pictures from the week...

Parker helping us give Griff a bath & a picture I took of Audrey (my niece) and myself.

Do you all have any idea how hard it is to get a good picture of a six month old...unless they are sleeping, of course! Everytime I try to take a picture of Griffin, he tries to attack the camera and suck on it. I decided not to post those pictures:) I think he was thoroughly irritated with me by this last one...


playing with our food...

Let's see if I can manage three posts about food in one week....:)

Parker is a special eater and, until recently, I've been so frustrated at what I thought was picky eating. It has been a year and a half of struggle. Something happened when he was around 10 months old and he went from eating everything he was offered to not tolerating the texture of most foods. It isn't just that he won't eat most foods, he won't touch them. He has never touched his birthday cake.

He basically lives on cereal, fruit, nuts, yogurt, waffles and rice cakes. He will eat a corn muffin on a good day. There are a few other things he will eat, but they are not part of his daily diet. Griffin is 6 1/2 months old and eats more variety. I hear moms talking all of the time about how their kids will only eat pizza, pasta, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese...kid stuff. I long to have a child that will eat these things. I would love to go out to a restaurant and not have to bring special food. I would love for Parker to have fun with food...to enjoy the many tastes and textures that he is missing out on. Right now I'm just hoping that he'll touch them soon.

I've spent the past year trying to figure out what I did wrong and how to fix my picky eater. I've asked advice from more experienced parents and I've tried it all. Nothing has worked and, in fact, I now believe that we may have made it worse. I'm tired of beating myself up about this and it is clear to me that what I've been trying to do to fix the problem...is not working. I must change my direction.

Lately, I've been trying to take a step back and observe Parker at mealtimes. He seems like he has true anxiety about food. He won't even look at the food that we put on his plate for him to try. When he accidentally touches one of the foods, he has a physical reaction and sometimes gags. We'll be talking to his pediatrician about this soon but in the meantime, I've started what I like to call "food therapy". Of course I don't say this out loud to Parker...we call it an art project:) Basically we play with food with different textures a couple of days a week. The first day we tried this, Parker and I spent time making a face out of cheese, veggies, peanut butter, honey and cooked potato. I never asked him to taste the food, I just wanted him to experience fun with food. So yes, I asked him to play with his food! I think Parker knew he was supposed to be having fun, but he laughed nervously throughout the experience and displayed some really strange physical reactions. He refused to touch the honey and did not even acknowledge the peanut butter on the table.

I realize that this is probably not very interesting to a reader...but sometimes my posts are more for myself than anything. My purpose in writing this is that I might be able to look back on my blog in a year and see progress. I hope that Parker will have a better relationship with food and be more comfortable trying new foods. I hope that we can move from just touching new foods to tasting new foods. I don't know how Parker got this way and it just doesn't matter anymore. I am learning that I just need to deal with the situation at hand and move forward. Should be fun...and messy:)


A cupcake for Betty Crocker

This is just one of those stories that must be told...because nothing like this seems very funny until it is shared!

My very good friend, Tara, turned 28 today. She doesn't read blogs so she won't know I'm saying this, but I am really so thankful for her friendship. I love her and her family so much. It feels like she is a family member...she's that type of friend. After Griffin was born, I swear she brought at least eight meals over for us. A casserole for every occasion And desserts. Oh, the desserts....we call her the REAL Betty Crocker. She's amazing!

Her husband called me the other night at asked me to make a dessert for Tara's birthday lunch at the park. Of course I told him that I would...but in my head I was thinking about the huge task of baking for Betty Crocker. You see, I can cook...but I do not bake. My idea of baking is pulling out some refrigerated cookie dough from the grocery store. I'm no Betty Crocker.

