Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Little Brownie turns 6...


It is hard to believe that 2,190 days ago at 3:07a, we gave birth to our second son Little Brownie. Wow...that sounds like more days than I can remember.  As Little Brownie turns 6, I sit here and reflect over how quickly it has gone, how much we have changed and especially how much he has grown.

Little Brownie is definitely a competitor.  He loves to play with his best friend Big Brownie.  He enjoys drawing pictures and creating a whole story around it.  Many of the main characters might be reflective of people in his life with new names, to protect their identity I'm certain.  He will look for the good in most every situation.  As an incoming first grader of our homeschool life, he LOVES science and making potions.  He loves to hear stories of wonder like James and the Giant Peach and The Magic Tree House series.  He loves to play baseball, but mostly when he is hitting the ball well and running the fastest around the bases.  He has learned to be a good sport and congratulate others when they might have a slight advantage.


He is an awesome board game player.  Multiple winnings of the popular game Dog-o-poly. Speaking of dogs, he is a natural dog whisperer.  He enjoys learning to work with dogs and dogs naturally gravitate to him.  He gently hums, when he is quiet and he always gives the best compliments to make me feel special.  I am certain he will one day be an amazing husband, father and Jesus follower.  

As in the past, on his birthday, I share the audio of his birth from the 911 call Daddy Brown placed as we "birthed" him in the car.  It will be available all day today and then put away for another year.  It's been a little crazy around here the past few weeks, and I failed to get the video updated with pictures from this previous year.  So, you will be viewing the 2013 version.  Realize that Little Brownie is about 5 inches taller, a more diverse and crisp vocabulary and still the most caring soul on the planet. Enjoy!  

I blogged about this experience in 2009, and you can read his birth story here.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's 2014...

It has been quite a while that I've sat down to actually write a post. It has been a busy couple of months and we are healing from holiday full of sickness. Daddy Brown and I had the flu. I also had strep throat and double ear infections. Through the sickness, we still enjoyed an amazing Christmas morning with the boys. We are tremendously blessed.

Being sick through the holidays allowed me to take a step back and take the focus off of the "stuff" of Christmas. I have missed being with my family, not for the presents and food, but for the laughter and smiles. The "stuff" part of the holiday is fun when you find a special something that someone really wants and to see the joy on their face when they open it. However, I realize the "time" we spend with each other is worth so much more.

My goal or "resolution" for 2014 is time. I want to be more deliberate and determined with my time. I want my time to be more than watching tv or playing on facebook. I want to make certain that the time I give to each day is focused and consistent. There are so many things I feel like I don't have time to complete. House projects, exercise, books to read, prayer, time with my boys and family and most importantly, quiet time with God. What do you want to do with your time? Are tv programs or time fillers like facebook going to really fill your time this year or are you going to make your time worth every minute you are blessed to have? It's 2014 and I'm making time for all the special moments I don't want to pass me by.

A little reminder what my main purpose in life encompasses. My two favorite Brownies.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Little Brownie is 5...

It has officially been a year since I made a live post.  I have been writing to the Brownies in their composition books.  Something about having my words written, in my handwriting, in a notebook for them when they are adults, makes me happy.  I have been blogging, just not posting them.  One day, maybe I will get a wild hair and post them.  We shall see.

Now...with no further ado, I bring to you the annual airing of my experience with Daddy Brown, and the birth of Little Brownie.  Just like in previous years, this blog will link you to hear our 911 audio of our sweet baby boy today and today only.  Sorry if you miss it, but I promise in 365 days, you will get another opportunity. 

Little Brownie is officially a homeschool student this year.  Because of his birth date, he is registered as a Pre-K5.  Although, he is learning more on a Kindergarten level. His best friend in the whole wide world is Big Brownie.  He looks up to him.  Sometimes, he thinks he knows more than his older brother.  Just the other day, I heard this conversation, as we were driving in the car...

Little Brownie- "You know what, I am smarter than you."
Big Brownie paused and furrowed his eyebrows a minute and responded -  "Well, I know how to read and do math.  So TAKE THAT!"
Little Brownie - "You got me.  You are still smarter..for now."


