Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 8 - A place you've traveled to

Day 8 - A place you've traveled to

My mom and dad are 100% Polish. They were both born and raised in Poland (although they met in Chicago), so growing up, we always took family vacations to Poland to visit family. To this day, I have been to Poland over 5 times. It is my ultimate goal and wish to one day take my family to Poland and show them what a beautiful country it is. Adam is really interested in going and I know it will be a place he will love to go to. The last time I went there was in 2003. Each time I go back to visit, it changes more and more.
Aside from visiting family and spending time with them, my favorite thing about this country is how much history there is in their buildings and architecture. Living in a place like Las Vegas, I feel like I miss out on true history. Sure Las Vegas is historic, but to keep up with the times, casinos and buildings are constantly being imploded and replaced by newer, bigger high rise towers and casinos. It's more of a modern day city.... which isn't always a bad thing, but it's not until I go to Poland that I realize how beautiful things are and can be if you just let them age (within reason, of course).

Day 7 - Favorite Movies

Day 7 - Favorite Movies

None of these blog entries have been very hard for me....except for this one. I'm not much of a movie person. I think the last movie I actually sat down and watched was Toy Story 3.... back in June! I don't ever have the time to sit down and watch a movie, and if I do have the time to watch one, I always fall asleep. There is something relaxing and calm about being in a big, dark, loud theater. Weird, huh? But because I signed up to do this blog challenge, I must fulfill each entry! So here are the movies I stayed awake long enough to watch in the past:

A Walk to Remember (LOVE this one)

Home Alone (Only 1 and 2... I never watched 3 because it had new actors! HATE that!)

The Notebook (Okay, okay... I fell asleep during a 15 minute part of this one, but I still liked it and watched *most* of it, so it counts.)

Big Daddy

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (pretty much anything with Adam Sandler)

I really need to watch more movies. There are a bunch on my list that I want to see! I just need some energy drinks and I'll be set! :-)

Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy.

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
AB3 and AB4 are my entire life. There is not a single thing in this world I wouldn't do for these two boys. They have taught me patience, honesty, laughter, and endless love like I've never known before. Even though photo sessions with them don't always turn out the way I would like them to, one look at a photo of both of my boys instantly brightens any kind of mood I'm in. It was hard to pick just one!

This photo depicts a snapshot of my life. I might be outnumbered with major testosterone in my life, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I love my boys, and I love my life.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Five - Your Siblings

Day Five - Your Siblings
Like my previous post, this post can't come close to expressing how thankful I am for my siblings. God has blessed my life with a wonderful older brother, Paul, and a younger sister, Vicky.
As I've mentioned before, I wasn't always the easiest child growing up. I beat up my brother and my sister (haha), and they never fail to remind me of this. The way I look at it, someone had to give them tough discipline and tough love. I was apparently the only one for the job. (at least this is what I keep telling myself.)
Paul lives in Colorado, so we only see him a couple of times (if we're lucky) throughout the year. As I grow older, this really bothers me because I want my boys to grow up knowing their uncle and aunt and having a close relationship with him. I make sure to explain and mention Uncle Paul and Ciocia Megan to AJ and Aiden at least once a day to keep them fresh in their minds.
Vicky is not only my sister, she is my best friend. It hasn't always been this way, and occasionally we get into arguments, but at the end of the day, she knows me best and is always there to help, listen, vent, cry to, or beat up. (haha). I'm lucky to have a sister who is so involved in my life. I don't know where I would be without her and I don't think I tell her enough how much I appreciate her and value our friendship. The boys absolutely adore their "Kiki" too!
By marriage, I also have an awesome sister in law, Megan. I wish she was closer so we could really develop a strong friendship, but I'm confident that one day it will happen and we will share many more memories to come.
I love you Paul and Vicky!

Day Four - Your Parents

Day Four - Your Parents

I sit down to write this post after working a very long 12 hour first day at school. Because of my low energy, this post won't be as long as I am intending in my heart for it to be.

I don't even know where to begin describing my parents. They mean the entire world to me. As a child growing up, I wasn't always the easiest to deal with. As a parent myself now, I am able to appreciate the discipline my parents used when raising us. Now that they're grandparents, I see joy in their eyes that I've never seen before and I appreciate them so much more than I ever have.

They're the first to offer any kind of help whenever we need it. Adam's car breaks down? My dad's there within minutes. I need to run to the school district to fingerprint? My mom is over in a flash to stay with the boys. What do we find when we go out of town to Adam's family reunion? An entirely cleaned house, courtesy of my mama. We are so beyond blessed for the love and generosity displayed by my parents. They are my rock, my support system, and truly my heroes. No task is ever too big or small for them.... and this is why I admire them so much.

Although they've had their bumps and bruises, they have stuck together and raised three wonderful children to be the adults they always hoped we would be. They might not have always been happy with some of the choices we've made, but they've never left our side. And I know that won't change anytime soon.

Mama and Tata.... I love you so much and thank you. Thank you for showing me the gift of unconditional love. Not everybody is as lucky as I am to have such wonderful and awesome parents. xoxo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Three - First True Love

Day 3-Your first love

This is a picture that was taken on one of the happiest days of my entire life. The day I became Mrs. Brown. My husband, Adam, is my very first true love. We met when we were both 15 years old and his family used to live in the house right behind my mom's house. I used to jump on an old milk crate and jump over the wall to see him. (That's love!) We dated for about 2 years and then Adam went to college, so we took a break. When he came back, we both realized how in love we were with each other, and we've been inseparable ever since.

Adam proposed to me atop the ferris wheel in Santa Monica, California on March 12, 2006. We got married a little over a year later on April 14, 2007. He is my true love because he has seen me through both good times and bad, and is still right by my side. At some points in our relationship, we might not have it all together. But together, we have it all. He is my rock, my best friend, my partner, and my soulmate.

The second love of my life is my son, AJ (AB3). Although it's a little bit gory, I posted the top photo because that was truly a moment of "love at first sight" for me. I spent 38 weeks growing that little boy and awaiting his arrival and he was (and still is) everything I hoped he would be.

The third love of my life is my son, Aiden (AB4). If you look at some of my old posts from when I was pregnant with Aiden, you'll see that towards the end of my pregnancy, I was worried about whether or not my heart would be able to love another little baby as much as I loved AJ. And I sit here before you, blog readers, with a love so deep for my two little boys. I can't put into words how it happened... but it did. Both of my boys are so different, but yet so alike and I love them equally with all my heart and soul.

My love for all of my boys is endless. Adam is my first "true love" as far as romance goes. But a mother's love for her children is so different because it is so undescribable and personal. I might not be wealthy with monetary possessions, but my heart is rich with true love. And that's just fine with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day Two - A Batch of Brownies

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
For those of you who know me, you know my last name is Brown. When I was pregnant with AB3, I always joked and said I was "Baking a Brownie". (You know how people always say there is a bun in the oven when you're pregnant?.... same thing, just a Brown-ie for me... our last name just kinda worked with it all!)
Obviously, our family has grown and instead of just one Brown-ie, we now have two! So I consider our family "A Batch of Brown-ies".
I created this blog to record all the things I wanted to remember in years to come about the boys and what we're up to. Sometimes I post multiple times a week, and sometimes I go days and weeks without posting. Trust me when I tell you it's not because I don't want to - it's just that I don't always have very much spare time to sit down and write. I've been working on making more time to do it though, and this challenge is helping drive my motivation!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day One - About Me!

Day 1-Introduce yourself, post a recent picture, share 15 interesting facts.
My name is Angie. I am 25 (almost 26) years old and play many roles. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a niece, and a granddaughter. Of the many hats I wear, being a mother and a wife are truly my greatest accomplishments and bring me the most joy.
One: I married my high school sweetheart.
Two: My dad's name is Adam, my husband's name is Adam, and my oldest son's name is Adam... but he's a Jr.
Three: I am obsessed with organization. I love drawers organizers, cabinet shelves, containers, etc. I love having a designated spot for almost everything.
Four: Some people could spend hours in a clothing store... I could spend hours inside Office Max. (Weird, I know.)
Five: I have a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.
Six: I am in the process of setting up my very first classroom! I will be teaching 1st grade in a matter of days.
Seven: My classroom theme is Bumblebees!
Eight: The school I will be teaching at is brand new and my husband helped build it. I used to drive to his job site and have lunch with him, so I literally watched it be built from the ground up, and now I will be a part of its staff. My husband laid the foundation to my career.
Nine: My parents are my absolute heroes.
Ten: I am deathly allergic to cats.
Eleven: Grocery shopping as a family is something I look forward to every week.
Twelve: Lately, I've been obsessed with garage sales. One man's junk is another man's treasure....especially when it comes to buying kids toys!
Thirteen: Sometimes I watch reality tv shows and feel like I know the celebrities I'm watching in real life.
Fourteen: It's important to me that my children are raised to know, love, and thank God for everything we have in our lives.
Fifteen: My husband and I will celebrate ONE DECADE of being together in March 2011.

