November 13, 2013

God is in the Grace and the Mistakes

The Lord gives me so much grace!  ...more than I ever deserve!  EVER.EVER.EVER!




Yesterday morning I remembered that I needed to pick up a gift for a teacher at my son's preschool to take to their November meeting.  I opened my email to find the date I committed to only to learn that it was November 6th and this date was November 12th.  If you know me well then you know my feeling guilty skyrocketed immediately and the tears were being forced to stay back.

As I tried to round Jacob up to head to the school for drop off he tested me on every level.  I begged him to just give me a break this once (knowing I couldn't take much more before cracking).  With the tv remote in his hand, shoes off, and tears in his eyes I carried him to the car and strapped him in.  Ah, both kids strapped in place now I can breath for a minute before I venture out.  (You know that moment!)  I jump in and send a quick note to the parent committee leader confessing my lack or responsibility, apologizing, and assuring her I would have a gift this afternoon to the teacher and tell her of my mistake all the while wanting to add that my husband had been traveling like crazy for work, that my son is at the peak of his terrible threes (hopefully), that my daughter didn't sleep last night, and my coffee cup was still half full on my bathroom sink!  To my better judgement I left out all excuses and merely left it at that.

All the way to school I wondered if I would have to carry two babies to the door to get Jake in today or if he would fly in like a superhero.  I am never sure which personality I will get.  Once he was settled in Emma and I ran straight out to get a gift.  At a red light I pulled out my phone to see if the committee leader had responded.  She had with none other than grace and kindness.  Oh how that kindness took a load off my shoulders.

I took the gift to the teacher this morning and near tears apologized for having missed the date only to learn that she had not made the meeting due to another obligation.  (Now, if you have a once a month meeting, tell me, wouldn't you try your hardest to make it to the one celebrating you?  You know you would!)  This means that she wasn't there, didn't miss the gift, and the other teachers didn't look at each other like "who was supposed to bring the present?"  I blurted out, "Oh my goodness God is so amazing how He works."  I think she knew I was guilt ridden in that moment.  I smiled and left.

The grace of God is on me!  I get to my car and the tears well up as I think about how difficult it has been to show Jacob grace over the last several days.  How the first difficult action he throws at me in the day is still lingering with me at the end.  Yet, God had given me grace for my lack of responsibility before I even knew it!

I went home and picked up my Bible.  I looked in the back for the word grace.  I wanted to find something to hold onto while I continue these days in the midst of terrible threes.  Here is what happened...

At the back of my Bible beside "grace" are four page numbers listed.  I randomly chose one...page 706.  My Bible has little helpful side stories in them with suggested verses to read after the story.  On page 706 there was one about a grandma.  I thought that was weird so I chose a suggested verse under that story instead of reading it.  I chose Psalm 127:3.  Psalm 127:3 reads this...

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
Children a reward from him."

I went back to look at grace again and noticed that the page 706 that I went to wasn't under grace.  It was under the next word, "grandparents".  No wonder it took me to a story about grandparents.  Isn't it funny how that MISTAKE led me to an answer that I needed?  Without my birthday present mistake I wouldn't have received that grace from the committee leader, without that grace I wouldn't have opened my Bible today, without the mistake of looking under grandparents I wouldn't have read this psalm and without that psalm I may have just continued my day easily button pushed by that little reward of mine called Jacob!


October 17, 2013

Jacob O'Neal Humphrey...My More Than a Handful

JACOB O'NEAL HUMPHREY... I had no idea that I'd be using Jake's full name in demand of attention at such a young age.  I mean, I thought that was reserved for the teenage years!  It's a regular around here.

Picture it...a beautiful fall day in South Carolina, I'm excited to scoop Jake up from school, hear about his day, and take him to a playdate.  I have Emma Claire on my hip and rush to his classroom door at noon.

"He had a great day" the teacher announces.  Just that morning she told me "he is always so sweet, I mean always".  We head out of the school and the children are running around the large tree in front of the school as they often do.  Jake wants to join them and a few minutes won't make us too late.

When it is time to round him up he refuses.  I grab him and tell him 5 more minutes.  I know he is not happy at the hand of five fingers I flashed at him and I realize this probably isn't going to go well.  I usually rack my brain quickly, shuffle through the tricks I have and pull the best for the situation, BUT I have none today.  None???  I haven't been in this situation before, one child on my hip and one who is gaining length and strength all too quickly.  I go for it!

