The Baby Burrito

I often think about family traditions. Sometimes I read about them and sometimes I simply discuss them with friends and family.

As my children grow, I think about the types of traditions I want to have in our family. Of course, like most people, I think about traditions most often around the holidays. It struck me as a bit odd that I realized I was thinking about traditions as I pulled my youngest out of the bath tonight.

After I got her out of the tub, I wrapped her in a towel. I then proceeded to ask Tony if he'd like a bite of the baby burrito. He made a chomping sound and pretended to bite Jane. She giggled. Our four-year-old asked for a "bite" and did the same thing. So did our three-year-old. By the time I was finished making the rounds, Jane was belly laughing. It was then I realized that we do have traditions outside of the holidays.

We began making baby burritos when our oldest child was a toddler. We've done it ever since. I suppose we'll continue until Jane is too big to swaddle in a bath towel or she asks us to stop.

As far as I'm concerned, this is as good as a family tradition gets. We all enjoy it and it makes us smile and laugh together. I'm sure one day that Tony and I will enjoy reminding them of this silly little tradition.

Our traditions may not always be traditional. After all, how many parents do you know who have children that request that Jingle Bells be sung every. single. night? Yet, that's more than okay with me. If it makes us closer as a family, then I'm all about being non-traditional.

Be sure and stop by Musings of a Housewife to see what others learned this week!


The Little Kids

In our family, we refer to Chris (3) and Jane (17 months) as the "little kids." The "big kids" are Ann (4) and Chris (still 3). Lucky Chris gets to be a part of both groups. Needless to say, he prefers it when any reference to him is prefaced by "big" and not "little" or even worse "baby."

This weekend, I've had the little kids all to myself. Tony and Ann took off on Friday morning for a wedding in Kentucky. (More on that later, but I should take a moment to say that my kids have the best daddy. He chose to take a 500-mile-one-way road trip with Ann. He looked forward to it just as much as she did maybe more.)

I'll admit, I was dreading this weekend just a bit. I knew I wouldn't get my somewhat regular Saturday-morning break. Also, since it is the weekend, I knew most of my friends would be having family time and any play dates would be unlikely.

It turns out my dread was unfounded as we've had a wonderful weekend. In fact, I'm coming away from this weekend loving and liking my little kids more than ever.

We filled Friday with a trip to the children's museum, lunch out with friends and a trip to the zoo to meet Spider-man and see the lions. We also ran an errand.

On Saturday, we went to the gym, a birthday party, Chick-fil-A and even ran by Walgreens to snag a few deals to satisfy my little coupon addiction.

Today, we started the day both early and slowly. I attempted to snuggle with both kids in my bed. However, after only a few minutes I was having to cover my face as Jane began diving all over the bed while laughing. She doesn't have much regard for safety or personal space, you know?

Now, I sit at the computer while Chris finishes up a much-needed nap. Jane is happily destroying anything she can get in her hands. I'm having a bit of coffee because though it was a good weekend, it was also a bit tiring. I'm not sure how those with husbands who regularly travel get enough sleep at night. I have the hardest time sleeping without Tony at home. I'm so glad his business travel isn't frequent.

As I finish my not-so-good coffee, I want to be sure I document a couple of more things.

That little man of mine showed a different side this weekend. He actually slowed down to show that he is actually quite full of compassion.

The first thing he did was while we were at the zoo waiting for the tram to pick us up. I accidentally dropped a sippy cup on their great aunt's toe. Chris saw what happened and immediately stopped what he was doing and gave Aunt J a hug.

The sweetest part of it was that I could tell it was his first response. He wasn't trying to get anything and he wasn't particularly tired. (Both reasons he usually gets cuddly.) It may sound silly, but I think that may have been the most proud I've been of him yet.

The other thing my little man did that melted my heart was in the care he showed toward his little sister. After lunch today, Jane was screaming in her high chair. She wanted out! Chris walked over to help her. As he assisted her, he talked to her in the sweetest voice. He assured her that he was helping her and it wouldn't be that much longer. In that short minute or two, I could almost picture him grown-up. I liked what I saw!

Getting to know my kids as individuals is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. Weekends like these make getting to know them just a bit easier. I'm so happy to have a big, a big/little and a little kids to get to know!


Just When I Thought I Couldn't Make it Until Bedtime

We were only minutes away from bedtime and still, I thought I wasn't going to make it without seriously losing it.

I looked at my oldest and asked her to come sit on my lap. I held her for a minute and told her I was sorry I was a bit short today. She told me that was okay and apologized for having a rough day as well.

Then, she sweetly said, "Mommy, I need to tell you something."

"What's that?" I asked.

"I love you," she sincerely said.

