Thursday, April 14, 2011

7 months already?!?!

My little Tanner is 7 months old today. I can't believe he is already that old. He is such a precious addition to our family. I thought that today, I would write about some of my favorite things about my baby boy!

1) He has HUGE blue eyes. Total strangers come up all the time and mention something about Tanner's eyes. A lady in Target one day said "My goodness, he looks mighty alert"! I love how big they get when he is excited!

2) Tanner has the sweetest little smile. His cheeks are nice and plump(like any baby's should be, right?). When he smiles, those chunky cheeks are so cute. He has the two teeth on the bottom that have come in, and they pop right out at ya. I love that smile!

3) The way he looks like he is going to fly away when he is excited. When Tanner gets excited, he flaps his arms like he is going to take flight. His little hands go to work, making motions like he is trying to grab something. It is so funny. He knows how to get his way already.

4) The boy loves to eat. This is just one of the times that you can count on him doing the "flying" thing. If he sees us getting his food ready, he is so excited, he can hardly sit still. The excitement dies down a little if the food he is eating is green beans, but you can count on the fact that he won't go hungry!

5) He loves his brother. Tanner reaches out for Case, like he can't wait to get his hands on him. He always smiles when Case is around, and loves it when Case hugs on him. We always joke that Tanner might be as big, if not bigger, than Case after a Case better not pick on him too much! In the end though, I know that my boys will be best friends.

6) He puts up with his brother. Case is so loud and crazy right now. He is at the age where he is in to everything, and loves to run around and see how loud he can be. Tanner never is bothered by it. He just sits and watches. I realize this probably means that he is learning from Case, and will probably one day be exactly the same. That's ok, though. I love that they are all boy, and love that I can be their mom!

Friday, April 1, 2011

9 years ago today...

9 years ago today, I went on my first date with the man that I would eventually marry! I know, I know, it's April Fools Day. Yep, that's us. 9 years ago, April 1 fell on the day after Easter, and we had the day off of school. Matt was coming back to Columbia from being at home for the weekend. He sent me an instant message on AOL (so romantic, I know!) and asked me if I wanted to go out that night. I was so excited. The first thought in my head, of course, was "What am I going to wear??" My roommate, Janine, and friend, Amber, came to my rescue! Amber didn't live in the dorm with Janine and me, but she might as well have. We were all together, all the time! Amber lived a good 20 minutes away, but at the last minute, she came rushing to campus to bring a belt for me to borrow. She and Matt actually ran into each other in the lobby. I think I actually thought that the belt was going to make my date go so much better! I was so thankful for those girls that night (and still am by the way!!)

So, here we are, 9 years later...married for almost 5 years, and we have two little munchkins! This is what we were talking about last night, while we were getting ready for bed. I had the idea, that it would be nice to surprise Matt today. I was hoping to get the house clean, and arrange for a babysitter to keep the boys so we could have a date night. Instead, my day was a little hectic. First of all, I was trying to get Case to use the potty, and he had an accident on the carpet. Then, I realized that Tanner was seeming sicker and sicker over the last few days, so I took him to the doctor. He has a double ear infection, so we were out for several hours by the time we went by the pharmacy and got back. I couldn't find an available babysitter, so in the end, Matt came home to a dirty house and no plans for the night.

BUT....I guess he kinda had the same idea to make today special. He came home with flowers!!! Then, he told me to pick a place to go to dinner! He made my day. We went to Olive Garden, where we had to wait a little while, and didn't have incredible service, but we spent the night with our little family. I had no idea that when I was running around to dress cute 9 years ago, that I'd be so happy with all my boys today. It makes me so excited to see where we'll be 9 years from now!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Pants

This is my latest sewing project. They are a little short, but I'm going to cute them off and make shorts when the weather gets warm....and STAYS warm!!!:)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Vote for Quinoa!!

A hot topic in "Sewing Club" lately, has been quinoa. If I'm not mistaken, Jessica was the first one to make it, and talked a lot about how good it was. It has started a snowball since then. Everybody has been making dinners with it. If you haven't heard of it, it serves a lot of the same purposes as rice, but it's a protein. At least, that's how I've heard it described. I have been wanting to try it, and finally did tonight. I LOVE IT!! Matt said that he likes it too, although, he said if I had made it without all the hype made by my friends, he probably wouldn't really have given it a chance. I have to admit, I probably would've been the same way. We just aren't good at going out on our own and trying new things. I'm so glad I was curious enough to try this though. It's delicious, and so much healthier than a lot of options like it.

I cooked okra, tomatoes and garlic together in a pan. Matt couldn't believe I used tomatoes. I guess I'm growing up a little bit! One night last week, I bought one of those rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store. We still had a lot left over from that, so I mixed the chicken with the veges and put it on top of the quinoa. YUM!!

Case kept picking around the quinoa. He was eating the chicken, and putting the veges on my plate. I finally convinced him to at least try the quinoa. He put a spoonful in his mouth, held up his fist and said in a deep voice, "NICE". Ha! Hey, whatever works!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Discipline is a Struggle!!