"It's time to go Jake.  We are going to Chic-Fil-A to meet up with your buddy!"  He refuses.  He not only refuses, he throws himself in the grass like a first time tantrum.  I can handle this...ignore...  He runs off.  I finally catch him and scoop him up onto my other hip and head to the car.  (Yah, it's called mama adrenaline.)  One step, two, three, four, PLOP out of my arms by his will and onto the parking lot ground.  I am boiling mad.  "Get out of the road," I demand.  Nothing.  Again and again I demand and nothing so, I scoop him up by his arm and set him on the sidewalk where he is safe.  He lies there.  I look at him and I look up at the 20 + moms and who knows how many children still enjoying their afternoon right in front of us.  I am now boiling mad and boiling embarrassed.  I knelt there with Emma for what felt like ten hours. :)

Finally, a kind mother asked how she could help.  Thank you Lord - You almost gave me more than I could handle!

As I packed the kids into the car and had a chat with Jacob I could hear a few moms on the side saying how they remembered those days and how they had been there oh too many times.  How kind I thought.  How nonjudgemental.  How I wanted to cry at that moment for their sinciere understanding.  I mean, judge me; no problem.  I was doing the best I could after all, but to hear the total opposite was warming.

I guess God almost gave me more than I could handle, but He also gave me the people I needed in that moment, the words I needed to hear in that moment, maybe even a lesson I needed in that moment...



Emma Claire is Six Months

Oh Emma, I cannot believe you are six months old already!  Time has really been flying and I just want you to stay little forever and ever and ever and ever and...well, you get the point.  :)



You weight about 15lbs 1oz.  You have the cutest chunky baby legs!  Don't worry, I won't document those cute things.  Instead, here is a picture of your darling little tootsies!



You are eating 1st foods and love sweet carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and avacado!  You have no interest in fruit...unless it is Jake's applesauce.



You still adore Jacob and just love for him to be around.  I love it!  You are ticklish under your ribs and in your neck.  I love it!  You won't sit up for long, but you're always doing crunches like you want to get up and go.  I love it!  You put the wubanub paci in your mouth on your own and it is too cute.  I love it!  I guess you can tell that I just love you and everything you do!  ...as does everyone else.  You are just darling!


October 8, 2013

The Confessions of a Tired Mother


After one night too many of reaching into the fridge for a bottle in the wee hours of the night I put my mama foot down.  I gave Emma Claire the last bottle of the evening, put her in her crib and closed the door.  She must have been tired because she fell asleep - no complaints.  Then, midnight struck and like that she woke.  However, I gave her a paci and she fell back to sleep.  Whoop whoop!  Then, again at three thirty in the morning...wah wah!  I gave in and brought the little pumpkin into our room, we snuggled on the bed while I fed her a bottle.   When she finished I lifted her to a sitting position, leaned her over my arm, and she fell into her usual middle-of-the-night ragdoll position - eyes closed, arms dangling forward over my supporing arm, head drooped.  The only reason I knew in that hour that she wasn't actually a ragdoll...her deep snoring!  REALLY EMMA?  HOW ABOUT A BURP!

I carried that little pink sack to her crib and laid her down ever so gently only to be greeted with big, bright eyes, and a wide smile.  How does one do that?  Nothing was going to put her to sleep.  So, I thought to myself...does this little devil angel not like her crib or is she just wanting her mama.  Knowing if I returned her to my room she'd end up sleeping in there night after night I did what any normal, tired, petite, mother would do...I climbed into her crib, curled her under my arm and waited.  In only a few seconds she looked up at me with a little Emma smile, gave a little Emma giggle, stuck her paci in her own mouth, rolled in toward me and passed out.  YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

At this point I am thinking how the hell do I get out of this crib without waking her?  Every move I made seemed to create the loudest of sounds.  I put one hand on the side rail one on the front and as gently as I could pulled myself up and out.  I made it!  I made it!  Oh how Jake would have done the "we did it" dance for my huge accomplishment.  THANKS FOR THE STORY, EM!  FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME DAYTIME EVENTS TO BLOG ABOUT!

I went to bed slightly tickled at the ridiculousness I surrendered to, slightly proud of my accomplishment, and very well aware that I need to work out these arms if I plan on doing any more pull ups at the crib!


October 2013

We accomplished our monster door!  Thanks Parent's Magazine for the cute, kid-friendly idea!



