Sunday, July 30, 2017

Carter Meadow Bates....

Ever since this talk at the April General Conference, I've had doing some family history in the back of my mind.  Now that I'm home with the boys every morning feels the same, including the Sabbath so I tried to get up and do indexing to change it up on Sunday's.  However, being on a laptop with a 1 year old is surprisingly difficult and he wakes up so early!  My indexing plans became good intentions.  Then my ward decided to do a 7 week family history class.  It has been so enlightening and I've learned so much.  Although I am still at the phase where it all still feels overwhelming, so instead of doing anything worth of value, I've been spending my time reading and learning about all these people that went on before me.  In fact, I was surprised to know more about Carter Meadow Bates, who Mason is named after. 

When I was pregnant with Mason, we heard the name Meadow before we liked Mason.  Once we put the two together I had a really strong feeling that this would be the babies name.  That could be because of inspiration, or the fact that my first child ended up being named Caldwell because I didn't go to the hospital with a name.  I love Caldwell's name, but I wanted to think this naming through the second time.  We had heard of Carter Meadow Bates when we got to participate in some of his temple work.  He is Mason's great, great grandfather.  That was all I knew when I named him, but now there is so much more. 

This is Carter Meadow with his wife Mariam, and their son "Andy" who Chris affectionately refers to as Granddaddy Bates.  Carter Meadow lived his life in Tennessee and oddly enough has the same birthday as me, October 1st. Chris got to talk to that little boy in the picture last week last week on the 21st of July because he turned 99 years old.  

This is Chris with Granddaddy Bates or "Andy" last year when Chris went to South Carolina for his sister's wedding.  I was stuck at home waiting to birth Mason and didn't get to go. For the record, I was really mad about not being able to go and meet most of Chris extended family.  

What I've been enjoying more about all this family history is the ability to see families perpetuated.  I wonder if when Carter Meadow was holding his sweet little boy, he'd know he would live to be 99 years old.  That he would fly over Normandy as a glider pilot, that he would have a son that would birth my husband and that we would name our second child after him.  I'm sure he didn't and that's what makes all this so amazing, right.  We don't know what plan the Lord has in store for us.  We're just going about our lives not realizing all those who made this possible before us.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mason 1 year old pictures....

Mason turned one at the end of June.  Mason might as well be the cutest baby in the entire world to me right now.  I know all mom's feel that way about their babies, which I think is a good thing. Yesterday was the 24th of July and he finally got a hang of walking at my mom's house.  Today he has spent the entire day practicing.  I love to hear him grunt as he smiles so proudly at his new skills.  Mason and I have been through it together, this first year.  We've spent a lot of sleepless nights together rocking and trying to get that belly of his feeling better and we've bonded.  I've never felt a love, like I feel from Mason.  He literally screams every time I leave a room (which is actually annoying) and when someone else wants to hold him or talk to him he rarely gives them the time of day.  I know he won't want me this way forever so I'm doing my best to enjoy it.  I love being his safety net, the person he glances around the room for.  There truly isn't anything like a mother's love, am I right?  Happy 1st Birthday sweet boy, please bless the coming years with more sleep!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Appreciation vs. Gratitude....

For the first time in a really long I've been trying to do some self care.  When I quit my job I made a diligent effort to get up each morning before my kids, even if it was just a few minutes and lay there and go over the things I was grateful for.  When I stopped working it was the first time in over five years I didn't wake up everyday with an agenda.  While I was working, I had diligently gotten myself into a routine where Monday through Friday I dreaded the start of each day, but on Saturday I would jump out of bed because that was the day I could focus on doing whatever I wanted, which was usually my home and family.  I want to live my life where everyday feels like Saturday after a long work week.

It was that gratitude practice that helped dramatically shift myself out of some really hard months. Since then I found myself drawn to some of these self help ideas.  In particular listening to some podcasts that focus on gratitude as a way to change your life.  This week in particular I listened to Jess Lively's - The Lively Show, and Alison & Eric from -The Alison Show.  Both focused on the idea that an actual gratitude practice each day can change your life.  The point here being that it is a PRACTICE, something you DO each day!  There are a few points I wanted to list here, for myself, for future reference. 

#1 The Lively Show - she explained how Appreciation is a feeling that will change your life more dramatically that gratitude.  Today we often use those words interchangeably, but they create very different feelings.  

- Appreciation is the feeling of gratefulness that also consumes you with that undeserving humility.  

- Gratitude -The act of feeling grateful for a job well done, circumstance, person, etc. 

Doing a gratitude practice will help you appreciate your life more! 

#2 The Alison Show - Gratitude when combined with physicality creates the feeling stronger.  Also, when you feel grateful you start living your life more fully in the present moment.  Therefore, if you have a tendency, like me, to wish your life away.  This is a very good secret to learn.  

Lastly, here are three practices that have helped me over the last few months. 

1.  When your eyes open in the morning, lay in bed and think of things your grateful for. 5-10 minutes.  Set an alarm on your phone, so you don't have to keep looking at the clock.  If you can't think of anything, start with your feet and move up your body.  This has helped me in particular be more grateful for a body that sometimes I let myself have negative thoughts about. 

2.  Walk around the block, or in my case through the cemetery and go through your list.  This is great because it's adding some physicality to your list. 

