Friday, March 30, 2012

Uncle Adam

Okay, so I'm afraid that this blog may have a new inductee...our nephew, Brantley Bagwell. I haven't even gotten my hands on him yet and I'm about to explode with joy over him. Who knew being an aunt would be this exciting? The crazy part about this picture...when I saw it, it sort of made me want to have another baby. But I think when anyone sees their husband holding a baby, that happens, right?

My Boys

So I'm nearing the end of this phase and approaching the beginning of a new stage. I'm so excited about what is ahead, but I'm less than excited about the transition. Being away from my boys for such an extended period of time absolutely breaks my heart. It has been such a joy to spend so much time with them over the past month. We have had such rich times together. There have been more extended cuddles than I can count. Lots of fun outings (and beach time, if you can't tell). Spending time with my boys is, hands-down, my favorite thing to do. I'm not sure I could have said that with confidence until recently. Having more defined time to spend with them has made me a better mom and appreciate my time with them more. And with that, it makes me even more sure that I'm making the right decision to go back to work full time. I know that I will cherish my moments with them infinitely more than if I was to continue doing what I do now.
Choosing a path as a mother has been one of the most difficult decisions I have made. I think there are a lot of people that believe being a "good mom" looks the same for everyone. And before you have kids, it is easy to say that the previous statement is ridiculous. The fact is: it is ridiculous. Being a great mom doesn't fit in a box. It is different for everyone. Thank God I've discovered and comfortable with how the Lord created me to be a mom.
And you know what makes it easier? My boys have the best dad in the world. I cliche. But I often hear women complain that their husbands never help out. That just isn't true for Adam Brantley. He is about to take on the task of essentially, a single father for a while. So, anyone who wants to reach out a helping hand to Adam during these next few months, we will both certainly appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

Adam and I have a nephew! We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of "Brantley James Bagwell" for quite some time. He arrived a few weeks early, but it is still a healthy 6 pounds, 14 ounces. We can't wait to meet him and snuggle him. Harrison is absoultely beside himself excited and Fisher doesn't understand. However, we did show him the picture and he got very excited to see Brantley's little body. I'm sure there will be more pictures in the future of all of our little boys together. Adam and I are so excited to finally be an aunt & uncle.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Soaking It Up

As everyone knows by now (especially because of my frequent blog posts), I'm home now, soaking up time with my boys before I leave on Sunday. I've been to the beach four days in a row. Only once was it for an extended time. I'm really trying hard to take as much time with the boys and be intentional about everything we do. We all went on a walk tonight after bath time and just before bed time. Adam and I talked about how ridiculous it is that we don't do these "things" on a regular basis. And it is just gets in the way...checklists and being efficient really get in the way of capitalizing on small moments. It's so fun doing it now, but I have to figure out a way to get this into my regular routine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This little lady...

This little lady came to visit us this week. And I think I speak for all of the blog world that knows her when I say she may be one of the greatest people on this planet. Lucky for me (and Fish), she is Fisher's Godmother. We are going to miss her random visits up the road to Murrells Inlet, but are certainly hopeful that we get frequent visits in the ATL too. Everyone needs a little Aunt Maggie in their lives.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boys being boys

After a nap the other day (hence the dazed look from him), Fisher thought he would give Harrison's tractor a whirl. He couldn't quite figure out how to press the gas. Harrison tried to help. Quickly tired of that unsuccessful attempt, Harrison thought it was a great idea to put Fisher in the trailer. He did exceed the weight limit, but not by much. It was hilarious.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

4th Birthday Post

Dear Four Year Old Harrison,
Your father and I are so proud of the little boy that you are developing into these days. It's so neat to see certain characteristics that we assumed you have and to see that we were wrong in some areas or exactly right. I often describe you as caring and cautious. And for my oldest son, I'm so thankful that you embody these characteristics. These two things make you a phenomenal older brother and a great helper for your parents. You love your brother more than I imagined you would have the capacity. He makes you smile as soon as you see him (and the same goes for him). You want Fisher to be a part of mostly everything you do as the best time during your day is when you get to play with him. You obviously like your alone time to so you can play with your toys that have small pieces. Your frustration with Fisher comes here because of how deliberate you are in your play time...Fisher is like a monster that destroys your toy cities. Other than that, you never get upset with him. For that, we are so thankful. You have such a tender heart and want to be loved by everyone. And you are keenly aware of other's emotions which surprises us all of the time. You often ask us if we are happy of if we are disappointed in you. People always comment on how observant you are. You remember everything...crazy details. This is amazing and nerve-wracking all at the same time. You are initially shy, but always confident. You are always up for a new adventure...especially with your dad. You want to do whatever your dad does. You want to get dirty, climb fences, pretend you are in the Army, make fires, and camp with name a few things. You are all boy and the desire of your heart is to be outside.
There are moments when I want to bottle you up at this age. When you tell me that "you saved a cuddle for me" or you ask so sweetly if I will cuddle with you for a couple of minutes in the morning, I beg the Lord to remind me of these days. For I know, these days are numbered. I love that you never fail to tell me that you love me everyday. I love that you tell your brother numerous times a day how much you love him. I love how you get a little teary eyed if your father or I walk out of the house to leave and you forget to tell us bye. And recently, I've seen you turn into such a big boy as you fight back tears in situations where you really want to cry, but try so hard not to.
You are already changing into such a big boy that I feel like life is passing us by so quickly. I hope you know, forever, that your father and I love you no matter what. The Lord made you just the way you are because He thought it was a great idea. We love how the Lord has knit you together.

