Friday, August 23, 2013


tonight is the last night we will sleep in this house.  We are tying up loose ends around here.  Throwing random things into one last box.  Cleaning out the fridge.  Stopping by an office to get the water switched to our name.  And Ada keeps saying, "I'm excited, and I'm sad and feel a little weird."  Me too, Ada, me too.

I have blogged about it until there is nothing left to say, but this house has been so very good to us.  My eyes fill with tears as I think about all of the emotions we were feeling on the day we moved in here.  We were a little shell shocked, not sure what life was going to throw at us next.  Instead, we were walking into a refuge, and we didn't even know it. 

I also get tears because I think about sitting on the couch with Scott when we decided we wanted another baby, even if it meant squeezing us all into these two tiny bedrooms.  We had talked about and talked about it, and all of a sudden our hearts were in the same place.  And look what God has done.  He has provided much needed, much longed for space.  But it is a bittersweet good-bye.

It's funny, because there was a time when the house we are moving into would have seemed so small.  Perspective is a funny thing. 

We have loved this house.  And, this house has loved on us.  It will be a brief memory in the whole scheme of life, but it is one we will remember fondly.

* John was so little when we moved here--not even two yet.  Life keeps moving forward, doesn't it?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Home Stretch

Saturday is moving day!!  A week away.  We went to the "new" house today to measure all the rooms and plan a bit. 

In fact, I think we have decided to give Ada and John the big family/master bedroom, so that they will have plenty of room for both sleeping and playing, and Scott and I will be at the other end of the house, in the smaller, but still much bigger than what we have now, room.  The smaller room actually has a much better closet, which we need, and Ada and John will have much more floor space, which they need.  In fact, the big bedroom has the potential to easily hold all three kids, so we feel good about making that the main "kid space," bedroom and playroom all in one, with a door that can close on the mess if needed (though Ada has really been working on cleaning her room this summer, and it's coming along.  I can confidently say, "Ada, go clean your room," and she does a good job).  And the room switch puts Scott and me next door to Evie, which will be so much better for late night feedings.  I do better when the baby is not in the room with me, but close enough that I hear the baby if I really need to wake up.  My experience with the last two is that if the baby is right beside me, I get no sleep, but put a wall between us, and there is hope for sleeping in between feedings.  Anyway, I am feeling excited about the new set up.  It makes so much more sense. 

And here is where we are in the packing process.

And there is still so much to do.  But, lots of progress has been made.  Can I just say that as I piled yet another box on top of boxes already packed with fine china and stemware and cloth napkins and such, all I can think is that the young engaged me must have pictured a different lifestyle than I am currently living ;)  No, really, I do believe that one day we will be past the sippy cup, plastic child plate, don't break anything stage, and we can have nice dinners with my "fancy" dishes.  In the mean time, I like the way they look in my china cabinet ;) 

On another note, we started this day by driving to Decatur to pick up a white jenny lind crib that I found on craigslist.  Once I realized that I was having a girl and that Evie would in fact have her own space, I got the urge to create a nursery for her, and my tastes have changed so much since I was pregnant with Ada.  Or, it's more that I had no idea what I liked with Ada.  I was just winging it.  Since then I have learned a bit about the "feel" I want my home to have.  So, my heart was set on a white jenny lind crib, but I couldn't justify buying one full price, when I already own a perfectly good crib.  Craigslist to the rescue, right?!  And I have amazon credit to use towards the white and gray bedding that I want to purchase for the crib.  Her room will also be the guest room, that we are thrilled to have, so I have plans to coordinate all of that in soft whites and muted colors.  Calm is the word I am going for.  Budget and work with what I have is the theme ;)

In the mean time, Classical Conversations starts on Tuesday, which means I start my new tutoring job.  To say that I am nervous is an understatement, but I also know that once I get through the first day and have a better understanding of how the class will go, then everything will be fine.  Still, yikes. 

In other word, life is crazy, crazy, crazy, but it's only a week of crazy left, and then everything will settle waaaay down.  Because of that, we are not officially starting first grade until the Wednesday after Labor Day.  Thanks to homeschooling, we set our own schedule, and that gives me a week to get the new house settled enough and the school room set up (giddy over having a school room separate from the dining room table!!!). 