30 Day Blogging Challenge? Sign me up!

I saw this on a friend's blog and because I am a sucker for fun stuff like this, and I love to blog, I have taken on the 30 day challenge! Each day, you will find out the following things about me:

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3-Your first love
Day 4-Your parents
Day 5-Your siblings
Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7-Favorite movies
Day 8-A place you've traveled to
Day 9-A picture of your friends
Day 10-Something you're afraid of
Day 11-Favorite tv shows
Day 12-What you believe
Day 13-Goals
Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you're looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you've learned
Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture

Monday, October 11, 2010


I would like to apologize for the lapse in blogging from this end! It has been a crazy few weeks in the Brown(ie) Household! ..... Isn't this what I always say when there is a blogging absence from me? Haha.

Anyways... this time it's really been crazy. Like, life changing crazy. Seriously.

Ready for the news?


No. I'm not pregnant.

Adam and I are still married.

Wait for it.....

I got a job.

Yup, I am going to be a working mom.

Let me take you back to a few months ago when I had this inner battle about my future and what direction it would go. As you may or may not know, I finally graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education in May. Well, technically August because I completed my student teaching at that time. I had an internal struggle with what I wanted to do once it was done because a part of me enjoyed student teaching, but a part of me wanted to continue staying at home with the boys. So I finally decided that I would stay at home with them for another year and pursue my career next school year, 2011-2012.

Apparently, someone else had a different plan.

Our school district just received a HUGE grant which opened up 650 new teaching positions throughout the entire district. I put in my application and completed the process, just so I would be in the system and ready to go for next year.

Within days, I found out that principals would be contacting applicants to hire them for open positions at schools and something told me I should just close my eyes and give it a shot in the dark. So I sent my resume to a few schools where I had relationships with teachers I knew.

Within 24 hours, I had 2 interviews at 2 separate schools. After leaving the second interview, I got called in to another school. It was interviewing chaos for me!

I remember driving to these interviews and wondering if I was making the right decision for myself and for the boys. This is something I've prayed about a lot in the past few weeks/months because I was so unsure about it.

The school I wanted to work at the most was my final interview. I left the interview at 8:40 and was called at 9:30 and offered a position teaching first grade..... and I accepted it.

What made me want to work at a specific school, you ask? It's a brand new school - and Adam helped build it! Literally. When I was pregnant with AB4, AB3 and I would drive out there and have lunch with Adam. I saw this school built from the ground up, and now I'm a part of it's staff. How cool, huh? God works in the most awesome ways.

Since I know most of you are wondering how I'm being hired for a teaching position this late in the school year, here is what is happening. Each grade level has a student to teacher ratio they have to abide by. In a lot of the classrooms, the ratio is higher than it should be. So they are taking all of the excess students and creating a new class that I will be teaching. And Voila. :-)

These past 2 weeks since I got the call have been chaotic. I've spent more miles than I realize driving back and forth to the school district office, turning in paperwork, beig fingerprinted, picking up paperwork, dropping stuff off, attending staff meetings, moving stuff into my new classroom (which is ENORMOUS, by the way!), buying supplies and things I will need, checking out daycares, calling daycares, crying about being away from the babies, researching, planning, preparing, organizing, and doing lots of thinking. Add in my daily duties of cleaning, feeding, bathing, and maintaining and you see why I've been absent from blogging! And this is just the beginning of the madness!

I feel so many emotions right now. I'm excited to begin this chapter of my life. I'm nervous about having to pick up in the middle of the first term and teach. I'm worried about my babies being away from me all week long..... but in the midst of all of this, I almost feel at peace, because I know there is someone up above that is helping guide my future on this path. I know with time it will all work itself out. Right now, my main focus is making sure my babies are taken care of. They are first and foremost in my life, above my own happiness, and I need to make sure that they're going to be at a place that they are comfortable at, happy, and loved.

In the long run, I know my choice is the right one. Although we are at a stable place financially, I would ultimately like to build up a better savings account that would allow us to spend more time together as a family and go on trips and show our kids different places. And being a teacher and following a school schedule will surely allow for taking time off to be with my family! I also know that AB3 will benefit from my decision as well. He absolutely loves and adores spending time with children his own age and playing and interacting. Being in a daycare setting 3 days a week will provide him with the opportunity to socialize, learn, and grow. And AB4, well, he will be there with his brother and be able to socialize (in baby language, of course!) through lots of stimulation and play with other babies. The boys will also benefit from familiarity because they will spend 2 days a week with my mom. (God bless my mom and her love and generosity!) I know the first few days and weeks of daycare adjustment will be tough (probably more for me than anyone), but we will get through it.

Blogging is relaxing for me because I get to write out my feelings and thoughts and take a load off my mind. So I am hoping to make time for this throughout the next few weeks of madness. If anything, I will at least be sure to post pictures of my classroom! I have a SUPER cute theme I'm going with, so I'll save that for my next post!

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reality of Food.

Take a look at my pictures. I am no small person.

Do you know why?

Because I love food.

Do you know what I love more than food? (besides my babies and my husband, because those are obvious givens here!)

Food shows.

Adam and I watch/DVR so many food shows. We especially like the reality food shows.

Some of our favorites are: The Next Food Network Star, Dinner: Impossible, MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen (even though it's SO scripted and drama central... I think it's cause I like me some Gordon Ramsay...that's besides the point here though), The Great Food Truck Race, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Diners-DriveIns & Dives... and the list goes on.

As much as I love watching the yumminess that these shows feature and focus on, I have one question I would like to ask.

Why, oh why, are these shows always aired in the evening? We always watch them after we've made/eaten/cleaned up after dinner and we snuggle up on the couch and watch faithfully.

The minute a plate is shown on the screen, my mouth salivates. Each commercial break leads me to the pantry or refrigerator to see what I can conjure up to satisfy whatever desire I'm having right then.

Clearly, I'm not hungry.... but I feel the urge to snack or eat as a result of watching these food shows. And sometimes I don't even have an urge to eat anything but I feel like it's wrong to sit there and watch a food show without food in my hand (...yes, I realize this is a problem and I am attending meetings to help me with this, haha) It's kind of like watching a church service on TV and not having the urge to pray. It just doesn't happen.

Because there is no way around my snacking issues, I've tried something new this past week. Now when we sit down to watch a food show, I pop a piece of mint gum in my mouth before it starts. Does it help curb my snacking? Yes... because nothing tastes as good after you've had minty gum in your mouth. Does it take away my desire to eat? Sort of. Does it give me fresh breath? You betcha! Hey.... you can't always have it all! :-)

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Husband!

I devote this post to my husband today. His birthday is tomorrow... but I will write about it today! Because tomorrow, I will be on a mission all day long to ensure that his birthday is extra, super special.

This will involve baking, cooking, and cleaning.

Notice there was no room in there for blogging, so here I am now.

26 years ago tomorrow (that sounds so weird and like it shouldn't make sense, but it does haha), Adam Brown was born. The End.

JUST KIDDING! I'm feeling comical today apparently.

Sometimes I don't have all the words to express my emotions. Sometimes I don't need words to express my emotions because my actions do all the talking.

Adam is my husband, the father to our children, a loyal employee, a brother, a cousin, and a son. But the most important role he plays in my life is that he is my best friend. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me feel safe, and he loves to cook. (Enough said, right?)

September 21st has been an important day in my life for the past 10 years now. I remember contributing $10 for Adam's 16th Birthday present - a skateboard. I also remember that birthday because I was grounded and my mom wouldn't let me go over to his house to eat cake. But I did anyways because I was a brat like that. :-)

This year we celebrate with our beautiful little family we've created and I just want my husband to know that he truly completes my life in every single way.

Happy 26th Birthday Adam. I love you more than words can say. Here's to 100 more years+ together! xoxo

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Terrible Two's

We have officially made it. The time has come.

Destination: Terrible Twos.

Yup. Here we are. In full force.

Let me give you a glimpse into the nightmare that I live and breathe daily. (Okay, so not EVERY day is a nightmare... just lots of hours of lots of days.)

It all started about a month ago when I drove down to the Community Center and took AB3 swimming. We stopped by the office on our way in and I picked up a pamphlet with the class listings and times. I had perfect timing because sign up for the new fall session was less than a day away! After looking through and making some calls to Kristin (AB3's bff's mom), we chose two classes to sign the boys up for.

Tiny Tots Sports on Wednesdays from 9:00-10:00 and Alphabet Art on Thursdays from 9:00-9:50.

I told AB3 we would be starting to go to "school", and he woke up everyday asking to go. He was so eager and excited and it was hard to contain him some days!

So the big day arrives and we show up to Tiny Tots Sports. All goes well for the first 10 minutes when it's open gym and play time. Once class begins, there is structure. *Enter tantrum.*

AB3 does not like structure. He is 2 and a half... therefore he doesn't listen very well. AB3 does what he wants (within reason). When I pull him away from the "unstructured" activities, his tantrums escalate. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was *that* mom on Wednesday....AND Thursday!

