Thursday, January 20, 2011

Warm Brownies...

This week has been mostly about me trying to get the house back in order, get caught up on the laundry and trying to get everyone back into some sort of schedule and groove. As you may or may not know, we are a very laid back, roll with the flow kind of family. One day we may wake up at 8 a.m. and the next, we may all wake up at 10 a.m. We just make the day work with what we are given. Now, the days we get up at 10 a.m., are usually a result of a day prior of no nap and late bedtime for one reason or another. Again..."roll with the flow kind of family"!

So, in trying my best to actually wake everyone up that hasn't rose on their own...(a.k.a. Little Brownie most of the time), I've tried to get everyone down for a decent nap and rouse again at a decent time in the afternoon. Then, I tried to play them to the max in the afternoon and put them to bed at a normal and reasonable time. Now, you have to know that I enjoy being up late at night. Case in point, this blog post is being created at 2:20 a.m. So, if my kids go to sleep late and we all sleep in a bit, that just means our day starts and ends at a different time than others. And frankly, I'm ok with it because it works in our family. I'm not stringent in that way. However, this week, I've tried to provide a little more structure since Big Brownie went back to school after another 2 weeks of being at home from the snow and then the MLK holiday.

Monday night, about 7:45 p.m., I told the boys that we needed to get into the bath and get ready for bed. Big Brownie said, "Mom, I'm really still clean from my bath last night." Little Brownie say, "Meeeee tooooo!" Big Brownie said, "And, I'd really like to have a special treat before we go to bed." Little Brownie said, "Meeeeee tooooo!" I said, "Well, we can have a special treat tomorrow, but right now, we need to get ready for bed." Big Brownie said, "Okay Mom, if you want, we will get in the bath." He and Little Brownie turned, with shoulders slumped, to go to the bathroom. All of sudden Little Brownie comes walking back with the cutest little smile. He looked up at me with bright eyes and whilst nodding his head up and down he said, "Mama, can we have a party with cupcakes?" Big Brownie turned and looked at me with a big O in his mouth and hands at the ready to clap. I looked down at them and said, "Yes, we can!" Those little stinkers convinced me as if there was a plot from the very beginning. They both jumped up and down. Clapping their hands with vigor and excitement.

You know what, I realize that I let them win. I realize that I should have stuck to my guns and continued with the bedtime routine I had been trying to maintain. But what is life without a few unexpected surprises. What is life without letting them feel a victory every once in a while. So, downstairs the whole gang marched to the kitchen. We retrieved all the ingredients and began to make our cupcakes. I did hold the frosting. A cupcake have enough sugar buzzing qualities of its own, to not add the additional hype of frosting. Within 20 minutes, cupcakes were baking and the boys could not hardly contain their excitement. They placed a step stool in front of the oven and watched as the cupcakes rose and became golden. They ran from one end of the living room back to the oven to check every 3o seconds or so. It was so much fun. An unexpected evening treat of not just yummy cupcakes, but warm Brownies too. The boys had their fill of golden cupcakes and a little bit more play, before they were fast asleep in their beds dreaming of adventures to come by 10 p.m. I'm happy for the 2 hours of additional Brownie fun that will hopefully be remembered for a lifetime.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let's imagine...

In case you missed it, apparently 49 of our blessed 50 United States of America saw snow this week. That blows my mind away. But, I'm a BIG KID at heart and love the snow. I love the winter. I think it is in most definitely my nature to cuddle up, snuggle up and love on those around me. Knowing that, I think colder weather gives me excuse to do those things more often. Snuggling up not just to the people around me, but in my favorite item as well. I have a favorite red sweater. It is a bit worn and tattered, but it is my favorite item to sleep in, go to the mailbox in, go to the store and yes, it has gone to church with me a couple of times over the years. That poor garment probably looks more of something you'd see denied at the Goodwill, but I love it. And when the weather is cold, I love nothing more than to put that sweater on and spread the love and cheer. Matter of fact, I went to bed 2 nights ago and got cold. My aforementioned favorite sweater was AWOL. I was up at 2:45a, scrounging around the house looking for it. Who would have thought I would have been a good girl and hung it up in the closet...WHAT? Why was it put away? Who knows, but crisis averted and I was able to rest well and warm in my comfy.

With the snow on the ground, Big Brownie's preschool closed all week and Daddy Brown staying home a couple of days to play in the snow with us, we have used our imagination to go on adventures you couldn't believe. Each morning, we have rose to a different place to explore. One morning we were on the moon. We were astronauts exploring the moon's surface for moon rocks (quilt batting). Another morning we woke to be at the zoo. Pancakes in the shapes of our favorite zoo animals and the chance to be and feed the giraffe, elephant and monkeys (a.k.a. our 1 year old boxer Andy, who by the way, is an awesome stand-in). We even had an adventure at the North pole. We enjoyed snow smoothies, snow eggs, snow cream and pet the reindeer.

