About Me
Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

Welcome to my blog! I am a Christian, wife, and mother who enjoys reading, running, and all things Disney. Stop by regularly for a glimpse into my life!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Fun with Friends
We are having a great time with our Alabama visitors! The five kids could not be having a better time. They have enjoyed playing together, and we have had wonderful weather to enjoy. Here are some pictures of them enjoying the nice day.

Sarah gave my best girl a ride on the Power Wheels four-wheeler.

Nathan and my favorite boy have had nonstop sports fun!

Abby Grace is making a speedy get-away to keep me from taking her picture.

I am so thankful for this special time with friends. We don't see each other often, so this has been a blessing. We will be sad to see them go tomorrow!


  posted at 2:20 PM  

Excuses, Excuses
While I exercise at the Y, my Best Girl spends an hour in the playroom. The children's area consists of a front room and a back room. Yesterday, when I went to pick her up, my Best Girl was in the back room. The teacher called for her, but she didn't come. After a few minutes, the teacher called again. Slowly but surely, she came into the front room. I said, "What took so long? Why didn't you come right away?"

She replied, "Sorry, Mom. I got stuck in traffic."

Excuses, excuses. Have I mentioned that she's trouble with a capital T?

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  posted at 9:55 AM  

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Small Talk at My House
I just thought I would share two cute conversations I had with my favorite boy recently. Both conversations took place as we were preparing for our company.

Conversation #1

Mom: You may not play on the top bunk. I just changed the sheets, and I don't want them messed up before our company arrives.

Favorite Boy: What if I climb up there when you are not looking?

Mom (trying to teach a lesson): Well, I cannot always see whether you are doing what is right, but who can?

Favorite Boy: God?

Mom: Yes. God can always see what we are doing and he even knows what we are thinking.

Favorite Boy: Is he going to tell on me?

Conversation #2

Mom: You are going to have to sleep with Mom when we have company so Sarah and Nathan can sleep in your beds.

Favorite Boy (who really wanted to sleep in the same room with Nate): That's okay. That is really Dad's spot. I wouldn't want him to think I was trying to take his spot.

Mom: Dad won't mind. We sleep in the same bed every night.

Favorite Boy: Yeah, I guess you must be tired of him, right?

Sometimes I can't help laughing out loud!

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  posted at 2:19 PM  

Sunday, February 25, 2007
Company Is Coming
I am busy cleaning! Yesterday, my best friend Amberly mentioned in an email that her husband was preparing to leave for a week. My husband is leaving as well, so I emailed her back and told her to come for a visit. I have offered this before, but she always turns me down. After all, she lives four hours away, homeschools two children, and has a preschooler as well. SURPRISE! She called me almost immediately and said, "We're coming!"

Hooray! They will arrive tomorrow and stay until Thursday. I am sure we will have a wonderful time visiting, and the kids (all five of them) will have a ball playing together. Because Amberly used to live here, other friends will want to see her as well, so I am sure we will have a few get-togethers. It will be an exciting week!

I don't know why I am still sitting at this computer...off to clean!


  posted at 2:18 PM  

Saturday, February 24, 2007
My Best Girl's Prayer
My best girl likes to pray. A lot. Lately, her prayer has been something like this.

Dear God,
Thank you for this day.
Please help Mommy feel better.
Please help Daddy feel better.
Thank you for Mommy's brother.
Thank you for Daddy's brother.
Thank you for the Wiggles.
In Jesus' name,

Just for the record, Mom and Dad are feeling fine, and Dad doesn't have a brother; but she will not be swayed! I believe God must smile at these innocent prayers as much as we do!


  posted at 2:17 PM  

Friday, February 23, 2007
Small Talk at My House
Lately, my two-year-old best girl has a new saying. She will see something in a picture, a doll for example, and say, "I had one of those when I was older!" Sometimes she will say, "I used to do that when I was older." I know it is much funnier in person, but I thought I would share this for the grandparents' sake.

My favorite boy drew a picture of our family today. You can imagine how happy I was when he told me, "Look Mom! You are the funniest looking one!"

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  posted at 2:16 PM  

Sunday, February 18, 2007
The Kindness Jar
This is our kindness jar.

We created the kindness jar to encourage my Favorite Boy to think about the way he interacts with others. When we catch him in an act of kindness, we write his deed on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. Using this jar has helped my Favorite Boy so much; we have seen a wonderful change in his responses at home and with friends .

The kindness jar has influenced my Best Girl as well. Often, when she is watching something on television, she will point out the kind actions of the characters. "Look, Mom! Dora helped Boots! Let's put that in the kindness jar!" or "Tasha was so nice to Pablo. Let's put that in the kindness jar!"

