I am a God-loving, husband-adoring, mybabyboys-hugging, mind-reeling, photo-taking, life-documenting, yummyfood-cooking, garden-planting, country-living girl. Writing about life, with boys, in the sticks...
this is life... with boys... in the country...

Friday, April 30, 2010

my disclaimer...

Since starting this blog a few days ago, my thoughts throughout the day seem to always be targeted toward it... "Should I blog about this?" "That would be a good topic." "I should totally write about that!" I think of so many things to share, but not only is the time to do so limited, I also wonder... would anyone care or be interested??

Those were the two reasons I never thought blogging was for me. Lack of time and interesting material. We live a simple life, but in that simplicity there is humor, unusual experiences and some moments that we all can relate to and I love envisioning someone out there saying as they read my post "Yes, I totally know what she means!" I appreciate knowing I'm not alone in this thing we call 'motherhood'. Because EVERY mother has experienced this...

... I look at this picture and think, "Oh, Cooper. I feel that way too a lot of the time..." right??

Anyway, as I'm getting my feet wet in the blogging world, I feel like I need to just say this FIRST...

I LOVE my kids. But I have no doubt that there will be entries that have you wondering if that love is conditional... its not. AND, I am SO thankful for all of my blessings. I always hear myself following my complaints with "at least you have a (fill in the blank) to be frustrated with." For example, this morning I was trying to get a fire going in our furnace and had to restart it 3 times. By that point I was irritated, but reminded myself that, at least we HAVE a heat source, let alone a HOUSE to heat!

You may also find yourself saying "Well, that wasn't a very Christian thing for her to say (do)." I know. I find myself saying that sometimes, too. And in those moments I repent and try to shape up. You can hold me accountable.

So, bare with me. I may voice frustration, but know this... 1) I know it could be A LOT worse and that EVERYONE has gone through much of what I am. And they lived to tell about it. 2) I know the Lord's blessings are to be appreciated (even when one of those blessings pees on the floor... twice in one day!) 3) Most of the time when I share things it is either to gain perspective, remember the story, or make you feel like your day was pretty good compared to mine. Just kidding.

That is my disclaimer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

sleep, i miss you...

I didn't sleep much last night. Between 11pm and 4am I traveled up our stairs to Kaden's room 4 times... bless his little heart, he'd rather be sleeping, too, I'm sure.

This is nothing new to me, as sleep was never a strong area for either Gage nor Cooper as infants. I had to finally let both of them 'cry-it-out' because they both began waking every hour and crying for oh.so.long. before they'd finally go back to sleep.

Anyway, we're not to that point with KadeyKade... his pediatrician said to give him another month. He expects that by then Kaden will be 14 pounds and will sleep in longer stretches.

I must have woke each time last night during the wrong part of my sleep cycle because I was at that 'so-tired-I'm-dizzy-and-naucious-and-really-shouldn't-be-holding-a-baby" stage. So I brought him into our bed to nurse and cuddle at 4:15am. I don't prefer to do this, as I still don't sleep well, waking to his every little grunt and squirm, but at least I know I don't have to treck back upstairs until G&C need me.

And besides, its like there is a little ray of sunshine, shining on my face when I wake up to this...

That ray-of-sunshine is clouding up right now... crying for his mama. And I hear Mr. C in the bathroom... please don't let there be pee on the floor...

I'm off!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the results of that love...

On a little bit of a lighter note from yesterday, today you're going to meet my subjects... my boys...

First up...

Gage (aka... Doot Doo, Doot, Gager, Gagers, Gagebob, Bud, Deuteronomy)

Gagers just turned 5, though for some reason this picture puts him at about 14 in my book. He just got all of his curly hair cut off and it makes him look so much older. Sad.

He is my tender child. He is thoughtful and caring of others, sensitive and too smart for his age. He is quick with questions and always looking for answers. He remembers EVERYTHING (except a select few things that I wish he'd remember), even events from back when he was 2. He doesn't like to be alone, which is great because his little brother doesn't know what to do without him. I think the feeling is mutual.

We've started home-schooling this little man and he's doing really well (if I don't say so myself...). My choice to home school is pretty straight-forward... but I'll leave that for another time. He loves his brothers, Jesus, his Grammie, and a little girl named Emily, whom he has already declared his plans to marry. He's totally into Legos, dinosaurs, anything that drives, and his sandbox, but really isn't too fond of anything creepy crawly. Oh, and he loves PB&J.

Next up...

Cooper (aka... Coop, Tupu, Pooker, Rupert, Bingo, Mr. C, & Lloyd Christmas)

Oh, Cooper Leroy. He's three. This boy is my spitfire. He was given a personality test at Kaiser a year-and-a-half ago and tested extreme in each area. Extremely active, extremely sensitive, extremely bright, extremely... challenging. He's seeming to be getting better ... more even keel... or maybe we're just getting used to the way he is. I suppose I could say that the GREAT moments are heavily outweighing the challenging ones.

