The Special Van

August 6, 2011

Honestly, this post is a long-time coming.  And I’m not sure my storying telling will do it justice- but this is a moment in the Bowman family story that I don’t want to forget… it’s all about the special van…

Back in January, Chad sold his truck- which was quite a feat considering it was a huge diesel and the economy stunk and gas prices soared.  So we thanked Jesus and move right along, before anyone could change their minds.  But this left Chad without a truck- and honestly, we didn’t have our money saved up for another and we were only paying cash- no loans- no matter what! So enter Chad’s friend (also named Chad) whose Dad had a work van that Chad could by for $500…. Chad saw it and decided this was the way to go for a short time and brought that puppy on home…. to our driveway…. what looked like a child molester van, with rust on the bumper and dents all over it.  There wasn’t a key to the doors, so he couldn’t lock it from the outside BUT you could get locked on the inside. It was straight scary.

Now my husband is a manly man- he can rough it if necessary– he went down to New Orleans to clean up after hurricane Katrina and lived in his truck and showered in an out-house like building.  He can wear the same 2 outfits for a week if necessary and can find a way to fix things, at least for the time being, even without the proper tools.  He’ll climb on roofs, clean up bugs, wipe off spider webs, and even clean major poop explosions with no problems or complaints. But he can also be high maintenance- for instance, his food can’t be too cool and his coffee has to be steaming.  He stomps around like a small child if the house is too hot when he’s trying to fall asleep and if you try to have a conversation that he’s not ready to have, well, he might as well just lay in the floor and throw a temper tantrum, because that is better than what will actually happen. And his pillow is a big deal- we’ve cycled through several in our marriage that just were unacceptable until I finally took him to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick his own– the perfect pillow was $100… and we bought two of them.  But if he’s in the driver’s seat when I need to make a Starbucks drive thru run, there will certainly be a comment about the price that makes me and the Starbucks employee turn as red as tomatoes.

As if that’s not enough- the man is so sensitive and will do ANYTHING and I do mean ANYTHING for me and our boys.  A sweet moment will always bring a tear to his eyes and anytime he has to apologize, it’s SO sincere that it leaves everyone involved with a tear or two. He tries hard to meet my needs and speak my language- he even left me a sweet card filled with a love note for each day that he was gone last week- now that’s a fun thing to wake up to- and words are so not his thing.  He’s quite possibly the hardest worker you’ll ever meet as well.  I’m telling you, he’s the guy you want supporting your family. (He’s taken, so you can’t have that,sorry.) Needless to say, Chad is in NO WAY a cookie cutter man- he’s well rounded with a new adventure around every corner– but there is no amount of manly or hardworking or high maintenance or rough and tough or laid-backness that would make this van a pleasure… or even bearable for that matter!

The thing smelled and different compartments and do-dads were falling off  on the inside. There was only a driver seat and a passenger seat and it was a safety hazard for anyone involved. Part of the inside had even been on fire at some point. There was no heat, and Chad got stuck on a bridge in a ice storm and had to sit in the ice box until he could get off- he wore gloves and a knit hat just to drive it in the winter. Shortly after getting the van, the breaks went out completely WHILE Chad was driving, on the interstate, IN TRAFFIC in Atlanta. He found a guy to fix the breaks and a buddy to drive in front of him (in case he slammed into him!) to drop the van off.  That was fixed for a month or two before the power steering went out and the break fluid started leaking. His lats were actually sore from driving the thing and he developed new muscles trying to steer.  Seriously. One day, while I was worrying about his safety he explained that “well, the breaks work just as hard as you can push them- but if someone pulls out in front of me, I’m going to have to hit them.” And two different times, the horn started going off in the middle of the night– hoooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnkkkkkkk.  The first time, it took us a while to figure out what was happening and the second time it was just funny.  Both times it was around 3am in the POURING rain and thunder.  Chad would don a rain coat, go out to the special van, hit the steering wheel and it would stop.  Then he would come back inside, crawl in bed, and we were lay there chuckling and giggling for over an hour before we could settle down enough to fall back asleep.  I was pregnant and had crazy hormones and found this way more funny than Chad did…. maybe because I wasn’t the one in the rain, but still, I would laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.

