Coco’s Wedding

June 28, 2011

On June 18th, our family of 5 sprung out of bed nice and early, Chad ran off to get his hair cut, and I washed and fed and dressed three darling gents for a very exciting wedding!  Our beloved Coco was tying the knot and Miles was the lucky fellow.

Courtney has been near and dear to our hearts for a long time!  I met her when she was in high school and worked at the church.  She was in the youth group.  I got to know her better when she became as student leader and I met with her on occasion.  And then about a month after Chad and I got married, we led a mission trip to Mexico and Courtney was on our team.  She became our adopted daughter then– we loved her!  Her heart is incredible and keeps getting better with time, she is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and she loves Jesus.

Well Courtney then became Max’s first sitter.  That’s right, at 6 teeny tiny weeks old, I began leaving him, my precious boy, with her 2 days a week.  2 long days, as I learned what is was like to be a mom and how to best set up his schedule and how to leave him, and as Coco had to learn right along with me.  There are days I would ask for her opinion and input and days when we were both frustrated with how to get him to sleep- but whatever it was, it made us both fall in love with our Max. And if you have children, then you know that anytime you leave your child with anyone, you are telling them just how much you trust them and just how much you value them. And when it’s a newborn, it’s amplified times forty thousand.

So as Courtney is at our house during the week, she is falling more and more in love with a young man.  Miles is a character- if you’ve met him, you’ll never forget it.  He’s very confident in who he is, he loves the Lord and isn’t afraid of anyone knowing it, and this man is gifted beyond belief in many many arenas.  Again, he was a student in the youth group, long before him and Courtney were an item, and it has been so cool to watch him mature and grow into the man that would eventually still our Courtney’s heart.  It’s been so fun to watch them wait on each other and be “just friends”– and then to start dating and then to goo-goo gaa-gaa… their love story really amazing.  If you’re around them too long, you find yourself looking for something salty to cut the sweet!

So needless to say, we were ecstatic to be up and dressing for the occasion.  (The only downside is that now that Coco is an adult, she no longer has time to keep our boys– it’s like catch 22!)  The wedding was very sweet, displaying Truth and giving all the glory to God.  Now it was outside, and it was hot as hades (although I am not complaining because Chad and I had the same kind of wedding and our guests melted!) which made me thank Jack repetitively for coming early because I was supposed to be pregnant- ahhhh!  And then the reception was so pretty- the flowers, the tables, and the cupcakes– and the food was so yummy!  Courtney and her mom did an incredible job planning it.  And this goes without saying, but Courtney was DROP DEAD gorgeous.  And her dress made her look like a bride from a magazine.  Here goes the play by play:

En route:

And we got there in plenty of time to get seated and wait for the ceremony– score!

The groom and best man, Samer, headed down the aisle

 

The Bride and her Daddy walking down the aisle- look at the emotion on her face, love it!

And then Max got bored and had to stand up…

Then Chad had to take him further away so he wouldn’t cause a ruckus!

The vows:

This is what Jack did during the whole wedding:

Our family with the bride… our first child 🙂  Making this our family picture of 6!

And the Bowman 5… seriously our one and only family picture since Jack was born!

And this is how we all felt on the way home, leading to a family-wide nap:

Courtney and Miles,

Congratulation on your marriage- and we are so thankful that you allowed us to be apart of it.

We pray that you all use your marriage to make God famous! (and make lots of beautiful babies in couple years!)

We love you!

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Conquered! And Lessons Learned.

June 25, 2011

This week, we have conquered this whole growing family/ 2 children under the age of 2 bit– check it out:

On Saturday, we made it to a wedding, all bathed and dressed, and 20 minutes early, with feedings timed perfectly– and it was an hour away.

On Monday, I did a full out trip to the grocery store with both boys… I wore Jack and pushed Max 🙂

On Tuesday, the three of us spent the morning at the Atlanta Aquarium with our friends Lisa and Haven

On Wednesday, I took both boys out to dinner to say goodbye to our dear friend Michelle without Chad

On Thursday, we went out to breakfast with Chad and then went to a play date

On Friday, we ran errands all morning- the kind the caused me to get the boys in and out of the car 6 times!  And I partook in my first girls night out since Jack’s arrival, sans kids (which is actually hard on a mom- hard on the heart and it takes a lot of planning on the front end even if you are leaving them with their dad!)

