Surviving the Tornado: 2 under 2

As I watch my sweet little daughter, who is 17 months old, play with her older brother, who will be turning 3 in a few months, my heart is overwhelmed with Joy. I can only vaguely remember my life before these two entered it which seems like a whole life time ago. Two children in two years. One blessing after another, before I could even settle in with one child I was expecting another.

As I stood in the bathroom holding my 7 month old little boy in my arms waiting for the stick I just peed on, my heart was beating so fast. I do not remember all the things that went through my head while waiting those two minutes but I do remember the emotions. Pure excitement mixed with fear!

We found out at our 20 week ultra sound that we were having a Girl and the reality truly started sinking in. She came into our lives quickly and immediately stole all our hearts. My husband and son were instantly in love.

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Their love for each other was never in the question. My sweet boy adjusted to having a younger sibling almost better than his daddy adjusted to having two children. Because he loved her so much it made my transition into life as a mother with two children so easy.

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I could not believe how big my boy looked when I brought his little sister home from the hospital. Now as I look at my sweet girl who is a month older than her brother was when he became an older sibling, I am shocked! Wow, he was little. Wow, I was crazy! Two babies.

Last week when I was out for a walk with both of them in the stroller, someone asked me if they were twins.  Lately these days that is what it feels like. The older they get the closer their age gap feels.

This year has been a whirl wind but I have enjoyed and loved (almost) every minute of it. Yes, I have had my moments where all three of us are crying and my husband has come home to chaos and disaster.  I have taken them on adventures that will forever be a joyful memory for me and a hand full of adventures I file away as a learning experience.

Some of my favorite crazy and calm moments this past year are:

  • the first thing my son did when he saw his new sister was point to her face and say “nose” “eyes” “teeth!”
  • my son helping feed my daughter and her ending up with mashed sweet potatoes all over her face and his.
  • nursing my daughter while running my son to the potty and slipping on his pee on the floor and us all landing in a puddle of pee and milk.
  • holding them both on my lap while reading them books
  • holding them both in my arms and rocking their sick little bodies to sleep.
  • listening to their first conversation about a balloon
  • hearing my son say his sister name without being prompted by anyone
  • hearing my daughter say my sons name.
  • watching them play with toys together
  • watching my son push his sister on the swing and hearing her say “wheeee”
  • watching my son run all over the house to help find his sister favorite stuffed animal before bedtime as she sat on the floor crying

Those are just a few.

Watching my two beautiful babies play together and talk to each other, fills my favorite moments of each day.  God could not have created two human beings so different. I guess that also describes my husband and I. Our family is made up of 4 completely different personalities so there is a lot of room for entertainment. My sweet daughter is in love with her daddy and her brother. She wakes each morning chanting her brothers name and greats her daddy each day with a huge hug as he walks in the door after a long day at work. She made our family a little bit bigger and a lot more joyful.

To celebrate our adventurous year in parenthood we bought a cake and let them eat it too! Here are a few pictures of our super fun event. I took my own photos and bought a cake from a private baker who is just starting up her business so the whole thing only cost me 25 dollars. Having two children both in diapers sure made the dutch in me stick out and I learned how to stretch a penny.

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Our family has many adventures together but nothing would be possible without our greatest adventure of all. Our relationship with God. We give Him all the glory for the amazing things in our lives. Our children, Our marriage, Our family, Our jobs, our friendships, our home and our lives!

Dear God,

I pray for my sweet little babies as they grow and learn and becoming the man and woman you created them to be. I pray over their friendship and pray that you would soften their hearts towards each other and let them see each other through Your Eyes.

I ask for guidance for both me and my husband as we raise all our children. I ask that You would guide our footsteps in all areas of parenthood. Discipline, education, spiritual guidance, nutrition, emotional counseling, and in setting good personal life examples to our children.  Prepare our hearts and minds for all the different stages our children and family will go through. We can not do it alone. We NEED YOU! Jesus, We NEED You!

Please surround our family with a strong “Village” of people that will encourage, love and support us and our children as we grow. Please also use our family to encourage and support those other families and friends around us. Use us to fulfill the plans you have to further Your Kingdom.

