I can imagine that there are words that define brotherly love that all would agree with..to protect, to encourage, to lift up, to mentor, to walk alongside with. When I see Gress with Mcree I KNOW there is so much love he has for his little brother. Even when he is rough with Mcree (which Mcree often belly laughs at) or pesters him, I know it comes as part of being a big brother. (So see Karin, all of my picking on you was just love! 🙂 I love these two little guys together! You can often find Gress next to Mcree, holding his hand or just laying with him. The first photo cracks me up because I often find Mcree is a pile of toys that Gress has collected for him. This day was finger puppets.
In my efforts to be more engaged with my family, (less or no facebook, checking email less frequently, and being on my phone and computer less) I have somehow neglected posting to the blog. So here is what we have been up to.
We have a garden that is flowering and growing more veggies daily. We will be overrun with tomatoes, pawning off our eggplant, and eating okra and cucumbers as they are ready. Our watermelon might take awhile but it sure is fun to watch grow.
We have been trying to be intentional about getting together with people. It is so easy to live in the day to day routine just trying to keep up with all the tasks at hand. We know God calls us into community for so many different reasons. Some of our friends here have been trying to have get togethers with new people at our church in an effort to expand who they know…love that. So we had an an improptu pool party thrown by our friends at our house. One couple made fresh caught fried fish and homemade hush puppies, another..who are farmers and want to build a sustainable orphanage…(oh so cool) brought veggies grown in their garden to grill, and another family brought ice cream cones and all the toppings. I didn’t know where the common thread was between us all…and wasn’t sure how we would all blend. We all had kids, 3 couples had new babies, we all loved God…but that was all I knew. I have to say it was amazing. It was fulfilling, it was interesting, it was refreshing, it was fun and it was challenging. It jarred me out of my cocoon to remind me why we are a church body. We need each other….. So here’s the same challenge for you. Take a step to be in community….
We (me Gress and Mcree) have been at the beach at least one a week for the past few weeks. We can’t get enough.
Mcree is a morning person, so much that he loves to wake up each morning at 5:30am (ok this morning at 2:30am) and talk until he realizes no one is listening and then starts crying. I have a feeling the paci might be going bye bye soon..because me waking up multiple times to stick it in his mouth is now getting old..and starting bad habits.
There will be a lot of swimming (or crying) going on here these next few weeks. We are in another round of swim lessons. 4 x week for 2 weeks. Crossing my fingers that something clicks. And Mcree loves the pool and any chance I get this summer he will be in it with us.
And finally, Gress is turning 4 at the end of this week. WOW. Time flies. He has been asking to have a birthday party so we are going for it. A cowboy pool party with a photo booth and all! It will be fun. And maybe some horseback riding again on his actual birthday. Photos to come.
When I heard the term etched memories (from my good friend Kristen Franklin), I knew that was something I wanted to instill in my family goals. I want my kids to have memories they forever remember and hold special. With Rad and I both at home, it is so easy to just stay home and hang out together (which is still special) but we are here a lot and I wanted our kids to see and experience new things. I also think the more we do things (like go to the baseball stadium or the beach) the more we get to see them grow in those experiences. Gress was more into the game, more into understanding it, and more confident to explore the stadium and see Nate the Gnat (the mascot) on his own. I LOVE where we live and what we get to see and do.
There are already so many different things about Mcree, besides that he wears seersucker! (never thought I would see that day). I think second children are just their own people and so much more go with the flow. I am thankful for a happy baby, who is happy to just be around us, and who loves Gressett and puts up with all of his hard jiggling hugs. He is definitely a morning person, waking up at 5:30am every morning and just chatting and squealing loudly (until we remind him it is time to go back to sleep). He loves to roll over onto his stomach, until he decides he doesn’t want to be there anymore and will let you know. He loves to grab things, and is so good with his little chubby hands. He giggles when you rub powder on his neck, and just smiles at you when you change his diaper. I can’t wait to see more of his personality come out. Oh, and he LOVES to sleep with his blankies OVER HIS HEAD! Really!
