Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday, Wednesday

In keeping with the theme of "memory keeper," I wanted to write out a play by play of what our days look like right now.
Wednesdays are usually pretty eventful, so I picked today to try to snapshot our moment by moment.
George has a late start on Wednesdays - 9:15 am.
So it is the day I take him to school.
(Tim has to be at school at 7 on Wednesdays, but every other day they start the same time).
So we all got up at the lovely hour of 7 am.
(I just can't get used to the fact that this is wake up time everyday - even though it has been for the last five years.)
I showered, fed and dressed the kids and got us out the door by 8:25am - without taking a single picture!
As we are walking out the door George says he is still hungry.
(After the scrambled eggs and sausage he had just scarfed down.)
So I grab apples for both the boys, cause you know Ethan will want one if George has one.

First picture of the day.

In typical Bettelli fashion . . . here is George obeying when I say to hold up your apple and smile.
And Ethan covering his face like someone is about to stab him.

After we left George off we were in serious need of gas . . . for the car.

I thought that was a good price, so I pulled into Walmart and put 50 buck in.

This is all I got for it.

A little over half a tank . . . are you kidding me?

Gas alone can make you broke.

Moving on . . . 

I was in major need of a car wash and have seen the $5.00 wash advertised right by the school.

I gave it a try.
And it totally disappointed.
Dirt streaks down the back of my car.

I am sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my car was so dirty you couldn't even tell what color it was supposed to be.

But we will just go with sucky car wash, not sucky person who takes car of car (or doesn't in this case).

I did think it would be a fun experience for Ethan . . . you know, sitting there watching the water and listening to it hit the windows.

He screamed bloody murder the entire time, begging me to hold him cause it was totally freaking him out.

Double failure in one . . . Still dirty car and frightened child.

Just go ahead and give me the award for "Mother of the year" right now.

Since I felt so bad for Ethan, I decided to get him myself a Starbucks with my Tim's gift card that he got from one of his students for Christmas.

Thanks, Babe.
And thanks, Student I don't know.

I really enjoyed it.

Next, we had to hit up the post office to send off some books we sold on . . . three weeks ago.
Sorry to those buyers!

Think they'll give us a good review?

Then we got to go to the Dollar Tree.

Can you even imagine anything more fun?  Me either.

You may be wondering at this point why I am not taking pictures on the inside of these places.

I had both Lexi and Ethan with me, so the only picture taking opportunities are in the car - with them securely strapped in.

Once we finished that delightful trip (insert sarcasm now), we headed to Chic-Fil-A to grab some lunch to bring to George at school.

We usually try to eat with him on Wednesdays, since we drop him off so late and his lunchtime is at 11.

That sign just screams delicious, doesn't it?

Again, George smiling and Ethan ignoring.  
Are you noticing the trend?

Here is Lexi girl while the boys ate.

After lunch (every single week) George asks us to go on the playground with his class, so I obliged this time.

I actually should do it more often.

It was like I had 15 babysitters to watch Ethan, while I got to just nurse Lexi and sit in the breeze.

Win, win.

Yes, my baby is fat . . . I mean healthy.

After playground time we headed back to the cafeteria to see Daddy.

We stayed for about 2.5 seconds because Ethan was so tired he could barely stand up.

So we headed home to the barn . . . 

The top section is where we live.

The bottom section is where the dogs and horses live.

Now we begin my favorite part of the day . . . 

Naptime . . . which lasted approximately 3 hours.

I do very productive things during naptime . . . 

Like finish watching The Bachelor, for example.

Or eat ice cream.

And yes that is very productive in losing my baby weight, in case you were wondering.

Now onto something seriously productive for my soul . . . 

When we all got up (yes, I usually get to snooze for a good 45 minutes to an hour after I finish whatever it is I have to finish that afternoon), we went outside to play.


Hard to get that active boy in focus.

He never. stops. moving.


Kitty Cats.

I didn't get a picture, but when George and Tim got home George totally ate it while riding a scooter.

It was pretty ugly, and I had to put peroxide on it . . . that always feels so good.

Once we got inside, it was time to make some dinner.

I love nights when I have leftovers from the night before.

Makes my job so much easier.

Taco Chicken Salads for the grown-ups.

Chicken and Rice for the babes.

Done and done.

Once dinner is finished we usually let the boys have some media time . . . they can play on the ipad or computer or watch tv.

