Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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Finding Jesus Like a Two Year Old

My two year old boys are starting to put multiple words together and every time it happens you’d think they hit a grand slam, because of how excited I get! Single words were exciting; their first favorite words were: shoe, sock, milk, more, dada, car, caca (cracker), cheese. BUT double words are so cute and even MORE exciting; red car, blue door, dada home, go home, garage door, momma byes, more caca, more cheese.

Finding Jesus Like a 2 Year old

This morning I was standing in the kitchen, checking emails on my phone, when one of my little guys came up to me, pointed, and said, “blue gigi.” I honestly kind of ignored him until he kept pointing at me and saying “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!” Frankly, he was pointing at my waist area (and below) and I was thinking, “why are you pointing at mommy’s privates?” I ignored the weirdness of the pointing and answered, “yes, mommy is wearing blue jeans.” He persisted and got louder, “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!”

blue gigiFinally, I looked down there to figure out what the heck he was checking out. He was looking at the button on my jeans. The button was sewn on with blue string in the shape of a tiny cross. Then it clicked!  “Gigi” is how my boys say, “Jesus.” He was saying “Blue Jesus” in reference to the little cross on my jean button.

Geeesh! Thank goodness that is sorted out, because a gal can start to get paranoid when someone keeps pointing and yelling at your parts! A weird moment turned into a proud momma moment!

We’ve always taken the boys with us to church on Sundays, we pray with them before meals, before naps, and at bedtime, but frankly, I wasn’t sure anything was sinking in. During mass they are wiggle worms, they eat their weight in crunchy loud snacks, and they are packing up and saying “all done” before the final song starts. They fold their hands during the Our Father and point at “Gigi” up on the cross, but other than that I’m pretty sure they are really in it for the after mass donut hole (or two).

During bedtime prayer time they are usually riled up, jumping all over, running down the hallway and back, laughing, screaming, multitasking with toys, but we do it every night anyway.

Even though they appear to be oblivious to our attempts to bring Jesus to them, we remain consistent. And you know what…something has stuck with them, because they are finding Jesus in the smallest places…even on mommy’s jean button. That is a win!

On this same morning, we were reading a book about fire trucks, my little guy pointed to the medical cross on the ambulance and again said, “blue gigi.” Later outside, he pointed under his bike saying, “Gigi.” When I looked under his bike, I saw the pin holding the bike together was in the shape of a cross.

This little dude found Jesus three times in about an hour! I can go an entire day sometimes without seeing Him! How wise are our little ones!? How much more open are their eyes!?

sandbox jesusI snatched up the teaching moment and we embraced the beautiful fall-ish morning by building “Gigi” crosses out of things we found around the yard. We built crosses out of grass, rocks, in the sandbox. We even made crosses out of things that usually annoy me like the little helicopters that fall off of the trees and litter the lawn or the pine needles that blanket themselves over my landscaping. This was another reminder that Jesus is in everything (even the stuff/people we don’t like or that annoy us).

This is what usually happens to me. I seek to teach and am instead taught.

Thank you to my two year olds for finding “Gigi” all over the place! Thank you for teaching mommy to open her eyes to see Him better. Thank you for reminding mommy that He is not always where I want to find him, but He always is. Thank you for helping mommy see Him in nature, in people, and within.

Have your kids ever helped you SEE or caused you to have a Jesus moment?

Love,

Natasha

 

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Scrap-Filing! (For People With No Time to Scrapbook!)

I’d consider myself a fairly crafty person, but as I’m sure all you busy parents can identify with, “me-time” as a parent can be rare. So, while we may have a list of things we like to do, the time we actually get to do those things is slim.

Scrap file 1

So, the likelihood of me actually doing the 10th favorite thing to do on my “fun” list…well, probably isn’t going to happen.  My 10th favorite thing to do is scrap booking. I like it and I’m pretty good at it, but because I’m obsessed with every page being perfect, it literally takes me 3 hours a page.

That means I have piles of kiddie artwork, old birthday cards, photos, our annual Christmas cards, and a plethora of other “save-worthy” stuff that I really want the boys to have some day.  The reality is, I’m probably not going to find time to scrap book it, which means I’m going to “organize” it somewhere super safe to never be found again. It will be organized somewhere with my 4 missing placemats and my ipod charging cord…I’m sure they will all be very happy together.

ENTER…SCRAP-FILING! This is the name I gave to a method of organization I picked up from Gretchen Rubin’s book, “The Happiness Project.” Instead of scrap booking, you get a file box, add some hanging files, and add your goodies….BOOM!

scrap file 2I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!  I bought a nice plastic file box for each of my sons, I filled it will hanging file folders, I labeled each file folder by year (very strange writing the year 2025 down), and then I filled it with things I want them to be able to look back on.  

