Sunday, December 26, 2010

December to remember...

Wow...I just realized I haven't made a single post this entire month of December. SAD, I know. Don't scold me, but we have been having so much Christmas fun that I haven't had a moment to take a deep breath...until now.

It's the day after Christmas and I sit here and think about all the wonderful adventures we have shared. This month has been like a dream. Much needed time spent with family and friends. Play dates for the boys and friendships deepened through sharing and understanding. Watching the sparkle in the eyes of my babes as they learn more and more about the reason for this particular holiday. Jesus! Singing carols and watching movies, talking about Baby Jesus as often as we can. Talking about Santa and the elves...and the discovery of the "naughty" list. Big Brownie attempted to place Little Brownie on the aforementioned list on several occasions.

We started this season with donating to the Goodwill. In anticipation of the abundance that was to come and we re-organized the playroom. Any toy that hadn't been played with was given to the Goodwill in hopes that others might find a Christmas gift for their little ones. We also shopped the Goodwill, as WE are also in a different place, day and time from just a few years back. We enjoyed laughing and tailgating at the local Christmas parade with family and friends. We enjoyed Friday play dates to put together gift bags for the homeless and enjoyed making cookies and singing songs. We had Breakfast with Santa and even went to a neighbors home where Santa and Ms. Claus came for a visit. We enjoyed the birthdays of a neighbor friend and of our Papa, and celebrated in the anniversaries of Tutu-Nani and Papa (No. 38), as well as Uncle and Aunt Berry (No. 17). We have had snow twice already this season and we even had a White Christmas...well, it snowed on Christmas but we didn't have much accumulation.

We had our "sisters" over for PLAY, PLAY, PLAY to allow their Mommy and Daddy to enjoy an evening out. We celebrated Christmas Eve "Eve" with my Grandmother and Aunt, Christmas Eve with my "In-Loves" and Christmas Day with my family. So now, I sit here at 8:30p taking a deep breath, drinking a warm cup of tea and basking in the quiet of my babies sleeping. The thought of getting to bed before midnight almost blows my mind away and the feeling of happiness that we have one more day tomorrow to share of Daddy Brown's Christmas vacation.

Yes, December has been a month of new memories. Love that has grown for so many and happiness that my babies had a wonder filled and blessed Christmas. I think all parents want to give memories of the season to their babes, as much as they want to give gifts. I would rather they remember us sitting and reading books and singing songs as opposed to what they opened on Christmas morning. I hope they remember snuggling up in one big bed to read as many books as we can, for as long as their eyes can stay open. I hope they remember falling asleep in my arms and hearing my voice, and feeling my breath as I kiss them good night. I hope they remember the love I have for them.

My love for them can never compare to the love our Father God in Heaven has for us. There is no comparison to his love. I can't imagine, as the sin-filled child that I am with the many times I fail him on a daily basis, that he continues to love me. And to love me abundantly. I am thankful for the opportunity of a new day. I remind myself when I am ready to pull my hair out with my boys, how many times the Good Lord wants to pull his hair out from me. It helps me to have grace and understanding. To know that my boys at times fail or walk a different path from my instruction and yet, I still love them. I still forgive them. And it makes me love them more. I pray for them on a minute by minute basis sometimes. I try to pray over them, with them and for them as often as I can. Yes, December is always a month of renewal for me. This season is used as a tool to help me teach my boys of the greatest gift. The gift of our Father, descending from heaven above and bringing with it eternal life ever after. Thank you God for your son Jesus. Thank you Father for your forgiveness and love. Thank you Father God for Daddy Brown, for Big Brownie, for Little Brownie and for our family that we share in life and love. Merry Christmas!





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Monday, November 29, 2010

Superstar...

Did you ever dream about being a superstar? When I was a little kid, I used to think I could sing better than anyone on the planet. I would ask my Grandparents if they would like me to "entertain" them. I sang in the car, in the bath, at school, in my room and most definitely in the store. My mom used to politely ask me to be quiet, so she could hear herself think. If I wasn't singing, I was talking. If I wasn't talking, I was humming. And guess what? My mom told me I would have a child one day that would do the exact same thing.

Her prediction was correct. Little Brownie and Big Brownie love to sing and talk and hum. They love to have a "sing-a-long" and bob their little heads up and down as we dance and sing our tunes. I recently put a CD player in the playroom so we can listen to music and books. Big Brownie requests I play music in the mornings. It is so precious to hear his little voice singing away and making his own words match the tune. Little Brownie is chiming in as well. The favorite of the week and/or year is Frosty the Snowman. Honestly, Little Brownie has been requesting and watching Frosty the Snowman all year long. We have literally burnt up our first Frosty DVD. I had to scour the stores last week to find a replacement, which was difficult because there are now several versions, prequels and sequels to the original.

The Brownies are my rock stars. At the end of the day, I feel much like my mom where I want to teach them how to play, "Quiet as a mouse". They really haven't mastered this game...AT ALL, but it is worth a try. So, back to my original question..."Did you ever dream of being a superstar?" I have felt like one many times over the last few weeks. If I get out of the house for a few hours without the Brownies, upon my return it is as if a superstar has walked through the door. "Mommy, Mommy!" says Little Brownie. "Mommy's home, you're back!", says Big Brownie. All followed with big hugs and big kisses. Walking in the house to hear their sweet voices and their feet pounding the floor as they get closer to me, is an enthusiasm I hope will continue through many years. It makes me feel good to know that I may not be a Superstar to most, but I am a Superstar to the most important.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary...

Today is our 12 year anniversary. It seems like yesterday, but it seems like forever. It is hard for me to remember a time before Daddy Brown was in my life. We dated for 4 years before we married and now, we have officially known each other for half of our life. But it is also hard to remember life before the Brownies were born, so that is just my mind putting priorities in place...I think. Life is harder now than it ever has been. Harder in that Daddy Brown and I have to work to find time with each other when it is just each other around. With Brownies literally running under foot, to be able to sit and just look at each other and laugh or talk or cry, those moments are cherished. To be able to take a breath of the same air while wrapping my arms around him, revitalizes my spirit.

Last night, Gran Gran and Pops took care of the boys overnight. It's been a while since we have had the opportunity to just be "me and you". We dropped off the boys and were just giddy at being in a car without car seats in the back. To drive to get gas and not have to worry about the boys getting fussy. To eat a meal without making it kid friendly by holding this and holding that...and to eat it all. To come home to a quiet house, not worry about what was on the television and to laugh. To laugh and talk without spelling words or mouthing phrases. To talk frankly and stay up as late as we wanted. To fall asleep next to the one I love without looking at the monitor to make sure I didn't hear a cough or wheeze or cry.

It is just as much work to make time for these moments with just each other, as it is with the Brownies. To look at Daddy Brown and be able to just be me. To be his wife and not the mother of his kids. I don't want 15 years to pass that we haven't looked at each other with love in our eyes, to laugh until we cry and talk until the sun comes up. Our big night didn't consist of much flare. We went shopping for Big Brownie a new pair of shoes. We went to Target and walked around aimlessly in area's of the store that we normally don't get to go because we are running in and out, trying to avoid the toy department and holiday areas if possible. We held each others hand without having a little Brownie hand in between. Daddy Brown was able to wrap his arms around me while were in the checking out line, and I miss that. I miss being about to show a little "PDA" with Daddy Brown. To have him brush my hair back to see my face or give me a love pat on the rear when I walk by. Yes, it was a great night to be just me and Daddy Brown. Thanking Jesus today that I have Daddy Brown in my life. That we have 2 Brownies to raise and we have a loving and caring family to share it with. Hug, Kiss, Laugh, Talk, Hold, Cry and Look at the one you love today. You don't have to do all of these at one time, but make sure you at least do one every day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Funny...

