Mommy Monday

Monday, May 31, 2010

So I have decided that every Monday (well hopefully most Mondays) I am going to post something about the things they don't tell you about motherhood. Everyone knows you will have this wonderful miracle that you will be so thankful for and that your life will change but I don't think any of us realize in what capacity having a child will change our lives. We also don't realize that the things we said we would never do we will most certainly do. You will be that mom. So without further adieu, my first Mommy Monday (yeah I will try to think of a more clever name)...

No one tells you:

You will be peed on. Yep people, I said it, you will be urinated on, especially if you have a boy. I should have been very suspicious when I received weenie teepees at my shower but I thought, haha this doesn't happen that often. Let me just say that it does. Maybe not to everyone but Cian sure was a peeing little boy. When boys are little tiny babies and you take their diaper off the air hits them and wheewwww, pee goes flying! (I talk with my hands so to get the full affect of this you must know that when I say whew I am wiggling my index finger back and forth and moving it up to indicate a spraying motion). I can not tell you how many times I took his diaper off and pee was on the walls, on my clothes and on my hands. I would put little Cian on the changing table and have a diaper or burp cloth ready to throw over his little ween so that it would soak up the inevitable spray of pee. And these pee-pee teepees do not stand up to the geyser! Those things went flying off like an apple shot by William Tell. The diapers weren't especially efficient either because they would be soiled before I even put them on. (I was a lot more concerned about this at first when I still thought I could break him). A few times when we were changing Cian on the floor he managed to pee on the carpet. Thank goodness were were used to this with the dogs. When Cian was about four months old I became especially brave at bath time, I took his clothes off in his room and brought him into the bathroom in the buff. This is a bad idea! Before his tush could hit the water I had a stream of pee on my shirt. How much can a newborn really pee? Any pee on you shirt is too much. Not a good idea to try to take photos while holding something that could leak at any moment! After awhile we stopped getting peed on and didn't have to carry carpet cleaner around with us anymore. Until tonight. I was getting Cian ready for bath time while Steve was in the living room and I thought it would be funny to send a little naked boy running into the room to get daddy. I told him to get daddy and I went to get the water started. When I came back into his room he was still there and the minute I hit the door he started to pee. Just stood there and let it flow! (One day when we are camping this will come in handy). I immediately cried out but it was too late, the carpet was urinated. I think I scared him when I squealed no and he practically jumped into my arms. One year old in tow, I broke out the fabreeze and carpet cleaner and went to work. I just hope speedy doesn't try to mark over it, it was in Cian''s territory. He had a fun bath and the rest of the night was urine free.

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I am an event manager and therefore I spend a lot of time looking for inspiration for parties and events. I think I actually spend more time looking at wedding stuff than I did five years ago when I was planning my own wedding. Because I don't want all that time spent looking at stuff to be a waste I want to share with you all some of my favorite things...

1. Mustache on a stickMy friend Bonnie had these at her wedding (and then Jessie had them at hers) and I couldn't get enough of them! I carried this Wyatt Earp mustache around all night. She had all kinds of different styles ranging from the handlebar to the hitler. I think they are a great addition to any photo booth! (Who knows, maybe I will have one at Cian's birthday party...)

2. Tissue Paper Pomanders and flowers.
They are so cute and easy to make (though they are time consuming so pop in a good move and start folding some tissue paper). they are good alternative to real flowers and can be used again and again!

3. Umbrellas

I found this image on the site for Lite Dallas. I am dying to use umbrellas hanging from the ceiling as decoration at something. I just think it is such a cool concept and the tops look really neat. Superstitious? Don't come to the next party I throw...

Now here a few of my favorite things in my life right now...

1. Running
I ran my first 5k about a year ago and I was hooked! Since then I have run many other 5ks a 10 mile race and a half marathon. I run for Team ASK, a team that benefits Special Kids ( . We meet every Saturday at 7AM for fellowship and to run together. I have met some great people and truly enjoy the blessings that they are bringing to my life. I actually have been kind of a slacker since running the Music City Half Marathon in April. I am planning on running a 10 mile race in three weeks so I better hit the pavement!

