Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Trinity...from a 5 year old's point of view

I love to carpool!!!  (I know that doesn't fit with my title...but it will make sense later)

One of the things I love about carpooling, besides the savings on gas, is the conversations that take place in the backseat between a 6 year old boy and my 5 year old Lilly (or Lillian as she is preferring these days.)

We carpool with my bud Annie and her kids.  On Monday's and Friday's I drive us down to school.  There are always interesting conversations that take place; like the fact that Reid wants to marry Lilly but she always shoots him down with the comment, "Reid only God knows who I am going to marry...and it's not you!"  I keep telling her this playing hard-to-get is just making him want to marry her more.  But the conversation on Monday took the cake for hysterical.

The setup:
As we were driving we were listening to Christmas music.  This made Reid think about his favorite music group.

The dialog:
Reid:  "I like the band Switchfoot because they sing about God."
Lilly:  "I believe in God"
Reid:  "Me too"
Lilly:  "I believe in God and Jesus too!"
Reid:  "They are the same person"
Lilly:  "Well I believe in God and Jesus...and SANTA CLAUSE!" 
---insert a swerve in the driving because I was stifling a laugh---
Reid:  "I don't believe in Santa Clause"
Lilly:  "WHAT!!!!  Well then, you are not getting any presents this year"
Reid:  "Yes I am...he always brings me presents"
Lilly:  "Not if you don't believe in him!"
Reid:  "Well God doesn't want us believing in Him and in Santa Clause"
Lilly:  "Yes He does!!  We need to believe in all 3!"
Reid:  "But God and Jesus are the same!"
Lilly:  "Well if you don't believe in Santa you are not getting any presents"
Reid:  "Yes I am"
Lilly:  "Reid...I am done arguing with you.  I'm looking out my window now"

I felt like I should interrupt...but their little minds were really trying to figure it all out and it was so cute! 
Lilly has no idea what the Trinity is, but I like her take on it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Sinus Infected Thought

So I'm sick...again...SHEESH!!!!  This has been a very difficult two months.  From my strep throat to Lillys and now mine trying to make a comeback.  It's very aggravating.  Instead of my throat feeling like a meat grinder this time; my head feels like two washcloths have been shoved up my nostrils.  Ok...enough with the descriptions...I feel like poop.  That sums it up.

So, as I was lying awake ALL night last night I had a lot of time to think.  I don't think many of my thoughts were normal because I was laughing at them this morning.

Especially this one:

I really think wedding vows should be elaborated upon.  I know that people write their own vows and elaborate on them some...
But I think it should be taken even farther!
You know how amazing weddings can be.  The bride is stunning.  The groom is in awe half the night at his glowing wife.  The cake is awesome...etc...
But when it gets to the part where the preacher says, "For better, for worse.  In sickness and in health..."  That is where an exaggeration should come into play.
For example: 
When Tim and I got married if my preacher had said, " you realize that you will have to pick tics off of unflattering body parts, and she will run out of toilet paper and holler for you to bring her a roll.  You do realize those are some of the 'for worse' parts right?" 
"And Tim, you do realize she looks like a hag when she is sick?  And you will have to hold her hair when she is puking because she's a wimp.  That's what the 'in sickness' part means Tim...are you sure?"

I have to wonder if he would've run screaming down the aisle to get away from me. 
I think I would.

Maybe not as many divorces would happen if the preacher elaborated on the vows.

And that is what I thought about last night. 

I'm so glad Tim has stuck with me during some of my worst moments. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Markers, Slugs, and a Loose Tooth...OH MY!!!

Today was one of those days for the record books...or blog.
It was a great day...just crazy, funny and exciting all at once!

--It started off with a green marker.-- 
Graham has learned to sneak up the stairs without me knowing it.  I know I should have a baby gate at the bottom, but it's not that big of a deal.  He is almost two and has pretty much mastered the art of climbing.  So as I was completing the dishes this morning I heard a very faint, "mommy" off in the distance.  I knew that meant he was in his room with the door closed...uh oh.
I quickly dashed up the stairs and into his room to find him standing there with a green marker...opened!!!  As I looked around the room I saw his art work everywhere.  He drew on the walls, his toys, and of course himself.  Now I have never actually said, "Do not color on the walls"  So I didn't feel the need to discipline only to show him what he was allowed to draw on.  I took him to the other room and got out a piece of paper and colored on it and said, "See buddy, this is what you color on" to which he looked incredibly disappointed.  I understood, I mean I think coloring on a wall is more fun than paper, but what can I say...those are the rules.  We then proceeded to scrub his arms and face to get the marker off and then we both got a wet cloth and wiped down his room.  Thankfully it was washable (big props to the folks who invented that!).  So that started off my morning with a good cleaning and a big smile.
Then something else happened...

--It looked like a slug.--
As the morning moved on I proceeded with my routine of cleaning and playing.  During one of my laundry runs I walked by the kitchen counter and noticed a slug on the counter.  It was a big, gigantic black slug!!!  I stood there in horror.  What was I to do?  All of a sudden the slug jumped.  I had no idea slugs could jump.  But this one jumped!  And when it jumped I noticed this slug had fins.  Hmmm...that's not right.  As I examined it more closely I realized it was our family fish Rapunzel!!!  She had leapt out of her bowl and was laying lifeless on the counter. 
Now was the proper time to panic! 
After a quick MacGyver move, including a washcloth and a sippy-cup, I succeeded in transporting her back into the bowl.  This was accompanied with lots of screams and jumps...I don't like squishy things! 
To wrap it all up...

