And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


The majority of our mornings start the exact same....we have our routines. Ben knows them and knows what we do next. Come downstairs, get coffee for me and "ba-ba" for Ben. We open the blinds and the doors and snuggle on the couch watching the Today show, getting the headlines and allowing our morning fogginess to wear off. Then we head outside for a walk/run. Most mornings I open the blinds and head outside and enjoy the fresh morning air hitting my face, the sound of the outdoors and the sight of our pleasant little suburban life.

This morning when we walked outside to go for a walk, we all could sense there was something different. The air was pregnant with anticipation. But it wasn't anticipation like the birth of a child or a 4th and 1 in the final quarter of a football game. It was an ominous and eerie anticipation. The air was thick. The sky looked like it was bulging and ready to burst. The beautiful blue of the sky was replaced with a gray that was growing progressively darker and darker like a multi-colored paint swatch. Instead of being outside mowing lawns, playing soccer in the yard and going for a morning jog, people were inside with shades drawn and doors closed. Patio furniture and anything that could potentially take flight had been moved indoors.

As we sit here waiting for "Irene" I'm struck by our fragility and helplessness to the forces of nature. We may have control over many things in our lives, but weather isn't one of them. Even though it has potential to be dangerous and destructive, it's a good reminder of who does have control.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Thunder Rolls

Some of you might remember a post from probably a year or so ago that talked about Ben's security objects "Lovey" and "Albus." Lovey is this strange floating bear head in the middle of a blanket that Ben has been obsessed with since he was a few months old. Albus is a white dog with blue spots that Brian named because he looked like a "Rufus" but was decidedly albino, so he became "Albus." Well since that post, Ben has inherited a third security object named "Pos." Where did this strange name come from you might ask? We bought Pos before Ben went to daycare because we wanted him to have something there that reminded him of home during his nap time. So Pos is basically Lovey #2 which Brian has named "Impostor Lovey." While Ben's vocabulary has expanded rapidly over the past few months, "impostor lovey" is still beyond his reach, so he simply calls him "Pos."

Over the past year Ben has grown more and more attached to this gang of three. He reaches for them when he is put in the crib and is often clutching them in the morning when we walk in to get him. He takes him downstairs each morning and holds them while having morning bottle and generally likes to have one somewhere nearby throughout the day. I admit that I truly hope he doesn't feel the need to have them stuffed in his backpack on the first day of school, jammed in the center console the first time he takes the wheel or cleverly hidden in the jacket pocket the first time he asks a girl out. While I hope he is someday able to give them up with ease, it makes me happy that he has tangible things that make him feel comfortable and secure. Of course he has Brian and I and his other family and friends who love him and who he is safe with but he already is developing a concept of dependence and need. He is realizing already that his sense of security comes from something other than himself. Today when the thunder boomed over our house, he immediately turned to them in his fear and confusion about the noise.

This past Sunday in church we sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" with the beautiful words "Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms. Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms." My hope and prayer, is that this realization will continue to grow and develop into a profound sense of security and dependence on one who is far greater and far more reliable than three stuffed animals. That he will develop an understanding and turn to him in his times of greatest need and times when he needs something to hold on to.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


5 years ago today I made vows. Sometimes they have been really easy to keep and other times it's been difficult. 5 years ago my life long partner and I drank out of two glass of red wine representing the bitter and a glass of white representing the sweet. We drank together, knowing we would go through bitter and sweet moments in our life together but vowed to go through them with the Lord at our center and each other to hold on to.

In 5 years we have had our fair share of trials and hardships that have tested us as individuals and us as a couple. In 5 years we have seen each other through seizures, bone tumors and other medical issues. We've starting and almost completed our graduate work. We bought our first house. We created and are learning how to parent a child. We have laughed together and shed many tears together. It has been a wild ride but one with many rewards. 5 years ago, we participated in this service of the covenant way: a wedding service built on promises to each and to God. I still go back and read them as a they are for you all to read as well along with the corresponding Scripture passages.

Here's to a wonderful 5 years together and many more to come.

The Way of Creation/Re-Creation- Genesis 2:18-25

Here at last is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh, divine help in a form I understand. You are the image of God for me. God speaks to me through your voice. God looks at me through your eyes. God touches me through your hands. And in my love for you, I too may reflect God.

The Way of Surrender/Denial- Ephesians 5:21-33

I take you today to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death parts us. Nothing else will have the power, for today I turn away from all other options. Forsaking all others, I commit myself to you. I will seek to serve you with tenderness and respect, energy and intelligence, imagination and love.

The Way of Renewal/Resurrection- Matthew 12:46-50

I take you to be my brother/sister in Christ. Let our love be lived within the community of this church, and our home be embraced as a household of faith. However much our love for one another deepens, I promise to love God more than I love you. I ask you to love God more

than you love me, that our growing love for him will draw us closer to one another.