Thank you for our families health. Thank you for our jobs. Thank you that my husband and I have such strong examples of great marriages in our lives and I lift up our marriage. I pray that each day we would grow closer to You and in return closer to each other.

Thank you Lord

Amen

-Lion

unplanned, unprepared, unreal miracle

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our little dude at his 1st birthday party

So I have heard so many people’s birthing stories, it comes with the territory of being a mom. But unless I was comfortable, I wouldn’t tell mine! I know you would think that it was the opposite. But because my son was not your typical birth story, i felt like i had to justify why he took a bottle, or why he is a little behind in crawling, walking, talking etc. But Yesterday he turned 1! My little easy going, always smiling, never full boy. So unless you don’t want to read, this is our story of how our little boy decided to see mom and dad 6 weeks early.

” you have placenta previa”, ” you shouldn’t work past 5 months pregnancy”, ” you have an ultrasound booked every 2 weeks”, ” your not allowed to leave the lower mainland”. These are some of the sentences I heard over and over and over. From 3 1/2 months pregnant onward, I knew that i wasn’t having a normal pregnancy, I was in pain a lot, and always worried. But my coping mechanism is being funny, staying light hearted and trying to make fun of my state while i hobbled around work (sometimes using an electric old person scooter). I worked up to the end of 31 weeks. I was so proud of myself, even though i should of been way more careful!(i know that now).

Monday August 26th, 2013: I worked on the saturday, and was starting my rest before the big C-section date September 13th. I had no clue what it would be like, i had appointments. multiple ultrasounds booked in the next few weeks. 

10:00ish Pm: ” Umm hunny, We need to call an ambulance” I say to my shocked husband beside me. I was hemorrhaging. ” Owl, Owl, what the heck, owl!” that was my husband (obviously using my real name), just in shock and not handling it very well. I manage to find my cell phone call 911 and explain the situation. Mean while i have no clue where my husband went, and I am slowly gathering my thoughts, making sure my beautiful baby was still doing the usual breakdance moves in the evening. pause, breath slowly, and YUP tonight its “thriller” with Michael Jackson.

Literally 5-10 minute later, and paramedic comes in and starts talking. he grabs me this awesome diaper thing, and we slowly move me. I knew the Paramedic was shocked with the loss of blood but he kept his cool, and they had calmed husband down enough that he could collect a few things (of course we have nothing ready for the hospital). This is where my laughing joking me comes into play, In the ambulance I am chatting it up with the paramedics, constantly feeling my baby moving around,doing the usual routine (which kept me calm i think) and i felt fine, no pain (besides the original start of it all) and acting like everyone will be alright. 

We arrive at the hospital, as they start taking all my clothes off with doors wide open, the on call doctor comes in and gets me to sign something and says, guess who gets to meet there baby tonight!  TONIGHT!!! holy, meanwhile they have suggested to my husband to call someone for moral support, seeing as our little owlet is coming to the work barely at 32 weeks they wanted him to have someone in case of the worst. I am prepped in the hallway to the surgery room. It was so quick, because of the loss of blood and danger with this operation, they had the whole crew in there! pediatrician specialist, blood transfusion dudes, extra nurses in case i have a seizure (does that happen?).

because of the needle guy (i forget what its called) to numb me, the usual reaction is puking a bit. so before my hubsters walks in a do a quick puke. this is only noted because the last thing I had eaten was skittles. ” thanks for getting me something so i can puke, can i have water?” the dude said ” nope, no drinking anything before the operation”. “well its a good thing i had skittles, because the aftertaste isn’t bad, could you imagine if i had spaghetti or something?!” i say. the guy is laughing and so are some of the nurses. 

My husband comes all ready for surgery. we are on one side of the big sheet. most people know how c-sections work so i wont give all the details.

it literally was 15 minutes from when they started I hear the cry ” you have a baby boy!” WHAT! our little boy is here! (we didn’t find out what we were having). my husband gets to go over and see how big and what our little man looks like. SO MUCH HAIR! Our little 4.14, 18 inch monster. I saw him for a couple seconds than he was rushed away to be assessed. 