I plan to keep filling these file boxes through high school and college.  I’ll eventually add report cards, graduation invites/programs, newspaper clippings, sports stuff, and whatever else my little boys do to make this momma so proud!

What an amazing gift they will make some day (maybe for their graduation or wedding).

For me, this was a perfect solution, because I know I wouldn’t take the time to scrapbook, I could throw things in the file by year (instead of by holiday or by each event), the “stuff” was no longer cluttering my life, and it will all be kept “safe” in a place I will actually be able to find it again.

To all you scrap-bookers, you rock!  To all my scrap-book-wanna-be-sisters….TRY SCRAP-FILING!

Love,

Natasha


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“My People”: Who’s Around Your Campfire?

We took the twins (2 year old boys) camping last weekend; this was their third time. We went swimming in the pool, splashed in the lake, bonded with Grammie and Grandpa, and ate mysterious and magnificent foods that they don’t usually get the pleasure of eating.

Despite the occasional glass shattering, nails on the chalkboard, I think my eardrums are bleeding SCREAMING; the boys are becoming quite the little camping pros.  There was that one morning they woke up at 6:20am (an hour and half before quiet hours were over); my husband and I brought them over to our pop-out bed and were excited for a family cuddle session.  HA!

The cuddling lasted barely a minute and we then started a desperate and grueling 15 minutes of trying to keep them quiet…”Look here’s a ball. Want some Cherrios? Can you find something red? Pet the puppy.  Share with your brother.  Let’s change your diaper.  Want to wear this shirt?  Should we make some toast?  Excited to see Grammie and Grandpa?  Here’s your car.  Want a banana?”

All of that got us maybe 15 minutes.  So, daddy took them for a walk around the sleeping and very quiet campground.  I ran to the bathroom and started the coffee.  A few minutes later, as clear as if he were right next to my ear, but knowing he was rows and rows away from our campsite, I hear that award-winning SCREECH.  Wow, GOOD MORNING CAMPERS!  I know dear one, it is so difficult to take turns walking the puppy.  Ah, two year olds.

All in all though, we had a blast on our camp-tastic weekend!

campfireI love the hustle and bustle of the campground and walking around people watching.  However, my absolute FAVORITE time is when the campground is sleeping.  This happens twice in a day.  One, when you run to the restroom very late at night and two, in the very early morning before everyone is awake.

If you walk around the campground during those peaceful times, you’ll find campsites still fully assembled, but quietly abandoned.  Campers leave everything out in the open when they go to bed…bikes neatly lined up next to the camper, a small fortune of grilling and cooking utensils on the picnic table, and chairs circled around the campfire pit.

There were dozens of campsites, each one with a set of unique chairs huddled around the silent fire pit.  The visual really hit me and I couldn’t help but think of how the chairs around the campfire represent “my people.” 

Everyone’s set of “people” is unique.  “Your people” are the ones you want gathered around your campfire.

  • They are the people who have your back as you sneak through the woods in search of kindling and that perfect marshmallow roasting stick.
  • They are the people you’d want to share a blanket with when the night gets chilly.  
  • They are the people you’d want to laugh with under the stars.  
  • They are the people you’d want to enjoy silent moments with as you all stare into the orangey blue flames.  
  • They are the people you’d pick for your s’mores assembly line team.
  • They are the people you’d want to spend hours reminiscing with as the fire crackles between each memory.

“My people” are precious.  “Your people” are precious.

Yet, how often do we find ourselves being
a little nicer to people that do not know us
than to those who know us best?

 

We do not need to cross oceans or even streets to find people to care for.  We each have people, “our people” that need us.  “My people” include my hubby, my boys, my parents, siblings and their families, my two grandmas and one grandma who we have adopted, and close friends.  “Your people” may be similar or different.  You may have more people or fewer.

Who are your people? 

 

  • It is admirable to make donations to charitable organizations, but don’t forget the pregnant friend that could use a delivered meal.
  • Please do offer smiles and hold doors for perfect strangers, but don’t forget gentleness and thoughtfulness in your words when speaking to your spouse.
  • By all means, volunteer your time and attend those committee meetings, but don’t forget to drop all the nonsense to hug or tickle-fest your little one.
  • Pour yourself into your work if you must, but don’t forget to visit those grandmas and plan those family get-togethers.


The people you’d want huddled around your campfire; those are your people!

 

Please join me in taking better care of “OUR people” FIRST.

Love,

Natasha


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In the Trenches: 10 Lessons Learned from My First Months of Motherhood

Insta familyMy husband and I always joke about our “insta-family.”  Have you seen those little sponges that you drop into water and they expand into a little animal or t-shirt or something?  That’s kind of what becoming parents was like for us.  After a five year pregnancy, we got the call to pick-up our sons, and then poof….we were suddenly driving away from the adoption agency with our two tiny miracles strapped into their car seats.  Insta-family!