Yes, I know…I am behind on posting updates. Seems like life has gotten a lot busier lately and I can barely find time to get on my computer. With the nice weather, we are out and about a whole lot more and a lot of other things have taken a back seat. I really could use 2 of me these days. Here are just a few things we have been up to…
Making our own popsicles (thanks to Aunt Karin). We just made strawberry/balsamic/pepper in a rocket mold. Yes, Gress thought it was the coolest thing.
We have a garden (photos to come) and we have been busy tending to that (the eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers are just blooming).
We have been exploring parks, the beach, and even strawberry picking. Although strawberry picking with a small person on your back screaming and the other little boy eating all the strawberries and running around like a crazy person was an interesting experience. They strawberries taste amazing and were even used in our strawberry popsicles! SO it was worth it.
Shopping with 2 little people always makes things much more interesting. Gress is very observant and always asks questions loudly (“mom, is that a man or a woman?”, “mom, what happened to that lady’s leg?”, “mom, is she pregnant?”) so I am in the process of constantly reminding him that we ask those questions quietly to just me. Fun times.
And, we do hang out a lot at home….and Gress just loves being around Mcree…lucky kid…
Gress asked me where one of his toys was today (it is actually some little chicks in an easter egg). I told him I didn’t know and he said, “mom, can we take everything in the house and put it outside so we can find the chick?”
FUNNY how sometimes I feel the EXACT same way!
I can tell we are approaching Gress becoming 4. He seems to be more silly these days, making silly faces at the camera…if he even poses at all. Usually he runs away or hides behind something, or makes a face you wouldn’t want to document anyway. But the moments he seems to ignore the camera are those where he is loving on Mera, Mcree or just playing. Gress is a smart kid and often asks questions I need an encyclopedia (or Rad) to answer. He loves to draw and lately surprises us with his skill at that. He loves to be outside playing in the dirt or water and doesn’t mind being completely dirty. Gotta love boys!
Wait, it dad thinks I am Rad then who is he? 🙂 Thanks for the oh so cool shirt Laniers! We love it and laugh every time Mcree wears it!
It is hard to believe that 5 months have already passed. WOW has that flown by. Mcree has changed so much…he now:
reaches for you or toys
laughs/crys/wiggles right before you feed him
scoots around his mat/crib
loves to take baths and kicks with excitement when you get him in there
grabs onto toys and shakes rattles
loves to have the blanket completely over his head when he sleeps (safe I know)
chatters loudly and makes spitting noises with his tounge
sucks on his upper lip
plays and chats happily in his crib until you come to get him
loves to feel texture and moves him hand or arm back and forth on things
smiles when you talk to him
squeals when you play rougher or swing him around
loves to put things in his mouth (stuffed animals, blankies)
I am so lucky to have a husband who loves me enough to carry my burdens. Radford has done that from day 1 and I am so thankful to have him. I had a job in Atlanta this last week and we decided to go as a family, mostly because my Dad was in town visiting my sister and Layla and we wanted the kids to be able to see him. As I looked out the kitchen window just before we headed out of Savannah, Rad was strapping onto the car all the needed production supplies, coolers, coffee carafes, a stroller, a pack and play, and so much more, and I thought to myself…is this all really necessary? All this stuff. It was too late to say leave it all behind. The car was leaving the station. We rented a corporate apartment for the week since there was going to be so much coming and going and with one car, we needed to be centrally located. Once we got settled in late that night, I looked at Rad and told him I felt overwhelmed and asked him if he ever felt like just crying from being overwhelmed. He just hugged me and said no. I am not quite sure what response I was thinking he would say, but looking back I am glad that was what he said. I needed him this last week. I needed his hugs, I needed his encouragement, and I needed his help. And he gave it to me wholeheartedly. He loved on me, he took care of every detail with the kids so I didn’t have to think about it one bit, he carried my heavy loads, he spent time with my family so my kids could be loved on by them, and he smiled so I would know all was right in the world. THANKS Rad. Thanks for carrying me through this last week.