the teething symptoms.