I needed to do something good because Tara loves sweets and she's always making something decadent. I decided to do brownie ice cream cupcakes. This was my first mistake--I should have picked something tried and true. So I bought all of the ingredients and started to put it all together last night. I was up until 11:30 trying to make them look perfect. I was a little worried when the ice cream started spreading all over the place and wouldn't set. However, I decided to just put it all in the freezer and reassess in the morning. After all....it had been a hard day and all. Maybe I just needed a good night's rest.

Wrong. The situation looked worse at 5:30 this morning when I went down to the basement freezer to find ice cream all over. Oh, my! I raced out to the grocery store to buy some cake mix for round two. This time I decided on chocolate Heath Bar cupcakes. Sounds easy enough, yes? When I pulled the new cupcakes out of the oven, I realized I had overfilled the cups and they had spilled over. I started with 20 cupcakes and managed to salvage 12. I frosted the rest and was quite proud of myself for pulling it all together.

As I was rushing out the door to get to the park with the cupcakes, I tripped over Parker and sent 4 of the cupcakes flying. See above picture. Frosting on my shirt and pants, and even in my hair. Nice. I used baby wipes to clean myself up. I still had eight of the darn desserts so I just left them on the sidewalk because I was late. As I was trying to get into my car, I dumped the plate over and a couple went face-down on the seat. I just shoved them back on the plate because I had no option....they were waiting at the park! And here is the topper--as I was pulling the plate out of the car, a couple more toppled over. Back on the plate they went.

I'm never making cupcakes again.

Thankfully, we had enough to go around...even after all of the accidents. Tara doesn't know the story behind the cupcakes, but if I ever do tell her, I want her to know that I would do it all over again. She's worth it:) I'm off to clean the frosting off my Explorer's seats...


bad day

It has been a very bad day on the Parker front. Very bad. But I don't want to write about it because I feel like I've been a big old complainer on here lately. So without going into it, I'll say that it was nothing catastrophic; just discouraging. Just bad. So bad that Joel is currently out having a beer with a friend. So bad that my dear friend brought over a pint of Ben & Jerry's for me tonight. Have you seen the nutrition information on that stuff? I don't care...I'm eating it straight from the carton!

Even though it has been a bad day (have I made that clear?), I am writing this as I chuckle a bit to myself. Ice cream does wonders! And someday, we will laugh at all of this and be able to tell Parker what a stinker he was...:)


have mercy

I think if we had ten children, I might become excellent at this gig--motherhood! But since we are not going to have ten, I might as well get used to the fact that I'm just going to have to learn as I go--and I'm going to fail a lot! This isn't brain surgery...I'm just raising little people. But that's just it...they're little people, not robots and they are way more complicated than one might think! I'm always learning, always changing my strategy. What works one day won't always work the next and what worked with Parker doesn't always work with Griffin. Just as I start to feel like I have things under control, something changes...and so I have to. Being flexible and admitting mistakes is so crucial, don't you think?

So like I said a couple of days ago, Parker has been a bear. And that wouldn't be such a big deal if that was normal, but it isn't--he's normally quite agreeable and even lovely to be around. I've been laying awake at night trying to figure out why he's been constantly crying, weepy, throwing fits, peeing on the floor, waking up at night. I know something is up. Last night, I felt like a total failure. I was at my end, I had nothing else left to try. I was totally out of ideas and I felt like I'd let things get out of control. I was tired of not liking my son very much. I wasn't being a good mom. I was stressed and when I get stressed, I go to bed! So I took a nap and my husband put the boys to bed. As I drifted off to sleep last night, I prayed for help with my son. I didn't want to go down this bad road I was heading...

