Monday, April 25, 2011

Songs of a 4-year-old

Nearly every song Hayden knows, he has changed up a few words. These are his favorite songs... in bold are the words or phrases that have been modified to suit my child.

**NOTE: I am perfectly aware that not many will find my child as amusing as I do.**

Jesus Loves Me (Pronounced: Geejus Loves Me)

Geejus loves me
This I know
For the Bible
Tells me so

Wittle ones
To Him belong
They are weak but
He is wrong

Yes Geejus loves me
Yes Geejus loves me
Yes Geejus loves me
For the Bible tells me so

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle
Little star
How I wonder
What you are

Bop Bop BopThe world so high
Like a diamond
In the sky

Twinkle, twinkle
Little star
How I wonder
What you are

The ABC's

W and X and Y and Z
Now I know my ABC's
What time won't you sing with me?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wonderful day

Today has been truly fantastic. The last few months have flown by in a blur of parties, illness, errands, and other madness. I can't remember the last time Michael and I spent any quality time together and it was really starting to wear on us.

We finally caught a break in our busy lives and had a wonderful, relaxing Sunday. I feel like this weekend was God's answer to my recent prayers. So many weights have been taken from my shoulders and I couldn't be happier or feel more blessed.

In our attempts to really get a hold on our house (remember those New Year Resolutions? Remember I wanted to finish decorating?), we finally purchased new furniture for our bedroom. It is absolutely gorgeous. I've found myself just standing in the doorway and smiling at that beautiful, cherry-finish wood so many times this weekend. Michael has done the same so I don't feel any guilt :)

We're finally putting the finishing touches on our wedding plans and I am just ecstatic. I've really been feeling the pressure and have been terrified that things weren't going to be "perfect" because I haven't had the time to really put a ton of effort into our wedding. I have really been struggling with my load lately and to have the wedding nearly taken care of just let's me breath a little easier.

Taking 14 credit hours this semester and planning our wedding for the week of finals is cerainly a little crazy. Add in the facts that we have three toddlers and I habitually over-commit myself... I've barely been able to tread water. The stress of my over-packed schedule has not only effected me physically, but mentally as well. I don't think I've been as good of a mother to my children as they deserve and I cannot express how much guilt I feel for that.

Not only do I have the relief of getting the wedding under control, but I am also feeling relief that we finally have Hayden in counseling for his OCD. Ms. Joanne has been an incredible blessing and her enthusiasm for working with my son has given me so much hope. Having her as a resource will, I'm certain, prove to be invaluable to our family. She has already helped Michael and I so much by answering our questions and giving us suggestions for handling Hayden's meltdowns (and how to know which behaviors are the result of the disorder and which are the result of him being three).

This week is another insanely busy week, but we will take it in stride. I'm certain this post has been nothing if not incoherant, but I'm exhausted. There are so many things going on in our life right now that I feel the good things need to be shouted. I've voiced two of the major successes, but another is simply Michael. As we talk more and more to our families and each other about our wedding, I can't help but feel peaceful. I'm so excited to celebrate our marriage with our family and friends and to share the last name Ramsey with my husband and our children.

I'm marrying my best friend. The man who makes me laugh like no one else ever has, who has seen me at my worst (giving birth, going a week without showering - you try fitting in a shower with newborn twins and a one year old!, baby blues, the loss of my father, the rejection of friends, etc.) and still says that he loves me. The person who comforts me after a nightmare, cares for me when I'm sick, dries my tears, and laughs at my horrible jokes. He tolerates my singing, even though I can't carry a tune, and indulges my whims. He calls me out when I'm losing my temper, and he has my back when I'm feeling defeated. He's the man who let me sleep in last Saturday and then served me breakfast in bed. He keeps every card I've crafted and letter I've written, no matter the tone or the content. He's not afraid to cry in front of me, to dance with me or sing with me. He is my best friend and the father of my children. He is mine and I am his. When I hold his hand or look into his eyes, I know that everything is okay because we are together and, together, we can do anything.

For these reasons, and 1,000,000 more, I can't wait to say, "I do."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

January Reflection

January is a crazy month for our family. It's hard to say whether it beats out December, but I'll settle for saying they are about neck-and-neck for mayhem. We spend the first couple of weeks recovering (or attempting to recover...) from Christmas and get our home back in order before Birthday Season begins.

