I'm not sure if I have mentioned this but if you know me in real life you've probably heard me fusswhine discuss that Ben and I have been working our way through the Beach Body Insanity Work-out Program after the boys go to bed. It's a 2 month cardio/strength training series that has effectively taken us about 8 weeks just to get through the first half(we DID start the program right before Thanksgiving AND ALSO moved in that time so we had to restart a few of the weeks a time or two). Well, we've started the 2nd month and if we stay on track we'll wrap it up around mid February. I'll post before and after pics once we've finished the program (and if I can build up the nerve to post awful pictures of my paunchy postpartum body on the world wide for anyone to see). We'll see. I haven't lost any real weight but I've definitely toned up and built up cardio strength and Ben looks GREAT! Also, it's been a great "Team Building" exercise for Ben and I because neither of us would work this hard without the other.
We did get a little snow earlier in the month and Declan thoroughly enjoyed it. It is so nice to have a back yard for him to run around in! I loved letting him play until he wore himself out!
Declan and Aengus received a red wagon from Nana and Poppy for Christmas and...
well, I think the pictures will explain it better than any words I can come up with...
Obviously, Declan is pretty obsessed with the red wagon. He talks about it all the time and it has stolen the #1 spot for "most awesome activity" from playing in the "Rump-USSSSS!! RUMPUS ROOM!". He is very particular, though. He wants the handle of the wagon to be within reach from inside the wagon at all times. It's pretty awesome.
Aengus has learned to say "Mama!" and it is Amamamamaazing! Declan said "Dadda" for about 6 or more months before bothering to call after me so I guess it's only fair. Aengus is also learning the meaning of friendship and has 2 best friends besides his big bro.
(Sweet Georgia Brown... our beloved boxer and Aengus' snuggle buddy BIG TIME)
(Baby C... They crawl around and laugh at each other. It's about the sweetest thing you've ever seen)
(Baby C's big bro is Declan's best bud. Declan hollers "Mon How-wee!"and Toddler H is there.)
Anyway, so that's what we've got! I hope that makes up for the last bummer post. If that doesn't than this should...
I have a confession. It's one that many of you may find somewhat unsettling. Maybe even highly disturbing. Declan, on the other hand, will find it VERY embarrassing in about 10 years. Naturally, I'm going to spill it. Ready? Here goes...
If Declan can say your name, chances are that we discuss your potty habits in depth and on a daily basis.
"Elmo uses big boy potty? Yes? Big Bird? Yes?"
"And Nana and Poppy, Stella and Georgia..."
"Grandaddy, Uncle Kip, Micah, Aunt Suz!?!?! Yeah, deh go bigboy potty."
Creepy as this may be, the good news is two-fold. Part 1: It's been decided that you guys are all pretty awesome at using the big boy potty. You should be sure that someone gives you your treat every time. It's a big deal guys. Seriously, those skittles are just gonna go to waste. You gotta get what's yours! Part 2: If you get mentioned on the potty list, you also get lots of turns on the bedtime prayer list.
As you may have gathered, the Halley's Comet of potty training interest has, yet again, swung by our house and we are determined not to undermine our own efforts this time. This has made for some real breakthroughs. He's telling us every now and then if he needs to go potty. He's also choosing to wear "big boy underpants" more than "baby diapers". I'm pretty stoked. We still put him in "baby diapers" for naps and bedtime, though.
The whole point of telling you this is to lay the groundwork for the following tale of nap time adventures...
Yesterday, Declan needed to potty before lunch so we went and it was successful. He decided he wanted to wear his "big boy underpants" (cotton training pants with firetrucks on them. You know, officially licensed and issued to/for all "big boys". ) and actually kept them dry through lunch. After lunch we tried to potty one more time(unsuccessfully) and then went back into our "baby diaper" and big boy clothes for nap. About 45 minutes into nap I hear an unusual sound coming from his room. I peek in only to find...
"Where are his clothes?" you ask. Why, in a pile on the floor, of course. His diaper, dry as a bone next to a puddle of something better left in a potty(thanks to Ben for putting down modular garage flooring so it just wipes right up).
