The Kids

The Kids

Friday, July 29, 2011

Abby To The Rescue

The kids enjoy playing baseball in the house with Nick.  Yes, I have breakable things in here.  Yes, I am crazy.

They were playing the other day when Abby hit the ball directly at Nick.  More specifically, directly where he did not want to be hit.

While he lay on the ground in pain, Abby had the solution.  She ran into the kitchen, opened the cupboard, and grabbed a cup.  She then offered him his protection.

A little too late, and not exactly the right kind of cup, but still a nice gesture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

9 Months And Counting

With his Great-Grandpa
 Time for another Noah update. 

I am trying to wonder why I ever buy toys.  This kid has quite a collection to choose from, considering he is the third child.  Yet, all he wants to do is explore and play with non-toys.

His personal favorites are the collection of measuring cups (which he has discovered make pretty swell drums), the tv and dvd remotes (so that is why I keep finding the dvd player on), and my laptop.  Seriously, if I am on here, the kid just looks at me with those really cute eyes, smiles, then attacks the keyboard with his sticky fingers.

He also loves to "help" me upload the dishwasher.  He has this type of radar to know when I am opening the door.  He could be playing contently with his toys (for once), but the moment he hears it open, he immediately races for the kitchen to be a part of the action.  It reminds me of a cat hearing the can opener.

Why are doorstops so exciting?  Every one of my children (especially this one) loves to flick the doorstop and hear its funny noise.  But, that is not enough.  They then have to take it off the wall and chew on it.  Noah then takes it with him everywhere that he goes as some sort of proof of his accomplishment.

Well, apart from the destruction of my home belongings, Noah is a very sweet baby.  I do not know if baby is quite the right term anymore, considering he is moments away from walking.  He stands around and cruises a lot.  I just pulled out the toy that helped the other two learn to walk and he immediately fell in love with it.  He walks around the house with it all day (until he gets stuck and just looks at me for help).

Noah still says "Mama" a lot and finally added "Dada" the other day.  He tries to say "Abby."  He gets as far as "Ahhhh" and I know what he means so that is good enough for now.

I love how much he is growing, but a part of me is sad every time that he does something new.  I felt like Abby was a baby forever, but Noah is flying through the growth stages so fast, that I feel like I am missing them.   I just want him to stay this little cuddle boy forever, probably because we plan on this being our last baby.  Yet, I love seeing him learn new things every day and look forward to finding out who he becomes.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Abby asked me the other day, "Did you tell Grandma that I lost my second tooth?  If not, we better text her and let her know."

Text her?  Really?  What happened to calling?

Okay, so maybe she thought about how her grandma was at work and texting would be easier, but something tells me that her thought process did not go that far.

Her understanding of technology got me to thinking of what a different life my kids will grow up having compared to me. 

-They use my camera and take pictures, then immediately look to see how their shots turned out. 
-I remember taking pictures and being so excited to develop the film and see the results.  Yes, many shots were fuzzy or not centered, but they did the job and represented whatever activity I was trying to capture.

-If they need to walk away from the television for a moment, they press the pause button. 
-Um, hello tv that had a dial on the actual set with three, maybe four channels, depending on where the bunny ears were positioned.

-When they watch movies, they place the DVD in the player and select what they want to do.
-We had these things called VCRs and we actually had to wait (gasp) while we fast-forwarded to what we wanted to see.  Then we had to be kind and rewind.

-Our kids get to watch movies on road trips with the built-in DVD system in the van. 
-Long car trips meant playing the license plate game and picking on each other while we listened to the boring radio stations of our parents.

-We have the air-conditioner running all summer, set at the lovely temperature of 71 degrees.
-I grew up in a farmhouse where the only way to cool down was to blow the window fan directly on our faces while we attempted to fall asleep.

-When waiting for a doctor's appointment or on car trips, they have handheld video games.
-The only video game system I had was an Atari that stayed in one place-the living room.  I think if I mentioned Space Invaders or Pac-Man to my children, they would think I was speaking another language.