I could not let this day go by without sharing a few funny words from Big Brownie. Last night, Daddy Brown made a deal with Big Brownie. If he slept in his bed all night and didn't come out, he could sleep with a toy gun. Daddy Brown said his eyes lit up and he was excited sleeping with his toy gun. This is not a deal that I would have made, since I don't really know how I feel about toy guns just yet. Anyway, at about 5:30a this morning I heard him screaming in his bed. I jumped up and ran into his room. I asked what was wrong and he had lost his toy gun and was upset. I searched feverishly in the blankets and pulled out his toy gun and he literally fell over back to sleep. I laid down beside him and watched him sleep.

About 8:15a, I woke up and had fallen asleep in the bed with Big Brownie. He was staring at me and smiled when I opened my eyes. Not only was he coveting his toy gun, but in the midst of all the covers that lay upon his full size bed, a binkie had been found and was in his mouth! I asked him, "Where did you get that binkie?" He said, "I just hide it under my pillow and the binkie fairy is gonna come get it and bring me a dollar." I said, "Oh, I didn't know that there was a binkie fairy?" He said, "Oh yea, she is gonna give me a dollar for my binkie and I'm gonna buy me something." I said, "What are you gonna buy?" He said, "Well, if the tooth fairy comes with the binkie fairy, then I will get 2 dollars and I can buy a whole bunch more binkies and get a whole bunch more dollars." OH MY GOODNESS! Where did this child come from and where did he get that pearl of wisdom!

I've got a big day today, so I've got to get moving. However, I will share again soon, I just didn't want this funny to get lost in my brain forever. Happy Friday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just the two of us...

After feeling at the bottom of the barrel yesterday, I'm feeling rejuvenated today. Daddy Brown came in yesterday afternoon and I'm pretty sure he could tell I was feeling down. He stepped right in and helped me with dinner. I did make my pumpkin soup in pumpkin bread bowls with pork tenderloin and green beans. Of course, we didn't eat supper until around 7:30p, but I felt a sense of accomplishment. Daddy Brown took charge of the boys and I was able to do what I love to do...cook and bake. It was delicious if I do say so myself. You might scrunch your nose up to the thought of pumpkin soup, but honestly, the whole family lapped it up and Daddy Brown went in for a second bowl. That says a lot for Daddy Brown to have seconds.

With bellies full and everyone in a calm mood, I ran to the store, (by myself) to get milk and a few other items. Bathtime and bedtime followed shortly. As Daddy Brown concluded watching the 2nd game of the World Series, he came to bed. We cuddled and snuggled up together and drifted off to sleep. Big Brownie made his way to our room at 5:55a. I swooped him up into our bed in between us and Andy followed suit. All that was missing was Little Brownie, but I wasn't about to wake him up to join us.

About 6:30a, I nudged Daddy Brown and asked if he wouldn't mind if I went for a run. I have a 5k run tomorrow morning that I have not prepared well for. Honestly, my running shoes haven't hit the pavement in about 3 weeks. I needed to knock the cobwebs off the legs and see if I could run for more than a minute. It was COLD. Say about 39 degrees COLD. I put my warm wear on and laced up my shoes. To my surprise, I didn't do as bad as I had expected. I ran for 14 minutes and took a 1 minute break, then ran for another 5 minutes. I think I could have ran a bit longer but needed to get back home so Daddy Brown could go to work. It felt good. I think I've missed the high of adrenaline that I feel when I get out and run. I miss how invigorated I feel when I do. We will see how well I do tomorrow and I'll post some pictures.

After returning home, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a bagel as I checked my email. It was nice to actually have breakfast and to finish it all by myself. It was awesome having a few extra minutes with Daddy Brown, without the Brownies under our feet, to share a few words, hugs and kisses. I need to do better at making time for just us. Our anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks. It always reminds me that the Brownies originally started with just the two of us. No matter what kind of day falls in my lap, at the end of the day, I have Daddy Brown to help pick me up and support me. I need to do a better job at picking him up and supporting him. Today, I'm feeling a renewed strength. A renewed love and patience. Who knows how I'll feel this afternoon or this evening, but for now, I'm content. Content in knowing that through my ups and downs, I have my family to lean on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laugh or Cry?

So...I must get back to blogging. Why you ask? Because if I don't by the end of most days, I have a choice. Do I laugh about my day or do I cry? I choose laughter most days, but here recently, the tears have come so easily. To share with you the funnies, helps me remember them on days like today that I could ball up into the fetal position and find pity all around.

I woke this morning with what appeared to be an ample amount of sleep in my tank. We started our day enjoying a Disney feature called "Spookley". I decided I'd throw a couple of ingredients together to see if I could make a less complicated version of Spiced Pumpkin pancakes. It worked. I got out my Halloween pancake molds and the boys chose a pumpkin and a bat as their pancake shape of choice. As we are eating our holiday breakfast, Andy, the now 60 pound boxer, is seating patiently at their feet. I turned my back to grab everyone a drink and I hear, "Andy likes pancakes too!" As I turned around to see what was happening, Little Brownie was giving Andy a bite...from his fork. I just kinda stood for a second processing the kindness Little Brownie was giving to his dog, but also in utter disgust as I watched Little Brownie lick the fork after Andy was done. Andy got to go outside for the remainder for breakfast.

Once we concluded our meal, Andy does get to have the left overs. I welcomed him back into the house and gave him his expectant plate. The boys and I went upstairs to change clothes, but another moment of forgetfulness allowed me to leave the kitchen without checking for any objects that Andy might swipe from the counter tops. Upon my return to the downstairs, Andy was not waiting for me at the bottom of the steps in his usual spot. I panicked and ran into the living room. 1 whole stick of softened butter was being eating and licked into the carpet. YUCK!

Our day continued with some playroom organizing and cleanup. It was actually Big Brownies idea. We sat in the floor and the boys were my runners to different areas of the room. Boxes organized as "Trains", "Cars", "Animals and People", "Blocks"...you get the idea. This is a great way for me to see what they still have attachments to as far as their toys and what they have grown out of to be gifted or packed away. We played and enjoyed the morning with each other until we found a treasure. A semi-truck that holds match-box cars...hasn't been played with in over 6 months I'm sure, was the focus of EVERYBODY's attention. Big Brownie explained to Little Brownie that this was for big boys and he was not 3 so he couldn't play with it. Little Brownie has a meltdown and so it began.

After some counseling and love from each brother to one another, it was lunchtime. We had grilled cheese sandwiches in the shape of...what else...pumpkins and owls with a side of chips and banana. As we finished lunch and headed to nap time, Big Brownie decides he wants to watch a movie while I put Little Brownie down in his room. I declined the request, but explained he could lay in my bed and watch Nick Jr. until I returned. He agreed. I get Little Brownie asleep and in his bed and began singing to Big Brownie. Off to sleep he went and I had a moment of Ahhhhh. It felt good to have the house quiet. Time for me to get a shower and maybe a cup of tea.

Well, 12 minutes people. 12 minutes and I hear Big Brownie's feet hit the floor. In hopes that he was just getting up to tinkle I stood quiet and followed his footsteps above me as he went to the bathroom. A few seconds later, his footsteps approached the doorway as opposed to the bed. I attempted to put him back in bed but to no avail. It just wasn't happened. To keep what little sanity I had left, I let him watch a DVD while I showered and we came downstairs for some much needed cuddling. Little Brownie didn't sleep more than an hour and he was up calling my name.

Downstairs we all come to begin the afternoon push until Daddy Brown gets home. Pumpkin Soup in Pumpkin Bread bowls with a side of pork tenderloin and green beans is on the entree menu tonight. Dessert includes candy corn shaped sugar cookies dipped in chocolate to be enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Big aspiration I have for a Mama with a preschooler and a toddler on my hands. I'd like to say my afternoon has been successful, however, I found myself giving out turkey sandwich halves and chips for a snack as my "Pumpkin Bread Bowls" are proofing on my desktop in the sunlight. Little Brownie has been on edge since he woke up and I find myself getting a whiff of a stinky diaper as he runs past me. Big Brownie decided he wants to play with some play dough. I was agreeable until I found him in the corner with a pair of scissors cutting his plastic pumpkin to pieces.