 

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He was so precious. It turned out the best case scenerio for a bad situation. He was born early, therefore his lungs were not fully developed so he was put on respirators for around 2 1/2 weeks and kept in an incubator to grow. But no brain trauma, no long term issues, nothing.

after 3 1/2 weeks. our little boy could come home with us. weighing maybe 5 lbs. I am not going to lie. those weeks were so hard! But i knew he was safe.

with this start, he only bottle fed for 6 weeks, than learned how to nurse for a couple months, started losing weight so we had to put him on formula. ‘It has been hard, he learned to do a bunch of things after he was over 6 months, but he is now catching up to everyone else in his age category, it took me a long time to be okay with this, not have to defend why i did certain things, now I see him, love on him and know that he is something I have grown up so fast for. 

so there it is. (most of it).

 

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during our time in a Nicu than Nursery

 

IMG_0396 me trying to put him in his first sleeper, he obviously grew!

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– owl

Fake it 'til you make it.

Fake it ’til you make it. This is the mantra for a self help group but I also apply it to my life.

As  mother of two little toddlers and my own home business this is a motto that I have begun to live by.

Kitchen is not clean and I have no idea what to make for dinner and I have friends coming over for dinner. Meanwhile my children are all still in their PJ’s and I have still need that shower I should have taken 5 hours ago after I did my half @$$ work out because my children were hanging off me and my son needed to pee 3 times.

“Fake it ’til I make it”

Put all the dishes into the sink and cover it with a dish towel. grab the frozen pizza from the fridge and cut up those two last carrots and 3 apples as an appetizer. Leave the kids in their PJ’s since its almost bedtime anyways and just tell your friends you got them ready early for convince. (early as in 24 hours ago). Dunk your head in the tub and put your hair in a messy bun. Throw on some more Deodorant and change your shirt! Ta-daaah!

You made it and may even receive the title of “Super Mom” From your dinner guests!

Now there are many other examples of how we can skip corners but what I really wanted to focus on is the “Health” part of our lives.

I am notorious for saying “I will start dieting on Monday. I just need to get rid of all this food and since I am on a budget that means I need to eat it all.” or the ever exhausted, “I will start working out 3 times a week starting next week.”

Worst! It never happens and if it does it never sticks.

I really had no more excuses that were convincing enough to let me get away with being so lazy. I had already had two children and I am no longer nursing either of them. I wasn’t pregnant. I am at home all day and I am my own boss. I have a jogging stroller and live near a gym and a pool. No Excuses.

What would get me motivated? What would keep me on track?

The answer to both of these questions is: People.

Exercise

I am the type of person who will run faster and longer if I am on the side of the road with potential cars driving by verses running on a deserted dirt pathway through the forest. I need that accountability. I guess I am a little vain that way.

Knowing this about myself I quickly accepted the invitation from some new mom friends to create our own “running moms group”. We meet every Wednesday night and we train. We signed up for two fun runs last year running in the 5 Km races. That brought some fun back into working out and it was great to have something to train towards. We then trained for a 10 Km and I made my personal best on Race day. My goal was not to stop running. Simple goal. But I did it! plus I beat my time.

Now my mommy running club is going be doing at Half Marathon this fall! What? Who am I?

Running isn’t the only exercise I wanted to do. I know that running only is really good for your heart and muscles but doesn’t have much of an impact on your weight. I needed to work out. My issue with boot camps and exercise classes are that they are either on a day of the week I can not make it or they are during hours of the day that do not work with kids. Most of the classes that involve children with their moms are classes for babies who are not Mobile. I needed something that was during the day and that would let my children be either involved or entertained. Also more importantly, I am on a budget. I needed a class that was either super cheap or even better yet, FREE! 

I could have given up. I really had a lot of excuses as to why it just would not work. What did I do? Well, I started my own group. I needed that accountability so I needed people. I created a group where we meet at the park that is shaded for our children to play and we do a “mommy boot camp” around them.

At first I was super leery and nervous about starting this. I am not a trained professional and I am definitely not an instructor. I have taken about 20 classes and I have been working out since I was 6 years old gymnast. I have been athletic all my life but I have always had a coach telling me what to do. This solo thing was hard. But i was motivated to make this work.