-When wanting to hear a certain song, my children simply find it on the ipod and press the play button.
-Oh, the joy of cassette tapes.  I am so thankful that our stereo (yes, we still have one of those) still has a cassette player because I just cannot part with a few tapes from my youth.  Especially the homemade mixed tapes, each one representing the trials of that season of my life. 

So, my kids will continue to pause the tv (except for when I am around and tell them, "Too bad, just miss a minute of your show") and text the family of their news.  And I will continue to make sure they are playing outside and using their imaginations. 

While I sit on my laptop typing this under the air-conditioning vent.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I do not remember when it came up, but the Bible study of high school seniors that I led at camp started talking about complaining.  I challenged them to take the rest of the day and to try to not complain. 

That was at 10:30 a.m.  By dinner at 5:30 p.m., one of them came up to me and confessed, "Tammy, I complained."

I suppose I could have judged him if I myself had not already lost the challenge as well.

Why is it so easy to complain?  It just naturally rolls off my tongue.  And if out of the mouth flows the heart, then what on earth am I doing?

One of my campers noticed that she would say "I'm tired" just to say it.  If she really thought about it, she was not actually tired, but just said it because it was routine to say it.  Hmm.  I am so guilty of that.

During the day-challenge that I gave my campers, I really did try.  I bit my tongue many times, but after awhile, I did give in.  When everyone around me is doing it, it is more fun to join in with my thoughts than to just walk away.  And really, what did all of our complaining accomplish?  Did it make things run smoother?  Did it take away the heat?  Did it make our campers perfect angels? 

Nope.  None of that.  All it did was burden our hearts and make us exhausted.

Which of course we complained about.

I notice it with my own kids, too.  The complaints that I hear from them are straight from our mouths.  Anyone who wants to be humbled by their attitude needs to have a child follow them around for a day.  Apparently, it is true-attitude reflects leadership.

Here is my challenge to you readers-take a day and not complain.  You might be great at it and never notice a difference.  Or, you might be like me and bite your tongue all day.  Either way, it should be interesting.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letting Them Go

I just returned home from counseling at camp (hence my lack of blogging).  I have many thoughts to share, both about camp and missing my kids, but today, I want to share what is heaviest on my heart.

We counselors only get a week to engage in the lives of our campers.  That is one week to hear their stories, offer advice and a listening ear, and send them back to reality.

I heard some heartbreaking stories this past week.  Some that made me wish we could keep their tender selves in the bubble of Camp Lambec.  Away from bullies, peer pressure, and tough family lives. 

I also heard a lot of deep questions, some that are still being debated by great theologians today.  Again, one week is never enough time to even come close to answering them.

The age of technology that we live in is helpful.  Communicating through facebook and email (at least for me, who lives 300 miles away from the campers) is a great way of keeping up with them.

However, I find myself clinging to the most important thing that I can be doing for them-prayer.  As the campers are now back in their real worlds, my heart is heavy in prayer for them.  If only the bubble could last forever.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One Year

I will be at camp and absent of technology on the actual date, but our third child's due date was July 10th.  She (as we all had a feeling it was a girl) would have been one year old.  As I watch other friends with the same due date week celebrate their children's first birthdays, I am happy for them, but sad to think what might have been.

Things have gotten easier, especially with the joy of Noah.  But, there are days when it just hits me-we lost our baby.  It does not matter how long ago it happened-the pain is still real. 

Sometimes a song in church will make me think of her.  Especially the old hymns where the lyrics speak of our eternity in Heaven where there are no more tears.  Every time I hear "Your Hands," by JJ Heller, I burst into tears.  That song was constantly on the radio when we lost our baby.  It was like God gave those lyrics to the songwriter just for me.

I know that there is a purpose to everything and I am so fortunate to know the love of God.  And everytime I look at Noah, I cannot imagine life without him.  We have been so blessed with three amazing kids.  Yet, I still long for the day when I meet our fourth child in Heaven someday.  What a sweet reunion that will be.

In the meantime, my dear one-year old must be having a delightful time in the arms of Jesus.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mom's Vacation

When a friend of mine heard we were going on vacation, she asked, "So, when is your vacation?"

Any mom knows exactly what she meant by that.

