My Husband’s A Genius!

My hubby is awesome for many reasons.  He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s good looking, he’s kind, he cooks, he cleans, he is 200% involved in raising Buggy… just to name a few.

He works for VCU and gets deals on basketball tickets. SCORE!

Recently his smarts increased my love for him yet again.

Over the Christmas holiday, we entered a world of change – purposefully mind you.  Maybe a bit crazily.  We transitioned Buggy to a regular bed in a new room and entered the world of toddler potty training – in anticipation of our April addition to the family.

I’m not here to bore you with the often disgusting details of potty training.  Maybe another time.

Hubby’s genius was made known in the “big boy” bedroom transition.

The bed, sheets, other furniture was set up for a few weeks before the move.  We spent time in there, playing, as I slowly added the decor and final touches.  Then Buggy was moved in.  We expected some struggles – mostly that he’d stay up forever playing and reading books – but overall expecting a decently smooth transition.  We did not expect the screaming and crying.

For the first few nights, we spent 7-10 pm going up and down the stairs to calm Buggy, leave, let him cry for a bit, go back to calm, and so on and so on.  Until he was so exhausted he finally fell asleep, as did we, occasionally in Buggy’s bed.

One night while reading books, he kept telling us “Can’t leave.  Can’t leave.”  I decided to engage this conversation (as previous attempts to ignore were not helping) and see if I could find out the reasons for his trepidations – not expecting any big revelations.  The conversation occurred as such…

Me: “Why do you cry when we leave?”

Buggy: “I cry ‘Mommy’.”

Me: “I know, why do you cry ‘Mommy’?”

Buggy: “I cry ‘Mommy’.  I scared.”

Me: “Why are you scared?  What are you scared of?”

Buggy: “Too dark.”

Well there you go.  In the comfort and safety of his former room and crib, Buggy barely had a nightlight.  Never seemed to bother him.  We had that light along with another a bit brighter in the new room.  We thought that was sufficient.

This thing.

And this thing.

Oh how wrong we were.  Obviously not enough light per the conversation with the 2 1/2 year old.  I was at a loss.  The light on the ceiling fan was way too bright.  But it was bed time and too late to buy another light for tonight.  Crap.

Enter Hubby.  He grabs the tiny dresser lamp from the old nursery – the one with the 25 watt bulb.  He goes into my craft area (don’t get too excited – craft area = piles of bags and boxes in the guest bedroom closet) and grabs some leftover fabric from the Super Grover costume I made for Halloween.

Enter dimmed night light – bright enough for Buggy to feel safe, not too bright to keep him awake.

He assures me it won't catch on fire. It hasn't yet.

Buggy went to bed very easily that night, and the following few nights.  But he was awake at 5:30 am the next few mornings.  Not cool.  Even after Hubby went out and bought a dimmer socket to make the 25 watt bulb even dimmer in the night light (2nd stroke of genius).

I had a moment of clarity and wondered if maybe the light was waking him up in the morning?  Maybe we needed to open his door, sneak in the room, and turn the light off when we went to bed?  The squeaky door hinges got a spraying of non-stick cooking spray (see, I can be smart too).  The next morning, no one was awake before 6:30.

Don’t worry, that’s not it for Hubby’s genius (I’m sure you were feeling a bit underwhelmed).  Not liking the idea of having to open the door each night, having the light’s cord stretch open in the room to the outlet that worked by the switch, Hubby came up with a third part of the plan.

While at Lowe’s the day after Christmas, Hubby picked up the remote Christmas light power outlets.  They were for next year’s lights, to avoid bending, stretching, and groaning to turn the tree on and off for a month.  But he knew they would work for our situation.

Currently, and possibly forever, Buggy’s super dimmed, furry blue night light is connected to a power outlet controlled by remote.

The box thing in the plug is part of the magic.

When we go to bed, a simple click of the remote from the hallway turns off the night light.

