BAM Family

BAM Family

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. 
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. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"How are YOU, Mom?"

Moms, ever notice that after you have kids, no one asks how you are anymore? Oh, people will do it in around about way. They'll ask "how is the baby sleeping?" in an effort to discover if you, poor soul, are getting sleep at night. I have even done this from time to time. But why don't people come out and really ask, "so, how are YOU doing, Mom?"

Some people do, bless their hearts, and if the mom is having a really horrible day and has had no adult conversation for a very. long. time, she will most likely word vomit all over the person who asked this unassuming question (usually the little old lady at church). And no one likes vomit very much.

Maybe that's why people are afraid to ask mothers how they are--because motherhood can be such a hard, demanding, isolating, thankless job. At times, of course. And we mothers DO try and focus on the other side of the coin.

I think that's why people ask: "How are your kids?" or in my case "How are the boys/twins?"
They don't want to hear about the ugly side of motherhood--they side where mommy confesses that she is tired, stressed out, surviving-on-coffee, irritated, and feeling invisible. So it is better, safer, much more pleasant to ask about the kids. After all, kids are cute, sweet, and wonderful all the time…right?

No one answers the question, "How are your kids?" like this: "Well, today they were really whinny, snotty, and clingy. My son peed on the couch and my daughter dumped her oatmeal on the dogs head. By the way, thanks for asking how I'm doing."

No, being the socially aware people that we are, we answer, "The kids are great/adorable/learning so much these days. Growing up too fast."

And we smile. We mean our "safe" answer, of course. But often it isn't really how the kids (or we!) are at that moment. And the well meaning person usually never follows up the question with how you, as the mother, are doing.

The thing is, I DO want to talk about the boys--I love talking about my kids. But the gracious hand of "how are you?" is rarely extended to me. Why is this?  Though "Mommy" is a role I treasure and proudly display, is not the only "hat" I wear.

So, what is the point in all this? I suppose it is a this gentle reminder: Don't assume that because the kids are well that the mom is too. Being a mother is complicated and it comes with daily challenges and a plethora of feelings.

What if we challenged ourselves to do this: Next time we greet a fellow mom, ask how she is--really ask. She may lie (we all do) because it is hard to be honest about the maternal struggles we all go through. But you will know that you did your part to make that mother feel less invisible, or as "only" the mommy to the adorable children that you admire so much. A mother is first a woman--a beautiful, complicated, intelligent, emotional, sensitive human being who wants to be noticed and known.

And after you've asked about her, don't forget to ask about her kids. She might get mad if you don't. ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Paper Bag Skirt

When I saw this tutorial for the Paper Bag skirt, I just knew I had to try and make one for myself.  I had some brown material left over from the boys' backpacks and since I love brown as a neutral, it was perfect for the skirt. It was fun to make an up-and-coming style on my own.

This project went together really easily. It has a side zipper that I was pretty nervous about putting in but since my mom was visiting, I took advantage of her sewing expertise and she guided me through the process (it really wasn't that hard). 

The most "difficult" part was getting the pleats to be both symmetrical and snug around my waist. But the whole thing came together in less than  two days. I started it at 9pm on Sunday night and finished it the next afternoon before I went to class. 

I absolutely love this skirt!!! Go ahead--make one of your own!

Side Flower Headband

I have been noticing this type of headband recently in pictures of my friends and in popular fashion. I think the style is so cute! So I decided to make one of my own. It took about half an hour. Since I don't like plastic headbands, I made mine out of all material with a bit of elastic at the bottom to hold it in place. The flowers are simply gathered material sewn in a circle. I love how it turned out! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"It's Poop"

I drink my coffee really sweet. I love dumping a large amount of flavored creamer in my cup of joe every morning. And the boys love to sneak a taste every now and then. In fact, I often pour a little creamer into their milk so they can have "coffee milk." The LOVE it.

This morning, my dad had left a little coffee in his his cup and the boys wanted to drink it. The thing is, my dad drinks his coffee black. I told the boys they could try it--I was looking forward (in mean mom fashion) to the "icky face."

I wasn't disappointed.

Benji took a gulp (the coffee was cold) and made a great face.

Benji: It's YUCKY!
Me: It's yucky?
Benji: Yeah. It's poop.
Me: (lose it laughing)

I guess cold, black coffee tastes like poop to a two-year old. Actually, I tend to agree. Bring on the french vanilla creamer, baby!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


So, I decided to put ads on my blog. This was a decision I went back and forth on but after having over 1400 hits (ok, a bunch few of those are me viewing my own blog) in 2-3 months, and learning that placing ads on your blog can generate income (ha! we will see...any money is better than nothing when you are a poor student/SAHM), I decided to take the plunge.

