BAM Family

BAM Family

Friday, December 31, 2010

A look back....and forward

Wow! What a full year! So many changes.

This time last year I was freaking out about my new position of Graduate Assistant that I was going to start in the Spring Semester. I was excited, yes, but so stressed that I couldn't sleep. For weeks. I wondered if I could do it. I wondered if I could fake being an English teacher long enough to fool my students into learning. The day I started I got a stomach bug and had horrible diarrhea the whole night. I got no sleep that night but went in to work the next day dizzy with excitement and anxiety.

And I had a great semester. I learned that I was a really good actress and that I faked confidence especially well. I also learned that I knew a lot more than I thought I did. And that I needed to know a lot more than that to stay ahead of 40 freshmen. I absolutely loved teaching and had a lot of personal moments with my students outside the classroom where they shared their life struggles with me--probably my favorite and most rewarding part of teaching.

I also wrote my thesis proposal--about a week before it was due. STRESSFUL.

Over the summer I tackled two huge projects = starting my thesis and potty training the boys. I didn't really either accomplish my goals for either before school started again. I had one thesis chapter (plus another one researched) done. And I had succeeded in getting the boys to peed IN the potty (an improvement from AT, AROUND, or NOT AT ALL) occasionally.

The fall semester brought some brand new adventures. The boys started preschool! It was a huge struggle at first--Micah cried every morning for FIVE WEEKS. And I had my share of tears too. Overall, it was a pretty good experience. The boys loved their teachers and "friends" and kept VERY busy during the day. We also had to stamp out some bad habits (shooting people with pretend guns, and bad table manners) and reinforce good habits (saying "please" and "thank you"; apparently the ELC didn't make the kids use these manners on a regular basis (????)). Thankfully, their teachers were very consistent about potty training and the boys are doing great right now (not completely trained but going in the toilet about 95% of the time. We still use pull-ups for naps, going out, and bed time).

And the fall also brought two new classes of students (which I adored) and thesis, thesis, thesis. Oh. my. word. I hope I am never as stressed as I was this past semester. I was juggling husband, kids, housework, church, teaching two classes, taking two classes, and writing my thesis. Everything non-essential (and some essential things) were thrown to the wayside. There was no time to get a haircut, go the the dentist, eye doctor, or go shopping for a scrap of new clothing for me or the boys. I am SO behind (minus the haircut now!) on all of these appointments (well, clothes shopping is a bit of a luxury). I rarely showered two days in a row; my laundry pilled up and up and up. Over fall break (2 days) I did 10-12 loads. My life revolved around writing that darn thesis.

The end result was worth it. Completing my thesis is one of my greatest life accomplishments to date (just behind breastfeeding the boys for 17 months). I am so proud of the original research and writing I did.

And I am so happy and proud that I accomplished my goal of completing my Master's degree. When I started this blog two years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was scared, timid, and had little confidence in myself. I was scared of entering the work force so I went to get my M.A. Crazy, huh?   The thing is, I was scared of getting the Master's degree too. At the beginning, I felt like everyone was smarter than me, had read more (of the RIGHT) books than I had, and knew what they wanted to do with their lives.

My confidence in who I am and my personal and academic abilities has grown exponentially over the past two years and over the last year in particular. I am no longer afraid of moving forward, of putting myself out in the workforce, or of standing up in front of a classroom of students. Granted, there will always been those first day (or week? month?) jitters, but doing GSA this past year gave me the experience and confidence I needed and wanted so much.

I am still trying to figure out who I am as a teacher and scholar. But I recognize that teacher/scholar now; she isn't a stranger to me anymore. In fact, we are close friends. I really, really like the person I have become.

My bigger adventure this coming year, is to figure out what type of mother I am and how to carry out that incredible role. The boys will be at home again full time (minus having a sitter on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons while I work). I feel like I need to figure out who my kids are now. When I started my degree, they had just turned one--they were still babies! Now they are little boys who are learning to explore the world around them and express themselves. And it is my job to help them discover the world and who they are in the world. It is a daunting job. But I am excited to get to spend more time with them (we will be doing some preschool curriculum at home!) but I am praying for patience and strength as well.

I think my key word for 2011 is BALANCE. I want to learn to balance work and home. Wifehood and motherhood. I also want to take better care of myself. I need to make those dentist and eye appointments. I need to exercise on a regular basis. Heck, I need to shower every day. Baby steps, right? :) Plus, I want to spend time developing my skills as a writer--and this year, not a thesis writer: a creative writer.

Wanna know my really, really big resolution for 2011? Get a story published, or at least be in the process by the time 2012 rolls around.

I am excited. Bring on the new year!

