Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ashton Solo

While Big was outside playing in the snow, Little was inside, playing by himself for really the first time ever. He was ok for a while, but got bored faster than normal. I am so glad Aiden is an inseparable part of Ash's life. Brother love!

This is one of the cutest things Ashton does: getting down on his belly to look under the couch for a lost toy. It's adorable because he is so focused!

Andy and Aiden Outside

My Heart Goes Out

I love watching the Olympics. My favorite events: men's halfpipe (who doesn't love Shaun White?!?!), men's figure skating, and then women's figure skating. My heart just breaks for Joannie Rochette - Scott Hamilton and I were crying through her flawless performance last night. The reality of her situation was so real. You can read about her story here. I will be praying for her and her dad as they grieve the loss of her mom - may God comfort them and may she find a way to enjoy her time at the Olympics.

Snow Level at a Foot ... So Far

I'm up ... before the boys! My phone buzzed next to my super-firm pillow on the warm, king-size bed. I clumsily held it up to my face to see what the screen said. "Unlisted" glowed my maroon cell. My first thought: "Do I have a Blockbuster dvd overdue??" Second thought: "It's 4:30am at my in-laws." I decided to pick it up, just for good measure, even though I had just gone to bed 5 hours ago. "Aubrey?" a deep male voice reverberated in what sounded like an empty warehouse. I pause, wondering if I was dreaming of being in some Bourne-like movie. I cautiously (and huskily) answered, "yes." And then my brain started to wake up. My neighbor needed me to open the garage door so he could access his snow blower that we store for him. The snow plows plowed our driveways in a good couple of feet. I got excited. It snowed enough to blow! Yay! One of the perks of moving from Out West to Back East are the noticeably different weather seasons. And if it's going to be winter, well then by george, it had better snow! Well, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! And a prayer for all those who have to go out and drive - pretty much anywhere in the country affected by the storms - God speed and safe (maybe even miraculous) travel. We will be holed up in our cozy townhouse as a family, enjoying a 4 day "weekend" with Andy, working on renovating our master bedroom. I'll post pics as soon as we actually decided on furniture, paint and moulding!

Poor Todd spent over an hour just blowing 2 small driveways - all before he left for work. Can you see the stack of "plowage" to his right?

It's a very wet snow, to say the least! I am keeping the heater cranked up, just in case we lose power

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Morning

The boys received Build-A-Bear Dogs from Grandma and Grandpa for Valentines: they thought they were so neat!

Aiden passing out cards - this was mine and Andy's 10th Valentines Day together. It's crazy how time goes by so quickly!

Winter Walk

It might have been sunny, but it was bitter-cold!

Not Me Monday

I did NOT run into our garage door with my rather large suv ... from the outside.

I did NOT get hairspray all over the laptop keyboard. Don't ask - I might take multi-tasking a bit too far.

I did NOT ignore my oldest son for over an hour while he was by my bedside (and who knows where else in the house!), wide-eyed and bushy-tailed WAY too early in the morning.

I am NOT pouring over new home construction schematics I picked up from a developer, painstakingly choosing my dream home floor plan because said developer requires quite a bit of money down for a new house: $35K+ to be exact!

I did NOT drive 20 minutes south to C.P., only to remember in the Kohl's parking lot that after pre-heating the car and getting both bundled boys buckled, I forgot to close and lock the front door to the house. It was NOT 64 degrees in the house when we got back home a little over an hour later and the heater was NOT on full blast. AND I definitely did NOT get right back in the car after locking the door and head 20 minutes north to W. to take Aiden to "Kanera" (aka, Panera), the restaurant he had his heart set on.

I am NOT a crazy, naturally-born-blonde-turned-brunette, stay-at-home-mom who sometimes goes days without showering, putting her family and their needs even above personal hygiene. And my kids have NOT taken my brain. I am still a level-headed, intelligent, educated woman (I think!).

Friday, February 12, 2010


Hazelnut creamer: a party in my mouth, especially with its sidekick, an orange scone!
It definitely makes me feel good, especially since my bones are a bit jarred by my total bif on the ice while trying to get into the Civic, on my way to the dr. yesterday. (The stiletto heels might have aided in said slippage, but hey, I looked good!)

And for any of you wondering, my wonderful PA RuthAnn hooked me up with 7 days of estrogen, since apparently my estrogen levels were near 0. Andy is a bit intimidated by the idea of more estrogen in the house, and specifically, in his wife. I keep reminding him it will make me more equalized and leveled out. Poor guy!

