Party Time, Potty Time!

So, Henry's been showing a lot of interest in the potty. He talks about Adam going tee-tee. He tells you when he's pooped. (I Poo, I poo, I poo, I poo!) Also, the other day, he pushed the stool up to the potty and wanted to tee-tee like a big boy.

The stool wasn't quite tall enough.

So, we went out & got a little guy toilet. And Henry really likes using it (to tee-tee...sorry I'm saying tee-tee so much, wow.) I am in no hurry to do real "potty training" but this is encouraging that, one day, it'll happen.

However, I can also see that having 3 boys in my home using a potty may require a tarp covering the floor and a serious pressure-washer. I'm just saying.


On Rage...

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29-32

'Cause she'll rage just like a river...then she'll beg you to forgive her
Oh she's every woman that I've ever known
Garth Brooks

Ever get frustrated with your spouse? Ever have rage and anger swell up in your chest like hot, liquid magma? Some days, I can be the queen of pity parties & perceived injustices & anger, and it often happens in my marriage. What?! Yes. Adam is an amazing man but we are sinners sharing a life. Here's what God is showing me.

At times, I will be plagued with these angry thoughts towards Adam. Like, Why does he get more sleep than me? It's not fair. Or pity party thoughts... I'll try to fight them myself. Swallow these thoughts down. Ask them to be taken away. But they keep coming back up like heavy hitters as I angrily scrub a counter or carry a laundry hamper, acting like a martyr with a clenched jaw.

Then, something will happen and these thoughts will explode out of my mouth, at Adam. And I won't feel any better after the discussion is over. I'll realize that whatever I was mad about really wasn't even a big deal to me...it was just plaguing my brain. Here's the deal: Sometimes my frustrations may be legit...but usually they are not.

1. God is teaching me that when I feel like having a pity party or can't shake negative thoughts and anger that I need to wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (see Ephesians 6). Praying God's word. Some verses that have been especially helpful have been these:

Eph 4:29-32
Eph 4:10
1 Chron. 16
Eph 4:19-20
Eph 6:7-8
Luke 6:37-38
Phil 2

2. Of course, I think it is VITAL to discuss frustrations and concerns with your spouse. Prayerfully before they explode out of your mouth in rage. One thing that I've asked Adam to do is to thank me more often and to acknowledge that I am sleep deprived. It's weird to ask him to thank me but it makes me feel so much better when he acknowledges or shows gratitude. So, I could sit and pout and be super angry that he hasn't thanked me. Or I could tell him that by thanking me, he is helping to still and quiet the storm of fury building up...and he happily will!

3. Asking God to show me times that I've been shown mercy by Adam. There are tons of times, seriously- I can be a pill and a half. But, concerning the sleep issue, during the first two years of medical school, Adam would wake up before 5 a.m. to study and I would stay in bed and sleep until I needed to wake up for work. He never begrudged me my sleep, always encouraged it. I know there will be other seasons where he will be the one sleeping less and I hope he is gracious and not resentful towards me.

4. Here's the funny thing: God has totally sustained me in the sleep department. Sure, I'm tired some days, but for the most part, He has given me supernatural energy and I need to be thanking Him! It's like that parable about the workers in the vineyard (Mat. 20) and God is giving me plenty, in fact I'm overflowing and I need to stop worrying about what someone else is getting. I deserve nothing. I have much!

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4

So, God- give me an attitude of Thanksgiving! Let me rejoice and be glad in my salvation! Turn my eyes off of myself and onto You!
1 Chron. 16- David's Psalm of Thanks is amazing and such a great place to go to and pray and get your worship on and focus your heart!


Elliot, you are 3 months old!

Oh, my Elliot. He is my sweet, sweet baby. He is such a happy baby, so long as he can see what's going on. He gives us the sweetest smiles & laughs until he hiccups.

He is a chubby boy and I love, love his rolls. He still has a goopy eye, which turned out to be a blocked tear duct. Now we are giving him antibiotic drops and hoping that it gets better before 6 months so that we won't have to do a procedure.

My dear Elliot, you are not the best night-time sleeper but God has been so good and seriously given me supernatural energy (we all know that I'm a huge baby about my sleep). I know that you'll get there and be sleeping like a champ before we know it.

Seriously, I love both my boys and they are both so uniquely cherished in my heart. Lord, thank you. We are so blessed.

Henry at 3 months:


Wedding Weekend

This weekend, Elliot & I will be traveling down south to my dear friend, Melanie's wedding. (Remember the dress story? Same wedding...) Melanie is one of the most incredible Jesus-followers you will ever meet and I could go on and on about her but I'll save it for the toasts.

Friday night, after the rehearsal supper, is the lingerie shower. I have not been to a lingerie shower since 2007. It's been really interesting to talk with my other friends about this approaching shower because we remember the excitement & giddiness that went along with this preparation for...the honeymoon and beyond. Seriously, we talked ourselves to death...asked advice from other newly-weds...planned and bought tiny ruffly outfits and giggled. It was fun.

