July 20, 2011

Twins.... and all that that entails

I have always wanted twins.  I just think it would be so neat to have twins and watch them grow up and interact with each other.  Yea, it would be challenging, especially in the early days, as a parent, but I think it would totally be worth it.  Well, I'm very excited because - well, wait.  Let me start at the beginning.

So a year ago while I was in Ghana I was doing some serious questioning and answering with God.  The biggest questions I had for him: "Why do I feel like I'm done teaching, when I've known my entire life that I wanted to be a teacher? " and " Why do I feel like I'm not where I'm going to end up, when I thought for sure I'd retire at this school?"  While, I haven't gotten a complete answer (well, I shouldn't say that...) I haven't heard a complete answer from God yet, He's definitely been giving me glimpses of my/our family's future.  (And I pretty much love that, by the way)  I really felt God calling me to be a missionary, overseas, full time.  When I felt God telling me this, I wasn't at all surprised.  I've always loved, loved, loved missions.  But I was a little hesitant in believing it was His plan for me, and not just my wishfull thinking.  So when I got home from Ghana I told Bill and his reply was, "Yea, I got that from Him a long time ago."  Sooooo... turns out it is God telling me that we're going to be missionaries.  :)  (How I love it when stuff like this happens - when Bill & I hear the same thing from God on separate occasions/timelines and then put it together- it's just so awesome!)
So anyway, that was partially an answer to my Big Question (about teaching) - that's why I didn't 'feel it' anymore in the classroom.  I was feeling a disconnect, unsettled... it was God getting me ready for the Next Big Thing.  Let me tell you just how hard it was to go back to school the following fall.  Knowing that it wasn't my 'end result' but still having to trudge through the daily grind was so. stinkin'. hard.  BUT, I knew God knew what He was doing, so I tried my darndest to slap a smile on my face and prepare myself for the school year, knowing that it was where I was supposed to be for now. When we found out we were pregnant right before school started, we were so excited... and I was excited doubly because that meant I got maternity leave for the last third of the school year :)  As the pregnancy progressed the new question was: "Go back to school, or stay home with the baby?"  This was an answer that was resoundingly clear - I was not supposed to go back to school.  I knew without a doubt that this was my transitioning point, a good, smooth transition from my season in the classroom, to this new (and very exciting) season of parenthood.  But I also knew that my income paid the mortgage, plus a few other 'big' bills we had.  So I knew I couldn't just stay at home.  I knew that come August, I would need a job. 
So I fell totally in love with our little one and we got into our routine and I (surprisingly) LOVE being a stay at home mom!  I never thought I would like it, I always thought I'd go stir crazy and want to work, but I don't!  I could stay home and play with this little boy all. day. long.  BUT.  That won't pay the bills.  So a couple months ago (when I realized August was quickly approaching and I had NO idea what I wasn't going to do for a job) I started job hunting.  One word: ICK. 
I got on a mommy networking site and prowled the postings every day for jobs that would work for me.  Nannying, work from home online, anything that I thought I could do.  I e-mailed about a couple of the nanny positions - to no avail.  I checked into working online from home and we just don't have the system to support it.  So then I was on Facebook and saw a friend from church post about this Homeschool Academy that's new in our area.  I checked it out just to see what it was all about and saw they were hiring.  It's basically an a la carte option for parents that homeschool their kids.  There are classes throughout the week that parents can put their kids in if, for example, they don't feel comfortable teaching their 5th grader history, they can sign her up for a history class that meets twice a week for an hour.  Anyway, so I e-mailed the founder and asked about the job.  I was sure to let her know I was NOT looking for a full-time teaching position (that's what I just got out of!) but that I was looking for a job that could be flexible with my need to take care of my little one.  She e-mailed me back and asked to meet with me.  At the meeting she pretty much handed me a teaching position on a silver platter.  It was the perfect job.  Part time (two days a week, 8 hours total).  Awesome pay, I mean really awesome.  Literally 8 minutes away from my house.  Teaching in a small classroom (max of 10 kids).  Heck, she even told me I could bring Owen along if I couldn't find childcare and that I could put him in the childcare there or just have him in the classroom with me.  This job offer was GOOD.  With a capital G!  So why couldn't I take it right then and there?  Why couldn't I find someone that could watch Owen while I worked?  Even when I stepped outside my comfort zone and asked two people I had never met to watch him? (don't worry, they were recommended by a friend).  I just didn't feel a peace about this job.  I wasn't too keen on having to teach again, lesson plans, pacing guides, this was what I just got out of.  It was probably the hardest thing I had to do, but I told her I couldn't take the position.  OHMYGOSH did I just turn down a job that paid THAT well for only working part time!??!?!  What in the world was I thinking!?  So I told God, (and He probably laughed when He heard me) "Okay, if I'm not supposed to do this, then I'm gonna go ahead and just let YOU find me a job that is better, because I'm not sure I can find another job that's better than the one I just turned down."
And that was it.  I stopped prowling the message boards looking for jobs.  I stopped stressing out about it.  I just rested in the peace that told me God had our backs.  I mean, He's never let us down before - gosh, He has gone above and BEYOND this summer in providing for us - it's UNREAL!
So one Sunday in church Pastor Troy was preaching about wisdom when he said something that made perfect sense - "Just because it's GOOD, doesn't mean it's GOD.  We've got to have the wisdom (and ask for the wisdom) to know the difference."  That was it.  That teaching job was GOOD, but it wasn't GOD, and that's why I didn't feel a peace about it, that's why I couldn't take the job. 

