Stop and smell the...

...Plumeria!!!! I bet you thought I was going to say "roses," right?? Well, this plant is in our front yard and it finally bloomed. It's gorgeous and it smells so good too. It is also reason #1 for me to smile today. After being in such a foul mood over the past few days, I woke up today with a resolve to be happy. By the way, last night at my book club, it was pointed out to me that it was a full moon, and that could have seriously been affecting my mood in addition to all the other things! I believe it! Well, here are a few other things that made me smile today...

My kids think it's really funny to get stuck in between our mattress and footboard. Jakob is big enough to get himself out, but Joshy is literally stuck. He can't get out once he's in. So this morning, I hear him calling from the other room (in a fairly calm voice I might add) "Please help me. Please help me. Mommy, please help me..." I immediately knew what he had done, and so I wasn't panicked and started to walk into the room. Brad said, "You should take a picture of that..." and so I did! It definitely made me smile and I'm glad I took a picture so that someday I can show them one of the crazy things they did when they were little.

In an effort to get out and get some sunshine and fresh air today, we went to visit Centennial Farm - a working farm located at the OC Fairgrounds. It has chickens, cows, sheep, goats, llamas, roosters, pigs, donkeys, peacocks and a horse. So the kids totally love it and I love it because it's small enough to walk around the entire thing in less than an hour and it's F-R-E-E!! This was my favorite part of our visit today. This cute little piglet (only a few weeks old) kept sticking his/her snout through the fence to sniff us. SO CUTE! How could you not smile at that?

And my last reason to smile today (so far) is that Brad's heart is healthy. He had an EKG last week and went back to follow up today and found out everything is normal. I wasn't super worried, but you know there is always that little voice in your head that says, "what if?" and you can't help but be worried. He's very happy about the results as well. We are on our way to a healthier lifestyle and to enjoying our lives more!

Thank you all for your comments/words of encouragement -- when I'm feeling crappy it is so nice to know that people understand and most of all, care about me. :)

I should only have about 4 weeks (or 3 if I am induced early) left until this baby comes...and I can hardly believe it. It really has flown by, and we are so excited. Speaking of which...I just thought of another reason to smile today. Joshy likes to look at my belly button (go figure!) and so he asked me to lift up my shirt so he could see it. So we were talking about the baby and I said, "Can you give the baby a kiss?" He bends over and blows a huge raspberry...making both of us laugh, and the baby kick! So he did it a few more times and it was so sweet. Sorry - no pics of that moment!


The Beast Within

Well, the past few days I've been very irritable. Today has definitely been the worst. I know it's a combination of anxiety/stress about baby #3 coming in a few weeks and dealing with two headstrong little men every day. I'm seriously lacking in the patience department and have been raising my voice a bit too much. Today I even stopped at a drive thru to get a Coke. COKE. I don't drink coke when I'm pregnant. Well, today I did. Now the baby is doing flips inside my belly -- STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! A fetus does not need caffeine!!!!! SHEESH. I hate hormones. I need to banish that beastly part of me...but not sure how. I know I'll be even more stressed out once the baby comes and I'm not sleeping AT ALL. I don't want my kids to have memories of being afraid of mommy because she is psycho. I know this is a depressing topic...and I've actually been avoiding posting a blog about it because it is so depressing. But not all blogs have to be happy and upbeat do they? I mean, this is real life - REAL life. Not fantasy land where everyone is happy and perfect all the time. Some days just suck and you wake up the next day and try to make it better than the last. I'm just feeling like there are so many loose ends that need to be tied up before the baby is born so that life will run smoother for us. Making a list of what needs to be done can sometimes add to the stress, but for me it actually helps me prioritize and sometimes if I leave the list lying around, Brad will see something on it that he can do and he helps out. Brad is great at helping out, and I am so lucky to have him. Ok so this is just basically rambling but that's about all I'm capable of right now. I should be trying to finish the book for this month's book club meeting tonight...but I have about 200 pages left, so I kind of feel like it's not worth trying. Well...maybe it is. It will let me escape reality for a little while. Joshy's taking a nap and Jakob is watching his "big kid" cartoons. I think it's ok to leave the TV on for an hour or two this afternoon...don't you? Maybe if I let the beast (my selfish-impatient side) have some of what it wants (ME time) then it will be quiet for a while. Let's keep our fingers crossed.


Make A Difference

Take 5 minutes and check out this short movie:


Oh, and you might want to have a kleenex handy!