Around 7:30 it is bathtime shower-time because that is the only cleaning station we have in this apartment.

They basically yell and scream over who gets to stand in the streaming water for a good 20 minutes until Tim or I washes them and gets them out.

We then pull out the couch bed and all cuddle in front of the tv till around 8:30.

Lights out.

Ethan usually continues to get up for the next couple hours before falling asleep in his crib.

Around 1 or 2 am he gets up again and comes in our bed.

I don't usually notice until 3 when Lexi gets up to eat.

I tell Tim to take him out because I don't want to wake him up with her crying.

So he takes him to the couch bed, and they both end up sleeping there with George until the next morning when the whole cycle starts again.

What a lovely cycle it is.

Longest. Post. Ever.

You get a prize if you made it to the end.

Oh, I don't know what prize that would be . . . but you get one, you lucky thing.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

memory keeper

I decided to explain myself.
A blog may seem like a weird thing to some people.

Like . . . 
Why would someone want to post their thoughts out there for all to read?
Why would someone put pictures of their family on the internet like that?
Why would anyone think anyone else cares?
All those are valid reasons to call blogging "weird."
So why do I do it?
(Although I don't "do it" well or often enough)
I was reading another mom's blog post today about being the memory keeper for your kids.
I think this is where my blogging stems from.
How cool would it be for me to look back at things my mom wrote about our day to day when I was growing up.
Sure, we have pictures of the major holidays and occasions, but what about our daily going-ons?
Those have been lost in the shuffle.
I want to give this gift to my kids.
I want them to look back on the things they were doing with mommy.
The way mommy was thinking about life at different points.
Most of all I want them to see the many, many ways God worked in our family throughout different seasons.
His hands are always on us, and I want them to have a record of that.
Eventually I will make my blog into a printed book.
Kept forever for memories' sake.
And I hope they will laugh.
And cry.
At all the Bettelli memories we have made over the years.
(Even if the pictures for the last few months are from my iphone because our super nice camera is broken . . . the memories are important even then).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I am not ashamed

This is a public service announcement.

This is happening this summer.

You won't want to miss it.

Epic entertainment at its finest.

Be there.

I'll be the one in my 90's get-up, screaming my head off, and laughing until I pee.

Because there is nothing better than watching 40 year old has-beens who think they still got it take off their shirts and sing with man-made wind blowing in their faces.



Friday, January 25, 2013

Grace for today

Since moving to Fort Myers and having Lexi I have felt a little out of it.
Like I can't get a handle on everything.
Like I am so tired I can't think straight.
Like I am going through the motions of being a mom, but not really "being" anything at all.
Like I don't know where we are going in life.
Like I need some direction and purpose.
Like my goals are never gonna happen.
Some days are better than others, but for the most part I feel a little stuck.
This time last year I was enhancing (for lack of a better word) my life in so many ways.
I was about to turn 30, but I was proud of who I had become and the things I was doing.
(I guess that was my first mistake . . . pride comes before the fall, huh?)
I was in graduate school and absolutely loving it.
I loved learning about education, and I loved having adult time in the evenings after being with the kids all day.
I was tutoring struggling kids twice a week.
I was attending multiple Bible studies and really feasting on the Word of God.
I was getting to spend a lot of time with Ethan and George because George only had half days of school.
I was the one who drove him to and from every single day.
I was sleeping through the night because both my kids had their own rooms to sleep in and slept well.
I was watching tv in my living room every night . . . which I can't ever do after 8:30 here in the one bedroom because it doubles as the boys bedroom.
I had friends that knew me and wanted to hang out.
Then . . . 

I found out I was pregnant, Tim got the job in Fort Myers, and we moved our whole family to a one bedroom apartment.

And life got different - very different.

I didn't have grad school and adult conversation at night.

Instead I have a baby who is totally precious, but I have to wake up and nurse at night.

I have a 2 year old who won't stay in his bed at night, and we can't let him "cry it out" because his five year old brother is in the same room and has to get up for school the next morning.
(hello run-on sentence)

I didn't have any Bible studies (although I did start one last week that I am loving).

I didn't have any friends here.

I had no where to go to get out during the day.

I barely see my firstborn because he goes to school all day and rides with daddy to and from.

Life just got simple.

Real quick.

And I had to make a decision to go with the flow or get bitter.

I have been dealing with these feelings more lately because I am finally able to come to terms with them on some level.

Tim got some not so great news about his job this week, and I think that is what spurred me to write out all these thoughts.