It is my hopes as Daddy Brown appears any minute in my view that my insanity level with come down a few notches. Having the knight in shining armor arrive to save the day and give me aid is sometimes the highlight of my day. The goals for the night...pumpkin soup in white glass bowls with a side of "I haven't figured it out yet", bathtime, evening playtime, maybe a movie with popcorn and finally bedtime. Hopefully one that ends with laughter and not tears.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh the days of yester-year...

I got a real giggle today. I met with an old friend at lunch. He has asked me to do some accounting work for him, so technically this was a business meeting. As I got out of the "family truckster", I was holding Little Brownies hand and walking to the restaurant. I was rocking my mommy jeans, clearance t-shirt and flip flops. On my arm, I was carrying our "Day out with Thomas" bag that holds everything from diapers and wipes, trains, cars, to my notepad, "SOP's" and binder full of my friend's information...and I smiled. Just 4 short years ago, that Mama Brown from yester-year would have been sporting a suit, high heel shoes and a leather bound portfolio of information. There would have been makeup on my face and my hair would have been fixed in a bun or french twist and sprayed to perfection.

What a difference a few years will make when priorities have shifted. The Mama Brown of today is still just as smart as I was before, although most days I question that previous statement. But today, my thoughts are always of my boys. When making the appointment and choosing a restaurant...it had to be kid friendly. I needed crayons and coloring pages provided, a booster seat was a must and a kids menu with our favorite grilled chicken and beans to order. An atmosphere that was conducive to my goals of discussing his needs and going through his priorities, while keeping Little Brownie occupied and entertained.

It was a success. Thankfully, my friend knew me back in the day. He has confidence and understanding to my situation of being a stay-at-home Mama, but still trusts that I can help him meet his needs and goals in the process. As we were leaving our successful business lunch, a stop in the gift shop to play with toys and sitting in rocking chairs while playing checkers were all objectives that we achieved. Could life be any better to be able to have my cake and eat it too? I am extremely thankful for every blessing that the Good Lord has afforded us. And I'm continually grateful of the many blessing he continues to provide.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Heartbeats...

I've had this post in me for a while. One that I have ran through my head and my heart over and over again. I think partly because I've been hugging and loving on my boys...all three, for the last couple of weeks for a number of reasons. We have all been sick. Most recently, Daddy Brown has pneumonia. The Brownies have been coughing and sneezing and just about anything else you can think of from fever to diarrhea. We've had milestones from birthday parties to Mother's Day Out. It's been a real eye opener for me to see my boys grow and participate in the joys and sorrows of being siblings and friends.

I still can't believe we have a 3 year old and a 2 year old...TODDLERS. Where did our babies go? I remember when Big Brownie was just a heartbeat at 7 weeks old on the ultrasound at the doctors office. Our little "Gus" as we called him in the womb. And I remember the little heartbeat of Little Brownie "Pete" at 8 weeks. The two most precious, tearful moments of seeing a heartbeat. A beat that was consistent and strong. As you may have read Little Brownies birth story by now, there will always be a special bond between us. I tried putting him on my chest in the same position as I remember him just after he was born and Daddy Brown opened my car door. Little legs so long and slinder hang below my own. Arms that wrap around my neck and words like...BIG HUG and BIG KIPS...it hurts.

Little Brownie is still peacefully sleeping in his crib at night. He has a projection mobile that has 3 different sound buttons that over the last few months, he has began to explore the different sounds. He also has a sound machine separately in his room that up until a few months ago, always played the steady, peaceful sounds of rainfall. Since Little Brownie has figured out he can actually push the different buttons, he has realized he has options. Out of all the options he has to choose, his choice every night is the same...the sound of a heartbeat. I've read that young babies like the sound of a heartbeat for soothing effects and remembering of their cozy, warm place inside the safety of their Mommy's womb. The sound of a heartbeat to a baby is the steady sound as he grows and before he ever understands a word or other sounds from his Mom or Dad. Could it be that Little Brownie still finds comfort and safety in hearing the sounds of a heartbeat all night long as he sleeps? I like to think so and it gives me great comfort as well. The first sign of life in the womb...a heartbeat.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Little Brownie is 2...

Well, our Little Brownie is officially 2 years old and it truly hurts my heart. If there were not several fresh babies around me to snuggle, I would be in FULL-ON baby mode. As I have spent the last couple of hours looking over pictures from the past year, I have teared up many times. My throat has swelled with emotion as I have seen what time can do. I have seen in 2 short years, a baby grow into a toddler. A toddler with so much spunk, it will make your head spin.

In keeping with my new tradition of having a "mother-son" day, Little Brownie and I ventured to a local indoor tree-house. We played with trains, cars, dinosaurs, climbed tree houses and colored. We played on a stage, colored with markers, jumped around in a ball pit and oh so much more. Little Brownie was in complete, earth-shattering bliss. Making sure that everyone was sharing, he barked orders at the other children as if they were part of his own family. We enjoyed ourselves to the max.

As I was rocking my Little Brownie to sleep tonight, I remembered what I was doing at the exact time 2 years ago. It brought back so many memories of his quick and exciting arrival. As I did last year, I am sharing my experience for 1 day. Today, on my Little Brownie's special day, you can hear the audio of the 911 delivery. In a post to come, you'll see updated pictures of our recent adventures. I'm just too tired to update the video from last year. Please enjoy and may it bring a smile to you. If you'd like to read his story as well, you may click here to see the post from last year. I'll admit that I've re-read it several times over the last couple of days. It brings so many memories and emotions back to the surface. I forget the little details as time moves forward. I'm still in awe that I was blessed with a safe delivery of our son...and blessed with the experience.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My thoughts...

I've kinda been on a blogging break. Not that there hasn't been plenty of funnies and laughs around the Brown house, I've just been putting my efforts and energy to other more important tasks in our home and with our boys. However, today, I read a post about the pro-life/pro-choice controversy from an old friend on her blog that got me thinking. Thinking enough that I felt I needed to put my words down for my boys to know and understand why I believe the way I do. I am...Pro-life. I believe that a baby is a baby from the moment it is conceived. I believe that each conception is a miracle, no matter what circumstance the baby was conceived. Some babies are conceived under the worst circumstances and I do understand that some women have to make a choice about what side of the fence they sit when they are put in that situation. I will admit that I have never been in that situation. However, most of the people that believe one way or another, are also not and/or have not been in that situation either.

I believe the Bible is my guide and instruction book of life. The life of a Christian is a very narrow path and at times and uncomfortable path. There are a lot of lessons to be learned, but there are also a lot of lessons to be taught. Jesus Christ was teacher. Being that he is the son of God, he could have lived a "King's" life here on earth. He could have cleaned house and rid the world of evil. The Lord our father could appear at this moment and make all things anew...again...Remember the Great Flood? But our father had another plan. Making things anew didn't give us the pain factor. I came up with that one all on my own. The pain factor in my brain is the consequence of our actions. God gave us free will. He gives us the ability to believe what we choose and make our own decisions. And then, he walks with us as we suffer or rejoice in the consequence of those decision.