I'm really excited for this shower. I think it will be so refreshing and I will so enjoy the girl-bonding and enthusiasm. I promise that I won't be a weirdo and talk about lactation or any of the concerns for another, later day but I will giggle and oh-la-la and so enjoy seeing my sweet friend blush and get embarassed, remembering that not 3 months ago I was stark naked in the hospital in front of prominent doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and maybe a marching band was in there too? (I love you, son!)

But seriously, folks. It's sweet to be around people about to get married- to be re-envisioned for marriage but with a little experience under your belt. It's sacred & holy & a beautiful blessing.


He Was Right...

I don't often say this but...Adam was right.

Remember back in July when Adam and I went to Sam's Club and he purchased this GIGANTIC container of animal crackers? (Seriously folks, the picture does not do justice to the enormity...)

I mocked.
I teased.
I called him an impulse buyer.
I proclaimed that we would never finish all these animal crackers before they got stale. (I don't even like animal crackers! Well, maybe the frosted kind...)

Well, this past Tuesday was a monumental day.

Henry finished the animal crackers!
They were not stale yet!
The huge tub went out with the recycling and Adam was right.


R.I.P. Great fan

When Adam & I moved to Erie in the summer of 2007, it was a hot day and we didn't have a ceiling fan, so we went to Lowe's and bought a huge industrial fan. It made delightful white noise and we ran it every night, year round.

Once Henry came along and grew sensitive to the squeaking and creaking of footsteps by his door, we transferred the Great Fan to his room. It helped him sleep and we were thankful. A few weeks ago, it started making weird noises and lthis morning, it went kaput. Sad. Guess what else? It's really difficult to find big floor fans in the winter in northwest Pennsylvania. We have our other wimpy fan going in there along with some static...here's to hoping that all works out.

Mom says that I should break Henry of the white noise habit. To that, I say, "no way Jose.". It just ain't worth it...I do not want to diminish his nap time... Or for him to wake up at 1 am or 4 am or whenever Elliot is squalling. The end of the fan story. That was the most I've ever written about fans. My life is riveting?


About the Boys...

1. Henry eats Rice Krispies almost every morning. We began this tradition while staying with my parents and it has continued. He's so cute sitting in his high chair, shoveling in spoonfuls. Other favorite foods include: black beans, corn, oatmeal to go bars, bananas, apples, yogurt, & grilled cheese ( i love finishing off his grilled cheese sandwiches...)

2. Elliot is the happiest little baby. Henry is silly now but was so much more serious as an infant. All Elliot needs is a little attention and he lights up like a lil' firecracker. He is so smiley and I love it. He makes the sweetest noises.

3. Henry is the skinniest kid. We have to buy pants long enough for him, with elastic waists and then roll, roll, roll them up. We have no idea where he gets this. We were not skinny kids. He eats constantly but also moves constantly.

4. Elliot has cradle cap. With Henry, we tried a variety of treatments: olive oil to loosen the flakes (Oh, his hair was so greasy), combing often, etc. The thing that worked was dandruff shampoo. We are trying that again (be careful around the eyes, though)...

5. So far, my boys love each other. Sometimes when I am doing something with Elliot, Henry will pat Elliot's little chair and say, "Bubba!" as in..."put that kid down...and get down here and play with me." But he really does well with me taking care of Elliot and when Elliot is taken care of, I do my best to get on the floor and play cars, dance around, throw the ball, and read books with Henry. Henry will kiss Elliot and say, "Awwww".

6. I pin Henry down on the floor every night to brush his teeth. He thinks this is hilarious. We both end up laughing hysterically.

7. Exactly two months from today, we will find out where we're moving to in June! Whoa.


How to Save a Phone

Yesterday I dropped my phone into the snow while I was shoveling. I did not realize that this had transpired until, hours later, I was searching for my phone and happened upon a square hole in the piled-up snow.


Luckily, girls' group was ending and my friend, Aubrey, had the perfect solution.

Step 1. Fill up a cup with rice.
Step 2. Put your phone in the cup, submerged in rice.
Step 3. Place the cup in a refrigerator.

Do not turn your phone on, just let it sit overnight in this rice-bath of sorts (like a spa for your phone!) and then retrieve in the morning.

I had doubts, my friends. They were ugly. I mean, this phone had been in deep snow for around 6 hours. Yet, I awoke this morning to...ta-da!!! A fully functioning phone!



Him & Her, Hem & Haw

Scene: Both boys are in bed. Adam is sitting on the couch and I am cleaning up the living room.


Adam: How come you're cleaning that up? It's just going to get destroyed again tomorrow.

Camille: Well, I mean, why should I wash your shirt? You're just going to wear it again and make it dirty?

Adam: Oh yeah.


A Day in the Life...

So, you're wondering...what's life like for Camille with a 20-month old and a 2-month old? (Oh, you weren't wondering? Hmmm.) Well, it's something new and it's always changing and I like that. Some moments are frustrating. Some times are hilarious. Some times are stressful. Some moments are blissful. But, more than anything, I have felt loved and supported by the Lord and like he cares about the details of our days.

