Five Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand Minutes Ago

5,256,000 minutes!

5,256,000 moments so dear.

5,256,000 minutes!

How do you measure - measure 10 years?

In daylights? . . . we love the long ones of the summer best!

In sunsets? . . . we have some great ones in the wide open plains of West Texas

In midnights? . . . not an unusual bedtime

In cups of coffee? . . . used for medicinal purposes only (see prior statement about bedtime!)

In inches? . . . our beautiful little ones were 19 and 19.29 when they were born

In miles? . . . never very many apart

In laughter? . . . we have so much

In strife? . . . we don't have much

In 5,256,000 minutes

How do you measure 10 years of a marriage?

How about love?

Measure in LOVE

5,256,000 minutes ago
I married my best friend.


*** My thanks to the composer of the musical RENT - how else could I calculate the number of minutes in 10 years! ***


Happy Thanksgiving!

Things that we are thankful for - short list

1. Family
- Our three became four this year and we are so grateful for each other.
2. Faith
- Our Father loves us, protects us, and provides for us each and every day.
3. Friends
- We are so thankful to have friends all over the world who love us and support us in all that we are doing. And through the marvels of modern technology, I know what they ate for breakfast and what color their socks are at any given moment!
4. Freedom
- We are thankful for the soldiers and citizens who defend and protect our freedom both at home and abroad.
5. Fun
- We are thankful for the laughter and smiles that are so abundant at our house. As the days of having little boys at home FLY by, may we learn to celebrate in every season.

Honorable Mention, starts with F
Food - specifically pumpkin-flavored food
Facebook - both loved and reviled
Furry Friends - but not spare fur
Fashion - keeps me working!
Ferb - everyone needs a lovable, quiet sidekick


The downside

We started this week off with a trip to the pediatrician's office. Since the boys are both super healthy, this is a stop we don't make very often. The (very small) downside of their extreme health is that it is hard to decide whether they really need to go or not. I usually employ a combination wait-and-see/call the nurse line approach. This time we were worried about the-cough-that-would-not-quit that Jackson has. Surely, it must be TB. And he had some weird rash on his leg. Obviously, nothing less than Lyme disease.

Thus, when the diagnosis was allergies with a side of bug bites, I was a little annoyed to have made the trip. All the real germs we were exposed to! The co-pays! The whining (from me)!

But then I got to thinking about someone else who shrugged off a little cough . . . and now we have this . . .

How did we go from the awesomeness of the Fraggles to a perpetual 2 year old with a speech impediment? Walking pneumonia is no joke.
I love the imagination that is so prevalent in the Jim Henson products of my childhood. That's what we want to pass on - the ability to dream BIG. Two year old attitude is a little too reality TV for me!


Armed and Adorable

Jackson seems to be amassing a small arsenal. I was feeling a little concerned about that. Despite growing up in a place where boys were out shooting deer before they arrived in first period 9th grade English and the start of dove season is a local holiday, my feelings on weapons are a little mixed. So we asked Jackson about his stockpile. The sidearm on the right is a "blaster". It shoots water and in more dire situations "Diet Coke". Oddly, if he isn't packing when the need arises, his finger will also shoot water and Diet Coke. The firearm on the left is even more interesting. It is a "crumb zapper". It sucks up crumbs and zaps them at people, preferrably in the mouth. Huh. In its former life this item was a caulk gun.
I LOVE this little boy's imagination. I hope we do everything possible to nurture it. And I guess that I can put to rest any concerns over him holding up a Quik E Mart since his sworn enemy appears to be crumbs!


On the Lookout for Logan

So the nursery is all complete . . . except for one vital component . . . and that would be the baby!

Word on the street is that I have the comfy-est womb around and my little ones see no reason to be rushed on their arrivals. We shall see if this trend continues after delivery. Jackson seems to live a rather unhurried life.

But never fear, the utero eviction notice is on its way and we will have a new baby by the end of the week! And life will never be the same!

Until then, here are some pictures of the nest that has been completely feathered by now.


Fix It Up Friday: Window Dressing

One of the new house activities that I had forgotten the joys of between our first house and this one is finding window coverings. Ugh. The whole process stresses me out. Everything in the decorating magazines is too overdone. And the prices! For some reason I just don't think that it should cost a mortgage payment to cover a window. So the fact that 6 months after our move we have anything on some of these windows is nothing short of miraculous.

Here is where we started with the kitchen window. A big gaping hole of a window.

Oh yeah, the other problem is that these are original windows to this house. Energy efficiency was not a top priority in the 1980s. Our solution for the time being? Packing Tape. I was a little horrified by the trailer park ambiance that it provided (next stop - aluminum foil), but I soon got over that when I saw the difference that they made in the electric bill.

After a quest that rivaled some of Indiana Jones' best work, I located a Roman shade that measured the illusive 43" of my window. The original plan was to sew the shade but then I realized that I was tremendously pregnant and employed full time. In other words, reality crushed my crafty dreams once again. It's nice but it just doesn't look "finished".

So we went back on the hunt and located the perfect mate for a chocolate Roman shade. Of course, since I managed to not read all the details of this purchase, I ended up with some kind of button top rather than a rod pocket. Never fear, the sewing machine rode to the rescue. Then the 43" problem came up yet again. This time some cosmetic surgery and an actual organ donation were required to resolve the situation. It was touch and go for a few hours, but I think in the end everything turned out ok.