Do I think he condones Abortion? No. Do I think he gives special circumstances a second look if a baby is conceived in an unthinkable manner? No. Do I think that the Lord our God would want me to terminate my child in the womb because my life is in danger? No. When I look at the face of my children, what circumstance would have made me make the decision to terminate him? My answer? None. There is no circumstance or situation that would have made it ok for me to have terminated my baby. I would lay down my life for my baby, before they were born and after. Because I believe that a baby is a baby from the moment it is conceived, in my mind abortion is murder. It is killing a living being whether it is inside of my body or lying asleep in his crib. God is very clear that murder is a sin and that it is an unacceptable act. So, I am going to go out on a limb here and say what other people may not be willing to say today in this politically correct world we live...I am against abortion. I am not just pro-life and I am anti-death. I do not believe a woman has the right to choose to kill and I do not believe the government should make doctors kill unborn babies at a mother's request. I do not believe that the government should condone the killing of unborn babies either. There it is. That is how I feel. Right or wrong to most women I know who are pro-choice. However, I do not believe in it.

My friend that wrote the post on her blog that has had me thinking today mentioned an anti-abortion rally in front of the steps of a church. It really got under her skin and she viewed it very much as a judgment of those doctors who chose to perform abortions and those who chose to abort their babies. My response is this...I believe that anti-abortion rallies should be given the same respect as all the other rallies for which I do not agree with in one way or another. Gay and Lesbian rallies for instance. I do not believe that being a gay or lesbian is in concordance with the laws and guidance of the Bible. If I believe that my path is narrow and my faith is the only golden ticket to my salvation, then it is not a judgment I make in saying abortion is an act against God's path. Here is part of her post, "Did God come down and empower you to judge others? Did you wake up this morning with some omniscience that makes you able to make broad, unqualified judgments? Are you so perfect that you can stand publicly and cast stones at others? Is your world so black and white as to leave no room for extenuating circumstances?"

My answer is simple, yes. My world is black and white and doesn't leave room for extenuating circumstances. No, God didn't empower me or anyone for that matter to judge others. He did however, give me a book that tells me that abortion is wrong. It's not a judgment if I make a statement that the grass is green and the sky is blue. It is what I know to be true. So when asked, "Who the #%@* do you think you are?" My answer is this...I am a child of God. I am an imperfect Christian and God loves me. I live life on a narrow path of faith and I believe that faith is my doorway to heaven. I believe you have the ability to be saved at most any age and time in your life. Forgiveness of each and every sin, big or small is the gift he promises when we take a wider path and may a choice to follow our own path or divert from his word. God's love is great and abundant. And God is the creator and giver of forgiveness. I have a friend that in her early 20's, she had 2 abortions. She admits now that she is in her late 30's, she is very regretful. A day doesn't go by that she doesn't think about the babies that could have been. She now has a beautiful boy and she is grateful for the miracle of his life. She considers herself a born-again pro-lifer. I believe that rallies, like the one my friend experienced today, should continue to take place as much as all the other rallies that are allowed and permitted in our world today.

The phrase, "What would Jesus Do?" is used all the time from people who are Christians as I way to reflect and a way to make decisions in life. It is a reminder about how we are supposed to be living our lives as living, breathing versions of him. Unbelievers like to use it as a way to say we are being "Un-Christ-Like" because we are not loving the sins of others. God doesn't give us the right to judge. He gives us the book for which we are to teach, love and witness to those that are not on the narrow path. It is my hopes that anyone who is reading this can see that being a Christian is not a punchline. Life is not easy being a Christian in today's world. The easy path isn't always the right path. These are just my thoughts and beliefs. I want my boys to understand many years from now that my actions in life are based on the Bible and it is my prayers now for them as they grow, that they will be men of God. That they will live life on a narrow path and that they will be saved by accepting Jesus into their heart. Are you finding that you are in a place in your life that you are uncertain about your salvation? Faith and believing that God our father is your savior, accepting him into your heart as such, you too can be saved. I hope that my post is as thought provoking as my friends. You can read her full post here. There are a few curse words, so please don't allow your young ones to read.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can I get a "Choo-Choo"...

For about 2 weeks now, we have been everything "Thomas the Train" that we can see, hear, play and wear. Last weekend, we rode on a train car in the big city that Thomas was pulling. Tutu Nani joined us for our big adventure. I can say that the boys have not stopped talking about the trip and I've officially learned just about all the accompanying train car's names as well. Aside from our favorite...Thomas, we also LOVE Percy. In fact, there may be an all out brawl in the floor over Percy. What it is about that little green train, I haven't a clue. Maybe it's the fact that even though we have 3 "Percy" train cars, we usually can only scare up 1 at a time. Or maybe it is the fact that he is green? Or MAYBE it is the fact that Percy seems to be Big Brownie's favorite and Little Brownie has picked up on this invaluable piece of information.

We have also enjoyed some much needed down-time and family time. I had a birthday last week and I'm officially as old as Daddy Brown...again, for the 34th time. We started the day with "Blue" Blueberry pancakes, "Green" eggs, "Yellow" bananas and "Orange" juice. The boys sang to me over and over all day long. We visited with my grandmother as she was recovering from cataract surgery and ended the day with Daddy Brown splurging with a grilled steak and potato dinner cooked lovingly over the charcoal grill. I even got to sneak away to Target...BY MYSELF! Which is about the best present one can receive these days. We enjoyed birthday candles, cake and ice cream. It was the best number 34 birthday I could have imagined.

Big Brownie is still LOVING Mother's Day Out and for the first time since he has been attending, he didn't cry for me before rest time. Praise Be! My boy is growing up. Ever the protector and ever the kind soul that he is. He always seems to know the right words to say at the exact moment I need to hear them. Today for example, there was an incident in the living room. Little Brownie poured his grape juice on the carpet...on purpose. To keep from exploding a world of discipline, I took a deep breathe, place Little Brownie in time-out and retrieved a towel to clean the mess. While steam is bellowing from my ears and all I can think about is..."Well, I'm gonna get to clean the carpets again tonight at midnight..." Big Brownie looks up at me and says, "Mama, don't be upset, I will help you clean it up." And then he proceeds to say as he hands me my cell phone, "Mama, I need to make a phone call. I need to call my dad and tell him we need a new house." Just exactly the smile that I needed.

Of course, Little Brownie is good for some true loving. We were sitting on the couch this morning reading a book and he says, "Mommy, I hode you?" I reach around to scoop him in my arms and he reaches up and wraps those sweet arms around my neck. He looks right into my eyes and says, "I wub you Mommy!" I love it when I ask him for a kiss, he pulls my head to his and plants a "Big Kips" on my lips. I'll hear him trip upstairs and I will call out, "Are you okay?" He responds, "I otay!" I can't believe he is going to be 2 year old in just a few weeks. My oh my, how time truly does fly.

So for now, I'm loving every minute of every day that I get to spend with my babies. Each day sometimes seems to be a repeat of the day before. Reading tons of books, praying over meals and snacks, playing with our toys and trains. And playing with our trains and playing with our trains and oh, how about, playing with our trains. We love to sing our favorite little jingle, (I think from Disney's Chuggington show, but I'm not 100% sure...

"Chugga-Chugga Chugga-Chugga...Choo-Choo
Chugga-Chugga Chugga-Chugga...Choo-Choo
That's how we play the train game."

For now, I'm soaking it all in. Loving on my boys, praying with and over my boys and us all praying over their trains.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Falling Forward...but reflecting back

If you know me, you know that FALL is by far my absolute, unequivocal, without a shadow of a doubt favorite season of the year. I love the smell of the crisp, cool air. I love the change of everything green, to crimson, gold and terra-cotta. I love the early dark sky and I love the cooler weather. I enjoy pulling out my big sweatshirts and warm sweaters. I love for Daddy Brown to stoke up a bonfire in the backyard to roast just about anything you can put on a stick. I love being a little chilly in the bed and snuggling up tight with the one I love. Yes, everything Fall is what I dream about all year round. As we are getting close to the favorite time of year, I took pause this morning to reflect upon a whole years worth of memories that have been documented. There have been 105 posts since I started this journey 364 days ago. I've used this forum to share my heart, my love, my boys and so much more. I looked back over the 105 posts and have giggled and laughed. I've cried and re-lived some pretty awesome moments. Moments that if left to my half-awake, limping brain these days, may have falling to the pits of forgetfulness.