Unfortunately, while my daughter is aware of the kind deed of others, I haven't seen much of a change in her behavior. She is, however, able to self-assess pretty well. She recently said, "Mom, could we have a silly jar? I bet I could fill that up really fast!"

She's exactly right about that.


  posted at 9:54 AM  

Thursday, February 15, 2007
My Favorite Boy Looks Out for His Mom
I have mentioned that my husband (who I may start referring to as Mr. Baseball), is not a holiday kind of guy. In particular, he thinks that Valentine's Day is a holiday manufactured simply to boost profits for the card companies. I have accepted this, and I don't really expect much on Valentine's Day. I just made a special dessert and got something for each of the kids.
On Tuesday night (Valentine Eve), my favorite boy yelled up the stairs, "Mom, I know what you are getting for Valentine's Day, but I am not telling!" I gave my husband a questioning look, and he said, "I don't know what he is talking about." In other words, "Don't get your hopes up because I haven't done anything, and I don't know what he is talking about." I just laughed.

When Mr. Baseball came in from work yesterday, he was carrying some pink carnations. My favorite boy ran into the room and said, "Dad! They were supposed to be RED!" Evidently, my favorite boy had given his father specific instructions at bedtime to bring me some red flowers. Mr. Baseball did attempt this; but at the time he went to the store, they were out of roses, and the delivery truck was stuck somewhere in snowy northern Kentucky.

I told my favorite boy that it didn't matter because I loved the flowers, and I was so happy that he wanted to give them to me. He said, "I just knew you needed the flowers mom. You don't have any!" Well, now I do, and they are the best flowers ever!


  posted at 2:13 PM  

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The Birth of My Best Girl
This is the birth story of my daughter, my second child. You may not believe it. Sometimes I don't believe it, and I was there! I do hope you enjoy it.

As background information, let me tell you that my first birth was a breeze. Although I had not felt any contractions, I was already 5 centimeters dilated at 39 weeks. My doctor was concerned that I might not make it to the hospital when my labor started; so she sent me over to Labor and Delivery, started an epidural and pitocin, and my son entered the world 7 hours later. While I realize many women would not have preferred this type of birth, it suited me just fine. I like things to be planned, and I am also an epidural kind of girl. I guess I figure that the baby goes home with me no matter what, so why not skip as much pain as possible (for those of you who feel differently, that is just fine with me - this was just my preference).

Fast forward two years and nine months. I am nine months pregnant with my second child, and the doctor has scheduled me for an induction on October 27th. In the week leading up to the 27th, I had many contractions. They were very regular, but they always stopped. On the night of the 25th, they were coming at five minute intervals, but they stopped after about 30 minutes and were not painful. I went to bed.

At about 3:50 A.M., I woke up in pain. The contractions were much stronger, and I knew I was in labor. All the materials I had read stated that contractions should be every five minutes for one hour before going to the hospital. I waited about 10 minutes, but the contractions were strong enough that I told my husband we needed to go. He called his mother to come stay with our son, and I attempted to get dressed.

Unfortunately, my dressing was hindered by intense contractions about every three minutes. I also kept having to make trips to the bathroom. At one point I thought about the hours that would be ahead of me, and I prayed "God, I don't know if I can do this. Please let this be over quickly."

A few minutes after 5 (only a little over an hour later), we headed into the garage. As I walked down the steps, I had the sudden sensation that an accident had occurred. I realized that my pants were wet, and I felt a strong desire to go back to the bathroom. My husband was urging me to get in the car, but I told him "I have to go to the bathroom, and then I have to change my pants!"

Almost immediately, I realized that I did not need to use the bathroom, but instead, a baby was coming! I told my husband to call 911. My husband handed the phone to my mother-in-law, who had arrived to care for our son; he then directed his attention to me. He asked me to lie down (on the garage floor), but I couldn't. I couldn't move. I put my hands onto the side of the car, and I delivered a baby right there. Thankfully, my husband caught her (all his years of playing baseball payed off).

I heard her cry, which made me feel relieved, but I really felt like I was in another world. The only words I remember speaking after the instructions to call 911 were "She's attached to me!" (this was to my husband when he started to walk off with her). I could hear my mother-in-law talking hysterically to the 911 operator, and I knew that my husband tied off the umbilical cord with a shoestring and wrapped my best girl in a towel. However, when the ambulance arrived ten minutes after she was born, I was still leaning against the car having contractions.

We were transported to the hospital where my best girl was treated for low blood sugar (minor problem), and I finished the rest of the birthing experience. This part was probably the worst because I was so aware of the pain and the adrenaline was no longer pumping. I had to be stitched up without the benefit of pain medicine, and I almost jumped off the table. I apologized to the nurse for being a wimp and she gracefully replied, "Honey, you just had your baby in your garage. We don't think you are a wimp."