I will give him the benefit of the doubt... gym class was busy! They started off by running tons of laps back and forth and the Irish in him came out within minutes. This was obvious by the bright red in his cheeks! Then they tried to practice playing kickball. AB3 preferred to pick the ball up and throw it, and wanted nothing to do with kicking it. I re-directed him to do what he was being told to do. *Enter tantrum.* This continued for the rest of class. All he wanted to do was everything he wasn't supposed to do.

Although Wednesday was frustrating, Thursday was even worse.

Alphabet Art! I was so excited to do some fun crafts with my little guy. And so was he... until the "structure" came back. He went and got his supplies like he was asked to do, but wouldn't stop playing (dangerously) with the scissors. So mommy stepped in and took them away. *Enter trantrum.* This tantrum was by far one of the worst because we are in a small room with about 15 moms and 15 kids. His tantrum includes lots of high pitched screams, proceeded by whining and crying. When he is in this mode, it's so hard to bring him back down to calmness.

Finally it was time to make an Angel (for the letter A) and it was a super cute craft. We had to trace his foot and hands and of course, AB3 wanted to do it his own way. *Enter tantrum.* This tantrum lasted the longest and left me in tears. Nobody said a single thing to me, but I could tell the judgmental eyes were all on me. The teacher told us at the beginning of class that if the child misbehaves or gets upset, the right thing to do is ignore them, stay calm, and NOT to remove them from the room. By keeping them in the room, they need to learn to deal with it. When you remove them, they feel like they've won, and the cycle will repeat.

So as I'm sitting there with the high-pitched-screaming-bloody-murder-whiny kid, my own eyes well up with tears and I nearly lose it. I felt beat up, and defeated.

Here is my little AB3, who only days before, was so excited and ready to go to school... and he's throwing the biggest fit. There were kids in there way younger than him, and some way older than him. NOBODY made a single sound, except for him.

Somehow we ended up making it through the 50 minute class. We will go back and try it again next week.

I'm not quite sure what these tantrums are stemming from. The odd thing is that his extreme tantrums are only like this in public places. It's as if he tries to stick it to me in public because he knows I won't be able to punish him as easily somewhere outside of the house. It could be that he wasn't feeling well this week (the bug has been going around...) It could be that he isn't used to structure like that. It could be that he's the first child and spoiled (but I'm admitting to this and cracking down on it hardcore). Or it could just be the fact that he's in his terrible two's and doesn't know how to handle them.

Either way, our first two days of school were rough. I'm hoping next week is easier and more enjoyable for both of us. Wake me up when the two's are over!

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silly Boys!

Time flies faster than I can even watch go by, and my babies are doing the cutest things lately. Here are some of the latest happenings in the Brown(ie) House:

* As I previously blogged about before, AB3 is potty trained... but he calls his pee "'orange juice". Haha, cutest thing I've ever heard. "Look Mommy, orange juice in the potty!"

* AB4 loves, adores, and worships his older brother. The twinkle in his eye when he spots his brother doing something is a sight I hope I never lose. As we all know, AB3 is obsessed with cars. Anytime he's on the ground playing with his cars, AB4 inches his way over and pushes cars around with him.

* AB3 has developed the attitude of a 13 year old. If I do something he doesn't like, this is what I hear: "I'm gonna tell daddy!". Reading it here does it NO justice. He says it with SUCH attitude! And if I offer him something he doesn't want (like vegetables... GASP! Bad mommy!) he tells me: "Broccolli go buh bye, mommy! NO! Carrots are cryin!". Haha. It's seriously so hilarious. He has such expression in his tone when he yells like this. I will record a video and post it!

* AB4 has outgrown his baby bathtub (tear) and he's now taking baths with his big brother in the big tub! He sits in a little bath seat and loves every second of it! AB3 shows him how to splash and he helps rinse his brother off. Sometimes a little too much and we need to remind him that AB4 is still a little baby!

These little boys do silly things all day long. I need to do a better job of documenting their silliness because time really does fly by and I don't want to forget these things in years to come.

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Isn't it Funny?

There must be an official "Book of Life" out there somewhere that everybody BUT me has read. The reason I assume this is because I always get the exact same responses from people during random conversations. It goes a little something like this:

Person: Do you have any kids?
Me: Yes, I have an almost 3 year old boy and a 6 month old boy.
Person: Oh! So when are you going to have another?
Me: Umm... didn't you hear me? I have a SIX MONTH OLD! (Okay, so I never really actually say this, but sometimes I want to!)

Some people can handle having all these babies close in age on a daily basis, but I think I would go nuts! My body doesn't produce babies like an assembly line. I need to re-coup and watch AB4 grow a little longer before I even step foot into the baby factory again!

I could be talking to somebody I've never met or somebody I've known for years and yet everybody always asks the same question! Or there is also the infamous "Congratulations on your marriage!..... so when are you going to have babies?"


I know that these things are easy conversation pieces and all, but sometimes they just make me laugh at how common they are. We're all different people, from different backgrounds, with different life experiences, but yet our thoughts always seem to align in funny ways.

With that said, since I know you're all itching to ask now but probably won't because of this blog post, we go back and forth on having another child. Part of me wants to establish my career before we have another child, but I also don't want huge gaps in age between my kids. I want to wait, but I don't want to wait too long. Does that even make sense? We don't have a "gameplan" for a new Brown(ie), but I think that eventually there will be another.

For now, I'm going to enjoy my school-free days, and focus on my two little boys.

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Walk Down Memory Lane....

The *new* blog posts you see below are new for this blog... but they are actually old posts I made in an old blog I don't keep anymore. I wanted to treasure and keep them forever, so I moved them over here.

Re-reading them made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because I can still reach deep inside my heart and remember those exact feelings I was writing about.

This is why I love to blog!

Mama Brown(ie)

Old Blog Post: October 1, 2007

When you think about it, It's crazy how...

* You spend 6 years of life jumping over the back wall of your parents house just to see him, and all of a sudden together you buy your first home.

* You never thought he would mutter the word "marriage" and then he vows his love to you for life in front of over 100 family and friends.

* You still learn something new everyday about someone you've been with for so long.

* The minute you learn you're pregnant, your entire life changes.

* One minute you're shopping online for the latest purse, and the next minute you're comparing diapers.

* Your crush turns into your boyfriend who turns into your fiancee who turns into your husband who turns into the father of your child.... all while being your bestest friend.

* You still rush home to see him and he still gives you butterflies.

* Growing a baby inside you makes you feel so much more in tune with your body.

* You develop new respect for your parents once you learn you're becoming one.

* You watch your dad go from uninterested to scared to ecstatic about his new grandson. And it even makes you smile when he is concerned about things you do while being pregnant.

* You try to use the baby as an excuse to eat everything in sight. (Hey... works for me!) :-)

* You realize how much your family truly means to you... and how minimal other things in life are.

* Feeling your babies' movement inside makes you literally stop what you're doing and smile.

* You realize that the people who truly love you are still reading this, because these thoughts are so random! :-)

I could go on and on but I won't... maybe in the next edition of "What's On Angie's Mind!"


Old Blog Post: January 2, 2008

Almost 3 days into 2008, I'm taking a look back at 2007 and counting all my blessings for the most life changing year of my life.

2007 was nothing but wonderful for Adam and I, and I don't even know where to start. The first 3 months went by in the biggest blur with last minute wedding detail appointments, an amazing Bridal Shower for me with nothing but close family, friends, and more laughter than you can imagine, a memorable Bachelorette Party, our first dance lessons for Adam and I, and preparation for the biggest, most important day of our lives. April was also a month of personal victory for me. The day before our wedding, I reached my weight loss goal of losing 70 pounds before our wedding day. I always struggled with diets, but I was determined to do this, and I did. I'm not trying to boast, but I honestly am still to this day so proud of myself for being as strong as I was, and making it happen. Go Angie!

April 14th came faster than I expected it to. We went from months, to weeks, to days, to hours, to minutes… and to seconds. I will never in my life forget the emotion I felt while standing at the end of the church aisle, holding onto my daddy's arm, and seeing the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with, waiting for me. (That, and seeing the other 50+ people that were there to witness this!) Our wedding day was more magical than I could have ever dreamed it would be. Every dream I had as a little girl came true before my very eyes. Becoming Mrs. Angelica Brown wouldn't have been half the day it was without the support of all of our family and friends. It's one of those things you truly appreciate more once you get older. Just seeing all the people you know and love come together to celebrate our love was absolutely incredible. I would re-live it all in a heartbeat. I thank god everyday to be so blessed with such wonderful friends and family.

In May, Adam and I found out we were expecting our first baby. (It was Lacy's birthday! I'll never forget the date!) Although the reality was initially a little frightening for both of us, the thought of bringing a tiny little person into this world was enough to make our hearts melt. It was a step in our lives that we were both ready for.