DECORATING






EMMA WAS FUSSING SO, JAKE ASSUMED SHE WAS SCARED OF THE MONSTER ON THE DOOR.  HERE HE IS EXPLAINING THAT IT IS A NICE MONSTER.


COMPLETED PROJECT


September 25, 2013

It's Fall! It's Fall! It's Fall!

When the seasons change it is so motivating to clean up a little, organize a little, and do a little seasonal decorating.  I love putting out some of Jake's artwork to decorate our fireplace.  I pulled out his "memory box" and we looked through it together for something that fit the season.  Here is what we found from last year's MMO program...




And here are a couple of cute finds Emma Claire and I scooped up today!



as we like to say in the south...
Happy Fall Ya'll!

September 21, 2013

Giggles

I can hardly put into words how watching these two interact makes me feel!  They are too amazing!  At the end of this, Jake laid down in front of Emma, looked up at her and said, "Emma, you are the best baby I ever saw!"  Oh how I love watching them grow!


video

Preschool Open House

River Hills Preschool
2013-2014
Ms. Catherine & Ms. Jean-Marie
MTW 9 - Noon (Lunch from Noon - 1pm on Tuesdays)


Jake has been in his new preschool for about three weeks now and I could not be more pleased thus far!  In such a short time I have met several parents and grandparents of Jake's classmates, met some of his new pals, joined the parent committee, been greeted by name by the director and received numerous school updates and information via email and letters, etc.  I feel like we've landed in a great place!

Neal and I joined Jake at school this past Thursday evening for Open House.  His teachers set up a scavenger hunt around the room for the kids to show us all the different stations inside.  They have already done so much.  In addition to the curriculum Jake has chapel on Mondays, Spanish on Tuesdays, and music on Wednesdays.

He is the second to the youngest in the class, but his teachers say he is doing great and mature for being one of the youngest.  They said he is so sweet and funny!  Ms. Catherine shared that on the first day he was buzz lightyear, but every day following he has worn a knights costume from their costume area.  She said he comes in and dresses himself in the mornings.  She had a great picture of him in full armor!

At the open house Jake was set on showing us the "Emma" in his classroom.  He showed us how to put her to bed, feed her a bottle, change her diaper, and repeat.  He insisted his teacher hold baby Emma.  It was so funny!

Jake,
We hope you have a fabulous year in your new preschool.  We hope you feel safe and loved and that all your moments there are fun and exciting!  We hope you are kind and loving to all your new friends and that you are received the same.  Bless you sweet boy!

~Mama



September 18, 2013

Melt My Heart

Tonight, after a reoccurring arguement about bath time, with Jake, things finally settled down.  I got him dry and tucked in for bed, read a couple of books and said our nightly prayer.  After prayer he randomly starts this one on his own...

"Thank you Lord for what you've given me,
The sun and the rain and the appleseed,
Yes the Lord has been good to me."

Now, I don't know if I got all the words right, but this is what I gathered from his sweet voice. So, I say "thank you Lord for sweet calmings after bath time storms and thank you Ms. Catherine and Ms. Jean-Marie for teaching my boy this sweet prayer."

Afterwards, he finally tried to show me "criss cross applesauce" and admitted he needed help learning it.  He was so happy when he succeeded.  I promised to help him every night until school next Monday.  Oh how he is growing!

Love you sweet boy!

Our Day Thus Far

What a beautiful day!  The weather is cooling down in Charlotte and I couldn't be happier!  I have been slowing reintroducing fall decorations and smells into our home.  Ahhh, the change of seasons is so motivating!  That reminds me that it's time to take down the hand and feet paintings of fish and lobsters that Jake made last year and put up some seasonal kid art!

Speaking of decor I have to share this cute halloween door idea I found in a recent Parent's magazine.  Isn't it cute?  I mean, if you can get past your cute Etsy must have or fancy Pinterest must do this year wouldn't this be a picker?  Don't get me wrong, I just bought bows on Etsy and am working on Pinterest teacher gifts, but this season I think our door will satisfy Jake and his pals more than my sometimes fancy pants taste.  :)

This is made with what looks like felt and different sized paper plates!



While I'm on a kick for sharing I have to introduce these books if you haven't heard of them...the Pete the Cat books by Eric Litwin.  They are a new favorite that I love reading with Jake.  I'd say they are good for about 2 1/2 up to maybe 5.  Jake's Uncle Perry, Aunt Mary Beth, and cousin Allie bought him Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes for his birthday.  It was a hit so I purchased Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons at the school's Book Fair and love it as well!  Here is a glimpse if you want to check them out!




