Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Day With Thomas

 Today was a much anticipated day in the Nevels home. Today we met the life-size Thomas the train. And if that wasn't enough, we also got to ride him. For those of you who know my Sophie girl, this was like the equivalent of you or me meeting Ryan Gosling. She was swooning and smiling like there was no tomorrow and may have even been a little weak in the knees at one point. As for Campbell, she likes Thomas solely because Sophie's obsession has rubbed off on her. She would have been much happier spending her day with princesses, but she had fun nonetheless! I really can't remember how or when this obsession started for Soph, but I'm pretty sure it started with playing with our boy cousins' trains. I DVR'd a few shows off PBS for her, and she's pretty much been smitten ever since. She is no doubt my little tom boy-fiery, tough as nails, goofy, rough, stubborn, and into a lot of things most little girls are not. She still likes princesses, ballet class and a few other girly things, but she's happiest when playing with her trains and trucks. Each day that passes makes me more eager to see what kind of girl she will grow up to be. ;)

**Apologies for the tiny iPhone pics. If anyone knows how to make these bigger without being fuzzy please let me know!**

Our first run-in with the T man.

CJ being a good sport. 

Playing at the train table.

Since it was at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, there were tons of old train cars everywhere. It truly was heaven on earth for this girl, as evidenced by the face here.

Campbell's high point of the day was getting a princess wand balloon made for her by a creepy clown. Sophie opted for a puppy.

Sophie's face while watching said clown.

What venture is complete without fake tats?

CJ and Daddy 

There was this fun little old train car you could go into that had tons of miniature antique trains running around tracks. There was even a train running around the top of the train car. Sophie could have stayed in there all day. 

And of course there was a Thomas!

Enjoying the pretty day on another train car.

Sheer joy.

After waiting in line to take a posed picture with the big guy himself, Sophie took off and tried to give him a hug goodbye. The lady taking pictures yelled it was against regulation to touch him right as she was about to reach him. It was a little bit embarrassing, but more hysterical. She's for sure gonna be that girl at her first boy band concert that storms the stage and has to be escorted off by security.

Family pic before boarding the train. Yes, we all wore blue for Thomas because we're cool like that. And Kyle would kill me if I told you it was his idea (oops). ;)

Sophie checking out all of the Thomas trains while riding the train. No lie she knows approximately 80% of their names by heart from the gazillion Thomas books/shows we've seen. OB.SESSED.

Fast asleep before we reached home. Train in hand. Oh how I adore this train-loving little red head.

It was a fun morning for all 4 of us (Burke stayed behind with his Aunt Sammy). It's so fun that the girls are finally at an age where they get really, super excited about things. I can only imagine how much we are going to be hearing about this major life event over the next few weeks... ;) 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

In the spirit of embracing mothering small children, crappy moments and all, I thought I'd share some really funny things our little people have been doing. One of my very favorite bloggers has written a few posts talking about the funny things two and three year olds say, and they crack me up! I love hearing the same from my friends' kids. Let's face it, most toddlers really are pretty hysterical when they aren't being little toots.

I recently finally bought this book I saw forever ago on Pinterest.

I think I saw somewhere recently you can find them at Target now? If not, I got mine from HERE.

Anyways, it's been so great to record some of the funny things the girls say now. I keep it in our junk drawer in the kitchen, so it's handy for me to write something down when I think of it.

*When something is too big or too small, the girls will both say, "It's too fit." Like if they put on a shoe they have outgrown, or one of my shoes. :)

*Sophie calls Popcorn "hot corn"

*True to their night and day personalities, the girls each call me a different name (and yes, they sometimes also call me "Stephanie" when they can't get my attention. Divas.) But for everyday use, Sophie calls me "Mama" and Campbell calls me "Mommy."

*Anytime Sophie is trying to talk about something we did in the past, she always refers to it as "last year." Like if we went to Canon and Crew's yesterday, she'll say, "Mommy, I think I left my train at Canon and Crew's last year." (although I guess this is probably a true statement, also? ;)

*Convo between me and Campbell the other day:

CJ: Mommy, I'm a sad princess. (while dressed up in tutu, high heels, princess crown)
Me: Why are you a sad princess?
CJ: I want my prince back.
Me: Well who's your prince?
CJ: Daddy

Insert my heart bursting from too much sweetness.

*Sophie says "Actually" and "Well" ALL the time when she's trying to "explain" something to you. I know this doesn't seem like it would be that funny/cute, but it cracks me up that she is trying to sound so grown up.

*The other day I took all three of them to the donut shop and in the middle of eating her donut, Campbell exclaimed, "Donuts make my tummy feel delicious!" Well said, my dear.

*Whenever they accidentally drop (or intentionally throw) their baby dolls, they will immediately rush over to them and pick them up while shouting "Oh baby honey!!!!"

*I've always wondered what the girls dream about (Princesses? Shoes?). The other night, I heard Campbell wake up crying and when I went in their room, all she would say for a few minutes was "I want another cupcake, I want another cupcake..."while  half awake. To add to the hilarity, Sophie heard her, woke up and started telling me how she wanted a cupcake, too!

Don't worry, I didn't fulfill this particular demand at 2 am, but I had a hard time going back to sleep because I couldn't stop laughing at the fact this just happened.

Every now and then I'll catch them saying something to the other one, mimicking my voice and what I say. They LOVE to "put each other down for naps" and I'll catch one of them tucking the other one's hair behind her ear or rubbing her back as she's "putting her to sleep." Sweet little mamas.