The next few months were spent battling the grueling Las Vegas heat, and preparing for our little miracle. It was at this point that I realized how important my friendships and relationships were. I couldn't get through this pregnancy without the knowledge and advice from Jewell, the ear to listen from Brittney (a fellow preggers friend at the time), the excitement from Vicky, the weekly newsletter sharings with Jackie, and the love and support from my family. I watched my dad go from emotionless when he found out he was becoming a grandpa, to happy, to excited, to now the proudest grandpa to be out there. I know women go through this on a daily basis, but I truly believe that out of everything amazing in this pregnancy, the most incredible internal emotion has stemmed from the closeness I share with my family now. Nothing can compare to the feeling of little feet kicking into your ribs, or little flutters to let you know he's awake and moving around, or the little baby hiccups you feel that you can't even describe.

Our little miracle is estimated to arrive sometime within the next 3 weeks. It's all in his hands, and as much as I can't wait to meet my son, look into his eyes, hold his little hand, and kiss his little feet… I'm going to miss him living inside my body. I'm going to miss Adam's sparkle in his eye every single time he feels AJ move… it's so cute to see him talk to our baby through my belly and see him light up when the little man responds! Being pregnant is truly a blessing in every sense of the word. I have learned to appreciate my own mom so much more than I ever did, because we now have this bond, this experience that wasn't there before. For those of you who plan on having kids eventually in the future – you'll see what I mean! And when that time comes, you'll realize just how precious life is!

Anyways... 2007 wouldn't have been as awesome as it was without the love and support of the special people in our lives. It would take me all night to list names, so I won't get into that, but you all know who you are. We love you!!!

Now come on out Little AJ! We're all waiting to meet you!

Old Blog Post: November 12, 2008

Another old blog post from November 12, 2008:

I simply love this time of year. I love the colors of the leaves changing. I love taking a walk on a brisk evening and having to throw on a sweater and crunch through leaves on the sidewalk. I love the color and sight of pumpkins in front of homes. I love the smell of pumpkin spice and nutmeg in familiar stores. Fall always signifies the start of the holiday season for me. And nothing could make me happier.

A certain calm takes over my body when that calendar hits October. It's really unexplainable. I'm not nervous about our seasonal huge snowfall, or dreading the summer heat. Fall brings with it the perfect weather. There is just something so calming about this time of year. (Or maybe it's just my excitement for some damn turkey!)

Holidays always bring out the best in people. I'm thankful for my blessings on a daily basis, but right about now is when I feel truly sentimental towards the cards I've been dealt in my life. This has been an amazing year for our family. To say we are "blessed" is an absolute understatement. Our beautiful baby boy will be one whole year old in just about 2 months. How did this happen so quickly? I couldn't even tell you. Honestly, time has never flown so fast for me! I try to keep up as best as I can, and AJ makes that so easy to do with that beautiful, bright, beaming smile he shoots me everytime I catch his eye!

This Thanksgiving I am again thankful for my other half in this world. I'm thankful that I was able to find somebody so perfect for me, and somebody who does such a great job loving me as I am, and as hard as it may sometimes be. I'm thankful for an amazing beyond words family that has never disappointed me, or let me down. I am thankful for a magnificent sister for me, and truly wonderful aunt for my son. I am thankful for the roof over our head, and the meals on our table. I am thankful for the wonderful folks down at Local Union Hall 525 for keeping my husband employed and paying him so well that I can stay home and witness the miracle of raising our son. I am thankful for the education I am able to pursue, and that I have the resources necessary to make my dreams come true. I am thankful for our health, which gives us strength to make each day happen. I am thankful for my fellow mommies who have helped me get through sleepless nights,teething, playtimes,colic, and feeding. Without your help,I would be one frazzled mess! I am also thankful for all my friends who continue to be here for me throughout my triumphs and sadnesses. I'm thankful for the gift of forgiveness because without it, I would be a sad, lonely person. I'm thankful that our country has been able to look past the color of someone's skin and elected the very first African American president. And mostly, I am thankful for the faith I have in an incredible God. He blessed me with a tiny little boy with a strong heart, and straight bones. He gave me a title that I proudly wear on my sleeve. (Literally, there is probably drool, milk, or spit on my clothes, somewhere!) I'm not much of a preacher, and I don't go to church nearly as much as I should (although I'm getting better!), but I truly do believe that my faith in him has led my life where it is. I'm also thankful for any of you people who are still reading this to the very last word :-)

With that said... make sure you take a minute to acknowledge all the things in your life you're thankful for. It will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. And enjoy some turkey! I know I sure will!

Gobble Till You Wobble!

Old Blog Post - AJ's First Birthday!

Written on January 15, 2009:

As a child, you become friends with boys and occasionally one or two of them might make you think you're "in love". I know I had my fair share of these moments, and I was CONVINCED I knew what love was the day I became Adam's girlfriend. It's one of those feelings that you are just so sure of inside and nothing can or will come close to changing that. I have, do, and always will love my husband with an unconditional love because he has blessed my life (and his own) with a kind of love that I cannot even begin to describe in words. His name is AJ.

One year ago today, I was laying in a hospital bed anticipating the birth and arrival of the newest member of our family. There was a huge mix of emotions sweeping through my body as I anxiously waited to meet my son. I simply couldn't wait to see his little face. Would he look like me? Would he have his daddy's blue eyes? Months of waiting turned into weeks, weeks turned into days, days turned into hours.... and hours turned into minutes. I will never, ever in my entire life forget those precious minutes when AJ entered into this world. When people tell you motherhood is such an amazing experience, they aren't emphasizing it enough.

About an hour ago, I sat in AJ's room with my son in my arms, rocking my baby to sleep for the last time as a baby. Tomorrow when he wakes up, he will be an official toddler. In my heart, he will ALWAYS be my little baby. But when it comes down to it, once you're one, you're a big boy! AJ's birthday is a huge celebration of who he is and who he has grown into. But not only am I celebrating his first year of life, I am also celebrating a very personal milestone of my own. I nursed, fed, changed, consoled, cried with, played with, and continue to teach this little boy everything I possibly could, as best as I could. Not only have Adam and I given AJ so much in life, but he has given me so much more in return than I could have ever imagined possible. He has turned me into a much more patient and understanding person. He has taught me what life looks like when you're a little over 2 feet tall. (And let me tell you, it's a whole new world down there!) But most of all, he taught me a love that I never imagined possible. To say that I love him is an absolute understatement. He takes the word love to a whole new level.

Adam and I sat down earlier today and talked about all that has happened through the last 364 days in our life. We went through nursing, pumping, 2 months of colic, first colds, shots, feeding from spoons, solids, crawling, scooting, teething, sleepless nights, dirrrrrty diapers, laughing, smiling, and walking..... and that's just jotting some things down. There was so much more in between there, but I'll save that for the baby book. Anyways, as Adam I talked, we both came to the conclusion that AJ is so much more than we expected out of life. He lights up our life with his sweet smiles, his affectionate hugs, and his thoughtful gestures. In spite of all of the mistakes Adam and I might have made in life, we must have done something right to be blessed with such an amazing little boy we call our own.

I am sad because once that clock hits 5:54am, my son will be one year old. I am sad because I wish I could keep him this young, little baby of mine as a baby just a little longer - but I know I can't. I know that our journey with AJ has so much more in store for us, and as much as I want to say that I can't wait for it all - I can. Because I've noticed the more I say I can't wait for something, the faster it comes, and when it comes to AJ growing up, I want to keep him little.

Happy 1st Birthday, AJ. You are the light of my life, and give the word love a whole new meaning. Thank you for all you have done for me, and for helping me figure out who I am in this big, big world. I never thought somebody so little could change my life so much, but you sure did. I love you with all of my heart....and then some. And this will never, ever change. I can promise you that.

xoxo, Your Mama

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To teach, or not to teach? That is the question!

I suppose you can call me a nerd.

Here we are in the second to last week of August. What does this mean, nationwide? It's almost Fall, yes. Christmas is right around the corner, yes. Oooh! Halloween? Yes... but no. I'm talking about back to school people!

This is officially the first semester since 2003 that I haven't been in school. (Well, I take that back. I took one semester off when AJ was born. Let's not count that one though.) So everyone is back to school.... except for me. I'm actually kinda-almost-sorta sad about this. This is where the nerdy name calling comes in. Get this: I actually ENJOYED school the past 4 semesters. Yikes! How does that happen? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I truly enjoyed all of my education classes. I enjoyed creating lesson plans, teaching lessons, preparing materials, researching fun activities... and now it's all done with. Just like that. But at least I have a Bachelor's Degree to show for it all.

Which brings me to my next point. Earlier this week I went in and helped my cooperating teacher (from my student teaching) set up her new classroom. :: Cue depression.:: Being in the midst of the excitement of the new school year preparation reminded me of how badly I wish I was setting up my OWN classroom. I have so many cute ideas for my own classroom and at this point, who knows when I will put them to use?

