Sunday, June 29, 2008
Do you all feel as though you could move in next door, join me with a glass of Simply Orange on my deck each morning, but have nothing more to talk about? Or much more to talk about? Either way, the view is great out there, the morning doves would be sure to serenade us, and we'd be able to chat--or sit in silence--as God flings himself across the sky creating that particular morning's radiant sunrise. Speaking of God and his magnificence, I come to you responding to the last question from your list.
Q: How are you so encouraged and positive about life?
A: If I may, I'll explain it like this.
We cannot see the wind, but we can feel the effects of the wind.
I love that illustration! John 3:8 addresses this simple principle as Jesus attempts to clarify for Nicodemus the necessity of restoration. And while I sit here counting God's many effects on my life, I'm brought to my knees with a heart full of gratitude. Although I've never actually seen God, I feel Him in the husband He's given me, children He's loan me, family He's put me in, friends He's sent me, neighbors He's placed me next to, direction He's ushered me in, and the list goes on. For sure, all these things have not happened by just a crazy twist of fate. And, I know that I am certainly not worthy of these overflowing gifts my gracious God has given me. I was also born a sinner and fall each and every day. And yet, realizing exactly that is the simple reason why I know that I need Him--need to feel Him--more than anything.
Being a child who was raised in a christian family, I was taught of God's unfailing love. As a 4 year old, I said my version of the Salvation speech, with my mom kneeled next to me, while sitting on the potty. I went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, prayed before meals and bedtime, and tried to obey because I knew what was best. And, while 29 years ago tomorrow was the beginning of my life; it wasn't until college that I surrendered my all, admitted my weakness without Him, and was born again, that I actually started to live. That is when I began to live anew, leaving behind my old life that had little purpose and beginning a renewed life of relationship and reliance in Jesus.
Fancied Clipboards, fun summer skirts, and my latest crafted item stand no chance in gaining more excitement than a conversation with my God. And, as I've continued to grow my relationship with God, I've learned how much He adores me. (Have you read this? It's my very favorite chapter in all of the Bible--specifically verses 15&16) He always leaves me in awe of His splendor. By continuing to know God more, my love for Him and this wonderful life He's given me continues to amplify also.
Ok, I'm off to bed. I'm sure I'll be awaken extra early tomorrow morning with a Birthday Breakfast platter laid atop my lap. I bet it has a pile of Coconut pancakes or maybe Strawberry Crepes stacked next to some crispy bacon strips, along with a heapy spoonful of blueberries and raspberries, not to mention a large glass of OPH's pulpy orange juice. Oh yum! And, I'm thinking my husband must have hid all those necessary ingredients away somewhere to really surprise me. ;)
Friday, June 27, 2008
Q: How do you look [the way you look] after having so many little ones?
A: Gosh. Alicia. I don't really know how to answer this fabulously complimentary question. That's probably why I've been putting it off towards the end. *wink* I guess there are possibly two contributing factors to the way I "look."
The first one being straight genetics. Good ol' mom and dad passed the "hungry all the time" gene right along with the "fast metabolism" gene down to this first born daughter. (And their first and second born sons too. My brothers are 6 feet 4 inch rails.)
The second factor also has a lot to do with my parents. About as far back as I can remember, we've been members of the YMCA. I remember going to open swim as a family on Saturday mornings, walking the track with my mom while she worked out, and begging for my 15th birthday to come early so that I was old enough to train in on the machines in the cardio room. ( I can still see the blue and white sign on the door that read, "Children 15 and older allowed.") Throughout high school I was a 3 season athlete and ran cross country in college. If I wasn't working up a sweat at practice, I was working up a sweat at the Y--roughly 6 days a week. Psycho, I know. So, to make a long story a little shorter. We are no longer Y members and my daily workout routine includes carrying two little girls around the house, running up and down our 2 flights of stairs many times a day, and going on walks often.
Q: So...any thoughts on if you really will have SEVEN kids names to spell out on your Christmas cards in the future?
A: If you asked us a year and 7 months ago when we found out we were having twins, we'd say "YES. WE'RE DONE!!" As of now, we haven't played our "Permanently done with expanding our family" card. But, if it were up to Mr. Marvelous and I, we'd probably be done.
Q: What is your discipline modality of choice?