--It's Loose!!!!--
Lilly had a dentist appointment this afternoon.  When her cleaning was over she came running into the waiting room screaming, "I have a loose tooth!!!"  I cannot believe it!  My little girl is big enough to lose a tooth!  I guess the toothfairy will be paying a visit to the Holland house in the next few weeks or months.  SO EXCITING!!!! 

Now that the day is coming to a close I'm flat out exhausted.  It was one of those days that I look back on and think I'm so glad I'm a mommy and that I get to experience all of the crazy things that go on in my house.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brother/Sister Lingo

Graham is reaching the age where he understands absolutely everything we say, but cannot quite communicate what he wants to say back.  However, he and his sister can enjoy some very interesting conversations.

For example:
The other day in the car Lilly was thirsty.  Graham had a sippy cup of juice and Lilly asked him for a sip to which he adamantly said "NO! MINE!"  She did not give up so easily.  She asked several times before I finally intervened.  I said, "Graham why don't you let Lilly have a sip.  She is very thirsty.  It would be so nice to share."  To which he responded, "NO!"  This made Lilly very unhappy.  So she said to Graham, "GRAHAM!!!  IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME!!!!   IT'S ABOUT ME ALL THE TIME TOO!!!!"  We almost drove off the road laughing...but this made since to Graham...and he proceeded to hand the cup over to his sister.

Then tonight after dinner another funny brother/sister conversation occurred.
A game of roll-the-duct-tape-across-the-floor was underway.  (Who needs toys when you have duct tape!)  They were having a great time but then the 2-year old nature took over.  Graham decided he no longer wanted to roll the tape.  It was more fun to hold onto and say "MINE!"  (Gotta love that word!)  Lilly tried several times to start the game back up, but it was much more fun for him to say "MINE!"  So Lilly tried the rejected approach.  She walked away very sad and slumped over.  This immediately got his attention and he ran to her rescue with duct-tape outstretched. 
Lilly perked up immediately and said "Graham, are you going to share?"
Graham said "Ya"
Lilly said "Do you promise to share?"
Graham said, "Ya"
Lilly said, "Are you positive?"
Graham said, "Ya!"
Lilly said, "Are you negative?"
Graham said, "Ya!"
Lilly ran hollering at me, "Graham said he's negative!!!!  He won't share!!!"
To which he was very confused.

I absolutely love these conversations they are beginning to have.  It makes my day so interesting.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Halloween Remembrance

To say that Halloween was a complete bust this year is an royally stunk.  The whole week leading up to Halloween I had the worst case of strep throat I have had since childhood.  This caused me to miss all of Lilly's festivities.  Then on the actual Halloween Lilly came down with strep and had to stay in and pass out candy to all of her friends.  She had the best attitude about it, but it was still so sad. an effort to not feel so bad about the whole are some awesome pictures of Halloween in years' past.

Lilly's First Halloween---8 weeks old

           Oh yes we did dress her up as a lobster!                      And this is how she felt about it!

Lilly's Second Halloween---14 months old

She was some sort of pink cat....I think?

Lilly's Third Halloween---2 years old

My happy little flower.

Not a fan of pumpkin guts.

Lilly's Fourth Halloween----3 Years old

A lovely version of Cinderella...her favorite princess.

And Introducing...BABY GRAHAM!!!
His first Halloween-9 months and Lilly's 5th--4 years

Picking out the perfect pumpkin at 9 months old.

Yea...pretty sure he tasted the pumpkin guts.

And ended up naked because he covered himself in them...lots of fun!!!
 My little monkey man!

Lilly was very quick to correct anyone who thought she was a pretty bumble bee.  She would say, "I am a PRINCESS BUMBLEBEE thank you."  

Lilly's sixth Halloween and Graham's second.
5 and 21 months

 Even though we were not able to Trick or Treat the kids still dressed up for Lilly's Fall Festival at school. They were so cute. 
My two super hero's!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pro-Kid Leash

It's a running joke with me and my sister that God knew what He was doing when He gave her the twins because I couldn't handle them.
And that was proven this past weekend.

Lilly and I had a girls night planned with my sister, Aunt KK as Lilly calls her.  We were going to go to the high school football game and play with the boys and then spend the night.  We were super pumped!