So, there is an update.  We are tired, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Epicly Bad Parenting Day

I am not going to include all the details of my day because it would probably be interesting to only a handful of people, and since Scott and my mom already know the details, that eliminates most people it would be interesting to.  But let's just say, if I was feeling good about how I was doing as a mom, today put me in my place.

John is hard lately.  So much disobedience.  So. much.  And he runs from me, and he is openly defiant, and I have to have talks with myself multiple times a day about how I have to fight these battles; I can't give in because it's easier.  But today topped them all.

Let's just say it was full from top to bottom of spankings, time outs, pinches, tears from both of us, him running around the house away from me while I waited for a good time to catch him and spank him, him running from me down a sidewalk, him running from me in Staples, him taking multiple things from Ada just to be difficult, and I could go on and on and on and on...

at one point I called my mom in tears because I was at my absolute wit's end, and, clearly, I was doing it all wrong.

Well, the talk helped me to gain some perspective, but the day didn't really get any better.  I am trusting that there is some sort of long term affect happening, and if I keep spanking and time outing and lovingly disciplining, that there will eventually be progress?!  Maybe?!! 

All of this to say that by 6:00 pm, I was over it.  I wanted to put in my two weeks notice and quit motherhood all together.  At about that time, I got an email from Scott that not only was he not on his way home yet, he was walking into his boss's office, so who knows when he would be home.  While I was reading that bad news, John (who was sitting on the potty), yelled in distress, "my flashlight!!"  Okay, I apologize for the crudeness, but I went into the bathroom to find that John had dropped a little flashlight that he plays with into a toilet full of, well, poop.  As we both stared into the toilet, tears began to stream down my face.  I wasn't fully rational at this point, and obviously in the big scheme of things, this wasn't a tragedy, but all I could think was, "why did you let this happen to me, God?!!!"  But, I bent my largely pregnant, very sensitive gag reflex self, down onto the bathroom floor, I had Ada get me a wooden spoon (which John immediately thought was for punishing him, based on the way of the rest of the day had gone), and I fished that flashlight out.  At that point, I threw away both the flashlight and the wooden spoon.  In the mean time, John has burst into tears because I am throwing away the flashlight.

It was so bad. 

But, God is gracious.  And at the end of this very, very, very bad day, John sat at the dinner table and ate all of his chicken and four very large bites of rice.  I really wanted to get up and dance in relief.  I won't say for the five millionth time that John doesn't ever eat.  But just trust me when I say he doesn't eat.  In the mean time, he stays so short while everyone around him keeps outgrowing him, and I can't help but worry about it.  This is just one thing on the long list of things that have been hard with John lately.  So, for John to willingly sit at the table, and then cheerfully announce, "I like chicken!!"  (which was news to me) and proceed to eat every bite of his chicken, well it was nothing short of a miracle.  And as for dessert he had milk mixed with carnation breakfast essentials, his favorite thing in the world.  It is his diet coke, bless him.  Who knows if he will ever eat chicken again, or rice for that matter, but tonight, he did.  And top that off with a full glass of milk mixed with the instant breakfast, and I end the day knowing he had a decent amount of calories. 

He also ended the night with more disobedience and more tears.  I finally climbed into bed with him, hugging him, trying to have a small moment of redemption, and he said, "I'm tired, mommy," in other words, "leave me alone..."

Tonight I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day.  Always a new day.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Marathon Long Birthday Day in Atlanta

So, this year, I knew, no question, that I didn't have it in me to have a birthday party at my house.  What with the move and the pregnancy and everything else, so a few months ago I began to look into options of other party places.  I thought I had found the perfect place on our town's square--reasonably priced, just the kind of thing that Ada loves (the kids make jewelry and stuff like that), I just show up with a cake, perfect--well, about a month or so ago, that place closed.  Yikes.  So, we decided on chik-fil-a, but it turns out chik-fil-a doesn't do parties on the weekends, and a weekday just wasn't going to work.  At that point, I was sort of out of ideas.  It was around that time that I found out that residents of Georgia get into the aquarium for free on their birthday!!  Considering two members of our family share a birthday, this was a good deal  for us.  So, I began to talk to Ada about a family day rather than a friend party.  She was hesitant at first, but when I threw in the Children's Museum, she was on board.  So after a Sunday night of tacos (her request), cake, and presents, we loaded up the van on Monday and headed into Atlanta, something we really should do more often.