The Way of Service/Spirit- Romans 12

I take you to be my partner in Christ's service. I will help you develop God's gifts in you and work with you for the coming of God's Kingdom. I will listen with you for God's call in our lives, that our house may be a place where the good news is proclaimed, where justice and mercy are lived, where God's children are welcomed, and where His name is honored. May our marriage bring honor and joy to the Lord!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


A verse in Proverbs says that "Pride comes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." In my case, it was "Pride comes before massive poopy underpants"

Ben had a great potty training day yesterday with no accidents and several successful trips out of the house where he stayed dry and clean. So last night we took a family walk and I convinced Brian to throw some shorts on him and keep his little underwear on and we'd go for our walk. I was so proud. Yay Ben for being potty trained at such a young age. Yay me for sticking with it and getting it done. Yay Yay Yay. I kept looking at him and didn't see wet so figured we were good to go. Ben is a fairly consistent "go-er" and is a morning person if you catch my drift. Little did I know that he chose the walk last night to have a major accident. We got home and he ran to his little potty so Brian went to put him on and discovered it. Ben looked down and pointed and said "uhoh."

Yes....major uhoh.

Pride comes before the poop apparently

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Great Grandma!!!

I love birthdays!!! Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Great Grandma Mulder. She taught me how to clap the first time I visited her house and I did it today thinking of her.

Grandma, Katie and I want to add our Happy Birthday wishes to Ben's - we hope you had a great day and thanks for being such a wonderful Grandma.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Imitation is the dearest form of flattery......

I pick my nose. Admit it. You do it too- sometimes while driving in the car, sometimes while in the shower, sometimes when walking up the stairs. It's like cleaning the feel gross while doing it but the outcome is so worth it. Well, I apparently must do it too much. I didn't come to this conclusion because I've caused nosebleeds or been made fun of by others, but because Ben, the copycat has started doing it then pointing to me. The other day we were driving around in the car and I looked at him in my rear view mirror. He smiled at me and proceeded to pick his nose then rub his fingers together, I guess like I do, wipe his hands, I guess like I do, then point at me and smile. How embarrassing when your toddler causes you to realize that you really should stop picking your nose and invest in Kleenex.

Other examples of Ben the copycat.....

- I'll work on getting it on video and upload it for you. I was wondering why he was walking around the house saying "Our God" but realized Brian has been learning "Our God is an awesome God" on guitar and Ben has been hearing it a lot lately. So he half sings, half says "Our God" over and over again.

- Today I was folding towels upstairs in my bedroom and Ben was in his room next door playing with toys. He would run in and check what I was doing then go back to his room and I could hear "choo choos" and "bunny" coming through the door so I figured all was well. I went into his room and he had taken an entire pack of diapers from the corner, opened the package and of course had them strewn across the room. Just when I was about to give him a big NO NO, I realized he was folding his diapers. He would pick one up, put one end under his chin and stretch the diaper out, then fold it and throw it aside. He must have done this with every single diaper in a pack of about 30. I watched for at least 5-6 diapers worth of time while he methodically picked up a diaper, put it under his chin to fold it, just like I had been doing with the towels and sheets. Amazing. update on life around here other than potty training.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Potty Progress

If you would have asked me on Saturday how potty training was going, I would have shook my head and said we started too early and were paying for it big time. Most people know I'm not the best house keeper. As a matter of fact, I'm rather poor at it. On my to do list on any given day, there are just too many things that come before cleaning, like trying to take care of a 2 year old, get work done for the job, study for my snail's pace Masters degree, put food on the table. Serious housecleaning just doesn't get done very often.

Well....Ben gave us very good reason to clean house on Saturday afternoon. We were prepping to head into DC for a Nationals baseball game when Ben came running into the family room where we were and Brian noticed something on his foot. Let's leave it at this.....there was a large, mysterious, stinky pile in my dining room and the discovery of said pile led to a scrubbing of all the floors on the main level of the house. Then we were out of the house all day Sunday from about 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. so definitely no time for training.

Today however, we had a great day other than one accident. We had numerous successful trips to the potty and he's definitely getting the hang of it. I admit to defaulting today....not in the same way our nation is going, but defaulting to bribery tactics (hmm...maybe that is what the government is doing today too....) Today we tried having "potty treats." I gave Ben the option of what he wanted after he successfully made in the potty. He chose dill pickles and pretzels over M&Ms. What an odd child.

Now we are hanging out post-dinner enjoying some family time. Brian is reading some book about construction vehicles (aka "dig digs") to Cheetah, Duffy the bear and Ben.