I picked out a few that are my favorites. I'll add a few more recent pictures and I'll continue to be amazed on what a wondrous adventure we rise to every single day. I'll remember that my Brownies aren't babies any more, but young toddlers with eyes of exploration and minds of little sponges. I'll remember that what actions they see in me, they will likely emulate. I'll be reminded that each day can seem like an eternity, but each week, month and year, seem to be at lightening speed. I'll be reminded that each and every minute is a blessing in so many ways. Each day that seems like a trial of wills or meeting of the minds, is one more day that has been given to me not in vain. Each sleepless night of holding a Brownie is one more night of feeling their love and touch. Each unsolicited, "Mommy, I love you" gives me a closeness to them that is immeasurable. We have enjoyed every single minute of Summer and look forward to some cooler weather and beautiful, natural colors only God could produce. I hope you have enjoyed reading a bit about our lives over the past year and I hope you will come back to share in our lives as we continue on our journey of life. With love...~Mama Brown.

Some of my favorite posts over the last 12 months...
September, 2009 October, 2009 November, 2009 December, 2009
January, 2010 February, 2010 March, 2010 April, 2010
May, 2010 June, 2010 July, 2010 August, 2010

First day of "Bible School"


One of our MANY trips to the City Zoo!


Having fun at one of our MANY summer pool parties!


Spending precious time...father and son.


Relaxing at home and enjoying our blessings!


Praying over our food and being thankful for what we have been given!


Our future IS so bright we have to wear shades!


Our new found love of Care Bears!


Enjoying our favorite restaurant on our impromptu vacation to the mountains!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Say What Sunday....

Could it be true? Dare I say it aloud? Nope, don't want to ginx myself...well...um...ok. Little Brownie is potty training! Not because I'd like to be diaper free for the first time in 3 years, not because I spent 30 minutes cleaning a blowout down the carpeted staircase last week and certainly not because I think they are soooo cute. My Little Brownie is growing up and I'm not sure I'm ready. The past few mornings, Little Brownie has risen up from his nighttime slumber with a dry diaper. I've rushed him to the potty and Presto...we have pee-pee in the potty. He has been running around bare bottom for the last couple of days. He has made many deposits in the potty, however, I am smart enough to have picked up on how his little mind works...THE REWARD SYSTEM.

For every deposit into the potty no matter how big or small, you get a small treat. I had stockpiled last Valentine's day on candy heart treats. We have gone through almost my whole stash. So thankfully last night I found a bag of butterscotch morsels. This is our new potty treat. Big Brownie has decided that he is also potty training and each time he sprinkles a little tinkle, he asks, "May I please have a potty treat?" I am certain that this is not the end all and be all of potty training. I have no illusion that Little Brownie will be fully potty trained in a few weeks. But he is showing initiative and that initiative will be rewarded, each and every time it is used. Thank you heavenly father for giving me these blessings?

Speaking of blessings, I watched my Big Brownie sleep today and it was good. He slipped his hand underneath mine as I was singing songs to him at nap-time. He burrows his little feet between my legs and smiles so big, his dimples are the biggest indentations I've ever seen. I said, "I love you baby." He replied, "I love you baby Mama." As he drifted off to sleep, I watched his little smile softly fade and his clasp of my hand grow still. What a true blessing he is to me.

Big Brownie started mother's day out and is LOVING it! He loves his teacher and he loves his snacks. He busts in without much of a goodbye to me each morning, which I'm so grateful. No tears, no crying, no..."Mama will you stay with me?" It is the best feeling to know he is secure enough in knowing I will be back to get him. He loves going to "Bible School". Any day we pass the church, he points and says, "That is my favorite place to go play and have LOTS AND LOTS of fun".

And speaking of Mother's Day out...today, Big Brownie was telling me about his best friend Jack. I assumed he was speaking about a friend at school. He told me that he loves to play with him and that they share all the time. I was encouraging him to be a good friend and to be kind to one another. He looked up at me and said, "Mama, can Jack come over to play with me at my house." I replied, "Sure, if Jack's mother says it's ok for Jack to visit, then he can come play here at your house." He said, "Yay! and can Jack's Little Brother come too?" I said, "Absolutely, the more the merrier." He started dancing in the kitchen and I asked him this, "What is Jack's Little Brother's name?" He said, "Rabbit". I looked at him puzzled and said, "Jack's brother is named Rabbit?" He said, "Yes Mama, Jack and Rabbit want to come play. Can we call them on the phone to come now?" I said, "How do you know Jack?" He replied, "From school". So, tomorrow I will be scoping out to see if Big Brownie has a classmate named Jack or are we venturing into the world of make believe. I welcome all friends and I encourage his imagination to blossom. I just really need to know if Jack really has a brother named Rabbit.

Little Brownie is loving his Mama time whilst Big Brownie is at school. We read book after book after book. Did I mention we read books? We do...all the time. He asked, "Where's Bubba?" I've replied, "Bubba is at school." He just looks at me and smiles. He says, "You read it? Dis wone, dis wone right here!" I think he even enjoys being able to watch whatever DVD he wants, and he also enjoys sitting in Big Brownie's car seat. The other day, he laid down in Big Brownies bed and fell asleep for a little bit. I think he just relishes the idea of being all over Big Brownies stuff, without Big Brownie even knowing. It will be a secret that I will keep for sure. Coloring in all the coloring books and using markers and glue. Things that he normally doesn't get to touch without Big Brownie constantly instructing him how to use them correctly. And then there are the moments of shear bliss. The long hugs, sweet kisses, precious smiles and the "I wub you Mommy" that happens on a hourly basis. Undivided attention that he has never felt in his 20 months of life. I have a few projects lined up for this coming week, thanks to a dear friend that dropped off a basket of fun activities. He absolutely will not know what to do with himself, when he doesn't have to share or wait his turn. These are the days that I will cherish for a lifetime.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Running, Relaxing and Rainbows...

Well, today was the BIG day! That's right, the day I have been preparing since the end of May. I made a commitment to run a 5k race and today, I can mark it off my official bucket list. I can tell you that when I started, I could barely jog for a 60 second period. I can tell you that in the first 4 1/2 weeks I had tremendous doubt that I would complete my goal. I can also tell you that the first time I ran 20 minutes, it was the milestone of milestones. At that moment I knew that I could do this...and today I did.

The day started out with Little Brownie waking at 3a. Daddy Brown sprung from the bed to attend to him while I slept a while longer for the big day. Once my alarm went off at 4:45a, I snoozed until 5:03a, then realized it was RACE DAY. We started out with the Brown family running on schedule. This is an unusual statement, because we are usually ALWAYS running behind. Little Brownie apparently did not return to slumber after his 3a awakening, but enjoyed resting and playing in his crib for 2 hours. I sprung out of the bed and hopped into the shower, dressed, woke Daddy Brown and the Brownies and everyone was dressed and ready to depart the house at exactly 5:35a. Daddy Brown went to put The Brownies in the car and we hit our first snag...I had left the car on all night long. WHAT? Yep, that is right, something I haven't done in MANY MANY YEARS. So, the family truckster was out of commission and with seconds counting down, Daddy Brown whisked the boys car seats out of the car and into his work truck. I ran around trying to fasten and buckle as quickly as possible. In a bit of frazzle, we buckled in ourselves and out the driveway we went. Not before a note of encouragement from a friend. Tacked to the mailbox, a special note... and in small print, Phil 4:13 which reads, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me". That meant so much to me.