January 10 is Michael's birthday. He turned the big 3-0 this year and I wanted it to be special. At first I had planned the throw him a surprise party, but, as with many other plans, that didn't happen. I was already facing a huge challenge just to get it organzied before I started wondering just how well he would take the surprise. He doesn't like attention to be on him, so I opted to go the safer route and avoid a surprise party. We went out downtown with a group of friends on the Saturday before his birthday. He was able to enjoy Sushi and Saki and some of his closest friends.

That same week, I started back to school and we were hit with the biggest snow-storm this state has seen in 23 years (that would be my lifetime, for the record). Michael was out of work for a few days and the kids got to experience 9 inches of snow and ice. Hayden was very excited to play in the snow and make "tracks". Cooper was very curious and really enjoyed playing outside (unless he fell down... that he did not enjoy). Lucas, on the other hand, is just too sensitive for his own good. He stood in one spot and if anyone came near him, he screamed. He did not want to touch the snow or have to walk in it. We made our way down the ice covered road to the neighborhood playground where the kids took turns sliding into the snow drifts. Michael and I enjoyed ourselves more than they did, I think!

During the last week of January, we all caught the nasty Norovirus (stomach flu). It was fairly mild as those things go (except on Hayden, he just couldn't shake it), but it was still zero fun. The twins turned **2** on January 27 and, sadly, woke up puking. I spent the entire day disinfecting our house from top to bottom (as well as following them around with carpet cleaner to try and save my carpets... which didn't really work). That night, we scrubbed them down and headed out with some of Michael's family for dinner. Lucas puked halfway through the meal and none of the boys ate. While the grown ups had a decent time, the birthday boys (and Hayden) were just too sick to get much out of it.

The day after the twins' birthday, we packed up the van and headed to Atlanta for the weekend. We'd been planning this trip for months and would not be deterred by illness! Since Christmas is always crazy busy and full of hundreds of gifts, we thought we would skip a birthday party this year and take the kids on a short trip instead. Friday morning we hit the Georgia Aquarium (the largest aquarium in the world) and everyone had a blast despite Hayden still being sick. They loved all of the animals we saw, especially the sharks and penguins!

I experience the biggest scare of my life at one point during the day when I turned to grab Cooper's hand and he was GONE! I search all around the exhibit we were in and couldn't find him anywhere. The place was very crowded and it was dark where were; someone could have taken him so eaily. I grabbed the first employee I could find with a walkie talkie and she had seen Cooper wonder (she said "ran" and I believe her, but we'll be nice to him today) off just a few minutes before I found her. I should take this time to apologize to the Georgia Aquarium patrons who were unfortunately pushed, shoved, or nearly trampled in my haste to find my son. I found him looking in the big tank saying, "Look! Shock! (Shark)" I was perfectly composed until I had him in my arms and then came the hysterical crying. I didn't put him down or stop crying until we left the aquarium. I felt so rude when I was unable to even speak the amazing by-standers who had joined me in my search. Even though I wasn't able to say, they reminded me that most people really are kind-hearted (or morbidly curious... whatever).

After the aquarium, we checked into our hotel and spent the rest of the day there to let the kids unwind and rest. Michael and I enjoyed the complimentary Happy Hour and room service after the kids were in bed. It really is the little things that make us happy :). Of course, Hayden reminded us why we needed such a break when he vomitted all over one of the beds at 1 am. Ew.

Saturday morning we enjoyed the awesome breakfast provided by Embassy Suites. Possibly the best omelet I've ever had. They were really great to us with the midnight bed change, and the extras included with their rooms are awesome. If you're ever in Atlanta, check them out. They are also right across the street from the Aquarium and Pendleton Place. After breakfast we loaded up the van and made our way to Zoo Atlanta. While the animals were fascinating, it was the people that amazed us the most. There were 13 (!!!) sets of twins there at the same time as us. Hayden fell asleep half way through our visit (he was just SO sick) and Cooper was having a very "independent" day which meant lots of arguing over hand holding and his refusal to ride in the stoller. At least Lucas fully enjoyed himself :)

We ended our Atlanta trip with a visit to the Natural History Museum. Michael and I enjoyed all of the exhibits, but the boys were only interested in DINOSAURS! When we were within sight of the pre-historic exhibit, all three of my sweet boys started growling at the dinosaurs. They could have stayed there staring all day!