BUT Chad had a certain caliber of work truck that he wanted- it had to meet certain standards and he had to be able to pay cash for it- end of story. So he never complained about the van. He just drove it. It fell apart and cost him a lot of time and energy and he just drove it.

We finally reached our cash goal and we were about to go test some trucks the weekend that Jack decided to surprise us, so that got put on the back burner. (Or so we thought!) On Monday night after Jack was born, we all headed home and Chad headed back to work on Tuesday… in the special van. Then on Wednesday night, while I was home with our new baby, Max, and my mom, watching the American Idol finale, I got a call from Chad that he was on the side of the interstate and his van was dead. Like not another bit of life left in it and could I come pick him up.  I had to rush to him, in order to get back to feed the new baby that was eating every 2 hours.  Chad threw his tools in my car, and hoped in. (I must say, I’ve never picked up anyone on the side of a interstate with cars rushing by- that is nerve racking!)  He had to call a tow truck immediately and have it towed to our house because apparently it would be stolen off the side of the road to be sold for parts.  So with a new baby, and very little sleep, Chad had to wait up for the tow truck to deliver it to our house.  And of course, I was afraid that the thing would sit there forever because how were we going to move it?  It was dead!

Within 24 hours, Chad found someone that would come get it from our house and give Chad $400– the guy was either going to salvage it or it’s parts, and the scrap metal. BUT I didn’t care, this was the best news I could think of- someone was going to come get it and make it disappear forever and was going to PAY us– hahahahaaaaaa– sucker!!!

So on the Friday after Jack was born, as I fed my new baby, I starred out our window as one happy lady– watching as it pulled away:




June 6, 2011

Do you have weird things you think or do that really make no sense at all?  I have a few I need to confess BUT I want to hear yours too…

#1.  I love how Mickey Mouse and friends dance at the end of Mickey Mouse Club House– they seriously sing a song called “Hot Dog” and I wait the entire episode for those 30 seconds… when people aren’t looking, I practice dancing with them….

#2.  I think one of my feet is prettier than the other, so if I feel like people are looking at my feet or if attention is being draw to my feet, I put the “pretty” one on top of the other, nonchalantly.

#3.  I recently learned from The Bert Show that I’m old and it was a hard pill to swallow 😦  On National Donut Day- the only day since having a baby that I was in the car during Bert Show hours- Jeff Dauler was talking about what age is appropriate for wearing words across your rear end– you know, like the word “pink” etc… and he said that it’s only appropriate between the ages of 18-28. Anyway, I don’t EVER wear anything that draws attention to that area, especially NOT words so it’s not like that bothered it- but it was realizing that I’m almost done being in the “cool, hot, young” age bracket.  Just yesterday I was in college, right?

#4. When I was a child, my  mother used to split our napkins in half– she says we didn’t use them so it was a waste to give us a whole one, but I think she was just pinching pennies.  Regardless, it scarred me! As soon as I began buying  my own napkins, I swore I would only buy the expensive, think, luscious Vanity Fair white napkins.  For years, they are the only napkins that have been allowed in my kitchen- and they still make me happy.  Seriously.  Well about 6 months ago, I was at Target and we needed napkins, but I had left my good Vanity Fair coupon at home… so just one time, I bought the “off” target brand, with a bright colored pattern, thin and scratchy.  I bought the small package, and yet, they lasted FOREVER- the darn things wouldn’t go away- I swear they were reproducing!  I began putting 2 in Gabe’s lunch box, just to rid myself of them, but they still stayed around forever.  I WILL NEVER give into the temptation to be cheap again!  It haunted me for far too long.

#5. With both boys, I have kept the positive pregnancy test for the duration of my pregnancy.  Just in case I have to prove it- because that makes sense, right? Like in a basket on my dresser that other people can see if they walk in my room. And for some reason, I can only bring myself to throw it away once I’ve brought the baby home.  Because then it’s a sure thing?! BUT since Jack came home early, I haven’t thrown it away yet.  I think I’m waiting until June 23rd.

