Friday, May 30, 2008

Nostalgia

Lately, a great therapy for me has been to watch the boys do what I did as a kid.

Childhood.

It started with Charlie's tree-climbing. He's become quite the monkey. Chance usually follows him as far as he can, then they both cry for me to help them get down. But still, it's so fun to watch. It brings me back to the times that I climbed all the trees on my Grandparents' street, without a care in the world.

Another echo of my own childhood has been cereal boxes. Remember as a kid when they put toys in the cereal box? I recently bought a box of cereal that had a speed racer car as a prize, making Charlie deliriously happy. To my delight, the toy was separate from the cereal in the box, so I didn't have to empty the whole thing to find it, like we used to. The funny thing is, Charlie thought it was so neat to have the surprise, that he buried a lego guy in the cereal. Other than the fact that it startled me half to death - like maybe it was a scorpion or something - it really made it like when I was a kid...

With all the deaths in my family lately, I'm keenly aware of just how short life is. And the little things like tree climbing and cereal boxes have reminded me of what a great childhood I've had and how wonderful it is to watch my children grow.

It's wonderful

until...

I hear things like this:

Charlie has said to me...

"When I grow up, I'll be an old man. Then I'll die. Then you'll only have 2 kids, Mommy."

"When I grow into a guy, I'll live in a different house. Ok, Mommy? I won't live here anymore; I'll live somewhere else."



Um, I take back all that "wonderful" stuff now. I think I need a different therapy. Ha!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thanks to Feminism, Continued

So, 1.5 years ago I wrote a post about how I've come to realize the hold feminism had on me, and how contrary it was to God's plan for my life. It never occurred to me until I had these kids that they are my profession, and that there may not be another career for me in my life. God has been showing me where I believed many lies, and has shown me how I need to follow His plan if I want true success - by His standard, not by the world's.

He's still in the process of showing me my role as a wife and mother, and a person in general. But this week in particular, I've come across two resources that really made me think hard about it all. The first was a sermon by John MacArthur. I think it is about 15 minutes long. Just to warn you, he's a bit of a confrontational preacher, but I really respect that about him. The things he says about a wife's role are quite counter-cultural, which really, when is the Bible not counter-cultural?! Jesus definitely was.

Anyhow, the other resource was this article. It was written by the daughter of an extreme feminist. It's quite sad, but it shows you how -if you think feminism through- it ends up hurting everyone. Everyone loses out, even the woman/feminist. I've become more aware of how it's robbed women of the joys of family life. Not only do they miss time with their kids, even when they are home, it's hard to be emotionally there, because you're just so exhausted and overwhelmed. And some women choose to not to marry or have children because of this false doctrine, but then, when it's too late in life to have kids of their own, they regret it. Oh how I hurt for them! They've been fooled, robbed, deceived.

I know this is a controversial issue, and I'm not seeking to stir debate. The truth is, I was once on one side, and now I'm switching over... But I find this topic to be highly relevant, not only in my life, but the lives of many of my favorite girlfriends. ;) If you're reading this, you're probably one of those. Feel free to let me know what you think. I'm all ears...

"Happy" Memorial Day

I'm not sure that you could say it's "happy" to remember those who've served and many who've given their lives for our country, but it is important.

And with that in mind, here are the photos Chuck took of the military honors given to Pawpaw at the graveside funeral service in Port Arthur. It was so sweet and always brings me to tears. It makes me so proud that we honor our veterans in our country.

In Memory of Don Reichle

In Memory of Don Reichle

In Memory of Don Reichle
[Folding the flag.]

In Memory of Don Reichle
[The 21 gun salute.]

In Memory of Don Reichle
[Taps.]

In Memory of Don Reichle
[Final Salute.]

If you have who have served or are serving in our military, thank you so much for your sacrifice. May today remind you of how important you are to all of us.

A New Era

Sorry for the silence...It's just been a busy week of catching up on chores. We're still not there yet, but having a long weekend helps. :)

So, let me explain my title... When Chuck was a kid, his dad and him shared a bond of R/C car racing. When I say "R/C car," I mean radio control, not to be confused with remote control. Remote control is what you buy in a toy store. Radio control is a much more serious deal. For instance, your r/c car can run on gas like a real automobile. Anyhow, Chuck and his dad have many fond memories of building and racing these things, and his mom and sisters on the sidelines cheering him on. He's flirted with the idea of getting back into it for a long time...and now that Charlie is just about old enough, you can imagine his joy.

