May the thief be constantly surrounded by fruit flies…

What I’ve been up to…

1)  trying to fill my mind with songs other than those designed for those age 5 and under.  And I thought the Sleep-Deprivation Ipod was bad…with a toddler and a preschooler, I am inundated with children’s music to the point that I found myself singing Barbara Manatee in the shower the other day.  Yes, Veggietales.  Still.  At least Veggietales is entertaining for adults too!

2) due to aforementioned constant of kiddie music, it took me a couple of weeks to realize that the reason I am no longer able to pick up my favorite radio stations in the van is because someone stole our antenna.  Seriously.  Unscrewed it and took off.  It is a conspiracy to prevent me from ever listening to adult music ever again.

3)  I. Despise. Fruit. Flies.  Like others that I have noted airing their frustrations via social media, I am currently waging an all-out war on these horrible creatures.  After trying the paper in a cup of vinegar and juice trick (fail), I now have cut-up apple slices in a slightly open ziploc bag.  We’ll see how this goes.  I need to kill them all before the maniacal laugh that exudes from my lips whenever I kill one scares my children.  What?  It is satisfying.

4)  I am within two weeks of THE VACATION.  The one that consists of just me and my husband.  By ourselves.  For two nights.  Our first true vacation since we have had children, and our first time leaving our children overnight.  We scheduled this trip after seeing a Living Social deal back in April and decided to do something entirely out of our characters at this point in our lives (read=due to living blessed but frugal lifestyles) and bought the deal. I am super excited about it (especially after getting the final confirmation today from the bed and breakfast we will be staying in), but am definitely feeling a bit anxious about leaving the kids.  They will be in great hands (yay Mom and Dad!) and I know my oldest will be fine, but it is the youngest I am unsure about.  Mainly in regard to sleeping somewhere besides his crib.  Oh, but to have this time just with Will.  It will be close to heaven.  No kids busting in our bedroom in the middle of the night with “I NEED WATER!”.  Not having to stop what we are doing to get back for naps.  I may end up slightly disoriented.  I do know, however, that I am going to miss them like crazy!

5) Castle is about to come on.  I hope our antenna still picks up the signal after Eila decided to experiment and make it look like modern art.  I’m off to find out!


His First Birthday.

December 5th marked Asher’s first birthday.  After typing that I couldn’t help but stop and stare at that sentence.  I am still amazed (like most parents are I suppose) when I think about the fact that my little boy is now one years old.  If I thought the year flew by after I had my little girl, then the year after having Asher moved at warp speed.  I don’t even want to think about what will happen when we have a third.

His weekend birthday extravaganza consisted of a little family party Saturday night and then a party with family and friends Sunday afternoon.  We aren’t into going all out for the first birthday, but we definitely like to make it special.  As I did for Eila, I made Asher’s cakes myself (his “smash” cake as well as a cake for everyone else), and we kept it simple.  I’m not always a theme person. because truth be told, I can become a bit obsessive about everything having to match the theme, which then drives everyone (myself included) crazy.  That said, we did decide to do a theme centered around music, since that is what my Asher loves.  The boy dances to the blender, to the vacuum, well, to anything with some sort of rhythm.  So the cakes went with the theme, as did the party favors (microphones that create an echo effect), the invitations (I just cut out a guitar to glue onto each invitation I made) and Asher’s main gift from us was an electronic drum.  And yes, I am aware that he is only one, but he LOVES the drum and is actually much more gentle than his sister is with it.  But that is another story.

So, as I forewarned, here before you now lies a multitude of pictures…

Asher and his daddy at pre-birthday family party
Making it clear that it is HIS chair!
Fell asleep holding his balloon
Piano cake
Such a tough life
The drums
The smash drum cake
After a tentative start, discovering the joy of cake
Little drummer boy
The dancing Eila
a birthday kiss from sissy
for some reasaon, this says it all...

Well, you all get off easy…I didn’t upload as many pictures as I could have because the upload speed was somewhat slow and my patience level at this time of day is somewhat diminished!

Here’s to a whole new year of getting to know my little guy better.  He is an incredible gift from God, and I can’t wait to continue watching him grow!