The Sunday after our return was my birthday. Michael cooked me a delicious dinner and bought a cake for me. It was my first birthday cake in years -- he even added 23 candles. It was small gesture, but it really meant a lot to me. My birthday is a very bittersweet day for me and I do not celebrate the day. On my 20th birthday, my father passed away and now I spend my birthdays more in reflection than celebration.

January is a very BUSY month for us. Here's hoping February remains a calm month!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

As the last day of the year, today is regarded as a day of reflection for many people. While I'm not really big into the New Year's celebration, I do enjoying have a day to look back on the ending year and muse on the prospects of the coming one.

For many people, 2010 was a difficult year that saw many downs which sometimes over-shadowed the ups. For our family, 2010 was a great year.

Some highlights:

-- The twins turned one! We survived! They've successfully learned to walk, talk, and feed themselves. :)

-- Hayden potty-trained and became a very independent three year old. :)

-- We bought the minivan. (I'm still not sure how I feel about this...)

-- I started back to school and have, so far, done very well in my classes.

-- Michael and I made the decision to get married and truly complete our family.

This year marked a very happy chapter in our lives and we are very excited about the coming year.

2011 holds many promises and adventures for our family... We can't wait!!!

Our family resolutions for 2011 will likely change as the year progresses, but for now, we have a few goals:

1. Potty-training! It will be a financially liberating day when we no longer have to buy diapers :)
2. Toddler-beds! While it breaks my heart to admit it, my babies aren't really babies anymore. Michael has been very patient with me, but he has told me I can't avoid them growing up forever.

1. Management. 2010 brought us a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for Hayden. Thankfully, most of his compulsions are things that make him an easier child: organization and hygiene are top two. His more obstrusive habits are mild and impact Michael and I more than himself. We're waiting until the first of the year to begin counseling for his disorder in hopes that it relieves his daily anxieties and makes things easier.
2. School. My sweet boy will be turning 4 years old this year which means... SCHOOL! I'm devestated.

Michael and I
1. Wedding! May 6, 2011 will be the day Michael and I exchange vows. We're very excited to celebrate our love with our family and friends.
2. Home-making. We hope to finish decorating our home this year. It's long over due.
3. Fitness. We've made the decision to become a healthier family this year and plan to join a local gym.

For me, personally, I want to better manage my time so that my school commitments interfere less with the time I need to spend with my family. I also want to be better about blogging. There are so many things that happen in our daily lives that I never want to forget and this is where I need to document them.

Until next year...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two months later...

It's been two months since my last post and I feel like I just wrote it.

Hayden turned three and the Earth did not cease rotation. I was the only one surprised by this I think. He's taken to three will quite a bit of gusto. I feel like he's a teenager already and not a day passes that I don't threaten to beat him, strangle him, or lock him in his room forever. Severe? Sure. Would I ever really do it? No. We seem to be like most other families I know where the "terrible twos" weren't really that terrible, but the threes are more than making up for it.

He is so independent it's frustrating. You go through those first few years complaining about how you can't wait until they can do (insert dreaded child-rearing activity here) for themselves. That day has come and, because they don't do it just as you want them too or as well as you would have done it, you don't want them to do for themselves. Hayden is potty trained, but due to a medical issue we've avoided teaching him to stand and pee until recently. His first solo attempt resulted in his peeing all over the bathroom wall. Gross, right? It was also rather funny, but it makes my point. He can also wash his hands on his own, but he doesn't get that you only have to do it once and not repeatedly for 30 minutes; the same goes for brushing his teeth.

The twins are stampeding into their toddler-personalities. Lucas is a yeller and screams over everything. He really may end up on the side of the road with a note reading "free to a good home" taped to him. (KIDDING... kind of) He is the most needy little drama King I've ever laid eyes on and he throws tantrums that would put a diva to shame. Cooper is more laid back and carefree; he is such a clown! I sometimes feel like I spend more time playing and laughing with Cooper than Lucas, but it's honestly because Lucas is so sensitive, it's hard to play with him because he hates not getting his way. He hates if we give attention to his brothers and if he has to wait his turn. I've said it a million times, but the child honestly thinks he should be an only child. If I sit in the floor, he instantly crawls in my lap and gets so mad if Cooper wants to be held too. Thankfully this last part is getting better. Twice in the last couple of weeks they've fallen asleep in my lap together.