I created a group on Facebook and invited all my friends. I knew not a lot of them would be able to make it so I also posted my idea on a local “Meet Up” group for active moms. My first day I had 6 woman come and join me! I was so thrilled! it was amazing and we worked hard. We kept meeting week after week and the group kept growing and growing. Now I have an average of 12 woman and 15 kids each week. We work hard while our children play. Sometimes we have to stop and break up a fight or redirect a behavior or open a granola bar. Some moms have to sit out a few exercises to nurse their babies but its FREE. So who cares!? It is better than sitting on a couch complaining and making your list of excuses.

This is not my job so I run it for FREE! It is an awesome way to meet new moms who share the same goals as you and it is a great accountability for me to work out. I encourage you to start your own in your community. You do not need much. We all bring a yoga mat or towel and I just look up the different exercises on Pinterest! Here is an example of what we do.

1. First Round (each one for 1 minute with a 30 second break)

a) arms- push ups     b) Core- Russian Twists   c) Legs – Squats

Cardio – 3 sprints up Hill

2. Second Round (each one for 1 minute with 30 second break)

a) reverse push-ups b) banana Rocks (30 seconds each side) c) one leg squats (30 second each side)

Cardio – 50 meter Sprints. 2 minutes

3. Last Round (1 minute each with 30 second breaks)

a) wall sit arm dips b) V-snap/crunches c)Fast Feet

End it all with a “Plank Challenge” (hold a plank for as long as you can and see who wins)

Then we Stretch and go home!

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That is what the way I lead it. I switch it up each week with different exercises I find on Pinterest or other Ideas my fellow mommies give me.

We have a lot of fun and man do we make our work out count. By the end we are dripping with sweat and we feel amazing!

This ‘Mommy boot Camp” is a huge highlight of my week. My children even look forward to it because it is a huge play date of little two and 3 year old running around. Happy Children means Happy Mommies.

Nutrition:

This is a super important area that needed huge changes. I was eating like I was still a teenager who worked out 6 days a week with my basketball team.

My amazing Friend from  www.wellnesswithjoanna.com has helped me so much. She has been re-educating me on what it means to eat better. I am learning about what I should eat and focusing on that instead of what I shouldn’t. I am re-examining the foods I love and deciding how I should avoid them or recreate them. She has amazing ideas on recipes for all kinds of situations. She has even taken away my “but I am camping” excuse. I love it. It is really working for me and it is taking away all the guilt I feel when I chose to eat something I probably should not. Because I am trying to change my eating habits permanently it is helpful to have a support and for it to not have the title of “diet”. I hate the word “diet”. It makes me feel guilty when I have had an amazing day but snuck in that piece of dark chocolate with my tea.

Making small changes and long term goals has really helped. I am a lover of all food and it is great just becoming educated on my food choices. I also love that I c
an eat a lot and feel full all day but still be losing weight. I am even slowly weening off of Cheese. This is huge for me. I was actually addicted to cheese. Full on addicted! I had it with every meal and I honestly would even create meals around cheese. I truly lived by the cheese motto, “all you need is cheese.”

Nutrition is a much harder topic for me than Exercising. I enjoy working out and being active. I do not really enjoy having to think about what I eat. With my new mindset on food and grocery shopping I am finding Nutrition is becoming a much easier area in my life to control. I would recommend checking out her website for recipes ideas and health education. She has helped me in so many ways. Plus she is an over all awesome wife and mommy of two and an amazing friend!

 

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Changing your habits takes 21 days. That is what some professionals say. I have found this very true in my own life. In the beginning I was living by the motto “Fake it ’til you make it.” and now I no longer have to fake it. I am motivated just on my own by seeing results and changes in my life. I feel so much healthier and I am loving living in my own body. Most importantly my children are experiencing a much happier and healthier mom. I am able to keep up with them and sometimes I last longer! (sometimes). I do not want to be that mom who can’t climb up the tree to help their child down. I want to sit on the side lines because I have a coffee in my hand a good book, not because I am out of shape and exhausted. I want my children to be able to eat everything and to be educated on making their own healthy choices with it comes to food and activity.