"I love you too," I replied. Moments like that feel like a gift.

It proved to be just what I needed. As we walked up the stairs together, we found that a certain little man had dumped a nearly full bottle of baby wash into the bath tub. I just sighed and carried him to his room.

My long day ended with snuggles with my favorite children in the world.

It's a tough job, but somebody has got to do it. I'm grateful that somebody is me.


The Kind of Friends I Have

It shouldn't surprise me. I really shouldn't be caught off guard by the kindness of my friends, but sometimes...

Sweet Avery went to be with Jesus on Tuesday night. Tony and I knew we would be there with our friends to celebrate her too-short life. We just weren't sure how we were going to manage that. A seven-hour trip is a bit much for three children four and under especially if the destination is a service where they would need to be on their best behavior.

We don't have grandparents in town so there weren't many family members to call on to help watch the children. However, I knew I could call upon my friends and I knew they would say yes, but they did more than that.

I called two dear friends and each of them, practically before I could finish asking the question said yes. Yes, they would watch one of my children for a couple of days while we went to be with our friends who are grieving. There was no sign of hesitation in their voices.

I'm not sure if my friends had plans for the weekend that they'll have to cancel. They might, but I know they would never tell me. They wouldn't want to me feel badly about imposing on them.

As I hung up the phone with each of them, I was almost in tears (as I am now just thinking about it).

Now, as if that wasn't enough, two other amazing friends have offered to let us stay with them in their homes while we're traveling. Friends like mine are such an amazing blessing and a testimony of God's love. I hope they know that I don't ever take them for granted.


Absolutely No Words (Please Pray)

Once again there are no words.

This afternoon, my friends Shane and Carissa had to make the hardest decision any parent of a sick child could make.

Please pray for this sweet family and though you probably don't know them, please stop by their blog and let them know you are praying. You can comment anonymously, and I know the encouragement will mean so much.

Thank you.

We will remember you Avery.


What I've Been Doing on My Blogging Vacation

So, it has been over three weeks since my last real post and I'm pretty sure that post didn't even make much sense.

I forgot to mention that Tony gave Chris the same color popsicle that he had previously dunked in the potty. That would, of course, explain my panicked reaction when I saw him eating the popsicle. I'm sure no one was losing sleep over that confusion, but I feel better about clearing that up so...

Well, what have I been doing on my unplanned blogging vacation? Before I get into that, I have to just ask why is it that other vacations don't seem to happen without being planned? I mean, I've yet to accidentally end up at the beach for three weeks. Oh well.

My days have been full of the wonderful things that make up summer. Last summer, I wasn't exactly thrilled about the season. You can read my little "letter" to summer here if you so desire. This year, I'm thinking summer is pretty good. By next year, I fully expect to love it. And yes, I do believe that is a direct relation to the possibility that I just might be able to take my three kiddos to the pool by myself next year.

So it's been the pool (with Daddy), parks, blueberry picking, two different large amusement parks, a lake, trips to the children's museum, the library, outdoor concerts, story time, play dates, Vacation Bible School, and lots and lots of popsicles. That doesn't even include out of town guests and the Dallas getaway that Tony and I enjoyed.

I actually wish that I had done a better job of blogging about all those adventures. I took pictures of most of them. I did, however, manage to forget my camera on our trip to the lake and therefore miss taking a picture of Ann fishing for the first time. She didn't catch anything so I still have a chance at snapping a shot of her first catch one day.

Perhaps the real reason that I've been a little absent around the old blog is this:

My favorite one year old learned to walk on June 3. She had been climbing anything and everything long before that. It is the combination of the two that has made keeping her safe more than a full-time job. Little Jane pushes chairs, stools, benches, you name it, up to the counter or the table all. the. time. She obviously can't be left alone for more that 0.25 seconds. Also, would you believe that she has no desire to sit patiently while mama finishes a blog post? Go figure.
Now, I would be lying if I blamed all of my blogging absence on sweet Jane. Much of it belongs to the most addicting game of all time--Bejeweled Blitz. (I'm a big embarrassed admitting that but I'll get over it.)
Finally, there was a certain little vampire series that also occupied a bit of my time. I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish the kids would fix their own lunch, change the diapers, and wipe their own bums while I tried to finish that series.
So, my blogging friends, (are you even still there?) what have you been up to this summer?


So, I haven't posted in what seems like forever...

and I guess this isn't much of a catch-up post. Instead, it is a request for anyone reading here to pray for sweet baby Avery. She is struggling and she needs prayer. Her parents are very worried.

Would you please pray for Avery and her family. They've been sharing Avery's life on their blog. The most recent post can be found here. Please stop by to pray and perhaps leave them a little comment of encouragement.

Thank you!