Refashioned Christmas Dresses

I couldn't post these before Christmas because they were presents for my two nieces, Charlotte and Naomi. I love how these little dresses turned out! I bought shirts from Target and then attached a skirt. Instead of gathering the waist, I used large pleats. The material for the skirt was from a dress I got at Goodwill for $3.50! The dress had a very full skirt so the front of the skirt became Charlotte's skirt and the back became Naomi's. I love the material! Plus I used the original hem from the dress so attaching the skirt was the only sewing I had to do for these little dresses. Can't want to see a picture of the girls in them! (hint, hint, Brittany!)

Haircut


So, I haven't had a haircut in over a year (last Thanksgiving to be exact when my sister Chelsea cut it). I meant to get a haircut in August, BEFORE school started. But, I never had time!!! So, now that I have graduated, and am on Christmas break, I finally got my long-overdue hair cut. I got about 4+ inches cut off.

I wasn't a huge fan of it last night (it might have had something to do with the fact that my hair was dirty and she didn't style it afterwards. Which was FINE because she only charged me $12.50!) but washing and styling it today, I like it! I like it a lot!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Christmas Present


This is my Christmas present from Aaron: a pot rack! We had actually been planning this project for a couple months...it went the way of most home improvement projects: it had to gather a good inch of dust before it could truly be completed. 

I love it! It sits above our stove and really rounds out our kitchen. Plus it gives me a place for all of my spices (as you can see!)

The only downside? The bottom of my pans look icky. Anyone have a good way to get the bottoms clean? Steel wool is a no go. 

Thank you Aaron! I love you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What I've been doing

So, I finished my entire semester exactly one week ago today. Last Thursday I finished grading my second class and then I was truly DONE DONE DONE! Since then, though, I've been busy--but doing fun things like making Christmas presents and spending time with the boys.

Yesterday Aaron went skiing and the boys and I went to the library to get some new books and DVDs and then to the mall to ride the Christmas train. The boys loved the train (just a small three-car train that goes around in a circle) and were so sad when they had to get off (read: they threw a fit). The wonderful train conductor lady took pity on them and snuck two free tickets into my hand to ride again. So nice!

We took a little break from train riding and went to the food court where they have those mechanical cars that bounce you to death--you know, the kind of thing kids love. I had to get change twice to satisfy the boys' extreme enthusiasm for riding the cars. They had so much fun! I kept trying to drag them away by bribing them with "Do you want to ride the train again?!" "NO! NO!" they cried.

I finally got them away from the cars and we rode the train with our free tickets. The boys actually rode in different cars! I was surprised but pleased. I am glad when they feel comfortable enough to do activities separately.

We had such a fun morning. They were a bit sad to leave but the promise of chicken nuggets and applesauce was just enough to get them in the car.

I am so glad I have time now to do some fun things with them. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my boys this coming year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I DID IT!

I just finished my last exam of my last class for my graduate degree.

I. AM. DONE.

I did it!

I finished my Masters degree in two years taking classes full time and teaching two classes on top of that for the last year.

I am not sure of my final grades for this semester yet. I might get a B for the first time in a class; yep, I'm gonna brag: Pending grades this semester, I have a 4.0.

AND I did it with two kids. HA!

Ok, I know this sounds like a braggy, self-glorifying post but I am really really glad to be done and I am so proud of myself.

Because these last two years have been so hard.

Like anxiety-attacks, constant-back-pain-from-stress, going-crazy, want-to-scream hard.

But I did it. And I did it well.

I am so happy.

I had to fight tears when I was talking to my supervisor, Mrs. Towles, about the weight of this accomplishment. She had kids when she went through grad school. And she knows what a big deal it is.

Thank you Aaron for encouraging me (in your own way) to do this. And for letting me be a crazy woman in pursuit of a goal.

Thank you Micah and Benji for putting up with a cranky mama for the past two years. I will try to work on being sweeter and more calm.

Thank you Nicole and Brooke and countless other babysitters who watched the boys for me. Without you, this degree would not have been possible.

Thank you Kalina, Chelsea, Amberley, Kellan, Mom and Dad, and Nonnie for telling me how proud you are of me and for encouraging me to keep going.

Thank you Candace keeping me sane on our Thursday night dates.

Thank you God for helping me through every reading assignment, every paper, every late night class, every worrisome moment when I just thought I couldn't do it anymore. These past two years have been for your glory.

I DID IT!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creative Christmas Cards

I have a confession to make--I throw away the majority of the artwork that the boys make. For a while I saved it all, but the projects that they made at home, Sunday School, and preschool started taking over. So, I started pitching papers as soon as they came in the door.

Not all though.

I have saved (a lot, actually) of the painting projects they have done over the past year because I wanted to use their art to make some note cards to give as Christmas gifts.