I set up everything this afternoon and realized how computer illiterate I am. Google Ads is supposed to match ads to the content on your blog, in my case, sewing, kids, crafts, parenting, grad student, etc. So you can imagine my surprise when I visited my blog this evening and witnessed an ad for tattoo design!! LOL! Stay tuned folks: there will be pics uploaded very soon of my rockin' new tats and a tutorial for designing your own tattoos soon!!

(I think it takes a few days for Google Ads to match the ads to you content...we'll see how this works out...)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The BAM Backpack

I made the boys backpacks for school. This is my own pattern--I call it the BAM backpack. I absolutely LOVE how they turned out and the boys love them too. Enjoy the pics!!!

**Would anyone be interested in a pattern/tutorial for this project? Leave a comment and let me know!

Fully lined inside with elasticized opening
Side pocket for little boy treasures
Elastic pocket for a drink
Adjustable straps
Velcro straps to hold a blanket
The BAM backpack in action
My little model (Benjamin)
Blankie is ready to go
The BAM backpacks (for my Benji And Micah)


The summer is almost over and it has been a full one--full of changes for our family and especially the boys.

We started potty training in June and it is going really well. We have been having *less* accidents lately. Micah is doing really well. I think Benji has a pea sized bladder and that accounts for his more frequent accidents.

We switched the boys to toddler beds about a month ago. I was TERRIFIED of doing this and had put it off for months even though the boys were well over 2 and Micah was skilled as a climber. I was afraid of the boys never napping again once they had the whole room at their disposal or that they would climb the walls at night and wreck havoc while we were asleep. But overall, the transition as been really smooth. The boys LOVE their toddler beds (we just took the front off of their convertible cribs). We rearranged their room to make things a little safer (mostly to ease my mind) and finally put up some decorations so their room looks adorable now. We only had a few nights where we had to put them to bed twice (or five) times and now they are fully transitioned. And they continue to take their 3 hour nap in the afternoon. Thank you God. The only down side has been that they are getting up a lot earlier in the morning and then coming into  my room all happy and chipper to wake up their very groggy mommy.

Our final BIG change is coming in a few weeks. We have enrolled the boys in a full-time Early Learning Center for the fall. They start on August 23rd. The ELC is at our church so they are already really familiar with the setting. They will be going 5 days a week from 8-5. I am sad just writing that. But we know (hope?) that while I am finishing up grad school this is the best option for us. Having both boys in the ELC is actually cheaper than having our two nannies last semester so I will actually be able to take home a little bit (about $100) of my pay check each month instead of paying $200+ in addition to my entire monthly pay.

I think the boys will love preschool once they get used to the schedule. They love learning and making friends and I know they will be able to do so many more cool activities than we are able to do at home.

It is such a struggle as a SAHM to balance what one of my friends once called "being" and "doing" as a mom. "Being" meaning being a mommy--playing, reading, teaching, loving. The "doing" seems to take up so much more of my day--cleaning, cooking, cleaning up messes, potty training, paying bills, laundry, etc. etc. etc. Sigh. It is so hard to find that balance between spending qualities time with my kids, keep up with the house, taking care of myself (eating and showering, anyone? Exercise is pretty much impossible), and stealing a few moments for myself (e-mail, facebook, sewing).

So, I think (hope?) that the ELC will be good for me too. I know (again, hope?) that I will be able to take care of myself and the house and get my school work and teaching work done more efficiently in the time I do have at home while the boys are at school. I think I will be fighting guilt a lot though.

Like a said, big changes for us this summer. And even more coming up this fall.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Highs and Lows

Sorry, blog readers. I was kinda a slacker about camp. We are back at home now and my high of the day was going in to wake up the boys this morning after not seeing them for a week. My heart just melted when they said "Hi Mommy!" about fifty-seven times.

As a way to recap our week in MA, here are some highs and lows of our time at Passport.

HIGH: Serving for 4 days in Lynn MA picking up trash, cleaning churches, painting park benches, playing with local kids, and visiting the elderly

LOW (for Aaron and me): Chasing 7 middle schoolers all over Boston and not getting to do anything that we had planned to do on our afternoon off

HIGH: Eating incredibly yummy food (heavenly clam chowder, swordfish, gelato) at Quincy Market in Boston

LOW: Middle schoolers who are late, forget their Bibles for church and Bible study, lose their wallets every time they get in and out of the van, and find farting and making duck noises the funniest things in existence

HIGH: Seeing a shy student blossom into a talkative and fun-loving girl by the end of the week

LOW: Worrying ourselves sick after searching all over the campus for a student who was missing 45 minutes after curfew

HIGH: Having the student come back tearful and repentant right before we got campus security and the entire Passport staff out to look for our lost sheep

LOW: Being really, really tired

HIGH: Whale watching on Saturday (The whales came RIGHT up to the boat! Amazing!)

LOW: Our LONG drive back to Lynchburg--12+ hours

HIGH: Our long trip totally worth it after witnessing the growth, maturity, and decisions made by the students while at camp. Praise the Lord!!

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