As we continue down the road to drop the Brownies off at Gran Gran and Pops, Daddy Brown realized he had forgotten his wallet. We made the decision to turn around and retrieve it. Precious minutes are slipping away and I'm getting more and more anxious. Daddy Brown runs inside, grabs his wallet and it is now 6:03a. We get to Gran Gran and Pops house and drop the boys without any issues, switched vehicles so they could take the boys to eat at Cracker Barrel and we headed to our destination at approximately 6:25a. I talked to Daddy Brown about my anxiousness. Self doubt entered my mind and I began to worry. I had been worrying for several days after having a couple of bad runs. Several late nights and extremely early mornings during the past week had prevented me from getting a few extra "good" runs in and I felt unsettled and uncertain.

We arrived at the race venue on one of the most beautiful mornings at 7:03a. As we pulled into the parking lot and parked, Daddy Brown grabbed my hands and we prayed. The weather could not have been more perfect for a day of outdoor adventure. Low humidity, only about 75 degrees and partly cloudy. Daddy Brown and I went to the registration table and out of the 4 of us that was running, my name was not on the list. My heart sank into my stomach. The organizers hustled me quickly to another table, registered me without question and handed me my race number...562. I pinned my number to my shirt and still had so much doubt. Aunt and Uncle Fudge were there and Aunt Berry arrived to watch us run as our own cheering section. We stretched and prepared for the run. I went all the way to the back of the pack. I didn't want to hold any body up and I was still not sure if I could run the entire 5k without stopping. That was my goal...I didn't want to stop. No matter how slow my pace was, I just didn't want to stop.

The horn sounded and off we went. Daddy Brown was with me in pace and stride the entire time. Many times I felt like I was going to stop. Then, I'd ask for strength. I'd ask for guidance. I remembered Baby Tyler from earlier in the week and how he will never have the opportunity to run. It helped push me. I asked Daddy Brown to run in front of me and asked him to lead me home. It hurt when an elderly gentlemen passed us with a smooth gliding pace. It hurt when I realized that the 2.5 mile marker sign we just passed was for the second lap around and I was only REALLY passing the 1 mile marker. But in the end, I did it, we did it. It wasn't just me and I could not have done it without the Good Lord, a little will power and of course, Daddy Brown.

As we approached the finish line, I began to tear up. I raised my hands and praised God. For I had set a goal 3 months ago and today, I realized that goal. It was monumental for me to have completed it. Once it was over, I couldn't hold back the tears. It felt good and it felt surreal. It was almost an out of body experience. We walked to the bathrooms and I took a deep breath. We ate wonderful breakfast food that the organizers provided and we talked about the race. We watched other runners as they interacted with each other and we recovered quickly. As awards and prizes were handed out, I looked at Aunt Fudge and thought how grateful I am to have such a wonderful friend who was so willing to go on this journey with me. I looked at Uncle Fudge and giggled as I knew he was in his element. He wanted so badly to crack jokes and cut-up, but because of Aunt Fudge, hewas truly on his best behavior. I looked at Aunt Berry, who woke up at the crack of dawn to come show support. I will be eternally grateful for her for showing up. And I looked at Daddy Brown, who has encouraged and help me to do this. I felt so many emotions, I couldn't really speak. On the way home, Daddy Brown asked me, "Are you proud of yourself?" I said, "Yes". He said, "You don't seem happy." I replied, "I am, I just feel odd". He said, "You did great and I'm proud of you"!

We picked up the boys, took the rest of the afternoon to relax and rest. As we pulled into home, there was a bouquet of red roses waiting for me on the doorstep. On the note, "We are so proud of you and we love you!" Flowers left by my sisters and just one more reason I feel blessed by every person in my life. Daddy Brown got the family car running...thank you Jesus! The boys and I headed to the store to pick up a few items and along the way, enjoyed a rainbow hunt. We found 5 on the way from our house to the store. They were so excited. Little Brownie yelled, "Wook, Mommy, Bainbow!" Big Brownie pointed out all the colors he saw. Yep, it was a good day. One that I will remember and cherish for many years to come. I set a goal, I followed a program to realize that goal and in the end, I met my goal. It could not have been better...well, except the part about the old man that passed me, that still hurts! ~Mama Brown.





Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm prepared...

It's been a really tough weekend for a family friend. My mother's best friend had a tragedy. Her niece and nephew lost their 3 week old baby. He was born without a left ventricle. That is difficult to even write much less say or even imagine. The mother of the baby had proper prenatal care, but some how this was missed on all the test and screenings.

Little Baby Tyler was born on July 21st at a mid-state hospital. He was seemingly normal and his doctor noticed he had a heart murmur. Upon further testing, a birth defect became apparent and the baby was transferred to a Children's Hospital to the NICU. Surgery after surgery, fight after fight, baby Tyler was given countless last minute chances. His little chest remained open for all 3 weeks of his life, for emergency purposes I'm sure. An artificial device called an EMO, worked as his heart. Blood was pumped in and blood was pumped out. Tubes, cords, ventilator, fluids all attached to a small 8 pound frame. He fought for every moment of his life.

Baby Tyler's parents are simple folk. Not given many opportunities in life, wanted as we all do, a better future for their baby. Surviving on very little, the scraped and saved every penny to make sure their baby would come home to the very best they could provide. They prepared well. The only thing they had yet to purchase was a high chair. When purchasing items for their baby, they felt if the name on the product was Johnson & Johnson and Pampers, their baby needed it and they made sure they had plenty of it. All of these items lovingly purchased in anticipation of their son's beginnings are now painful reminders of what will no longer be.

Sunday, August 15th, Baby Tyler's fight ended. My mother was there by her best friends side as the decision was made. Baby Tyler's kidney's began to fail and he began bleeding on the brain. His Daddy decided that Baby Tyler was not going to suffer any longer. He knew that this was what was to be and he was prepared....he was prepared. He was prepared to make the most difficult decision imaginable. As a parent myself, my heart breaks at that statement. "I'm prepared to do what needs to be done for the best interest of my son." He was prepared to say, enough is enough. He was prepared to hold his baby in his final moments. He was prepared to give every bit of himself to his son in his final breaths. He was prepared.

How can anyone be prepared to make such a decision? Aunt Berry came to the hospital to take photographs of Baby Tyler and his family in the last few hours of his life. Pictures that I'm sure the family will covet for the rest of their lives. Once the decision had been made, the nurses began slowly removing tubes and equipment that was keeping Baby Tyler alive. As his mother clung to her baby and wailed, there were no words of comfort that could take the pain away. Her baby was dying. Are we ever prepared to hold our dying child in our arms? Could I handle such a tragedy with such dignity? It makes you ask, "Why?" What was the purpose of this child's life here on earth for such a short amount of time?

As the last pieces of equipment were removed, Baby Tyler's father, my Mom, my Mom's best friend stood and held Baby Tyler's little hands and feet. It didn't take long for the sweet gift from God to pass into our Father's arms. Tears, heartbreak and silence filled the room. As Baby Tyler's Dad held his son, he said, "I just want him to move, just one last time." He kissed his baby over and over again. As they left the hospital, they were in disbelief. All the trips back and forth over the past 3 weeks, this was the first time they were leaving without any hope of coming back to see their son. They were no longer the parents of a living child. Now, they have the memory of their son. A son that fought for every minute of his 25 days here on this earth.

I have been consumed with thoughts and prayers for this little family. I have gone to my bible tonight for strength. I have found comfort in hearing the sound of my Brownies playing, laughing, hearing them find delight in each other and even found peace when I hear them cry. I realize that every day is truly a gift. For the last 1,000+ days, I have been given 1,000+ gifts multiplied by two. I don't take any moment of those 1,000+ days for granted, for Baby Tyler is now silent. His parents will never hear their son laugh, coo or cry until they are one day united with him in heaven. My sister came tonight and we worked on the DVD for the family, I choked back tears and my throat swelled as I looked at the pictures. I cannot imagine how Baby Tyler's parents feel tonight. When the chaos of the day ends and friends and family go home, they have only each other to fall back on.