I bought some blank cards with envelopes at Michaels and then cut out portions of their pictures to showcase on the front of the card.  I just used a glue stick to glue them on and then "signed" the boys' artwork with "M&B 2010"

I love how they turned out! Plus, I was able to use their artwork in a really creative and special way. I think the grandparents, my grandmother, and the boys' teachers will love the cards (Rhonda, you must forget that you will be getting this for Christmas!)

Here is just a sample of the cards I made.





Sunday, December 12, 2010

BAM Christmas

I have been missing doing crafts and sewing SO much. School is NOT over yet (Thursday is The. End.) but my load has been a littler lighter (lighter meaning only thirty-seven 2 page papers to grade instead of thirty-seven 5 page page papers and a 15 page paper to write instead of a 100 page thesis to finish). So it was craft time!

I love the blog MADE and when she posted this tutorial the other day, I really wanted to make some of these ornaments for our family. So here is my attempt.


 I still need to make on more "B" but actually, these 3 letters cover everyone in our family plus or last name! I have had so much fun making these.

Scarf Refashion

I was blog surfing the other day and came upon this tutorial. It was so super cute that I had to try to make  some of these earmuffs/winter headband myself. 

I had this old scarf that is super soft wool. It actually had a few holes in it so it was perfect for a refashion 

 The Scarf: Before
 After! 
Honestly, I am not sure if it is cute or goofy. But it kept my ears warm when I went to the grocery store this evening. :)

The Ghost

This is actually from Halloween night. This shows how far behind I am on blogging I guess. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thesis peek

Here is the abstract from my thesis + the official title! It is going to be published online tomorrow and then I am officially done. YEA!

Enjoy!

"The Enduring Austen Heroine: Self-Awareness and Moral Maturity in Jane Austen’s Emma and in Modern Austen"
Jane Austen’s novels continue to be popular in the twenty-first century because her heroines are both delightful and instructive; they can be viewed as role models of personal growth due to their honest self-examination and commitment to high moral standards. Chapter one establishes the patterns of personal growth that uniquely characterizes Austen’s heroines in each of her six novels. Chapter two tests these conclusions by carefully examining the character of Emma Woodhouse. Though Emma is a unique heroine due to her wealth and social privileges, she follows the principles of personal growth possessed by Austen’s other heroines. Chapter three further analyzes these conclusions by examining how Jane Fairfax can also be viewed as an Austen heroine because she too cultivates self-awareness and corrects her inner failings. In fact, several contemporary writers have recognized the heroic qualities in Jane Fairfax and have rewritten Emma by placing Jane as the heroine; three such adaptations are analyzed in chapter three. To further evaluate the characterization of the Austen heroine as realized by modern authors, chapter four examines three versions of Emma set in modern times to see if contemporary renditions of Austen’s novels are consistent with the model of growth that Austen promotes. Though these contemporary adaptations are not always faithful to the underlying moral themes found in the original Austen novels, the mere existence of these adaptations affirms the influence that Austen has on the minds, hearts, imaginations, and moral education of twenty-first century writers and readers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mengaling Thanksgiving

Some of my favorite moments from Thanksgiving 2010 so far....

Cooking my very first turkey! (it turned out pretty well...a bit dry in the breast but still tasty)

Micah seeing me put the turkey in the roasting pan and saying "Turkey?! I'm excited!" as he flapped his hands frantically in the air

The smell of turkey roasting, bacon sizzling, and cinnamon rolls steaming all at the same time.

Attempting to play Candy Land with the boys for the first time. Epic Fail. But they had fun anyways.

Painting and stamping paper with homemade "stamps" aka carved potatoes and carrots.

Benji looking in the oven at the turkey and shrieking, "It's Christmas!" (????)

Micah watching the TV with Aaron and when a commercial came on with Santa Clause he said, "Who's that? That Jesus?"

The boys helping themselves to cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes (with their hands) while Aaron carved the turkey and I set the table.

Giving Benji a big hug after lunch and saying "I'm thankful for YOU!"
He replied, "You're my friend, Mommy."

I am now thankful for the nap that the boys are taking.

I am looking forward to leftovers and key lime pie (don't judge. It is my favorite dessert and sounded a whole lot better than pumpkin)

Such wonder memories! I hope you are treasuring your own today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful that...

...my thesis is (almost) done. Today is Thanksgiving and I guess a pretty good day to give a thesis update for all of you who were anxiously waiting for it (umm....is this anyone? No clue).

I finished my thesis two weeks ago today. Or I should say, I finished writing it the first time. Heh...

I had one and a half heady days of celebration. And then my chair emailed me back. Oh boy....

In her words, "Your thesis needs extensive revision."