Cooper is always on the heals of Gage or fondling all over his baby brother. He tells me he loves me all the time. But, if he doesn't get his way, or doesn't REALIZE he's getting his way, he'll throw a fit. If we ignore it, he'll come around in a few minutes and announce, "I'm happy now!" He's especially fond of his Daddy... actually, this kid is fond of anyone, unless he deems them mean or stinky. Like, the Imbominal Snowman in Rudolf. He gave Cooper nightmares, because he was stinky and mean.

He's been potty-trained for a few months now, but is the culprit for my pee-on-the-floor problem. Grr. But he's also the culprit for supplying me with some of the FUNNIEST things I've ever heard come out of a kids' mouth. Many-a-posts will be inspired by this kiddo's statements.

Cooper has knock-knees and an overbite, stick straight, toe-head hair, and the bluest eyes you've ever seen. He's a personality all of his own. One of a kind and one you'd never forget.

(BTW, his hair usually doesn't look like this. According to his hair stylist (Dad), Cooper moved. This explains the name... Lloyd Christmas)

Lastly... finally...

Kaden (aka... KadeyKade, Tato, Sweetboy, Kade)
Be still my heart... this boy has got me. I am wrapped around his little bitty finger like you wouldn't believe. I have tears welling up just thinking about him, and he's just sleeping in the next room.

Kaden was born 4 months ago, 6 weeks premature on Christmas Eve. I was apart from him for 18 days while he grew and learned to breath and eat at OHSU. I feel like I'm still making up for lost time. I'm sure at some point I'll find away to post Kaden's story, but for now, lets look at the now with this boy.

He's little... little for my boys anyway. 25 percentile, but healthy, thank God. He is smiling ALL the time, trying to laugh, 'talkstalkstalks'... he's active now too; kicking, flapping his arms, and, somehow, can rotate himself in his crib. He loves to be held, swaddled, bathed, and naked. He's got the longest, blondest eyelashes I've ever seen, and paired with his huge blue, doe eyes, he'll melt your heart.

He sleeps a lot, though not for long *enough* stretches. He is so EASY otherwise, though, that I just can't complain. He may wake up every 2 hours at night, but coos at me, nurses, then goes back to sleep within 15 minutes. Like, he just missed me and wanted to visit.

Boy-o-boy do I love my boys. I have all sorts of thoughts on raising 3 boys (which is kind of the point of this blog), but the one that always sticks out to me is on WHY God gave me the responsibility (gift?) to raise 3 boys. Quite simply, He wants there to be more men on this earth like my husband... so, I want to raise them to be just. like. him.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

starting with us...

In the spirit of 'starting' I thought it would be fitting to share how this country life of mine began... and its only fitting that I write about my love while he's gone tonight. He's working with his 'like-a-brother' Brian right now, trying to get their brand new house ready to move into... my husband is a helper. One of the thousands of reasons I love the guy.

Anyhow, this could be a very long story, but in the interest of keeping things simple (kind of a motto I have to live by), I'll give the edited version. Mind you, I did write this story in great detail, into a 20+page book that I gave to Matt as a wedding gift...

I was 16 when I first layed eyes on my to-be husband, Matt. It was an unconventional introduction... in the form of his senior picture. Handed to me by my very well-intentioned Gramma Mary. She told me that she and my Grandpa thought this guy would be perfect for me and that we needed to meet. I'm sure I blushed, and assured her that it would never happen... I lived in Seattle and he lived 3.5 hours south in Oregon. As a 16 year-old, that was less than ideal for a budding relationship. But they loved him. He was the son of my gramma's friend whom she volunteered with. He was like a grandson to them. And that's saying something, because my grandpa was a tough guy to impress.

I tucked the photo away in my wallet, and there it sat (viewed occasionally), until 4 years later when the phone at my parents' house rang. I was home from college on summer vacation and the unfamiliar male voice on the other end said "Hi, Lacey, this is Matt... Robert and Mary's friend." I was clueless. Clueless as to who the caller was, and clueless to the fact that this call would be the beginning of the rest of my life...

Turned out, Matt caught wind (thank you, Gramma Mary) That I may have been coming down to visit Grandpa for what was sure to be his last birthday. He had been diagnosed with ALS some time before and was nearing the end of his battle.

(My parents couldn't wait for me to meet him, because they had already met him a few weeks before when helping move a bunch of stuff out of my grandpa's shop. Even they thought he was amazing...)

The blessing that the Lord gave to me through Matt at this point could have been enough. Because of Matt's invitation to meet, I did make the trip to Oregon with my mom and aunt, and was with my Grandpa, in his home, when he passed away.

Now, most guys coming over for a blind-date, and finding the girl mourning the death of her grandfather only hours before, probably would have turned on their heal and politely left. Not Matt. Grief-stricken I was, but awe-stricken as well... Matt was the best looking guy I'd ever seen and he was there to meet me. I watched as his beautiful face weakened when Gramma Mary told him Robert (my Grandpa) had passed. To ADD to the ... gosh, I don't know... craziness of the story, Grandpa was still there, waiting for the corner. Hmm. Not your typical first date.

