Monday, August 30, 2010

The First Born

See this little guy? He is my first born! For those of you that do have a first born, don't need an explanation. For those of you that don't have a first born, I'll go a little deeper...

There is a lot of privilege that comes with being the first born. They get the most one on one attention, they don't have to wear hand me downs, their photo albums are over flowing, and they don't have to share their toys (unless friends are over). Being a first born is heaven on earth... Until the second born comes and their world is rocked!

There are two types of first borns, compliant and aggressive. Compliant traits are: people pleaser, craves approval, nurturers, caregivers, reliable, conscientious, cooperative, team player, and "grin and bear it" mentality. Aggressive traits are: movers and shakers, natural leader, perfectionists, driven, conventional, always has to be in control, assertive, and wants things their way. Common traits are: energetic, logical, ambitious, enterprising, scholarly.

Some days it scares me, but Isaac is definitely the aggressive type. While he does love our approval, is a big help, and is always concerned about his little brother, his non stop body, wanting everything done just right, and his "my way or the high way" attitude can't be overshadowed! I know he's only two (almost three), but now is the time to "tame the lion that is within!" Because he requires correction by the hour, I never want him to feel like he isn't good enough. Because he has been blessed with lots of toys, I never want him to be selfish of those possessions. And because he is so cute and funny, I never want him to feel like he needs to become an overachiever and begin to depend on attention from others. Instead, I want him to be confident, free to dream and plan, and feel supported.

I have a lot of first born traits so I understand when Isaac is through the roof frustrated because he can't do something, or when things are out of control and he gets overwhelmed, or when he knows exactly how he wants something done but it just isn't working.  

Now that I have completely over analyzed my child, placed him in the "first born" box, confessed that his stubbornness freaks me out, and shared what I hope for him to be and feel, this is what I have decided to do about it... Pray! Pray like I have never prayed before! I have spent way too much time worrying whether or not I'm training him right and way too much time fearing that I failed and that he will never meet his full potential. When I'm on my knees, the love and patience that I have for Isaac is amazing. It's definitely not my parenting power, but God guiding me every step of the way!

Also, Isaac has an incredible memory. So instead of having him memorize all of his Spider-man books, we've started teaching him scripture. His first verse was Psalms 119:9. "How can a young man keep his way pure. By living according to Your word." We're working on verses 10-16 now.

Isaac is a gift from God. However, he is also a gift to God! I pray that Isaac's life is glorifying to Him, the one that made my little man so perfect for me!

 First born fun facts!
More than 1/2 of the U.S. Presidents were first born children
21 of the 23 first astronauts were first born children
2/3 of entrepreneurs are first born children

Isaac's recent one liners!
"George Washington was America's first present!"
"Now that's what I call taking our the trash!"
"Princesses are for boys too!" (Cinderella being his favorite... Sorry Shaun)
"Mommy, you are lovely!"
"Follow your dreams!"
"You're lonely 'cause no one's with you!"
"Parker, I am the big brother because I poop in the potty and you poop in your diaper!"
"NO!!! I'LL DO IT!!!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My (and I guess Shaun's) Master Retreat

 Close your eyes and picture your house. Which room popped in your head first? Maybe it was your kitchen because you love to cook. Maybe it was your family room because that's where you spend most of your time playing games, watching movies, and relaxing on the couch. Or could it be your child's bedroom because you spent hours and hours setting up the crib and dresser, painting, and then sitting in the glider rubbing your belly, just waiting for your little bundle of joy to arrive!? Ooooor, maybe you have a messy room that is in dire need of a deep clean but you keep trying to forget about it (sorry for the reminder).

If someone had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have pictured our master bedroom because it needed the most help. It was cluttered, mismatched, and the dumping ground for the rest of the house. I've always wanted a relaxing, peaceful, spa-like retreat for a master bedroom. A place where I can walk in and not feel anxious or suffocated by "stuff."

Moving to a new house was a perfect way to start over and create the space I was longing for. I vowed that, "If it's not being used by me (or Shaun), then it's not going in my suite!" I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted so I set out to find an inspirational piece! The vase above is what I came home with. I set it on the counter and told Shaun that we were going to design our bedroom around this... He laughed at me! I knew it was possible though. They do it all the time on HGTV. I pulled out pieces that I did have and then a few days before moving, my mom and I went shopping. JACK POT!!! I found the rest of the pieces to the puzzle! Bedding, pillows, curtains, picture frames, lamps, rugs, etc. (Yes, seems expensive but there are three things that made this possible. 1.) I never buy full price items... I shop at the cheap stores. Everything came from Ross, Marshalls, Burlington, Big Lots, K-Mart, Kohls, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Tuesday Morning. 2.) We have been saving since we bought the house in February. 3.) My mom purchased some items and told me Merry Christmas). We ended up customizing the wall color to the pillows. When I showed Shaun the color he said no... But I knew he would so I was prepared. I had TiVoed an HGTV program where they had painted the master bedroom walls a color similar to the one I wanted. When Shaun was able to see the whole room put together, he was totally up for it! :)

I am loving my new master retreat and can't wait for the bathroom to be completed so I can light some candles and soak in a bath full of bubbles!