I woke up this morning with some new perspective and fresh ideas. I noticed that Parker was not working well in our morning routine anymore. A couple of days ago, I thought changing was totally unnecessary and I didn't feel like putting in the effort. It was clear to me this morning that what used to work for Parker no longer was....so I decided to try to do things different. I need to learn to flex sooner! I won't say that everything went smooth, but it was a much better morning and it seemed like Parker noticed I was trying to change things up. He still had a couple of bad moments, but I felt like we've taken a turn. I'm still trying to figure things out. And the best part...I liked Parker this morning:) Most likely, it is combination of things. I'm working with him and trying to help him communicate what is going on. Until then, I'm thankful for fresh perspective ... and mercies that are new every morning.


comic relief

He might look angelic but in this picture, Parker was a second away from spitting water out of his mouth onto yours truly! Look at those eyes:)

We've had a few tense days around our house. I may write about it later, but for now I will say that all things are looking up and I'm so happy about that! Also, I've been offline for a couple of days and so I'm still in the midst of catching up on all things internet. So if I owe you an email...it is coming!

I suppose Parker was just reacting to the stress in the house, but for some reason, he has been a bear of a two year old these past couple of days. Oh, such a bear! But this morning, he provided me with some much needed comic relief. So here is how it went...

He prances up to me with my baby sling over his head like Mary and Joseph:)

Parker: Mama, I'm a princess!
Me: What? A princess? No, no, no...you mean precious? You are precious?
Parker: No! (stomping his foot and grinning) Parker is a princess!!!
Me: You mean you are King Parker? Precious Parker?
Parker: (tilting his head like a beautiful princess and chuckling with that twinkle in his eye)
No, Mama...I'm a princess!

Oh, my! First of all, I have no idea where he has even heard of a princess. All he knows are trucks and trains, baseball and soccer! I'm trying to think...does The Jungle Book have a princess in it? He watched that last night. I don't know. And second, why does HE want to be one?!

Anyway, good timing my little Parker. I needed your humor this morning!


There are many things I could write about our weekend away...how great it was to see people and how we love and miss them...the hospitality and generosity of others...how the weather on the other side of the state made me glad we still have summer over here:)...so many things! However, I really want to just say how blessed my children are to have such wonderful cousins!

Mattison and Sean are older than our boys by quite a bit, but I know that they will always be the ones that Parker and Griffin look up to and admire. Parker woke up this morning so sad because Mattison and Sean weren't here to play with. Parker is so obsessed with Sean that he has dreams about him. They are just so darn cool! They treat my children like they are little treasures and I love them for that. They are truly treasures to us.

Audrey and Elliot are very close in age to my boys and will soon live very close. This weekend, we had a bit of a glimpse of what is to come! Parker is all boy, Audrey all girl...but somehow they both just crack one another up. Parker also talked this morning about how he wanted to play with Audrey! I think they will have a very special relationship in the future. As far as the youngest boys (2 months and 6 months)...Griffin tried to roll over onto little Elliot this weekend! I'm sure they will be great buds:) I'm so excited to have them live close so I can love on those little ones...

I really want my kids to love Mattison, Sean, Audrey, and Elliot more like they are siblings than cousins. I think that it is really up to the parents to create the environment for this kind of relationship to bloom. I've been watching others that seem to be really good at this. Joel's Auntie Maggie, in particular, is a master at this! She loves each one of the cousins like they are her own children. Without the competition for attention and love, the relationships between cousins are allowed to flourish. The cousins have wonderful relationships, I believe, even though they aren't all close in age. What a gift! I want that for my children! Not only do I want that for my children, but I want that for my nieces and nephews. But I'm realizing that this type of thing doesn't just happen...it must be intentional.

I am not sure if she reads this, but thank you Auntie Maggie for showing us all how to do it! You are amazing and so special to us!


this is fun...

I'm really starting to realize the benefit of having two children in under two years. They are really getting into playing together and like many of the same toys. Griffin was in a bit of a grumpy mood yesterday (which is rare), but Parker was able to get this reaction out of him the entire day. They had some fun destroying the bedroom, of course:) Brothers...what a blessing!


authenticity...nothing to prove?

