How in the world did this happen?!?!?!

Well, it happened. I put my sweet little Jonathan to bed as a one year old baby and he woke up as a two year old toddler. (Insert long dramatic sigh here…) I really tried to stop him, I swear that I did, but he went and turned on my anyway. They always do. I have tried with each kid to stop this or at least to slow it down, but it hasn’t worked yet. In fact the opposite seems to be happening. They get bigger faster now, like warp speed or something.

This birthday has been pretty rough for me. Actually, all of Jonathan’s milestones are hard for me. I guess that it’s because I know for sure that he is THE baby. Each time that he learns something new, I know that it is the LAST time that I will watch one of my kids learn this or do that for the first time. He is my last of firsts. I think back to his first year, his sweet cuddly baby year. He was been such a sweet baby, always smiling and happy. This past year has been the year of the comedian. He is funny. This kid cracks us all up and he knows it. He loves to be the center of attention (and he always is!) and will look to make sure that everyone is watching him to see how funny and cute he is. He is the quintessential youngest child. He has all of us wrapped around his very tiny finger. He knows how to work a pout or an “owie” to get maximum pity. He will walk up to his very big brother Jake and say “Owie!” while pointing to a random body part. A body part that is more than likely perfectly fine. And he knows that without a doubt Jake will pick him and hug him and baby him a little bit. I find it very entertaining, but I don’t laugh out loud. I know better. Trust me, I am right at the heart of his fan club. 
He is 100% all boy! When I was talking to Brian about what to get him for his birthday, Brian said, “He likes cars and guys and balls. Anything boy!” That is the truth! He is always carrying around at least 3 or four or eight action figures or cars. He loves any kind of ball, basketball, football, soccerball, baseball. It doesn’t matter what kind. He loves them all equally! If he can pick it up or throw it or kick it, he wants it. He loves to do whatever the big boys are doing, so naturally sports are big with him. He is talking like crazy now. He is speaking in sentences and knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. Today I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. His answer? “Yes peez Mommy!” He wants it all! 
We had a small family party for him tonight, just with us. (The big party with grandparents and aunts and uncles and  cousins will be a joint one with Jake next month.) I  decided on “Teetza!” (aka pizza) for his birthday dinner because it is one of his favorites. He was very happy and kept clapping and cheering “Yay teetza!” I think that it was a good choice. I also picked up some cupcakes and ice cream. Another huge success. Although it’s not that hard to impress him, he is only 2! 
I asked him which cupcake he wanted and he said, “Yes!” and grabbed both of them! Oh well, they were mini and it IS his birthday!

As is our tradition, we always give the kids their presents on their actual birthday. I had a hard time deciding what to get him. We have pretty much every version of every kid toy ever made. He loves cars and guys, but we have a million matchbox cars and 2 million action figures. I went up and down every aisle in Walmart and then I found it. The holy grail for a 2 year old boy…A Lightning McQueen car that he can ride and it makes noise. I called Brian and asked him what he thought. He is such a smart daddy!  After years of parenting he is so very wise. He said, “Hon, if it is loud and annoying and possibly destructive, he will love it!” Well folks, we have a winner. He can ride it and crash into things and it makes noise and will probably drive me crazy in about 10 minutes. But he loved it!!

He kept trying to put his “keys” in the ignition. He spent all evening driving around his new “KaQueen” car. He was not a fan of sharing. Aiden was dying to try it out, but Jonathan wasn’t having it. 

 His name, Jonathan, means God is gracious. And He has been very gracious by blessing us with this little guy! He brings us so much joy and happiness. I cannot imagine our lives without him. I guess that part of the deal is that he is going to keep growing (sigh). I guess that I need to keep growing too. Maybe it will get a little bit easier. (Stop laughing! A mom can dream can’t she?!) We love you Peezy!!

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Sniffles and Silver

We have been battling the flu/cold/sinus/croup yuck thing around here since Wednesday. I am over it. I am no dummy. This is not my first trip to the rodeo. I am the mom of a “mega-family” and we do things big here, including sickness. Sooo a cold or flu in a regular family might take a couple of days or even a week to run it’s course. That is usually not the case here. By the time kid A and usually kid B are feeling better, kids C & D are starting up only to be followed by kids E,F,G,H and I. Throw in a husband and inevitably me, and you have sickness Hough-style. You are looking at a minimum of 2 weeks on lockdown. Fingers crossed, hands folded and a lot of Lysol and Clorox wipes to get through. Yuck, yuck yuck!!