Little Brownie loves to play with Action Figures, Super Heroes, Legos, WiiU, games on his iPad, running, digging in the yard, riding his gator...just to name a few.  He loves to exercise, wrestle and his favorite color is silver.  He LOVES for me to read him the Magic Treehouse book series.  The Sea Serpent being his all time favorite.  He has a love and passion for animals of all kinds.  He is an amazing foster family member for our local boxer rescue.  He knows how to take care of the four legged friends that we bring into our home.

Little Brownie is a joy to have as a sidekick in the kitchen and is an excellent baker.  His favorite thing to make are muffins and to eat are Chocolate Cinnamon Roll Bread (that I make in the Fall and Winter), anything with Nutella on it and a big 'ole plain Whopper from Burger King.  He has become a very responsible individual that doesn't mind helping around the house...when he is reminded.  He tends to also need a reminder that his hands belong to him, as they are attached to his body.  He gives THE BEST KISSES and hugs.  I cannot imagine my life without that little bug in it.  We are truly blessed.

Happy 5th Birthday Little Brownie.  You teach me something new everyday of our lives together.  God bless and keep you!  We love you!

Here is the post from 2009 that I wrote about the time frame leading up to his birth in the car.  http://www.brownfamilysoundoff.blogspot.com/2009/10/our-miracle-here-on-earth.html

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Little Brownie turns 4...

Today at 3:07a, my Little Brownie is officially 4 years old.  He is our little blessing.  He is full of life and energy...enough to make a person tired just watching him.  His favorite toys are his dinosaurs.  He loves to play Skylanders and Donkey Kong on the Wii and loves to sing Christmas songs year round.  He still enjoys playing with trucks and trains.  He LOVES animals of all kinds.  His favorite books are anything Dinosaur, Curious George and anything written by Dr. Seuss...although Sam and The Firefly is the most requested.  He is a full on Mama's boy and I love every minute of it.  He is currently being homeschooled by yours truly and attends a tutorial once a week.  He really enjoys learning and I see his wheels turning especially when he furrows his brow in concentration.  At the age of 4, he is learning to read 3 letter words and follows his Big Brother around usually dressed up in costumes.  He is definitely an outdoors kind of guy.  Chocolate is a great modivator in his life.  When we have a backyard bonfire, he wants a hot dog no bun and a s'more with no graham cracker and no marshmellow.  He speaks his mind and gives the best hugs and kisses of any child I know.  His hug and kiss melts my heart every time.  

On this day 4 years ago, I was blessed to bring a human into the world the old fashion way...with no medical support.  On the way to the hospital, he was bound and determined to not wait for our official birthing plan.  I tried my best not to push. I tried my best to stay calm.  I tried my best to keep him in for 7 more minutes.  But alas, he decided it was time and I thank the Good Lord every single day that he was born healthy and safe.  We are truly blessed to have this little light in our life.  And he is a light.  He reminds me everyday that the miracles are in the everyday things we do, not just being born on the side of the road.  He speaks with clear wisdom and always knows when I need a hug or when a piggy back ride is just what we need to make our day gleen brighter.  The last 4 years have gone by in a blink of an eye.  It pains my heart to know that he is growing so fast that I try my best not to blink or miss a single moment of wonder and awe.  We love you Little Brownie and thank you for being our son.  You have taught us as much as we have tried to teach you.  You will always be my baby, even when you are a 30 something, 6 foot something young man.  I pray many blessings over you and pray that God is already preparing your future love in life.  Happy Birthday Little Brownie...it's going to be a good one!



You can read his story that I posted back in 2009 here


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Preparations, Fire Drills & Fireflies

Well, the whole house has been under the weather since our return from Atlanta last week.  I think we are finally all on the mend.  This week has been busy with preparing for homeschool and getting ready for tutorial to gear up next week.  My mind and body have been kicked into high gear with new chore charts, homeschool planning, getting the playroom ready for a real educational environment.  Curriculum has been ordered and the weight of my future educational responsibilities have come down across my shoulders.  I take it in stride and try not to allow it to overwhelm me.