Case has hit the terrible twos FOR SURE! I love him to death, and there are more good moments than bad; but when the bad come, they hit hard!! We get temper tantrums, and sometimes what's worse, just flat out ignoring us! Tanner, bless his heart, is such a trooper. He has to listen to Case's screaming, and our "No!"s everyday. Tanner doesn't seem to think twice about it, he just goes with the flow. It seems to me like his big brother would be driving him nuts! Good thing I'm not in his shoes!

Do you other moms feel like you aren't getting through to your kids? I feel like we address the same issues on a daily basis, and nothing changes. My mom was very encouraging today. She said "Oh, you're getting through!" She also said this will probably last for a couple years. So, I should know that I am getting through to him, even if I can't see it yet. He will learn! I got off the phone with my mom, and told Matt that she told me what I needed to hear. It's not easy to discipline in the first place, then to not see the results right away is just discouraging. I just needed a little push to keep going, and it will be worth it in the end.

Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it." I can't help but read that and think, "so, if I do my best, do I get the 'worthy effort' stamp, and my kids will turn out alright?" All I know is I have to stick with it. They will learn what is right and wrong from Matt and me. Then, I'll just have to trust that they will make the right decisions in life with what they learned. So, if you are in this boat with me, BE ENCOURAGED!!:)

On a lighter note, I just have to share what is probably my favorite conversation with Case yet. Last night, he was in the bathtub, and had been playing for about 10 or 15 minutes. He had not actually bathed yet. Matt was making cookies, and Case heard the timer on the oven go off. Case: "What's Daddy doing, Ma?"
Me: "He's making cookies"
Case: "I want a cookie"
Me: "You have to finish your bath first"
Case: "I'm done, Ma!"
I loved that he could've played all night, until he realized he could have a cookie instead! I completely underestimate how much he understands. Even though the discipline part of this stage is rough, it is so worth it!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know

If you have a child that has gone through the toddler years yet, you know that you answer questions ALL DAY, EVERYDAY! A lot of those are the same question over and over. I am not complaining for a second. For a long time, I felt like Case had a pretty good vocabulary for his age, but just couldn't put the words together to make sense. Now, he cracks me up with how he can put words together, and repeats them over and over when he realizes they make sense to me. This is a conversation we've had at LEAST 25 times today:

Case: "Where'd Daddy go?"
Me: "He is in Mama and Daddy's room, cleaning up"
Case: "Oh, Daddy's cleaning?"
Me: "Yes"
Case: "Where'd Tanner go?"
Me: "He's sleeping in his crib"
Case: "Oh, Tanner, nap?"
Me: "Yes"

The exact same conversation then immediately starts over. I've determined that he is so excited that I understand what he is saying, that he wants to say it again and again. I figure it will probably build his confidence more if I give him a serious answer each time, so that he knows he's getting his point across. It's so hard not to laugh, though!

Case has also realized he can get Tanner's attention by getting in his face and saying "Yoo Hoo, Tanner". Matt and I absolutely lose it when he does it. So, of course, now he realizes he'll get a laugh out of doing that, and does it all the time. It's funny how he learns something new and gets stuck on it. He says "Bible" when he wants to sing the song "Jesus Loves Me". So, we can be in the car and he just says "Bible" over and over, and we sing the same song over and over. Hey, he's learning, right??:) I absolutely love this age, even if it has the potential to grow many gray hairs!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Celebrating February 11...90 years ago

When I was learning to talk, my parents say that they were trying to teach me to say "granddaddy". It came out "Can Can", and it stuck. My mom's dad is Can Can Holmes, and my dad's dad is Can Can Baston. Well, today is Can Can Holmes' 90th birthday, and it was so fun to be a part of celebrating it!

Can Can and Mama Holmes live in an assisted living home in Darlington, SC. We had a little party for him there today, and it was a lot of fun. My mom and dad brought snacks for anyone that wanted them, and my sister, Kimberly, sang a few songs. There were a bunch of people that came to support him, which was so cool to see. I tried to put a video at the bottom that I took of Kimberly singing, but can't get it to work right...maybe I can get it later...I'm not great with computers, but I'm determined to figure it out!!

Anyway, in honor of Can Can's birthday, I thought I'd list some of my favorite memories that I have of him and my grandmother:

1. They always came and spent Christmas with us. I'll never forget when I was in first grade. They got my brother, Matt, and me sleeping bags for Christmas. We were so excited!

2. When we'd go to visit them, (they lived at North Myrtle Beach) they'd play games with us. We played "Red light, green light" and "Mother May I?" a lot!

3. Can Can wanted SO badly for my brother to learn morse code. He always would get Matt to sit down with him and talk about it. I think the farthest he ever got was "dah dah dit dah dah dah". (That's Matt's name!)

4. Can Can always went to Hardee's to get us breakfast. Looking back, I can't believe that I loved that so much, but I definitely did!!

5. Can Can and Mama Holmes assigned us drawers in a dresser in their house. When we'd go to visit, we'd always give them "sugar", then go running to our drawers to see what they put in them.