A: Redirect, redirect, and redirect. And, create the broken record effect throughout the day when explaining to your children your specific expectations. And, administer time-outs when needed. However, if there is a situation that includes deliberate disobeying, and when I say deliberate I mean the look-you-in-the-eye-and-do-the-exact-opposite-of-what-you-expect type of deliberate, (now, please close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, and sing "La la la" with me if you strictly use extinction approaches when disciplining your children and wish that we did too) we explain what is going to happen, swiftly spank, kiss, hug, and tell them that we love them and want them to obey. Alrightythen. On to the next.
Q: Have you thought about school for your little ones? Public/private/homeschool?
A: With Mr. Marvelous and myself both having Elementary Ed degrees as well as LOVING our public school experience, we were initially 100% Public School Advocates. Then we had children. It's a little scary to think of what's in our schools now--20 years later. While we're both looking more into our options for homeschooling, we're still undecided.
Q: You seem in a lot of ways to be like me, as far as parenting and the flow of the day: one part spontaneous and laid back and the other part structured and more rigid. My question is, to which way do you lean more?
A: Without really thinking about it, my first response would be to stand with my right hand forward citing:
"My name is Tiffany and I am an Inflexible Prearranged Dogmaticholic."
But after reflecting on my journey as a mother I must explain this.
I have found that my babies--babies as in, we'll say, Newborn through 13-15 month olds--work best with a strict nap/eat/play schedule. After they drop their morning nap somewhere after their first birthday and are able to function happily on one nap a day, we're in the clear. I can probably count on one hand the number of naps all of our children have missed together as "babies." So there explains why I would never load everyone up for an unplanned trip to whoknowswhere if the little girls' naps were going to be compromised. But. If, say, Daddy decided he wanted to take Norah and Hazel on a 5 day camping trip by himself (ha, that would be funny) I could and would drop any or all structure to our day for the right price. Right now, I lean towards the rigid sidelines. In 6 months, I'll be joining the other team.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Q: Did you ever teach elementary school? Do you think you will work when your kids get older?
A: I taught first grade right out of college. The school I was at was smack dab in a low income, inner city neighborhood. When I became pregnant with our first, I finished the year up, delivered Julia the following October, and subbed every Monday after she turned 6 months old until the summer. Then Luke came along, and then--well--the girls came along so I haven't taught since.
I do think I will find something to do outside of being a mom when my children are older. I'm not sure what that is right now, since I don't plan on returning to the teaching field. As much as I love the art of teaching, I've fulfilled my urgency to teach other people's children, and much rather prefer teaching my own--now that I have them.
Q: Has [your hair] always been cut in a cute (thanks!), short 'do, or have you had it longer?
A: I had long/color virgin hair (no bangs and a few inches past my shoulders) until my freshman year in college. That's when I started trimming it shorter, and shorter. And, that's when my friend, Moe, colored it a fabulous shade of bright gold in our dorm bathroom. Wow, we almost needed sunglasses to look at it for the first couple of weeks. Then, during my sophomore year, I had it chopped from a fun stacked bob to a short, funky spike. Since then I've toyed with growing it out and I've gone through some terrible inbetween stages, but now I am really happy with my soon to be inverted bob. And again, thanks for that, Love Mama.
Q: What do you think your children will be when they grow up?
A: Julia-Teacher, President of a company, Very good Mommy, Veterinarian
Luke-Pilot, Motorcyclist, American Idol winner of 2025, Architect
Norah-Massage Therapist, Opera Singer, Chef
Hazel-Comedian, Olympic sprinter, Proper Table Etiquette Instructor
Q: What will you be doing in the upcoming days to celebrate your birthday?
A: It all starts today. Julia's been at her grandmother's house since Saturday to attend VBS with her 4 year old cousin. Tonight we are going to their grand finale event. Tomorrow I leave with some friends from MOPS to our end of the year get-together held at the Lake. It's going to be a great overnight getaway that includes: fake eyelashes, a street dance, relaxing by the pool, and a breakfast buffet down river. As for my actual birthday...I'm not sure. I'll bet Mr. Marvelous has something up his sleeve. Maybe a surprise babysitter and an afternoon spent canoeing into the sunset.
Q: Robeez wannabe...pillowcase dress...[will you teach us how to sew]?
A: Yes, all you sewing machine stimulants!!! I think I'll start putting together a series entitled, "Sew you think you can stitch?" More to come on that.
Just 3 more posts about me and my wild self. I think that'll about wrap up the questions. Phew!! What did I get myself into?