Some of the pieces I have collected and placed in my peaceful get away!

The first day... Just to remind you what I was working with. EEK!

Taken the other night after Shaun put the curtains up! Ahhhh!!!

EEK again! Major wallpaper... It was pretty though!

Ahhhh again!
Baseboards and crown molding will complete the space... I'll never want to leave!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chunky Monkey - 9 Months

Parker's 9 months came and went without me even realizing it! I truly thought the 18th was only the 17th! On the 18th someone even asked me how old he was and I told them that he was almost 9 months! Terrible of me... Just terrible! This little man has brought so much joy to our lives. I am loving the baby stage this time around and am sad when a milestone is reached. If I could be guaranteed more sleep, I would keep Parker this age forever!

Today's stats:
Height is 30 inches (92 percentile)
Weight is 23.3 lbs (87 percentile)

Accomplishments to date:
Parker claps his hands when he's excited, waves when he wants praise, shakes his head when you ask him to, screams when you change his diaper or put clothes on him, cries when mommy walks away (a talent that breaks my heart every time), plays peek-a-boo with big brother, sleeps through the night (if coming into bed with us early in the morning doesn't count), and finally, crawls with his tummy OFF the floor. Man I thought he was never going to stop that snake-like army crawl! It was just one day that he decided that he was going to push all his chunky monkey belly weight off the ground and show us that he has some incredibly strong guns! ;)
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Forever After

Last week we decided to take a break from house stuff and enjoy a family outing to see the 4th Shrek movie. It was Isaac's (and of course Parker's) first theater experience. Our $2 theater was the perfect place to test out this new adventure. Isaac and Parker were free so we only had to pay $4. Finally, something cheap!!! I was hoping to be there early so that Isaac could take it all in and I could take pictures before the movie started and not annoy anyone else watching, but that didn't happen. We were late... So, Isaac had to be carried in because it was dark and I just had to take pictures during the movie! We caught the end of the last preview and it actually turned out to be a good thing because it was super loud and it scared both boys. They both did really well. Parker was chill because he hadn't had his afternoon nap and Isaac was chill because he did have his nap! Amazing how that works!

Isaac's eyes were glued to the big screen... He eventually loosened up, enjoyed some popcorn, and (fake) laughed as hard as he could at the funny (and not so funny) parts in the movie.

Parker was in a daze just taking it all in...

About 2/3 of the way through the movie, Isaac got up and went over to the wall (we sat on the side) and did this. He then began to try and climb the wall. He is in a huge super hero stage and so this day he happened to be Spiderman! Notice the Spiderman eye stickers up his arm!? Funny that he's never even seen Spiderman... Those "cartoons" are just too scary and not meant for two year olds!

We finally got him back in his seat... But that didn't stop him from spinning webs at the movie. He was helping Shrek get the bad witches. Oh, and you don't want to make him mad (like splashing him in the pool) 'cause he'll spin a web at you! Wow, to have his imagination!
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Loft (aka: Play room)

Hope you're ready for this... The house posts will start to get interesting... Or should I say scary!?! Here is a glimps at one of our wallpaper rooms. We still have to tackle the wallpaper in the master and downstairs bathroom. I feel like more should be done but the outside has demanded so much attention, which has left the inside unfinished.

Before (taken from the master bedroom just as you come up the stairs)

After (kinda... Still need to do baseboards)
Before (taken from the bathroom)

After (need storage)!

Before (this picture was taken from the boy's room. Our bedroom is the first door on the right. Then it's the linen closet, the bathroom, and the guest room).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Before and after

So we're still bummin' the internet off the neighbors. Not sure what neighbors but that's probably a good thing 'cause I'd like to tell them that they need to speed it up... Way too slow. We won't be set to go 'til Thursday now! I feel so behind and wonder if I'll ever catch up!? These random, little posts aren't good enough! Oh well, I guess that's just life!

Shaun spent yesterday putting in the grass. Maybe he can help me on the inside now!?!

Before: This is what we woke up to...

During: The "during" part was an all day process! Shaun was glad when his bro got there to help!

Before at day one... After at day 17!

Bonus pictures!!!
Kitchen before: Lots of sticky, ooie gooie, white grossness

Kitchen after: Lots of cleaning products, paint, and new appliances! Awww!

Posts to come:
Shaun's Mexico trip
Isaac and Parker's first movie theater experience
House stuff ('cause it's endless)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quick picture update!

 I'm sitting on our swing in the back yard, stealing our neighbor's internet 'cause ours is not scheduled to be connected til Tuesday. Not being able to blog and read other blogs is killing me! I didn't know that this would work so I only have a few pictures to share. I'll work on posting more before and after photos soon. Until then...

Before (the entire wall to the left was wallpaper)

After (well, we still need baseboards and to hang the curtains)

Part of the front yard before and during. My dad spent nine days on this darn yard!

This is what it currently looks like! Sod comes tomorrow! Soon we'll have grass!!!
Parker is getting really good at the stairs. I made them go up halfway and turn for a picture!

