Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015--Answered Prayers and Fasting

Our church likes to kick off the new year by fasting and praying. Last year Brett and I decided to participate and pray together for 3 things we wanted God to guide us through for the year.
It was a 10 Day fast in which we gave up certain food items and prayed. For me, I gave up sugar and Keurig drinks. Then, any time I craved that, I stopped to pray.

Brett and I made a list of 3 things to pray for:

1. Expanding our Family
2. Growth in Brett's job
3. Moving 

Here is what happened in each area:

1. Expanding our Family

In December of 2014 we went through our 3rd miscarriage (the first two were before Barker) and I was left feeling lost and wondering what God had planned for us. So of course this was on the top of our prayer list. I appeared to be perfectly healthy, yet I had lost another baby and we didn't really have a reason. I wondered if I'd be able to carry another baby to term or if we would expand our family another way. Whatever would happen, we needed God's peace and direction. 
Then, 5 days into the fast, we discovered I was pregnant again. We were "cautiously optimistic" the entire first trimester and then, on September 21 I gave birth to our second son. He was a healthy full term (plus 2 days) baby weighing 8lbs 2.5oz. =D

2. Growth in Brett's Job

Brett was happy and enjoyed his job, but he had been doing the same thing for awhile and was ready for some new challenges. God provided here in not just one, but in two ways!
In the spring we took on an investment property when we purchased and flipped a small house! Brett worked very hard and now we are renting it out to a sweet military family. :) 
Then, in the summer, Brett interviewed and was chosen for a new position in his company. He now works entirely from home (yay!) when he is not traveling and we can live anywhere. Which leads to...

3. Moving

When we got married and moved to Florida, we always hoped to eventually move back to the Midwest. 
Last year we prayed from God to either give us peace to stay where we were, or open the door for us to move back. 
As the year started we settled in to stay in Florida and felt peace about it. But then, with Brett's new job, we no longer had to stay for job/financial reasons. Around the time we welcomed Beckett into the world the doors started to really open for us to move to Indiana.
Shortly before thanksgiving God provided us with a lot and a house plan that we love and now we are building a house just outside of Indianapolis! 

As we close 2015 I can't help but be thankful and amazed at how God as provided for us this year. 

Now on to fasting and praying for another great year in 2016!
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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Barker and his ways

Barker has a lot of sides. Here are some I was able to capture this week:

The observer
He likes to take in new things by watching first. He also enjoys long walks around the neighborhood.

Fearless, Mr. Independent
He loves to run and explore. No need  hold Mommy's hand. Let's go!

A Gentleman
He has no trouble saying thank you. He'll even throw in the name of the person he is thanking! "Thank you Mommy!"

I'm so excited! He may have inherited my gift of organization! Of course he is two so...

Creative Explosions!
There is no end to his imagination. He certainly knows how to throw his very own, very exciting toddler parties.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Taking a Mental Day

(Clicked to publish this Monday but it didn't go through! Oh well, here it is now)

On the surving (0) to thriving (10) scale I'd say we're at a 2 today.

While Beckett is on his best behavior and hasn't had one true colic fit yet today (knock on wood), 

Barker is testing me.

I was so happy when Beckett gave me a strong 5hr stretch of sleep last night. It made me hopeful after the rough colic filled day we had just survived. 

But then, about 10min after I had just gotten back to sleep, Barker woke up.

It was 4:30am.

Usually when it's that early I can bring him into my bed and he'll go right back to sleep. Sadly that was not the case today.

Then he spent the morning running around with the dog, which isn't bad until he opens the door out to the garage, gets into some ornaments and then calls the dog to come out and join him.

Of course the lack of sleep makes him cranky. (Me too ;))

But thankfully the boys tend to take turns with their crazy days and Beckett has been quite the trooper.

He even napped by himself long enough for me to paint my toes while Barker crawled on my back. (I just pretended he was giving me a massage...)

So I'm taking a mental health day. We are all still in our pjs and I'm reading and rocking Beckett while Barker is up to his usual silliness. 
(Ok the makeup thing happened Friday, but I now cringe every time he goes near our bathroom.)

I just hope the random assortment of items I tossed in the crockpot taste good for dinner tonight. :)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Toddler Baking

Today is my birthday and tomorrow is Thanksgiving so this morning's project was baking cookies. Barker was very excited and kept saying, "cookies!"

How cute is he in his Daddy's apron? :)

Barker loves putting things in the mixer.
Only one wooden spoon was broken when it got tossed in while the mixer was on...

This guy woke up from his nap and caused Mommy to be distracted. ;)
While I was tending to Beckett, I taught Barker to lick his sugar hands so he wouldn't get hand prints on the furniture.
Back to work!

We made oatmeal craisin cookies. Festive, no?

Always good to sample as you go.

And after the baking part, it was time to eat!

