Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Weekend to Remember!

Last weekend, Sam and I left the kiddos in the very capable hands of Grandma and Papa Brandt, and headed to Des Moines for a Family Life Marriage Conference called "A Weekend to Remember". I have confessed to Sam and will admit publicly now that deep in my heart, I was thinking that this would be a fun weekend away from home and Sam might learn a few things about how to be a better husband-to put it in their terms, I was bringing Sam there to fix him. Instead, God convicted ME and opened my eyes to so many truths that I wasn't living. If you would humor me, I would like to share with you a few of the things that I learned that I think will change my life:
1. I was created by God to be the perfect partner to my Sam. When God was creating me, He gave me gifts to compliment my husband and weaknesses where Sam is strong. The same holds true for Sam. We were created to compliment each other. Pretty awesome if you stop to think about it!
2. Expectations without communication leads to conflict! My husband is not a mind reader! :)
3. I need to reject our cultures pattern of 50/50 performance relationship, where I only do my part if I feel he is doing his. Very hard for me to do, but I am loving the results!
4. Sam and I have completely different communication styles-'nough said! :) However, one thing that I have been trying to take to heart is "Always respond to emotion with emotion, and fact with fact". They gave the example of a man commenting to his wife that they had gone over budget and his wife flies off the handle and starts crying about how he doesn't love her and is always yelling at her about money. That's responding to fact with emotion. FYI, it works well with Ellie too! :)
5. My priorities need to be in the Godly order of God, my husband, and then my kids.
There was so many other things that I'm not putting here, but it really was an awesome weekend. It was so much fun to spend time with Sam without all the distractions of home. We laughed more than we have in a long time, had plenty of time to talk, had a LOT of honest discussions, and even shed a few tears (ok, that was me...not Sam! :)). It was wonderful to be ME for a whole weekend. I adore my children, but sometimes it's hard to be someone's mommy all the time, and having a chance to have a break from it all was so nice. Sam was so great about the whole thing-I know this definitely wasn't his cup of tea, but he did it because he knew I wanted to. Sam is definitely my gift from God and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be reminded of it yet again. Love ya Babe! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I Miss About Toddler MomLife - FamilyLife MomLife Today

I just read this and it brought tears to my eyes. It's so true and even though at times I do long for those things, I know this little stage goes by so fast and someday, I'm going to long for it again. Toddler Moms-this is a must read!

What I Miss About Toddler MomLife - FamilyLife MomLife Today

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh My Little Claire Bear

You know, God is showing me again that HIS plan is the best of all. This little peanut here is living proof of that. I think most people know that she was our little surprise baby (notice I didn't say mistake baby-she was NEVER that). She is definitely my most challenging child as well, but there are things about this little girl that I have come to admire. She is the most determined person I have ever met. If she really wants something (mostly toothbrushes out of the bathroom drawer) she will do whatever she can to get it. The SECOND she hears that bathroom door open she is there in a flash-you would be amazed at how fast this little person can move! And she has gotten in trouble so many times I lose track, but she knows what she wants and she is going to do whatever it takes to get it.

She is always observing and watching. She loves to watch her older sister and brother, and I'm sure right now in this pic, she is thinking "MAN, I wish I was out there with them!!"

Claire Bear is my little sweet tooth girl! Her second word, only after Daddy, is "cookie"! She adores her daddy and has a special little smile that she gives him that melts him to a big pile of daddiness. He would never admit it because he's too manly...ok, he probably would admit it. :) She usually gives him that "squishy face" smile when he's eating dessert, and he can't resist sharing! :)
"What? You talkin' to ME? I've just been kickin' it here with Pops...chillin' in my John Deere hat! I have NO idea how all those toothbrushes got out of there!"
And the girl can accesorize! She LOVES hats! Or if no hat can be found and a daddy is available for some assistance, tights work just as well! Seriously, she thought she was SOOOO funny with those on her head-it was hillarious.

And no matter how much grief she gives me (and it's A LOT, trust me!) she can ALWAYS make me smile. Her smile and her laughter are so contagious, that you would have to have a heart of stone to resist smiling along with her. And Lord knows, when it comes to that little sweetie, my heart is anything but stone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everybody's Right Where They're Supposed to Be

Daddy has been gone the last few days for work. He left for Texas on Sunday night and was supposed to come home last night and put Ellie in bed, but due to technical difficulties in Texas and fog in Cedar Rapids he had to stay last night too. Ellie really doesn't like it when her Daddy leaves. One night is tolerable, but the second night (and an unexpected one at that) seems to make her wierd. She doesn't go to bed very good and gets really tired. So, today was that second day! Luckily, we had planned to go play with Kaci and Seth at their grandparents house, so that fun diversion helped too. Then, to all of our great delight, Daddy's car was in the garage when we got home! We were all so glad to see him! Ellie of course crawled right up on Daddy's lap and out of the blue, she took a deep breath and said "Whew, everybody is right where they're supposed to be"! :) Sam and I looked at each other and I just smiled. My thoughts exactly Baby Girl, my thoughts exactly.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We Love Saturday Mornings!