Parker has six teeth... Definitely working on more though!

Isaac loves all his new friends... Or is it the quads and jeeps that he likes!?! The neighbors to the right have three boys and the neighbors to the left have six kids!

Mummu left today... She was here for 17 days. We of course treated her to a pedicure and massage before she left!

Shaun is back from Mexico and man oh man were we all glad to see him!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mixed emotions

I have a gazillon thoughts and feelings that I want to share, but they all seem to still be boxed up and lost somewhere in the garage. I guess that's good though because we still don't have internet and I am sitting at Starbucks, tired and ready for my bed. This has been such a draining, yet, in the long run, rewarding week! All that we have been working towards for the past two years is now complete. But why am I struggling to find joy and jump up and down in excitement? Maybe because it hasn't set in, I'm exhausted, and I'm still trying to make our new, unfamiliar house a home. Last night I found myself longing for the comforts of our old house.

The greatest struggle came when I dropped Shaun off at church yesterday. I broke down crying. He is now in Mexico (five hour plane ride southeast) for the next week. This timing of moving and him leaving happened for a reason so I am trying to put my trust in God's timing, not my own. I'm thrilled that he got to go and that we have a new house, but I'm sad that we're not starting this new beginning together. He's not here to see the boys experience some of their first adventures in their new room and I'm left to sleep by myself. I just want to freeze everything 'til he gets back. We'll continue to press on though...

My parents are still here so the adult company is welcoming. They have done wonders in helping us transform our new space. My mom has worked her magic on the inside and my dad has worked his on the outside! I'll also be getting together with the wives of the men that went on the trip. It's nice to know that I'm not alone. I'm working on before and after pictures so I'll try and share them at my next coffee run!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 2, 3, and 4

So I am sitting outside our local coffee shop just so I can blog about our last three days. I am outside because the coffee shop is closed, our "old" house no longer has internet, and our "new" house doesn't get carpeted 'til tomorrow morning so we aren't there yet! Anyway, the bugs are coming and I'm hoping my lap top doesn't die so I may have to make this quick and sloppy!

Day 2:
We continued to clean, paint, and rip down wall paper...

The wonderful graffiti down my hall thanks to my crazy brother and sisters in law! :)

Isaac got to start painting his room. He used a brush but Parker was more than willing to just use his giraffe!

Isaac continued to work by tearing down wall paper in the master bathroom... Yes, that is the nasty carpet that still has to go!

The boys got to take their first bath in their new house... Thanks to my mom scrubbing the heck out of it!

Day 3:
The day was mostly filled with painting...
First family picture in the new house. This is real life ladies and gentlemen!

The boys sharing some fun times in the bed we borrowed for nap times!

Day 4:
This was moving day. My mom, the boys, and I were stranded at the old house all day because Shaun packed up the strollers and dumped them off at the new house. He took the truck which had the car seats too. He was back and forth all day but always seemed to show up when one of the boys was sleeping. Alex Bumpus was a huge help today too. I didn't get his picture though. You can see what he looks like by clicking here. Isaac followed him all over the house, talking his ear off. After Alex left, Isaac kept asking, "Where did my friend go?" This is our last night in the old house so all that is left are the mattresses and random stuff that's always thrown in last minute! I'm not looking forward to seeing our new three car garage that is packed FULL of boxes and furniture!

The living room... Mostly empty!

The boys room... Empty!

Isaac wanted Parker in the picture too!

The master bedroom... Empty!

This was how we ate today. On little chairs in the kitchen or the living room!

Parker enjoying dinner. Isaac took the picture... Not bad! He's becoming quite the photographer!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What a day...

Day one, done! I am so tired! The day was spent cleaning, taking down wall paper, ripping out carpet, painting, getting everything out of storage, putting in appliances, and tearing out the dead grass, trees, and bushes, all while keeping two little boys happy and many adults hydrated! Good night!

Courtney, Isaac, and ME
Isaac loved painting! Good thing the carpet is going so I didn't have to worry about spills.

Parker did so well today. He played, napped, and watched the craziness!

It was a long day so Isaac needed a break!

Ammah and Isaac
There was tons of wall paper to be taken down.

Matthew, Shaun, and Mike Schwecke
Taking out the old appliances and putting in new ones.
Adriana Gomez
Wow! What a friend this pretty little lady is! Her precious little girl is due to arrive at the end of the month and she was still up to taking wall paper down!

Mummu and Isaac
My mom spent the whole day in the kitchen. It was beyond gross! Every square inch needed to be scrubbed!

Matt Gomez and Shaun
Taking out the carpet downstairs and prepping it to be tiled... Someday!

Matthew pulling the tree out while Shaun and Mike supervise!
Can you see how dead and gross our grass is? Our property line is quite obvious.

My dad was outside the ENTIRE day. He did so much HARD work! Not bad for an old guy! :)
(I'm not showing the before pictures of the yard because it's really that bad. We had neighbors all day coming over and asking if we needed anything. They are thrilled that the ugliest house on the block has new management!)