Friday, December 28, 2012

The 10 Best Photos from Christmas

1. Sunday service the day before Christmas Eve was beautiful.  Besides the meditation on the true meaning of Christmas and the gorgeous Christmas music, the best part of the morning was dressing both of my kiddos up in festive, Christmas-y clothes!

2. While I cooked all morning for the big meal Chistmas Eve night, Shepherd played with play-doh and Christmas cookie cutters while Lydia observed closely.  They do a pretty good job entertaining themselves.

3. I'm a sucker for generational pictures.  Here's three generations of Pierce women in the kitchen!

4. A two-fer.  Everybody contributed something to the meal.  Here are a few of us working, and then to the right, the fruits of our labor.  It was tasty fruit.

5. This was my first year being Santa Claus.  I had a blast stuffing Shepherd and Lydia's stockings!

6. This was Shepherd's face at the precise moment that I told him Santa Claus had come the night before to fill his stocking.  He'd watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town enough times to know what that meant.

7. Shepherd got a tent from Mamm and Pap.  In this picture, he had managed to talk his dad into joining him in the tent.  He was obviously pretty proud of himself.

8. Nana made Lydia this hat.  Lydia + fluffy pink hat = cuteness overload.

9. This is the grandparents on Christmas morning.  I wish we could have all four of them every year for Christmas.  It was truly a wonderful holiday, and it was made special by each of them.

10. One last two-fer.  Ardmore had their first white Christmas since 1914 this year.  Here are some pictures of my guys taking advantage of it.  Shepherd really liked eating the snowflakes and ice cicles. 

I hope everyone had as wonderful of a holiday as we did.  Thank you to Nana, Papa, Mamm, and Pap for making it so much fun!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sweet Lydia

Don't be fooled by her size or by the fact that most of her clothes are still 0-3 month sized.  This little girl is 5 months old today! 

After thinking about the passage of time and how she is rapidly approaching half a year old...

...she decided that it is all pretty awesome.

In fact, she rocks 5 months.

And for the record, those happy pictures aren't a fluke.  This kid is happy all of the time.  She probably got that from BJ (cue the laughter.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To Potty Train or Not to Potty Train (yet)

Shepherd is getting to a phase where he doesn't want to lay still long enough to get his diaper changed, and I'm getting to a phase where I'm tired of wrestling him while simultaneously cleaning him and putting on a new diaper.  I've been hesitating to start potty training simply because a) the parenting books say to wait until a child is bothered by dirty diapers and can recognize the urge (the latter, yes, the former, not so much), and b) the average potty training age for boys in America is 39 months, so I'm not sure if trying it at 26 months would be premature and frustratingly futile.

With all of this information running through my head, I've basically been putting off the issue week after week.  However, something happened last week that has me seriously considering the issue.  It was early in the morning, and Shepherd was watching Dora the Explorer in the living room while I was nursing Lydia in mine and BJ's room.  Since BJ had gotten Shepherd out of bed that morning, Shepherd was in his diaper and nothing else (BJ does not understand the point in dressing our children, so he never does it. Ever. If our children have clothes, you can bet it was my doing.) 

So I'm nursing Lydia, and Shepherd runs quickly into the bedroom naked carrying his diaper.  He says, "Dipe-a, poopy," sits the diaper on the floor, and then starts running back down the hall with every intention to sit on the couch and resume watching Dora.  I quickly deposited a not-too-happy-to-be-interupted Lydia into her bed, and started chasing my dirty-bottomed little boy.  Thankfully, I caught him before our couch was defiled.  I carried him back to his room at arms lenth, cleaned him up, and put a new diaper and clothes on him.  When I laid him on the table, he looked up at me and said, "Thank oo, Mommy."  I'm not sure what I was being thanked for, but I'm glad the kid is polite.