This is how most Saturday mornings start at the Brandt household. Sam usually makes breakfast. I don't know how it got started, but I am quite happy to let him do it! Being the super-dad that he is he lets the kids help him make pancakes, which is what they choose 99.9% of the time for Saturday breakfast. They help him dump in ingredients and then stir, which they think is awesome fun. And it is seriously amazing how many pancakes my children will eat. Darren ususally eats more than me...honestly!

Then, on the most wonderful of the Saturdays, THIS happens-relaxing and snuggling with the kids while they watch cartoons. This has been a busy week and I am thinking that a certain little mega-daddy's girl needed a little extra snuggle time which Daddy was only to happy to give because it gives him a chance to catch up on some much needed rest as well! Sometimes life just seems so busy and rushed and Saturday mornings are our small respite from that craziness. It's just too bad that Saturday afternoon chores have to follow~ Hmmm, maybe today will just be morning all day! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Love Little Diaper Bums! :)

A couple of weeks ago now, Darren had tubes put in and his adnoids taken out due to chronic ear infections and colds/coughs that would last forever! The poor kid was becoming immune to zithromax (the strongest antibiotic the dr would give him) since he was on it all the time. He pretty much had ear infection non-stop from Thanksgiving until the middle of February when the tubes were put in. The doctor that performed the surgery is semi-retired, so Darren's procedure was scheduled, it was not for 6 weeks! That is WAAYYY too much time for this Mommy to stress about things that I know are never going to happen-like "what happens if he dies from anesthesia????? I can't lose him!!" and all those completely not necessary thought. Of course these would ususally occur when I was laying in bed, unable to sleep and my brian would wander....and I would usually end of crying. (Those close to me know that Tiff cries REALLY easy when she's tired!! :)) My wonderful, VERY practical husband was tired of my nonsense and commented "Tiff, we are more likely to get killed on the way there than he is dying from anesthesia"....THANK YOU OH THOU WONDERFUL COMFORTER-that SOO did NOT help!!!! Anyway, it all turned out fine. He did great when I had to pass him off to the nurse **Sniff** I only got a little teary, but held it together admirably as well! He was a little wierd coming out of anesthesia-very restless and even I couldn't settle him down. As a last resort, I started to softly sing to him-we were in a curtained room and I am NOT a good singer, so softly was the key!! :) I sang the song I used to sing to him when he was a baby and INSTANTLY he calmed down and went to sleep. It was...I don't know the word..wierd, surprising, wonderful...??? He woke up a little later and was very restless again. I asked him if he wanted a drink (NO!) Daddy (NO!) and it dawned on me..Do you want me to sing again?? Yep, that's what he wanted and he settled right back down to sleep! Awwwww...It's such a good feeling knowing that when my baby is not feeling right and doesn't know what's going on, all it takes is my song and he is relaxed again-I love being a Mom! :) How cute is that...This is playing in the toy room waiting for surgery. I loved his little diper bum peeking out from his gown (which he was NOT at all happy about wearing!)
Waiting to go see "Dr. Rover" (aka Dr. Rotenberg) and get his "ears fixed w/ a screwdriver" (not really, but that's what he would always say-screwdrivers ARE for fixing things, ya know!)
After the operation, finally drinking some juice, but ONLY out of the new Lightning McQueen cup we bought (for the sole purpose of enticing drinking!!) He was still pretty out of it at this point, but I am happy to report that he is doing wonderful and even has a cold, but no ear infections-HOORAY!!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

And God Told Noah The Big Red Dog

Right now, you are reading this post for the sole purpose of finding out what that quote means. Here's the thing...I have absolutely no idea. Darren was looking at a dollar bill while we were getting ready for meeting yesterday and says that like he's reading the dollar bill. Sounds like a combination of a Bible story and Clifford...whatever it is, it sends my children into GALES of laughter...seriously. Like the kind where they can't even breathe, they are laughing so hard. All morning this morning, Ellie would say "Darren, say that..." and he would, and they would all be hysterically laughing! It's the kind of laughter than makes it impossible not to laugh along, even though you don't have a clue why you are laughing! It makes me smile too, just watching them laugh and enjoying they fact that they can get such joy out of something so simple (ok, and so wierd, but hey...). Sometimes I think that they have the right idea-laughter is good for your soul and who cares if it's wierd. So here's to hoping that you all have a "and God told Noah the Big Red Dog" moment in your life today! :)