what's in a name?

Sam and I are driving home from the library today and baby starts really moving around and going crazy in my belly.
Me - "Eli, what are you doing in there?"
Sam - "my name isn't Eli!"
Me - "I know that!  I think that is going to be your brother's name."
Sam - "no way, his name is going to be Jackson"

this is an ongoing debate around my house.  hubby and Sam have wanted to name this boy Jackson from the start, and neither of them will give it up!  hubby is "giving" me the reigns on naming this boy, and it's a very difficult decision.  names are forever, usually.

I do like the name Jackson, but I just can't have a Samuel and a Jackson ... ya know, like the actor?  we are big movie buffs so we can recite many of his lines from some of his movies, mostly Pulp Fiction and Die Hard.  it may be silly, I know he's just a guy, but I can't seem to kill that association.  although a friend pointed out to me that Sam Elliot is an actor too ... but he's got a much different reputation and style of acting than Samuel Jackson so it doesn't bother me so much.  is that strange?  for those that may not know him, he's the big-mustache guy in Tombstone, the narrator & cowboy at the bar in The Big Lebowski. there are many other movies, I just can't think of any more right now.

the only "requirement" hubby has (and I tend to agree with him) is to have a name that can have a nickname or a shortened version available.  for Jackson, you could call him Jack or as Sam says, Jacks.  I love the name Eli, but am not a fan of Elijah at all.  the other name that the million/billion baby name book gives is Elliot, which I like but of course hubby doesn't.  I also like Julian and Marshall, but neither of those names have a shortened version ... but I'm sure we could make one up.  we call Sam monkey all the time; he's always been such a climber and of course he's just silly!  oh yeah, he loves bananas too.

Meaning is important to me too.
Samuel: asked of God
Eli: uplifted
Marshall: caretaker of the horses - we know/have nothing to do with horses, so this one is probably out of the running.
Julian: youthful

and then there is the middle name ...

maybe I'll just have to wait to see his precious face before I decide.
1 month to go, whoo-hoo!!

life of sacrifice

I love this story ... 

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
asks 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. The invisible
Mom. 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,

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 hair 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 of God 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

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 going to 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.

Great Job, MOM! Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know .... I just did.

the sample lady

Sam and I went shopping at Costco today ... yes, stuff like that is the highlight of my day sometimes!  for a Monday is was still packed with people; doesn't anyone work anymore?!  actually, more power to you if you don't - I don't and love it!! to my surprise they still had lots of sample ladies, so Sam and I had some good snacks.  these sample ladies are usually older; they must all be grandma's because they're just so darn nice!
after a few samples, Sam was starting to get the hang of it.  every isle there was a treat of some kind; bbq beef sandwich, juice, corndogs, etc.  so after some of the food got to his brain (for those of you that know him, you know what I mean!) he began getting silly in asking for a sample, but he still said "may I have one please" just in his goofy-Sam way.  well this particular sample lady just fell head over heels in love with Sam for being so polite and well-mannered, she gave him another sample and then came over to me with a great big hug and said "thank you for being a good parent," and went on and on.  she made a scene, and then when we walked away I heard her telling the next guy getting a sample about what Sam had said to her.  it was almost embarrassing, but in a good way.

it's probably the best compliment I could get actually.  I feel proud, not of me (ok maybe a little bit), but more of Sam.  he's growing up right before my eyes; he's a boy already, soon to be a kid, soon to be a teenager, soon to be a man.  
as a parent I want to do a good job and really teach my kids morals, integrity, respect, and love.  at this "job" you don't get reviewed for a raise, a gold star on a chart, or a pat on the back.  there are no vacations, no days off.

today I got a hug ... and it felt good.

answered prayers

today has been filled with blessing after blessing.
God is so good!

hubby just started a new job 3 weeks ago.  this job pretty much fell into hip lap "accidentally."  we've been in the red financially, not knowing if May rent would be paid on time, and also when you're broke, all the bills seems to come all at the same time ... how do they know to do that?!  
he's doing such a great job and has set the standard a bit higher for everyone else now.  he has been recognized by the owner and within the last 2 weeks alone, he's gotten 2 raises, an annual hotel/gas allowance, and plenty more work to come his way.

