Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Winding Down of Another Year

So it's 11pm on the final night of 2013, and there a few things I need to transfer from brain to paper (or computer screen) so I don't forget.

1. I don't know if it's left-over Christmas magic or what, but over the last few days, the boys have been getting along and playing together marvelously. It's so fun to see them chasing each other, squealing together, and laughing at each other.

2. Getting a free appliance is a pretty sweet deal, but getting to keep the BOX it came in is even sweeter!! Oh, how the boys love a good box. Need a remedy for the rainy day crazies? Try a box. It entertains for hours!

3. It's not even January 1st yet, but I'm already trying to get back to exercising. I took a major vacation from healthy eating (or really healthy everything) during the holidays. So in an effort to get back into the groove, I've tried to do a workout dvd in the afternoons. Yesterday and today, it proved to be pretty difficult. Not just because I'm horribly out of shape, but mainly because my two "helpers" won't leave me alone long enough to complete a jumping jack on my own. And forget any ab exercises. The minute I get on the floor, both boys are on top of me. On to the next exercise strategy...

4. Yesterday, Jackson Bird jumped into my bed at the end of naptime. He snuggled down next to me and said, "Momma, I just love you so much."
I responded, "Oh Buddy, I love you too!! I love you even more than chocolate ice cream!"
He giggled, sat up, looked me in the eyes, and said, "Wow, Momma. That's a serious deal for you!"

I've had the privilege to be a Mom for 4 years now. And at the near-close of the year 2013, I would like to say that being Mom to these crazy-sweet two little boys is the most frustrating, smile-causing, difficult, joy-generating, challenging, special-moment-rendering, exhausting, yet life-giving thing I have ever done. I love them more than words can say, and I can't wait to see what adventures next year holds!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas Morning

At about 8:30am Christmas morning, these 2 charming little boys were ready to see what gifts had been left under the tree!

We were all surprised to see that Santa had left stockings filled with a few small treasures, and had left the boys cameras! Jackson got a real VTech camera (with which he now runs his new business - JBP - Jackson Bird Paparazzi) and Levi got a play Mickey Mouse camera (which is clearly not anywhere close to cool as compared to big brother's. What a flop. Way to go, Santa!).

While Jackson couldn't open gifts fast enough, I had trouble getting Levi excited about anything except breakfast. All he wanted to do was drink his milk, eat his cereal, and be left alone.

Jackson opened a Transformer fire station, complete with firemen figurines and transformer action figures, a Mickey Mouse sing-a-long book with microphone, a Bass Pro Shop t-shirt, and a Duck Dynasty marshmallow launching gun. (What was I thinking on the last one, there??)

And still, while we opened gifts, Levi continued eating. I tried to entice him with a gift a time or two, and I was rewarded with a grunt and a swat.
 So while little Scrooge ate and Bird played, Jacin and I opened gifts. Jacin got some Gordon Central Warriors pants & sweatshirt, a lunch thermos to take left-over soup on the go, and a new shirt and vest from Bass Pro Shop. I got a new charm for my Mom necklace and a new iPod!

(INSERT HERE pic of Mom & Dad opening gifts... oh wait. It doesn't exist. Mom was behind the camera TAKING all the pictures.)

Finally, Jacin persuaded Levi to employ the "one-handed opening" technique to remove the wrapping paper from his presents. To master this technique, one must always hold tightly to his sippy cup with one hand while utilizing the other hand to carefully remove wrapping paper. At no point should one use both hands. Simultaneously utilizing both hands to open gifts might cause a delay in consuming one's breakfast. 
Levi wasn't especially thrilled with any of his own presents. He was much more interested in his breakfast and in anything that his big brother might be playing with. In retrospect, we should have let Jackson open Levi's gifts. Then maybe Levi might have wanted them.

The final present was a play welding helmet and torch for Jackson from his Daddy. Bird was THRILLED! 
And as soon as Jacin, Jackson, and I finished gifts and sat down to eat breakfast, little brother moved in, stole the welding equipment, and hid behind the houseplant playing. Figures.

All the gifts (and breakfast) aside, we are so blessed in many ways. Happy Birthday, Jesus! And Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Naptime Secrets

Bird's naps are getting shorter and shorter. Earlier this year, he would nap for 2 to 3 hours every day. His sleep time has gradually decreased, until now he usually only sleeps for 30 minutes or so during naptime. Now when he gets up, he comes to find me and we snuggle and watch cartoons for a while.

Today, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I was hoping for a L O N G nap. It didn't happen. About 30 minutes into naptime, Bird came in, crawled into bed with me and stated, "I just can't sleep. I don't like naps." I told him he could cuddle with me for a while.

After a few minutes of dozing (me) and chatting (him), I realized that he had brought his headlamp with him to my bed. He strapped it onto his head, dove under the covers, and started "working" under the sheets.

One time he popped up, grabbed my hand, and with headlamp bouncing as his head bobbed excitedly, Bird told me something that struck me as profound.

"Momma, let me tell you a secret. Do you know what happens to shadows when you shine light on them? They disappear! Them shadows disappear!"

For some reason, shadows bother Bird. Especially at night or in the dark. So he was pretty excited about his shadow-busting discovery. Pretty sure he'll wear his headlamp to bed from now on.

And let me also say that I'm so thankful for a Savior that brings light to a dark world and shines into the shadows of our lives, just like a headlamp under the dark covers.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Words of Wisdom

It's no secret that Jackson Bird is a talker. And lately, his words seem wiser than his 3 years. Here are a few quick examples:

1. Mom, do you know who these guys are? (pointing to a picture of the 3 wise men in a nativity book) And don't say wisemen, either. They're the MAGI!!
I'm not quite sure where he heard and learned this word, but I was a bit stunned.

2. Momma, I'm not eating this ice cream. It's frozen, and I say No! (He then points to the ice cream and sternly speaks to it) And don't talk back to me! I said NO for frozen!
I have no idea why Bird was so emphatically against frozen ice cream, but I was impressed with his strict tone of voice and the brief, no nonsense chat he held with the ice cream. Wow. Where did he pick that up? Must have had a run in  (or 2) with a strong disciplinarian! 

3. Momma, do you know what this duck is for here? (pointing to a stuffed toy duck he's put in the middle of the kitchen floor) It's a decoy, and it's here to attract the real ducks. So be quiet please, unless of course you need to quack.
Aside from noticing that Bird loves giving directions, likes to "hunt" in the house, and chooses to use phrases like "of course" in his regular, day-to-day chatter, let's focus on the fact that my 3 year old just explained the word DECOY to me. Really? REALLY?

4. (The pest control man came today to spray for ants. Bird followed him around "spraying" with the spray gun he had built earlier out of legos and talking to him) Sir, you don't have to spray in that back bedroom. I sprayed for ants earlier, and me 'n Wevi checked it. It's all clear.
Not sure which reassured the Pest Man more - Bird's DIY lego spray gun, or the head's up that Big Brother and "Wevi" had already taken care of things. Either way, why pay the Pest Guy when I have such good help at home? :)