I came across this great post at Reluctant Entertainers a while back and I keep thinking about it. The whole site is really interesting and challenges me to think about the gift of hospitality in a new way. I've been thinking a lot about this in relation to my desire to share life with other people in an authentic way....whatever that looks like. What really struck me was the comment about her guests, who were so refreshing because they had nothing to prove. Nothing to prove! Don't we all love to be friends with people who have nothing to prove? It is hard to be part of an authentic relationship when one or both are trying to prove their worth through accomplishments, possessions and such. I'd much rather hear this..."This is me...I don't know everything...I'm not perfect...and I have nothing to prove." Not only do I want to be around these type of people, but I want to be that person. How can I truly love others when I am preoccupied with myself? Anyway, it was a bit of a thought provoking post and I thought I'd share...check it out!


lazy days of summer?

Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer? I think we left them in the years before we had kids! We have been so busy and I am tired, people! I am ready for Fall to come...not because I'm tired of the beautiful weather, but because I'm ready to stay home more and take it easy. I have had one full weekend home since the beginning of July and we are going to be away again this coming weekend. Now, I want to be clear--we've had an amazing summer and I wouldn't do anything different. We've enjoyed all of the time we've spent with family and friends, but I'm ready to spend some time at home with our little family of four. I'm getting a bit weary of packing and unpacking, never having a clean house, tired kiddos...and parents!

I think I wrote a post about this feeling last August. I really love summer, but my very favorite time of the year is Fall around here. It is so beautiful and still warm during the day, but really cools down at night--so cozy! I love watching the kids around the neighborhood come back to the school near us. We enjoy taking family trips up north to pick berries, apples, and pumpkins. I love how life settles down into a predictable rhythm after the exciting days of summer. The colors, the scents the food, the feelings of it all...so great!

But, I need to be patient. We still have a lot of good summer left here. So I'm going to try to keep my head in August...full of hot weather, beach days, picnics, trips, sunscreen...the works! It really is so fun and our next season will come soon enough.

We spent another weekend at the lake and had so much fun...again! We loved spending more time with our family! The above picture was another attempt at a family photo. Griffin is always staring in the wrong direction...he he:)


parker moments

Like I said yesterday, Parker is so much fun now. We carry on normal conversations with real sentences. I love talking with him! However, along with great growth, we have some typical two year old issues to deal with...

Potty Mouth

I've been lucky and have been fairly successful keeping Parker away from playing in the toilet. But we're in the midst of potty training and he has more access now. In addition to the amount of times I must now clean the toilet, I can't tell you how many times a day I say the following type of things...

"Parker, get your head out of the toilet!"
"Push it down, Parker! No, not that way...the other way!"
"Parker, why is the crayon all wet?"
(His answer, of course, was that he was washing it in the potty...no brainer, Mom!)
"No Parker, you may not "flash" (his word for flush) the toilet three times."
"Oh...please wash your hands!"

I'm learning that potty-training is dirty work. If I had to do all of this while pregnant, I'm pretty sure I would have lost my lunch:) Thankfully, he is picking it up pretty fast. Oh, and have I mentioned that my husband pretty much had him trained in one day when I went to the Idol concert? What a man:)


Parker is typically what I would call "all boy"...but lately his fears have been taking over! He has bad dreams about all of his fears and wakes up yelling about animals biting him and bugs crawling on him, loud fireworks, hot fire, etc. Indeed, scary stuff. Last night, he could not sleep because he thought there was a bug in his room and to him, it was a monster. I'm serious, the boy was sweating bullets and wailing! I've been working on not trivializing his fears, because I think that is pretty easy to do...but I had to hide my giggles. So I decided to crawl into bed with him again until he fell asleep. I'm pretty sure that I'll be the one the bust that bed someday! Some might say that I was trying to be a sensitive mama...but my husband might say that I was actually trying to get out of our lovely conversation about our finances. I was just trying to be a bug-buster...really:)

*Believe it or not, I Like Bugs is one of Parker's favorite books right now. I wonder if there is a connection...*

Mother of the Year

Oh, and I forgot to add this one...it was definitely my "Mother of the Year" moment. I was in the kitchen and the boys were out in the living room playing. I overheard chatter and then something sounded not right. This is what I heard...