While I had been waiting to become a mother for what felt like FOREVER, the truth is I hadn’t even changed more than a handful of diapers during my babysitting years in high school.  Sure, I had the crib, stroller, car seat, clothes, diapers and all the other necessities…so I was totally prepared right?!  HA!

The first few months of motherhood to twins were equal parts happiness, thankfulness, and extreme utter exhaustion. There were so many memorable moments and so many learning experiences. In the midst of my new mommy burnout, I jotted down a few of the random moments (some of which made me cry at the time and now they make me laugh).

In the Trenches of Twin Motherhood: 10 Lessons Learned:

1.) COFFEE; just nuke it!   
Those first few months with twin boys, I thought I would never drink a hot cup of coffee again. My daily routine was: wake up, the boys are quiet, so make pot of coffee. While brewing, check on boys; still sleeping like little angels. Coffee done. Pour large steaming cup. One boy starts to cry. Tend to baby and settle him down. Run back to coffee and savor sip; coffee is COLD. No problem, reheat in microwave, nice and hot. Take another sip; baby B starts crying. Put coffee down and tend to baby. Return to coffee; coffee is COLD. Reheat again and repeat until 4pm. By 4pm, realize that coffee is likely radioactive and it is now too late in day to drink it anyway. Pour coffee out and thank God for my two miracles.

2.) Just roll up your sleeves!      
Dressing up in “real” clothes was a rare experience that happened only for reasons such as doctor check-ups. The boys had their first month doctor visit, so I showered, put on actual clothes, and did my hair and make-up. Five minutes before it was time to leave, both babies had wet diapers. First hand experience: Change first baby, and then wash my hands. Look in mirror, say “forget it” and put hair in a ponytail. Change second baby, who has a very wet diaper. Trust baby is done peeing and don’t put the pee-pee washcloth down. Get sprayed by pee-pee. Stop the monsoon with my hands, but the sleeves of my cute outfit get hit in the storm. Running late, so no time to change. No problem, just roll up my sleeves and go. Cute outfit saved. Silently congratulate myself on yet another super mom moment.

3.) Twin advice.
When you have one baby, people give you tons of parenting advice. When you have two babies, all of the parenting advice doubles and is coupled with “double the trouble,” “double the fun,” “you really have your hands full,” “I had a hard time with one, I can’t imagine two,” etc. The only parenting comment or advice that ever helped me was, “Breath through your mouth when changing poopy diapers.”

4.) Constipation:  
It is so sad when those little dudes can’t poo. Per our doctor, a small amount of pear juice works wonders if baby is constipated. However, if you use pear juice, the advice about breathing through your mouth when changing poopy diapers from #3 is null and void. My husband can verify first hand that pear juice works and results in baby poo that can squirt that far.

5.) Teeth Brushing:  
Brush your teeth immediately upon waking in the morning. Don’t wait until after your breakfast or your first cup of coffee. If you wait, time will get away from you and it might be 3pm before you figure out why your teeth feel like they are growing moss!

in the trenches

6.) Solid Food Fun:
After months of formula feeding, starting solid food is fun. Beware if baby has a cold during this fun feeding however, because a full mouth of sweet potatoes plus a sneeze equals a sweet tater explosion all over everything including your face!

7.) Baby Colds:
It’s tough when your little ones have a cold. It seems to take them twice as long to get over it than an adult. First hand experience: In another rare moment, I was dressed up to go out shopping. Cute outfit, new boots, hair done….check, check, and check. Gigantic booger on shoulder of cute outfit….CHECK! Finding the booger before leaving for the store…SCORE one for mama. Not finding the booger’s three friends down the back of my shoulder prior to going out….SCORE three for the boogers.

8.) Say Yes to Help:
So many people will ask if they can help in passing; call them on it! Put them to work, so you can nap!

9.) Acid Reflux:
When my boys were newborns there were many weeks they would cry uncontrollably with seemingly no reason. It. Was. Awful. I took them for their check-up one day and when I described the symptoms to their doctor she promptly told me they likely had acid reflux and that she could prescribe them something to help. I started crying and said, “you can fix this!?” I was a new mom, I just thought all babies cried that much!

10.) Expect to Cry:
Getting up every few hours to feed and change little ones obviously makes you one exhausted mamma. So, expect to be tired, emotional, and don’t be ashamed of it!  You aren’t alone!

 

You might be thinking…those are the ten things you remember most about your first months of being a mom?  Trust me, it’s a wonder I remember anything at all!  It turns out, the moments I yearned for most, turned out to be the ordinary, messy, tiring moments.

What small, ordinary moments of parenthood do you treasure most?

Love,

Natasha