I will try to wrap this up with a few more things that were very memorable to me about this experience. First of all, I am a very private person. No one would have been in the delivery room with me except my husband and necessary medical personnel. The fact is, however, that my mother-in-law was standing behind me for my entire performance. Later, I said, "Oh! We don't have any pictures from my best girl's birth!" My mother-in-law laughed and said, "I do! It is permanently etched in my brain!" My mother-in-law also gets the award for cleaning the garage. Amazingly, in my trance-like state, I never even noticed all the loveliness that must have been there, but she cleaned it all before we came home.

I also remember all the phone calls. When you deliver your baby in the garage, word gets around (I got calls from as far away as Hawaii and Italy). Everyone I have ever known, and even people I didn't know, heard my story. Some of my close friends thought I was joking, but I had the 911 tape to prove it!

The final thing I remember most is the prayer I made in my bathroom. Be careful what you pray for! I asked for the birth to be over quickly, and God granted my request. Perhaps I should have specified that I wanted it to be over as soon as I was in the presence of anyone with some kind of medical training!

We enjoy this story now, and we are so thankful that everything worked out fine. My daughter is still not old enough to understand the circumstances of her birth, but for several months my son asked all my pregnant friends if they were going to have their babies in their garages. I think my husband, who was very calm during the entire process, is over the trauma as well (but I did get a very nice Christmas present that year).

Through it all, I learned three important lessons: I could have gone to the hospital in my pajamas; I will live with my OB during my ninth month if I ever have another baby; and I don't get to plan everything in my life!


  posted at 2:12 PM  

Saturday, February 10, 2007
Read to Me 2007
Last Monday, Jennifer at Snapshot announced the Read to Me 2007 challenge. I spent last week thinking about goals for my two children. Because of the difference between their ages and listening abilities, I have separate plans for each child. However, I do plan to read for at least fifteen minutes per day with each child (I will be happy if they listen when I read to their sibling, but I want them to each have their own time).

Goals for my favorite boy:

My favorite boy just turned five, but he has been reading for almost two years. I have not done a very good job with reading to him because he spends so much time reading by himself (this is one of the only things he actually wants to do alone). In fact, I think he is going to resist me reading to him at first because he will think I am trying to do something for him that he can do for himself. However, I hope he will realize that reading-aloud with mom means a special time for the two of us, and he will warm up to the idea. I have come up with a list of books I would like for us to tackle, and I am going to give him the choice of what he would like to read first. Here is my list for my favorite boy.

Ramona the Pest
James and the Giant Peach
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Mr. Popper's Penguins

Short Novels:
The Whingdingdilly
My Father's Dragon

Poetry (read selections from):
Side-by-Side Poems To Read Together
Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child’s Book of Poems
Never Take a Pig to Lunch and Other Poems about the Fun of Food
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic

Picture Books (I hope he will listen in on his sister's picture books as well):
The Giving Tree
Casey at the Bat
Owl Moon

Bible Stories (we read from these each night):
The Big Picture Story Bible
God's Book of Wisdom for Little Boys

My best girl is two, and I usually read to her daily. I plan to read with her for at least fifteen minutes a day, but my main goal is to introduce some new picture books into her repertoire of current favorites. Because I was a teacher in my former life, I have a large supply of books. However, I would like to read some books that are new to her. Because two-year-olds like repetition so much, I do not want to overwhelm her with all new books. I plan to introduce a new book every few days. For the remaining time, we will choose books to enjoy from our collection. Here is a list of the new books I would like to read during the challenge (I hope to add to this list as we progress).

Picture Books:
Where’s Spot
Ten Nine Eight
Are You My Mother?
No Jumping on the Bed
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Owl Babies
I Can! Can You?
Polar Bear, Polar Bear
The Gingerbread Boy
She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain
It Looked Like Spilt Milk
Silly Sally
No, David!

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Bible Stories:
Adam, Adam, What do you See
The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers (we read from this at night)

I am so excited about these goals, and I hope to post an update on our progress each week. I would like to share what is working for us and what is not. I also hope to share our favorites (new and old). I always appreciate recommendations for books that others enjoy, so I look forward to sharing the books we enjoy as well.

If you are interested in participating in this challenge, please visit Snapshot. I think it will be a rewarding month for all of us. I look forward to reading other people's goals; I know I will find more ideas and books to use with my family. Thanks Jennifer!


  posted at 2:15 PM  

Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Small Talk at My House
My five-year-old favorite boy just told his two-year-old sister to quit being so fortissimo. I guess he is learning something in his music class at Mother's Day Out!

