Friday, August 29, 2014

Refining my mother heart

There have been many days where I have felt very stretched lately. More than usual. I have many moments where I feel at a crossroad; I can choose to react with anger and frustration or with patience and love. I wish I could say I always am patient and loving. 

Millie loves to have chocolate milk with her breakfast in the morning. A few weeks ago I made her a cup and put it on the table with a straw. Within a few minutes I heard it splash everywhere, and was instantly mad. It was 7am and it was already "one of those days" for me - the night before had been rough with Max, and I was near tears sending Tyler off to work, just feeling unable to do it on my own for some reason. Millie had just added fuel to my fire and I felt ready to blow. I turned to look at her, already growling. Or something. Some angry noise. I'll never forget the look on her face as she looked up at me. She was shocked, cold, wet, and waiting for (probably scared of) my reaction. I knew that how I treated her in this situation would set the tone for the rest of the day. I tried to remember that she is 2 years old, meaning that spills are just part of the deal. And she probably didn't do it on purpose. So I asked her if she was okay, wiped her off, and got her a new glass of chocolate milk. In a sippy cup, this time - I'm no dummy. She was so relieved that I wasn't angry, and the rest of our day was good once I mopped the floor and shook off my bad attitude.

Contrast that with the other day... it had been a really busy day. The kind where you're only at home long enough to grab more diapers or snacks or something before running off to the next thing - the house was a disaster, the kids were off their normal schedule, Max was refusing to nurse all day, and I had a sore throat and could feel a cold coming on. We had been shopping for curtain/ottoman fabric (yay!) with my mom earlier that day and Millie got Monka to buy her some bubbles that were in the clearance section of JoAnn's. I told her over and over (and over) that they were only to be opened and played with outside. In fact, I never even broke the seal because I knew it'd be too much of a temptation for her. But I sat down to (attempt to) feed Max and saw the little bottle of bubbles on the floor, seal open somehow, and now empty, its contents on our rug. I lost it! I yelled and told her how frustrated I was that she had opened it when I told her it was only to be opened outside. I yelled to the point where she walked over to pick it up with her hands over her face, avoiding eye contact. I mean, really. Even though she had disobeyed, it didn't warrant that severe of a reaction. The rug was fine (truth be told, that soapy water probably did more good than harm)! Luckily, children forgive easily.

When I think about these (and many many many) other times where I can practice kindness and love, a quote pops into my head. I looked and tried to find it - I thought it was from Elder Holland, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Anyway, something to this effect: our homes and our families are our own personal laboratories to test and practice Christlike traits! It's the perfect setting, because there are the most opportunities to make that choice at home, and obviously we have family at home. Family that we want to be with eternally. When I remember that, the choice is clear to me: I want to do and be better.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little things

Tyler has been out of town this week. He left Sunday night and we're going to join him in Dallas tomorrow! We've missed him lots. I started the week with a year-long list of things to do, but with Max's cold and my almost-cold (along with my realization that an absent husband does not equal more time in the day) it was revised constantly. The week went by pretty quickly and I really enjoyed my time with these littles!

Millie has been so sweet to Max and he adores her!

We borrowed "Sleeping Beauty" from Gigi and watched it a lot of times.

A friend from our ward gave us a bunch of clothes for Max and a bunch of dressups for Millie! She's going to be so excited!!

Um... yeah. We were definitely shopping for a road trip. Junk food for the win!

I love that furrowed brow.

Millie looks about 2 years older in this picture! 

This may not look safe. And it's not. But the tires on my stroller are so flat that it's really hard to move anyway, so it's not as if we were going fast! Oh, the things I let her do when I want her to behave. She was laughing so hard and I was too.

Millie's first time trying something on in a dressing room. She just liked making faces in the mirror.

We are in full-fledged foot phase.

He got himself into this pickle. Funny boy.

Also, just a side note, that shopping trip above was the most successful one I think I've ever had! I was looking for some outfits for our family pictures in a few weeks, and I found exactly what I needed. At great prices too! I'm a little more excited about it than is necessary, but it was a really silly process last time so I was dreading it this time. 

We're so excited to join Tyler in Dallas tomorrow and to see the Terrys!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The movers

My family found an apartment to rent for the next year, so we helped them move on Friday. (Read: Tyler helped them, the kids and I distracted them and got in the way.) 

Millie doesn't like this light because it casts a "scary shadow."

This girl and her fears. When the pizza delivery man came, she was scared and kept asking where he was after he'd left. 

We're glad they rented an apartment instead of bought a house. This gives me one more year to convince them to buy a house near us instead of on another side of town! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My sweet boy

I'm convinced Mr. Max is just the sweetest baby there is. I hope he never grows out of the snuggles he gives us!

He is entering that phase of being really attached to me and aware of my absence. Leaving him is hard for all involved!