2. Spending time with my boys.Yes, Steve is trying to make sure Cian is a hockey fan and wants to play hockey. (Saving for college, no way, we are saving for hockey). Steve won't believe me when I say this, but I love being home now more than anything else. Hanging out with Cian and Steve is my very favorite thing to do. It isn't about the big things either, it's the small every day moments that are truly amazing. I love tickling Cian and hearing him squeal with laughter or the big big hugs he will give me as he walks through the room. I love sitting on the couch watching a movie as a family (well two of us are sitting watching a movie anyway). I know one day we will have moved on from this phase and I won't remember exactly what day to day life was like but I want to freeze it in my mind. I want to remember how good it felt and how happy we were as a family.

3. Working with children's ministry at World Outreach.

So I don't have a picture of this one, but I can not say how much this has truly blessed my life. I have met some really awesome people and I think I have learned more than the kids. We have a new lesson every week. Some of the stories I already know and some I am just learning. It is great to read the story and look at it from an adult perspective and then thinking about it from the perspective of a fourth grader and trying to figure out how they can most benefit from the stories. I am kind of a nerd about studying the lessons and I make sure it is on my to do list for at least three days of the week.

Those are just a few of my favorite things! I am going to start something new tomorrow, Mommy Mondays. I am going to post the stuff no one ever tells you about parenthood before you become a parent. They will be both good and bad. Beware, it is not for the faint of heart!

See you tomorrow!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I realize that most of the people reading this know us already or can stalk us on facebook to find out what is going on in our lives, but I feel I should post some introductions anyway, so here goes...

The Boys

My hubbs, Steve and the coolest little dude living in our house, Cian. Steve is my other half that keeps me in line. When I want to spend every waking moment away from the house and doing things he reminds me that it is possible to do stuff at home. (Who knew??) This being said, he supports me when I decide to fundraise, volunteer, work long hours and teach Sunday School. He rarely complains and watches Cian while I run at the crack of dawn. He is probably one of the smartest people I know. He kicks my butt at words with friends every time. He is an amazing dad and seeing him with Cian makes me love him even more. He is definitely getting Cian ready to be a baseball, football or hockey player. I like it that he thinks our son is epic. He works for Mark Trece and produces printing plates for box manufacturers. I think if I didn't drag him out of the house he would be content to play games all day. Thank goodness we have each other!

Cian is the best thing I have ever had a part in producing. He pretty much came out the womb loving balls and throwing things. That kid has an arm! Ball was definitely one of his first words and any time he sees one he will drop what he is doing to go get it. He also loved dogs right from the start, which you will see is a great thing in our house! Cian is so loving and give biggy hugs and kisses but can also give you some of the dirtiest looks. (He gets this from his dad). He doesn't really like to sleep and I don't know where this came from because Steve and I love naps! Cian is at that age where he is learning like crazy and wants to explore everything. He likes to build and put things together. He has recently learned how to fasten the buckle on his high chair and loves to do it over and over again. (My dad, grumpa, has a game they play where Cian will fasten it and my dad will make a straining noise like it is really hard to undo and then he will open it). Cian loves this game and now makes the straining noise every time he fastens the belt. Cian loves to run down the sidewalk while we chase him. He also loves to turn around and see his shadow running with him. I can't wait to see all the traits that emerge as he becomes more and more in-d-pendent. (In the words of Hermey the elf)

First comes love, then comes...Speedy

Speedy was our first dog, we got him in 2003 when we lived in Florida. There was a local rescue that set up at the Petsmart in Winter Park every Saturday. I went by there a couple times to torture myself and look at the dogs they had. I had also browsed the dogs they had online about a thousand times. One day I went by there to check them out and saw this cute little wire-haired dog named Frodo. I called Steve, went and picked him up (we shared a car at the time) and we came down to look at the little hobbit. Speedy caught Steve's eye instead and we asked if we could take him out of the cage and play with him for a bit. We did, he was crazy, we loved him and he went home with us. We should have know by the way he jumped on everyone and nipped at everything that he was wild, but we fell in love. He gives what I used to called good boy kisses until I realized that he was just trying to french. He was really nervous around kids for a long time, but has adjusted well to Cian. I think he is Cian's favorite because he licks Cian's face. He is still a little psycho but has calmed down in middle age and since we have more dogs. His nicknames include : mogeeds, wija boy, psycho psycho, speedy boncheedy, speedy bon bon and many others. He even has a couple songs, I might just sing you one when the time's right.