Oooh baby! Love the remote!

Pure absolute GENIUS!  Told you he was a smarty-pants.

(On a side note, check out my wrinkly old lady hands.  It’s a mixture of pregnancy hand swelling and horribly chapped, dry hands from washing constantly due to a pottying toddler, attempting to avoid winter illness, and washing dishes 3-6 times per day.  I need lotion – STAT!)


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Applying Church to Life – Toddler Style

Buggy has been in a constant state of singing lately.  If not talking or eating, we often hear…

Bum ba bum ba bum bum, ba ba bum ba bum (to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Itsy Bitsy Spider is sung quite frequently.

We also hear parts of Jesus Loves Me and an almost gibberish version of This Old Man.

My favorite part about this singing – he’s applying a particular line of Jesus Loves Me to real life situations – and it strangely works (not theologically of course), whether he means to or not.

Example 1: While climbing the stairs for bedtime, he is fascinated with how high up the banister is above him as he crawls.  He tells me

It too high up.  I can’t reach it.  I too little.  I can’t reach it for the Bible tell me so.

Example 2:  After stuffing his face full of cookies he made with his cousin, aunt, and Nana, he proclaims

I NEED MORE COOKIES!  For the Bible tell me so!

Not sure if I should be proud or worried at how strong the Bible’s influence is on his life at this point in time.

Either way, it’s absolutely adorable and we are cracking up.

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The “Merry Christmas” Photoshoot

It ends like this…

Merry Christmas from the Keos

But there is always quite a process to get to that end point.  Of course, it’s never the last photo.  It’s one somewhere in the middle of a hectic photoshoot that makes it on the yearly Christmas card.

Luckily for us, Hubby’s brother has delved into the world of professional-like photography (I add the -like because he’s not a professional by any means but he has the fancy lights, the fancy camera, and tries all the fancy techniques).

Unluckily for us, Buggy prefers to be on the side of the camera where you take pictures, not where you are in them.  This photoshoot started at 6:30 and lasted until 7:10 (Buggy’s normal bath and bed time – I know we are crazy).  The bottom string of lights on our tree went kapoot as my brother-in-law was setting everything up.  Hence the seated shots in front of the tree, with presents blocking the other dark, unhappy spots on the tree.

Here’s a few scenes to truly enlighten those of you that have yet to try and take a family photo with a toddler.

I'm running away!

I'm going to run away again!

I'm making a weird face and Mommy's hair is covering hers.

I want my close up. Or really just touch the camera.

Buggy got in on the photography action.  I’d say most of the pictures taken (not the ones above) were by him.  It was really cute, even if it drew out the process longer than necessary.

“Ready take pictures?  Close you eyes.  OK.”

Truly a pro

He mostly snapped off blurry photos of the Christmas tree and me sitting in front of it (I’m 5 months pregnant, I didn’t move from  my photo spot the entire time).  But there were a few to consider for a frame… except that our heads were almost cut off.

Buggy's best work

Can’t wait until next year when there will be 2 kiddos to wrangle.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends!



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Proof Is More Than Pee On A Stick

The reasons I know I am pregnant…

~ I barfed daily.  Without medicine, I would have barfed way more than daily.

~ Some of my pants are held up and together with rubber bands. (For those of you who don’t know, loop around the button, loop through the button hole, loop back around the button.  Wah-La!)  Others are held up with maternity waist lines.

~ I am asleep on the couch or in bed by 9:00 each night.  Sometimes earlier.

~ I ate 12 packages of fruit snacks in 3 days.

~ I have unsuccessfully “sucked in” for the past 10 weeks.

~ Only one room of the house is clean at any given time.  Usually, no rooms are clean at any given time.

~ I want food and half way through eating it I really don’t want it anymore.  Or I decide I want something else entirely.

~ My husband has to run to the grocery store while I make dinner because I have forgotten at least 2 main ingredients necessary RIGHT NOW.