With this memory all too vivid in my mind this week, I'm left to wonder if it is time to bite the bullet and potty train this kid.  To my dear readers, do you have any advice on how to potty train an ornery, 2-year-old little boy?  If so, please, I'm desperate.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Interacting with a 2-year-old

Shepherd: (in a loud whine) P-ease, p-ease, p-ease, p-ease!!!

Me: Can you say please nicely?

Shepherd (suddenly cool, calm, and collected): P-ease nicely.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The One Picture

With a baby, getting a good picture is a matter of random luck.  But every once in a while, you get a picture that perfectly captures the little personality you've been watching develop for the past few months.  For Shepherd, it was the below picture that I snapped during some family cuddling time on the couch.  Even today, this picture is still a perfect capture of Shepherd's joyfully and wildly mischievous nature.

Today, I got one of those pictures of Lydia.  Lydia is sweet and funny and she always leaves me suspecting that she knows something I'm not in on.  To me, this picture says it all:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

How the Grinch Lost His Wife in an Outdoor Shopping Mall (and nearly his mind)

Before I begin this Christmas tale, here are a few things you need to know:

-Unless he is sitting in his desk chair buying computer parts, BJ hates all forms of shopping. 
-BJ hates moseying, meandering, or browsing in stores. 
-For BJ, Christmas shopping is simply a necessary evil.
-BJ does not know the difference between a Payless Shoes and a Nordstroms.  He is oblivious.

With that said, let me begin.  This evening, BJ and I had two errands to run: we needed to exchange a bad box of Christmas lights at Lowe's, and we needed to pick up a couple of presents at Stages, a clothing store in an outdoor shopping center near Lowe's.  We decided that BJ would drop me and Lydia off at Stages while he and Shepherd ran to Lowe's.  Unfortunately, we both forgot our cell phones, but we figured it would be easy enough for BJ and Shepherd to find us in Stages, a fairly small store.

So BJ dropped off me and Lydia in front of Stages.  We went into the store and started looking around.  Soon after arriving, Lydia started showing signs that she may not be up for shopping, but being the determined shopper I am, I started picking up items here and there.  Over an approximately 30 minute span of time, the little fusses started getting more violent.  It was getting harder for me to hold her and the couple of items I had, and I was starting to get looks, the looks that say, "Why are you subjecting civilized society to that child of yours."  All I could think was, "Where is BJ?!?"  Lowe's is literally right across the street, and he was doing a quick exchange.  And surely I couldn't be that hard to find in Stages considering it isn't a large store and I was carrying around my very own foghorn.  Eventually, I started apologizing to the people around me and explaining that I would have left already if only my ride had arrived.  Finally, I decided to check out the items I thought would work well enough (I could hardly think over the screaming) and stand outside.

Back up thirty minutes...
BJ and Shepherd dropped us off and headed straight to Lowe's where they quickly exchanged the lights.  They returned to the shopping center and went into the store to find us.  Soon after coming in, Shepherd, who BJ was holding, had a diaper leak causing his pants and, thus, BJ's arm to get soaked.  Between having urine on his arm and just generally hating being in any store whatsoever, BJ was very anxious to find me and Lydia as soon as possible, but he couldn't spot us anywhere.  After about twenty minutes of futile searching, BJ started asking store clerks if they had seen a woman with a baby.  No one had.  With his levels of anger, frustration, and anxiety about to shoot through the roof, he decided that he wasn't waiting for me in some stupid clothing store any longer, and he headed toward the Petco two stores down. 

Back to where we left off with me and Lydia...
So I checked out and walked out of Stages' doors.  As soon as I exited, I saw BJ walking down the sidewalk toward me.  It took about half a second of examination for me to see that steam was emitting from his ears.  When we got close enough to talk, BJ immediately dug in: "Where have you been?" I replied that I had been walking all over Stages with a crying baby and asked where he had been.  He angrily said, "I've been looking for you all over in there while carrying Shepherd who peed all over my arm."  This whole time he was pointing to a Ross Dress for Less.  "Why were you in Ross's?" I asked.  Suddenly, the anger drained out of BJ.  "What?"