What unexplainable things do you do or think?  Please share!

National Donut Day

June 4, 2011

I should be embarrassed about the lengths I go to for a donut on National Donut Day.  I’m not- but I should be!  Last year I trekked my kids half way across Florida on foot to get to a donut shop– they handled it well– here are the pictures to prove it:  but it almost killed me!  I should’ve learned…. but no!

This morning I woke up, as a mother of two children under two years old, knowing full well that it was National Donut Day- but also knowing that I had not slept more than 2 hours in a row in 2 weeks and that my body felt like it had been run over by a mack truck.  I also thought through the logistics and knew that I’d be sweating before we even got to the donut store.  But for some reason, that didn’t stop me.

I fed Jack at 8, loaded him in his car seat, got me and Max ready, and got all 3 of us to the car by 9am.  (yes, there was sweat, but it was minimal)  With the help of the minivan AC, I was cooled off by the time we reached Krispy Kreme… as in heaven on earth.  And don’t you worry, the HOT NOW sign WAS most definitely on!

It has been in the high 90’s all week here in the ATL, which means that even at 9:20 in the morning, it’s HOT– like jump in a pool hot.  So upon arrival, I got out the stroller for Jack, loaded him in it, got the bag in just the right position, then got Max out- but since the parking lot was hopping and I fear parking lots with small children, I didn’t let his chubby feet hit the ground until we were safe inside.  Have you ever tried to hold open a door with your body, and use one arm to push a stroller through it, while holding a 28 pound toddler on your hip with your other arm?  Let me just say that by the time I reached the counter, I had “new mom” and “donut addict” written all over my face, by beads of sweat.

So as I’m ordering, Max is happily back on the ground, screaming “BIIIGGGG Donut!” over and over with a huge grin on his face. Others are chuckling- but I’m just hoping for the moment when we are actually settled at the table, enjoying the darn things.  Once we get our half dozen of hot donuts and my cup of decaf coffee, we begin to navigate to a table.  But have you noticed that KK’s are exactly 4ft by 4ft, and my stroller is at least 3ft by 3ft, and it was seriously and act of God that we made it to a table, without knocking everyone over.  But we did. Alas!

At this point, all my hard work became worth it- my sweat dried up, the embarrassment fell from my face, and Max and I dug in! Within minutes, we were covered in glaze and dancing to Christina Aguilera’s “Come on Over” and watching through the window as millions of other donuts were being made.  Max ate 3, THREE donuts, which means I only got 3 too…. I guess he is helping me lose my baby weight– thanks Max.

Luckily, my sweet friend Erin came over with lunch, to meet baby Jack once we made it home.  And then Max, and Jack (and ME!) slept for 3 hours.  We were worn out from our donut adventure- but it is a holiday worth celebrating for sure!

Why God Didn’t Give Max a Sister

June 2, 2011

Right before baby Jack surprised us, baby Evie came over and spent several hours with us.  It was the first time and it was love– for both me and Max!  But it became pretty obvious VERY quickly why God decided that Max most definitely needed a baby brother this go round:

While Evie was sleeping, Max was being oh-so-generous and sharing his toys with her….

They were all balls!

And he was so proud and so sure that that was exactly what she needed- he kept telling me about it over and over: “Baby Evie, night night Max balls”

And it was then that I knew the reason for another brother in the Bowman house, rather than a sister– a poor sister just couldn’t survive in such a climate!

And this last picture is just cute:  I came around the corner from the kitchen and I saw Max and asked what he was doing– he told me “I talking baby Evie golf- hit it in the hole!”  He was teaching the girl about golf– doesn’t she look thrilled?