Now that school is starting in one week, (unless there is some miracle of God from CCSD), I'm pretty much out of the running for a teaching position for the 2010-2011 school year. I've been saying that if a position was offered to me, that I would take it... but then I think about how much I missed out on being home with AJ and Aiden while I student taught. It's such a difficult decision for me. I find myself getting all gung-ho and searching for teaching positions in private schools as well as public schools and then I realize that I haven't thought it through all the way. What would I do with the boys? How would the boys do without mama all day long?

I have a few short/long-term goals in mind as far as teaching goes:
1.) To obtain my substitute license and secure some sub jobs periodically from friends and colleagues I have
2.) To obtain my professional license and HOPEFULLY be offered a position for the 2011-2012 school year (that sounds scary!)

I'm already making steady progress on goal #1 and I go in for an interview on Monday! If I can just satisfy my desire and urge to teach a few times a month by subbing, I think I can make it until next school year when I actively pursue my teaching career. By then, AJ will be 3 1/2 and in pre-school, and Aiden will be 1 1/2 and in a daycare program.

I have all my faith in God and I know that he will lead my future and my career on the path he has set for me. It's just the "waiting in the meantime" that is the killer!

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sloooow Down!

People always told me that everything with the second child goes much faster than it did with the first child. Maybe it's because you already know what to expect with the 2nd child. Maybe it's because you're so busy chasing the first child all day that the time escapes you. Maybe it's because the first child is moving the hands on the clock which makes it SEEM like the time flies by faster. (Okay, so this is a little far-fetched, but it could happen!)

No matter what the explanation, the fact of the matter is that time REALLY DOES go by much faster with the second child.

My case in point: this little guy!

AB4 is not even six months old yet. Heck, he's barely five and a half months old yet! But he gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth. This tells me that he is about to take flight and start CRAWLING! He is already able to scoot himself to get from point A to point B (and it's pretty funny to watch), but I am nowhere near ready for him to crawl.

I looked back at AB3's baby book to see exactly how old he was when he became mobile, and according to the records, AB3 didn't crawl or scoot until he was 6.5 (almost 7) months old. Which means that AB4 is doing this waaay too soon!

Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of his strength and determination to start moving, but goodness. I want him to be a baby a little longer! Because AB3 was our first child, we were beginners at this parenting thing. I found myself questioning every decision I made, spent countless minutes researching every little thing about babies, and living in fear of germs attacking my poor little baby. Because of all of these little fears, I found that I wasn't able to fully enjoy all of AB3's baby phase. Each new milestone was a new challenge for me (and him), and I spent more time analyzing it than sitting back and enjoying it.

Which brings us to AB4. Now that we've been around the baby block before, we're much more relaxed. A funny little side-story to support this statement: In June when I was helping work the school carnival during my student teaching, there was a little boy that was playing on a metal folding chair. He tripped on a part of it and hit his head. I gasped (it's the motherly instinct inside of me) and his father reached over, smirked, and said: "Eh, it's okay. He's the second one, so we're not too worried." I couldn't help but laugh, but he was right. Of course you worry, and you care, and you're concerned, but it's nowhere near the level of severity as it was with the first child.

The point of this post is to re-iterate how much more I love and adore the baby stage with AB4. It's like I'm seeing all of his "firsts" through a new set of eyes. It's amazing to me how you can have multiple children, and they each have their own, distinct little personality. Every new little achievement for AB4 brings me personal victory and excitement for him. Even AB3 joins in on the cheers and encourages him when he's trying to do something new.

I will end this post with some lyrics from a song that is a tear jerker for me every single time I hear it because it really puts into perspective how fast the time goes by when you're a parent. So here it is ladies and gentlemen.

"You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins.....
"You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are some good times. So take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this."

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Follow up to "Loving Two"

** Copied and pasted from my Facebook so that I can look back on it in years to come!**

I felt it was only right to follow up to my last note I wrote about my emotional struggles with having two kids. Just like everybody said, Aiden is so naturally a part of our family that I am beginning to forget what life was like without him. I feel as though we have always been a family of four.

And AJ? He is absolutely over the moon in love with his baby brother. Everything he does revolves around him. His eyes sparkle when he spots his brother first thing in the morning and is very careful to be "gentle" with him. He holds his bottle for him when he's eating. He runs upstairs and brings down his blankets to share with his baby brother. He sits on the couch and asks to hold him while extending his arms. There are no words that can explain the happiness I feel inside when I see the two of them together.

Aiden has become more alert and aware of his surroundings and when AJ is nearby, Aiden is on high alert and studies his brother's face very closely. There is so much love that just radiates between them and I know that they will be the best of friends as they grow up.

Although life with a toddler and a newborn has its fair share of challenges (and sleepless nights for this mama!), I wouldn't trade it for the world. Every second of the day I spend with my little boys reminds me of how blessed Adam and I are to be parents to these little guys.

Loving Two

**This is something I posted on my Facebook a while ago, but I wanted to remember it in years to come, so I am posting it here. If you have read it, then read it again. haha.

Everything about Aiden was planned.

We knew we wanted to give AJ the gift of a sibling to grow up with and someone to share his life with. We knew we wanted to expand our family and share the love we have with our kids for the rest of our lives. What I didn't realize was that the closer we get to meeting Aiden, the more sadness I feel because I know our days of giving AJ all of our attention are numbered. I hate to say I feel guilty, but it's almost as if I do. I don't want AJ to resent me for bringing someone new into our family. Someone who would be more demanding of my time and would have to share my lap when we cuddle. I am beyond overjoyed to be having another baby and am so blessed by such an amazing little gift, but I have been struggling with this feeling the past few days. I just stumbled upon this email I got from a good friend a while back and it immediately brought me peace and comfort. I'm posting this because I know that many of my friends are pregnant with their second child and will be experiencing these same emotions. (My doctor said they are COMPLETELY normal, by the way! Phew!) But if this message could bring you as much comfort as it did me, I would love to share it. So here it is:

Loving Two

I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as youve never shared me before. I hear you telling me in your own way, Please love only me. And I hear myself telling you in mine, I cant, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.

You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. Im afraid to let you see me enjoying him, as though I am betraying you.

But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection. More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast. But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times - only now, we are three.

I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other. I watch how he adores you - as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I havent taken something from you, Ive given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you. I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.

And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you - only differently. And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know youll never share my love. Theres enough of that for both of you - you each have your own supply.

I love you - both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.

-Author Unknown

Mission Potty Training: Accomplished.

A few months ago, I set out on a mission to potty train AB3. I was armed with Resolve carpet cleaner, a scrub brush, multiple pairs of toddler briefs, and treats galore. That particular mission was very short lived. It's failure can be attributed to the following reasons:

1.) AB4 was a newborn and needy. (Riiiiiiiiiiiight.) It was too hard for me to tend to AB4 and put him down in time to get AB3 to the potty.
2.) Extreme frustration and lack of patience (from me, not AB3)
3.) He just wasn't ready. reasons number 1 & 2 can be easily explained, but I was struggling with validating reason #3. Clearly, AB3 didn't tell me: "Mommy, I'm just not ready to pee pee in the potty." People were so quick to tell me that he should already be potty trained, but they failed to tell me how difficult it would be to do. Because I was about to begin my student teaching, I put the mission on hold until I was done with school. No more homework, no more studying, no more excuses.

Which brings us to August 11th, 2010. 8 days AFTER my student teaching. No more excuses.... I decided on a whim that that would be the day that we start our newest mission. To be very honest, I walked into the mission with complete dread, panic, and expectancy to fail.

Lo and behold, AB3 had something else in mind. After watching the Elmo Potty Time DVD and running around the house completely naked, AB3 decided that he would pee on the carpet while I was upstairs. I walked down and caught him doing this and immediately whisked him into the bathroom to finish his business. He screamed and cried the whole time but I made it such a big deal that he stopped to give me a crazy look and stared into the toilet with me. ("Pee pee in the pot-ty, pee pee in the pot-ty" was my song of choice for those three long days!) After AB3 realized he had done it... he was so proud of himself and excited to eat his 2 M&M mini's as his reward. That first day, we only had 2 accidents. The second day, we had 1. The third day, we had NO accidents! And at this point in time, I think it's safe to announce... wait for it, wait for it...


::Cue heavenly music::

It's been a long time coming, but I was right when I said that months ago, AB3 just wasn't ready. I don't know what changed inside of him between then and now, but I'm so beyond glad that the switch went off and we're out of diapers. Thank you to all my amazing mommy friends for the encouragement, advice, and support!

But wait. There's more.

Now that my rejoicing of AB3 being potty trained is over... let the sadness enter. AB3 is potty trained. My sweet little AB3, my first born son, my little baby. First he was out of infant clothes. Then he dropped the bottle. Then he left the crib (his wooden one... but he was still in the same house, just in a twin bed), and now he is out of diapers.