  

We opened our ABC Scriptures cards I printed from here and our verse for the day was 1 Thessalonians 5:11"Be kind to one another and build each other up."  So today I decided we would just have a low key fun day...and boy was it needed by all.  We brought out the water slide, I mowed the grass and we ate about 50 popsicles.  I mean what is life if you can't take a moment to enjoy the laughter, the creativity and the love?  

I try not to watch the news, especially since I don't want the Brownies exposed to murder, rape and kidnapping stories so openly and widely discussed in graphic detail most of the time.  However, with the Olympics, the television has been on for our competitive enjoyment.  The boys always root for the "Americans" and if there isn't an American team competing, they chose a team and we pretend to be from that country.  In between the Olympic airing, the local news has ran a few stories about kidnappings and fires.  I have been talking to the boys for several months about "what if" situations.  For example, I ask the Brownies..."If someone offers you candy and you don't know who they are and/or Mom and Dad are not there, what do you do?"  The favorite response from the boys is, "I tell them their candy stinks like my booty and a run!"  Or what if someone is stealing your brother what do your do...the reply is "I yell for help, bite their hand and give them a spin-jitzu drop kick!"  We also talk about other things like when is it ok to take your clothes off and if someone touches them inappropriately.  These are all things that I want to prepare them for, just in case they are in a situation and don't know what to do.  I want them to know they can talk to me and Daddy Brown about anything and that nothing is off limits.  Little Brownie being 3 years old and Big Brownie now 5 years old, I don't think it is to early to talk to them, in age appropriate terms of course, about being prepared.  

So along the lines of preparedness, tonight we had our first ever fire drill.  At Mother's Day Out last year, the boys were given a basic set of guidelines from the official fireman that came to the church....stop, drop and roll, etc.  I have been talking to the boys about what to do if there were a fire in our home.  Until tonight, they had never heard the fire alarms activated in our home.  So after dinner, I told them we would have an official fire drill.  With wide eyed anticipation, they both ran upstairs to their beds.  I hit the test button and the whole house began to alarm.  The boys did a great job crawling out of their beds, assessing which exit to get out, crawling down the stairs, exiting through a door and running to our neighbors flag pole as our family meeting spot.  We drilled from the bedrooms, we drilled from the playroom and we drilled from the living room.  However, the most challenging drill came by exiting the back door.  We have a fence that only opens from the outside.  The boys are both too short to reach the latch, so tonight, I taught them how to climb the fence and jump to freedom.  Big Brownie said, "This was the most exciting drill in the history of the world".  Little Brownie was not so keen.  He got shaky at the top and almost lost his composure.  He wanted to grab me, but I assured him I would not let him fall.  I explained that in a real fire, I might not be there to get him out and he had to learn to jump off the fence to save his life.  I kept reiterating this..."We can replace everything in our home but you.  You are the most important treasure we have.  Do not go into the burning house looking for Mommy, Daddy, your brother or your dog.  You have to get yourself out safe!"  I plan to do a few impromptu and unscheduled fire drills with the boys soon to make sure they really get the idea.  I plan on using caution tape to mark off areas that are "on fire" so they have to make quick and possibly lifesaving decisions.  For it being the first time, the boys did amazing and I was very proud of them!

So after our adventurous drills and as we walked back from our neighbors yard, dusk was upon us.  Big Brownie started chasing fireflies in the front yard.  Little Brownie followed and before you knew it, they had amassed quite a collection of fireflies.  I ran inside to get a jar and my camera.  As night fell, I enjoyed sitting on the porch step, watching them run and giggle and laugh with each other.  It is truly amazing the gift that God has given us in these two boys.  I cannot imagine my life more fulfilled and enriched.  After we took baths, read books and sang songs, I reached down to kiss Little Brownie.  He reached up with his arms and said, "This was an awesome day Mama...thank you!  I will love you forever and always!"  My heart swelled to almost tears.  I gave him an eskimo kiss and said, "This was the best day of my life, because I got to spend it with you and I love you forever and always".  (The boys love for me to read the book, Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.)  When I went to tuck Big Brownie in, he was drifting off to sleep.  He said, "Mama, can we have another fire drill tomorrow?"  I replied, "We'll see".  He said, "I'm so glad you are my Mama and I love you forever and always."  I kissed him on the head as tears whelped up in my eyes and said, "I will love you forever and always too...now get some sleep."  Today has been an amazing day.  Quite possibly one of my favorite days...until tomorrow.  There will hopefully be more fireflies to catch and more fun to be had, but most importantly, I pray we will always have one another to be kind to and the ability to build each other up.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Angels in the Outfield of life...