Now please tell me this at least puts me in the running for mom of the year, or super mom, or something!  I’m exhausted!

Now for what I’ve learned… all from experience:

#1.  Sleep is important!  Thank you Moms on Call and their swaddle for drastically changing our nights around here.  Now I am physically able to do more than just “get by” and wait until my next sleep time- hence our week 🙂  But if you’re low on sleep, don’t go!  You won’t have enough steam or enough patience to make it through the outing

#2. Dress for the occasion- think through nursing in public and a youngster pulling on your clothes.  Think about bending down and holding both children at one time.  Will everything be covered?  Will any lumps or pregnancy rolls show? Can you access everything you might need?

#3.  Be prepared to sweat.  It’s hard work.

#4. Think through your day- what might you need?  Maybe some extra snacks or if you have a spitter like me, then extra burps clothes, bibs, and clothes.  Sunscreen and hand sanitizer too.  But get the travel size of everything- so you can carry it.  And make sure it’s all in ONE bag only.

#5. Let people who offer to help, help!  Someone will see you coming and hold the door. Don’t feel embarrassed, just be thankful! And let the Publix people carry your groceries out even if you used to do it by yourself.  A Stranger might offer to hold something for you, let them.  And since you are providing cute kids for everyone to see, don’t feel like a nuisance.  Instead note that your kids are brightening their day!

#6. Give yourself plenty of time.  You canNOT get out the door quickly.  You canNOT get in the car quickly.  You will load and unload kids one  by one.  Plan for it.  And then add 20 minutes.

#7.  Make sure you have a way to contain the kids as needed: park by the cart return, get the cart first, then unload kiddies into it.  Or wear the baby so you have free hands for the toddler- this is especially important in parking lots.  Always take your stroller in your car just in case… I counted on a stroller being available in Kohl’s and ended up exhausted without any of the things I went in for! And double strollers are most definitely worth the $$!  Someone is going to “need” you, and you must have somewhere to put the other one, that’s safe and secure, when that happens.

#8. Don’t view pulling in your driveway as the finish line- you’ve still got miles to go, unloading everyone and getting them settled and unloading your stuff.

#9. Don’t fill up your day- plan for down time. And when the kiddies are taking that down time, then you take it too- you don’t have to nap, but at least read, or sit, or find more stuff for your pinterest boards.  Or you will go insane and act like a crazy person.

#10.  Anytime you can, help as sister out!  If her hands look full, offer to help.  If the door is closing on her while she holds 2 babies, jump out of your seat to run and help!  Don’t fret being awkward or invasive, offer to help anyway!


Happy 1 Month baby Jack!

June 21, 2011

I can’t believe my baby is one month old today!  We’ve had him a whole darn month, but it doesn’t feel like that at all.  I’m not sure if it’s because he’s so easy or if it’s because going from 1 child to 2 children hasn’t been near as chaotic as I expected, but regardless, it’s flown by, and it’s been wonderful!

Jack’s schedule is pretty easy- full of eating and sleeping (and pooping… but he does that while eating and sleeping!)

Jack wakes between 7:30-8am and eats

8:30am- nap

10:30am- eat

11:15am- nap

1:15pm- eat

1:45pm- nap

4:15pm- eat

5:00pm- nap

7:00pm- eat

9:15pm- bath, lotion, and pjs

10:00pm- feed

AND I only see Jack once during the night, between 3:30 and 4am.  And it has been this way for a week– oh my goodness, I do not have one complaint about this!  Jack loves to be swaddled when he sleeps and he still sleeps in his nap nanny. The only difficult thing about Jack, which is beyond his control I might point out, is his reflux– but I’ve cut out dairy (and considering my love for cheese and ice cream, that IS love!) and it’s already a lot better.  But he has to be burped every 3 minutes while eating, and he will still spit up a little.  He also needs to be held upright after feeding for a bit- but we’ve adjusted and it’s not really that big of deal.  It just makes for a lot of laundry, because at this point, I still can’t bear to reuse a burp cloth of it already got a little spittle on it… I know that will change but for now, I just do a load of his laundry almost everyday.