Vacation is great, but it is also a lot of work for the moms.  I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful husband who spends a lot of time with the kids and helps out so much.  However, it really does come down to the mom to remember everything that the day requires.  And I mean everything.

Trip to the beach?  For me, that required a bag of beach towels, sunscreen, and hats.  And sand toys, baseball gear and chairs.  Also the cooler filled with water and lunch.  And a lunch bag.  Also, the diaper bag, the feeding chair and more sunscreen.  In that diaper bag, I had to remember wipes, diapers, feeding utensils, formula, bottles, bags, and bibs. 

And I wonder why I forgot my own sunglasses and book to read.  As if I would have ever had a chance to read a book.  There is a reason that my books usually stay in the bathroom-it is the only peaceful place to think.

Time at the pool?  Most of the same items listed above, but add on arm bands and floation devices, plus the condo key and pool toys.  Oh, and the security guy just happened to hand me the wristband that our group had to keep with us at all times while at the pool.  Seriously?  Did my hands look empty or something?

Going out to eat?  Again, the diaper bag, this time filled with toys and cheerios to keep Noah entertained.  Not that any of those things worked-he still wanted to be held the entire meal.  All of the extended family was great with holding him and walking around with him.  I just always find it humorous that when the main course arrives, Noah automatically finds himself back in my arms.  Which is great-I love the kid.  Just wish he did not love grabbing everything on my plate.

Shopping was fun.  I waited all week to go into my favorite store at the boardwalk.  And how did I spend it?  Abby had to go to the bathroom.  The nearest one was a few minutes walk away.  We found it just in time, then I had to deal with her tears as her favorite ring went down the drain.  Got back to the store, spent about five seconds looking in the store, when Caleb announced that he had to go to the bathroom. 

Oh, and this was in the midst of a diarrhea phase he was going through.

I carried him to the bathroom, begging him to not go on me, and made it just in time.  He could barely walk back to the store because he was sore (from many bathroom trips), so I had to call it a night and leave early. 

After a night of Noah keeping us up all night (we later discovered it was from teething, which led me to regret my impatient thoughts toward my son), I thought I would attempt to take a nap by the pool.  When sharing a condo with eleven other people, the pool was the most peaceful place to sleep.  About ten minutes into my nap, Abby joined me.  She went straight into the pool, which meant I then had to keep my eyes open and watch her.

Okay, so laying poolside while watching my daughter swim is still a pretty great vacation.  I just cannot express the level of exhaustion that I was feeling right then.

Add on the constant stress of keeping the kids quiet and well-behaved (especially in the early hours when others are sleeping) and then the super long trip home...well, let me just say that I am ready for that mom vacation.

However, watching my kids find their inner fish while in the pool...watching them build sand castles together...painting pottery with my daughter...watching Noah smile at the waves and hear him laugh in the water...totally worth it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Car Trip

For anyone who has traveled with children, this post is for you.  And if you have never traveled with kids, then consider yourself warned.

When caravaning with others, it is almost a certainty that they will all need to use the bathroom exactly 20 minutes after the baby has fallen asleep.

Your child, no matter how sweet, will suddenly develop the arms of an octopus when you attempt to find him in the car.  Baby food will land everywhere except for in his mouth.  And if you are giving him a bottle, he will take the longest he has ever taken to eat because he knows that you are uncomfortable sitting there.

Your children singing to a song they love is very endearing.  When you are crammed between them in the backseat while attempting to feed the above mentioned octopus and they are screaming the song from the top of their lungs-not so endearing.

Your baby will promptly poop in his diaper ten minutes after you have left a rest stop.

You may think you are being a good parent by rewarding good car trip behavior with a chocolate milkshake, but in reality, you are bringing on more trouble.  Within a few minutes of the shake being finished, one of your children will throw it all up.  The best part is when the only thing you have available to catch the vomit in is a McDonald's Happy Meal box.

Chocolate liquid running through a cardboard box.  Onto your lap and down your legs.  Onto the carpet and to all of the surrounding objects.  While the baby is crying because he is waiting for his bottle that you were previously holding in front of him.

I do not believe I will be drinking a chocolate milkshake anytime in the near future.

Fourteen hours of traveling like this and you will find yourself needing a vacation from vacation.