After our tempers and frustrations cooled down and I had the time to say, yes, it would be horrible to be peed on while stuck in a store, and BJ had the time to say, yes, it would be horrible to have a screaming baby while stuck in a store, I asked BJ if he ever wondered if he was in fact in Stages, our agreed upon meeting place.  BJ replied, "Well, it was a clothing store."

So the moral of our Christmas story is this: While all Stages are clothing stores, not all clothing stores are Stages.  Ah haa.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Five Things Shepherd Did Today (just an ordinary Saturday)

1. Sang the alphabet all the way through for the first time, and then proceeded to do it multiple times throughout the day.

2. Rubbed apple sauce into his hair.

3. After having bacon at breakfast, begged for bacon every time he walked into the kitchen.  Like a dog.

4. While in Walmart, picked his nose multiple times while yelling, "Booger!"

5.  Stared at his own reflection in the mirror, and then spit at it so he could watch the slobber run down the mirror.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My friend, Kayla, tagged me to answer a few random questions.  I am always happy to respond to randomness, so here it goes.

1.  What's your favorite holiday? Christmas, because I love picking out presents for all of my family members.  Also, I love my kids' birthdays.  Planning parties is so much fun!

2. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A pianist.  I practiced hours on end, but eventually decided the visual arts would be more lucrative (hahahahahahaha).

3. What hobby would you like to take up if you had more money/time? Printmaking.  I do a little lino-cutting at home, but I would live to have my own printing press so I could do dry points, etchings, and embossments. 

4. What TV shows do you currently watch? At the moment, I am going through Everybody Loves Raymond on Netflix. As far as current show, though, my favorites are Psych, White Collar, and Parks and Recreation.   

5. How long do you spend getting ready on a typical morning? Mom of two.  I don't get ready on a typical morning.

6. What does your name mean?/Why did your parents choose your name? Kalyn doesn't really have a meaning.  My parents picked it because it is pretty.  I think that is a good reason to pick a name, and I'm quite happy with their choice.

7. What's the best gift you've ever received? My dad built me a doll house when I was about 7.  It rocked my world.  I can't wait to re-gift it to Lydia in a few years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The New Road Trip

Sorry for the delay.  I was unable to get a blog post done before we left town to come down to Menard because I was trying to prepare four people for a week away from home.  It was chaos.  Then once I got to Menard, well, it's Menard.  Internet-y things are sometimes hard to accomplish.  But the important thing is that we are here and having a wonderful time.  Shepherd and Lydia are basking in the attention of Mamm, Pap, Uncle Bro, and Aunt Stephanie. 

BJ and I have always loved road trips.  They've been part of our relationship from the very beginning.  This November marks eight years since we started dating, and there have been many extended road trips in that time to Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and many places throughout Texas.  Basically, we have travelled all over seeing our friends and family.  As a minister's family, these little outings are restorative and necessary perhaps because we are going to see people who haven't always known BJ as the preacher and me as the preacher's wife.  We love our church family and our role within that family, but we sometimes need to take off those hats.

Of course, our road trips have made quite an evolution.  Used to, they were filled with BJ and I listening to our favorite music, finding NPR on the radio every time we neared a college town, talking, talking, and more talking about theology, politics, the meaning of life, and much more, and often reading books aloud to one another.  Our road trips are still all of these things, only now they are done against the background of our children screaming at us for restraining them in the evil car seats for hours on end and me occasionally popping to the backseat to try ineffectually to pacify their tortured cries. 

I had one moment Monday afternoon that really highlighted for me how much times had changed.  We had made a quick pit stop, not to get a drink or use the bathroom or get gas, but rather to change diapers, nurse Lydia, and let Shepherd run out some energy.  BJ and I both immediately got out of the van, retrieved the child that was on our side from the back seat, put them on our seat, and started changing a diaper.  When I looked up and saw this:

I knew our lives had really changed.  And despite the fact that we were standing over dirty diapers and children who had been screaming at us for the past hour, I couldn't help but feel a little happy that this is mine and BJ's life now.  And despite the craziness, I think I'm okay with the new road trip.      