R/C Racing Memorial Weekend - Full Throttle Raceway

A couple of weeks ago he discovered that there was a hobby store with a r/c car racing track near us in Boerne. We drove around for an hour trying to find it, with no luck, and endured Charlie's long whiny cry in protest when we gave up. Then Chuck's dad came to visit and they ventured out looking for it, too...but couldn't find it. Finally Chuck located the darn place, and his dreams came true. It's a real track, with real races, and selling real r/c cars! The picture above was taken when Chuck took Charlie to the races there yesterday. So, thanks to that stimulus check, he purchased a small r/c car for Charlie to learn on. I'm told it's not enough to actually race (it's not the right size), but the tradition has now been started, of father and son bonding. Legos weren't enough...

Losi Micro-T
[This is the new r/c car, err, truck.]

Boys and their toys
[You can tell how small it is - it fits in the palm of our hands.]

It is so funny and absolutely heartwarming to see the boys (Chance included, actually), playing with Chuck. The r/c car runs for 10 minutes, then requires 20 minutes to recharge, but these guys will play over and over. Chuck's chased them in circles around the house with it, they've made ramps for it to jump on the driveway, Chance loves for it to run thru his legs. Here's the first time Charlie got to try it:



Now Charlie keeps talking about how we all need our own r/c cars and how we need to buy the bigger kind so he can race. You can imagine how thrilled Chuck is. Charlie is officially a boy after Chuck's own heart. At least I still have Chandler...for now... Ha!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

One More Shower

I know, I know, where have I been?! Looks like we had one more April shower come into our May...

Remember these pics I showed you a few posts back?

Pawpaw

4 Generations (just missing one hand)

While we were in town for my Aunt Delores' funeral, we managed to find time to visit Pawpaw Reichle. We usually do, but it was special because it was a quick trip, so we were glad that we managed to see him. And now we're even more glad. A week or so later, Pawpaw fell and hit his head. For about a week I would get updates, and it was a roller coaster. Tears one minute, hope that he'd be fine the next. But finally, it became apparent that this was one trauma he wouldn't survive. Pawpaw had always been a survivor. He'd fought hard every time something happened. The doctors hadn't expected to him survive heart troubles about 20 years ago! So it was hard to imagine that he wouldn't win this time. And my dear husband supported me by taking a day off to watch Charlie and Chance so I could make a quick trip to say Goodbye. But by the time I got there he was in a semiconscious state. I was able to say goodbye, but he couldn't talk back. By that evening, he was gone.

Then I got back to San Antonio, unpacked, repacked, and we came back for the funeral. We had the visitation tonight and the funeral is tomorrow.

IMG_0269

PA Trip Feb 21-22 032
[Meeting Charlie]

P1130114
[Meeting Chance]

Pawpaw was a very intelligent engineer, and had flown fighter jets in WWII. He knew his stuff so well, he was also a flight instructor. He was married 64 years (how awesome is that?!!). He started a business many years ago and faithfully worked hard - in fact, he never really let it go, even when his son took the reigns. LOL. But what I admire most about him was his love for me and his family. His son (Randy) became my stepdad when I was about 5 years old. Randy was an incredible father to me. I now know he had a good example to follow (Pawpaw). The whole family took me in as their own, and Randy always introduced me as his daughter (not step daughter). Anyhow, Randy and my mom divorced when I was 12, yet he and his family never stopped including me in their family. Pawpaw was a soft spoken man, yet his love and faithfulness spoke volumes. He was a man of character, and he'll be greatly missed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elijah

So it's been a week since the party, and I had promised to post pics 3 posts ago...so here are the pics of Elijah's First Birthday.

Elijah turns 1
I'll start with my favorite pic of that day: Elijah and his Aunt Veronica.

Elijah turns 1
I love this pic because Elijah and his daddy have the same expression.

Elijah turns 1
I love Meesh's smile here.

Elijah turns 1
Elijah's cousin Kaleb, who's one month younger, also enjoyed the swimming!

Elijah turns 1
Elijah enjoyed some delicious and way cool cupcakes, made by Heather,
who also made Charlie's cookies for his birthday party.

Elijah turns 1
So did Charlie...

Elijah turns 1
and Chance.

Elijah turns 1
And here is Heather, the incredible cupcake-maker, showing Chandler some much needed affection. Poor kid, it's not fun being the third child. LOL.

Elijah turns 1
Penny gave him some of that much needed affection, too.

Elijah turns 1
And next month we'll celebrate Kaleb's first birthday! Man, it is fun being an aunt!!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy, Funny, Random

To follow up my last post, here are a few happy, funny, or random moments we've had lately.