What fun it has been to use our imagination to go places. Little Brownie is really expanding in this area. Last week, Big Brownie and I were having an imaginary picnic. He couldn't understand why we were eating sandwiches that didn't exist and drinking from cups that were shaped by our hands. He looked puzzled and finally said, "Where, where is the sandwich and what juice are you drinking?" Big Brownie said, "Here, take a sip of this?" Reaching out his hand, Little Brownie takes the imaginary cup and says, "Oh, Okay brother!" Since then, we have had imaginary birthday parties and BBQ's. Little Brownie is always responsible for going to the store to get the candles and the cake. I love to see such development before my eyes. To see the curiosity build, wheels in the mind work and finally, to see the light bulb come on and...they get it.

With all the big boy changes around here, there has been some changes in me. Today, I started a bible study with 2 very dear friends. I'll be honest, I don't usually do studies for a couple of reasons. One, I don't know the bible like I should and sometimes I feel incompetent or intimidated by those who do. Two, I have always had an issue with reading aloud. I remember when I was in elementary school and I stumbled on a word and the other kids giggled and smirked at me. And three, I cry when I openly pray. I feel so emotional, so exposed and raw before the most powerful being of all, our Father God. These were all reasons that have held me back for many years. However, when presented with this opportunity, I didn't have a second thought.

So, after our first study on Chapter 1 of "The Power of a Praying Parent", I have been processing the words all evening. Tonight as I put Big Brownie to bed, we normally recite our usual bedtime prayer..."Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take"...and then we usually proceed with thanking the Lord for our family and friends, etc. We pray same prayer every night. Tonight, I asked Big Brownie if he would pray WITH me. We sat in the bed holding each others hands and we just began to talk to God. In our prayer, I told God how much I love him and Big Brownie said, "Yes, I love you God this much!" and held his arms out wide. I told God how thankful I am for Big Brownie, and Big Brownie said, "I'm so thankful for my Mommy, my Daddy, my little brother and our reindeer dog Andy!" I told God how I hope he will help Big Brownie lead a life of love, faithfulness and Godly wisdom. And Big Brownie said, "Please help me to stay out of timeout tomorrow." I could go on, but the point is, while I'm learning to pray more effectively and directly for my boys, I haven't been giving them an opportunity to openly pray. I've been so focused on reciting words to give them a base, I haven't stepped back to see what planted seeds in them have began to grow. I was truly in awe of my Big Brownie. I know Little Brownie is not to that point yet, but I'm already thankful for my study in one day, that has opened my eyes to discover something new. I can only imagine what the next few weeks have in store for us, but as always, it will definitely be an adventure.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Yesterday was the first day of the new year for us to actually leave the house. It has been an awesome week from Christmas to New Years to just lay low and hang out with each other. Going to bed late, sleeping in, naps on the couch, picnics in the living room floor and even wearing our pajamas all day long. Since I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old and we have officially hit the winter chill, I have to be a little creative with physical activity for my boys. Jumping has become one of our favorite activities and has helped to reduce the amount of Cabin Fever we have felt.

So, each evening we have a jump-a-thon! That's right, I let my children bounce off the walls, couches and chairs (supervised of course) until they are sweaty and silly. The laughter alone will make you smile. Taking turns gives us an opportunity to learn sharing and kindness. Jumping a certain distance is teaching them a bit about restraint and calculation of consequence. Jump to close...fall on your knees, jump to far...fall on your face. BUT, jump the right distance and you land on your feet. I am sure I'm fooling myself into believing this is actually "good" for them. However, with most things in our life, we just roll with it. So here are a few pictures that will make you wanna JUMP too.

Jumping like ROCK STARS!

Rolling on the floor and silly faces!

Time for a little wrestling...

Ending with some love and hugs...

I love these two Brownies!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Status....

Happy New Year from The Brownies. We are excited to see what the new year holds for us and for you. We rang in the New Year in a quiet fashion. For the first time, Big Brownie had a sleepover here at our home. Cousin Peanut Butter Fudge came to spend New Year's Eve night with us. The boys played and played. We watched movies and ate popcorn. We had a real blast. Long about 9:00p, the boys started winding down and with much anticipated quiet abound, everyone was asleep and in their beds at 9:45p. It was great. I could not have asked for a better night from them all.