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Light of the Blog's New Title, a Moment in the Park

While taking the kids for a walk in Ardmore's beautiful Regional Park, two years of reading children's books caught up to us.

Me: We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared! Uh, Oh, a cemented path.  I smooth, nice cemented path.
Me with BJ joining in: We can't go over it, we can't go under it.  Oh no, we've got to go through it.
BJ: Steady Gait, Steady Gait, Steady Gait.
Shepherd: Steady Gait!
Me: We are such nerds.
Lydia: (snoring)


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sibling Bonding

Watching a sibling relationship develop is a fascinating experience.  I love seeing Lydia and Shepherd's interest in each other grow with each passing day.  So far, here is what the relationship between a two-year-old brother and three-month-old sister looks like:

-Shepherd regularly yells, "Tickoos," (toddler for tickles) and pokes, prods, and harasses Lydia.  While it looks unpleasant to me, she thinks this is great and rewards hims with big, open-mouthed smiles.

-Shepherd is always running around being noisy.  Lydia quietly sits on my lap or lays on the floor following him with intense interest.  I suppose she is learning a lot while watching.  I also suppose that should worry me.  One day soon, I'm going to have two toddlers running around being noisy.

-Shepherd is really into coloring right now.  When he is inside, he colors with crayons, and outside he colors with sidewalk chalk.  While I try to keep his coloring to coloring books and sidewalks, Lydia is often times his canvas.  Many of her clothes now have miniature artworks on them.

-Shepherd loves to identify all of Lydia's features (eyes, nose, ears, etc.).  His favorite is her mouth.  When he says, "Mouth," he immediately sticks his finger in her mouth.  This makes Lydia smile until he sticks it too far in, and then it makes her gag. 

I could list several other things, but suffice it to say, their little sibling relationship is truly budding.  As someone who has always been close to my own brother, I love watching it.  Siblings our such a blessing.  There is know one else who witnesses one's life quite like a sibling.  Siblings are there from the beginning (or almost the beginning), and they are typically with you through all of life's ups and downs.  I am glad to see that even in the earliest moments, Shepherd and Lydia are building a foundation to what I pray will be a blessed, life-long relationship. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A few things

-As we have been experiencing fall weather off and on for the past month, I've come to a pretty major epiphany. It seems that my entire life has been leading to the moment when I would have a little girl and the weather would be cool enough to put her in tights and leg warmers.  This is what it is all about, people.

-I have finally found a way to exercise that I love: spinning.  Spinning meets my three criteria for a good work out:
  1. It requires no flexibility. (A 2 by 4 plank is more flexible than I am.)
  2. It does not require any learning of choreography. (I am as coordinated as Popeye's Olive Oyl.)
  3. And, finally, it isn't jogging. 

-Yesterday was Halloween!  Shepherd and Lydia wore costumes made by their Nana.  Aren't my little dragon and sweet pea adorable?!

-BJ came home from work yesterday declaring that he is tired of Shepherd's current toddler phase that consists of not wanting to eat half of the time and playing with his food.  Apparently, BJ returned to work after lunch to find rice in his hair.

-I recently purchased a pair of colored pants.  They are a nice peachy-pink.  I think they are adorable.  BJ hates them.  Any thoughts on the recent trend of colored pants?

-A cousin of mine pointed out this week the pressure people feel to give an outside appearance of perfection.   So in the interest of candidness and for all the mothers out there who constantly beat themselves up because their house isn't as clean as it was before you had two kids sucking all of your time/energy/resources, here is a pictures of my living room right now.  (FYI, for all the people who don't have kids yet but still fall behind, my house used to occasionally get this messy even before kids.)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Fall!