Mom & Dad

4 Year Check-Up Stats
44 lbs, 8 ozs: 93rd percentile
43.6 inches: 97th percentile

Harrison's 4th Birthday...Part 2

So, Harrison loves Miyabi. Well, sort of...he has a love/hate relationship with the hibachi grill. He loves the fire...hates the loud noises (banging of utensils and yelling). When asked where he wanted to eat with the family for his birthday dinner, he said the fire on the grill place...Miyabi. It wasn't exactly a great experience. They sat us 25 minutes after our reservation. Started cooking almost an hour later. It just wasn't pretty...mainly for Fisher. But both boys were exhausted. We still had a good time, however.

Harrison's 4th Birthday Part 1

We originally weren't going to do a party for Harrison's birthday because we were taking him to Disney. However, I realized that since every kid in his class has a party, it wouldn't hurt for us to have them to Chick-fil-A after school on his actual birthday. Not to mention, it is actually going to cost us money to have a party for one of our kids at Chick-fil-A after this year. Wowzers...we still haven't wrapped our heads around paying for Chick-fil-A yet. Anyway, we had a fun little party for him. It was 100% stress free for me and 100% fun for him...that's all that matters.
On another note, I took him to the doctor the day after his birthday. Parents take warning: the four year check-up has four vaccinations. He won't have them again until he is 11. Thank God...four year old shots are a lot tougher than any newborn/toddler/etc.

Disney 2012

First, if you love Disney and think only positive thoughts about it...stop reading now.

We decided to take the boys to Disney for Harrison's 4th birthday. We also wanted to do a family vacation before life gets crazy as we live a part for four months and move to Atlanta.

Let me start by saying this...Disney really is unbelievable. In particular, Magic magical. Here is my list of things that I learned and would pass on as it relates to Disney with kids...
1. Buy a double stroller off of Craigslist no matter how old your kids are. In fact, if they have one that has room for an adult in the middle, buy that one. You may use it. We did get a double stroller off of Craigslist and it was a Godsend.
2. Stay on a Disney property. It really does make the experience. It is so nice to have a pool/activities to come back after a day at the park. If you can swing it...stay in a resort on the monorail.
3. Wherever you stay, get a room with a balcony so you can escape the kids after they go to bed. We were trapped in a room and while going to bed by nine was nice, Adam and I could've used some decompression time. Especially since I don't recall going to the bathroom alone once.
4. Book a character breakfast at the park you want to go to to eat at 8-8:10 am...then you will be at the park before everyone else gets there, which is really nice. And you can be done with the park just after lunch (when the crowds get crazy).
5. Learn everything you can about Fast Passes...when you can get them (when you can't). Because let's be real...why in the world could you ever justify standing in line for 45 minutes for a ride that lasts two minutes? Lots of people do which I think is absolutely asinine.
6. Here are things that I know about me: I hate to stand in line...I hate extreme heat unless I'm by a pool or beach. So for me, I could not go to Disney later than March. Oh, and add to the strong dislike list...lots of people. I've heard February and October are the best months to visit. I have to believe that. I would likely stab someone in the summer.
7. Taking a 14 month old is not the end of the world. It was fine. Just make sure that bambino can nap in a stroller.
8. Take more snacks than you think you need. And juice boxes.
9. Tell me if you want to do more than two days at parks. We were certainly ready to cash in our chips after two.
10. The dining plan is a good thing. The food is still terrible at the parks.
11. The parades are worth the watch. Harrison thought he was seeing celebrities.
12. Call me. I have lots more advice

Don't get me wrong. I thought Disney was great. I, however, am not itching to go back. I'm actually hoping I only have to go two more times (and crossing my fingers for one more time). I know my kids are at tough ages to go. But the crowds, the lines, the terrible food. I don't love spending money on that type of thing. Lesson learned. Still...every parent needs to take their kids.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Week At Home

I've been home all has been so great. I know that I have a month left at home before my life just zips into warp speed. I'm so excited about what is going on, but I'm also really excited to have this month hanging out with the kiddos. I've really been trying hard to soak it up and do lots. Today the Lord gave us a glorious day so I decided to have an impromptu lunch on the beach with my two favorite boys. It was amazing.