As my defense was on Monday (and I received this email on Saturday morning) I knew I had some frantic editing to do. I spent 7 hours revision chapter one (that's right, just one chapter) on Saturday and in the process, cut out 9 pages (the original chapter was 42 pages).

The next day I spent 5 hours on chapter two.

Monday = defense day. From 7:30-12pm I worked on editing and revising chapter three and at 12:30 I had my defense.

A thesis defense is basically a meeting where the student (aka me) talks about her thesis to her committee members (I had three). We all met at the beginning and then they sent me out so they could decide what they wanted to do. Then they called me back in and I spoke for about 10-15 minutes about why I wanted to write about my topic and what I learned through the process. Then each committee member asked me questions and shared their observations about my thesis. My chair, especially asked me some really tough questions ("In today's postmodern, primarily amoral society, why do you think people are still drawn to Austen's novels considering the values she promotes in her fiction?" and "If you were to expand on your ideas for a PhD dissertation, what would you write about?") but she seemed impressed with my answers. After the question time they sent me out again and talked for a while. When I came back in, my chair said she wanted everyone to go around and praise me for the good work I.

Some of the most memorable compliments were:
Are you going to go for your PhD?
You definitely have some publishable and conference (Professional academic conferences) worthy writing here.
After three hundred years of Austen criticism, it is tough to find something new to say about her works--but you did it.
You integrated professional criticism with your own analysis very well.
Very creative!
I really enjoyed your writing.

They all knew that I had to finish my revisions but we ended on the fact that I would be approved and then the defense was over.

However, my work was not over.

I finished my revisions for chapter four and my conclusion that evening and sent them to my chair, Dr. Ayres and felt like I was really done now.

Nope.

On Tuesday morning I checked my email as I was getting the boys ready for school and found another long message about revisions again. I still had major things to change in chapter one, even though I had spent hours and hours on it on Saturday. And she didn't even read chapters 2 and 3 because on first perusal, she found a lot of mistakes (left out works, grammatical, mechanical, etc).

I snapped. I felt so overwhelmed, like I would never be done with this project and it would never be good enough. I spent the whole morning crying off and on and fighting depression. I was a horrible mom that morning and actually felt relieved when I dropped the boys off at school. And then I felt guilty for being relieved.

I had reading, a 1-2 page response, and the first 5 pages of a term paper due in my Shakespeare class that afternoon. Not happening. Not when your chair tells you she wants all revisions done by Thursday.

After more tears, much prayer, and a severe mental pep-talk, I pulled up my big girl panties and got back to work. I spent all morning and afternoon reading chapters 2-4 out loud (70+ pages) in order to catch my mistakes. And...um...there were quite a few that I had missed, simply from just looking at the darn thing so. many. times.

I went to Shakespeare still feeling the emotional weight of the day, and feeling guilty for not getting my work done (though I had emailed my professor and let him know what was going on).

Twenty minutes into class, I get a call from the preschool: Micah had a 101.5 fever. So, I checked out of class, again bouncing between feelings of relief and guilt.

My poor baby was so pitiful and looked like he felt so bad. And as soon as we pulled up the the house, he threw up in the car. (I'll just let you imagine the hours that followed, though Micah actually was feeling better later that night).

That evening, after the boys went to bed, I started revising chapter one A.G.A.I.N. I sent everything back to Dr. Ayres that evening and crashed into bed.

Wednesday: Another email--Minor revision left. I do them. I send it back, AGAIN. I felt hopeful though because at the end of her email she said that after I made the changes I should send it to the rest of my committee.

It is now a week and one day later. I have heard back from everyone on my committee and only have to make some minor changes to my abstract (which I will try to post on here in the next few days for those of you who are interested in what has consumed my life for the past year).

So, needless to say, I am very thankful the thesis process is almost over. I am meeting with Dr. Ayres on Nov. 30th to go over everything again and then I have to publish my thesis in an online professional database. Then it will be done. Finis. The End.

Thank God.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hot Momma

This story is just too good to pass up. I hope you enjoy...

I defended my thesis on Monday (will post about this later, when I am out of revision purgatory) and bought a new dress for the occasion. I got a great deal at Ross--$27 for an Calvin Kline dress! It is black, knee length and fitted with cap sleeves and a square neckline. It is the epitome of the little black dress, if you know what I mean: classy and sexy. Paired with sheer black stockings and black heels, I was feeling good!

I got a lot of compliments from my friends, coworkers, and even my thesis chair. My students also told me I looked nice.

That's when the trouble started...

I have a Korean student that I adore. He is so funny, fun, and a joy to have in class. Although he speaks excellent English, he doesn't always "get" slang references or when to use certain words at the best time.

I was standing in front of him checking his homework when he asked, "Is hot degrading?"