We got to the school and ate dinner together on the football field (a perk of having a high school football coach for a brother-in-law).  Lilly loved watching the cheerleaders practice.  And I loved watching how my sister manages to feed the twins and still take a bite or two of food. 
After dinner we had to make the trek up the stands to the top of the grandstands for a potty break.  Cassie had one twin on her hip, a 31 large utility tote on the other shoulder (courtesy of me!) and a large sweet tea in the other hand.  I had one twin on my hip and Lilly holding my other hand.  We all started the march up the mountain as on-lookers stared open-mouthed at we were crazy ladies.  As we reached the summit of Mt. Pickens County High we were gasping for breath.  I even had to bend over for air...that's sad.  But what can I say...I'm not in super-duper shape. 
Now being the all-mighty older sister I said, "Cas, I'll watch the boys while you take Lilly to the bathroom."  To which she gave me the "you're crazy" look.  I said, "What!!!  I can handle them!" 
So she shrugged and gave me her large utility tote, and sweet tea.  At that moment we set both boys down at the same time...BIG MISTAKE!
They both took off running in opposite directions!!! 
One boy ran towards the street, while the other ran toward the edge of the stands. 
What did the all-knowing, wiser older sister do at this point? 
I could not believe what I was seeing.
Both boys sprinting towards their deaths!!
Cassie quickly snatched the one running into oncoming traffic while screaming at me to grab the other one.
In my frozen stupor of panic I watched as an old guardian angel grabbed the other one and turned to set him down.  He only moved the baby back about two feet but it was enough for me to snap out of it and do something.
Now the smart thing to do would be to drop the 31 bag and sweet tea to save my nephew.  But I was still coming out of my coma so all I knew to do was to stick out one leg in front of him so he couldn't go any farther while hopping on the other leg and managing to save every drop of that precious sweet tea. 
Quickly Cassie came to my rescue and snatched up the baby with a snarl on her face.  All she could say was, "NO!  You do not get to keep both kids!  I'm taking one with me!!!"  And she stomped off to the bathroom.
I could not believe what just happened.
I grabbed Kiptyn and headed to the bathroom trying to find the right words to say when she came out.  As I made the walk to the bathroom I kept hearing the verse, "He will not give you more than you can handle" going through my mind.  I couldn't help but smile because it is so true!  God knew I couldn't handle twins...and I'm ok with that. 
When Cassie came out of the bathroom we made eye contact and burst out laughing.  She said, "now do you know why I am getting them a kid leash!!"  And yes, I am now an advocate for the kid leash.
As we talked about it during the game we couldn't get over the fact that I never dropped the tea or the bag.  And to be honest I didn't even know I was holding them at that time.  I was just in so much shock.
Thankfully we made it through the evening with no one dying and no sweet tea spills.
My sister is amazing.  I am so proud of her and those precious little men. 
And I'm so thankful that my kids are 3 1/2 years apart.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Ultimate Interview

The other morning as I was drying my hair I started reflecting. 
That's a good time for a mommy to reflect. 
You can close the door because Heaven forbid you disturb the sacred cartoon time.  And while the door is closed you can't hear them fight over the blanket or who is eating the most dry cereal. 
It is quiet.
And so I began to reflect.
I started thinking about my other life.  (No I don't have 3 kids with another dude in Montana)
I was thinking about my job before the kids were born.
Before the days of cooking, cleaning and playing all day I was a Project Coordinator for the Facilities Management Department at Chick-fil-A Corporate.  It was a fantastic job for an amazing company.  Thousands of people apply to work at the corporate office and they only hire between 50 and 100 people a year.  The way that I got in the door was through my Aunt who worked at a temp agency.  For about a year and a half I worked in the department as a temp, and then they hired me on full time for the next year and a half.
I guess what I was reflecting on the other day was the interview process.
In order for me to be hired as a temp I went through three very intense interviews.  They followed this up by drilling my references for 45min to an hour each over the phone.  My references each called me afterward and said I owed them.  It was that intense.  But I made it through!  They hired me!!!  After a year and a half they decided they liked me and asked if I wanted to be hired on full time through them.  I thought it would be simple, but they said I would have to interview against other candidates for my own job!!!  I was surprised but proceeded with the process.  After four very intense interviews I was do the job I had already been doing.  I find it comical now, but I know they were just trying to give everyone a shot.

So as I was reflecting on this interview process the other day I thought to myself, "what if I had to interview for my job now as a mommy?  What if I had to do an interview with God in order to prove that I could parent?  Would He hire me?  Would I pass?"  I started thinking about what kind of questions He would ask me.  Would He say, "are you ready to be up all night sometimes?  Do you fully understand the car seat manual?  Do you know how to tell if your kid swallowed a penny?"
Or would it be more like,
"In what ways are you going to teach My children about Me?"
"How are you going to show them My light?"
I know that my interview with CFA was intense, but I get the feeling that my interview to be a mommy would be so much greater. 
That got me thinking,
"Am I doing everything in my day to show them God's love?" 
"Does my light shine?  Can they even see it?"
"What can I do better to teach them and lead them to God?"
I feel like the objective of my job is to lead them to the Lord and pray that they accept Him.  It is the scariest task I have ever had. 
But I am up for the challenge.
He didn't lead me to this task unequipped.  I have His word and a sense of humor so I think I have all the tools I can have in order to do this job to the best of my abilities.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Graham has taught me so much during his first 21 months of life.  Among the many things this first-time-mommy-to-a-boy has learned is patience.  Well...I can't say I have learned but am learning patience.  There is a big difference.
One way I know that I am improving in this area is by the way my actions proved themselves the other day.