I love the movie, "Angels in the Outfield".  I have always found comfort in the knowledge that Angels abide beside us in our daily lives.  I had my own real life "Angels" appear seemingly out of thin air this past weekend.  We made a trip to Atlanta this past weekend with Tutu Nani as she was attending a conference.  We took the opportunity to take a few days to visit Legoland Discovery Center, Georgia Aquarium and well...Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital.

We had an amazing time at Legoland.  I understand the Discovery Center is a postage stamp in comparison to the theme park versions in Florida and California, however, it was the perfect afternoon. The Brownies had the most amazing time and I seriously would drive another 5 hours at this very moment to take them again.  It will be one of those magical memories for me to see the excitement in their eyes.  On day 2, we made plans to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  This place was awesome.  The animals were huge and so close that the boys eyes wondered from one to another area to another area with anxious anticipation of what can they see next.  They would say, "Look mom, a whale shark...oh oh oh, look there is a manta ray."  There were so many people though that I was a bit claustrophobic.  My mom was with us and my sister was back at the hotel sick, and we had her 3 kids with us.  Saying the place was packed, would be an understatement.  I was constantly counting heads and looking for my mom.  It was a bit unnerving for me.  

As we found a spot to rest for a minute, the kids climbed onto a rock.  Little Brownie bumped his head as he was climbing.  I picked him up off the floor and held him to comfort his boo-boo.  As I was doing so, I heard a huge thump behind me.  As I turned around, Big Brownie was flat on his back, legs in the air and he was screaming.  He had fallen about 3 feet backward off the rock and hit the floor like a ton of bricks.  I tossed Little Brownie to my mom and grabbed Big Brownie into my arms.  I consoled him and tried to comfort him.  He finally stopped crying long enough for me to get some tylenol out of my first aid kit and give him some juice.  Once he calmed, I carried him through the aquarium.  Not allowing him to fall asleep, I tried my best to peak his interest back into the wildlife around us.  However, he seemed disoriented.  All at once, he began to cry...the "I'm about the blow chunks" kind of cry.  I get him to a trash can and he begins to vomit.  Although I tried my best to remain calm, this made me worry even more.  

As I continued to carry him, I went to get him a new shirt and drink from the gift shop.  I put his new shirt on and I checked his pupils with my keychain mag light and they responded as they should.  I gave him a drink and asked him to walk for me.  After a few steps, he began to vomit again.  I became more and more worried with each passing minute.  As we sat on the steps of the cafe, I called our pediatrician back home.  After speaking to the nurse, I put Big Brownie through a series questions looking for basic responses.  "How many fingers am I holding up?  Follow my finger with your eyes.  When you look at that chair is it clear or fuzzy?"  When I asked him to walk a short distance, he stumbled 3 times.  That was it, I decided we were going to the hospital.  I called my insurance to find out what hospitals were in our network and I began to lose it.  My voice began to crack as I nervously wrote down the name, address and number of hospitals, all the while, I'm holding Big Brownie and trying to keep him awake.  Thankfully, my mom had Little Brownie and my sisters kids as she is following me out of the venue. 

As we reached the van, Big Brownie begins to vomit again and I'm on the verge of panic mode.  We get everybody in the van, start the van and I ask my mom to pull up the hospitals on her GPS....and then the van dies.  As I'm trying to keep it together, I turn the key over again and the van will not start.  I take a deep breath and look up.  As I look over the steering wheel of the van a sense of desperation comes over me and I see a gentleman walking by himself in the parking lot.  I open the door and as I'm about to call out to him, my mom yells, "Sir, we need help!  Can you please help us?"  He approaches our van and asks how he can help.  My mom explains that our van died and we need to get to the hospital.  