Last week Charlie found a bunch of balloons and wanted to have a water balloon fight. I kept delaying him for a few days, but finally decided to drop the housework and just have fun. I didn't take pictures because of all the water around, but it was a blast. Chuck even took a break from work so the boys could use him for target practice. Then he turned the hose on all of us!

"Please stop taking my picture!

A few days ago, Charlie climbed up in a tree, and got too scared to get back down. So he called for Batman and Superman to save him.

Last night we were watching the story of Moses and Charlie asked why they put baby Moses in the basket, and as I explained to him, he said "Jesus will protect him."

As I've mentioned before, Charlie likes to play merchant. A few days ago, he marched around the house saying "Brothers for sale!"

Yesterday Charlie said he was a zombie and started walking around the house with his arms out. Chuck asked him where he learned about a zombie. He whispered, "When I watch that bad show that mommy doesn't like, at Big Daddy's house, but I can't remember the name of it." Then Chuck asked what zombies eat, and he said "Just food, Daddy!" (like, Duh!)

Elijah turns 1

Last night, after I put the boys to bed, Chance got up saying "Je Ja Whirl." It took me quite awhile to realize he was saying he wanted me to sing "Jesus loves the little children - all the children of the world."

We were looking at a book and Chance says, "Wook, Mommy! Ightning McKeen!" So I said, "Yep, there's Lightning McQueen." "No Mommy, Ightning McKeen!" Instead of teaching him how to talk, he's teaching me, ha!

Speaking of talking, one thing I hear continually from Chance is "More bible (apple) juice, pweas."

Silly tongue

Chandler had his 2 month check up today - He's 90th percentile for everything: height, weight, head size. At 3 weeks he was only 90th for head size, and 50th for the others. So his body is catching up! He's 14 pounds and just over 2 feet tall.

ducky boys

Sad Duckies

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

April showers

Have you ever had a time when you just really needed to hear some good news?

I think that's been me for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, I have a beautiful new baby, so there's a constant joy...but there have been some trials lately (and more than just sleep deprivation).

April was my month of trials. Here's the list:

1. Chuck was out of town for 6 days.
2. Chance's boo boo happened while Chuck was out of town. It took me a few days to stop shaking from it.
3. We went on a weekend getaway to Marble Falls, but left less than 24 hours later because Chance was sick.
4. My postpartum visit resulted in the dr thinking I had an abdominal hernia, probably needing surgery (and was instructed to not lift much...yeah, right!).
5. Chuck had a little surgery that left me without his help for a couple of weeks.
6. Instead of celebrating my 29th bday, I spent the day caring for my family. I didn't tell the boys it was my bday because I didn't want to take them to the store to buy a cake (I'm a bad mom!). Thankfully, many family members called, which made it special...
7. My aunt died somewhat unexpectantly.
8. I had a CT scan for the hernia, had to pump and dump for 24 hours and bottle feed Chandler. He didn't like that much, so he woke up every 1-2 hours. Little stinker ;)
9. Some very large hospital bills unexpectedly rolled in. I had thought we wouldn't owe anything.

Ok, so I feel funny even listing all that. I feel like Eeyore, "Woe is me." The greatest trial of all for the last few weeks has been keeping my mind on things above and being thankful for the many blessings I have, chiefly a relationship with God, and a wonderful family.

Then, the calendar changed to May, and suddenly things are looking up!

1. I heard from my insurance that there was a mistake on their part...which means we owe nothing!

2. We also had expected to pay back a loan, but found out it was forgiven as well.

But wait, it gets even better.

3. Chandler started skipping a feeding at night = more sleep for me.

And there's more...

4. Yesterday I met with the surgeon. I went in hoping to be able to put off surgery for awhile, because I can't handle recovery and caring for 3 little boys at the same time. But the news was even better than I could've imagined. The tender spot in question is not herniated yet! It's on its way, but it's possible that my body will repair itself = no surgery! I go back in 2 months to see if it's better, but the best news is I have no restrictions on lifting.

This verse has been ringing through my head lately:

A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
Proverbs 15:30, The Message

SO, have you had any good news?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Blog before we Go-Go

Ok, so before I attempt to unpack the suitcases from last week and repack for our trip today, I thought I'd procrastinate by writing a little.