Full to Bursting

Many of us may have heard the children’s song “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made…we will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it…”

This song was based off of Psalm 118:24, which says (of course!) “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

So, this song is on my mind because I am so full of gratitude to God for today.  Now, before you roll your eyes and stop reading (well, you can if you want too), let me put this in context.  I’ve had a cruddy week.  Mostly because I have some mystery health issues that have required too many doctor’s visits (note: one or more is too many).  It’s nothing serious, just some consistent pain and a general feeling of “blah”.  And being tired.  Okay, that last one could be due to my kids.

I’ve been moping around, being the Eeyore of the family for the past few days.  But today, thanks to clear blue skies, a nice breeze, and gorgeous sunshine, in combination with the chance to get out and take a walk with my two little ones and my crazy dog, open windows, online radio (I vacillate between Pandora or Last.fm), and now, a very small bowl of Breyer’s Heath ice cream, I have that wonderful “heart-is-full-of-joy” feeling that I treasure and thank God for.  One of my favorite verses is “The joy of the Lord will be my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10), and while I know I am called to be joyful in all circumstances (because I have Christ in my life), I would be lying to state that I always succeed at that.  So on days where I just feel the pure joy of living and stop focusing on all the bad things so I can focus on all the blessings, my heart is full.  Thank you Lord for all these “little things”.

I am now going to return to my ice cream and watch my baby boy sleep some more while his sister naps upstairs (two more blessings).  No, not just the sleeping part, but the kids themselves too.


A Life Scripted to Music

I find extraordinary joy in music.  It is a wonderful gift we were blessed with and it never ceases to amaze me how music can change your mood, bring people together, or serve as a method in which memories are preserved.  I would imagine most, if not all people with access to some form of music outside of what they create themselves,  have been in a situation in which they have heard a song and are instantly reminded of a significant (or not-so-significant) moment in time.  Kenny Chesney sings about this in his song “I Go Back”.  Found within this song are the lyrics “We all have a song that somehow stamped our lives, Takes us to another place and time”.  Songs do stamp our lives.   I was thinking about this the other day and a large number of songs began to flood my mind that I consider significant to certain memories throughout my life.

Those who know me well know that I am terrible with long-term memory- without pictures or music, most of my memories from my middle school years would be a muddled mess, as would some from high school.  And you can forget about elementary school.  At least most of college is still intact because I am not that far away from those years…yet!

So, for my entertainment at least (and to serve as another way to hold on to some memories), here is my list of some of the music that has served as a script for my life.

1. Jesus Loves Me, Away in a Manger, and Zaccheus.  All Bible songs I learned at an early age and sang with my mom as an itty-bitty.  Also included in this time frame would be the Sesame Street theme song and Won’t You Be My Neighbor from Mr. Rogers.  No extraordinarily specific memories related here, more a general remembrance of that time.

2. Debbie Gibson- Shake Your Love.  I had a pocket rocker back in the late ’80s (when they were created) and thought it was the coolest.  That and my Debbie Gibson tape that accompanied it.  I was approximately 8 years old then and was rocking the side ponytail and slap bracelets.

3. Baby Baby by Amy Grant. Middle school.  I remember distinctly two of my best friends at the time making fun of me because of my love of Amy Grant, and especially this song.

4. Right Here Waiting for You by Richard Marx.  Played this in band in middle school.  My dramatic middle school self almost started crying while we played it during a concert due to my unrequited crush on a fellow band member.  That makes me laugh now.

5. En Vogue. Free Your Mind.  I remember two of my guy friends getting into an argument in eighth grade because one felt the other was too judgmental.  This song was brought into the argument and was quoted.

6. Devil Went Down to Georgia.  High school.  Riding with a friend of mine in his pick-up truck with windows down as he blasted this song.

7. Carolina in my Mind.  I went to UNC, and every time I hear this song I have multiple memories of my time there.

8. Ice Ice Baby.  Also in relation to UNC.  Exam time.  And an awesome RA I’m proud to call one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

9. You Are Beautiful (My Sweet Sweet Song)- Third Day- concert with two good friends when in graduate school at the University of South Carolina.  One of my friend was not a Christian but seemed really into this song- whenever I hear it, I think of her and hope she has come to know Jesus as her Savior.

10.  More- Matthew West.  This is the song that was playing on the radio when Will pulled up the driveway to pick me up for our first date.