6. When we gave Can Can "sugar", he always wanted a kiss on both cheeks. He still does this!!

7. The best memory is "Charlie". That memory will always be remembered. Can Can has a song that he sings about a horse named Charlie. While he sang it, he would bounce us on his knee, like we were actually riding a horse. He did this with Tanner today, and he loved it, just like all of the rest of us did!

Happy Birthday, Can Can!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Adventures in Parenting...without heat

The last 24 hours in our house have been very cold! Our thermostat decided it was tired of making the heat come on, so it just didn't. Matt is usually very easy to reach during the day, while he is at work, but yesterday, he was in meetings all day. I finally got to talk to him at 2:30, only to tell him it was 59 degrees in our house! He came home and called a guy to come fix the heat. The guy discovered that it was the thermostat, replaced it, and left. Little did we know, when he was out, in the dark, looking at the unit, he broke a wire of some sort. That wire kept the heat from ever coming back on. I went to sewing club (woot, woot!) at church, and came home at 10:00, only to see that it was still soooo cold!

If you are a parent, you know that when tough stuff happens, you figure you will be fine, but it's just not okay for your children. All I could think was that Matt and I could climb under the covers, and make it through a cold night, until someone could fix the heat this morning. Thinking of the boys being cold though, was not going to work. Case, I can wrap up in blankets, but the whole SIDS scare just makes me uncomfortable doing that with Tanner. (I just heard on the radio the other day about a woman that lost her 5 month old to SIDS...just not taking that risk.)

So, it's up the stairs we go, to the room over the garage. It has a separate heating unit. We put Tanner in the pack-n-play up there, and Case slept on a mat. Matt and I slept on an air mattress, directly next to the stairs, so that if Case tried to go down by himself, he'd have to crawl over us to get to them, and we'd wake up. You have to consider every possibility, so you can hopefully prevent the unthinkable, right?!

In all of this, I was just praying....first, that the plan to keep Case away from the stairs would work. Then, that Tanner would sleep ok, and not keep us up all night. Finally, that the heat issue would be an easy fix and not cost us a fortune. Guess what! God is faithful. I definitely shouldn't be surprised, but it never ceases to amaze me that God is just that cool. He never promised that obstacles wouldn't pop up every now and then, but He did promise that He is in control. I hesitated to talk about this, cause I know there are SUCH bigger issues that people have going on, but it is a reminder that God is in control of all of our issues; big and small. Psalm 46 is a great reminder of this.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

4 A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel[b] is our fortress.

8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

A memory I definitely will always have from my childhood, is my mom referring to getting older as "climbing Jacob's ladder". Every time someone in the family had a birthday, she would say it. I think I always felt like that was for "old" people, like I wasn't old enough to be climbing. If that's the case, though, at what age do you become old enough? Well, today, I am 28. I think if I wasn't climbing before, I'm climbing now!! Before I went to bed last night, I told Matt that for my birthday, I wanted Case to sleep until 8 a.m. This, first of all, made me realize that I have actually gotten old enough that this was truly something that would make my day. Then, of course, Case was up at 5 a.m.!!!

Tonight, Matt and the boys took me to Carrabba's for dinner. It was delicious, while it lasted! We went tonight on purpose. We had talked about going this past weekend, but figured we'd end up having to wait for a table. If you have children, you know that this just doesn't work. By going tonight, we were able to walk straight in. From the moment we walked through the door, our "man on man defense" began. Matt was cooing with Tanner, trying to keep him entertained as long as possible. I was trying to get Case in his seat, while getting his jacket off, opening his crayons, get his water and order my own drink, all at the same time. Whew!! I really think we were in the restaurant 30 minutes at the most! We ate and got out of there, before we disrupted the rest of the people there.

All that to say, I wouldn't trade it for a second!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm new at this

I finally gave in. I have been thinking about starting a blog for a long time, and here I am. I have to give credit to my sister-in-law, Lauren. She mentioned at Christmas time, that this would be a nice way to keep friends and family updated on my boys' lives. So much happens every single day with them!! Most of the time, though, I feel like I don't have enough to say to actually type it all out. We will see how it goes! It's worth a shot, right?

I should explain the reason for my title, in case you haven't already read my "about me" section. My older son, Case, calls me "Ma". It is so funny. We have taught him to call us "Mama" and "Daddy", but when addressing me, it definitely comes out "Ma". When other people hear him, it seems to always catch them off guard. I guess you don't hear many people refer to their mothers like that these days! Ha!

My hope, is that through this blog, you will not only see updates of sweet Ray boys, but also see that my priority as a mom is to teach them to walk with the Lord. Just today, I was reading Proverbs 31, and thinking how far I have to go to be that woman. How awesome, though, that God sent His Son to die on a cross, so that I have a chance to strive for it!! I am so blessed. I want more than anything, for my boys to grow up, knowing what their "Ma" walks with Him everyday. My prayer is that they will do the same!

Well, thank you for reading so far! I am going to try to be good about this, and update as much as possible.