Setting a good example is important to me and in order for me to get that to start I had to fake it until I made it. Some days there is a lot of faking and some days there is none at all. Having an amazing support team around you and friends who do not let you give up is important. Find them. They are out there. Maybe that person is me?

-Lion

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of losing weight (part 1)

I have always had a struggle with body image in some way, shape or form. The nice thing is, I have mostly viewed myself as beautiful, not your typical magazine beauty,but the beauty that most people find attractive but cant point out what the best feature is.  At a young age, I was told i was unique, pretty, funny, and average height, weight, build. in high school, i knew i wasn’t the same size as the average girl i knew and hung out with. My friends would share clothes with me, and i could fit them, but they were tighter on me and looser on them, it didn’t bother me. My body was all i knew, so I didn’t have a problem with it, because my maturity grew with my body.  Until after high school

It all started when my boyfriend broke up with me after we had already said i love you, talked about our future, and I didn’t see it coming. I would of done anything for him, and he just let it slip away (my mentality then, now I AM THANKFUL IT HAPPENED!).  One thing he told me, was that I wasn’t skinny enough for him, or couldn’t run long distances (that’s why you break up with someone?!). I knew he was really into fitness, and he said he was fine with me not wanting to run 3 hrs with him everyday. Apparently not…  That first week, those words just ran over and over in my head. So I started running. asked my dad to drop me off somewhere so my only choice was to run/jog/walk home. I remember looking in the mirror, and see my really odd short haircut that i got because he said he liked shorter hair, and thinking i literally did everything for him!  Which made me more upset and made me run longer, harder, and faster. For 2-3 months i ran every second day between 10-20 km depending on how lost i was in my thoughts. i remember coming home and not knowing how long i was gone for. around the 2nd month, my calves started giving me a lot of pain. i notice a Vericose vein had popped on my right leg (at 18 that was the WORST THING EVER!), and i still ran and would take tylenol. finally i went to the doctors and he told me that i had no room for my muscles to expand in my calves, therefore causing internal bruising. At this point, i was 115 lbs, size 5, boobless. i was smaller than my grade 8 self. I felt so confident in my new beauty that for the first time i looked at photo’s from my past and thought i was ugly and fat. 

God had a plan, because of this new leg issue, i was no longer allowed to run, let alone walk for long periods of time, so that it can hopefully loosen the calf area if it wasn’t so muscular (this time is a little bit foggy with accurate details), but it ended up making me no longer run. I felt so confident, always staring at myself, my hair and grown out a bit, i went to College and everyone wanted to be my friend and hang out (little did i know it was just because i was single, not just because of looks, and apparently i am funny and adventurous).  It took probably that whole 2 semesters after to see what kind of running monster i had become, and that because of this coping mechanism, i could no longer look at my normal healthy self the same way.

There is obviously a lot more to this story, but the key points are in here, I learned so much in this experience, it still affects me (calves bruising),  the nice thing is I have a husband who loves me, supports me, and encourages me in the proper way. Its way harder to feel motivated to lose weight because he is so nice to me. BUT, this time, if i do lose weight, it would be for me and not because I don’t fit in his ideal. I love that my husband, youth girls, friends have all loved me for more than my physical appearance ( i am not 300 lbs, just not a size 5) and it has made me more confident in my whole self. the sad part is. i was 100 percent happy with myself in high school and now because of some discouraging life items i am about 60 percent happy 40 percent envious of others. I will not overcome without the support of God, and Him guiding through this stage of post baby life.

 

This is one of the few stories I have with my recovery to being healthy, happy and thankful for the gift God has given me.

 

 

-Owl

Capturing

 

 

 

 

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We are so proud to call Meghan Bustard our friend. she has always been excited to see me. She is one of my longest friends, and we have so many awesome times together i will always cherish. Meghan has captured my engagement, wedding and our first christmas with our little owlet, and now a couple weeks before he turned one. She has been apart of all my major milestones in the last six years.

 

we love you meghan, Check out her photography on facebook Meghan Bustard photography!