3.  Before bed, I have a journal on my night stand and I list 10 things I was grateful for that day. 

4.  Walk to the mailbox and make yourself feel grateful the entire way there and back. 

5.  During the sacrament on Sunday's, run through all the things that savior did for you, that you appreciate.  Because we all know how undeserving we can feel when we focus on a realize what he did for us. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Music Video

A week a go I heard this song on The Tonight Show and loved it.  The boys and I have been listening to it around the house.  My Mason loves music, and gets his dance on whenever it comes on.  Tonight Chris emailed me the music video and now I love it even more. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

3 years old...

Dealing with a three year all day reminds me of one of those olden time shoot outs in the movies.  I spend all day long deciding if I'm going to draw my gun or not.  There are moments when both our guns are drawn and we are clenching our teeth so tight, wondering who is going to shoot.  Enforcement of the rules is a battle, and lots of time I lose.  Some of my favorite comments.....

"No you do it!"  He repeats this numerous times, until usually I just end up doing it. 
"No I'm too busy today."  
"I'm so tired, I have to go to bed."  Then he walks into his room and starts playing with toys.

We are in the test your boundaries phase BIG time!  

99% of the time Caldwell could care less about what he wears.  Because pulling up your pants is hard  after going to the bathroom, pants don't last long on a day to day basis.  However, we have a rule that if you're outside you have to wear underwear.  Caldwell hates this rule with every fiber of his being.  Every once in awhile, he gets an entire outfit like the one above.  There is a mirror in my bedroom that is just his height.  He always checks himself out before going outside.  I hope with everything I have that his confidence continues in years to come!
 I heard somewhere that watching your kids sleep is a good way to "deal" with the toddler years.  Ain't that the truth.  This boy is so precious when he's sleeping.  Caldwell has gotten to where he can adequately describe his dreams, and now that I don't work I am less anxious about him waking me up in the middle of the night.  Now when he has a bad dream we often lay in his bed and talk through the dream.  A dinosaur cooking him in a pot, or a ghost outside his window that only dad is strong enough to get rid of.  It's such precious moments like these that makes the shoot outs less difficult. 
We ride the train to see Grandma Patty and Papa.  Right now we are trying to get by with one car as long as possible.  It's honestly not the worst thing ever.  Especially when Grandma is willing to pickup us up from the train.  This particular moment is just after Caldwell proceeded to call a man with a white beard Santa Clause.  Caldwell was upset because he didn't have any presents.  It was endearing, and also really embarrassing because the white bearded man was super in shape.  Caldwell's entire focus in life right now is getting a Spider Man Car.  Which he saw on Youtube Kids.  Out of desperation and hours of crying for this very expensive car, we made the mistake of telling him he could ask Santa for it.  He asks me every morning if we are going to put up the Christmas tree today.  

Caldwell calls his camo shorts his jungle shorts.  He loves when dad wears his jungle shorts too.  I love this boy so much.  He is smart, stubborn, and so innocent.  I have moments where I feel like I just crushed him because of my own faults.  Then I remember he is strong and resilient and so forgiving.  I am so appreciative of his forgiveness, I could not love anything less.   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mason Meadow is ONE!

 Mason Meadow turned one on Friday, June 23rd.  It's funny how things work with your second kid.  I had thought all week his birthday was on Thursday because I had been thinking about the day he was born all week.  On Wednesday night I was bugging Chris to watch the boys so I could go get birthday stuff.  Then Chris was like, "What's the rush?"  I finally figured out his birthday wasn't the next day.  
 The difference between my two boys right here.  Caldwell would not touch his birthday cake.  Caldwell hates being messy, his face is nearly always clean, along with his hands.  Mason will eat anything, constantly has a messy face and is all about as much dirt as possible.  I love seeing their differences and love both ways!  In fact last night Caldwell came home from "Donalds" (McDonalds) where Grandma Jan took him to play on the play place.  His feet were a disgusting black, and as soon as he walked in the door he wanted to go get in the shower and clean his feet. What a funny kid. 
 Mason's birthday was centered around doing what Mason likes to do best.  Play in the driveway.  He loves pushing his walker up and down the driveway.  Chris sits at one end, and I sit on the other and we turn him around  He still refuses to walk.  He also loves riding with Caldwell.  Caldwell is so sweet to take things slow, they giggle and laugh.  We do this almost every night.  
One things about being a stay at home mom verses working, is my kids actually make it on time to their doctor's appointments and not 3-4 months late.  I'm also not stressing about time when I'm there, which made it so much more enjoyable.  Especially since this time the doctor explained that Mason has been losing weight and she was concerned.  My gut tells me all is well, if she knew how far this kid walked each night in the driveway she wouldn't worry, but it's okay.  We will give him all the extra calories.  

We sure love our Mr. Mason.  At the doctor the nurse went to give Mason one of his shots.  Caldwell was sitting close, and knew what was happening.  However, when the nurse gave Mason the first poke, Caldwell lunged on the nurse and grabbed her hand, pulling the shot away and nearly getting stabbed.  I made that sound more dramatic than it was, but the look on Caldwell's face was so protective.  We had to move Caldwell before getting the other 2 shots.  I think that's how we all feel about "baby" the word Caldwell still uses at times for Mason, we love him so much!