Without a shred of fear, I begin unhooking Big Brownie from his seat and I begin to cry.  I hand him my slip of paper listing the hospitals that I had collected from my insurance and ask, "Can you please take me and my son to the hospital...he fell and hit his head, he is vomiting and I need help?"  This sweet kind individual that I did not know, agreed and drove me and Big Brownie to the hospital.  I left my mom with the van and the kids and put Big Brownie in this strangers car.  As it turns out, even though he currently lives in Georgia, he went to school just 40 minutes from our little town back home.  His name was Cameron and he did his best to keep me calm and distracted as I cried in his passenger seat.  Big Brownie vomited in his very nice, very new, top of the line Lexus and it didn't bother him a bit.  He had a few napkins and some water so I could try and clean Big Brownie up.  He drove us 20 minutes to the hospital.  He was on his way back to work, which happened to be in the hospital right across the street from the Children's Hospital we were going.  As he dropped us off, I gave him the biggest hug and thanked him.  What do you say to someone that has helped you so unconditionally?  He is an angel in my outfield.  

Big Brownie and I got the Emergency Room and a nurse named Lidia saw me enter.  She saw how distraught I was and that I was alone.  She decided she would intake us, triage us and treat us from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.  She is an angel in my outfield.  Big Brownie had a CT Scan and they gave him an anti-nausea medication.  He was officially diagnosed with a concussion.  After being there for 5 hours, my mom picked us up from the hospital and we headed back to the hotel, Big Brownie was back to his old self again.  We decided to stay another night in Atlanta because I was too exhausted and mentally drained to drive home.  I have been on my hands and knees thanking Jesus for allowing believers to step in to help me and my Big Brownie in our time of need.  It was not lost on me that they both referenced God and his healing powers for my Big Brownie.  Even in my time of despair, God was with me and Big Brownie.  It was the most comforting feeling and I will be forever grateful for the genuine kindness of these angels in the outfield of our life.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A good buzz and learning to swim...

I'm happy to report my nephew mentioned in the previous post is home from surgery and recovering well.  He is on restricted activity for the next 6 weeks.  As you can imagine, that will be a challenge as he gets to feeling better and better.  Thank you very much for all the prayers that have been lifted for our family.

In anticipation of his return, Daddy Brown and I have been talking to the Brownies about what was happening and what to expect when they get to visit our recovering cousin.  We told the boys that his hair had been shaved and made illustrations of the incision on Daddy Brown's bald head.  The boys decided it would be a good idea to shave their heads.  This is so their cousin would have other kids that look like him and would not feel singled out.  So, with clippers in hand and excitement all around, Daddy Brown helped Big Brownie shave his head using a No 2 guard.  After clipping half of his head, I reached over and mentioned to Daddy Brown, "Do you think it's short enough?"  Big Brownie whipped around and said, "Is this not as short as it needs to be?"  We looked at each other and said, "No, your cousins hair is shorter."  Big Brownie said, "I need my hair to look just like his so he doesn't feel bad."  So, with that, we changed the guard to No.1 and finished him right up...all the while, we hear Little Brownie say, "Me too, I want my hair just as short too".  So, we now have 2 head buzzed boys.  It's a great change of pace for the summer months.  With tick season upon us and their abundance, this will help with inspection time for sure.


We are a very "age driven" household.  The Brownies know they can't drive until they are 16, they know they can't chew gum until they are 4, but most recently, Big Brownie wanted to learn how to swim.  So, we decided that 5 was an appropriate age to take swimming lessons.  Big Brownie will be 5 on Friday, so we started lessons this week.  He was so overjoyed and excited.  We arrived with both Brownies to our instructors home and he took to it like a fish in the ocean.  Little Brownie was cool as a cucumber until he noticed swim lessons for Big Brownie seems pretty cool.  Then, he began to pout...that turned into begging.  He said, "Please Mama, can I take swim lessons?  I promise to be a good listener and not drown in the water!"  As it stands at this moment, we are going to stick to the 5 year old rule, however, if the instructor is willing to take a 3.5 year old, we may allow him to try ONE lesson to see if he can handle the hour long instruction....but we will see!