Um... what does this mean? Does this "officially" make him a big boy now? I mean look: he sleeps in a "big boy" bed. He eats at the table in his own "big boy" chair. He rides around in a "big boy" car seat. And now he wears "big boy" undies. I can't refer to his undies as "baby" undies because he wouldn't want anything to do with them. And the baby (AB4) has taken over the crib and the high chair, so I can't refer to his twin bed as the "baby" bed, or "baby" chair anymore either. ::Gulp::

This growing up stuff happens waaaaay too fast. Where does the time go? Before you know it, I will be posting about AB4's potty training! <-- Luckily we still have time for all that!

Although AB3 is considered a "big boy" everyway you look at it, he is and always will be, mommy's baby boy. I love you, AJ and am so proud of the "big boy" you are growing up to be. Thank you for making potty training easier this time around. xoxo

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Together, we have it all.

Earlier this week I was looking through old boxes of photos and keepsakes I've kept over the years. I found an old Anniversary card that Adam bought me for our 3 year dating anniversary in 2004. "I hope we have many more years together" is something he wrote inside that card. Little did we both know that his hope for many more years would become a reality.

March 2011 will mark 10 years that Adam and I have been together. A whole decade! Wow! Of those 10 years, we've been married for almost 4 of them. I stumbled upon a quote (and you all know how much I love quotes!) yesterday that really sums it all up for me:

We might not have it all together. But together we have it all.

Oh so true! You see, Adam and I live a very ordinary life. We don't go on fancy trips (although we would love to.... so if you have any hook-ups, send them this way!), we don't own fancy things (well, my iPod touch is pretty fancy!), but we are happy in our lives. Our life BC (before children) was the same as it is now, except that now we are rich with children in our home!

A fun day for us includes going to the grocery store together and stopping somewhere for lunch. What may seem like something boring to some is an adventure for us. It's not the easiest task to take a toddler and an infant grocery shopping for a few hours, but yet it's something we look forward to every week. Not only is it necessary (otherwise we wouldn't eat), but it's time that we all spend together. And at the end of the day, that's all I can ask for.

Over the years I've learned that life is not about how much of something you have, but how you spend what you have. What I have is an awesome husband who also doubles as my best friend, a hilarious little 2 1/2 year old boy that truly lights up my life and keeps me laughing, an amazing little 5 month old boy who melts my heart with each smile, coo, and noise he makes, and finally - I have an abundance of love in my heart. I spend this love in my heart by cuddling my babies when they need me, by supporting every decision my husband makes for our family, by remembering to smile each and everyday that I wake up, and by thanking God everyday for this amazing little life I have that makes me rich with love.

By no means do Adam and I have a perfect relationship. Far from it, actually. But it's perfect for us. We are two different people from two different backgrounds that fell in love. We meshed our lives and created new ones. Sure, we argue. Sure, we disagree. Sure, we want to rip our hair out in frustration.... but at the end of the day, we always remember what matters most... and that's the love we have for each other. We're a team in this little journey we call life, and we're in it to win it!

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweet Little Brown(ies)

I don't feel like I devote enough of my blog to my sweet little Brown(ie) boys. So this blog posting is devoted entirely to them! :-)

I'll give you a brief rundown of the daily happenings of AJ (AB3). AJ has a variety of silly little nicknames given to him by Adam and I. They include: Joolka, Joolgee, Burahgee, Burahgamous J, Little Poo Poo. Please do not even take the time to ask where they came from. I will tell you right now that I have NO idea how we came up with these. They stem from a normal-ish nickname and somehow have gotten twisted into this randomness. AJ's favorite things right now are CARS! He has an obsession with model cars, but especially ones he can identify. He loves his "Camaro car, Meeshubeeshi car, Dodge car, Camper car, Lexus car, and Porsche car!" He has millions of others, but these are his favorite. And don't forget the Volwagons! AJ has been talking so much more lately and is putting words together to make sentences. Lately when he doesn't want something or is upset, this is how our conversations go:

Me: AJ, do you want some orange juice?
AJ: No mommy! No some orange juice, no want!
Me: Umm... AJ, would you like some orange juice?
AJ: No mommy! No like orange juice, no want!

Repeat this for anything you offer him within 2 minutes of this mini tantrum. It's frustrating most times because he screams this, but I can't help but crack up laughing because he sounds so cute when he says it! AJ's other obsession is his little brother, Aiden. Goodness gracious, the child is obsessed. The first thing he asks for when he wakes up is "baby brudder!" And then he proceeds to run through the entire house searching for his little brother. It's the cutest thing ever and Aiden absolutely loves the attention from AJ. Aiden sits there and watches everything AJ does and laughs when his brother comes near. It's the cutest thing ever to watch and I just know they will be best friends. My student teaching and being away from AJ have been hard on him. He is going through separation anxiety and cries for mommy when I leave. It's seriously so heartbreaking... but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! :-)

Aiden is nearly five months old and I am in shock at how much faster the second baby grows than the first baby! And the first baby grows pretty darn fast! Aiden's nicknames are also just as silly (if not worse!) than AJ's. They are: PooPoo Kloon, Denka, PooPooDenki, ChumPoopee and Buhragadenki. Again, don't ask. TYVM. lol

As I mentioned above, Aiden is fascinated with his older brother. He spots AJ when he's walking toward him and erupts into huge smiles and kicks those little legs faster than he even realizes he can! Recently, Aiden has been trying rice cereal and loves gulping it down. Aiden is literally the sweetest, most mellow little baby I have ever seen! He just sits back and watches everything happen and barely ever makes a sound. He will let you know when he's hungry with his loud shrilling cry! Aiden is also teething lately so he is drooling all over the place and in a lot of pain. Mommy and daddy try their best to make him feel all better with constant love and attention. Spending time sitting with daddy is one of his favorite things to do! Something funny Aiden does is that he scoots himself around already. If you lay him down vertically for a nap, you will come back to check on him in 5 minutes and he is horizonntally laying, and upside down from the way you laid him down. It's so funny to watch!

These little boys make my life worth living. I didn't know what it would be like to love two babies, but my heart naturally knew what to do and how to make that happen. They are two different little boys, but they are both mine and steal my heart on a daily basis. As much as I don't want time to move any faster, I just can't wait to watch them interact and play together and become the best friends that I know they will be in years to come. Let's just hope they still love their mama then as much as they do now! :-)

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Friday, July 16, 2010

24/7.... and then some!

I'm determined to one day print off this blog and turn it into some kind of a book that stays in our family for years to come. (this means I should probably start writing more!) With that said, I want to make sure I document this crazy time in the Brown(ie) household with as many details as I can remember. Although this crazy, sleep-deprived, busy, hectic thing I call my life is so insane right now, I know that in a few months I will look back and somehow suffer amnesia and forget how wild things really were.

Let's go back to Fall 2009. I was 5 months pregnant with AB4 and taking 22 college credits. All at the same time. And AJ was 1 1/2. This also involved a month long course held on Friday nights and all day Saturday. Aaaand I also had to complete 60 hours of classroom observations. Somehow I survived. Every single naptime/bedtime/spare second was spent doing homework, writing lesson plans, designing things for classes. Not to mention I still had a 2300 square foot house to clean, laundry to do for 3 people, meals to put on the table, and a nursery to design and put together for our newest family member!

Then there was Spring 2009. It was my last full semester of classes and the final push before I would be done! This semester also included 22 credits. At this point I was at the end of my pregnancy. This also involved a different month long course held every Friday night and all day Saturday for a month straight. It was a little easier this time around with only 20 classroom observation hours. March 11th brought on a new challenge: Aiden was born. My amazing little son had perfect timing and was born a week before my scheduled school Spring Break which helped me relax and try to enjoy those first few days of his entrance into the world. His heart problems and stay in the NICU for 12 days added a whole new level of stress into my life though. I had piles of homework to get through, a house to clean, a busy little AJ to chase around, and a newborn that I stressed and worried about every second of everyday. By the graces of God, an absolutely amazing beyond words mom who helped tremendously with watching the boys, I survived my final college semesters.... and I even managed to do so with a 4.0 GPA which gave me a Summa Cum Laude distinction at graduation.