 

BradCarlaPeter-45 BradCarlaPeter-77 some of our christmas photos

 

 

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I love you MEGHAN! if only i could think of some useful gift i could share with you 🙂

 

-Owl

We Heart "She Is Clothing"

Hello Friends,

Lion and I have been jumping on that bandwagon all those lovely trendy mom’s have jumped on. Which bandwagon are you talking about? well the obvious one, breastfeeding till our children are 3!

Just kidding. We Heart She Is Clothing! (the bandwagon is small businesses with sweet t-shirts and kids clothes)

“She is PURPOSEFUL

She is HONORABLE

She is STRONG” (Kimberly Gladman)

Lion bought her and her daughter matching shirts a while back, I know it was for some goal she accomplished, but I forget what (maybe Lent?). But I been an avid follower on instagram for she is clothing (@sheisclothing) and I have always loved how they put women working out, or looking strong and healthy and comfortable with who they are! I love that each shirt says ” Elle est Forte” and has Proverbs 31:25 on it. I love going out, knowing that this shirt empowers me to want to be a strong person, mentally, physically and spiritually.(first i need to memorize the verse on my shirt)

this post goes out to Kimberly Gladman, We love you, we love that you are local (VANCOUVER!!) and we love that you empower women to be strong, whatever strong looks like to them.IMG_1635

Lion and I wearing the She Is clothing! and My dear friend Oklahoma and I, she is wearing the other wonderful brand Hello! I ALSO LOVE HELLO APPAREL

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I Bought My She is clothing shirt at the button box boutique in Chilliwack! look it up! its so cute, and so is Spruce Collectives in Abbotsford.

– Owl

Feeling like a frumpy mom

Okay so today I was feeling pretty frumpy. I was even wearing one of my husbands shirts. It doesn’t help that we have a similar shirt size… Anyways as I was waiting for my son to finish his nap so I could get some stuff for his birthday party tomorrow, I realized “hey! It’s easy to wear a dress!” So I put on one of my dresses I haven’t worn in a long time. It’s so easy to slip one on without having to figure out how to keep your shirt from riding up or pulling up your pants when you bend down. It’s weird because I never really wear a dress unless I am going to a wedding. So I will try to wear more I think. I know my owlet will probably puke on it as soon as I pick him up, but at least I am not wearing gym shorts and my husbands shirt. And bonus! You can wear your hair in a pony tail and a headband and you still look cute! Here is my selfie to show I am wearing a dress for my shopping!

-Owl

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Throw Back Thursday

*deep sigh….. today was a long day. 

My youngest woke up at 5:30 am (AGAIN) and it was my turn to get up with her. By the time breakfast time came around I truly felt like it should be lunch time. 

I decided to try and be productive with my morning but by 7:30 am I had already half started 3 house hold chores and really didn’t make any progress on any of them. My brain was tired, or maybe it had yet to wake up. 

I decided to take a new approach. I packed the kids in the stroller and set off. I had a few errands I needed done so I decided to be productive outside of the house. 

Two Kilometers from my front door (so says “Run Keeper”) I ran into my sisters great friend walking her Dog. I haven’t seen her in a long time and it was great running into her. A short conversation later we were back on our way. Weird, I never see people I know when I am out.

At Kilometer 5 and errand number 2 I run into an old Co-worker whom I haven’t seen in over 7 years! Talk about “throw back Thursday.” We had a little more to catch up on than with my sisters friend. We found out we live really close to each other and are going to plan to meet up soon. Wow. Two people in one day! Love it!!

A few more boxes checked off my “to do” list and, yup you guessed it, another old friend. This time we set a record. At least 17 years since I saw this friend. And she now lives down the street. It did not seem like that long because of social media but when I started to think about it that last time I saw her face in person was 17 years ago.

Okay, that is enough. I am exhausted and I am not sure I have any small talk left in me. Besides all the old friends I keep bumping into my double stroller filled with 3 toddlers, groceries and a bike is attracting quite the crowd of strangers and their “witty” comments. “wow. you have your hands full!” Yes, yes I do! Thank you Captain obvious. Don’t worry I can hold this door by myself and maneuver this stroller onto the side walk as you stand there and make googly eyes at my toddler who is supposed to be sleeping!

