Saturday, December 22, 2007

Like father, like son.

I'm sure you've noticed that I've been taking a break from blogging for a while...a little sabbatical, or blogger hiatus, if you will. Am I refreshed? Um, not exactly. The reason for my absence in the blogosphere is two-fold. First, my kids have both been throwing up for the last week, and second...I wasn't able to find my computer under the pile of vomit-covered laundry that has taken over my house.

Now that we are on the mend (knock on wood) I NEED to post something funny because otherwise I'd be folding laundry and being responsible, and I may throw up and start the whole cycle over again if I have to match one more sock.

I meant to post this before the Great Stomach Virus of 2007, but here it is, late, but better than never. I put Ty down for a nap last week, and came out of his room to a very quiet house. Jake was not in the living room, or kitchen, or his bedroom, and the silence was getting a little too silent for me. I opened the bathroom door to find this...
Actually, what I saw was even funnier than the picture. He had his elbows on this knees and was looking intently at the sports page. I asked him, "What are you doing, Jake?" "Oh, I'm just poopin' and readin' about the NFL."

Hmm, wonder where he got that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

If only...

...I'd married a black man and we raised our boys in the 70's.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Megan Nichole

Happy birthday to my best friend! Wow, where do I even start? In the 12 years we've been friends we have made so many memories. We ate 3 layer pb&j's and wild cherry Pepsi together in the Barlow High School cafeteria. I went to England to visit her at Bible school and almost got her expelled...way too long of a story to recall here, but if they ever make a movie of my life, that tale will definitely be in it. We were roomies at The Master's College my freshman year, and made too many inside jokes to count. We shared generic Kool-Aid (how poor is that?) and Kix with yogurt, and I made fun of her for eating Kashi "Good Friends" cereal. Mmm, twigs. We also shared a twin bed when we thought putting her mattress on top of mine would give us more space, regardless of the built-in bedframe that remained on her side of the room. We bargain shopped at Walmart and shared clothes, and camped out at Yosemite on Easter break.

We were in each other's weddings. She told me she was pregnant with Jenna right after I had Jake, and the moment Megan found out she was a girl, we both heard wedding bells. No pressure though now, especially because of Elsie and Ty.

We've had lots of typical best friend conversations where we start out crying and end up laughing. Whenever I'm down I can just think of Megan, genuinely confused, saying "Chicken fried that like 2 meats in one?"

Thanks Megan, for so many memories. And for all the ones that we're about to make. We may not be living next door to each other like we'd always planned, but a few miles away isn't too bad. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I LOVE YOU!!

I have 38046 pictures of Megan and I, but none of them on a digital camera, so you'll have to imagine us hugging and grinning from ear to ear. We're pretty cute, huh?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snot funny

We had an incident yesterday. A trip to the pediatrician and seconds away from a trip to a specialist. Buckle up, here we go:

At about 12:30pm I was making Scooby-Doo mac and cheese (not related, but thought you may want to know) and I heard Jake start wailing in the bathroom. I rushed in there and he was standing there holding his face and bawling. I started looking for blood and asked him what happened. "The thing--gulp, sob--the thing hurt my nose, mom." "What thing Jake, what's wrong?" "THE THING, MOM!" I looked all around the bathroom trying to figure out what THING could have hurt him and told him to calm down and tell me what the problem is. "The flashlight..." (He's been playing with a mini-flashlight for the last few days.) "How did the flashlight hurt you?" Wait for it...

"It's in my nose."

Um, WHAT? "I put the flashlight in my nose."

Well, I didn't see the flashlight dangling out of his nose, so I knew that couldn't be it. But I had him tip his head back and what did I see? Besides an ungodly amount of snot, I saw a small battery. The mini-flashlight battery. And that sucker was not going to come out, especially because of the now hysterical 3-year-old who thought his right nostril might be a fun place for that battery to hang out.

So an hour and a half later we were squeezed in to the pediatrician's office. This was the scene when we got into a room: The medical assistant walks in and starts talking to Jake. "So, what brings you in today?"

"I stuck a battery up my nose."

A muffled giggle. She looks at me, "I'm sorry, that's not funny." No, I'm thinking, It's not funny. Snot funny at all.Then the doctor comes in and she asks me, "Did you watch him do it?" Heck yeah, I told him to shove some more stuff up there, too. "Um, nooooo." But I actually knew what she meant. "I don't think anything else is up there. I asked him and he said it's only the battery."

Silence. I can hear her thinking: Mmm hmm. And your child is obviously totally reliable at this point.

Three terrifying tweezer-like instruments and one very swollen and bloody nostril later, the doctor says, "If I can't get it out with this one, I'll have to send you to the ENT specialist." (ENT=Ear, Nose and Throat but the words in my head were Expensive, Never-going-to-live-this-down and Traumatic). I found myself uttering a prayer I never thought I'd have to pray. Please, God let this woman be able to yank the battery out of my son's nose so we can afford some Christmas presents (with no small parts) for him and his brother.

And the Holy Spirit heard my groans and the Almighty released the battery along with a fistful of rust-colored snot. You think I'm being dramatic? After restraining a thoroughly horrified 3-year-old by having him sit on my lap, wrapping one leg around both of his, holding both his arms down with my right, and holding his bucking head still with my left, I think don't know what drama is.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Day and a nurse's ramblings

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was a little hectic after Dan broke a rib playing tackle football (minus pads plus an absurd amount of testosterone) in the annual Turkey Bowl. So my morning was spent making food for 2 get-togethers and rummaging through the medicine cabinet for left over Vicodin and having to get the kids ready by myself as Dan grimaced on the couch. Poor baby, there's nothing you can do for broken ribs besides pain control, but at least he's getting out of changing dirty diapers for a while.