The day before a similar scenario played out but ended up with a pile of something more... substantial (I didn't get a picture yesterday, though, I was too busy cleaning) and then he ran past me (completely naked) into the kitchen, grabbed Aengus' rice cereal from the pantry and proceeded to shake it out all over the kitchen floor, making a "snow angel". He then climbed into the fire place and rolled around in soot. Naturally, Ben chose that moment to walk through the door as I was running from one disaster to the next.
I'm choosing to look at this "Strip naked during nap and pee on the floor" business as a sign that he wants to keep his undies clean. Yes? No? Maybe? Also, as dear friend Heather put it,"You'll need several rehearsal dinners for all the dirt you got on that kid". I think she's right.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was really kicking myself the first half of December for trying to organize(Who? Me?! Shouldn't we hire an adult to handle this for us? Oh, right... Crap! ) a move during the Christmas season. It was a crazy month, indeed, and that's without even counting Christmas.
We moved on December 16th, the same day as Ben's sweet Grandma passed away. Our first week here in Johnson City, TN was spent in a haze of grief, packing peanuts and christmas paper. We are so incredibly grateful to be here, though. It was a stressful week but we kept our heads down and plowed on through. Can I just say how nice it is to be so close to family that you can see your cousins every day if you'd like? It's a blessing.
We finished our Christmas shopping up on the morning of the 23rd(I HATE not being completely done and wrapped before then but with the move, what could we do really? ), I locked myself in our bedroom with all the Christmas paper and a glass of wine and I didn't come out until everything was wrapped. Then, our dear friends, The Champneys, mercifully had us all over for dinner. It was delicious and fantastic! They have 4 littles and their two youngest are boys and are very close in age to our boys. It makes for some good times. It was there that we discovered that this one :
...had his own ideas about what constitutes "Busy". AS IF a big move, a funeral, lots of Gramma/Nana time and Christmas were not enough, Aengus decided that he would go ahead and learn to crawl AND ALSO cut 2 teeth (and alsonotsleepmorethan30minutesATaTIME!!! No, I'm not bitter. I'm just exhausted, y'all!) I thought I had at least another month. Seems to be taking after Declan.
Speaking of Declan, the kid is STILL talking about Santa Clause, Jingle Bells and the Angels watching "Baby DEEESUS!... ALL TRU DUH NIIIIIIIIGHT!!!" He had a great Christmas! Here's some pics from Christmas:
I've been meaning to write this post but really didn't know where/ how to start (I guess that's what happens when we procrastinate... not that I would ever do that). December was, in fact, a bittersweet whirlwind of activity. The first half of the month I spent cursing myself for trying to move house during the Christmas season. The second half I spent a little shell-shocked.
Being that I'm not sure where to start, I'm just going to dive right in. Forgive me if I fall short. Around my birthday, Ben's lovely and amazing grandmother, Mamaw Durnin (or "Grandma" as Ben and his brothers and sister call her)went into the hospital for a medical procedure from which she couldn't quite recover from. She left the hospital on hospice during our last week in Lynchburg. Ben and I prayed for a miracle since we would be closer in just a few short days but it was not meant to be. She passed away just as we were driving out of Lynchburg on our way to Johnson City.
At this point, I need to stop and tell you a little bit about this extraordinary woman. She birthed 9 beautiful children. She lost her first son when he was about 5 (a pain I cannot begin to fathom nor do I want to.). She carried on. The family didn't have a car until nearly all the children were grown. Can you EVEN imagine grocery shopping with THAT many children and public transportation? (I can't shop with 2 and I HAVE a car)Amazing.
Not to mention, she had 21 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and she knew EVERYONE'S name, remembered EVERYONE's birthday(even lowly granddaughter-in-laws)... and she had Christmas presents wrapped for all of her great grand babies before she even left for the hospital. How on EARTH she ever did it, I'll never know. I'm blessed to have even known her for the brief time that I did.
There was so much more to her life(CHOCOLATE!!!) and spirit(clever poems hidden all over the house, anyone?) than I could ever do justice. I guess this is a post better written by someone else but I'm manning the blog until someone volunteers to guest post about Mamaw/Grandma. I know we'll see her again and it's my wish that anyone without the opportunity to meet her on this side will get to know her on the other side.