Monday, January 30, 2012

Half Birthday!

As you know, we make it a point to celebrate half birthdays around here.  We went all out for Banks' first half birthday and now we've toned it way down.  This year, I decided to ask him a few questions that we can look back on one day.

What is your favorite color: red
Who is your best friend: Lightning A-Queen
What is your favorite thing to eat: muffins
What is your favorite thing to drink: juice
What is your favorite thing to play: Percy (this is a Thomas the Train thing for those non-boy readers) and projects (he's really into art projects these days)
What is your favorite tv show: I don't know (I didn't ask him twice because asking once caused a major meltdown about wanting to watch tv)
What is your favorite book: Everyone Poops (and yes, he was serious about that)
What is your favorite song: Rudolph (somebody can't quite get over the fact that Christmas has passed)
What is your favorite animal: Giraffe
What do you want to be when you grow up: "Be two"...I guess he wants to be two forever. 

At 2 1/2 Banks is going through a very picky phase.  Matt is concerned that he might be a vegetarian (hehe).  I think it is more a texture thing than anything else.  For example, he will spit out the skin of a grape or blueberry (lots of work, right?) but will still eat cauliflower and raw bell pepper.  It's really just hit or miss.  He'll tell me he doesn't want something, I put it on his plate regardless and then he eats every bite.

He's a smart little kid (don't all parents think that about their little ones???)...he can count to 30 sometimes, 20 all the time.  He can identify most of his letters and just a few numbers.  If you ask him what his name is he'll tell you "Banks Still, S-T-I-L-L."  The first time he spelled our last name out I about passed out.  It's not something we've been working on but I guess he has overheard us spell it out so many times (because everyone wants us to be Steele, not Still) that he just picked up on it.  He can tell you his birthday is "July sirdy-eth" and can name the days of the week (just not in order).

He is becoming more creative...making up words to familiar tunes and wanting to do art projects all the time.  He still loves reading books, playing with trains and cars/trucks.  He's not so big on playing by himself.  He has become very particular about some things...especially his nighttime routine.  He's doing wonderfully in his big boy bed (after three weeks of struggling) but wants to be covered up by his blanket, have his lovie laid out next to him (and covered up) and his stuffed bunny propped up in the corner of the bed.  Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff???

Not happy about waking up to the camera in his face.  His new thing...unzipping his pj's.  He just wants to show off his chest hair.

He's still all boy.  He's rough, plows his toys into everything, breaks a good many of his toys and throws things.  He tests every boundary.  The "sad spoon" has become my best friend...we have one down stairs, one upstairs and one in the car.  He is deathly afraid of the thing and just the threat of it gives me the result I'm looking for.  And bless his heart when I have to use it...he just dissolves into a pitiful mess!

Digging in the sand:

We are trying to soak up every minute of him...two weeks from today he'll have a brother with which to share his time!  Happy half-birthday to Banks!

Opening his half-birthday present:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Have you been worried?

I went back and read my last post and got to thinking that some of you might be concerned that I was depressed.  Fear not, followers, it's been a great week.  My friends gave me a sweet shower for Andrew, I had a great girls night out, and Banks has been MUCH more agreeable this week.  I'm feeling like I can do this.  I am also feeling like I am carrying around a 15 pound baby.  A lady at the doctors office yesterday told me I was "tiny."  Extremely sweet of her but she was full of bull.  She knew it and I knew it.  At this point in pregnancy, I wouldn't even describe my pinky toe as tiny. 

The excitement is starting to mount...what will he look like, how fun it'll be snuggling with a sweet smelling little bebe, how great it'll be to feel like my stomach skin isn't about to catch on fire every night.  Just a little over three weeks to go and I really can't believe it.  Grunting every time I move and taking Tums twice daily just about summarizes my life these days and I've only got three more weeks of it.  Then it'll be poopy diapers, washing teeny-tiny clothes, and sleepless nights!!!  And I can't wait!!!

Here are just a couple of pics from the shower.  Only a couple as someone forgot to tell me that I can't just perch myself on the edge of a chair anymore and take a flattering picture.
Sweet Oxford friends: Leslie Ann, me, Jill, Beth, Mary Beth

The Aunts: Carol, Frances, me, Meb and Mitzi (Matt's mom)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Momma guilt

Thank goodness someone said what I was thinking:

It feels good to know that I'm not alone.  That finally someones not giving the "everything's great" response to how motherhood is.  If I'm completely honest, I've been struggling lately.  Banks is at a hard age for me...defiant, rough and rowdy, yet completely dependent and needy.  He hits, he throws, he bit me twice, he chases the dog, he's decided he doesn't like most foods.  He refuses to play by himself and instead follows me around saying, "Momma, will you play with me?" over and over and over again.  When I say no, I feel guilty.  When I say yes, I am annoyed.  I hate alternating between annoyance and guilt.  It's not a great way to spend your day.  Then there's the dread I feel...dreading the next meltdown, dreading having to play cars for the billionth time that day, dreading mealtime because I know it will be a battle.  I feel guilty that the highlights of my day include nap time and bed time.  And one of the sweetest sounds?  Hearing the floors upstairs creak around 5:00 pm because I know Matt is about to walk down the stairs and rescue me.