But part of my Lenten challenge that I have given to myself is to be less negative and to seek for the good in all things. I know that it sounds kind of cheesy, but I need to refocus. So often I find myself being pulled down by the negative. I am easily sucked into badness which makes for a crabby mom. Not who I want to be.  I need to look for the happy and good or at least something beyond the bad. It might not always be apparent right away. In fact it usually takes a little bit of time and distance, but it’s still there, the silver lining if you will.

So, in my search for the silver lining, I was drowning in kleenexes and lysol. I was starting to feel sorry for myself. Poor mommy, stuck at home with the little sickies. Wah, wah. And then I looked at Jonathan who was, for the first time all day, content. We were snuggled in the recliner under my big warm fleece blanket slowly rocking. He was sucking his fingers and I could feel his breathing slow down. I glanced down and he was sound asleep. I leaned down and kissed his soft fuzzy head, inhaling the scent of vicks. Here was the silver lining. My rambunctious, active, soon-to-be 2 year old hasn’t sat down for more than 30 seconds in months and here he was snuggled in my arms, sound asleep. Ahhh, my baby was still a baby, at least for a few minutes and I was going to enjoy every second of it.

After a good night sleep, he is feeling better. He is still running a fever and sounds terrible and his nose…ugh, his nose is reminding me of a snot fountain. (Sorry, it’s gross, I know. But I speak only the truth!) He is, however running around with Aiden and Noah. He is fully armed with a nerf gun and a backpack full of “guys.” I have had to chase him and pin him down to wipe his nose. Another silver lining, returning health. Prayers for the end of this sickness, but either way, I’m going to look for the silver in the snuggles and the cuddles. A mom can’t ask for anything more than that!

Random Ramblings…

This is one of those days that I feel a blog coming on. I am not quite sure what to write, but something is brewing, so I’ll just type until it comes to me. That is my warped weirdo way.  So…hmm…It is one of those days that is just humming along. Do you know what I mean? I woke up, showered and got dressed. I headed to the amish store to restock our snack basket, which is never full in this house full of vultures. I swear that my kids can smell a snack a mile away. They swarm and surround the bags of groceries and then they attack. Nothing left but some empty boxes and a few stray wrappers. Anyway, once I got home I started some homemade soup for dinner and baked some chocolate chip cookies. Gluten, dairy, corn free for me and delicious buttery, chewy, wheaty fabulousness for everyone else. I made the mistake of tasting the cookie dough for my sad faux cookies. It tasted like a combination of feet and butt. Please believe that I have never actually tasted feet or butt, I am just guessing. But seriously, it was not good…at all. But I am committed to trying to live this new wheat, corn and dairy free existence, so I persevered.  I have to admit that it was with more than a tiny bit of trepidation that I tasted the final product. I must say it was quite tasty! I actually liked it. I liked it even more with a cup of cinnamon sugar cookie coffee with vanilla soy milk. Yummo! I think that I can actually, possibly, just maybe deal with eating differently. I have to admit that since cutting out the above mentioned things, I really do feel better. I am way less puffy and bloated. And at the risk of sounding like I am 100, my joints feel better than they have in years. Now to get back into exercising mode. I know that everyone says that they have so much more energy after they exercise. I am pretty sure that they lie. Ever since I had my surgery back in September, I am just exhausted. I am talking can’t drag myself up off the couch without making a committed effort and counting to three and taking a deep breath and just forcing myself to suck it up and do it kind of tired. Not good. Yes, I have seen my doctor about it, along with some other random weird post-surgery things that I have going on. I have had tube after tube of blood sucked out of me and so far everything is normal. Thank God! I just need to suck it up and deal with it. sigh. I hate dealing with it. Anyway, back to exercising, I need to do it. I know. Nothing to it, but to do it. And it is time. Gulp. Time to call on my good friend Leslie Sansone and tie on my tennys and walk. Walk, Walk, Walk!