11. How Do I Love Her- Steven Curtis Chapman.  The song sang during our wedding ceremony.

12.  I Could Not Ask For M0re- Edwin McCain.  The song Will and I danced to at our wedding reception.

13. My Little Girl (Tim McGraw), All-American Girl (Carrie Underwood), and There Goes My Life (Kenny Chesney).  All songs that made me cry when pregnant with Eila.

14.  Heaven is the Face by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I heard this song on the radio while going to a doctor’s appt to check on my yet unborn little guy, Asher.  I remember beginning to cry as I thought of the pain Steven Curtis Chapman and his family must feel after the loss of one of their daughters, and I also cried due to the baby I carried in my womb and the remarkable, precious gift that life is.

15. Baby Baby- Amy Grant.  Yes, it is on here again, because it was the song playing on the radio (the station was playing some older songs) as I made spaghetti while in labor with Asher.  It was ironic and appropriate and even more memorable since I loved the song as a child and Eila loves it as well!

It’s amazing to look back and see how music permeates so many moments in our lives.  There are so many more that came to mind while writing this but this post would be entirely too long (I think it already is!) and some things, I just like to keep for myself.


Sleep Deprivation iPod

Now that I have had two children, I have realized something about sleep deprivation.  1) It stinks. 2) It results in an automatic iPod that plays in my head at all hours of the night when I am awake with the baby.  This iPod cannot be controlled, it cannot be programmed, and it is driving me crazy.

I LOVE music, so you’d think some of the many excellent songs I listen to throughout a day would be added to the playlist.  But no, instead, I get many of the annoying songs that I may hear, or, in most cases, that are a result of having a toddler that likes Elmo.  Blech.

So here is a playlist of past and current songs that get stuck on repeat in my head at night:

1. The Elmo Song.  Oh, how I cannot STAND Elmo.  I want to banish him from my house, but considering Eila has some affection for the furry red creature, this is a slow process.  Thankfully, this song hasn’t been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks, but now that I have written about it, I am somewhat fearful it is going to return.  Elmo is a true member of the axis of evil.

2. Donuts for Benny.  Normally, I love Veggietales, and one of their newer videos, St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, is one of my favorites.  However, the silly song included in this movie, Donuts for Benny, about a dog who is given donuts and begins singing and dancing, is not one of my favorites.  I have heard it way too many times in my head at 1am, and even worse, it is the song the dog sings within the song that gets stuck in play, not the actual song itself.

3. There are some songs I like that I hear over and over during the night, like Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Heaven is the Face” (you can hear it here http://www.stevencurtischapman.com.  It’s a gorgeous song written about the recent death of one of his little girls and tragedy in general  I highly recommend it.

4. Forever by Chris Brown.  Okay, I’m not a fan of Chris Brown the person, and I haven’t heard any of his other songs that I am aware of, but 1) this song is very catchy and YES I like it, but 2) Eila LOVES watching the wedding entrance video on YouTube that was parodied on The Office.  Jill and Kevin, I still love your originality as well as your dance moves and those of your wedding party, but oh how I wish I could get Forever out of my head.  (By the way, a parody video on a divorce court entrance for this couple on YouTube is hysterical and meant in fun (I hope).

5. Another Veggietales silly song…Bellybutton.  I actually like this one as opposed to Donuts for Benny, but you can only hear “I need to tell you somethin’…I don’t got a bellybutton” so many times while stumbling through a 4am diaper change and feeding before being driven a little loopy.

6. Okay, one more Veggietales song (ummm…this is getting embarrassing)- “I Can Love”- also from the Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Living movie.  Good song, very sweet lyrics, but too catchy and therefore stuck on the sleep deprivation iPod.

7. David Crowder Band- How He Loves Us.  At least this one I like and it reminds me of God’s love for me, even when I am frustrated and grumbling because Asher has ignored his ability to go five hours between feedings so that he can eat more frequently, say, every three.  Darn growth spurts.

8. Home by Daughtry.  Love the lyrics, love his voice.  Don’t mind this one so much. That’s all I can say or my husband may not like it…

9. Let the Waters Rise by MikesChair.  Also one I don’t mind.

10. And for the sake of ending with the predictable and neat listing of 10, let’s throw in a little Baby Got Back.  It’s been awhile, but this has been known to slip into rotation from time to time.  Don’t ask.

Yeah, that’s probably enough for now.

What songs get stuck in your head?