Then Comes Marriage, then comes Arwen in the baby carriage...

We got Arwen from a Great Dane rescue when we moved back to TN from FL in 2005. She was four months old and about the size of a small lab. Steve had wanted a Great Dane for awhile and I had found her on petfinder while we were still in Florida. We decided that we couldn't afford another dog so Karen, Steve's mom, decided to get her for us as a wedding gift! (This was especially generous since we were about to move our family into their house for awhile. Steve and I made seven people and Speedy and Arwen made six dogs, yow)! She was huge and clumsy right from the beginning but such a gentle girl. She loves all things comf and is content just to lay with you on the couch. She is cuddly and gives some big ole sloppy kisses. This 130lb beast definitely takes me for walks. Nicknames include: Big O' and Black Black Beauty (pronounced bawack, bawack bejeuty). She also has a song.

Then comes my sweet Abby Wu

Abby was the sweet girl I brought home against Steve's will. This one caused a little tift. In 2007 one of Karen's friends had to move and couldn't take her sweet little terrier with her so they were looking for a home. (We had moved out of their house by this time and had bought our house). I wanted to go meet the sweet dog. Steve told me if I went to see her I would take her home but said I could go look anyway. Well, I took this to mean you can do see her and take her home! That is just what I did. I fell in love with Abby immediately, she is timid, loving and so cuddly. She loves to be pet and curl up right next to you. She loves Arwen, she will lick Arwen's wounds and they sleep next to each other at night. If you make a farting noise she will run away and hide. My mom has tried to convince me to give her Abby on numerous occasions but she isn't going anywhere. Cian can say Abby now and says her name over and over again. Nicknames include: Abby Wu, Miss Wu and Sweet Sweets (pronounced sje sjeets). Poor little third child Abby doesn't have a song.

Now you know our little family and can take the journey with us. See you soon!

Reading Time!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I love to read and I don't read nearly as much as I would like to. I was such a reading nerd as a kid. It started with a bribe by my parents that they would give me a dollar for every book that I read and spiraled from there. Unfortunately the payment stopped (or I might have a lot more money today) but the love for reading had been instilled. I remember reading on the playground with my friend Ashley in elementary school and finishing an entire book during recess. I also would try to hide books and read them under my desk. I am such a reading nerd that I have gone as far as to dress up as a character for a book release. (I may or may not have dressed up as Tonks for Deathly Hallows). I really want to instill this love for reading in Cian as well. We started reading to him pretty much as soon as we got him home from the hospital. We would lay him down on a blanket and read for a bit while he wiggled and moved. I think we started a bit lofty because we read him things like The Hobbit. Guess we'll wait a few years before we go back to that one. We have made it a point to read to him as often as possible so that he can hear the words and get some undivided attention from us. This was really easy when he was a few moths and had to lay there and listen to us. It became much harder as he became more mobile. At first he would just lay there or sit in my lap and listen as I read the book. I had a great time with this, mimicking the voices or animal sounds and he would just smile and laugh. Well, eventually he learned these great things called crawling and walking and he would wiggle and squiggle to get out of my lap after about a page. In addition to that he wants to turn the pages at his pace. This pace is not a normal reading pace. I get "Brown Bear" out and before I can say "Brown Bear what do you see" he is off to the next page. But, ah-ha, I am the mom and I am smarter than he is (sometimes). I have learned to add motion and sometimes jumping and throwing in addition to the voices and animal sounds to keep his attention. Story time in our house might look like a circus act but it is merely an attempt at a bed time ritual that will harbor a love for the written word. Here he is Cian at about five months old, see as soon as he could sit up I stuck a book in his lap. I was really excited when I found out about the Books from Birth program that they have in TN. You sign your child up and they get a free age appropriate book each month until they are five years old. I know many great organizations and individuals donate money to make this possible and I am so thankful. I am excited every month when the new book arrives and I always try to read it to Cian that night! This month the book is called Roar of a Snore. This one was really fun to read, I got to make up snores for dog, mom, dad, baby, twin sisters, farm animals, and a little kitten who had the roooaaaarrr of a snore as the brother went through his house and family searching for the snore that was keeping him awake. Roar was always loud and boistrous but some snores were small and some were wheezes. (The book helped in describing a lot of the snores, I just had to make them my own).I actually kept Cian's attention for most of the book until he saw his ball across the room. Alas, even with my bells, whistles and snores, I am no match for throwing a ball.