In searching for some scripture tonight, I found some verses that spoke to me. I hope to share these with Baby Tyler's parents in the coming days. Some "Words of Truth" as a dear friend likes to call them and possibly some comfort for them. If you have a moment, will you please say a prayer for Baby Tyler's family? Will you ask for strength as they once again must be "prepared" to lay their little blessing to rest?

Psalm 139:13-18
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Isaiah 49:1
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name.

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing these little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Will you hold me?

I hear this request often from Big Brownie, "Mama, will you hold me?" and from Little Brownie, "Mommy, Mommy, hod (hold) me!" I love to sit and hold my boys and read to them, sing to them and love on them. It makes my day to hear these words and to give them all they want and need of me. However, sometimes my own love tank will empty and I need to be held too. I have began to ask the Brownies, "Will you sit and hold me for a minute?" Big Brownie says, "Sure, come sit on the couch and let me hold you." We go to the couch and he puts his arm in the air and his little hand barely reaches around my neck. He wraps his other hand around my waist. Then, Little Brownie squishes his way behind me and puts his arms around my neck and rocks me back and forth. It is so sweet and precious to have them love on me as much as I need to love on them.

As we were getting about ready for bed last night, I looked at Daddy Brown as he was getting a few things finished up for the night and said, "Will you hold me?" It was so out of the blue, it wasn't because I was sad or upset, it was just a need I felt immediately. I needed to hold Daddy Brown and I needed to feel his arms around me. The touch of the one I love, being held close and tight. We walked into the living room and the Brownies were under foot. As we sat on the couch, Daddy Brown held me in his arms and the Brownies piled on top for a big group holding session. It was the most wonderful feeling to have all of my boys on less than 2 cushions of the couch sharing love and warmth. The boys thought we were making Mommy sandwiches. Daddy Brown was the bread, I was the meat, Big Brownie was the mayo and Little Brownie was the bun. I remember fondly making family sandwiches when I was a kid with my sisters and parents. It really is just one big hug and to hold my family now...it's just the most wonderful thing in the world. It leaves my inner tank filled up. Have you held someone today? Do you need to be held? Ask the ones you love, big and small, "Will you hold me?" It will do your body, mind and soul a world of good. Happy Friday to you all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How about a "SAY WHAT WEDNESDAY"?

Man have I ever missed posting my weekly "Say What?". It has been a super busy summer that seemingly is leading to a even busier Fall season fast approaching. Just to get everyone up to speed, Big Brownie is now 3 years and 2 months and Little Brownie is now 22 months old. They are becoming REAL brothers. You know, the kind that have combats and camaraderie all at the same time.

Thanks to Tutu Nani, the boys were given a treat of "Super hero" capes a couple of weeks ago. You know I could have tied a towel to their necks and told them they were capers and that would have been sufficient. However, with Big Brownies new found interest in Batman, Superman and Spiderman (learned from nephews)...as well as SUPER WHY from PBS, he loves to be my little super hero. This is all captured and carefully observed by Little Brownie. Sometimes in the morning when we rise, the first thing Big Brownie asks is, "Can I be your super hero today?" I grant his wish and before long, he is saving the day with his amazing leaps off the couch to save me from a toy bug on the floor or zooming through the kitchen to put a cup in the sink, saving the carpet from a spill. Little Brownie is in awe of Big Brownies super powers. He has decided he also wants to be my little "Super Hero" as well. His language has become a lot more clear over the last few weeks and he runs to me and says, "Mommy, Mommy...I suppa-tero too?" I grab his cape and within minutes he is also looking to save the day with his "Suppa-tero" powers. What would the caper duo be without a super dog, so Andy has been added to the super line-up as our very own, Super hero dog. It is quite funny to see them running around as a trio of super hero's, jumping from couch to pillow then pillow to chair...saving the day with their powers to put clothes in the baskets and blankets on beds. To pick up toys that need saving from the floor and snacks from the table. Yeah, they may think they are super-hero's, but I'm taking full advantage of the situation and making them little caped helpers. However, as quickly as we clean up, we destroy the territory so that there is another episode of "Saving the day" tomorrow.

As I said, Little Brownie is becoming more clear in his communication. My favorites are..."Mommy, Mommy, I stuck!" As I round the corner, he has pushed his foot into the cushion to pretend that he is stuck. Or, the "Mommy, Mommy, watch dis!" as he leaps in the air from the couch and lands on both feet. But my all time favorite is, "Mommy, Mommy, up...hold me, hud (hug) me and kips (kiss) me!" He has a smile and laugh that truly melts my heart and he can work his little magic to make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

Warm and fuzzes is exactly what you need to feel to counterbalance the shear mean streak that child has tucked away. Little Brownie can be mean as snot and boy can he take it out on his brother. I have so far been able to contain myself and hold back from spanking that child, however, I have never had to be more creative with my discipline style than with that child. He will make a drive by "Hit and Run" at a whim. Big Brownie is his best target and to that, I have encouraged Big Brownie to hit back. I know that many of you probably have to pick your jaw up from the ground when I say that I have told Big Brownie to hit him back, but I did not want Big Brownie to feel helpless to Little Brownie's aggressiveness. I don't want Big Brownie to feel like he can be bullied. I need him to feel a sense of worth and power over his person and that sometimes, you have to teach a lesson yourself as opposed to allowing me, Mommy, to handle every offense.

So, with that, no fewer than 2-3 times a day, when the Brownies are at each others throats, there will be an outburst of fury. I will usually be out of the room when it happens, but within earshot distance. It usually plays out something like this...(Crying in the background) Me: "What happened?" Big Brownie, "Brother hit me and I hit him back." Me: "Where did he hit you?" B.B.: "Here on my head!" Me: "Where did you hit him?" B.B. "I just hit him on his head and he fell down and got another boo-boo on his leg." Me: "Maybe you hit him a little too hard?" B.B. "No, he hit me on my head so I just pushed him." Me: "Did you hit him on the head or did you push him?" B.B. "I hit him in the head and pushed him with my fists and then he fell down."

OR...(Crying in the background) Me: "What happened?" B.B.: "He hit me!" L.B.: "I hip Bubba!" Me: "Don't hit brother!" L.B.: "OK Mommy (smiling)" Me: "Sit here in time out for 1 minute." L.B.: scoots to pick up a toy and runs back to his timeout spot "Mommy, Mommy...train!" B.B.: "Did you put him in timeout?" Me: "Yes, he is in timeout" B.B.: "Will you leave him there forever and just come hold me?" Me: "You can't play with your train while in timeout (I take the train and massive crying ensues)" B.B.: "I'm so sad, Brother hit me and I need you to hold me." Me to B.B.: "I'm on my way to hold you." Me to L.B.: "You can't have toys in timeout...give me that car!" B.B.: "No toys in timeout!" L.B. "I sooorry! I sooorry!" B.B. "I forgive him." Me: "Go give Brother a hug and tell him you are sorry." L.B. "I sorry bubba." B.B.: "I forgive you!" So...are you tired yet? It is truly exhausting figuring out do you discipline or console.

We have decided to cut back on some of our household expenses. I turned off the gas because we only have a gas fireplace and we NEVER turn it on...$15 bucks a month saved. I'm leaving my debit card at home and trying to be mindful of the things I spend money on and use cash only....no telling how much I am saving from not nickel and dime-ing our account to death. I cut back our cable services and turned in 2 of our digital cable boxes...$40 bucks a month saved. In doing the latter, I had a "Say What?" from Daddy Brown. With our current cable plan we get 1 digital box and with that, there are certain channels that are only accessible through the digital box. The most watched channel...Nick Jr. channel 113. Since we have a few movie channels and the only time we really ever use the On Demand function is to rent a non-kid movie, I left the digital box in our room. On the first day I turned the boxes in, Daddy Brown came home and I began to fix dinner. I needed a bit of a break and I asked Daddy Brown to handle the boys. He looks down and realizes we no longer have Nick Jr. on the living room television. He looks at me and says, "WHERE IS NICK JR!" I smiled and said, "We only get Nick Jr., through the cable box...remember?" He stood there for a minute and said, "Well, what about PBS or Disney?" I explained, "They only have preschool shows during the morning and daytime?" His response..."I guess we can just turn the television off since there is nothing good on T.V. to watch." In that moment, I grinned and thought, was there ever a time in my previous non-kid life that not have Nick Jr. available would be a "Nothing good on" television moment?