So nearly two weeks after saying 'no' to what I thought was the perfect job, I get a Facebook message from one of my teacher friends, saying she knows someone that needs childcare for her little boy.  I met with the lady (whom I had never met before, it was only through a friend of a friend that we knew each other) and her boy on the 4th of July.  We talked for about an hour and at the end of the hour it was decided that I'd take care of her little one 5 days a week while she went to work... as a teacher in CMS.  I knew that not only was this GOOD, but it was GOD.  Why else would a stranger trust me to watch her little one?  Why else would I even have met this lady?  Why else would she live only 10 minutes away from us?  Why else would she be a teacher herself?  Why else would her little boy be only 1 week older than Owen?  Why else would I make almost the same amount of money I would have made at that 'perfect' job I turned down... all while being able to stay home with my Owen all day?  I'm pretty sure no one could have orchestrated that... no one but God!

So I'm excited to say... by the end of August I will know what it's like to have TWINS! Our little boys are only five days apart and I'm so excited to see them interact and grow up with each other!  How awesome is it that I've gotten all this one on one time with Owen the first (will be) four months, but that now he gets to have a best buddy, a play mate?  I'm excited that he will have someone to play with, so when we do have another child, the transition should be easier for him.  And who knows... maybe this is God preparing us for the Next. Big. Thing.  Whatever His plan is, I'm game.  His is the only plan that I want to follow and I'm excited to see where this new chapter in our lives will lead us. 

Oh, and because no post is complete without a picture... he's a recent one of my cutie pie. :)

July 09, 2011

some things

Here are some things that have been going on lately:
Owen had his first 4th of July! We dressed him up in a cute little outfit we got from a friend at church - it was perfect for the holiday!

After church was nap time....
Then we packed up and headed to the US National Whitewater Center for the 4th of July festivities. We've been to the USNWC before for Whitewater rafting and other such fun - we LOVE the place! And I must say walking through the entrance again made me want to hop on one of those boats so bad! Here's a couple photos from our last trip.

Anyway, we got there around 7, so we just walked around with Owen in the stroller and hung out while we waited for the sun to go down and the fireworks to start. 
 We did a change into PJ's for Owen as it got later so it'd be an easy transfer to bed when we got home, and afterward I was sitting on those rocks holding him and he fell asleep.  :)  So sweet, with all the bajillion people around, the live band and everything, he was knocked out.
Luckily he woke up before the fireworks started.  I didn't get any pics of the fireworks, or of his expressions watching them because I was too busy holding his head to my chest and covering his ear with my other hand :)  But he LOVED them!  The noise didn't bother him at all - he never even flinched!  He was doing such a great job following and tracking the fireworks in the sky... his eyes would get real big for the bigger brighter ones, it was very cute to watch!
So overall we had a great 4th of July - even though we did the festivities on the 3rd :)

Other things:
Owen has been reaching for and grabbing things lately!  It takes a LOT of concentration and sometimes a little help from us to actually grab something hard - like the rattle in the picture - but he's doing really great at grabbing on to softer things like his blanket or puppy dog!
He's also really into sitting up these days.  He can't sit up on his own yet of course, but he loves sitting up while we hold his back or by leaning into the corner of the couch.  He's just getting to be such a big boy!
He's been doing great with his head control lately too.  He has a hard time looking up still, but he does great at holding it steady straight forward!
Standing up is one of his 'likes' too.  We are so amazed at how strong his legs are!  When we hold him up so he can stand, we're only balancing him, he's holding up all his weight (all 14 pounds!) on his own!
He's becoming a mover and a shaker!  When he's laying down on his back his arms and legs are going a million miles a minute!  Notice the blur that is his hand in this photo!  It's so cute to watch... and is the cause of many towels sopping wet during bath time :)  The past few baths he's been drenching us pretty good with all his splashing!

He's also learning to fistbump :)  He holds his fist out a lot so we've been teaching him how to fist bump then blow it up... he doesn't get the blow it up part yet  :)   
Sometimes he puts both of them up and it looks like he's driving a motorcycle so we make the sound effects for him and he smiles :)

Drool has been pouring out of the little one's mouth lately too!  Not quite as bad as a teething child, but his salivary glads are maturing and causing lots of spit bubbles and drool bombs! :)  Can you see them in these pics?
And the last thing, that I can think of to mention, is the war we have going on.  It's the Paci VS the Fingers.  Sometimes the paci wins... but sometimes the fingers do.  He's become pretty adamant at times about sucking on his fingers.  He can get 'em in there now and he just goes to town... drool pouring everywhere and very loud sucking noises to boot.  
Sometimes if we swap out the paci for the fingers he's okay with it, but if he's not tired, and he's just sucking to suck - he usually prefers his fingers. Oh, and now that I'm thinking about it (it kind of goes hand-in-hand) he's been snuggling things lately when he sucks his fingers (or has his paci) like a blanket, or his puppy dog.  It's so flippin' cute!
Whew, yea, that was a lot.  This little one is growing and changing by the minute!  I am so blessed that I get to stay home with him all day to see these little things and to capture them on camera!  I love being a momma!