Cian may not end up loving to read, but I will always love our time together laughing and reading.
Who knows, maybe one day I will be able to read him a book I wrote!


Friday, May 14, 2010

I am pretty sure I have a tendency to ignore God. It's not that I want to, it's just that sometimes I get His point and I don't do what I should with it. I know He speaks, maybe not in spoken words, but He has a way. Sometimes things just happen and I go, "Ok, God, I get it. I'm listening." One particular instance of this happened this Thursday. (And yes, what I am about to tell you is a shallow story but a lesson I have spent 12 years learning). I was driving down a pretty curvy back road, and if you have ever ridden with me you know this is a scary thing. I won't get into the two wrecks in one week which resulted in totaling a car story now, but you get the gist. The car in front of me put on his turn signal and of course I was going a little too fast and I had to slam on my brakes to stop. Yes mom, I was three car lengths behind the car and I know, I need to slow my roll. Screecccchhhh, my brakes were slammed, the thank you notes in my front seat went flying into the floorboard and my arm went straight across the passenger seat to "catch" the non-existent person. (Yep, I pulled a stop short, Mr. Costanza would be so proud). The cars turned and it was my turn to start going again so I ignored the stuff that had been thrust at lighting speed into the floorboard. When I started going again I looked over at a church to my right and the marquee said this:
Ok, God. I get it.

Wedding Shower

Monday, May 10, 2010

Over the weekend my aunts, cousin and I threw a shower for my soon to be sister-in-law, Bonnie. (My mom helped as well by making her famous sausage and egg casserole). Bonnie is so awesome and I am so excited that is she marrying my brother Ben. I think she balances him out well and they get along so well! He was a great fiance and even showed up at the shower just in time for a cupcake and some gifts. (Steve would never come within 200 feet of a shower, too must estrogen).

For the shower the four (ok, five) of us worked very well together and split up the tasks like who was bringing and making what. Of course I offered to decorate! Their wedding colors are pink and green with black. These colors are so fun and I had a great time planning the decorations and making them. I made tissue paper poms and flowers (thank you Martha for your directions) and make a little candy bar for them. I named each candy, "don't let your love go sour patch" for the sour patch kids, "loveburst" for the starburst and "twined together" for the twizzlers. I ordered some buttons from Busy Beaver Buttons with bonnie+ben and their wedding date on them and pinned them on little white paper bags for the guests to put their candy in. Bonnie liked them so much that she is going to use them as their wedding favors. I was really excited about this because I have been really in to buttons lately. The poms/flowers were fun to make but were very time consuming! I had to get up at 6 am the day of the shower to finish all the little flowers. (That's me, always a procrastinator).
We had a brunch shower with French toast casserole, cheese grits, sausage and egg casserole, fruit, coffee and punch. I really liked having the shower early because we had the rest of the day to spend time in Chattanooga. (Ok, so I took a nap but that was quality time at my parent's house). Bonnie's mom was there and they are both so cute! Ben is definitely going to have a cool mother-in-law. I was able to meet most of her bridesmaids last weekend at a dinner Miquela, her matron of honor (below with me and Bonnie) hosted. Miquela is so on it as the matron of honor and seems to have helped them with everything. She even came prepared with a notebook to write down all the gifts!