there are soooo many changes happening around here at the same time, but the major ones are hubby's new job, no extra money of any kind (I've cashed in my change jar already!) and this new baby that's coming - so I've been a bit stressed lately.  my nesting instincts are kicking in; just about 1 month to go, so things have to get done around here!
so I started a couple days ago to do what I can here at the house, everything that doesn't require money - re-arrange and set up some furniture, wash some clothes and blankets, make a list of things I still need, etc.
completely out of the blue, my neighbor knocks on the door this morning.  sort of strange, but this neighbor of mine is NEVER outside, we NEVER  talk at all.  her and hubby have an almost 2 year old boy, so cute!  we've introduced ourselves and I've invited her a few times to playgroups and things, but she always declines for whatever reason.  so for her to come over knock on the door was very surprising!! she gives me 4+ boxes FULL of her son's old clothes, a new Boppy, a baby bathtub, and a floormat/gym thing.  OH MY GOODNESS!  I said thank you about 100 times.  that was so unbelievably generous!
and the "ironic" part of that, for those of you who know my past, is that 0-24 month size clothing was everything I gave away of Sam's.  when hubby and I were split up, I was convinced we would not get back together, let alone, have another child.  getting pregnant with baby boy #2, I sort of wondered when/how we would re-stock ourselves with all the stuff I gave away.

not only is God providing, He is giving us life more abundantly!  I am in such awe by today alone, who deserves such treatment?!

fyi - no one buy baby clothes, I don't need ANY!  I do have a registry at amazon.com if you're interested in what I do need. :)

life lessons

this was emailed to me today and I thought it was worth passing on to all of you out there in blog-land.  enjoy!

this was written by newspaper columnist Regina Brett in Cleveland, OH.
she says, "to celebrate growing older, I once wrote 45 lessons life taught me.  it is the most-requested column I've ever written.  my odometer rolls over to 70 in August, so here goes: "

1. life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. when in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. don't take yourself so seriously.  no one else does.
5. pay off your credit cards every month.
6. you don't have to win every argument.  agree to disagree.
7. cry with someone.  it's more healing than crying alone.
8. it's ok to be angry with God.  He can take it.
9. save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. when it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. it's ok to let your children see you cry.
13. don't compare your life to others'. you have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. if a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. everything can change in the blink of an eye.  but don't worry, God never blinks.
16. take a deep breath.  it calms the mind.
17. get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or  joyful.
18. whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. it's never too late to have a happy childhood.  but the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. when it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  don't save it for a special occasion.  today is special.
22. over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. be eccentric now.  don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. the most important sex organ is the brain.
25. no one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
26. frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'in five years, will this matter?'
27. always choose life.
28. forgive everyone everything.
29. what other people think of you is none of your business.
30. time heals almost everything.  give time, time.
31. however good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. your job won't take care of you when you are sick.
33. believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of whom God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. don't audit life.  show up and make the most of it now.
36. growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. your children get only one childhood.  make it memorable.
38. all that truly matters in the end is that you are loved.
39. get outside every day.  miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. envy is a waste of time.  you already have all you need.
42. the best is yet to come.
43. no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
44. yield.
45. life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

I think this is a great list.  my favorites are 4, 11, 13, 21, 31, & 34.
what are you life lessons?

totally random

I got this "fun fact" from babycenter.com -

A Russian woman holds the record for having the most children.  Between 1725 and 1765, she was pregnant 27 times and had 69 children.

could you ever think of 69 names you liked?
you think she had a nanny?
I'm pretty sure there were no disposable diapers then; think of all that laundry!
you think she breastfed all of them?  probably to save money, right?
I wonder how big of a house you would need for a family that size.
I wonder what her hubby did for a living.

... and I worried about having 2!

from 1 to 2

here is me today at 33 weeks.
getting big ... and my boobs too - oh goodness!

I am excited, anxious, and happy, yet overwhelmed, a bit freaked out, and insecure. the transition from 1 to 2 children is a big deal ... of course that could be all in my head.  I tend to do that sometimes. hhhmmmmm ....
I know some women are concerned with loving each child the same; that I know I can do.  what I'm more worried about is the possible regression Sam may struggle with, having enough time to bond with each child on "their level," and just knowing the next stage of multi-tasking I'll have to master.

I know that I'm am more than lucky - blessed is the better word to use - that I get to stay home with my kids.  I don't have to work.  my hubby doesn't want me to work.  it's difficult to try and explain to anyone that does have to work, the down-side of this job, being mom.  like anything else, the grass is always greener people!!

I am just here to vent ...

I think it's truly an honor to be pregnant.  there are times when I don't feel like God is using me; it's probably more like He is and I just don't know it, but now it's more than obvious!  I get to help bring life into this world.  I know not everyone can say that; some won't and some just simply can't.  but me, I can.  wow.  when I start to feel all freaked out, this is what I think about ... or try to.

may God bless every mommy out there in blog-land with a revelation on how special you truly are!!