At his 2 week appointment, he had gained a pound and grown 3/4 of an inch– growing boy– but because he stats were so good, we won’t go back until 8 weeks! He fits into newborn diapers really well now and the same goes for newborn clothes.  He may even outgrow those in the next week or so, but that’s more for length, not width… but have you seen his father?  I think it’s in the genes.

Jack,

You are my sweetest punkin.  I kiss you all the time and then tell you that kisses mean love and that love is very important and wonderful.  And when I’m lucky, you grin about this!  You are so laid back, just like your Daddy and opposite of your brother (and Mommy!).  I keep reading the most newborn cry or fuss for 2-3 hours a day– you cry or fuss for about 10 minutes a day.  You love to sit in my lap and look around and when it’s quiet, and just me and you, you put your lips in an “o” and take in our surroundings while I whisper to you. And just know, that I canNOT get enough of you.  And I canNOT wait to see what the next month brings as you become more alert.  I love you tons and tons little buddy.  But just remember, Jesus loves you even more!

Jack week by week:

Jack's birthday!

Jack at 1 week old!

Jack at 2 weeks old!

Jack at 3 weeks old!

Jack at 4 weeks old!

And here is Jack today on his 1 month day! (And he is NOT a fan of the flash, can you tell? Ha!)

Jack is 1 month old!

P.S. Jack is/was due in 2 days, ha!


Max is 22 months old… and going on 22 years old!

June 20, 2011

Yesterday, Max was 22 months old.  But we were busy celebrating Father’s Day, so I moved his month-day to today!  Max is full of life and laughter and naughties too!  He has one giant opinion too– but being the laid back, go with the flow person that I am, I just can’t imagine where he got that………………..

Anyway, his favorite word is no, and he likes to scrunch up his face for extra emphasis.  He notices everything and my friend Danielle put it well when she described his talking style at a life- narrator.  He is constantly telling me what he sees, what’s going on, who is doing it, what it sounded like, and any thing else that he can observe.  Most of his comments are really funny too- for instance, he’s always spotting mudderfags (Butterflies) and Chip-punks (chipmunks).  Oh his little brain is amazing.

Max is very much into “testing” too– testing me and testing his daddy to see if we really mean that he needs to obey. He thinks that when we count to three, and then start coming towards him, that he can obey then and avoid trouble.  But the little guy has another thing coming!

Max’s loves in life are ice cream, golf, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Pop.  He is constantly talking about one of those.  And he eats his ice cream on the couch- just ask him. This month, he visited the driving range for the first time with his daddy, and was the star– the crowds gathered to watch him in action.  My Dad and Chad are hoping he’s ready to ride with them for 9 holes later this summer- and with his attention span for the U.S. Open this past weekend, I’m thinking he’ll love it!

Due to maternity leave, I get to spend all my awake hours with Max (and Jack) and I just love it.  Max makes the days so fun. Granted, they’re usually full of sweat and dirt- on both of us, and leave me very worn out at the end of that day, but still, there is nothing else I’d rather do!

18 month clothes are on their last leg, and 24 months are just right!  His feet have grown again and size 4 shoes are done for- he is in 5’s and close to moving up again!  This makes me laugh because he wore his size 3’s for a LONG time.  I’m anxious for his 2 year appointment to hear his stats, but dreading it all at the same time– because a two year old is SO much bigger than a one year old! (BTW if you’re one of those people like Chad who wants to say that Max is 2, he is not.  He will not be 2 until August 19th, and until then he is one.  I will also be happy to tell you his age in months- but he is not 2. Mmk?)