Warning, after making cookies with your toddler, he will probably want to eat them all at once. Be sure to have distractions.
Such as lizard chasing outside...

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Toddler Cleaning

I decided a long time ago that when Barker wants to help me clean, I'll try my best to let him do it. Sure that often means it takes 4X as long, but in the long run it'll help if he learns to do it right when he's little and takes an interest! Right? ;)

His favorite is using the Swiffer, and I'll admit, that is the worst because he loves pushing the button to get the soap out and he really doesn't understand how to clean with it or that it's just for the hard floors (not rugs).
A photo posted by sharalynnh (@sharalynnh) on
Sometimes I just sneak using it when he's out of the room...

Last week I was dusting and his favorite part is of course spraying the pledge. It got sprayed in his face a few times...
A photo posted by sharalynnh (@sharalynnh) on

Today he wanted to help mop. I have two mops now so he got to use one.

It took a little longer than usual... and the floors got REALLLY wet. But I think he enjoyed himself.
My mom recently got us a mop and bucket that spins. That was super amusing.

Now I just hope he keeps up this interest in cleaning as he gets older!
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

What I am Thankful For

Brett will honestly tell you he's "not a baby person." It's true. He thinks he doesn't know what to do with them and after 5 minutes of crying he can't handle it anymore and will quickly hand the baby back to me.

When Barker was only a few months old he told me he'd be okay once he could "reason with him." This always made me chuckle because when can you ever "reason" with your child?
Luckily that ended up meaning, once he can walk, play with a ball and start talking.

He may think he isn't a baby person, but it is obvious to me he is a good Daddy and husband.

When Barker was 10 months old we went on a cruise and he had fluid on his ears. One night we just could not get Barker to calm down and we were exhausted. Brett then took Barker and paced the ship until he found a lounge chair by the pool on the upper deck where the white noise of the ocean and the cool air helped get him to sleep.

A couple weeks ago Beckett was crying while I was getting Barker ready to go somewhere. I was trying to work fast and getting a little stressed. Then Brett came out of his office, walked over to Becett, picked him up and calmed him down within about 2 minutes. It was amazing and so sweet.

I know this baby stage is rough on him, but when we really need him, he is always there.

When I tell him about the number of times the baby woke me up, or how both boys AND the dog were all crying for something at the same time that day he tells me what is probably the best thing he could say in that situation, "you're a good mom."

Earlier this week he made me laugh when I was talking about trying to stay organized and be productive and he said,

"Every day you keep the boys alive is productivity for you."

That made me smile, not just because it's silly, but also because he meant it. :)

So this Thanksgiving Season I couldn't be more thankful for this man that God has placed in my life.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mommy's Little Gentleman

Barker surprises me every day, this morning it's not even 8AM and he's impressed me with his manners! It almost makes up for him laying on his brother when I took the dog out...

For a long time now we've been teaching Barker to say, "please" and "thank you." These are also words that he signs, it's super sweet and cute.
When he wants something to eat or drink, or is begging for a fry after we go through a drive-thru, I'll ask him, "what do we say?" and he'll reply, "please, fry please!" Sometimes he'll say please all on his own, and I'm pretty sure I even heard him say, "welcome" in response to me saying thank you the other day!
I also prompt him to say, "thank you" whenever someone gives him something or does somthing for him. He's pretty good at that until he gets really shy around a new person. ;) But at home Brett will give him some milk, I say, "say thank you" and Barker replies, "thank you Daddy!"

This morning, I had just calmed down Beckett (after apparently Barker thought wrestling was a good idea when I took the dog out) and was laying him down in his rock-n-play when Barker comes over and taps him on the face. =( While attempting to calm Beckett and move Barker away I tell him, "you can't do that Barker, he's too little." (A phrase that is often said throughout the day.) Then I go into the kitchen and Barker follows saying, "sorry Beckett, sorry Beckett, sorry Mommy!" I was shocked! I just started telling him to say sorry last week and here he is saying it all on his own! Of course I told him we forgive him and then I gave him his drink. =)
Then 2 minutes later I gave Barker his vitamin and he said, "thank you" all on his own!

Needless to say I couldn't be prouder of the little gentleman he is becoming. =) If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Barker Bear Clubhouse

We have a lot of boxes around here and Barker is sometimes intrigued, but he doesn't really know what to do with them.
Last week we had a larger empty box after getting our monthly Amazon mom shipment of diapers and wipes. I could see the possibilities, Barker just needed a boost. First, I put some blocks and his iPad inside.
I sent this picture to Brett and said Barker needed some help working on his clubhouse.
It started with a window.
Then he started decorating with stickers. (This entertains him for hours, it's awesome.)
Then we remembered the box from our new water heater was in the garage!
Now he has a door and plenty of room for Daddy too.
Isn't he a cutie?
And of course Beckett wants to join in on the fun. ;)

So that's how Barker got his own clubhouse. :)

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