We packed our day full, but it was so. much. fun.  It really was.  It was so good to spend an entire day simply having fun together.  Scott has been working a lot lately, and I haven't been myself--so tired and hormonal--and life has been a little bit chaotic, so it was such a gift to pause in the midst of this crazy summer and just spend a day having fun.  It reminded me of the feeling I had last summer when we went to the beach. 

We parked at the aquarium, with plans to end there, and then we walked to the Children's Museum.  We have been to the museum twice before, and both times it was so crowded that we could hardly even enjoy it.  So, we went with fingers crossed that on a Monday morning at the end of summer, the crowds would be smaller.  It was great.  Such a smaller crowd, and Ada and John were able to fully enjoy the museum, and I didn't feel the stress of losing my kids in a crowd.  Their two vastly different personalities were glaring in that setting.  Ada was flitting from activity to activity, hardly able to enjoy what she was doing because she was already thinking about the next thing to try.  John on the other hand started at one station--the balls, for those of you familiar with the place--and there he stayed, absolutely obsessed.  Scott stayed with him, and I would check in from time to time, worried that John would miss the entire museum because he was so focused on the balls.  He did finally try other things, but again, whatever thing he was doing, he was very focused, and it never really crossed his mind to move on to anything else unless prompted. 

Finally, when Ada had done everything there was to do, some things more than once, we decided to head to the aquarium to get tickets before going to lunch.  It was an easy walk from Imagine It to the Aquarium, but for my largely pregnant self, I confess that I was a bit out of breath, but thankful for the exercise.  However, once we had the tickets and began our walk to lunch, things took a turn for the worse.  Scott had his heart set on Ted's Montana Grill for lunch.  And since it was his birthday, and everything else was focused mostly on Ada, I wanted to go to his choice, but we weren't exactly sure where it was, other than on the other side of Centennial Olympic Park.  So, off we went, in hopes that it wouldn't be too far.  Well, the humidity was high, the walk was mostly uphill, and I was in desperate need of some water.  I could not have felt more out of shape or more pregnant than I did during that walk across the park.  At one point, I thought, I can't do it.  I can not go forward or backward; I am stuck right here in this spot.  But, alas, we did make it, and after guzzling two glasses of water, I felt much better, and the walk back to the aquarium was not nearly as bad ;) 

I should also add that had I been dressed in "running clothes" and "running shoes," it all would have felt easier, but on we went with the day.

The aquarium, I think, was an even bigger hit than the children's museum.  I really think John and Ada loved it (especially John).  We had one minor setback when we tried to watch the dolphin show, and John went into a state of terror at the sight of the room before the show even started.  We couldn't quite decipher from his three year old explanation what he was scared of, but we had John in tears because he was scared, and Ada in tears because she didn't want to leave the show.  Finally, though, John's terror (it was more than a normal level of fear) won, and we headed out to look at the rest of the aquarium.  They loved it; we loved it.  It was so much fun.  We never do stuff like that. ever.  And they are both at a good age for that type of thing.  They were tired, but not so young that they couldn't handle the long day.  Because we are moving into more baby years, which will naturally keep us closer to home, I was thankful for the day.  By the time we left at 6 pm (having started the day at the children's museum at 11 am), we were absolutely exhausted.  Every inch of my body hurt, and I have never been so glad to get to our car.  John was asleep before we even got out of the parking deck, I think.  But it was such a satisfying tired.  A very full, very fun day, with so many good memories made. 

Now for some pictures.  All we had was our phones, and both of our batteries were dying by the time we got to the aquarium, so there aren't many pictures from the second half of the day. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

And now I am blogging at 3:10 in the afternoon, sitting outside on my back steps, while my kids run around in the yard away from the television.  Can I just say that it takes a lot of forcing coaxing to get John outside.  He literally says, "I want tv," in a whiny voice.  If Ada was my only child, I am afraid that I would be quite arrogant about how much she loves outside, hates tv, eats great, etc. etc. etc.  Except that I have done the exact same things with John (I think) and gotten completely different results, so that quickly puts me in my place.  Turns out it has nothing to do with my parenting and everything to do with personality. 

And the joke is really on me, because I read once that breast fed babies are such good eaters because they get used to different flavors.  Think again; John breast fed for 15 months vs. Ada's 5 months, and, well, you know the rest of the story.