Max, I thought I had one more month with you before Jack arrived, I thought this would be your last month day before you became a big brother, but boy was I wrong! It was hard for both of us- I didn’t get to “prep” you for what was coming, where mommy was going, and what she was coming home with.  We didn’t make the full switch to the big boy bed as planned, and we didn’t even attempt potty training BUT adding Jack has been wonderful!  When I left for the hospital, you were my baby, but when I came home, you were my big boy!  And you like to tell everyone that that’s what you are!  You adjusted within a couple days, and have been kissing your brother ever sense!  You don’t love that you have to share my attention, but you don’t have one ounce of aggression towards Jack.  You grew up in your talking, and walking, and mannerisms too.  You walk around with a big boy bounce in your step- and you have a swagger. It’s adorable! (Although a very hard pill for me to swallow.)  It’s amazing that I never run out of love for you- it just keeps growing, with you, each day.  I can’t wait for the day when you sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ along with me, and I’m even more excited about the day that you get what that means.  God continues to bless me with you- each day I thank him for your life and your love, and all that I’m learning by being your mommy.  Just remember, God is the perfect heavenly Father, and me and Daddy are still learning to be like Him. I love you Max, you’re my best bubba!


Happy Father’s Day!

June 19, 2011

I know a lot of great fathers… many of them have impacted my life greatly.  But today I celebrate Chad. His love for our boys is INCREDIBLE.  And he is a dad worth recognizing and celebrating!

So I thought I’d make a lovely acrostic poem filled with all words Chad that make him such a great dad:

F: Fabulous, funny, and fun

A: Authentic, amazing, and able

T: Teacher, tickler, and tale-teller

H: Helper, honest, and humble

E: Enthusiastic, excited, encourager

R: Reliable, reasonable, and realistic

I love you Chad, and so do our boys!  Thank you for all your hard work, your love, and your time.  We are all better because of it!


Grandma and Grandpa

June 17, 2011

After my parents left town (Memorial Day) Chad’s parents rolled in to meet Jack and to spend time with all of us.  Of course they did things like keep my kitchen clean and prepare meals, and build steps and fix drawers and doors, but the thing they did the best was spoil our boys!

Grandma and baby Jack

If Jack needed held, he was held.

If Max needed to play golf outside, they’d go watch.

If Gabe needed someone to talk to or show his latest creations to, they were available.

Talking to Yang Yang on skype

They played games, and bought everyone treats. They also provided lots of ice cream, wedging them into a high place in Max’s mind forever 🙂  Max still wants to look outside every morning hoping to see Grandpa’s motorcycle.  Not only does Max love motorcycles and therefore was PUMPED to have Grandpa’s in our driveway, BUT it also had an american flag on it which is another one of Max’s favorite things.

Max and Grandpa... who he called Grandma, ha!

Gabe loves any time he gets with them too- he loves riding around town, and shopping with them… mostly because he can talk them into a thing or two 🙂  And he is trying to plan a trip out to Texas ALONE this fall during his break, because he wants to spend a week with them alone.  Apparently, the rest of us get in his way and cramp his style.

A slip n' slide from Grandma and Grandpa!

These boys know a good thing when they see one, and that’s Grandma and Grandpa!  (And before long, Jack will know too!)

Grandpa drawing Max at Motorcycle


Pictures!!

June 16, 2011

Kristen, from my work, graduated from UGA with a photography degree, and takes pictures of little cuties on the side.  This makes me very happy because I happen to have some cuties… so she came over on Jack’s 2 week old day and took pictures of him and Max.

(Gabe was with his mom and missed the photo shoot. BOO!)

They are PRECIOUS!!  I’ve picked out just a few, as to not seem obsessed, but just know that I am 🙂

 (Cute picture… but missing Gabe and including way too much of my baby weight fat face!)

Max’s facial expressions are just killing me… love that darn face!  (And yes, in certain pictures, he was bribed with candy…)

And Jack is sweet as sugar, yum!

** Kristen is local, so if you’re interested in having her take some pictures of your people, let me know, and I’ll connect you with her!)

(KMabes Photography:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KMabes-Photography/154296154612200)