This afternoon, we took Shepherd and Lydia to a pumpkin patch.  It was a beautiful fall day, and we had a wonderful time.  Here are just a few pictures from our outing.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

The New Title

For three months now, I've had a daughter, which means that for three months, Just Me and My Boys has not been an appropriate title for my blog.  I hadn't changed the title yet, though, because I could not come up with a good replacement.  But finally, I've decided on a title that fits what this blog has always been and hopefully will continue to be: Doing Family Nerd Style.  Since deciding, I've had several moments of confidence about this title.  Here is a list of just a few:

-BJ turning on a podcast of Hardcore History about Genghis Khan for the two minute drive from the YMCA to our house.

-Me reading Stanley Hauerwas's Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memior aloud to BJ as road trip entertainment on our way to Ft. Worth.

-Us showing off Shepherd's "Little Trekkie" t-shirt at his birthday party. Shepherd loves their theme song.

-Watching the presidential debate with Lydia in her "Babies for Obama" onesie.  Lydia is such a nerd.

-Going to a museum exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls with BJ, and BJ excitedly buying a t-shirt that says, "Hebrew? It's Greek to me."

Yes, I'm pretty sure this title will work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Look Who's TWO!!!

Monday, Shepherd turned two years old.  I can't believe it.  And I really can't believe that on his second birthday, we have a three month old.  If you had told me that two years ago, I would have laughed, and then maybe cried a little, and then laughed some more.

We had a wonderful time watching Shepherd open presents.

Notice Lydia's participation.  She is pretty content to chill on the sidelines.

The night before, I stayed up until one in the morning decoration and cooking.  BJ walked out of our bedroom at 12:45 to find me hanging the bunting.  His exact words: "Seriously, Kalyn?"  Yes, I seriously decorate for my son's birthday.  Seriously.

Monday evening, we had some friends over to celebrate.  There is nothing like celebrating the birth of your wonderful son with wonderful friends who also love him.

Before everyone left, I asked Steve to take a picture of the four of us.  The kids weren't that into it, so BJ and I overcompensated with ridiculously exagerated smiles.   We look wierd.  So all in all, a pretty accurate family portrait.

Lydia then got tired of the party.

That pretty much sums up the day.  Needless to say, it was a wonderful day, not despite of all the chaos created by my children, but rather because we were specifically celebrating Shepherd and his chaos-inducing little self.   I love my little buddy.

Monday, October 08, 2012

For anyone and everyone with a "baby itch", look at your own risk.

In the comments for my last blog post (the one concerning my chaotic Sunday at church), my dear friend, Carolyn, thanked me for posting something that cancelled out all of the cute pictures I'm always posting of Shepherd and Lydia.  Apparently, the pictures had been giving her the baby itch, but my post brought her back to reality.  Well, since I do love babies and I think Carolyn and her husband would have very cute babies, I decided to spend this past week collecting adorable pictures of my children.  Here we go.

-All little boys need a fort, so while I was cooking lunch the other day, I helped Shepherd assemble his first fort under our kitchen table.

-This is just Lydia sleeping.  I thought I'd also post a close up of her sleeping, because babies sleeping are incredibly cute.

-While baking cookies with me, Shepherd accidentally burned his hand.  The only way we could console him was for him to lay on BJ (who was sick) and hold my cold water bottle.  They both fell asleep during the process.  I thought it was pretty adorable.

-This picture is of my children's faces.  I love their faces.

-This is Lydia and BJ sharing a moment.  Is there anything cuter than a father and daughter sharing a moment?

-Here are some more angles of the moment.  Are her ears not the coolest ears ever put on a child?  When I'm feeling blue, I just lay her on my lap and stare at her ears.  It makes me happy.

-This is Shepherd ready for our first really cold day this fall.  Love it!

-This is Lydia being Lydia with her cute scrunchy face.  Enough said.

-To really pack the cute punch, I dressed both of my children in overalls today.  Overalls+babies=bliss.

-And the grand finale: The Kiss!

Public service announcement: If anyone suddenly feels compelled to toss out birth control pills, I've heard doing it in the toilet is bad for the water supply and the environment.  Dispose responsibly!