I just found out today that we are moving in three weeks, instead of four.  Yay.  Yikes.  Can we do it?  On the one hand, I am so ready to just get it done.  I hate in between phases like this.  Like, can I snap my fingers and just be there?  My pregnant self is very, very, very, ready to have the freedom to send the kids out the back door to play with no worries about if they are okay.  For all of our sakes, they need to be outside more (which is why I am sitting here right now), so I am living for that.  But, we will be sad to say good-bye to our little house.  We have made good memories here.  It has been home.  I hope it goes to a good renter who will take care of it and love it with all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies. 

And packing.  Oh my word I hate it.  And I am trying to resist my tendency to freeze in these situations and, instead, just jump in and get it done.  So far I am mostly frozen.  Where do I start?  What do I do?  In the mean time, I am also planning for this new tutoring job, and Ada is supposed to start first grade and I am the teacher, and I am staring third trimester in the face.  It's not good when I am looking forward to Evie's birth because life will calm down then--ha!! 

But these are all good things that are happening.  I have lived many a year when the stresses in life didn't feel good at all.  All of these stresses--a bigger house, a new tutoring job, a new baby added to our family, for crying out loud--these are wonderful gifts, but I am feeling tired.  And I am so hormonal.  Lately, without warning, I just start crying.  It's the most stereotypical pregnant thing I do right now.  I cry and don't even know why I am crying.  I am horrified that it's going to happen in a very public situation.  Hopefully not.  Maybe if it does, everyone will realize it's the pregnancy, and that I really am normal. 

This post apparently has no point.  But, I need for this blog to be my journal again.  I have said it again and again, but I want to record our family's history, and this summer at this moment, this is our history.  It feels so big right now, all that is going on, but it will be a blink in the whole scheme of our life.  We will say, "Remember that summer when I was so pregnant and we were so happy to be moving into that new rental house?"  It's another line in this marriage, this family, this record that will play of Ada and John's childhood.  Except that they won't even remember.  So, I write it down.  And then they will remember through me. 

The summer before there were three.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Early Birthday Gift and a New Job

Look at me blogging at 9 am on a Thursday morning!  Thank you, husband, for surprising me with a new lap top.  A much needed new lap top. 

I am old enough that back when I was in Auburn it was not an absolute necessity to have a computer.  I mean, my family didn't even own a computer until my junior year of high school.  Crazy how fast technology moves!!  I made do at Auburn with computer labs and friend's computers.  I spent many hours in the Foy and Haley Center computer labs; memories.  And I luckily lived with 13 other girls, so it wasn't hard to find a computer to use late at night for those occasional up all night paper writing sessions.  (Glad those days are over! Soon it will be up all night Evie sessions). 

Well, then I got married, and I "inherited" Scott's desk top from college.  Plus, I received a lap top as a teacher in the Cobb County schools, but neither of those computers was mine.  Besides, a year into that, the teaching "gig" was over and I was back at home with just the desk top.  That desk top long ago stopped working, and I have sadly made do with my phone and Scott's work computer at night.  But no more.  No more, I tell you.  I now can proudly say that I have my very own computer.  Yes, I'm behind the rest of the world, but I don't care.  I have arrived ;) 

I recently found out/ agreed to a new tutoring position with our homeschool group, Classical Conversations.  It was a bit out of the blue.  The timing is obviously not ideal, since Evie is coming in November, but it is a tutoring position that I have been wanting, so when it was available, I jumped on it.  Someone will be subbing for me all of second semester, and it's only one day a week, so not a huge deal.  Except it feels like a huge deal as I prepare to start the school year ;)  All of that to say, we reached a point where it no longer made sense for me to not have a computer.  Besides, what family in 2013 with school age children can really get by without a computer?  Homeschooled, private schooled, public schooled, whatever the educational choice, computers are just a necessity these days.  So, Scott surprised me with a new computer last night.  My birthday is August 12th, so it's really my birthday gift. 

This will also make it much easier to blog, since I am usually falling asleep on the couch by 7 pm each night now that third trimester is closing in (still three weeks away, but still).  I am much better in the mornings.  It will also be much easier to neglect all the other things that I need to be doing, so I am going to have to set some restrictions for myself. 

I have more to say about the new tutoring job (an intensive grammar and writing program that I am so excited--and currently very overwhelmed--about), but I will save that for tomorrow morning, perhaps.