"Yummmm, Griffin...I like it, you like it? Ummmmm....yummy...yeah, eat it!"

I go out to inspect and find Parker feeding peanuts to Griffin! My six month old had a whole peanut in his mouth and was happy as a clam. And Parker was quite proud of himself, of course! Yes, Griffin has already had a peanut (serious allergen, choking hazzard, NOT baby food!)...not swallowed, thank goodness!


8 things meme...

Tagged by Amanda for this little meme. Thanks, Amanda! Eight random facts about Amy...Oh My!

#1 The word "meme" makes me smile because my sister's nickname for me is "Memes" and I really like it. Her other nickname for me is "Sassy Pants"... and I have no idea why she calls me that:)

#2 I have become thoroughly addicted to caffeine since Griffin was born. Maybe it was out of necessity, I don't know. It has gotten so bad that I'm almost drinking as much coffee as I did in college--and I lived on it then. At this very moment, I am drinking a Diet Coke with Cherry. It is so yummy.

#3 My favorite outdoor activity is hiking

#4 Since having Griffin and realizing I'm the only female in the house, I've decided I want to be more girly. It is very strange.

#5 I want a tattoo on my foot but I just can't decide what I want. I don't want anything trendy or something that will look stupid in a while. Any ideas?

#6 The very first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth.

#7 I think my favorite number is 7. I have many reasons for this, but Parker's birthday is on April 17th and Griffin's due date was on February 17th, but was born on the 7th.

#8 I am the middle child of three and I fit the stereotype fairly well...mediator, avoids conflict, goes with the flow. I've never felt like I received less attention, which I think is great of my parents!

p.s. I love writing these little lists because I get to be super random without feeling like a spaz:)
p.s. again...I put up a picture of Parker because I realized I've been posting mostly about Griffin lately. Parker is alive and well! He's actually so awesome right now. We're having the best time with him and he's making us laugh more than ever...


The 1/2 B-day

I have a feeling that Griffin's half birthday will be a celebrated occasion in years to come. His birthday is in February, quite close to Christmas in my opinion....he just might need some new toys half-way through the year because he might feel deprived! Just kidding...this kid has everything he needs, but it is ME who can't resist buying my boys fun things. I was going to bake some cupcakes for today, but I decided that was pretty pointless since Griffin can't eat them and I would likely eat all of them!

So...Griffin is 6 months old today. I don't even want to talk about it...time is just flying and I don't like it! We enjoy new things about Griffin every single day. He is the happiest baby ever and the easiest I know. He still is only awake for 7 or so hours a day...and when he is awake he is super smiley and lovable. He loves to be held and still loves to eat a bunch. Griffin is sure getting into his toys lately and really likes to "turn pages" in books. Very gifted:) He spends a lot of time rolling all over the place and taking his pacifier out of his mouth and trying to put it back in. Then the tantrums start if he can't do it! He's scooting a little bit but doesn't seem super interested in crawling. I'm sooo happy about that! I hope he holds off for a while. He sits by himself until the weight of his HUGE noggin tips him over. And, as you probably know, he spits all of the time and is very talkative. Ba ba, mamba, etc. I swear he called out for "Dada" today:) He sleeps all through the night in his big boy room with Parker and only gets his brother into trouble once in a while. I can see already that we'll have some co-conspirators on our hands!

Okay, so about that huge noggin....90th% baby! He had his 6 month well child check today and the doctor got quite a kick out of poking a little fun at our Griffin! The funny part is that his head is sooo big compared to his body. He's average weight and length and then at the top of the charts of head circumference! I tell him it is okay because it just means we have more noggin to kiss and large size indicates good brain growth!

The official stats:

16 lbs 9 oz --35-40th%
26.25 inches --50th%
46 1/2 cm --90th %

I love you baby boy...so much, lots and lots, forever and ever....AMEN!


wake up call on the water...