~ I peed 3 times between 8 and 12 today.

~ I haven’t slept through the night in 16 weeks.

~ I must eat every 2 hours or I gag.

~ The smell of your chili you are eating for lunch makes me gag.  Sometimes it also makes me want to eat your chili.

~ My sciatic nerve is killing me.  And I’ve only gained 6 pounds.

~ My doctor told me I was pregnant, and I have to see her every month.  We talk about pregnancy.  I assume this is a sure sign.

~ I saw a baby wiggling around.

~ My insurance company did not cover the one above.  (Thank you crappy health insurance.)

~ I’ve been told I’m due mid-April.

Yes, we are expecting an addition to our family.  It is extremely exciting and joyous, while nerve-wracking at the same time.  We are blessed beyond belief.

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The Itsy Bitsy Spider Will Ruin My Driving Record

PO: License and registration please ma’am.

Me: Yes sir, just a moment.

PO: Where you headed in such a hurry?

Me: We are going home.

PO: Ma’am, do you realize you were going 15 over the posted speed limit?

Me: I’m so sorry officer.  I really don’t usually speed.

PO: Why are you in such a hurry?

Me: Um… do you really want the truth?

PO: Ma’am.

Me: I’m trying to see if I can make it home with singing only 20 rounds of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” instead of 30 like yesterday.

PO: Give me a minute while I write up your ticket.

Buggy: It Bit Pider Mommy.  Pider MOMMY!  PIDER!

Me: “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout….”

PO: Your court date is December 12 or you can pay over the phone.

Me: Thank you.  Sorry sir.

PO: And ma’am, 30 times is safer than 80 mph.


{I’m predicting this may be a conversation I have one afternoon in the very near future.}

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My Naked Truth (About Love): Linky

The fabulous Ryan of The Woven Moments has done it again with another “The Naked Truth” Link party.  This time the theme is love.  I couldn’t resist.  So after you read this, head on over to her place and read her Naked Truth About Love, too!

I’m sure she was terrified.  I’m sure it might not have been her decision.  Not 100% at least. Parents still control much of a 17-year-old’s world, even if her sex life wasn’t within their grasp.

The single, typewritten page tucked neatly in the file cabinet noted that she wanted to go to college.  Government Administration.  One of the only specific pieces of information shared.

Maybe it was the vast potential her life still held.  Mostly it was probably being 17 – barely an adult, still a child in her parents’ eyes.

– – – – –

Two people consumed by love, marriage, a toddler, and infertility.  They examined the far corners of their heart.  There was plenty of room.  They needed more children to love.

More children needed their love.

They applied, they prayed, they cleaned, they presented, they prayed some more, but mostly they waited.

Four years officially.  Six years technically.

It was a Wednesday afternoon.  The phone call came.  “We have a little girl for you.  You can pick her up tomorrow morning.”

Neighbors and friends swarmed to piece together baby essentials.  After all, it had been 6 years since they had prepared for a baby’s arrival.

Thursday morning came.  So did their second little girl.  Exactly one month old.

They loved her before they knew her.  They loved her even more now that they had her.

She slept through her first night in her new home, with her new family.  Mom knew it was a sign that she was where she belonged.  Dad went to the crib every hour through the night, just to admire in awe that she was finally their daughter.

– – – – – –

My naked truth about love:

Love is selfless.  Never selfish.

I am the very product of two families, strangers to each other still, both giving of themselves to the very fullest.

One giving up a child.  One giving of their family to make room for another, not their blood, but theirs all the same.

I was adopted into the most amazing family God could ever have given to me.  I more often forget than remember, or even realize, that I don’t share their blood.

Their gift, my life, my family, my opportunities, my everything, is the epitome of a selfless gift born only from love.

While we may be selfish towards those we love, the selfish act is never love itself.  Selfless acts only come from love.  They are love.