I had just teased him about wearing two collared shirts at the same time (???) so I thought he was referring to being too warm.

"No," he clarified. "Is calling someone "hot" degrading?"

Knowing he is trying to figure out relationships (especially with a super cute girl in the class) I said, "Well, not always. It really depends on the context."

"Well, in that case, you look hot."

My head shot up and I immediately replied, "Ok! well, that is a little inappropriate" as I turned five shades of red.

The girls sitting on either side of him burst out laughing, as did I.

I got a kick out of sharing the story with the rest of the graduate assistants.

Of of my friends said, "Ok, you have a new title now: "Hot GSA mom!"

I'll take it. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best Medicine?

These past few weeks have been...hmmm...how can I say this delicately....hell?

I have been beyond stressed out and taking my stress out on my family. One of my students even said after class today, "Mrs. Meng, you look so stressed out! You have, like, an aura of stress around you." Thank you, dear student. (I think he was trying to be nice)

With all the stress, especially today, I told Aaron that I have felt like the worst version of myself, to which he replied, "And yet you're still lovable."

And there is my heart, in a little puddle.

I thought the moment was going to get even sweeter when Aaron asked the boys, "Boys, do you love Mommy?"

Micah: YES!
Benji: No....

Insert belly laugh here. And do you know what? Laughter, as well as "I love you's" is good for the stressed-out soul.

PS. Finished writing my introduction tonight. All that is left is revisions. Defense in 5 days...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thesis update

Dear blog readers (whoever you are...thank you for your faithfulness),

I am so sorry to leave you hanging on such a bad week.

This past week has not been much better. We have been hit with a plague. As in throwing up plague for the boys and body aches, shooting joint pain, and extreme exhaustion for me. Thankfully Aaron has been spared (so far. Fingers crossed and prayers said)

BUT, the thesis is in a better state than when I left the last blog post. Chapter four is done, revised and sent to my whole committee. All have responded with good comments and minor revisions. YEA!

Now, all that is left is to revise my conclusion, write my introduction (yes, now that my thesis is all done) and organize the whole thing in an official thesis format. I have over 100 pages so far. Oh my goodness. This project is HUGE!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou GOD it is almost done.

Not out of the woods with it yet though. And I am running out of time....because....

....my defense is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. EEK!

Most pressing project right now is to grade the 14 papers English 101 papers that I have to turn back...umm...tomorrow...

oh my life...looking forward to Christmas and some REAL peace on earth...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whew what a week!

Last week was...shall we say...NOT GOOD!

Here was the break down:

Monday: I had long been awaiting (4 months to be exact) of a acceptance letter of a short story I sent to a magazine. Well, it came. I was shaking with excitement until I opening it. Yep, it was ANOTHER impersonal rejection letter. I was so upset.

Then I went to school and picked up my graded Shakespeare paper (that I felt pretty good about when I turned it it). I got a 72. Sad, sad day. I was so depressed. This is actually only the 2nd C I have ever gotten in my entire college career (undergrad and grad).

I had to give myself a pep-talk: Pull it together girl! It is NOT the end of the world.

Tuesday: Better than Monday as far as severe disappointments go but Aaron I had to deal with an icky problem: FLEAS. Goldie was infested. We moved all the furniture out of the living room (sans 1000 lbs piano) and treated the carpet with flea powder. Then we bathed the living-daylights out of the poor dog with flea shampoo. We felt happy about our accomplishment...but it took a lot of time away from other things...like umm...the thesis chapter I had due in less than a week that I had yet to start on?? PS. this story is not over...this did not get rid of the fleas...:P

Wednesday: I am stressed about my thesis chapter due on Monday. It is raining. Hard. Blech. And to top it all off, I hear a very loud CLUNK outside my right hand car window as I drive to work. Commence racing heart. I have hit a parked car with my side mirror. I drive around the block and realize I have badly broken the parked cars' mirror. It is still raining. Hard. I can't leave a note. I am panicked. And I do NOT want to tell my dear husband what just happened. I decide to tell him in an email when I get to work. He is mad. I start bawling and cry for 20 minutes. To make a long story short though, everything worked out. I went back home (therefore wasting more time that could have been spent on my thesis) and leave a VERY apologetic note in a plastic bag on the windshield. The girl called me and was very nice and we got it all worked out for us to pay for the broken mirror. Thank you God.

That night I emailed my thesis chair and told her I was overwhelmed and that I hadn't even revised my chapter three of my thesis yet. She emailed me back some encouragement and told me to get on the revision right away.

Thursday: Better than all previous days in the week. Got chapter three revised and sent back to Dr. Ayers but no new work done on chapter four....