I'm typically a total water sports wimp, but we brought my sister and her boyfriend out to the lake this past Saturday and decided I'd better try something. Kelsey and I thought tubing sounded pretty safe. And it turned out to be really fun, even though I was yelling at Joel the entire time to stop the boat! Kelsey and I were sharing the tube and it was so hard to hold on. Like I said, I'm a total wimp when it comes to this stuff.

Now, there is something about having babies that has made me more comfortable with my body. I figure if my body can carry a child, it deserves some grace here and there! The baby weight comes off pretty easy for me, so after two children I was feeling okay about myself. Until Sunday rolled around. I could barely get out of bed the morning after that 10 minute stint on the tube. I'm serious....I felt SO OLD! Pathetic. If I can't hold my own weight on an inner tube for 10 minutes without feeling like I've been run over by a truck...this is a serious problem for me! I exercise, but I do nothing in the area of toning and strength training. This was my own personal wake up call to GET INTO SHAPE! I don't need to be Superwoman, but I need to be stronger...and quick! Now...how should I go about that? ;)

In other news, we were able to spend time with Kelsey's boyfriend on Saturday. I'm not sure how comfortable she feels about me talking about their relationship at this point, but I will say that I like him...and I like to think I'm a good judge of character! He treats her well and it is clear he cares for her a whole bunch. But most of all, I like him because he brings out good things in Kelsey and she is herself around him. This is so important. Maybe someday I will post pictures of the two of them. We shall see:)


didn't you know? spitting is a sport...

Griffin thinks this is so funny. It is when I'm not wearing clean clothes. I think this is just the beginning of what is yet to come:)

things to say...

I have things to say today... good things that seem important to me right now, but I have groceries all over the kitchen and an infant that doesn't seem to like that this is nap time. Also, I tried to write, but the words just aren't coming fast or clear enough today. Maybe I'm just not ready to articulate yet. But let me just say this really quick, I'm still feeling really excited about relationships right now. I like the things that are happening in my heart and in my life with other people. I feel energized, focused, and clear about some things that I feel really matter to God. I found this in my journal this morning--some words I copied down from The Message a while ago. I just kept reading and reading and I really feel like these words were written for me today...
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all:

We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us.

We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

Click here to read more from Romans 5...
I don't know, but that just makes me want to jump up and down or something:) Happy weekend to you all. We're off to the lake again, this time with my sister and her new boyfriend...oh my!

This above picture was just for fun because no post is quite complete without a photo:)


another little list about my life...

I have too much to do today to be blogging, but I just felt like I needed to get on and write a bit to clear my head and gear up for the rest of my afternoon. Ever feel like that? However, I have nothing really important to write, but I decided to join Jenn, and try out this meme. Enjoy!

Four Jobs I Have Had:

-A clerk at Akers United Drug

Public Relations/Administrative work at these places...
-Imagio J Walter Thompson
-Thomas C. Wales Foundation
-LATCH (non-profit housing)

Four Films I Can Watch Over & Over:

-Top Gun

-The Notebook

-Sweet Home Alabama

-Nadia (childhood favorite)

Four Places I have lived:





Four Favorite TV shows:

-American Idol

-Grey’s Anatomy


-Hmmmm…does Thomas The Train count?

Four Favorite Foods:


-Maple Bars

-Chocolate Chip Cookies

-Cheddar cheese

Now I’m saying these are my favorites…not necessarily my staples:)

Four Websites I visit Daily:

-Google Reader/News

-Gmail why doesn’t everyone have gmail? Love it!



Four Places I Would Love to Be:

-On an air mattress…in blue water…in the Bahamas…with no children to worry about. I think about this all of the time.


-Siena (Tuscany), Italy…we would move here in a heartbeat if there was opportunity.

-With my little family… in our little home…enjoying each other. This is, after all, the best place to be:)

About Me

My Photo
*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

Our Family

Our Family


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