As much as there will be many resolutions to be made in the new year, we have had some pretty big milestones here at the end of the year. Little Brownie made a few decisions of his own. First, he decided he no longer wants his "baba" in the morning and evenings. This is a big one because even though he is over 2, he has enjoyed having a bottle when he wakes and when he goes to bed. My thought was that one day he would decide he didn't need it anymore and he did. Secondly, he no longer uses his "binkie". He went to sleep on day for nap-time and didn't ask for it. I waited by his door with binkie's in hand for when he would wake and request it. But he never did. So now, for the last week, he has been without a binkie. I ransacked the house in search of every hidden binkie I could find to put them away. Just today, he found one in the toy box in the playroom. He came downstairs smiling with binkie in his mouth. With a little push, he told the binkie goodbye and placed it on the counter.

And finally, the same day Little Brownie decided he didn't want his "Baba", he also took his diaper off. He brought it to me and said, "Mama, I don't want to any more!" He handed me the diaper and ran off. All the while saying, "Pee Pee in the Potty!" So, my Little Brownie isn't so little any more. He has been an eating machine. This morning for example, I made homemade biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage links. He ate almost everything on his plate. Within 15 minutes from leaving the table, he came to me and said, "Mama, can I have my oatmeal now?" So, he ate half a bowl of oats. Although he has many words in his vocabulary now, he still struggles sometimes communicating and it is very frustrating for him. Several of his words are similar and it can take me a few minutes for him to finally get his point across, but believe me, he gets his point across. He loves to give night-night kisses and hugs. He is gonna kiss you on the forehead and the cheek, and of course, on the lips. I praise God everyday for these little milestones and blessings as Little Brownie grows so abundantly. He will always be my miracle baby and he continues to bless me with little miracles everyday.

Big Brownie has been such a blessing. One day, he is going to make a special woman, a wonderful husband. He loves to help me clean up. He loves to help me do the laundry. He loves to help make supper. He is so thankful and grateful. He thanks me for cleaning his toilet and he thanks me for his meals. He is so precious. He has also decided he needs a sister. For the last two weeks, he has told me, "Mama, we need a baby." He proceeds to tell me, "Mama, do you know where you can get me a sister?" I asked, "Where?" He explains, "Can you please go get me a sister at the 'Sister' store?" This has brought many questions about where babies come from. I have explained that only God decides when we will have a baby and when he plants a special seed in my belly, he will decide if it will be a boy or a girl. He told me last night, "Can we trade little brothers in for little sisters?" We are still explaining the whole baby thing on a daily basis, however, I think it is so sweet that he loves all the babies around us. He loves to sing to them and rub them. He is a good Big Brother to Little Brownie...most of the time.

So, since it's the New Year, I feel I need to make a few resolutions. So here we go...

First, I'm gonna start back running. I haven't ran much through the holidays and I miss it. I've thankfully only gained 3 pounds since before Thanksgiving. Last year my goal was to lose 50 pounds. I lost 15 pounds total and gained 3 back.

So my second resolution is to lose 18 pounds this year. 50 seems like so much and if I hit it, that means I'm doing something extraordinary. I'll be ecstatic to lose my the 3 I gained over the holidays and 15 more.

For my third resolution, and I do understand that this might be a little tmi...too much information, however, I'm going to shave my legs at least twice a week through the winter months. Some things I just let go during the winter months and that is one of them. So, when I get in the shower and I'm going to spend a few extra minutes taking care of me.

My fourth resolution is to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. To be a better wife is to take more time for just us, and be more understanding as a partner in life. To be a better mom is to have more patience and spend more time with them as individuals and to be a better example. To be a better daughter to my parents and to my in-laws, I want to invest myself in whole in their lives on a more regular basis and to be available to help and to listen. To be a better sister and sister-in-law by being a better listener and participate more in their lives. To be a better friend by continuing to live through the good, the bad and the ugly.

My final resolution is to be the best follower of Christ. I want to dedicate myself more to the study of the Bible. I am going to set aside more time everyday to be quiet and listen. Time needed to really listen to the word of God. I will fill my tank with the holy spirit everyday so that I can follow through with the above resolutions. I can't do any of these, to the best of my ability, if I don't give myself to him first. I realize this most important resolution should be the first resolution I have listed. But God is my real want and need no matter what order they are listed. I want to be closer to him. I need to be closer to him. Happy New Year to you all and I hope and pray many blessings to each of you. It is a new day to get up and do something special with your time. To do something extraordinary with you family and friends. AND to be the best you that you can be.

With Love, ~Mama Brown.