Some funny things:

1. Many times when we're in the car, as Charlie sits in the third row of the minivan, he'll yell to me, "Mommy, you're on the wrong road. You're going the wrong way. This isn't the way home." And most recently: "Are we there yet? This is taking a LONG time." And my favorite, "Watch out everybody, my mommy is driving!" Chuck thinks it's hilarious (because I'm always telling him how to drive). Charlie has decided at the tender age of 4 that he knows more than I do.

And I think, "Why was I so excited when you started talking?!"

2. One story I meant to share 2 months ago - while I was in the hospital with Chandler, I called the boys, who were at our home with our extended family. All the boys had to say was that they wanted me to come home and fix them apple juice. LOL I can't wait for the day when they can fix their own drinks, ha! I won't be a waitress anymore -or interrupted for that reason all the time!

3. Yesterday I took the boys out for our weekly store run. I kinda dread getting them out of the house by myself, for fear that someone will get hurt because I'm too outnumbered to protect them all. But yesterday I told them if they would behave, I'd take them to the park. It worked, and I had to fulfill my promise...instead of taking them home for naps. Other than Chance constantly running off, and Charlie barreling down the slide, planting his feet in the back of a little boy Chance's age, who then went flying....it was a successful trip. Then we went to church. In their Bible classes, Charlie got in trouble for not listening, and Chance entertained his teacher by laughing at everything. Can you say delirious? I think I'll make sure they get naps next week. ;)

4. While Chandler still has that sweet baby cry, anytime he cries, Charlie says, "I just can't take it anymore!" LOL Just wait til he gets older, Charlie - you'll get a taste of the headache inducing crying sessions we endured with you!

Ok, and now for pictures:

I've finally figured out how to make storyboards in Photoshop Elements:
chance swinging dyptich
Chance loves swinging, I think more than a normal kid. He could swing all day!

Guess who is 2 months old today?! :)
chandler 2 months
He's sleeping more at night, but more about that later.

The temps are rising, you know what that means: watermelon!
watermelon lover

Last week, as we went back to SE Texas for my Aunt Delores' funeral, we were able to visit my grandpa (actually he's my ex-step-grandfather, but whatever). Chuck got these sweet photos:
Pawpaw

4 Generations (just missing one hand)

And now for some family love:
Loving on baby brudder

Daddy time

Proud Big Brother

Oh, and Chance's boo boo is almost gone:
Boo boo is almost all gone!

And somebody has been flashing us lots of smiles:
Finally caught a smile!

And sometimes a pout:
heart melter

About sleeping...In parenthood, there are two options when it comes to caring for your baby: attachment parenting, and Babywise. With Charlie, I read a book by La Leche League, and kept Charlie close to me at all times. I always tried to soothe his cries ("on demand feeding"), and nursed him constantly. He wouldn't take a pacifier, so I do mean constantly! He had to nurse to go to sleep (which translated into chocolate milk in a sippy cup when I weaned him = $5K in dental bills last year, and an abscessed tooth!). We had to move him out of our bed at 18 months which wasn't pleasant either.

When Chance was 8 weeks old (Chandler's current age), I read a book called "Babywise" and gave this type a shot. It said that you need to teach the baby to soothe himself. When you know he's not hungry or dirty or anything but tired, you put him in the crib and let him cry it out. And you feed him when he wakes up, followed by keeping him awake for at least 10 minutes during the day, then a nap. It's a 3 hour schedule, that supposedly causes the baby to get his days and nights straight, and start sleeping thru the night quickly in his own bed. It took 3 more months with Chance before he slept thru the night, which was followed by ear infections, so he didn't sleep thru the night for a year, and I was a zombie. It was much harder than just keeping him in bed with us to nurse at night.

With Chandler, I thought I'd try Babywise again, but when he kept waking up every 30-90 minutes thru the night, and was in pain with reflux, I gave up on the night thing. But during the day I do nurse him when he first wakes up, let him be awake if he wants to be, then put him to bed, although not on a set schedule. But at night I'm doing the attachment thing, keeping him in bed with me. And the result - he's skipping a feeding already! He started last week. He typically eats and goes to bed around 9 PM and sleeps until at least 1:30 AM. The only problem is that I usually stay up late cleaning, but last night I finally got to bed at 10 PM. While I am behind on house work (and packing, ha!), I got some decent uninterrupted sleep. Hallelujah! I just hope getting him out of our bed eventually isn't too tough. ;)

I know this was really long, sorry. Seems like that's the only way I can blog these days. Thanks for sticking it thru! Now I'm off to pack for 5 people (feels like 500). I will return later from Austin with pics of a one-year-old Elijah and all his cuteness! Happy Birthday, Elijah!