Friday: Spent the day either at school or preparing for the Cloth Diaper Yard Sale on Saturday

Saturday: This was probably the highlight of my week. I made $268 dollars at the Cloth Diaper Yard Sale and I didn't even sell all my diapers!!! WOW! Plus I started writing on chapter four

Sunday: More writing...but the chapter is due on Monday....by the end of the day I only have 7 (ish?) pages....

The End. Good riddance bad week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twin Differences

People ask me a lot "Do the boys have completely different personalities?" The answer is, Um YES! I guess people think that twins will have the same personality (?) or since they are identical that they will be the same (?). Who knows. But Micah and Benji are each their own little person with unique personality quirks.

Take this morning for instance.

I took the boys to school and when they got there, all the kids were playing with small, multi-colored plastic dinosaurs. Of course, the boys couldn't wait to join in the fun.

Micah promptly gathered a  large menagerie of dinos of a variety of colors and lined them up perfectly strait in front of him. "Look, Mommy!" he said.

Benji had a meat eater in one hand and a plant eater in the other. "Rawr!" He roared. "I bite your head!" And then he acted out his commentary with his dinosaurs.

Oh, boys! I love you!

Thesis happiness

I sent my third chapter of my thesis to my chair yesterday and she emailed me this morning:

"Brittany, well done! . . . I am so proud of the quality and timeliness of your writing. Besides that, your work with the novels is simply delightful. You are blessing me a lot! Dr. Ayres"


This just made me smile and sigh a happy sigh. 


Plus her encouragement made me feel a little better about all the revision comments she made on the chapter....  

Monday, October 11, 2010

My boys are THREE!

Happy (well, 2 days late now) Birthday Micah and Benjamin!!!

We had a wonderful day on Saturday celebrating the boys' third birthday. Where did the time go??

I remember when I was pregnant I was watching TV--some appliance commercial where the woman says she wants her fridge to stand up to "three year olds" (you know the one?)--and I suddenly had a revelation: I am going to have TWO three year olds. And the fear of God suddenly struck me.

I occasionally still have these revelations (and am stricken with fear) that yes, I do in fact have twins. And yes, I do NOW have two three year olds. And YES, it is great! (Most days, of course. It seems like the fits are getting more frequent and loud lately....but oh well. It comes with the territory of being three)

Anyways, I have been a mommy for three years. It has been a wild adventure. But every time I feel their smooth skin beneath my hands, kiss their sticky cheeks, ruffle up their frowsy curls, and hear them say, "I wuv you too, mommy" I am once again amazed that these are my children, my babies from my own body, a miraculous product of Aaron's and my love. Yes, amazing.

I have two three year olds. :D :D











Enjoy the pics from their party! We had a blast!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back to Normal

There have been a lot of changes this semester but one thing I have really enjoyed is having a little time in the morning to myself after I take the boys to school. Every day I drop the boys off and come home for a few hours to walk the dog, eat breakfast, drink coffee, watch a little Food Network, and do a little housework before heading to school for the day.

This week, however, has robbed me of my sweet morning routine. 

I have had student conferences Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. Each conference is 15 minutes long--not bad, right? Well, if you multiply that by 43+ students (I had two conferences with some students)....let's just say I've been living at school this week. 

Yesterday I had 25 conferences. My stomach cramps up a little bit just remembering. While I love meeting with each student (most of them, anyway...) one on one, I really do not like the all-day-marathon of mental energy expended while helping student after student generate ideas, thesis sentences, organizational patterns, and MLA citations. It is exhausting. 

Plus I missed my date with my french vanilla coffee and Food Network.

Well, today is Thursday. Blessed Thursday!

I dropped the boys off at school and headed home for some me-time. Goldie and I took a beautiful walk on this crisp fall day, and I enjoyed a yummy breakfast and coffee, and yes, I am currently watching Food Network as I write this. 

And I have been looking forward to today for another reason: I am going shopping for the boys' birthday party this morning! I am so excited. 

Party hats, balloons, plates, party bags, here I come! 

How are my babies turning 3? Amazing! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

My dog hates me

It has been raining all week. Rain means no walk for Goldie. She has taken out her frustration by being very bad while I am at work. Very bad meaning eating Aaron's leather Bible  cover and eating a whole plate of homemade cinnamon rolls on Wednesday, knocking over the very full kitchen trash and strewing it all over my freshly vacuumed living room floor on Thursday, and last night (Thurs) she did this:
She ATE Aaron's new golf glove  

I think she is trying to tell us something....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Out of the minds of babes

As we were walking through a parking lot today, Benji spotted an orange traffic cone, exclaimed "CARROT!" and tried to take a bite of it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kids T-Shirt Refashion

Isn't it sad when your kids' favorite clothes start getting too small? The boys are at that stage right now and one of their favorite shirts is getting too short and tight. Plus, since the shirt is white, it was getting pretty dingy. Rather than retire their "Pirate Kid" shirts, however, I decided to refashion--well, really, upgrade--them.