Later on after dinner we walk over to my Moms house to see her new Kids Play Room (which is amazing and totally a hit with the kids) and on our way home I run into my old childhood neighborhood friend! She is living literally 1 minute walk away from me now! WHAT!?! Insane! Our kids are super close in age and they hit it off right away. I had to drag them back in the stroller kicking and screaming. It also did not help that it was an hour past their bed time. 

As we take the last stretch in our journey home we run into two ladies who I used to see last year at the elementary school every day while I was picking up my day care kids. They start up a conversation that sucks me. Fitness. I love talking to moms who are trying to get back or even just get in shape! Love it!! After inviting them to my mommies boot camp class and begging my toddler to stay in the stroller I politely excused myself from the conversation and dashed home like Cinderella at the ball when the clock struck Midnight.

6 People! Six real life Throw Back Thursday encounters. Best part is … It is actually Thursday! So it counts right? I do not have to make up a new name like “Flash back Friday” or “That happened before Tuesday” 

I didn’t take any pictures of it or any selfies with me and my new-old friends. I just enjoyed life and left my house and actually felt like a true Throw Back Thursday Day.

-Lion

Cooking adventure with my little cubs : Rainbow Fruitsicles

I saw these on Pinterest and thought “I can do that!” so I did. It doesn’t happen often that I even try something off Pinterest let alone “Nail it”. I did not even use a recipe I just made it up. The picture explains it all. But here is what I did to let the children be involved.

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I pre-cut all the fruit and washed all the berries and organized everything before even telling the children we were doing something. I wanted to avoid having those little hands trying to grab everything as I prepared it all. So, I let them play and surprised them with a fun hands on cooking experiment!

I love using words like “adventure” and “experiment”. It gets those cute little imaginations going and allows me to have more control of them as they hang on my every word.

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For the juice I got each one of them to help add the Pears, Pineapple and the Mango to the blender and then I got my oldest helper to pour in some Orange Juice. Just enough to cover the fruit already in the blender. Then we all covered our ears as the “Great Chopping Machine” did its job.

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I have two sets of reusable Popsicle sticks from IKEA and I mix matched the bottoms and tops to help color code whose Popsicle belonged to whom.

Each child chose the berries or fruits they wanted in their Popsicle and filled up their cups.

Then I poured the juice from the blender into their cups tapping them on the counter to release any air bubble and to make sure all the fruit was surrounded by juice. Then we stuck the Popsicle sticks into the cups and the whole thing into the freezer.

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We made these in the morning and ate them after nap time. So probably give yourself about 5 hours to allow them to harden or just make them in the evening and eat them the next day. Since we did not eat all the berries and fruit i cut up or use all the juice we made, they had the rest for snack.

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They each took suck pride in their finished project and opening each Popsicle was a little surprise as we saw how unique each one was. They are already talking about what they are going to do different next time.

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Supplies:

  • tray
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • blender
  • reusable Popsicle sticks

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Orange Juice
  • Black Berries

– Lion and her cubs

Why I Have Never Left My Children

This Post is not meant to condemn or judge or prove any sort of superiority or make anyone feel like a horrible parent. This post is all about explaining myself. I feel miss understood when I tell someone the longest I have left my son is the 12 hours I spent in the hospital while having my daughter (who I have yet to leave for longer than 4 hours.)

All moms Love their children. All Children are amazing and challenging all rolled into one. All Families are unique.

My husband and I have made the decision to not leave our children if we do not have to. We don’t want to leave them just for the sake of leaving them. It doesn’t go well with our personalities to leave our two most prized and cherished pumpkins to spend time alone. Do not get me wrong, We do date nights and I get away with the girls for a few hours but we have yet to find the need to be away from them for much longer. It probably helps that our children are still super young and we would be unbelievably sorry for who ever had to stay over night with them since my oldest wants help on the potty 2 times a night and my youngest will randomly scream to be re-tucked-in.

I love hearing stories of couples getting away for the weekend and was super envious of my sister who spent the week in Mexico with her husband for their 5th anniversary. (I took care of their little owlet for one day and night, lucky auntie lion!) I think it is super important to know who you are as a couple and not just as fellow parents raising the same little lion cubs. Your children will leave one day and you will be alone with your husband staring each other in the face and then what? But… (here is the big BUT) That day will come sooner than you think and your children will be gone before you even know it. We have a huge responsibility in our hands at this very moment. Yes, my children need their parents to stay married and stay connected and be a united unit. Although this is super important and sometimes couples need a weekend away to reconnect and refocus, we do not.