Graham and I are spending lots of time together these days...just the two of us.  With Lilly in 5-day preschool we have 5 mornings with just us. 
I am absolutely loving it!!!!
We have fun chasing balls, playing with cars and pretending to be dinosaurs.  He is also in the phase where he likes to help me do chores.
The other morning I was sweeping/swiffering the downstairs.  Graham had the broom and I had the swiffer.  Then we would swap.  All the while I had a load of laundry running. 
After finishing the living room I walked into the kitchen to put the broom away.  I quickly noticed water creeping its way out of the laundry room and entering the kitchen. 
I screamed!
I ran into the laundry room to find the hose had worked its way loose from the back of the washer.
No big deal right?...WRONG!!!
My laundry room is only big enough for a washer and dryer.  So I had to figure out a way to pull the washer out all the while wading in ankle deep water.
I was able to move it to the side just enough to start squeezing behind.  As I was squeezing I felt my pelvis say..."No Way!!"  and then I knew it...I was stuck.
At that exact moment Graham deciding to come running to his Mommy's rescue.  I heard the pounding of his little feet in the other room.
I was in the middle of saying "Don't Run!!!!"  When he came dashing into the flooded room and slipped.  It was a slip that reminded me of a ball player sliding into home. 
Of course he was mad because he was soaked!  But what could I do...I WAS STUCK!!! 
Then I heard in the distance the sound of Beans running.  I guess she thought she could help.  But all she could do was run into the room and slip and fall as well.
Did I mention I had just given her a bath?  Now she was wading in dirty washing machine water with a screaming little boy on his bottom and a stuck mama.
What could I do?
All I could do....LAUGH!!!
We all looked hysterical! 
As Graham watched his mama pressed up against a wall and a washing machine he began to see the humor in the situation as well...and he began to laugh...which led to splashing.
I knew that I couldn't stay there all day so I started wiggling.  Eventually my pelvis gave in and I was able to get un-stuck.  But it wasn't without a fight...and I was sore for a day or so after that. 
When it was all said and done I fixed the washer and mopped up all the dirty water and then re-mopped with clean water.  I had the cleanest laundry room/bathroom floor on the street!!!
And then I had time to reflect.
Needless to say I was pretty proud of myself. 
The pre-Graham Brittney would've been incredibly put-out by the situation.  I would have been in a bad mood for a while and then I probably would've griped about it to everyone I came into contact with.  But I didn't do that!!!
I laughed!!!!
I am learning how things don't always work out the way they are supposed to...and that's ok. 
I'm learning that it doesn't always have to be easy...and that makes it more fun sometimes.
I'm learning that God is using so many things about my day to teach me patience. 
I have so desperately needed to learn this.
I give a lot of the credit to my little man because he gives me a run for my money sometimes. 
But I am so thankful that I am getting better and maybe someday I will say I've accomplished it...I'm Patient!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My first haircut!!!

Today was an exciting day in the Holland house.  My 19-month old little man was going to get his first haircut!  We have been letting it grow and grow and finally we have had enough!  He has been sweating all the time under that mop...and it was time to say goodbye!
We were a little nervous on how he would handle it all. 
Here is a photo montage of the way it went down...

 We arrived to Salon Red to find the ac was out!  It was a sweltering 95 degrees outside!

That didn't stop this shaggy man from being excited!  He was ready for his first haircut.
The day before his puppy dog Beans had her haircut.  So we pumped him up by saying he was
getting his haircut just like Beans!  That put a big smile on his face.

Our good friend Chelsea put a car wrap around him.  He thought it was so cool!!

 You can tell he was hot because his hair starts to look more and more wet...and that was sweat!

 And when it was all over he was awarded with a sucker and a Popsicle!
Chelsea said he was the best first haircut client she has ever had. 

Sweaty and all...he was pretty proud of himself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

To My 5 Year Old Diva

My Dearest Lillian,
Oh how fast 5 years has gone.  It seems like only yesterday you were making your much anticipated debut into the world.

Yesterday you turned 5 years old.
You proudly declared the last night of being 4, "my last night as a four year old...I think I'm going to enjoy it." 
And then you entered your first morning as a 5 year old by marching in our room and shouting at 6:45am..."I'M 5!!!" 
Oh how I do love your enthusiasm. 

I want you to know, my baby, that I have treasured these 5 years with you.
I have loved every moment with you.
The imagination games you make up.
The silly giggles.
The constant wardrobe changes.
The way you start each day with more energy than I could ever dream of--my favorite is still the way you used to wake me up by pushing your buggy into our room while wearing a princess crown...even at 6:30 in the morning that is hysterical.
The way you love to watch movies.
The way you tell me you love me...from "Mommy I love you so much" to "Mommy I love you more than that sidewalk over there." 
The way you love your grandparents and great-grandparents.
The way you love Jesus with all your heart.
The way you know how to make someone feel special.
The way you make friends.
The way you love your brother and teach him so much.

I am so excited to see what this year holds for you.  I know it will be full of smiles and giggles...because that's how everyday is with you!
Thank you for being my girl.
I love you,

Monday, August 8, 2011

That's How it Goes!

Being a mommy to two children; I should know better!!!

Nothing ever, EVER goes the way it is supposed to go.

However, in my fantasy mommy world (shouldn't there be a game called that?) I keep thinking that things will go a certain way...and this time was no different.

Lilly started school today.   It's not kindergarten yet, but it is a 5-day a week Jr. Kindergarten in my's a big deal. 
Last week we went to her open house and all was well.
Last night I prepared everything for the big day:  snacks, pressed clothes, school bag.
We were ready!
Then the sun went down...(wait...haven't I said that before?)
As I was putting Lilly's new school dress on the hanger I noticed a rip in the seam.  I didn't think it was too big of a deal...but it's the first day of school...and I knew that it would be unacceptable to my little princess.
Now here's the thing (pause for embarrassment) I don't know how to sew.  I'm not sure why, but I never felt the need to learn.  So I quickly called the magical Mimi (my mom) and said, "Crisis!!!  Lilly's dress has a tear"  To which she said, "No big deal I will sew it up in the morning before we go to school." (Magnificent Mimi can do everything...even sew a dress on the big first day of school!)
Crisis averted!