Cian had fun at the shower for awhile but eventually it was nap time and he was so jacked up on cupcakes and twizzlers that he a nap wasn't happening. He wanted to run around in the yard at my aunt's house. She has an amazing garden and I was just sure Cian was going to trample through every flower bed. Thank the Lord he didn't!!

I can't wait for their wedding in June!!

Mother's Day

Sunday, May 9, 2010

With a year and a half and two Mother's Days under my belt, I am finally confident that yes, they were right to let us take this child home. There is nothing that can completely prepare you for being a parent. It is both awesome and exhausting and constantly changing. Two years ago I would never have believed you if you told me that it wouldn't phase me to go to work with snot smeared on my shoulder. Nor would I have believed that you can live off two hours of sleep at a time for months straight. (Thank God those days are past)! I have learned a lot of the last 18 months and I have many many more years of learning. Mother's Day seems like a good time to reflect on the mother and grandmother's that have influenced me and on the things I love about being a mom. I'll start with me:

Being a mom is...

  • The best hugs and sloppiest kisses.
  • laying in bed listening to a crying baby and praying that he will fall back asleep because your husband sure isn't waking up to get him...
  • Hearing that little voice call you mama for the first time.
  • A million new reasons to love your husband.
  • Laughing at all the funny things your kid does and thinking he is the coolest person ever.
  • Being so proud of the daily accomplishments like rolling over and learning how to use a fork.
  • A reason for every stranger you pass to talk to you (and tell you how stinkin cute your kid is).
  • Reminding yourself that everyone doesn't want to hear about your birth story or about how you got peed on.
  • Praying. A lot.
  • Crying at movies like Dumbo. (Don't tell me you didn't tear up when his mom rocked him).
  • Holding a sleeping baby and thanking God for the miracle in your arms.
  • Looking at a screaming toddler and thanking God for the turd throwing himself on the floor while kicking and screaming.
  • Respecting your parents so much more.
  • Realizing the things your kid does that are so payback for your childhood.
  • Knowing that three is truly a magic number.
I have loved seeing my own mother turn into a grandmother, I have such fond memories of growing up with mine and I love it that Cian has two wonderful grandmothers as well. I saw a quote the other day that said, "Grandma's don't just say "that's nice"--they reel back and roll their eyes up and throw their hands and smile. You get your money's worth with grandmas." I thought this was so perfect! Grandmother's truly have time to listen to their grandkids and slow down when mom is too worried about getting everything done.

I would like to show some love to my mom, my Mamaw Leet, who is still alive and my Mamaw Dot who passed away when I was in high school.
Mom is...
  • The person who comes to your four hour swim meet even though you only got to swim for 40 seconds.
  • The one who worries every year that you won't have enough people at your birthday party.
  • so sure you should have made the newspaper staff and still believes in you when you don't.
  • There to bandage you and give you a kiss when you get a boo boo.
  • A gentle voice singing you a lullaby.
  • The person to call when you are at the grocery store and have no idea what to buy.
  • The voice of reason when your ideas get a little out there.
  • The voice of reason when you don't want a voice of reason.
  • Always there.
Mamaw Leet is...
  • A gentle brush running through your hair while you watch Golden Girls.
  • Pushing you on the porch swing while singing "Mr. Sandman"and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot"
  • A nap together in the afternoon (whether you wanted one or not).
  • Telling you about the man in the attic to get you to go to sleep at night.
  • Pancakes waiting for you when you wake up in the morning.
  • Sitting out in the yard under a huge old tree peeling vegetables from the garden.
  • The best chocolate cake in the world
  • Sunday mornings at church.
Mamaw Dot is...
  • Little Debbies and Cokes whenever you want them.
  • Cigarettes in long cigarette holders.
  • Pretending to be surprised when you sneak up the creaky stairs and say "boo"!
  • A bell to ring when you are sick and need something.
  • A new movie or cartoon taped just for you.
  • Golf lessons.
  • White butter crackers.
  • Big birthday celebrations.
  • Oh Flit!
It is so wonderful to have such great memories and stories from my mom and grandmothers, I hope that Cian can look back on his childhood one day and feel the same way.

Happy Mother's Day!

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