Here is the organ donor. He may be a little lighter around the edges, but he's holding up well.

My other window dressing accomplishment for this house revolves around a love affair with the tension rod and the $5 Wal-Mart sheer panel (you can't get cut fabric by the yard for that price). Here they are covering up the front windows in the dining room.

And here they are as a door panel in our bedroom.

So this is all the progress I have been able to make on the windows in the new house. I think that things are going well, but certainly not at lightning speed. However, we can now say that everything is covered. And the neighborhood is grateful. I guess we will put away that industrial size box of aluminum foil for now.

Stuck on you

Jackson had been playing quietly and alone for a little while last night. Never a good sign. But eventually he emerged for more leaping and wrestling before bedtime. I didn't think much about the situation until I walked through the kitchen later and found this.

Clothespins . . . on every single drawer and cabinet.

Another strange and mildly OCD moment brought to you by the letters J and H and the number 3.

Baby Bonanza

It's hard to fully embrace the grumpiness of the last moments of the third trimester when you have 52+ thank you notes to write! We had a great time at my office baby shower last Friday. We are spoiled.

(You should ignore the non-dining situation going on on the dining room table back there.)

And this is on top of another awesome shower at church. This one was a triple play.

You know what one of the great things about being a second time mom is? You KNOW exactly what you like in a baby product.

Hello, Mylicon, I think I love you. And your illegitimate cousin Target brand gas relief drops? You are so my little secret best friend. Come on, a medicine that relieves tummy bubbles (and thus occasionally the unexplained newborn crying) and that you can't overdose a baby on, what is there not to love? Now if only it came in Mommy-size for those moments of unexplained crying.

Bottle liners for the Playtex Nurser bottles. The amazing thing here is how much these have improved in the last 20 years. When my brother was a baby, it was like you were putting milk in a Ziplock and then trying to screw the lid on over it. Not a task that should be performed by the faint of heart or the sleep deprived. And what about the fact that these don't have a gazillion valves and parts to clean! We might not get to see these for a few months (weeks), but I am ever so glad to have the stockpile ready.

Baby toiletries. I am so excited that these now come in fun smells that aren't girly. I can't wait to try Vanilla Oatmeal and Cucumber Melon. And we did have to throw in some bubbles just for the fun factor - because nothing convinces a three year old with a bath aversion to race for the tub better than bubbles . . . and the potential for splashing Mommy.

Here it is. The lifeblood of Newborn World. Diapers and wipes. Around here we are devotees of the Pampers for pretty much all of infancy. After that we don't have much use for brand loyalty. So, what are you thinking? The diapers pictured above will cover us for 3 days after coming home? Maybe less?

Disclaimer: Yup, those are brand names up there. I didn't get any benefit from that. Just so you know.


The Shred

Ever wondered what 9+ years of marriage looks like in paperwork form?

Here's maybe a third of it.

I HATE paper!
Oh, and if you were hoping for a post extolling the virtues of Jillian Michaels, no dice.
She has annoyed me for the week.


Time is flying . . . Easter 2010

We had a great Easter this year. We hopped all over the bunny trail . . . and haven't really stopped since.

We hunted eggs at the mall with Brady and Aunt Michelle.

Brady took up a little moonlighting work for the season as an Easter Bunny. He found being this cute totally exhausting. Regular adorable will have to do.

We dyed some Easter eggs. Shirts were optional for anyone who looked like they might get crazy with dye.

Jackson demonstrating his very careful egg hold.

We dressed in our Easter finest . . . and we were thrilled.

Then we hunted eggs again with Grandma and Pop.

But these eggs had coins in them . . . or as Jackson likes to call it "muntey".


Moved by the Spirit

Jackson had some spiritual words to close out his bedtime tonight. . .

Me: Jackson, is there anything you want to talk about in your bedtime prayer?
J: Jesus . . . I saw him yeserbay
Me: Oh, really? Where did you see him?
J: In the other class
Me: What other class?
J: (long pause) . . . Ummm . . . (sudden smile) . . . I just tooted

And this spiritual discussion is now officially over . . .

Spring is like a Slinky

We took advantage of the last day of Spring Break (other people's Spring Break, mind you - I MISS Spring Break!) to take a trip to the zoo. It was a gorgeous day and we headed to Gainesville to check out the Frank Buck Zoo. It is a smaller zoo, which can be of ultimate importance when you are say, 8 months pregnant.

The giraffe exhibit was one of the highlights of the trip. The zoo has some great elevated walkways and we were able to get some good, up-close views of the sweet couple. Although they did seem a little amorous . . . what can we say, it is spring.
Jackson also got to feed some goats.
Jackson proclaimed his favorite zoo animal to be the bear. Unfortunately, this was not the best bear exhibit around.
This was the running joke when my parents were touring Europe, but I don't think I have ever seen it put so bluntly.
Jackson had a great day!
After that refreshing car nap, Jackson was ready to take on more of the great outdoors. His first project was some excavation in the dirt pile that we are harboring in our backyard. This involved flinging most of the dirt on himself. There was also some rock relocation and bubble blowing. We capped off this fun with a construction worker-worthy bath.
And just when we thought Spring had finally sprung, we woke up to this! Up to 10 inches of snow in the area. Ridiculous. Old Man Winter, didn't we tell you that things just weren't working out and we needed to go our separate directions? Take a hike or we're filing a restraining order.