During the middle of the night Graham woke up with a nightmare.  He was screaming.  This was the kind of screaming that yanks a mama out of bed to a full-on sprint...stumbling involved.
After some soothing he went back to sleep with ease.
I, however, was awake enough to run a marathon.
So I laid back down and stared at the ceiling.
During the next two hours I managed to solve most of the world's problems...then my alarm went off.
It was still dark because I knew I needed to get completely ready for the day. 
***sidebar--even mama's feel the need to impress on the first day...don't know why***
At 6:41am there was another startling scream upstairs followed by a loud thud.
Only half-way dressed, I dashed upstairs to get Graham before he woke up his sister.  The thud however, was Lilly leaping out of bed to go to her brother's rescue. 
6:41 is not a good time for Grambo.  He needs to sleep until at least 7:15 to be a happy boy for the I knew I was in for it.
As I walked out of my room I noticed my cell phone on his dresser.  I thought to myself, "you big dummy...if someone called in the night it could have woken Graham up!"
I opened the phone to see A MISSED CALL AT 6:41AM!!!!
It was my fault!!! 
The caller was marvelous mimi...and that worried me because she never calls that early.  Through an unexpected Chief visit at 6:55 I found out that she was sick and was calling to tell me Chief was coming over to get the dress so she could sew it. 

For the next half hour I proceeded to get ready with an 18-month old on my hip because the angry wooden floor monster kept making him cry.
Finally it was time to walk out the door.
The dress was fixed, mama was dressed, and the crying had stopped.

When we got to school Lilly was so excited.  I had my camera in my hand ready to go!  I couldn't wait to capture her walking in the classroom and turning to tell me goodbye.
As she walked in the school she was a girl on a mission.  There was no chatting about the beautiful decorations, no anticipating what snack time held...she was ready to get to her room.
As she put her bag on her hook and hugged her teacher I was snapping shots.  In between I kept saying, "Bye sweetheart!  Bye Lilly!" 
No response.
"Bye babydoll!  Bye Lilly-boo!" 
Still no response.
Finally she was in the classroom and her sweet teacher could tell that this mama was not leaving until she got some sort of recognition.
So her teacher said, "Lilly, do you want to tell your mama bye?"
To which Lilly ran out and said, "Oh yea...bye brother!!"
She tells the little guy who whacks her in the head with a muffin, jumps on top of her while watching cartoons, screams at her until he gets what he wants...she told him goodbye!
I couldn't help but giggle and walk away.

She is ready.
I've done my job.
Small pat on the back for me.

Even though NOTHING went right this morning I learned that I really need to stop having glorious expectations for those big milestones.  And for goodness sakes...learn how to sew!!!

Little Diva is ready to go!!!

Do you see what I'm talking about!  
Poor Grumpy-man

One last smile before she forgot about me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Today I begin the process of saying goodbye to the lazy summer days.
Lilly starts Jr.K on Monday!!!
Last year we made the incredibly difficult decision to keep her out of preschool...due to some tight finances.  It turned out to be an incredible decision.
I was able to do some of my own preschooling at home with her.  We learned a lot together.
She learned her letters and numbers.
I learned that teaching is not for everyone!
She learned how to write her name.
I learned that my patience needs some work.
But together we learned that precious time spent together is worth more than anything else.
I am so thankful for all of the days where I didn't have to rush us out the door.
For the days where we could watch the extra cartoon snuggled up under the blanket.
It has been very nice.
Now comes the fun and exciting part of journeying off to school. 
I am a little nervous about the drive (19 miles each way) but I believe we have found a great school.
I know she will thrive in this environment, and it will really show us if we can afford to continue the private school route that we desire for the kids.
So goodbye slow mornings...but hello new ideas, stories, and creative driving games!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Trips

On Sunday we returned from our second family camping trip. 
In one word...
My children are amazing campers.
However...(you knew there would be a however)...camping hasn't always been that great for our little foursome. 

A little over a year ago we decided to go on the maiden voyage camping trip of my in-laws new travel trailer.  We went over a long weekend to the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.  Here are the names of the poor souls who were involved:
Tim, Brittney, Graham, Lilly, Jan, Lee and Grandma Holland (Gigi)

The trip started off just fine.  It was beautiful, cool mountain weather.  The trailer set-up perfectly...and all was well.
That is...until the sun went down.
The kids went to bed just fine while the grown ups went outside to enjoy the night air.  Shortly after they went to sleep a mountain monsoon hit.  Since there was nothing we could do outside in the rain, and since the kids were asleep inside, we had to just go to bed. 
We were all spread out on different beds throughout the camper.  Graham slept beside me in the pack-n-play, Lilly was on the bottom bunk, Tim on the top bunk, in-laws in their snug little room, and Gigi on the table-bed. 
Suddenly the trailer was awakened by the sound of a blood curdling 8 month old screaming.  I leaped out of bed only to realize I was drenched from head to toe!  The camper was leaking right above mine and Graham's bed!  And sure enough...Graham was as wet as I was...AND ANGRY ABOUT IT! 
After drying us all off my selfless father-in-law said he would sleep in the wet bed and I could take the big bed with Jan. 
Here's the problem...
Graham is now wide awake!!  So I put him in bed with me and tried to get him to go to sleep, but that just meant play-time with Mommy! 
After about 45 minutes of this we heard a loud THUD by the bunk bed.
LILLY FELL OUT ONTO HER FACE!!!  She was lying in a limp little pile of sheets not moving or saying a word. 
Being the super-hero that he is, Tim threw his legs over the top bunk to rescue his little adventurous sleeping beauty.  However (there's that word again!) as his legs were flying through the air they hit the unsuspecting thermostat on the wall and broke it clean off. 

Commence the bunny hop!!

Since he was too busy screaming in his mouth, while holding his broken toe, and bunny hopping as quietly as possible...I had to rescue the still limp sleeping princess. 
I threw the hyper wet baby at Grandma and dashed across the trailer, lifted the STILL sleeping babe and placed her back in the bunk.

And she never woke up.

At this point I thought the night would never end.
We couldn't find a clock anywhere! 

