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)