The Builders of Great Cathedrals

My mom emailed this story to me...and it is to all mothers and fathers too!!!

The Builders of Great Cathedrals

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order,"Right around 5:30 , please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going ... she's going... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes ofGod saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add,"You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


Soft, velvety grass

I'm sure none of you know how pathetic our lawn is...but here are a few words to help you imagine how pathetic it is: dry, crunchy, dead, brown, matted...etc. The owners put it in before they moved out, and then I believe it wasn't watered for about 2 weeks until we moved in, at which time we started watering it every day. Then we went on vacation for 10 days to Utah, and had asked a neighbor to water it for us while we were gone. It looked like it was in OK shape when we got home from that trip, but has steadily gotten worse...and a lot of that is due to us FORGETTING to water it. Poor lawn. So...when I was looking for a new layout today and I came across this picture of SOFT, VELVETY, GREEN grass, I just couldn't resist. I love grass that is so soft you could lay in it for hours...and this picture just looks divine to me! Can you imagine laying in this soft green grass and watching those clouds roll by? I can! So if you are unfortunate enough to have really bad grass in your yard like I am, come check out my blog and imagine that you're relaxing in this sweet little piece of paradise! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do -- oh yeah, and the playlist too...just turn it off if you don't like it, or pick a different song!


Remembering 9/11

I woke up this morning and went about my usual business of feeding the kids, doing the dishes, taking a shower and then went to see my doctor. It wasn't until around 11:30am that I had a chance to get online and check my email, etc. and saw articles about 9/11. I felt almost like I did on that day -- removed and distant, because I was so oblivious.

Sept. 11, 2001 I woke up to my alarm clock set to the radio, and heard something about it but didn't listen long enough to understand what they were saying. I got out of bed and took a shower and got ready to go to class. The TV wasn't turned on, so I was still clueless as to what was happening in NYC and DC. I walked to class and the campus seemed almost deserted...I didn't really know why, but just kept on walking to my class. I walked in and sat down, and it wasn't until my friend Gina in my class turned to me with tears in her eyes that I realized something terrible was going on. Then my teacher showed up and said we were all free to go, that class was cancelled today. I still didn't know the whole story, but as we quietly walked out of our classroom we could hear the sound of a TV coming from the upstairs lobby of the building. We walked up the stairs and watched in silent horror at what was happening. Stunned, I turned to walk home...trying to process what was going on. Once I got home, I called in to work (I worked for Continental Airlines at the time) and asked if they needed any extra help before my shift. Yes, of course they did, so I got ready and headed in to work. I just remember everyone's faces being so solemn and it being so quiet -- a place that wasn't usually very quiet because everyone was on the phones, was extremely quiet. I think most of us were operating as robots and just trying to wrap our minds around the atrocity that had taken place. When I got home from work that night, our TV was on, and we all just sat for hours watching those planes crash, over and over and over again. I don't even think I cried that day...I was in too much shock.

Since that day, I've read and watched a lot of things about it, and I still cannot understand it. I cannot understand how people can have such disregard for human life.

I hope and pray that those who lost loved ones that day will be continually comforted.

I miss seeing American flags everywhere...don't you?


I know I'm "nesting" when...

...I'm down on my hands and knees cleaning baseboards! What pregnant woman in her right mind would voluntarily get down on her hands and knees to clean baseboards??? Yes, I am a crazy pregnant woman. But not for long! My doctor says he would like me to deliver at 39 weeks...that means I only have 7 weeks left until this little guy comes! WHOA NELLIE! A few weeks ago I was feeling carefree and wasn't stressed at all, thinking I had all the time in the world...and now it seems to have crept up on me! So...we finally bought a new carseat which should be delivered next week...and we have already received a gift of lots of diapers and wipes from a friend...and have purchased a few clothing items. However...I have bins of baby clothes that need to be sorted out and washed, my bag has yet to be packed, nursing bras need to be purchased, a tour of the new women's pavilion needs to be made, and I'm sure there are so many other things that I need to do...but can't think of at this moment (thank goodness!) but I'm sure will come to me later...like during one of the many times during the night that I wake up to pee. SHEESH! You know, I try not to complain because I really do feel like I am one of the lucky ones during pregnancy...I don't get too sick or uncomfortable...but the end of pregnancy SUCKS! Luckily today the weather has gotten much nicer and makes life much more enjoyable! Well...now I'm off to make dinner before Brad gets home...have to make sure the family that is here with me already is taken care of too! :)