The t-shirts before. The new ones were from a pack of 5 undershirts from Walmart
I cut out a background from scraps from one of Aaron's t-shirts I used for a previous refashion
A pattern for the background make from a large envelope (recycled junkmail...)
Background and picture cut out
I zig-zaged the picture to the background
Then zig-zaged the background to the t-shirt. Ta-da! "New" shirts!
Micah said, "I like it!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sandbox Saturday

I felt like I got to spend some real quality time with the boys this morning. Check out what we did--Sandbox fun!
Sandbox = free (hand-me-down from a family at our church)
Sand toys = $2 at Target (gotta love a great deal!)
Two HUNDRED pounds of sand--yes, 200 pounds. As in 4 fifty pound bags. That's a lot of sand.

The boys had a blast! And so did I. :)

Micah Man
Benji Boy
Want some sand, Mommy?
What is better than two boys in a sandbox?
I told him to smile....I guess the camera wasn't fast enough
I also told B to smile...I get dazed an confused...this is SO a "Meng" look....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The TINY two-fer dress


Here is my version of a TINY two-fer dress. I made it out of a 0-3 month onesie and a t-shirt. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. It is so sweet and so tiny! My favorite part is the bloomers--ruffle butt! AWWW! I hope Chelsea and my new little niece love them!
Before: Cute little orange and white striped onesie
Before: T-shirt that ended up in our luggage when we came home from camp (weird, but free material for me!!!)
AFTER! Sweet little two-fer dress with bloomers!
The bloomers have elastic to hold them up and....
RUFFLES!! AHH! So, so cute! 


The "Little" Two-fer dress

My sister Chelsea is expecting her first baby in October--a GIRL! The first one in the family (there are 5 grandsons right now). I wanted to make her some clothes so here are my attempts at "refashioning" for a baby. I love how this outfit turned out!
The top "before"--one of the boys' onesies (I used the bottom to make a pair of underwear for the boys)
The bottom "before"--a skirt that wasn't quite my style
AFTER! Isn't it cute? It will probably fit 9-12 months
I "feminized" the sleeves a bit by shortening them and adding a  cuff made out of the skirt material

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Spit it OUT!"

This is kind of a sad post...but funny too.

Benji threw-up last night. I have no idea why because he was fine this morning other than sleeping a little longer than normal. We have Wednesday night suppers at church and I think something just didn't agree with his little tummy. :(

Benji HATES to be messy. Hates hates hates! If his hands get messy at dinner he has to have the cleaned before he can continue eating. So, getting sick last night in his bed was probably his worst nightmare because he was very messy all over his head, chest, and blankie. There was much wailing.

We were all up from 11:30 to 1:00am last night. YAWN! Thankfully Benji seemed to get all the sickness out of his system and by the time we laid him down again he was chattering away about what happened.

Here is his two-year old version about throwing up: "It was hot. It was messy. Spit it OUT!"

Sounds about right, Benj! I am glad you are feeling better today, sweet boy!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby Clothes

A friend of mine is adopting a new baby soon--her birth mother is still pregnant and the baby could arrive any day; in fact, the baby could be premature. She asked me if I had any preemie clothes that I would be willing to give her. I said YES! Of course!

And my heart sunk a little. Not because I'm not thrilled for her or that I don't want to give my clothes away. It is just hard to part with such itty-bitty sweet baby outfits that my itty-bitty-barely-four-pound twins wore when they came home from the hospital. I actually have been hoarding their preemie clothes in a big plastic bag in my basement, keeping them all to myself for....Um...I don't know.

There are no babies in my immediate future and God willing, we will not have another preemie.

So I said, YES! Of Course!

I can't hang on the them forever. They are just SITTING in my basement. That is silly. And a little selfish. Especially when this new little baby could use them.

So I dug them out of the basement tonight and sorted through them. The look brand new--after all, babies grow so fast and don't really "do" anything to wear the clothes out. And they were so tiny and cute.

What happened? how did my babies get so big? It is amazing.

Aaron watched me sort though the clothes and asked me if it was hard to let them go. I said yes--with a lump in my throat. The clothes are attached to so many memories. But like I said, I don't need them anymore and the right thing to do is let them go, especially if someone else can use them.

I did keep a few outfits for myself--I just had to.

My babies are not babies anymore. It is sad. But it is happy too. They are healthy and growing, loving and wonderful. They are able to talk to me, hug me, kiss me, and say "I love you Mommy!" They had a blast when we went putt-putting and go-cart riding for the first time on Saturday. Only little boys can do things like that. So growing up is good.