And here are the sweet, yet sick boys this morning.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ohne Sahne

Sometimes life comes full circle, like when a loved one passes away the same day a baby is born. Sometimes life sucks, like when your first car is totaled. And then sometimes life is just challenging. I tend to have more of those days than not, but today is a particularly prickly one. Like one of those teddy bear cactus that you swear you didn't touch but somehow you ended up with prickles all up and down your thigh and they are positioned just to the rear, so that you have to have your mom pull them out with tweezers. But I digress...
My sweet, beautiful, Godly, too-good-for-any-man friend and babysitter, Jessie sent me the most wonderful email the other day. She was reflecting on her time watching my boys last weekend and her thoughts on how I must feel some days, stuck inside the house with the boys in the dead of winter. She felt the Lord leading her to share Psalm 77 with me. There, David imparts his God-inspired feelings regarding a challenging day:

7 Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
8 Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

10 And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Oh how I can relate! Up until recently, I would give in to Satan's greatest pleasure and not seek out the Bible when I was stressed or overwhelmed or even sick. I am fed up with memories of years filled with bad attitudes, self-loathing, and faith backsliding. It's time to man-up, take it to the Lord, be reminded of times of blessing, ask forgiveness, and drink in God's mercies. I must remember His mercies are usually non-tangible - a concept difficult for consumer-driven American girls. My boys deserve a joy-filled Mom.
And so, as I finish this post and ponder the feasibility of showering with both sick, clingy boys awake, I glance out the window at the freshly fallen snow, awash in morning sunlight. So is my soul, washed clean every morning by a loving God who abundantly showers blessings.

Life is not always coming up roses

But in the absence of certain things, we can find enjoyment in the unexpected (like when you have no hazelnut creamer left, whole milk doesn't do the trick, your hubbie has taken your suv with the carseats to work, and you are forced to scrounge the fridge door for homemade mocha ingredients)

"My cup overflows with blessings." ~Psalm 23

P.S. Who else can boast of such a wonderful babysitter, who is working on her masters degree?! No, my dear mommy-friends, you cannot have her!

For historical reference, here is the little blurb I wrote about how this day was going:
I am NOT a morning person. I made a shirt that said just that when I was 10. I graciously let Aiden stay up until almost 9pm last night so he and I could play outside in the snow. He was at my bedside at 7:12am. Not cool. I always make my boys stay in bed until 8:00. It's just my thing and fellow moms have reassured me this is normal and quite acceptable. I had just gotten the covers warm again after changing Ashton's wet pee-pee clothes and getting him back to sleep. (That's not to mention the other 3 times he woke up and wanted to be nursed between midnight and 5 am). Aiden's 3 year old stubbornness reared its ugly head and he fought going back to bed and then sat there hum-yelling. Ashton caught ear of this (I don't know how the whole neighborhood didn't!) and retorts back with one of his "screaming as if being kidnapped" tirades. And speaking of neighborhood, there is jackhammering going on 2 doors down. And I am having coffee with whole milk, still no creamer. Good news: I'm going out by myself this afternoon! Bad news: it's to the obgyn. Lord, please be gracious to me today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Playing Peek-a-Boo

While Big Brother was napping, Ashton was trying to get my attention by playing coy in the curtains. His plan worked!


I do NOT feel abandoned. I do NOT feel abandoned. I do NOT feel abandoned. I am trying not to feel abandoned. After an entire 36 hours of not leaving the inside of my house, I am ready to get out. Ashton is struggling with a head cold, so seeing friends or going to the church building is out. But I do have errands to do, which confines him to either my hip or his carseat, a safe bet during cold season. And I have some great Valentines ideas for Andy. Snow was in the forecast but no sign of white when I woke up. Yay! Rushing around to get ready to go out, I use the rest of the coffee creamer. No biggie, I'll pick up more for my afternoon cup of Joe. At 9am, the heavens let loose. I ignored it, focusing on my shopping ideas. Andy wakes up as I get out of the shower, declaring that it's a good thing I don't have anywhere to go, since he'll need to take the 4Runner to work. If nothing else, than to tow people out of the snow when he gets off around midnight. Crushed! I still worked in ignorance, getting nicely dressed (with snow boots in mind), hair and makeup finished. Andy knows what is going on and doesn't broach the subject until he is pulling on his LLBean coat. "Babe, I've got to take the ..." "Don't say it! You have to take the car, if for no other reason than that I know I have the opportunity to get out. Even if I don't." "Ok. I'll just sacrifice my safety and maybe my life driving the slippery roads." My shoulders sag. I pop open a can of Coca-Cola and plop down on the couch, teenager-like. "Why does God have to teach me so many lessons in such a short amount of time?!"
And so I am at home, with the to-do list staring at me, Aiden coming down with his brother's cold and asking "What can we do, Mommy?" ten times in a row, my Coke almost gone and no creamer for coffee. At least Ashton is taking a nap ... finally. In my heart I know I am uber-blessed. My head says I am going to go crazy. Andy, forgive me for any online purchases, I know not what I do.

My view

The snow's view

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cowboy Quilt

Aiden's Grandma (with the help of Grandpa and Aunt Sass) lovingly pulled the decor of Aiden's room all together in a beautiful quilt. Sharon had made a Classic Winnie the Pooh quilt for Aiden back when he was a newborn, but he has grown out of it and it now warms his little brother on cold nights. Aiden really enjoys the quilt and is always pointing out his favorite square: "Da Awizona swunset." Sharon, thank you for the love you poured into this beautiful piece of art!

Aiden Turns 3!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Attack of the Boys!

Andy couldn't even get out of work clothes when he was under attack. His boys love him so much!