Finally Graham fell asleep in my arms.  I was able to get him to stay asleep in the pack-n-play and then crawled back into the bed.

All the while Gigi never woke up!  We found out later she took a sleeping pill before woman!

As you can see I was a little hesitant to agree to another camping trip.  I was assured the leak had been fixed, that a rail would go on the bunk for Lilly, and Tim would be nowhere near the thermostat in the middle of the night.
So trip number two began, and I quickly saw how much a difference a year makes.
Graham loved every second of camping.
The swimming in the lake (as long as that mean old life jacket stayed far away from him), the eating outside (as long as he didn't have to sit in that insulting booster seat), the sleeping in a tent (as long as Daddy was in there with him and a window air conditioner unit was in place)...he loved it.

Moral of the story (for the Holland's at least) it's great to be able to laugh at the hard trips...because it makes the great ones even greater.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy 18 Months!

Dear Grambo,

I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful little boy you are becoming!  

Of course you have always been fabulous...but who am I've been a handful for about the past 10 months.   
The 15 months of sleepless nights.
The evening anger...or colic...who knows!
The holding your breath until you pass out because your sister had your get the picture.

But now...I don't's like you have started growing up a little.
Now you sleep through the night!!!!!  
Now you know that mommy can't hold you while I'm cooking dinner...and you're ok with it!!!!
Now you only turn a slight shade of blue while holding your breath!!!!  (glad to have learned the trick of spritzing him with water to snap him out of it)

And through all of these learning stages you have become more and more snugly and lovable!   

I love the way you look at me.  No one in the world...not even your Daddy...looks at me the way you do.  
I love the way you are so proud of me when I play a softball game.  You are my biggest fan!
I love the way you say my name 22 times in the car so I will look at you in the mirror...and then you give me the biggest cheesy grin!
I love the way you have started smiling at the camera...instead of being insulted by it.
I love the way you think Lilly is the most amazing person to walk the earth and that anything she does deserves to be copied.
I love the way you dance in the middle of the store to whatever song is on...Justin Beiber or not.
I love the way you love your "Deef" (Chief) and your "Bop-Bop" (Pop-Pop)
I love the way food excites you...and always gets a happy dance.
I love the way you tell me it's time to listen to music by waving your hands in the air.
I love the way you are insulted by a high chair or booster seat.
I love that you are still not on the percentile chart at the doctor for height or weight...and they are cool with that!
I love that you love to slide backwards, and that we have to all swing together on the swingset...because we are a family!!
I love the way you run to your "Da-Da" when he comes through the door.

And I could go on forever...

So happy 18 months my son.  You are amazing.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Blogger's Vow

Lately I have noticed that my blogging entries are few and far between...about one a month...
That is not enough!!!!
My daily life is full of bizarre moments.  It is full of jaw dropping gasps.  It is full of precious freeze-frame incidents.
Yet, when those action packed days come to a close I am doing good to keep my eyes open long enough to look at my husband.
I am going to try and do better.
I know that all of those precious moments pass so quickly and this blog has been the best way for me to keep a record of everything.
So here is my kick-in-the-pants speech.  Here is my do-it-for-the-little-guys vow.
...and I'll start tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vacations are...different

We, the Holland family, just completed our very first family of four vacation! 
And boy was it a doooooozy!!!

The four of us headed to Myrtle Beach South Cack-a-lak (as Tim calls it) last Thursday. 
We were blessed to have a free stay at an oceanfront hotel courtesy of Tim's job. 
We were all super excited about what the vacation would be like...but Mommy anxiety took over a little bit for me because I had no idea how my little lover-of-routine baby would handle things.

It started off fine.  We woke the kids up at 5am and took off!  They didn't say anything to each other when we very sleepily put them in their car seats...but they managed an adorable wave to each other...priceless!

A six hour trip only took us eight hours...which I thought was pretty good.

So far so good...

The hotel was amazing.  Right on the beach, and a water park to add to the fun! 

The first night was rough.
We decided against bringing the pak-n-play for Graham because it just takes up too much room!  I don't know why I felt sand toys and an Elmo boom box were more important than my sons sleeping quarters...but I did.  However my reasoning behind it was the hotel would have a crib that we could there!
I didn't know that this "crib" would be more like a metal cage for a small chihuahua!  When we put Graham in it and said goodnight he looked at me and said "yea right" in 17-month old talk. 
So a new adventure of sleeping in a big bed commenced.
We put Lilly and Graham in the same bed that night and had our fingers crossed that it would work.  I was too nervous to sleep in the other room so I slept in the same room with them. 
And thank goodness I did!
Who knew that Graham was an acrobatic sleeper! 
I would hear him stir and I would sit up from my dead sleep to see what was going on.  Then I would see him stand up in his sleep and lunge forward.  Then he would sleep in that position for a while and do it all over again. 
(Now it all makes sense!  When I hear that loud thud at night at home it is probably my son banging his head on the side of his crib practicing his sleep aerobics!)
Twice I caught him diving off the side of the bed.  Thankfully we made it through the night.

The next day was better.  Once Graham learned that the sand was not all bad and the water slides were not out to get him...he had a blast!  It was great watching my babies have fun.
Chalk this one up for a good day!
That night was another adventure.
Tim got food poisoning!  He spent the evening puking in our hotel room.
So night number two was spent in the kid room again.  This time with Graham sleeping on the floor.