Trading Junk

I just love garage sales!!!!
it feels good to clear out some junk ... but then it's fun to go looking at & shopping other people's junk.  today I bought a changing table and some other baby stuff, all of it practically new, for cheap, cheap, cheap!

hubby is on such a roll with our stuff, he actually wants to sit outside again tomorrow.  for those of you who know him, you know he loves to wheel and deal! he was always a good person to go shopping with in Mexico; you can always get things for less with Matthew!

check out the garage sales in your area, you never know what you're gonna get! their trash can be your treasure. :)

(by the way, I love Forrest Gump!)

is there a #3 in my future?

today's doctor appointment gave me good news and sort of bad news ...

everyone wants the bad first, right?
hubby and I have decided that since I'm having a scheduled c-section, a tubal ligation would be easy - I'm already being cut open and we are sure we don't want to get pregnant again.  before Sam was born we talked about adoption and/or foster care, so if/when we would like to have more, we'll do that.
the hospital my OB normally works with is a catholic hospital, which will do the c-section but will not perform the tubal.  ok plan B - turns out the next hospital on the list will be shutting down their labor and delivery department all together and recently set the date of May 31st as their last day.  baby is scheduled for 06/02 so I'm thinking "well, what's a couple days earlier?"  having a c-section you are in the hospital for a minimum of 3 days, so that means baby would have to come out on 05/27 or 05/28, and that is too early.  my OB will not take baby out too early just so I can get a tubal done - I wasn't asking her to, but it makes me glad I have a doctor with some morals!  she also tells me the executives will be sitting down again to discuss the date, possibly to change it.  if they push it back all will go as planned - 06/02 at 3pm baby boy will arrive.  if the date does not change ... plan c?  my next appointment is in 2 weeks, hopefully we'll know more then.

maybe God has baby #3 in mind?  only time will tell - if so, He hasn't told me yet!

the other sort of bad news is that circumcision may not be covered under my insurance.  my OB was pretty sure they will see it as cosmetic, and not medically necessary.  tying my tubes is not medically necessary or cosmetic, but that's covered!  papa and big brother are done, so I wouldn't want this one to feel like the odd man out.  the boys should have matching goods ... right?

my poor swollen feet!
pretty in pink though; I got a pedicure over the weekend. :)

the good news -
baby boy is kicking up a storm in there and his heartbeat is strong and healthy!  I'm getting so
 excited to meet him.  we're getting sooooo close now!

we still have time, but not having a name is starting to drive me crazy.  we can't seem to agree this time.  so far the possibilities are: 
Elliot James, we'd call him Eli 
I pulled out that huge million/billion baby name book and am starting at A again! wish me luck!

kids will be kids

wow, what a day!  I'm glad it is almost over.

normally I get to play online during naptimes and bedtime.  it's not quite 830pm and here I am.  Sam got into so much trouble today that he's in bed early, that rascal!

cute picture right?  don't let him fool you!

what do you do when your 3 1/2 year old doesn't listen ... at all?
timeout on the stairs - did that
sent to room for longer timeouts, which by the way, there are no toys and no books in there due to previous rebellion - did that
spankings - did that
take away what he loves, which today was video time, then water-play outside, then special treats, and now no bedtime stories with an early bedtime - did all that too ... one at a time!

yesterday was not a good day either.  and last night before bed we prayed and asked God for help, for both of us.  he's at an age now where we can have a talk &/or pray, he knows what's going on and can tell me what he thinks.  he's smart, no doubt.  when he gets into trouble, I say "why did mama send you to your room?" and 9 out of 10 times he'll give the right answer ... yet the rebellion continues.

I tried the positive reinforcement approach with a sticker chart when we began potty training, and he wasn't into the it at all.  we ended up using special treats (a few m&m's or some kind of candy), which is why he loves treats even more now.
I don't want really want to use a system that shows I'm keeping track or tallying points all day.  when anyone does something wrong around here, our "policy" is to apologize and to forgive, not to remember it and bring it up later.

hubby and I believe that if you are consistent and actually parent your child that you/we will not end up with back-talking, lying, cheating, stealing, disrespectful, nasty teenagers.  we want to discipline swiftly and harshly ... as much as you can with toddlers ... which will create some responsible kids with integrity.  is that possible?  yes, it HAS to be.  it's difficult to think that far ahead into our children's lives, but know that one day they will be big people.

geez, the other one isn't even born yet!!

let the blogs begin

let me start by saying I never thought I'd become a blogger. isn't funny how handwritting is "out" and typing is "in" now? I check my email throughout the day, so it works for me.

I don't even know who would be interested in reading this other than my family - to keep tabs on me I guess. fine with me, I'd keep tabs on you too! if this is how we stay connected, so be it. in fact, you people ought to start a blog too!

I just thought I'd get my "15 minutes of fame" doing something like this. I don't want to be on TV! anyway this is all about my corner of the world - random thoughts and feelings on my life, my adventures as wife and mommy, and 'my learning curve' of putting it all together. honestly this probably is going to be more like venting because I need it and not to keep you updated; so I'm blogging for me and not you ... no offense. read it, don't read it. comment, or don't. I'm just one of millions and billions doing this ... just because.