Which brings me to now - Summer 2010. I'm in my final weeks of student teaching and whoa! What a journey it has been! My days start out at 4:40am with a shower and getting myself and two boys ready for the day. Getting two boys ready includes: selecting their outfits, making sippy cups (one milk, one juice), making baby bottles for Aiden (4-6oz bottles), changing diapers, dressing them, putting them into car seats, grabbing favorite toys, making my own lunch, and trying to remember a breakfast bar and my energy drink! I drop them off to my mama (who is my saving grace and the greatest gift in my life) and am at school everyday by 7:30. I get stuff ready for the day, attend meetings, assemble assignments, etc. until school starts. I leave school at 3:45 and after picking up the boys and I get home, it's already nearly 5:00. After dinner, washing bottles, playing "cars" with AJ, singing "Oompa Loompa" to Aiden, giving baths, and batting an eye at my loving husband, I sit down to grade papers and plan lessons for the following week. I don't get to bed until nearly 10:30, wake up with AJ when he needs to eat at night, and then I'm up by 4:40 the next day for the same thing all over again. Do you see why I said it's insane? And this is just an average day with nothing "additional" going on. Monday nights I have a seminar class for my student teaching which doesn't get get me home until 7pm. And then toss in those days where there is an extra curricular activity at school, or Adam's car needs to be picked up from the mechanic, or I have to run to Sam's Club to buy some more formula, or...., or....., or...... I could go on and on.

With all this said, I wouldn't trade any of my craziness for the world. My type-A personality gives me an advantage to this madness because I have lists, reminders, and notes galore to get me through it all. Not to mention, I have an amazing family to lean on that encourages me, supports me, helps me, and loves me. I hope one day my boys can look back at the sacrifices I made, the obstacles I overcame and hurdles I jumped to make my own dreams come true. I want them to have a mommy they can be proud of... and AJ and Aiden - I hope I haven't let you down.

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July Happenings

Mama's birthday in July always kicks off the birthdays/celebrations in our family. Here's the breakdown:

July - Mama Birthday
August - Tata Birthday
September - Adam's Birthday
October - Vicky's Birthday
November - My Birthday!
December - Paul's Birthday
January - AJ's Birthday
February - We're off this month....
March - Megan's Birthday, and Aiden's Birthday!

See! I told you! It's insanity! From July - March, the Serwin/Brown family keeps Hallmark in business!

This July is also extra special because Aiden's getting baptized at the end of the month. (Literally, on the 31st!) We selected two very special godparents for him, Diana and Seneca, and are so thrilled so see everyone at the end of the month. We haven't seen Paul & Megan, or Diana and Seneca, or Violet since D & S's wedding over a year ago. This celebration is long overdue for all of us! I have so much planning and preparing to do for this... and not enough time to do it all. The first step is getting off the computer! :-)

Till Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Let me preface this by saying I am not a camper. Every year in June, the Brown's have their annual reunion in Duck Creek, Utah. Duck Creek, Utah = Campground. Did I mention I'm not a camper?

Okay, so camping isn't all that bad. Actually, it is. Luckily I'm surrounded by Adam's funny, amazing and super sweet cousins, aunts and uncles. Getting together and seeing them makes "roughing it" worthwhile.

Friday nights officially start off the reunion with a Watermelon Bust. Everyone gets together and...well... eats watermelon. Saturday mornings kick off with races. AJ ran in the 2 year old race this year. He had a short distance to run and I was at the finish line with open arms waiting for him. He took off and had a great start.... until he stopped. And turned around. And ran back to Adam. Lovely. We didn't win 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd place. But he's still a winner in my book! After the races, there are mens/women's softball games, a potluck lunch, an auction, and a talent show to end the night. It's always a lot of fun and I love seeing everyone!

Now to the camping part. The woods, LOTS of dirt, bugs galore, chipmunks, and a tent. I was thankful for the actual bathrooms they had (although none of the boys actually used them unless they had to do "other" business... lol) I don't do well with dirt and bugs. Now imagine taking a very active and energetic 2 and a half year old boy and placing him in this environment. No gates, no fences, no bathtubs, no restrictions. And lots of dirt. And lots of changes of clothing. And a dirty, tired (and sick) mommy. This year we were able to stay in a cabin with Adam's parents, which really helped with sleeping at night for the boys. But the daytime was still rough. No matter how much you shower and scrub, you still feel dirt-y. And don't even get me started on cleaning up and unpacking at home! Everything is saturated in dust and dirt and I spend the next 5 days doing laundry over and over again. Every year I swear I won't go back, but I quickly get amnesia because I always end up driving down that same road, the same weekend every June.

Did I mention I'm not much of a camper?

Till Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

PS.... I'll have pictures to post of our trip next time! :-)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

As much as I think Mother's Day and Father's Day are opportunities for Hallmark to make some extra money, I can't help but join the rest of the world and celebrate the people who helped make me who I am today.

I dedicate today's blog posting today to two very special men in my life: My dad, Adam... and my husband, Adam. (Yes, they are both named Adam. And guess what? So is my son! :-)

"My father didn't tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it." - Clarence Kellogg
Upon reading this quote, I realized how fitting it is for my relationship with my dad. Growing up, my dad wasn't the perfect person. He didn't always make the right choices... but when it comes down to it, that's how we learn, right? It was thanks to all the "wrong" choices my dad made in his own life to make me realize what was really important in my own life. My dad might not have always been the best father or husband, but he taught me unconditional love and the value of hard work. To this very day and moment in time - there isn't a single thing I could ask my dad to do that he wouldn't do for us in a heartbeat. Whether it be fixing a lock in my downstairs bathroom so that the door latches shut, to following me across town to make sure I safely pick something up from a Craig's List seller, to watching my babies for me time and time again... he shows me love through his actions. After a hard day of working over 12 hours, he still finds the time to get things done around his house and maintain his yard so his grandson has somewhere nice and clean to run around and play. I truly admire my dad for his work ethic, his love, and for being the best daddy a girl could ever ask for. As an adult and mother myself now, I find that I inherited many of my dad's characteristics and I only hope I make him as proud of me as I am of him. Happy Father's Day tata! Kocham Ciebie!!!

"Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad." - Author Unknown
Adam Brown is truly someone special. When I looked into his eyes and vowed to love him and honor him for the rest of my life, I never knew that he would be able to give me the most important blessings in my life - our sons, AJ and Aiden. Simply stated, I could never have done any of this without him (literally!). I smile at the thought of knowing that our sons have such an awesome daddy. There isn't a single thing in this world that makes me happier than seeing him play (and wrestle) with our little boys. Even though we may not always see eye to eye on certain parenting things, we are a team and stand by each other's decisions. And there is nobody else I would rather be on a team with. When people found out we were expecting, they always told us "Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever have." I remember Adam and I laughing this off, but I will now be the first to say how right those people are. The diaper changes, the sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the teething screams, the countless boo boo's and time-outs only make us stronger as parents. Watching Adam interact with our boys makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world because not only is Adam a father.... he is a dad. And sometimes, that's more important than being a father. Thank you Adam for all that you do for our family. AJ, Aiden and I are blessed with your love. Happy Father's Day. xoxo

And to all the other daddy's out there, all the daddy's who have stepped in to fill the "daddy" shoes, and to all the men who are being "daddy and mommy".... today is about you. Happy Father's Day.

Till Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Update! Update! Read All About It!

I'm so sorry that I've been neglecting my blog again. I know I vowed not to do it again, but sometimes life just gets in the way of these things!

I'm entering Week FIVE of student teaching. The first two weeks were tough. Being away from the boys was (and still is) very hard. Getting used to wearing business clothes and makeup daily was (and still is) a new adjustment and something to get used to. But the kids I'm teaching make up for it all. I'm finally at a comfortable point with my student teaching and am truly enjoying it. These past 2 weeks (not counting the first two) have shown me that I really do love being in a classroom and it's a very comfortable element for me to be in.

Where else can I bust out and sing "Head, Thorax, Abdomen, Abdomen! (to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes) to teach about the body parts of an insect? Where else can I use my creativity to design posters and fun learning activities for little 7 and 8 year olds and watch their faces light up when they find out something cool about their teacher? I love it all.... even the bad days.

Like every profession, teaching also has a downside. The word "planning" has never meant so much in my entire life! I plan for the following week, I plan for the following month, I plan for the following day, heck, I even plan for the current hour! And of course - things never go as planned. There's an unexpected fire drill that takes away 20 minutes. Then there are class pictures in the middle of a very intense math lesson on measurement. Then there are the butterflies breaking out of their chrysalis right before our very own eyes (and not during Science time... come on butterflies. Our schedule is posted on the board! Couldn't you have waited another hour?!) The point of this is that planning has taken over my life. I'm already very OCD-like with things, but this takes me to an extreme. Every single second of my day is accounted for by things that need to get done by certain times. But it keeps me busy,and it won't be forever, so I can't complain.

Umm... what else? Oh ya. I FINALLY got around to scheduling Aiden's baptism. Which adds ANOTHER thing to PLAN! It's at the end of July and I need to sit down and really start trying to figure all of that out. But at least I got a date, and for me - that's an accomplishment in itself.

Weight Watchers is going well finally also! These past 4 weeks on the program have been going so slow compared to my first time around. My first week I lost 8 pounds and it's only been less than a pound lost every week since then. Adam has to keep reminding me that my body has gone through new life two times since I was last a WW member. I added some exercise to my routine this past week and stepped on the scale for my weigh in this morning... and I was down 1.6 pounds! Voila! I am woman, hear me roar! So now my total lost is 11.4 pounds. :-) It might be coming off slowly, but it's coming off. See ya later pounds!