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The Dwarfs Were Too Optimistic

You know those 7 little dwarfs that let the beautiful princess live with them?  Even helped to save her life?  They are not glass half full dwarfs.

They are glass always completely full, overflowing, flooding dwarfs.  Their little song about loving work.  In a coal mine of all jobs.  Ridiculous if you ask me.

I’d like to see how cheery that song would be when you throw in kids, no pretty princess to cook and clean, and actual bills waiting for you in the mailbox – not birds and squirrels sitting around smiling at you.

It’s August.  Back to school season.  Work starts VERY soon for me.  My summer break is nearing an end.  And each school year gets harder and harder to return to.

There was a time when I was excited and ready to start work again.  Eager to try out the new ideas I had gathered, pondered, and toyed with throughout the summer.  Chomping at the bit to work with new kids, new teachers, new opportunities.

Then I had Buggy.  And I really want to be a stay at home mom.  So going to work is hard.

Then last year I did the job that two people had done.  It was stressful and overwhelming.  It didn’t help.

Now there is a little more to loathe.

Buggy is old enough to realize, understand, and not like the fact that I am going to work, dropping him off with someone else, and leaving him for 8 hours.

“No mama, no” starts when familiar landmarks become clear to him on the drive to the sitter’s.  Actually, it often starts when he sees me pick up my purse, computer bag, lunch bag and enter the garage to load them in the car.

He has a great new sitter, that he loves to be with.  He’s been a few times and hasn’t wimpered a bit as he is distracted by dinosaurs and fish tanks as I pull out of the driveway.

But it’s still hard to hear the recognition in his voice that I am leaving him and he doesn’t like it.

Old sitter is going back to school.  (To be a teacher – NOBLEST of choices)  She was literally 2 minutes from our house.  On the way to and also from BOTH Hubby and my work routes.  She could only be more convenient by living next door (which I frequently made her aware of houses for sale on the street) or living in our guest room (but I’d have to take her husband and son in as well and I can’t afford that many mouths to feed.)

New sitter is conveniently located off the interstate exit just by my schools.  20 minutes from home.

At the end of last school year, I thought about how this coming year I would be the one to drop off Buggy, and Hubby could pick him up so I could have about 30 minutes to myself at home to clean, cook, be productive sans child (or veg on the couch – let’s be honest here).  Now I am the only one that is conveniently close to pick him up.

It doesn’t make sense/cents for Hubby to partake in the daycare drop off and pick-up duties.

Another convenience of this new location?  The 20-30 minutes of solitude between home and work, work and home, within which I could think, daydream, listen to the radio, and prepare myself for the destination I was driving towards, is gone.

I have anywhere from 5-10 minutes of solitude.  Then I have a babbling, singing, screaming, crying (pick a mood, any mood) two-year-old to fill my previous zen time.

Striking a few errands off the to-do list before picking up Buggy and heading home, also a thing of the past.  I will actually have to remember everything I need for the week while at the grocery store on Saturday.  Eeek!

I know the whole “I want to be a SAHM – – – I can’t believe I have to spend an extra 20 minutes with my kid in the car” thing is a bit opposite and topsy-turvy.

Here’s the thing.  I love my son more than life itself.  But working full time and trying to be the best mom and wife I can be (cooking, cleaning, playing, reading, loving, pleasing, soothing, caring) is an enormously unfair load to carry.  There has to be time in between to divide the two and try not to take the frustration or failures of one into the other.

I no longer have that ability.  I must find another way to divide, to separate, to calm, to breathe.  In 5 minutes.

Though my glass is not always overflowing like those insane dwarves, my mantra is that I am always half full.

What fills my cup half way about all of this?  My son is in a place that he is comfortable and loved even if it isn’t created by me.  For 10 months a year I love, care for, and help educate 900 children I did not birth and I do not raise, yet I impact.  My dreams of being a SAHM are not impossible and are almost within my reach.

I’d say that’s a pretty great glass to drink from.

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