That said, Matt was there. He listened, comforted, talked, even had an arm around my shoulder as they took Grandpa away. He helped me print out and mail the newsletter Grandpa had composed the week before, which was his final issue of his monthly 'Gazette'. (He put the stamps on the envelopes, which is still his job come Christmas card time).

Matt and I ended up sitting on the tailgate of his truck visiting and laughing, talking of faith, family, friends, and life. He told me that as he drove down my grandparents' driveway earlier that evening, he'd prayed that God would let him know if I was to be someone special in his life. And then he told me, that he knew I was.

Somewhere around mid-night my brothers arrived (they drove down so they could take me home the next day, since my mom had to stay to help with funeral arrangements) and met their future brother-in-law. I could have introduced him as that, but if the nights' events hadn't already scared him away, I thought that declaration may have.

In the wee-hours of the night (or next morning, I should say) we had to say good-bye and while those details will be kept between me and him, I will say that it was very clear that that would not be the end of our relationship.

I retreated to the room I was sharing with my mom and told her I was going to "marry that man". She simply said, "I know."

The next time we saw each other was at the funeral, where again, his presence supported me through.

As God would have it, I worked for Alaska Airlines that summer, so in combination with talking on the phone every day, I able to fly down every weekend that I wasn't working. For free.

Two weeks into our relationship the love was shared, and about a week after that, we agreed we'd be together forever.

I had to go back to school at WSU that fall, furthering the distance between us, but I swear what they say about absence to be true... we wouldn't see each other for months so all we had were our phone conversations and writing cards. As much as it pained me at the time, I am so thankful for our long-distance relationship. It forced us to TALK... a critical, yet surprisingly lacking attribute in so many relationships.

That December, six months after we'd met, Matt proposed overlooking the Puget Sound by my parents' house.

I was able to graduate early from college the following December and we were married on January 4, 2003... (for those of you who remember codes used on pagers... our anniversary is '143', which means, I love you...)

Not only was I over the moon to marry Matt, I was THRILLED to finally live in the same state as him. Let alone the same house and to SEE him everyday... to be able to talk in person!

I moved from the big city into the little cabin he lived in on his family's ranch in the country. And if you could see that cabin, you'd know JUST how blinded by love I was. Let's just say, it isn't a charming little place. It was tiny, freezing cold, and had mice. Did I care? Not a bit. (As a side note... don't hold it against Matt for making his bride live there. He worked off our rent so that we could save and ended up building our dream home, also on the ranch, a year-and-a-half later. Plus, because it was tiny and freezing, it led to a lot of cuddling. And, honestly, I would have been happy anywhere he was.)

So, here we are, 7 years later. Happy as clams. I love this man so much and it is liberating to say that on the world wide web.

In fact, I love him so much, that after only 5 hours of interrupted sleep (due to our baby) I got up with him at 5am this morning to visit over coffee before he left for work. And that isn't because I'm a good wife.... its because he is THAT good of a husband.

the beginning...

My first post!
Crazy to think that I'm joining the blogging world, but I just thought it was about time that I shared snippets of this life I'm living with anyone who's interested.

Okay... really.... I'm here to share with my mom and anyone else who happens onto this page. I don't expect this to become some phenomenon; just a place to post the pictures I'm trying to learn to take, record some of the fun, typical, or unexpected things that happen day to day, and to learn to laugh about those things that currently make me shake my head in disbelief.

Enter, my children.

All boys. Three of them. I know this isn't anything amazing or unheard of. Lots of people have a way larger brood than me. But still. I experience things that overwhelm me, enlighten me, and humor me, and this is the place (aside from my scrapbooks) that I will share those things. I often feel like when I retell a story from our day to, say, my mom, she laughs, even though I'm cringing because of the event.
Like, waking up at 6am to Cooper telling me that he peed on the floor. Then, in hearing her laughter, I gain perspective that says, 'This is funny. Enjoy it. Don't sweat it!'

Hopefully, I'll hear that mantra in my head a lot more as I share life with you on this site.

This life is set on a ranch in the country... in some of the foothills Oregon, with my husband, Matt and those three little boys... Gage (5), Cooper (3) and Kaden (4months)... our golden retriever, Bosley, and our good-for-nothing-cat, Sly.

Yup, I'm surrounded by boys.

So, this will not be a site on which you will ever see Barbies, tutus, pink, or hair bows.

There is guaranteed to be bows and arrows, dirt, Legos, Monster Trucks, mountain unicycling (yup!), sandboxes, hikes, wrestling, food, spit-up and pee, tools, the outdoors, bugs, bikes, motorcycles, and all the other craziness that comes from the life of boys.

Maybe I'll be able to throw in some good recipes that we love, pictures of blooming things, and a scrapbook page or two.

But, my men dominate my life, so they will be, I'm sure, the focus of this site. Hence, the title.