We don't even know if we are staying here.

We could have to do this all over again somewhere new next year.

We are basically nomads which is something I never thought I would be.

I want stability for my family.

I want people who really know us.

I want a house with bedrooms I can lock my kids in.
(just kidding . . . kind of)

I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . (you fill in the blank).

But the conclusion the Lord just keeps bringing me back to is "GRACE FOR TODAY."

I only need what He is giving me right now.

Worrying about tomorrow or next month or next year is worthless.

God knows where we will be.

He will give me friends.

He will help me get involved where He wants me involved.

He will take care of me and my family.

When I feel like I can't last another day with no sleep . . . 

When I feel like I am buried in dishes and spit-up . . . 

When I feel like I need some adult interaction . . . 

When I feel like I can't change one more diaper . . . 

I just have to rely on His grace for today.

Cause it is there.

If I would just stop complaining and start recognizing.

(I realize the pictures have nothing to do with this post, but I figured you would like something adorable to look at while reading all this rambling).


Monday, January 21, 2013

A Day with George

Last week I had the opportunity to chaperone George's class trip to the Children's Museum of Naples.
He really wanted me to go when they sent home the permission slip before Christmas, but I told him it was a long-shot.
They weren't allowing younger siblings to come, and I don't really have anyone to watch the two littlest Bettelli's in Fort Myers yet.
A few days before the trip I asked my mom if she would be willing to come down for 24 hours to watch the kids, so I could go.
She did, and George was so happy that he would have me all to himself for an entire day.
When we got there they did a little lesson on the solar system.
Then we had lunch around 11.
After lunch they gave the kids time outside to play on all the playground toys . . . complete with a maze made out of bushes.
Once they got out some of their energy, we came back inside to check out the exhibits.
George loved the restaurant space.

He had so much fun with all the hands on activities he got to take part in.

Here he is playing the news anchor roll on tv.

Our day was so much fun, and he wanted to know when we could come back as soon as we left.

The museum was really fun, but I enjoyed my day with George alone even more.

I tell my husband all the time that sometimes I feel like I neglect George.

Ethan and Lexi are so labor intensive at 3 months and 2 years old.

George is 5, and he just has such a compliant personality.

I don't ever want him to feel like he gets lost in the shuffle of our crazy life.

He is so important to me, and I want him to always feel that way.

I truly believe that the best gift we can give our kids is siblings, but I also know that as you add kids to your brood things get crazier and busier.
It is always a balancing act, and I hope George knows what a priority he is for me.
I love that little boy so, so, so much, and it was such a privilege to hang with him.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Enjoying these days

Since I moved into this loft apartment in October I haven't really done much.
I spend most of my days just being with my two littlest in a constant rotation between feeding/rocking my baby and playing a mutitude of different games/toys with my toddler.

 When I lived in Largo I literally ran from one thing to another . . . always packing the kids in the car as we drove from one destination to the next.
I enjoy being busy.  I really do.
I loved having play dates and Bible studies and preschools to go to.
But . . .
There is definitely something to be said for the "simple" life.
This time with my kids is so precious.
I am trying to soak every minute in.
I start a new Bible study on Thursday mornings this week.
I know the longer we live here the more things I will find to do.
And that is all fine, but I want to make sure I don't forget these days.
Days when my babies were happy to just sit on my lap on the couch and enjoy the morning together.
Just being together.
Just soaking in all their preciousness.
Cause they are precious.
So, so precious.

And I am blessed.
So, so blessed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 is here

Last year I wrote this post about my expectations for 2012.
It has been a good year.
A hard year with a lot of changes but a good year too.
I have tried to find joy in all circumstances.
Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I didn't.
I thought a lot about what I wanted to write in my first post in 2013.
A new beginning is so open and fresh.
And people love to fill it with all their lofty goals.
But I don't.
That depresses me, because I know I won't accomplish it all.
What a way to start a year . . .
I want to start this year off by being thankful for my four greatest blessings.

They are my mission for 2013.
I want to be a better mom and a better wife.
I know these are goals that are never actually checked off a list, but that makes it easier for me to work on it.
It is a constant goal to strive for.
I want it at the forefront of my mind in all decision-making.
I want them to feel loved and cherished with everything I do.
That is my "resolution" for 2013.
And maybe I will finally try to make a loaf of homeade bread.
Maybe . . .
Because I don't want to overwhelm myself or anything.