Also, just for laughter, please notice how my boy does NOT use prepositions– apparently they are a waste of time and he does quite well communicating his point without them!  Ha!  I just love him 🙂

Boys Will Be Boys…

April 22, 2011

On Monday, mere moments before Gabe was heading out to soccer practice, he and Max decided to play in the mud puddles in our backyard.  Unfortunately, I was on the phone with insurance handling the pre-payment for Jack’s birth and could only watch as it all unfolded.  Once I finally hung up, I instructed Gabe to get Max and carry him over to the door.  From there, Gabe has step by step instructions on how to remove his shoes and head to the nearest bathroom.  And I did the same for Max and placed him straight in the bathtub.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of Gabe, because time didn’t allow it before practice, but let me assure you that it took 2 rags worth of scrubbing on just his legs, 4 different rounds of soap on his arms and hands and a new pair of soccer socks before he headed to soccer.  AND he did go to practice with plenty of mud all over the remainder of his clothes that didn’t have time to be changed.

Max just stood in the bathtub the whole time saying “Mommy, water on, Mommy water on!”– and repeating it louder and louder until I followed his instructions.  But again, Gabe was the priority, so by the time I was able to strip Max down and turn his bath water on, the people in the next county were surely hearing his demands.

And when all was said and done and the child was finally clean, Max looked at me VERY PROUDLY and said “I make mess!”

Why yes child, that you did!

But here is the best part:

About an hour later, when Chad got home, I told Max to tell Daddy what he did.  Max said, “I make mess” with a grin and walked off.  So then I explained the mud fiasco to Chad and he looked at me and said, “That’s bad right?” And I nodded.  Then he asked if Gabe got in trouble and I said, “Yes, Gabe got ‘the look’ “.  So then he asked if Max got in a trouble and I said, “Yes, he got the look and was carried like a sack of potatoes to the bath.”  And Chad nodded and walked away.

And it dawned on me, Chad saw NO problem with the boys playing in the mud- and without ruffling my feathers, was making sure I didn’t scare them out of doing it again… and I’m pretty sure that Chad hopes he’s here for the next round of mud pies so he can join in!

So, boys will be boys, and I’m out-numbered, so it’s pretty obvious who’s going to win the playing in the mud battle…. and the more I think about it, the more obvious it is that that is NOT a battle worth fighting.  Bring on the mud boys…. just keep the worms outside!

Myth or Fact?

March 29, 2011

I have several good stories that I need to share and some funny Bowman boy moments, but I need to post this first, if I hope to remember it….

A couple months ago, I read an article that the whole “pregnancy brain” theory was a myth.  But being the very official doctor and research specialist that I am (not) I have many reasons to believe that the article is seriously messed up– way off base– deranged even!

Pregnancy brain is defined by What to Expect as a: Pregnancy-induced brain fog, a true (and truly frustrating) hallmark of pregnancy. You may forget appointments, what you just walked into the store for, where you left your purse, whether you turned off the stove — and maybe, your phone number.

You know, absent-mindedness, irresponsible, forgetful, air heady, unreliable, scattered….

AND these are all words that those closest to me would NOT use to describe me.  In fact, they are the opposite of me. I’m not tooting my own horn here, I’m stating facts– I’m type A EXTREME, organize and remember everything including what you were wearing when I saw you 2 year and 3 months ago, slightly OCD when it comes to details, and in the words of my husband, “she remembers everything, you should try arguing with her”.  You want me planning your event or taking care of your home or your children….

Except when I’m pregnant.

Now all of a sudden (especially this pregnancy) I am a NUT-CASE. 100% certified preggo brain!  Let me list a few of the nutty things I’ve done within the past month:

1) Moved wet laundry from the washer to the dryer, WITHOUT starting the dryer, multiple times– then pace around after about an hour wondering why the dryer isn’t dinging that it’s ready for folding.  Mainly because it was never started, hello!  (Chad has also discovered mounds of wet clothes in the dryer several times as well.)

2) When I went to my glucose test and OB appointment, I looked in my calendar on the way down to make sure my appointment was at 10:10– and it was— THE NEXT DAY!  But even though it was Wednesday and I was looking on my Thursday calendar, I showed up at the doc– that’s right– I showed on the wrong day BUT I had the correct day written on my calendar.  They laughed at me, profusely, and then squeezed me in.