Day number three was even better.  The sand monster never came out and Graham even took a nap on the beach!  That night I had my fingers crossed that just maybe I would get to spend the evening with my husband.
Thankfully we did have about half an hour on the balcony before we both passed out from sheer exhaustion from the trip.  I decided I might as well sleep in my usual spot because Graham kept waking up scared since he was in a new place.
All-in-all it was a trip worth blogging about.  We kept laughing at how our life is so different now and how much we love it.  We kept talking about how we will look back at this vacation and remember how hard it was, but how great it was.  We kept saying that this season in our life will pass so quickly, and how much we will miss it when it is gone.
And we kept saying that next time we are bringing the Grandparents!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great Expectations

Today I worked with Lilly on the scientific method.
I am NO scientist, but I remember a little bit about experiments.
We were conducting an experiment on the temperature of the windows.
I would ask her to touch one window and then another one and then we would compare.
I even worked on teaching her about a hypothesis.
At the end of the experiment I had her draw out her conclusion.
I was pretty proud of my teaching method...and even more proud of the way Lilly grasped it all.
However, my pat on the back didn't last long...
when we were all done I said, "wow Lilly you would make an awesome Scientist when you grow up."
To which she replied, "oh mommy, I cannot be a scientist when I grow up.  I'm going to be way to busy being on the show Wipeout!"
Oh well...I can still have high hopes.  =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Day Worth Noting

Even though we are still in the middle of unpacking almost 9 years worth of "stuff" kiddos can still lighten the mood with something funny...
Here's how today unfolded...

I was getting the kids dressed to go outside and I was talking to Lilly about how she is not responsible for disciplining Graham.  (She has become quite the little mommy)  I said, "Lilly it's Mommy and Daddy's job to discipline Graham...not you."  To which she responded, "no, I think he can listen to me too and obey me."  I sweetly smiled and said, "well do you remember what the Bible says about that?"  And before she could answer me Graham proudly stood up and yelled, "ROARRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!"   Because right now all animals say roar to him...even caterpillars...and he understands almost all of what we say. 
So I guess the Bible is an animal to him!

...Later in the day...

Lilly has become too busy to use the bathroom these days.  She is always in the middle of an elaborate plan, or telling me a detailed event.  And if the "urge" hits her she doesn't want to stop for a quick break.
On our way home from dinner tonight she yelled out, "quick I have to go tinkle!" 
We were about three miles from home and told her to hold it. 
She was very quiet.
After about two minutes she said, "wouldn't it be cool if there was a potty with a button on it and when you pushed it the potty would shrink down so it would be small enough to fit in your pants and then you could go tinkle in it and never stop what you are doing!  It would be called the Shrinky Potty!" 
Needless to say we were quite amazed at her imagination.

And those are just two of the sweet things my children said today that made my upside down life seem normal again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I want...therefore I scream!

Graham is precious...let me just start by saying that...

But lately he has entered a "not-so-precious" phase.
He is now a screamer...
and not just any normal 15 month old scream...
it's blood-curdling...
it's nails-on-a-chalkboard...
it's grab-my-hair-with-two hands!!!
It would be different if he screamed because he was tired or hungry.
Now it's a scream for the fact that his sister is sitting in the exact spot that he wants on the WD-40 cart at Home Depot! 
It's a scream because I chose the wrong side dish on his plate of food!  He wanted the lima beans not the carrots right next to it.
It's a scream because I'm loving on his sister and not on him at that exact moment...
and so on
and so on
I'm having a hard time not giving into his every whim just to appease him.  I think it's because I'm so tired right now I'd rather give him what he wants than teach him.
(I will snap out of that in about .5seconds...I promise.)
After he has screamed at me for a few seconds and flung himself on the dryer, or dish washer, or whatever appliance happens to be near by, he then turns around and realizes no one cares (even Lilly just shrugs her shoulders and walks away)...and then he proceeds to snap out of it and turns back into my sweet baby boy.
I keep telling myself..."this too shall pass"
And eventually I will look on this and laugh...just not right now  =)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My two little pot heads

The other night I was cooking and listening to my little ones laugh and play in the living room. 
They have become each others best friend...and I LOVE IT!!!
They both came running into the kitchen, grabbed something out of the cabinet, and ran back into the living room. 
I smiled and continued cooking.
A few minutes later I heard Lilly giggle really loud and say "Ok it's your turn to be the pot head!" 
I dropped my spoon into the sauce.
My first thought was "surely Tim hasn't joked around with that statement in front of her?" 
And then I thought "surely Lilly is not smoking something!"
So my curiosity got the best of me and I went to see what they were doing.
Both Lilly and Graham were in the floor with my cooking pots on their heads...laughing hysterically.
High on pot?  No
High on life?  Definitely

Monday, February 28, 2011 I know it...

So my life is CRAZY right sum it all up.  I noticed that I had not posted a blog since Feb 4, and it feels like I just wrote that one last night!  This is how my month of February has gone:

Became a consultant for Thirty-One
Had 5 parties during the month!!
Discovered the house across the street...and really liked it!
Made an offer on the house...and it was accepted!!
Posted an ad on Craigslist to rent our home and had a response in 5 min from posting!
Going through the application process right now, but it's looking like we are about to be landlords!

I'm out of breath just reading that through.  I'm super excited about the upcoming changes, but I'm nervous too.  My prayer is that my kiddos will adjust to living across the street, and that I will adjust to having stairs in my home for the first time...yikes!  
Stay tuned...

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Opposite Day!

We have moved on from "You're Fired"
Now the cry out is, "BUT IT'S OPPOSITE DAY!"

Lilly has recently learned the meaning of the word opposite.  She has been dabbling with the word for a few months, but it has now taken on yet another way to give her a feeling of power.