So, usually the first thing that I hear in the mornings is Henry talking in his crib. After Elliot's early morning feeding, I pull him into bed with me for a snuggle and we snooze until Henry wakes up. Henry is fine kicking it in his crib for like 30 minutes, just chatting and playing with his stuffed animals. Then, we get up and we have breakfast and get dressed. Then, we hang at the house for a little bit, playing with cars, etc.

We go to the Y every weekday (thank you, Lord, for the wonderful ladies of childcare at the Y while I work out!) Seriously, I would not be very motivated to work out but Henry loves going to play at the Y. It's a great outing and very close to our casa. On the days that Adam works later shifts, we are able to go all together to the Y and Adam & I play racquetball and work out. Racquetball is great marital therapy.

Then, we come home (unless we have playgroup) and Elliot goes down for a big nap. Then, Henry and I hang out and have lunch and then Henry goes down for a nap. Usually at least part of their naps overlap. Henry usually naps two hours. Elliot's naps vary a lot but today he took an incredible 3-hour nap! Whoooa.

Often, I know that Henry has woken up from his nap because I think I hear thunder. Then I realize that it's just Henry, lying on his back with his feet straight up in the air, kicking the back of his crib.

Then, when the boys are up, we have a snack and, since we can't go to the playground in the winter, then I often try for some kind of afternoon outing or company...it just helps the afternoons go by well. So, we'll go pop in on a friend or do playgroup or have a friend come by...something like that. Then, we'll come home, Elliot will nap again and Henry & I will hang out until supper and bath.

This is a challenge: when Adam isn't home from work yet and I'm getting the boys ready for bed and they are both awake during Henry's bath, etc.. I'm getting better, but it can be tricky. After prayers and teeth-brushing and jammies on, we say goodnight. Both boys go to bed at 7 p.m. (sometimes Henry will want to get into bed before this, especially in the winter when it's been dark...that is fine by me.) A couple of Elliot feedings and paci stick-ins during the night and then start over!

* not included: diaper changes, toddler tantrums, dance parties, slobbery kisses, food refusals, etc.

More than you ever wanted to know... You're welcome.



our little white wedding chapel...

2011 has been a wonderful year so far. Believe me, I have plenty of my moments but God is teaching me how to live today: to not look ahead and get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done or may happen but to look to Him each day and he is faithfully sustaining me. In fact, he is giving me joy and strength as I look to him and creating in me a soft and grateful heart. Thank you, Lord!

For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
(from I Chron. 16)

He's also showing me that when I feel spiritually dry or apathetic, that those are the times that I most need to recall his promises and remember what He has done and who He is. Or else my heart will drift from God and I won't run to Him. (From Psalm 106)

When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea
(vs. 7)

But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.
In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.
(vs. 13-14)

I'm so thankful that the Lord is speaking and fills my thirsty heart with good things. I feel very supported and well-fed in this season.


Sister Wives Sisterhood

Hi. Will you be my sister-friend?

I am not a polygamist but I love the idea of sister-wives...minus the whole being-married-to-the-same-man-ness. What I mean is this: I love Adam. I don't wish to share him. But I miss having roommates in college- I miss the close communion of other adult women when you are living life side-by-side...day in, day out. I miss seeing the same gal pals every day.

Plus, the whole village raising a child idea is awesome. When I go to my playgroup, I see a glimpse of this...we are letting all the kids play and helping each other meet our kids needs. Oh, so-and-so needs juice. Oh, so-and-so is accidentally smothering so-and-so with a pillow- I should intercede even though it's not my kid. I love that.

So, maybe I just need neighbors with whom I'm really close and we have daily fellowship and playgroups. Or maybe I just need to find ways to spend more time with my girlfriends. (Girls' group once a week is just not enough!) Either way, I need more sister-friend in my life.



All the Single Mamas...All the Single Mamas...

Respect to you, sister-friends. In the midst of a wonderful but wild weekend with two under two, I realized how blessed I am to have a partner to walk with through this season. Henry was having an especially toddler-y day and in the midst of an inexplicable melt-down, Adam and I just looked at each other and burst into laughter...uncontrollable giggling- the kind that hurts your stomach and you have to gasp for breath. I was and am so thankful for my husband who helps me to laugh when I could just cry and have an undeserved pity party.

That night, nursing Elliot at some dark hour of the early morning, my heart was heavy for single parents- going at it alone with no one with whom to share your crazies. I hope to be a better support system and friend to women in this season of life.


Man Vs. Wild Vs. Patagonia

Upon our return to Erie, the mailman dropped off a huge box of our held mail. Amongst the treasures inside was a catalogue simply entitled, Bear Grylls.

That's right: Bear, of Man Vs. Wild fame, has a clothing empire now. And, the model of the clothing on the first half of the book was Bear himself! Now, I know Bear is pretty wilderness-y- showing us how to survive the Sahara desert by drinking his urine and eating slugs and fashioning a shelter out of a zebra carcass...so who would've guessed that he would take on the business world. I guess he would be kind of an expert on durable clothing.

Way to go, Bear.