3) Last week, our sitter had to drive up to my work so I could sign the check I had written her– luckily, when she got to the bank, she looked over the check before depositing it– so it was only minimally embarrassing.  Her text to me said something like “preggo brain, you forgot to sign my check”

4) We ran out of wipes and diapers in the diaper bag for the first time since Max was born– I always re-stock his bag when there are like 6 left, just in case- you never know when you’ll get stuck in the car for days, with no stores and no visits home….. but this weekend, with ketchup all over him and his girlfriend Lizzy, I had NO wipes or diapers for changing… none in the car, no napkins, nothing– major mom fail!

5) My friend Danielle has asked for a picture CD from my computer no less than 30 times- she has called, emailed, and texted, all moments before I walk out the door to see her and I have YET to remember it– I have burned the CD 3 times and put it in 3 different bags that I’d be sure to remember– and yet, the poor woman still hasn’t seen the pictures- and quite frankly, she’s going to be disappointed- the pictures aren’t even that good!

6) Last week, Max and I pulled up to a store, and I got him out of the car and walked IN only to realize I didn’t have my keys with me– I ran out to the car panicked that I had locked them in his seat or something– I set them down a lot when I’m trying to get him out of his seat– only to find them IN the ignition, with the car RUNNING, in the parking lot.

7) I text our sitters the night before with what time we need them in the morning– Chad’s schedule changes all the time so they don’t really have a set schedule.  Anyway, our other sitter (not the one with the check) got back in the country from a mission trip and I wrote her this great text about her trip and welcome home and could she be at our house at 8, etc… only I never actually texted her- I just did IN MY HEAD and she had to wake up at 6am and text me to find out the plan for the day.

8) Chad loves Quesadillas- like ones we make at home with fajita meet and beans, etc… so I planned it for dinner, looked through out pantry, made a list of ingredients that we needed, went to the store, came home and started cooking only to have to call Chad to stop on his way home and get cheese– but really, it’s not like it’s a main ingredient or anything– certainly you understand how I forgot it…….

9) When I started writing this blog post, I had 10 amazing things I had done recently, but now I only remember 8

10) My cousin Natalie is having a baby today, yay!

What Ke$ha Did To Our Family…

February 18, 2011

I’m not trying to pass the blame, but I’m pretty sure that Ke$ha is to blame for my meanest mom action yet.  You see, it happened before Christmas.  Chad and I had a date night– we had a yummy steak dinner then headed over to Target to Christmas shop for the boys.  I had made a list before we went- and we did great- we stuck to the list and managed to find almost everything we wanted to get them.  In normal pregnant girl fashion, I had to stop by the restroom before we could check out.  I left Chad towards the front of the store with the buggy.  When I came back, he was on the craft aisle looking for an art kit for Gabe.  We didn’t find what we were looking for- but right at the end of the aisle we super cute dancing animals that sang while they grooved.  I was just positive that Max needed one!  I threw one in the cart, and we made our purchases and headed home.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and it’s Christmas Day.  Max unwraps his dancing monkey and him and Gabe both L-O-V-E it!  They press the button repetitively and dance around our living room.  And they keep pressing the button, and keep dancing around the living room.  Again. And again, and again.  Until my pregnant, hormonal, mean nerves are SHOT!  So when they weren’t looking, I carried it to the car and hid it.  That worked well until Max discovered it in the car, and insisted on holding it– all the while pressing the button repetitively.  I couldn’t take it.  I just couldn’t take it.

And here in lies the worst parenting move yet– I took the darn thing back to Target.  That’s right.  I gave the kid a toy and took it back, purely from selfish motives.  I just couldn’t take Ke$ha and that dumb song over and over and over.

Look at this happy child with his dancing monkey… and yes, I stole that happiness from him.

So I’m a bad mom– judge me– just don’t tell Max, he still thinks I’m the best thing, ever!