But just like the clothes, it is hard to let the baby stage go.

(Compare this to the picture on my heading...)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How I'm doing

CAUTION: LONG post coming up...
So, after my "rant" the other day I had quite a bit of response--either by facebook, phone, or face-to-face with people. It seem like most moms, especially with little children, can relate.

In an effort to be honest, I thought I would blog about how I'm doing this week--for real. :)

We all started school this week! On Monday the boys were so excited about everything! Time to line up? OK! YEA!!! Time to each lunch? ALL RIGHT! YEA!! Outside? YEA YEA YEA! The director said she had never seen kids so excited about everything. She loved it!

On Tuesday the boys were ready to go to school again and said "Hi Miss Claude-i-a!" as soon as they went in their room. So cute. Micah was a little sad when I left. So was I.

That night I think it finally hit me that this preschool thing is for real. Like an all-day-big-deal. Like my life as a stay at home mom is over--maybe for good. And then the tears came--a lot. Most moms cry on the first day that their kids start school. I guess it didn't hit me till the end of day two. (Though I did cry a few weeks ago...)

Wednesday Micah was really sad and did not want me to leave. And after my breakdown the night  before...well let's just say I was equally sad when I left my little boy, walked out of the room and heard him calling, "Mommy! Mommy!" Wow, that is hard to even write. :(

I have been able to call and talk to their teachers every afternoon to see how they are doing. Miss Candace and Miss Claudia have assured me that Micah stops crying 1-2 minutes after I leave and quickly gets excited about the next event of the day. Both boys LOVE playing outside, playing with cars, eating breakfast and lunch. Both have taken good naps in the afternoon and have gone on the potty every day! I am very proud.

Benji is doing fine emotionally. He barely even notices when I leave--I have to steal a kiss from that active little guy! He is so excited about "friends!" and loves his teachers. He is such a sweetie--though he keeps them on their toes because he is so active.

I hope and pray that Micah will feel assured and more and more comfortable about going to school every day. I know it is a big change for him. It is a big change for me.

I came home for a bit on Monday and when I walked into the empty house, I realized that this is the very first time I had been at home and the boys had not been there--ever. Like since they have been born. It was a very strange feeling--a little sad and a little nice and a LOT quiet. :)

I have been able to get SO much done during the day when I am at home. Housework is a snap! I have been able to get chores done in an hour or less when it would have taken me all morning. I have also been able to walk Goldie every day. It has been nice to get outside, get exercise, and spend some time with my furry baby. She is such a better dog when she walks every day--like she doesn't run away every time I let her out to do her business.

I remarked to someone earlier this week that I felt amazing! I hadn't yelled at anyone, been frustrated, irritated or had to resist smacking anyone's bottom all morning. Amazing! Like I said in my previous post, being a mom is emotionally exhausting at times. I was struggling with my anger every day, trying not to get worked up about things like messes, fighting over toys, delayed obedience, or when my child decides to head-butt me in the chest. So, for that reason, it is NICE to have the boys in preschool--it helps me to appreciate them more when I am with them and not focus so much on the irritations of motherhood or how tired I am.

But I miss the hugs. I miss the kisses. I miss the excited "Hey Mommy!" from my little Micah and Benji. I miss the excitement of every new thing they discover. I miss knowing exactly what they do every day--every potty success, what they eat, how much they slept, what they played with. It is hard for me to let go.

During my breakdown on Tuesday night, Aaron reminded me that our boys are growing up and as they grow, I have to let them go. I bawled "I'm not ready to let them go yet!" It seems too soon. But I know that having them in the ELC is the  best decision for our family this semester as I try to finish up grad school. It is a hard decision and even this morning as I left Micah crying when I said goodbye, I questioned (again) if it was the "right" decision. I said a prayer for him and myself. I know I just have to trust the Lord that he will take care of me and my children while we are away from each other.

After all, He knows what is like to be a parent--and all the struggles that come along with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL for both me an the boys. This was the only picture I got this morning, bright and early at 6:45am. YAWN! My day is off to a good start and I hope the boys are doing well too. I haven't cried....yet.



BTW, this is my 100th post! WOOT!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

T-shirt to Cardigan: A Refashion

I have been thinking about this project for a while and since tomorrow is the first day of school, I decided to make myself a "new" article of clothing. Here is my version of a t-shirt to cardigan refashion. 
Before
After! 
I cut off the sleeves at the elbow and then cut "leaf" shapes from the extra materiel for the "ruffle" effect. I also added a hook and eye for the closure. 
I love how it turned out! Light, summery, and perfect for layering. 

Like this? Share it!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...