I'm hoping that this is just a phase with me.  That I am ginormously pregnant, tired and irritable.  I'm hoping this doesn't mean I'm a sucky mom; a failure.  I know I'm a sinner and this is one way my sin is showing itself...I'm selfish with my time.  I know I'm not fact, I've found myself acting much like a two year old lately.  I know I'm insecure and struggle with making parenting decisions.  I know I'm scared because I'm struggling this much right now and am about to add a newborn to the mix.  And most importantly, I know that my intuitive two year old can pick up on all of these things.  Thus, the momma guilt arises again.

So thank the Lord for Kairos time.  I'm glad ole girl put a name to it.  I cherish those moments.  When I've got myself in check and actually enjoy my child for everything he is.  I love those little curls of his.  It is sweet that he wants me to play with him and sees me as his everything.  I love listening to him sing.  I love watching him learn.  I love so many things; they just get clouded by guilt and annoyance.  In addition to appreciating my Kairos moments, I'm also reading Loving the Little Years.  And boy, has it put me in check.  I HIGHLY recommend it to any mom.  It's all about reframing the way we see mothering...really taking the "me" out of the situation and focusing on the "child" of the moment.  It's about remembering that most storms in the day pass in twenty minutes and that my job is to take care of that needy, rough little boy.  He is the apple to my tree and I am to nurture to him until he is ripe.

Whew, it feels good to vent.  Although I'm sure some of you might be considering calling DHS or suggesting something like Lexapro or Prozac.  For now, I'm just going to continue praying, take some Tums and drink a Diet Coke.  It's about all I got in my back pocket.  The hubs is putting the kid down for the night and I'm very much enjoying this Kairos moment...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

10 facts you could care less about knowing:

1.  Everyone else is skinnier than I am.
2.  Pinterest will make you fat.  I just made a Cinnamon Roll Cake that is three-sticks-of-butter-heaven.
3.  I broke out the spanking spoon.  We call it the "sad spoon" because I drew a frowny face on it.  That joker is working wonders so far.
4.  I have officially washed my first load of baby clothes and even put them in a drawer.  Oh yes, he may not have his own room but he has his very own drawer.  Maybe even two if he gets lucky.
5.  I have four things that still fit.
6.  The wedding edition of Mississippi Magazine will be my entertainment for the next few weeks.
7.  Paper cuts made by cardboard books hurt like the dickens.
8.  Everything makes me out of breath.
9.  I have the most awesome friends ever...some are giving me a luncheon to celebrate baby Andrew and one sent me a box full of diapers and baby clothes!!!
10.  I need to be a better friend.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


It's a new year and that means one thing in this household: time to get ready for baby.  We had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, fun, removal of stitches, food, more food and lots and lots of toys! 
Here are all the kiddos from our annual Jones/Berry/Still Christmas get-together.
(Will and Maggie Jones, Banks, Baylor and Charlie Berry)

My favorite part of this Christmas was on Christmas Eve when Matt and I read Banks 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and the story of Jesus' birth from Luke.  Once we were done and saying our prayers, Banks wanted to hold both of our hands.  Melt me.  Then I'm sure he slapped me in the face.  Another blog post all together but we're really struggling with some negative behaviors over here.

Banks really had a blast with Christmas this year.  I'm not quite sure he understands it's over.  He keeps wanting to listen to his Christmas music, sing Christmas songs and open presents.  Check back with me in May...we might still be listening to his Christmas CD's.  Maybe it's because we have like 100 Christmases around here...seriously, we have one more tonight with my Aunt and Uncle in Memphis.

So now that Christmas is (almost) behind us and in order to get ready for baby, we moved Banks into his big boy bed. 
Last time waking up in his crib:
It was such a sad time for me...I know he's growing up but he's still my baby!!!  And while he looked SO big in his crib, he now looks SO small in his big boy bed. 
First time in the big boy bed:
It's hard for me to imagine that in 6 weeks we'll have another little person living with us and how tiny (even though that joker feels like he weighs 10 pounds already and is ready to rip open my stomach skin at any moment to come on out) he'll feel compared to Banks.  So, 2012 should be an exciting year for us!  We're looking forward to some sweet lasts with Banks, meeting Andrew and seeing what he'll look like, and hopefully finding a house and getting out of the TTT.  Here's to the new year!!!