The twins are really started to interact with one another. They give each other love and play peek-a-boo together. When one cries, the other comforts. When one has a really awesome toy, they fight over it. Their fights are terrifying and comical all at the same time. They hit, pinch, push, pull, and knock each other down all while screaming and crying. We've taken the stance to not interfere in these arguments unless someone is getting hurt. They have a lifetime to live together and we feel that now is the perfect time for them to learn how to work things out for themselves.

Right now, my nephews are visiting from Indiana. The dynamic has certainly changed while having five boys in the house as opposed to three. The older boys are a lot of help with the little ones, but they're still children and still disobey and talk back. I love having them here, but it's made me rethink just how many kids I really want. Michael and I have been arguing over my "insane" want of five kids. I think he may be right. Three is good. Three is great. Hayden, Cooper, and Lucas are incredible children and they really do complete our family. Maybe one day we'll have the itch and decide to add another child to our family, but right now, we couldn't be more perfect :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Three years...

Three years ago today marked the final day of my childhood. Reflecting back on these few years makes me see just how much our world has changed. Michael and I have both become very different people ( and trust me, it's for the better ). We've grown up and grown together. The journey was far from smooth sailing, but it's been the most amazing time.

I think I'm just as nervous today as I was 3 years ago. In 2007, I was anxiously awaiting the next morning, when my labor would be induced and our first born son would be welcomed into this world. Today, I'm dreading tomorrow morning, when my first born son turns 3. I don't know why, but 3 is a big number for me. I feel that it marks the end of his being a baby. I know that our future holds even greater adventures for us, but I'm sad to see my baby becoming such a big boy.

He changed us. He gave our lives meaning and filled our hearts with a love so strong it hurts. In the past three years, we have worked harder than we ever will again. We've built a family and a home. I think back to the carefree days before Hayden and I feel empty. None of it matters. None of those "fun times" compare to the fun I've had since becoming a mom.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Moments I love

I feel like time is just slipping from us and so many things in our lives are thing I never want to forget, yet I've done nothing to note them, so here I go!

We've recently fenced in our backyard which means the boys are free to roam and play as they like. Cooper as tried to eat rocks. Lucas has successfully eaten mulch. Both of the twins have taken it upon themselves to roll around in the mulch and look like swamp-babies. They think it's hilarious and, though I'll never say it out loud, so do I :)

Hayden's first time out in the fenced yard wasn't as pleasant as I had expected. He wasn't happy that he couldn't get to the drop-off and throw rocks down the hill. His solution? He tried to dig his way out under the fence. Like a dog. He didn't get far, but it's the fact of the matter. He finally opted for throwing what few rocks he could find over the back of the fence. He was so proud of himself when they went over, I think I'll fill a bucket for him next time :)

Cooper loves to find corners to crawl in. He wedges himself between the entertainment center and the wall and just sits and smiles. He is going to be like his Mama when he gets older. I'll never be able to find him. He's funny. He laughs all the time. He's happy and sweet and incredibly mischievous. He is independent and plays well on his own, but he loves to cuddle. He and Hayden get along so well. He loves crawl on top of Hayden and "pin" him. Hayden is such an awesome big brother. He lets Cooper pick and poke and crawl on him and is very gentle with him. When Hayden is told to go to his room and play (because he is SO loud) he looks at his brothers and says, "C'mere Lucas! C'mon Cooper! Let's go play." I LOVE IT!

Lucas and Cooper have been playing together more. It's quite sweet. They laugh at one another and talk in their cribs. Lucas will randomly go up to Cooper and give him hugs and kisses. It makes me melt.

Hayden is also very affectionate to his brothers lately. When they get hurt, he holds them. He will tell them "I love you my (Lucas/Cooper)". When I took Cooper away for a diaper change one day, Hayden ran after me yelling "I want my Cooper back!" So sweet.

I love our life so much. I never want to forget these days. As our boys grow and bond, it's like watching magic happen. I want to remember it forever.