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  posted at 2:09 PM  

Special Visitors
This afternoon, we had some special visitors at our house. Aunt Rucha and Matt came for a visit! (For those of you who don't know me well, Aunt Rucha is my brother's wife, and Matt is my nephew.) Because they live in New Mexico and we live in Tennessee, we have only had the pleasure of seeing Matt three times. He is now nine months old and cuter than ever! My favorite boy and best girl were so excited to see their aunt and their cousin. We enjoyed lunch together and then played for awhile. We are so proud of you Matt (and we can't wait to see your new baby sister in three more months)!


  posted at 2:08 PM  

Monday, February 5, 2007
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Today is Dad's 33rd birthday! My favorite boy and best girl had a great time today. We surprised Dad at his office with balloons. My favorite boy picked out a sports balloon. My best girl picked out a Wiggles balloon. As I am sure most Dads would be, our Dad was very excited about the Wiggles balloon!

Since I am 100 percent certain that he will not read this before tonight, I will say that we have his favorite dinner, Swiss Chicken with Dressing in the works; and we have already made brownies (he prefers these to cake). We are also surprising him with season 2 of 24. He has recently started watching 24, and he just finished season one. I think he will be pleased with this gift (those of you who know us realize he would usually just tell me not to spend anything on him). We'll see!

Most of all, we want him to know that we think he is the greatest Dad (and husband), and we are so thankful to have him!


  posted at 2:07 PM  

Sunday, February 4, 2007
Dining Success
We did it! We actually went to a restaurant with our children (that wasn't McDonald's or Chuck-E-Cheese) and had an enjoyable meal as a family!

It has been a while since we have been able to do that. My favorite boy is now five, so he manages his behavior well. My best girl, like most two-year-olds, continues to have a difficult time sitting still for extended periods of time. However, Dad has been out-of-town for most of the last two weeks, and I was ready to go do something. Going out to eat was extra appealing to me because it meant no cooking, and even more importantly, no cleaning. Although Dad thought I was insanely optimistic about how things would turn out, he agreed (perhaps he realized Mom needed a change of scenery).

So...we went to Logan's. Even though we had to wait for a table, the kids were great. My favorite boy loves bread, so he was very pleased with the rolls. My best girl was so excited to know that she could throw her food on the floor with Mom's approval that she spent most of the evening cracking open peanuts just so she could throw the shells on the ground. I enjoyed my big, juicy cheeseburger; and Dad, once we were headed to the car, admitted that things went very well.

On the way out, the lady at the table next to ours said, "Your children were so well behaved!" Now, I certainly know that they are not this way all the time, and I know every outing from now on will be perfectly smooth; but the compliment made me enjoy the outing as a family even more (we truly never realize how much a compliment can mean to someone).

I guess my kiddos are growing up! Sometimes that realization makes me sad, but tonight it just made me thankful for the opportunity I have to be their Mom!

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  posted at 2:06 PM  

Friday, February 2, 2007
I Continue To Work Towards Mommy of the Year
Earlier in the week I mentioned that I am failing in the Mom of the Year category. Yesterday was no exception. I was preparing a meal for a friend who recently had a baby. My children were busy with an activity designed to promote cognitive development watching Backyardigans while I worked. My wonderful neighbor called to see if my favorite boy could come down to play with her son. Of course, I happily called my favorite boy to the kitchen to inform him of the invitation, and he ran merrily over to their house.

About the time the Backyardigans were ready for their snacks (the show was almost over), my best girl realized her brother was gone. I told her that he had gone to play at Ryan's, and he would be home in a few minutes. Wrong answer. She had a meltdown. It went something like this..."AAAAAHHHH! I WANT TO GO TO MRS. ANGELA'S!"

The poor thing went and put her shoes on (the wrong feet) and attempted to get her coat. I really did feel sorry for her, but the answer was still no. I would like to tell you that I used all my Mommy wisdom to guide her in that moment, but no. Instead, I introduced her to the way all women prefer to deal with disappointment and stress; I got out the chocolate.

I said, "I know you are disappointed, but since you got to stay home with Mommy, you get TWO Hershey's Kisses!" Now two Hershey's Kisses are certainly a special treat, so she looked at me with wide eyes and stopped crying. It worked. She ate the candy, and she supervised as I finished preparing the meal. I guess if you measure success based on results, my method worked. Of course, thirty years from now you can look for her on the Dr. Phil show. The topic will be "How My Mother Messed Me Up By Teaching Me To Use Food as a Comfort!"


  posted at 9:05 PM  

Previous Posts
  • A Disney December, The Final Chapter
  • A Disney December, Part Five
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