Well,it's been forever...really its been about four years or maybe five since I have actually taken time out to blog. I have had good intentions but intentions just don't translate to time...apparently for years. So there it is...my apology, probably to no one but myself but it makes me feel better regardless.
We have had some major changes in life since I last regularly blogged. First and foremost would be Charlie. He is four years old now and he is absolutely delightful. Seriously I had no idea boys would be so much stinking (and sometimes he really does stink) fun. I love being a boy-mom. It is maybe one of my favorite things on the planet. It's so challenging and so different from the girls. I cannot predict his behavior or his train of thought. He is a mystery to me and I absolutely love it. He looks just like his Daddy who I happen to really like. That makes it incredibly difficult to deal with when I am disciplining him and he looks up with those big ol' brown eyes and I just want to kiss his little face off. Oh my gosh... he is my JOY.
The second major change is that we pulled the girls out of school and now we are home schooling. That is insane you may be thinking and there are days I would totally agree. It is insane. I would have never imagined myself actually doing this but this is our second year and so far so good. There are some hard days, there have been hard transitions and some bumps in the road but overall, it's been a blessing. I am no expert on all things educational but I am definitely earning my degree in these kids. I love watching them learn and I love learning along with them. Hopefully I will be able to break some of that down here (assuming that it's not another 5 years between posts but who knows...it could be) but if not let me say to whomever reads this (hopefully my kids later in life) that this is a do-able endeavor. It's hard but it's worth the work. God specifically called us to this and obedience has led to many blessings. Listen and follow His leading and you will not go wrong (that is not assurance of ease, just assurance of peace).
So that's it for now...Brie is begging to use the computer because she is BORED! I remember being bored a few years ago, so we had Charlie...just kidding but it has been a while since there was a lack of things to do. And with that, I leave this space to fold laundry, run a taxi service, prepare a lesson and generally do things mother-y.
Charlie~ That's what's been going on in our house in the last year and a half. We found out we were pregnant last fall and in June, the third specifically, we welcomed the latest addition to our family. Charles William Durham is a happy, healthy blessing of a boy. He is truely one of the greatest blessings of my life. I was so nervous to have a boy. Never really being around a "little" boy, it was intimidating to think about raising a boy. I mean, I knew what to do with a baby girl, that was easy. But a boy, A BOY! What in the world was I supposed to do with that. How would I feel about having this little guy around? Would I be able to relate to him? Would I actually think he was cute? Little girls are cute from the get-go what with the bows and ribbons and ruffly pink things but a boy? Weren't they just...well, boys? I knew I would love him, but was I going to be able to relate to him? Well, I decided to just leave it to the Lord and let Him prepare me. Everyone I talked to who had a boy said, you just wait, there's something special about boys. Honestly, I had no idea what they were talking about. I mean, I LOVE my girls. At night, I say to them: Abbie, you are the heart of my heart, Aubrie, you are the light of my life. And I mean it. They are more special to me than I ever imagined a child could be and quite frankly, that has not changed a bit. However, there is something new in the mix now. It happened quite unexpectedly and quite instantly on the day that Charlie was born.
I have NO, absolutely NO memory of delivering the girls. I have a pretty crummy memory in general so my sketchy memory of the delivery room I chalked up to just that, crummy memory. But as the date for Charlie's delivery came closer, I talked with my OB/GYN Steve Marks and mentioned not really having any memory of the girls births. He was shocked and said, "We will make sure that you remember this one! If my wife didn't remember the birth of our baby, I would have been in serious trouble. I wouldn't want that to happen to her and I won't let it happen again to you." It was so sweet. That said, I told him that if it came down to it, I'd rather have sketchy memories that clear memories of blistering pain. As it turns out, my anesthesiologist the day of deliver (ironically his name escapes me now) figured out (through his own personal experience) that I have some kind of weird reaction to the anti-nausea medicine that they put in the cocktail for the spinal block and it makes me lose my memory. Well, they put the cocktail in, sans the one drug, and I'm telling you, it was like a whole new experience. Totally new! As I was wheeled into the delivery room I realized exactly how little memory I had of the girls birth. It was as if I had never delivered a baby before. I remembered NOTHING! Everything was new. The sounds, sights, smells...so weird! I knew it was going to be such an exciting experience because I was going to actually remember this baby being born. Problem with that was that it was all so new that I got really nervous...and nautious. Being straped down to a table in the buff, and 40 weeks pregnant, and with lots of people around, and feeling like you are about to lose your lunch is NOT a fun experience. The doctor had to adjust the table so that Charlie rolled over a bit and off of my stomach and then sickness went away pretty quickly. I was so relieved and then they started the procedure to bring our boy into the world. It was weird hearing and smelling all of the sights and sounds of the delivery room. But in what seemed like no time, I heard the sweetest sound ever. A wet, very upset little cry. It was CHARLIE!!! He was here!! Tears from me, tears from Phillip. It was a precious moment.
They lifted my little fella over the sheet so that I could see him and it was as if a ton of bricks hit my heart. I saw him and instantly I heard in my heart: This little guy is yours for a very short amount of time. You get to be his number one for 18 years and then he will leave and be the love of someone else. I'm telling you that if a momma bear's instincts are anything like what set in the moment I saw Charlie, it's no wonder that people use them as examples of fierce love. It was like instant, fierce, gargantuan love. And it was so different from how I connected to the girls. I really feel like falling in love with the girls was a process but falling in love with Charlie was instantaneous. That's not to say that the level of love it different, I'd die for any of my kids, I love them all to pieces but the how, the when of it happening was different. In the end, the depth of love is the same but it was a different beginning all together. He stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on him and I'll never be the same.
Abbie Grace and her friend Anna coordinated on twin day this year. They wore matching shirts and bows with pony tails. They were so excited to dress up together. We had a blast getting them coordinated and watching them match up. It was lots of fun.
One of the new school traditions from this first year of school is the afterschool snack. It's something I remember loving myself when I was a kiddo. My girls love this time of day. Sometimes we do fun stuff and other times it's a PB&J or Breezie Crackers (Wheat Thins) with Abbie Cheese (American Cheese). On this particular day we had a fun time making Rice Krispie Treats. The girls LOVE this particular snack (and who wouldn't). We tried to save some for NiNi since it's her super favorite but we ended up licking the bowl clean.
So yet another Abbieism has emerged. This last week the kids were learning about Sea Life. Beach day is tomorrow and they have all been eagerly learning all kinds of things relating to the ocean. Abbie is great at picking up information. She is a fountain of new facts at the end of most school days. Last week when we were walking home from school she started to tell me about the little fish that were in the ocean. She said, "Mom, did you know that those little fish are the prey for the bigger fish?" "Yes, can you believe it?!?" I replied. "Yeah, I know" she says. "It's amazing because they have to swim really fast to get away from their 'competitors'." I had to really think about that for a second. Because yes, they do have to outswim other fish which implies some level of competition but what I quickly realized was that she meant that the prey had to outswim their PREDATORS. Ahhhh....it's all becoming clear to me now. Predator, competitor, close call either way!
Last week we got to go with Abbie's class to the Zoo. It was lots of fun.
She walked around with her friend Faith and her little shadow, Brie. Phillip was off work so he got to come to which was a huge blessing. Brie fell down three different times and scraped her hands and knees each time. However, that was the only true trauma of the day which is saying something. Abbie's favorite animal was (again) the Armadillo and Brie (again) said that the Bear Cat was her favorite.