As for the Burkester, he is obsessed with opening and shutting cabinet doors, big doors, whatever door he can get his hands on. He loves taking all the food out of Teddy's dog bowl and putting it in his water  bowl (what is it with kids and dog food?) I know Teddy especially finds this amusing. He also loves, and I'm not sure how to phrase this, putting small objects into a container of some sort. Think throwing crayons and balls into the bath tub, into the baby gate blocking off the fire place, etc. This boy also has a serious love for both hoarding acquiring and throwing balls. Quintessential boy.  He babbles nonsense all day with the occasional "mama" and "dada" mixed in. Sometimes I swear he tries to repeat other things I say throughout the day, but he mostly just sounds like a little Vietnamese lady waddling all over the house. The girls live for making him laugh, and they love to repeat the babbles he says back to him. Sophie has also recently started calling him "Booooobeeee." We call him a lot of nicknames, but I'm fairly certain she came up with this one on her own. Yikes. Sorry, bud.

Here's a few of the examples of the things my crazy little humans have been doing...

Sad Princess

What my house sounds like every morning...

Sweet Burkey laughing for no reason :)


Friday, September 13, 2013


Lately I have become aware of my rather ugly tendency of constantly putting myself in a state of waiting. That tendency was yet again brought to my attention after I read the introduction of a new book I started today. In it, she talks about how for essentially the last 20 years of her life she has been waiting for her life to become something fantastic. When she was in high school, she was waiting to become the better college version of herself. In college, she was waiting to become the wife/mother/career woman version of herself, so on and so on. At each stage, she thought the "next one" would bring some big, life altering moment that would make the rest of her life seem boring in comparison.

Ok, I'm listening now.

I'm not sure if we all have a little bit of this in us, but I certainly tend to have A LOT of this in me. And oh how I am so envious of those women who seem to embrace every stage of their life, soaking up the good and realizing how blessed they are each step of the way. Even moms of newborns who post pictures of how amazingly wonderful life is with their 4 week old, when I can't even remember the first several weeks (maybe months?) of any of my children's lives. Looking back over the last 5 or 10 years of my life,  I can say I have been waiting for "that next stage" again and again. And again.

And I'm going it again. Right now. It's no secret to those of us with small kids that they are both wonderfully thrilling and really, really hard. Today on the way home from our morning outing, with both girls screaming and fighting and crying over who got to watch Peppa Pig on my phone, and me desperately trying to keep Burke awake until we got home, because we all know it's the KISS OF DEATH if they fall asleep in the car because they will no way José fall back asleep in their crib once home, it occurred to me that I can actually physically feel the life and happiness being sucked out of my body. Fits, screaming, fighting, kicking X 10 every day. Each time sucking a little bit more optimism out of me.

In that moment, and in other moments throughout my day where this scenario is repeated, all I want to do is curl up in my bed in absolute silence and just avoid the icky parts of mothering small children altogether. And nearly every time I find myself in the middle of screaming and poop and whining and sticky hands, my mind instantly fast forwards to, say, the day my kids are 6 and 8. I don't know why, but I always default to these ages. Potty trained, in school, receptive to me threatening them with their lives if they don't cooperate with my demands. Not yet old enough to get involved with sex, drugs, and the 2013 (or 2017) version of Miley Cyrus if God forbid she's still around. Me laying out beside the pool while they all swim, in swimsuits they have put on by themselves, unassisted. GLORIOUS. Oh and of course add to this that I will be super skinny and gorgeous because I will obviously have more will power and less eating of my emotions/margarita drinking and skipping workouts, right?

Just waiting. Trying to ignore the chaos and reality TV worthy moments of my day to day, and just keep living for the day I have maybe half my brain and sanity back. And swimsuit model body.

And then I remember a day not so long ago, sitting on the edge of my bed, crying and crying for the baby I thought I might never have. Feeling the weight and worry of hundreds of days spent trying to get pregnant. Ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, doctor's appointments. Worry. And more worry. And more disappointment. All I wanted in the whole wide world was to be pregnant. To feel a baby grow inside me, look into his/her sweet face and feel that my life was finally complete.

And here I am, watching a baby monitor where I can see all three of my incredible blessings that I don't deserve. God's answer and then some to the millions of prayers I prayed for so many years. And the best I can do is wish they would all get big and less demanding? Surely I can do better. Surely there is a way to embrace this exact moment. This exact day. That even in the moments where all I want to do is close my eyes and float away, God can intercede and give me the strength, patience and insight to understand that this is bliss. This very moment is the moment I prayed for and wanted with every fiber of my being. This wiping of the bottom, putting on of the pull-up because pooping in the potty is the equivalent of jumping into a snake pit to my almost 3 year old. This 45th sippy cup I've lovingly prepared today. This sweeping up of the dried up peas my 15 month old threw off his high chair last night. All of these moments, put together throughout the course of a day that have the ability to make any mom feel like her life has been boiled down to the role of an underpaid babysitter, are really all things we wanted in the depths of our hearts that moment we all decided to give motherhood a shot.

 I once read something written by a mom who had had one too many of these awesome motherhood moments write that one day she finally realized that if she looked at her role as a mom as really a loving servant to her children, it completely changed out she viewed the less glorious, poopy moments. That changing diapers, cleaning up messes, time outs, teaching and temper tantrums were each just brush strokes that would someday amount to a really beautiful masterpiece of a human being, if done with great love. I love that. And while it is so hard to see through the haze of exhaustion somedays that what I'm doing as a mom really does mean something, I pray that God would help me to see with His eyes in those moments I just want to give up.

Happy mothering, my friends.



UPDATE: I read this blog about 10 minutes after publishing this post. Apparently Glennon and I are on the same wavelength today. :)