Moving right along...

Today was hat day at Jake's preschool and I set out every hat he owns for his choosing.  I preferred his sweet little Citadel ball cap, but he chose his beaten up, over played with red cowboy hat.  Boy was he cute though!  So, I sent this little cowboy off to school.

Had to show this cutie off extra big!


When I picked him back up I had myself a...

Monkey!


While Jake was at school I did plenty of chores and then found myself feeding this cutie in her room which I spend way too little time enjoying while...get this...listening to a classical lullaby cd.  I don't know how that happened, but it was a relaxing and sweet fifteen minutes that I will now commit to doing on some sort of regular basis.  I'm not saying how often, because when I break a commitment to myself no matter how small it's beyond frustrating.  So, we'll just say I'll do this more often while I can hold her close.



That was our simple day thus far.  Just because this week has been a great one that doesn't mean all is perfect in our household.  Yesterday, my husband pointed out that I sent Jake to school with mismatched socks.  I also overheard the little stinker tell dad that he loved us all, but he loves him best.  So, no matter how many good things I find to jot down there are always a few little kickers that I'd rather not remember.  Just a reminder that no home is a perfect home!


September 17, 2013

Not Your Typical Stay at Home Mom Day

I love being a stay at home mom.  Despite it's challenges I feel so blessed to be available for my babies all day.  I really admire all mom's - working, part time working, and at home moms.  I think they all are amazing and each "job" of a mother brings their own sets of challenges and joys! Today was not my typical day, but I'll take it any day!  I'm usually rushing around to get some laundry done, clean some part of the house, pick up missing grocery items, etc. while Jake is in preschool, but not today...

I dropped Jake off for his long day of school (Mondays and Wednesdays he stays until noon and on Tuesdays he stays an hour later for lunch).  After making sure his book bag was hung, lunch box secure in his cubby, and face covered in kisses I strolled down the hall.  His class is learning about Johnny Appleseed and recently painted pictures with apples.  Here is Jake's...



The next week they tasted red, green, and yellow apples and the teachers recorded which ones each child enjoyed.  Notice Jake's says "no, no, no"?  ...because he refuses to taste an apple. Thankfully, it looks like little miss Hannah didn't enjoy any either.



After leaving the preschool, Emma and I ventured over to Bath & Body works to stock up on a few new fall scented hand soaps for the house.  Then, we drove by our lot that is awaiting our eventual residence.  I have met one mom in Jake's class who lives in our neighborhood to be and another who is just down the road.  One reason we decided to focus on the Lake Wylie side of town for Jake's school was to meet people in the area and it looks like we're off to a great start!  Looking forward to the day we settle on this land, but there is plenty to keep us busy in the mean time.



Finally, we headed to Emma Claire's first library class, Once Upon a Lap, at the Lake Wylie Library!  I hate to rush her little life along, but I have been looking forward to this class.  I used to take Jake when he was younger.  Actually, I took him to several sessions back to back to back and made some great friends throughout whom we still get together with.  Emma loved the other kids, the music, bubbles, and especially the bells!




Here is a snapshot of Jake playing with the bells when he was in Once Upon a Lap at the Fort Mill Library in Baxter.  He is about 8 months in this photo.



After class we met daddy for lunch at Hickory Tavern and then jumped in the car to pick up Jake. We got there early and all three spied on him as he played on the playground at school.  As the kids lined up to return to class, he spotted us through the glass and was thrilled!  Jake introduced daddy, Emma, and I to the whole class.  He sure isn't thrilled with his sister when we are at home, but he was showing "it" to everyone!  We met Jake's new buddy Connor whom I've heard allot about.  The teacher shared with us that Jake is pretty mature considering he is the second to the youngest in the class and that he is doing great!

After school, we read a story on the couch and settled down for nap...or so I like to think.  At this moment, I hear Rescue Robots in full force inside a little boy's bedroom.




The best part of my day is spending time with family.  My day is only half done and my cup is already overflowing.  Why?  Because I had quality time at the library with my daughter, lunch and conversation with my husband, and helped bring a huge smile to my son's face by showing up with the whole family to meet his friends and pick him up.  Here is to more days like this one...