My husband makes it a huge priority to do family days every Saturday. We pick a location and go on a hike. During the hike our children nap and we talk. We talk and talk and talk. There is nothing else to do. We talk while our children snore away in our ears while resting on our backs listening to our heavy-hiking- breathing and talking. I feel so rejuvenated at the end of these hikes. We talk about the crazy things our kids did and discuss how we should start disciplining a new bad habit. We talk about our dreams and what we want to do in the near and far future as a couple and as a family. I love these adventures together because while we are reconnecting our little babies are safely with us. I do not have to think about how they are doing or get distracted from my conversation with my sweet husband with thoughts about what trouble they may be getting into. At this stage in their lives I want them close.

I want to experience all their firsts with them. I want to show them the amazing waterfalls and mountain tops and crystal clear lakes that we experience on our outings. It won’t always be like this. There will be times when they no longer want to come with us. There will be times when it is better to leave them behind. There will be times when we need to leave them. Those times are not now.

We have only been parents for just under 3 years. Our babies are babies and I need to stop feeling guilty for not leaving them. My God is number one in my life, My husband is number 2 and my children are number three. That is the way it will always be. That doesn’t mean that my “number 3” doesn’t take up most of my time and effort and energy. Those beautiful little babies need me. Soon they will not. Soon they will understand that Daddy is important to mommy and Mommy is important to daddy. They will soon understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They will grow and have a firm and solid foundation of love surrounding them that they will be secure and confident children. But for now, they need me. They need me at my best, yes. They need me.

So, I am choosing not to feel like a horrible wife or an over bearing mother. I am choosing to stand proud by our families decision. The day will come when we will need to leave those two sweet children for a few weeks and it will be hard. It will be a transition and I will shed more tears than them. That day is coming closer than I would like. I am already dreading leaving them. But, I know they will be fine. I know I will be fine. I know that God has huge plans for my family and in order to increase our families numbers we will have to venture off without our two babies.

Why are we leaving our two children whom I said I would never leave? We are starting the Adoption Process.

Our family is starting the beautiful and scary and nerve wracking adventure of Adoption. Our hearts and minds and souls are set on Haiti and in order to continue and eventually finish the process we will need to leave our two babies at home to get our babies in Haiti. Our family will come back together, Bigger, Stronger, and more Beautiful than we have ever been. Only God knows all the timing and details but He has let us in on His secret and that is where our family is headed. I can not wait. Even as I sit here typing this I think about my son or daughter who are probably already born just waiting for me to hold them. Little do they know, they are already apart of our adventure. They already have a mom and dad who are praying for them and long for that first embrace. My heart is connected to theirs and I pray for them earnestly every day.

I do not like being separated from my children. Adoption is going to stretch me in ways I am not ready for. I am longing for the future for when all this is over. When the paper work is all filed away and my children are ALL cuddled in our arms watching a movie on the couch laughing at all the weird jokes. My heart longs for it.

I do not like being separated from my children. So I wont. I will keep the two children God has given us, close. I will let them go as God prompts me to. I will hold them and love them. I will love their daddy and I will cherish and nurture our marriage. But I will not let my children go. Not yet. Not when there is no need. My children who I have yet to meet will one day know this love. It breaks my heart that they may not be feeling the security and love and trust that I want them to feel. So I pray. So I pray and pray and pray. Prayer is a powerful weapon. Seriously. so powerful.

God does not like to be separated from us. So I pray. He is my father who has not left me. He is the helicopter parent I need. He catches me when I fall and he guides my every step. I know that when I am close to Him and pour out my heart in prayer, He listens. He will hold my babies close until I can be there. He will love them always and protect them until I can be there. I will not worry because that will not solve anything. I will just pray.

As long as I am not separated from God I will not be separated from my children.

This is my life now. Tomorrow it may change. That is why I have never left my children.

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-Lion