Just yesterday at the breakfast table I said, "Lilly eat your eggs or they will get cold." 
To which she responded, "No, I will not"
As I set my fork down to begin the discipline process she quickly retracted, "BUT IT'S OPPOSITE DAY!  No means yes, yes means no."  (spoken with a sweet smile)
I said, "Ok baby, now eat your eggs."
She responded..."no mama, say Lilly do not eat your eggs, and I will not eat them."
At this point I'm completely confused.
"Ok baby, do not eat your eggs" 
Then she responded with a sly smile, "good, I'm done anyway" 
WHAT!!!!!  She is way too smart for me. 
If this continues...I'm in trouble.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New year...same school bus

There is an exact time of every morning that I dread...consciously and sub-consciously.  That time is 6:47am.

This should be a quiet time of morning.  One filled with only quiet showers gently running, or rockers quietly gliding putting a baby back to sleep. 
This should not be a time for the sounds of a distant grumble followed by extremely loud screeching brakes heard two neighborhoods over.

This time of morning is still dark, and should stay that way until the sun decides to make its beautiful appearance.
This should not be a time for strobe lights that are so bright you awaken from a dream thinking you are in a 1970's disco.

Yet each and every morning I am greeted by these lovely sights and sounds...and it's from a school bus.

It really wouldn't be that big of a deal if I lived here...alone...but I don't.  There is a little girl that stays just down the hall and IF she happens to still be asleep at 6:47am the lovely screech-wagon jolts her out of her bed.  This jolt usually causes her to catapult into my room where we begin the day on a super high dose of adrenaline.  So if I wasn't awakened by my subconscious doing the robot to the beat of screeching brakes...I am now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lilly Holland or Donald Trump?

Attitude is a big deal in our home.  We do not tolerate talking back or any other form of sassyness from Miss Priss. 
Lately she has taken on a whole new form of attitude...and the only way I know how to deal with it is to look away and laugh.

I'm really not sure where she heard this, but Lilly has picked up on the phrase "You're Fired!"  We don't talk about people getting fired from work, and we don't watch The Apprentice.  Yet somehow Lilly uses the phrase "You're Fired!"  all the time, and in the correct way. 
For example:  the other day Lilly said to me, "Mommy...if you don't let me sleep in the living room tonight I'm gonna fire you!"  or how about when she told Tim, "Daddy...come play with me or you're fired!"   And she often fires Dave and her other guys from whatever game they are playing.
These little statements have completely caught me off guard.
On any normal day (ha) I would correct Lilly if she spoke to me with a sassy attitude.  If the sassyness continued she would get a timeout or spanking depending on the way she spoke to me.  But this little "you're fired" phrase has given her a little wiggle room.  In her own little way she has been able to "tell" me what to do and then throw in the fired phrase to save her hide.  It's also the way she makes her voice sound when she says it.  She puts this silly little high pitch sound at the end of each demand...and makes herself even more adorable.
Now I know I cannot allow this Donald Trump-likeness to continue, but for now I will giggle under my breath and try to keep the sassyness at bay.
        What's even crazier is how she was
able to get a Trump comb-over all on her own!
Now I'm really starting to wonder...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Year of Love

 Graham's first year of life has been full of love.  Big sister Lilly loves him so much and calls him "her very bestest friend."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Lesson in Shopping

You know that sign that says "You break buy it!"  Well does that really count for a toddler throwing the item and then it breaking? 

I was standing in Ross the other day debating some new wall sconces to hang in my bedroom.  It was just me and Graham and I had him in the I thought I was safe.

Mistake #1:  Having a toddler in a stroller does not mean you are safe from fits or throwing things...his arms are still free.

So as I was standing there debating the sconces he started to fuss a bit...nothing major...just the usual "come on Mom I'm bored" fuss. 

Mistake #2:  Never stand and debate ANYTHING longer than 14 seconds when shopping with a toddler...make that 7 when you are on the breakable aisle.

To sooth his little whine, I handed him part of the sconce that I was STILL debating.  At first I thought it was just a plastic globe that goes over a candle.  Little did I know that it was really thin glass.

Mistake #3:  Never hand anything to a boy in a store...THEY ALWAYS THROW IT!

Immediately he was happy.  "Sweet...Mommy gave me something to break!!" he squealed with glee.  As soon as I heard that squeal I knew I was in trouble.  I was reaching to take the globe out of his hand before he could lift his arm to throw, but I was too late.  Some how a Matrix moment happened and he was able to lift it above his head and send it sailing across the aisle before I could grab it from him.  When it hit the ground it shattered.  
It was one of those sounds that cause complete silence from all directions.  
I knew that everyone in the store had heard it...and they were all wondering what I was going to do.
That is when the Good Brittney Angel and the Bad Brittney Angel popped up...right on cue.

" Why did you give that to him?  Now you can't debate these anymore and you have to buy them!" -Good
"Hold on a minute technically didn't break it!"-Bad
"So are you going to make Graham pay for it?  NO YOU BIG DUMMY!  You have to buy it now!" -Good
"No you don't.  Just set it down and walk away.  Half the stuff at this store is broken anyway." -Bad
(At this point I was leaning toward my bad angel...I know...I'm ashamed to admit it...but she had a good argument!)
" really do like those sconces...just buy them so you don't feel bad later...because you know you will!"-Good
(At this point Graham must have heard my angels arguing because he turned around with his big beautiful eyes and smiled at me.  Even though he is only one I knew I would have to explain myself to him.)
So I followed my good angel.

And the sconces look great on my wall!