September 16, 2013

Last Week & This

Last week (9.12.13) Emma Claire turned five months old!  Oh how I love this age.  She is just the smiliest thing I have ever seen and so aware now!  I was pretty impressed with myself taking her 5 month photo only three days late considering the last couple of months pics were taken well past their due date.  Daddy says she is rockin' a terrible 80s look, but I'm loving this photo.  Cute outfit or not, that face makes it perfect!




I haven't fully decided if Jake loves his new preschool or not.  Every morning (MTW) he says he doesn't want to go, but then runs into the the school like it's the best place around.  This morning he had his book bag on and ran straight to the entrance.  He told the nice man (who always hold the door in the mornings and afternoons) that he had on his super backpack and flew inside.  Everyone around laughed out loud as I shook my head (both holding back a giggle and feeling so in love with that cutie).

I would venture to say one of his favorite things about school is the wonderful playground and sandbox just outside his classroom.  Every day that I have picked him up thus far he has been covered in dirt and sand and always a few extra bruises!  I don't know that this picture does the dirt on his face justice, but I had to try to capture the after school look!  I have been so impressed and thrilled with the school we picked for Jake and am SO looking forward to open house this week to catch up with his teachers and some new mom friends I've already made!



Feeling blessed this week as my son has ventured away from telling me daily that he doesn't love me to telling me he does, with a baby girl who is getting back on her sleep schedule, and a husband who just surprised me with fall candles and a Keurig!  As Pete the Cat says in one of Jake's new books "stuff will come and stuff will go"... just like the phases with our children and phases of a marriage, good ones and bad ones will come and go.  I'll push through those I don't love yous and sleepless nights remembering those phases will go and new ones will come.

Until next time...

September 12, 2013

Reflecing

As I sit down to write this I hear someone stirring on the monitor beside me.  It's a small miracle that I am even sitting here in my sun room, alone, in silence.  Although, it is nice, I am already excited for those little pumpkins to spring from their sleep!  Funny how that is.  Well, now the monitor on my other side is blaring a loud "mommy"!  Did I really wish them awake?

We'll let them wiggle around for a few minutes...

I last posted when Jake was exactly two months shy of turning two and the posts were scarce shortly before then.  The busier they become the busier we become...and the more tired, tested, frazzled...and FULFILLED!

Jake was entering a toddler bed in my last post and is now in a big boy full bed custom built by his talented daddy.  His rooms is decorated in cars, trucks, planes and primary colors.  I'm so glad we didn't rush out to buy new furniture (aside from the bed) because it is covered in "memory marks" already.  I love the cross above Jake's bed.  It reminds me daily to pray with him before bed which I must admit could slip my mind these days.  My least favorite thing in his room is the toy tool bench that I have to pick up every morning and refill with it's pieces.  I'm pretty sure someone jumps off of it after he has dismissed us from his bedtime routine, creating a beautiful mess.

Jake is 3 years and 1 month today and the most high energy, funny, and witty little boy I know!  He has started preschool this year...three days a week.  He loves to run, play with superheroes, watch Rescue Robots, talk, talk, and talk.  He's a picky eater!  He can count to 20 and also backwards from 10 and has for a while now.  He is about eight handfuls to take care of.  He makes me feel 10 different emotions within 10 minutes, but the one that NEVER leaves my heart is love!  He amazes me everyday!




Five months ago today Emma Claire entered the world!  She is the sweetest and most darling little girl I have ever seen.  She weighs almost fourteen pounds now and smiles all the time.  Just like her brother, she loves for anyone to talk to her.  She loves sweet carrots, but that is about the only thing she will finish as of now.  She loves to be held and walked around.  She recently laughed out loud to a Praise Baby DVD, but nothing makes her smile and giggle on and on like Jacob.  She lights up when he enters the room.  Nothing has touched my heart more that seeing the look on her face when he is around.  He, though not thrilled with her, grows a little less appalled each day. Yes, I said appalled.  He is devastated by her bodily fluids.  A-matter-of-fact, she sneezed this morning and "it" reached him sending him into a dramatic frenzy!  I see allot of drama in our future, but I am ready to embrace it all!



I'm feeling satisfied now that I was able to record a few little things that came to mind today.  Hopefully naps will overlap more often, hopefully I can overlook this messy sun room/playroom more often, and hopefully I will commit to recording more of our daily memories!

Looking forward to reading these with our kids when they're grown!