Okay...one more then I'm off to bed. Some of the most wonderful moments of my day are when my boys desire to have some Mommy time. I stay up late at night because that is the only time I have "Me" time these days. Big Brownie will start Mother's Day Out in 1 week and I'm excited about the time I will get to spend with Little Brownie solo. We have never had that one on one time. I think they both will truly flourish with this next chapter that will unfold. As I'm preparing Big Brownie that he will go to school soon, he asks, "Am I going to my new Bible School tomorrow?" Me: "No, you will go in one week." B.B.: "Oh, will they have a Ferris Wheel there?" Me: "No, they won't have a Ferris Wheel there, but they will have a playground for you to play on." B.B.: "Yay, with Zebra's and Flamingo's?" Me: "No, there won't be any animals, but you will be able to play with new friends." B.B.: "Awesome, can they go to the Childrens Museum with me to see the dragon in the castle?" Me: "Well, maybe, but your school is not going to go to the Childrens Museum, but you will be able to draw and cut with scissors." B.B. "Oh no, I can't cut with big scissors." Me: "They will have kid scissors for your to use." B.B. "Wow, and can I cut apples and oranges with them?" Me: "Well, no, you will cut paper, but they will have a kitchen for you to play with." B.B.: "And can I cook pancakes and bacon for my new friends?" Me: "Yes, you can pretend to cook anything you want." B.B. "I don't think Bible School is going to be fun. I don't want to go to Bible School." Me: "Why not?" B.B., "Because they don't have Ferris Wheels, Zoo Animals...no Childrens Museum and I can't cook real food in the kitchen. I don't want to go, I want to stay here with you." Me: "You know what else you are going to get to do at Bible School?" B.B. (eyes light up and mouth opens wide with anticipation) "What is it, what is it?" Me: "You are going to get to make new friends and learn about Jesus." B.B.: "JESUS? YAY! I want to learn about Jesus, can I go to Bible School tomorrow?" I hope the excitement and anticipation of learning about Jesus continues to grow. I hope and pray that the transition to Mother's Day Out for Big Brownie is successful and innovative for him. I hope and pray he never loses his ability to reason each side of the coin and that he continues to find joy in his life through each and every new door he walks through...I hope and I pray!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feels good to be back...

It has been a couple of weeks of C-R-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S around here. In a nutshell...my mom helped sponsor a national conference in our state's capital, which the Brownies and I helped and participated. We have enjoyed a new adventures with friends at our new local Children's Museum. We have celebrated 4 birthdays of friends and family. We picked berries and fruit and ventured to our Amish country for fresh produce, a couple of times. We participated...kinda in vacation bible school until...the Brown family got sick. Oh and did we get sick with the yuckiest sick belly's around. It almost makes me yawn just writing it all down, but the month of July is like a blurry, fuzzy memory. I remember being at all those places and having TONS of fun, but whew, I'm tired.

In all our kid wrangling, balloon fetching, food eating, picture taking and all out fun, I almost fell off the workout wagon. I went an entire 4 day stretch of not running and it almost did me in. I made it to week 7 in my Couch to 5K journey and then with all the early mornings and late evenings, I was derailed for a bit. I had a terrible W7D1 run. It made me cry. I couldn't finish the 25 minute run. I was hindered a bit by strolling my 28 pound Little Brownie and it was SO incredibly hot that morning that I just psyched myself out. Nothing like a bad run to get me down. I've been down, but this time I was not going to let myself be out.

The good thing about creating the support team of family around me that are participating in the C25K program, is that I always have someone to pick me up when I'm down. I try my best to delve out the encouragement as much as possible. And after my doosey of a W7D1 run, I came home immediately...hot, sweaty and teary. I picked up my cell phone and I texted Aunt Apple and Aunt Fudge. I needed someone to pick me up. I prayed. I prayed for God to give me the strength to pick myself up. I made a decision. I decided that this time, I wasn't going to quit. This time, I wasn't going to let it get the best of me. This time, I was going to prove to myself that I could put a bad run behind me and kick it's butt, not let it kick mine. And oddly enough, I did. I completed Week 7 with a bang. Did I struggle...most definitely. Did I want to quit...undeniably, but I kept going. I even yelled at myself aloud, "YOU BETTER NOT QUIT! YOU HAVE THE STRENGTH! LEAVE IT HERE! NO REGRETS!"

I am sure if any 1 of my neighbors were up and enjoying their quiet morning coffee, I interrupted them with my robust attitude. In the end, I did it. I got my momentum back. I felt the fire in my belly again. So much so that I woke up this past Saturday and struggled to make myself stay in the bed. It was 6 a.m. and it was my rest day. I wanted to run. I talked myself in and out of getting out the bed for 45 minutes and finally said, "What the heck, I'm going running!" I strapped my knee brace on, tied my running shoes and choked down my GU energy gel. Out the door I went thinking I would start week 8. Week 8 in the program is run for 28 minutes. I had so much excitement swirling that I did something crazy. I decided that I was going to push myself further than I ever had. I was going to see how far I could run without stopping.

Down our road is a set of railroad tracks that is exactly 1.8 miles away. If I calculated my warm-up walk of 5 minutes correctly, it would be about 1.5 miles one-way. Could I do this? Could I really run to the railroad tracks? Then, could I run all the way back? As I start my jog, I felt good and found a slow, steady and comfortable pace. I wasn't out of breathe, I wasn't wheezing and trying to find a pattern. No, on this day, I felt strong. As I came around the corner stretching further than ever before, I saw the railroad tracks. My excitement intensified and I text messaged my husband, "I see the railroad tracks and I'm still going!" As I turned at the track and worked my way back, I still felt good. I hit about the 2 mile mark and to my surprise...I was still going. I text messaged my husband, "2 miles in 28 minutes and I haven't stopped!"

As I get to the BIG hill close to home, I began talking to myself and I began praying aloud. "Lord give me the strength I need. Give me the power and will to do this. I know I can do this and I know you can help me. Give me what I need to succeed." I focused and breathed. I did it. I ran without stopping for 42 minutes and I ran for 3 miles. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do this. I didn't do it alone. I may have been on the pavement all by myself, but the Good Lord guided my feet. He helped me rise up and accomplish something I thought I could never do. It was good. God is good. God can give you the strength and the power to overcome any obstacle in your way. I could have let all the fun and adventurous happenings of the last few weeks completely take me to a place of regret. There were many days that I was so happy to see Aunt Apple and Aunt Fudge pull in the driveway to run with me. Those were the days I needed some support and I needed someone else to help motivate me off the couch.

I'm so very thankful that I have committed to something as big and physical as a 5K run. I'm more excited now than I have been through the whole process. I have to make myself take rest days. I would love to run everyday. I relive the moment I knew I was going to finish my first 20 minute run without stopping and without struggling. I did feel a little like a young Forrest Gump, as his braces ripped from his legs and he realized he could run like the wind. I am far from running like the wind, however, I am a runner. It feels good to be back. It feels good to know that I can run for 42 minutes. I am completely crazy enough to say to Daddy Brown, "I bet I could run for a whole hour!" It just feels good. I encourage you today to get up and get moving. Find whatever you need to motive yourself. Do it for your family, but most importantly, do it for you. There is only one of you. Make it the best YOU possible. Much love and many blessings! ~Mama Brown