These are pillowcase dresses. This style just might be the easiest style to make--ever. And if it's easy, I'll make it over and over. Just like the Robeez look-alike shoes that my friend Becky taught me to sew. I could sew 43 pair of them in a day. And they are so cute. However, Julia's Apple and Pear dress was not so easy. That might be the only one I ever make. Zippers, piping, pleats--they're time consuming, and since I'm a finished-product-encouraged-sewer, lots of time spent on one item doesn't constitute as fun in my sewing manual. After I think about it, I too, dislike following patterns. But, I do have a couple that I need to follow. However, these patterns are always SIMPLE. If it takes too much time to figure out, I'd probably skip on to something easier.
I started sewing just before Julia was born. My first project was the curtain in her nursery. Then my mom helped me with a crib sized quilt for Luke and a matching crib bumper, and now I'm enjoying clothing and accessories. Once again, I usually am found sewing during 1:30-3:30, while everyone is napping.
Q: How do you relax after spending time with crabby little ones?
A: Part of my strategy while I'm with my children is to keep them on their schedule and b.u.s.y. If they've had the right amount of sleep, their tummies are full, and they are busy (playing at the park, splashing in the sprinkler, riding in the stroller, etc.) they are generally in good spirits. If the 5-7 o'clock stretch ends up being a little hairy, I look forward to having my unwind time after the kids get put to bed. Some things you might find me doing are: blogging, reading*, scrapbooking, sewing, or watching HGTV or playing Ladderball with my husband.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
- Set my alarm for 6:45 or allow myself to sleep until Julia comes down around 7:00
- Get everyone up to the table for breakfast by 7:15
- Go for a walk around 8. (I LOVE early morning walks.)
- Put the little girls down for nap around 9:15
- Clean, play outside with J & L, pack lunch for park
- Load J&L in car, get little girls up at 10:45'ish, load them in car, drive to a park for a picnic and play OR feed children in house, run errands, and go to park to play.
- Home and children down for naps between 1:00. NO LATER THAN 1:30.
- Unwind, relax, chill
- Naps over around 4'ish, snack, play outside or in loft
- Daddy home around 4:30. Play outside again.
- Supper at 5:15'ish
- Baths, play, kids to bed around 7:15'ish.
- Relax, relax, bed around 10:45'ish.
Q: How do you include a link in your blog?
A: Highlight whatever word(s) you want to use as your clickpoint. Click on the "link" icon (the one that looks like a green globe holding a staple). Type in the link's address, and hit "Ok."
Only 5 more days of this. Man! What will I have left to say then?
*Books I'm reading now are:
Raising Sons and Loving it, Raising Children to Adore God, and Dancing Naked in Front of the Frig
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Oh, the sweetness of it all!
Then I was thinking. And, I remember this very clearly. As our oldest, Julia, was nearing her first birthday, I sort of shyed from the idea of allowing her to take part in the shove-birthday-cake-in-your-face-so-everyone-can-snap-pictures-and-chuckle-at-the-scrumptiousness-of-it-all ritual. I had cautiously monitored EVERYTHING she had eaten up to that point, carefully pureeing all her fruits and vegetables, withholding all the highly allergenic foods, and steering clear of non-nutritious items. How was I to let her indulge in such a nourishingly vacant substance? With all that said, she did, take part in the ritual of the 1st birthday cake consumption. And she's still a properly functioning child to this day. Thank goodness for that. So, Norah and Hazel--you're both in the clear! Look what you have to look forward to for next year.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
*Carnival Stations: Bowling, Soccer Kick, Fish for a Prize, Clothespin Drop, Cake Walk, Jellybean Guess, Blow-up Jumper, & Bubble Blowin'
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Here's my scratch sheet for a success during next photo shoot.
- Give the girl a twig to suck on.
- Allow a random park boy to jump up and down behind me after he realized my goal in the matter.
- Click away like a crazed Rodeo Drive photographer, while making goofball noises and praying she'll look my way.
- Scan the park a few times during clicking process to locate older two children.
- Laugh at the fact that her sister, Norah, is sitting next to her with a frozen pagent smile across her motionless face.
- Scoop her up and smother her with kisses after attaining this photo shoot victory.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
There was some very serious competition going on tonight at our town's weekly track and field meet. With little girls as the cheerleaders, Julia and Luke ran the 50 and 100 yard dash--in their gender appropriate age category.