Poor Max had his first cold this weekend. It started on Thursday and he seemed back to himself on Tuesday. It was so sad to see him so congested - he wouldn't suck on his binky nearly as much because breathing through his nose wasn't working. Sleeping was rough and he preferred sleeping in my arms. That means I didn't really sleep and am trying to fight off his cold now. Silver lining: lots of snuggles for me!

Aside from being sick he is great. He loves to be on his hands and knees and rock forward and back, I feel like he is really close to crawling. He's figured out how to move his legs but hasn't coordinated the arm movements with it so he just face plants a lot. Max can sit up on his own if I'm behind him - he still flies backward sometimes. His best-fitting clothes are his 18 monthers, but I still squeeze him into his 12 month stuff if I haven't done laundry in a while! Our last few times at the pool have been his best - he's starting to really get into it and splash. It's so cute. He is 5 months old (tomorrow) and I can just feel his babyness slipping away - someone stop it!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dog days of summer

Oh man. We are ready for some cooler weather. But I'm trying not to complain because I know that in January I'll be ready to swim again! So we're trying to enjoy all the summery stuff while we still can. We have a few more things to check off our summer bucket list too, so I guess we're not quite ready for it to end!

But when it just gets to be too much (ie Millie is sick of swimming or Max's heat rash gets too bad on his neck rolls) here's how we beat the heat:

We've been going to story time at the library on Tuesday mornings. Millie was nervous about it at first but now she likes it and will participate. She also loves checking out books and has been quite the bookworm lately. I love it!

This picture doesn't really have anything to do with this post, but we were inside and he's just cute.

We also practice being on our hands and knees! He's just growing up too quickly for me.

Millie of course sings "Let It Go" for us and Max loves it!

We find Max in the oddest of places,

And he spends a considerable amount of time eating my face.

We're going to miss these summer days!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our weekend, pictured and not


Millie loves to go in and be the first to see Max when he wakes up. They're starting to interact a lot more and it's pretty darn adorable! No one can make Max smile like Millie can. I can't wait to watch them grow and be best friends.

I got a little desperate for a treat, and this is what I ended up with. It was delicious! Why have I never done that before? Also, why do I feel the need to take pictures of all my food lately??

Not pictured on Friday: Tyler and Millie exercising together, swimming at the neighborhood pool and being the only ones there, Tyler and I watching "Noah" and not liking it.


Our yard has never looked so good! I mowed, Tyler edged and weed-eated (ate? Weed-ate? Ha I don't know), and then he took his awesomeness one step further and trimmed (hacked) our bushes. It was looong overdue. In fact, our next door neighbor was outside and said, "I haven't seen those windows in years!" So I guess the previous owners let it get bad too. There's so much more light coming in the front room now and I love it.

Nana's birthday party at Spring Creek BBQ was fun, even if her birthday was a month ago! Botz is sure good at planning surprises. She had no idea. Even when we showed up at the same time as they did, Nana thought it all a fun coincidence and asked if we could sit together! But then she saw the rest of the party crew and got it.

Millie loved getting a few balloons after the party. It did lead to a few tearful episodes though. We told her it'd be fun to let one go once we were outside. She did, and then started crying, "Get it!" as if she'd expected it to come back. Poor thing. Max somehow deflated one on his own in the car (without popping it!) so Millie's very protective of the remaining 2.

Not pictured on Saturday: Swimming at Gigi and Poppy's house after Nana's party, going to Sam's Club, Millie and I sharing an Icee but she drank most of it, and Tyler and I watching "Non-Stop." Free redbox codes are just the best.


This cute boy came to YW with me in the third hour and all the girls were dying. I had to pry him out of one girl's arms so he wouldn't be a distraction during the lesson!

Millie is convinced that Max loves her princesses just as much as she does. She always makes him kiss them. 

Not pictured on Sunday: home teachers visit, dinner with the missionaries, and a youth fireside for me. Well, for an hour. Poor Tyler and Millie dealt with a screaming baby as long as they could.

We were sad to see this weekend end!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Little things

He tends to hold on with every body part he can.

So happy in the exersaucer that Sharon let us borrow. He loves it!

Millie has started talking to her turtle. She took it outside one afternoon so the turtle could sit on her lap and they could have a picnic. Where does she come up with this stuff??

I finally painted the washboard I bought for $6 at an antique shop in Lufkin a looong time ago. It now holds our keys! Someday I'll have our house all the way decorated.

I'm going to be sad when summer's over and I can see this boy in his swim suit anymore!

Pineapples were only 88 cents each the other day, so I bought 3. I ate one and froze the other two to use for smoothies. Also, I have a weird talent for picking good ones.

We went on a walk one evening to look at the landscaping around the neighborhood (we're considering having ours re-done) and it ended with no one in the stroller! Funny kids.

Millie was playing with her princesses (what else?) and I asked her if Cinderella was going to the ball with her pretty dress on. She said, "No Mom, she's just pretend. She's not going anywhere." I'm glad she has a good grip on reality!