AB4 is now officially 1/4 of the way to being one year old. Umm.... how did that happen? How did he get so big so fast? He needs to slow it down! And AJ is funnier than ever. He surprises me with new sentences and phrases every single day. And it never fails to make me laugh. I am so blessed and rich with love from my amazing little family.

I promise I'll update more frequently, but this is it for now! :-)

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Where to Vacation? That is the Question!

When Adam and I got married over 3 years ago ( and I still remember that day like it was yesterday.... sigh....), we were both in school and working full time. Adam's union apprenticeship wasn't very flexible with him missing school days, so we couldn't really take the honeymoon we both dreamed of. And then I got pregnant with AB3, and well.... you can't travel very far once you have little ones. And then I got pregnant with AB4, and well.... it's even HARDER to travel with TWO little ones!

So the other night, my amazing husband suggested that we open a new bank account. "For what?", I asked him. "Because for our five year wedding anniversay (which will be in 2 years), I would like us to take the honeymoon we have always dreamed about. But to do that, we need to start saving now." Imagine the excitement that I felt when he mentioned this. Hearing him suggest this gave me butterflies!

A vacation? Alone? Just us? No diaper bags? SIGN ME UP!

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love and adore my children. They are the greatest product of the love Adam and I share. But don't ever underestimate the advice people give you before you have children: Children are extremely hard work. Amen. Hard work is an understatement! I love every second of being someone's mommy, but even mommy needs a nice vacation somewhere!

So now the planning begins. I'm already making lists of places we could go and I even have a spreadsheet made for our projected budget and how much we need to save.

Give me some suggestions people!

Till Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Potty What?

There I stood today monitoring 17 2nd grade students as they took turns using the school restroom. It was at this time that I had a revelation: Regardless of how long it might take AJ to potty train, he will not still be in diapers in 2nd grade. This thought alone brought me peace.

You see, I made the mistake of announcing to everyone on Facebook that I would spend three days potty training AJ. I tried to make myself accountable for my actions by putting it out there and I'm embarassed to report that I only lasted three hours.

But I have good reason.

It is VERY difficult to potty train a little boy when you have a 2 month old baby to tend to. That was my first excuse.

My second excuse was that AJ is a stubborn little boy. In a matter of 3 hours I repeated the phrase "Make sure you let mommy know when you need to go potty" at LEAST 100 times. And no matter how many times I said it, AJ refused to comply.

Here was our morning:
AJ: Potty Mommy!
Me: Let's go! ::grab AJ and dash to bathroom, seat him on toilet::
AJ: Done Mommy! (Meanwhile, nothing had been done)
Me: Are you sure? Go pee pee AJ!
AJ: Done Mommy.

So I spent 20 minutes sitting there with him on the potty. And for 20 minutes he flipped through 2 books and played with a toy car.

And still no pee pee. So I let him down.

As soon as he gets off and walks away.... PEE PEE! ON THE CARPET!

Aagh! So back to the potty we go. And of course by this point, he's already gotten it all out onto my newly shampooed carpet.

Wash, rinse, and repeat this entire cycle for 3 hours. My stubborn child REFUSED to do his business on the toilet.

And throw in a screaming, hungry 2 month old and you'll see why this was so difficult for me.

I'm not giving up complete hope. I know the Three-Day potty training method works for lots of people and I'm sure it will work for us, but I have to attempt to attack it again when AB1 is home with me to help man the bathroom stations... and scrub the pee stains out of the carpet.

So to all my faithful Facebook friends that haven't let me forget about my potty training mission and keep asking me about the status of potty training, I leave you all with this response:

Mission Potty Train AJ: To be Continued.....

Until Next Time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I've always struggled with my weight. I've never been a small person and this didn't really bother me enough to make a change until four years ago when I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting. Until that point, I tried every single diet, diet pill, liquid supplement, blah, blah, blah there was. Nothing worked. And even if it did, the pounds didn't stay off long enough to make any difference.

It took being engaged and having a set wedding date to change all of that for me. Once I had a date set, I knew that nothing else would be put in place until the pounds came off. I didn't want to be fat in my wedding dress. And we all know how "slimming" (insert sarcasm here) of a color white is.

So in June 2006, I walked into a building that changed my life. (Insert sappy music here.) No, but really - Weight Watchers taught me so much. I used to think that counting points and reading nutritional info was too time consuming and not something I would be interested in, but it taught me to control my portions and make better choices. I lost 72 pounds on the weight watcher program in 10 months. Amazing progress if I may say so myself.

I didn't have enough time to enjoy that new body I was rocking because the following month - I got pregnant. All that hard work....but I don't want to say it was for nothing. I achieved my goal and wore my dream wedding dress in 4 sizes smaller than I would have a year before.

I have the WW program memorized and know it like the back of my hand. I gained 45 (yes, 45) pounds being pregnant with AJ. Everyone said if I breastfed it would come right off. So I breastfed. Did the weight come off? NOPE! I exercised. Did the weight come off? NOPE! I lost about 30 of those pounds over the course of 18 months. Then I got pregnant with Aiden. Repeat the whole weight gain thing. This time I only gained 22 pounds. I told myself (and Adam) that I was going to strictly follow the WW plan again as soon as he was born. So I did.... for two weeks and then I slowly started falling back into bad habits. I did this on again, off again stuff for two months before I decided that I was walking right back into the Weight Watcher office that helped me lose weight the first time.

I set a goal of losing 45 pounds. I had my first weigh in this past Friday and I lost....... 8.2 pounds in ONE WEEK! This obviously shows you how badly I must have been eating! I'm also not sure if it has to do with my starting student teaching which obviously restricts my eating all day long. Regardless, I LOST WEIGHT! And I'm going to continue going to the meetings... I actually pre-paid for 12 weeks so I keep going.

The most important thing I've learned about myself through my weight loss journey the first time and has been re-affirmed to me now is that accountability is what makes me successful. It's not enough for me to follow the program at home and weigh myself. It's knowing that I'm going to walk into a place and let somebody see my weight and track my progress. It's what worked for me last time and what will work for me again this time.

Bring on the new body! (I'll make sure to post my progress here too so I'm held accountable in more ways than one!) :-)

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The countdown is on!

I wanted to post my official countdown until the end of my student teaching somewhere, so I'm posting it here on my blog.

49 school days! This means I will have to wake up and get all dressed up to go play teacher 49 more times.

Don't get me wrong... I have a great cooperating teacher and a great class full of great students, but I miss my boys. That's been the hardest part of student teaching so far. Being away from my boys for so many hours a day takes its toll on me. I'm hoping it gets easier with time. I hope that right when it becomes easier, it's time for it to be over and I can just spend my days with my boys again.

I don't know what I'll do with all my spare time once it's done.... I won't have homework to do. I won't have classes to go to. Hmm... maybe it's time to take up a new hobby! Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Time.... or lack thereof.

As many of you may or may not know, I started my 12 weeks of student teaching Monday. This means that I am away from my boys for over 8 hours each day. This has been the hardest part of it all so far. I've been away from them for hours at a time - but it was always with the satisfaction of knowing that the following day would be spent with them. I won't know what this feels like again until August. :-(

So this brings me to my current blog posting.

There are so many things I need to make/prepare/organize/arrange/set out/put together/think about before I can leave the house. I'm sure that whoever is watching the boys is able to fill a sippy cup with juice, make breakfast, warm up a bottle, pick out clothing, etc. etc., but my OCD ways force me to spend countless minutes in the morning arranging and putting things together for the boys for the day.

As a mom, I find myself trying to squeeze and make time shorter. I try to convince myself that a 30 minute activity or procedure could be squeezed into a 10 minute time block and then when it doesn't work that way, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Like anyone else, I learn from my mistakes. So this morning, I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual so that I could accommodate my morning routine. And wouldn't you know it? Those 20 minutes came and went... and I was still short of time. Even if I set my alarm clock for an hour earlier, I will still find ways of using up every single minute.

As I was rushing around tonight trying to prepare as much as I could ahead of time, I realized that time doesn't stop for anyone. We're given 24 hours every single day. We choose what we do with them. I have so much in my life to be thankful for that I'm going to make sure I take the time to stop and smell the diapers. Err, I mean... roses. I enter my own little world when I have bottles to wash, mail to sort through, bills to pay, coffee to brew, and a lunch to pack. I'm so focused on these tasks that I lose sight of what really matters in my life..... my boys.

Tonight as I was walking to the kitchen to wash some bottles, AJ stopped me and asked me to dance with him. I started to tell him to "give mommy a few minutes" when I finally realized that the bottles could wait to be washed. My little son-shine actually WANTED to do something with his mommy, and I wasn't going to pass that opportunity up. So we danced. And I loved every single second of it.

And when the song was finished.... I washed those bottles. ::Sigh::

Until next time,
Mama Brown(ie)