These were the first races they both have participated in--ever. I think. Well, if you don't count Luke's Crawling race at the mall a couple years back. But I wouldn't even call that a real race since the girl that won, got up from her crawling position and ran the last half of the race to first place. Oh come on, now. But, there were no hard feelings or anything. And, if you'll notice how Julia's left arm is in the pumping position. She picked that up when she transitioned from a new walker to a runner. It's never two arms, just one. We don't know what the one arm pump really means but she must think it makes her lightning fast.
Here, the long jump. I can't even begin to explain how much fun this little guy had just in running down his delivery platform. The dad behind me must have found it as humorous as I, because his laugh at our little guy was as big as my smile was.
And, by the looks of these photos, I'm thinking we should contact the Winter Olympics' Long Jump coordinator--and quick.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I assumed I wasn't Ms. "Green Geriatrics'" only target. I figured she had a full posse that was spread out amongst all of us. And, I can tell the kind of women we all are, for dealing with the obnoxious, outspoken comments that we've all heard in a calm and respectful manner.
I too agree with Lori. I always want my children to feel wanted. I want them to know how proud I am to be their mama. Because, ohh--I am! I try to show this many times daily.
And on top of that, I'm serious about how I expect them to act, and commend them when they've accomplished even the smallest of tasks. And because I know how wide open childrens' eyes are all the time, we talk about things that we see--alot. Therefore, after we've been with other children and, heaven forbid, other adults, we talk about the good and not so good choices my children had to witness. It's important for them to know that the called for and uncalled for behavior did not go unnoticed by me. And even though I didn't crawl over the cutting table, and wrap my hands around the neck that voiced those unnecessary words, I did remind Julia and Luke what a "fabulous job" they did in the store, and how we would be returning because of the wonderful choices they made. Next time I'll just come with a grande cup of Starbucks' House Blend streamin' through my veins, ready for the pounce. Kidding.
Alright. Setting aside the sour stuff, let's move on to some sweet stuff. Here's a little sliver of my latest eye candy.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
But now, after being rejuvinated, I'll tell you about one dancing situation that happened on Tuesday. After the little girls' morning nap, we loaded up and headed to Joann's for some fusible interfacing. I needed to finish the girls' birthday shoes during p.m. naps, and I needed said item for an accomplishment. Therefore, load. Give the high expectation speech on our way. Unload. Enter store. We quickly got what we needed, and a few extras, and were
Mission NOT accomplished!
Remind me when I'm old and gray and hanging out where old people hang out NOT to talk. Just zip the lip and keep all my outspoken, old ladyish comments to myself. Please, do that for me. 'Cuz here's a huge shout out to the older lady in green who gives us the same shpeel every time we're in there. Her name? I'm not the slightest bit sure of. Probably because my eyes haven't reached her name tag yet--in the 4 times we've had an encounter with her--they're too stuck on her mouth and the words that come out of it.
"Four kids, huh?" (And I really, really dislike children being referred to as "kids." Kids are baby goats, thankyouverymuch.) "Yea, I had 4 kids in 6 years. But I never wanted twins."
What I wanted to say back was, "Yes, I guess I do remember you mentioning that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd times we were in here while you were working and you stopped us to "chat." And what you really want me to do with that comment, I don't know, but if my children weren't with me--standing so quietly and acting so polite--I'd climb over this table and shove my fusible interfacing in.your.face, little missy."
But. I'm not that girl. Nor am I that mama. But my husband likes to tell me of what a big talker I am. And I am. Sometimes. A big talker. I get a little riled up in some situations, but generally keep my cool on the exterior. That is, until I get home and retell the story to the big man of the house.
I guess I don't even really remember what I replied with..probably something like, "Oh, really," or, "Ohh." It doesn't really matter though.
But, YOU NEVER WANTED TWINS!!?? Oh sweet deary, I'd be fine with I never had twins, or I don't know any twins, or even I can't imagine how busy it is with twins. Then I look at the above picture of the girls and I could cry I love them so much. But if you wanted to cut into our awake time (which included a trip to the library and to sit down at Chipotle to calm my craving again) with a conversation starter, try what 97% of the rest of the people say when they stop us to chat. And they don't throw the "never wanted twins" card.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
From the mouth of this little piggie, came the following conversation in the kitchen this morning after I returned from getting the little girls out of their crib.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
*Burrito of Choice:
Rice, Black beans, corn salsa, tomato salsa, a splash of cheese and lettuce, and guac on the side
Pair this with homemade chips and a tall water on the rocks for a fabulous Sunday lunch. It's especially fabulous when enjoyed under an umbrella, out on the deck, after the children are down for their naps.