Dinner at the Stumps was great, and dinner at the Alcorns was great, and my stomach didn't feel quite as great after choosing to eat full meals at both. But isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Just kidding, I spent the whole day being thankful for all my blessings, not just Rolaids. I had to go straight from my parents to work (yeah holiday night shift pay), so the kids spent the night there to help out the Broken Rib...I mean my husband.

I know, I'm a nurse and I have the nurse habit of referring to people by their diagnosis instead of their name. I try not to, but sometimes it's just easier, and yes I'll admit it, a lot more amusing to do so. Examples? There was the "'I swear I'm not pregnant' teenager in full-term labor" in room 20 the other day. And the "I'm having 10/10 abdominal pain yet I'm currently downing a large bag of Cheetos" in room 15. And the ever popular "I claimed I was having chest pain so I'd get back to a room faster but really I have dental pain and want nearly lethal amounts of Demerol" in room 2. Just a little insight into my job as an ER nurse.

The Broken Rib and I could refer to our kids by their complaints as well. There's Jake "Ty keeps stealing my hot wheels and that's why I kicked him in the head" Stump and Ty "the last bruise on my face is almost gone so I thought jumping of the coffee table into the middle of Jake and his hot wheels would be a good idea" Stump.

I should be thankful no one calls me Ang "we should probably put her husband and kids in protective custody related to all of their suspicious injuries" Stump.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Know your cars

Anyone who knows Jake knows that he likes cars. Actually that's the understatement of the year...he is OBSESSED with cars. And ever since he could attempt the words, he would correctly identify them and remember which person had which vehicle. For a long time it was "toh-toh-toh" for Toyota and "naw-naw" for Honda, but he'd get it right EVERY time. It used to freak me out, and it still does every once in a while when he's only seen the side of a car that has no logo or words on it anywhere. Especially ones like SAAB or Daewoo. So no car has ever been just a "white car" or "big car." Including his hot wheels. Take a look.

He's right on every one of them by the way. And that was my first take. I'm not exaggerating when I say he'd rather go to a parking garage than a toy store. But he's a cute little freak, isn't he?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ugly baby updates

If you haven't seen my blog from July about my ugly children, read that first so you have some background.

Okay, now that you're sufficiently the Ugliest Child of November, 2007:I was trying to get a picture of the hideous bruise over his right eye (just FYI, falling head first off a chair into the corner of the fireplace may result in some facial-mangling.)

Yes, the good child, I mean Jake, is still alive. And yes, I know I've been neglecting to blog about him lately. I swear I give him a little attention every once in a while. When I'm not stopping a flow of blood, or trying in vain to scoop a mountain of baby powder back in the container, or using a fire hose to clean the kitchen after dinner...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quotes of the day

Because Felix cannot remain indoors while Ty is eating (see previous post, and picture Ty's excessively ketchupped hands being licked raw), he's whining outside and I keep telling him to be quiet.
Jake: "No Fewix, we will not let you in...not by the hair on our chinny chin chins."

Ty's quote of the day: "No teh-tup head, daddy pank a bahbahm." (Again, see previous post.) And yes, the fear of daddy has nipped the intentional ketchup smearing in the bud. Hopefully tomorrow his quote will be "I will eat everything with the proper utensils, and not leave any food remnants behind on any part of my anatomy. And my mom is the coolest."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Teh-tup and other food disasters

Ty is getting quite verbal. Know what his favorite sentence is right now? "No teh-tup head, daddy pank a bahbahm." (No rubbing ketchup on my head or daddy will spank my bottom.) The kid is a disaster, head to toe, after eating. Every day. Three times a day. Ever since the first bite of rice cereal. And he wonders why I won't give in when he asks me to put ketchup on his pancakes and in his soup.
Posted by Picasa
You can tell Felix has caught on to the fact that food is always falling off Ty's hands and face while he's in the highchair. Oh, and I forgot that it's not just mealtime. That last picture is of a green crayon he was munching on. I had to hose the green off his chin, hands and arms. Well, at least there was no teh-tup involved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Jake's Halloween highlight: running around downtown Gresham telling every single person who would listen that he was a dinosaur and he was here with his brother Ty who was a monkey and mom and dad and grandma and Auntie Jenny and that all he had to do is say "trick or treat" and they filled up his bucket with yummy candy like suckers and candy bars and he just saw his cousins and his friends Ashlynn and Lorelai and Kari and Joel and that he doesn't think he can eat all the candy right now cause mommy said to wait until after dinner to have more, and wasn't this the most fun thing anyone could ever think of...

Ty's Halloween highlight: chocolate

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Only for you, Faith

My dear friend Faith, who gets frigheningly excited about these things, "tagged" me again to write about random things, but this time there's actual questions so it's easier, and therefore quicker, so I'll indulge her. Love you, Faithy! So if you're interested in what I think of my husband, read on.

All About My Great Husband…

1. Who is your man? Daniel John Stump (aka dude)
2. How long have you been together? 8 years
3. How long did you date? 2 years
4. How old is your man? 27. He robbed the cradle. Just kidding, we're 9 months apart. Sorry Natalie but I'm not Honey.
5. Who eats more? Pizza? Dan hands down. Chinese food is a toss up. When it comes to chocolate, I rule.
6. Who said “I love you” first? He did. He says I can laugh about it now, but I still feel bad that I was so surprised I didn't say it back until the next day.
7. Who is taller? He is. Actually, when I wear my Spice Girls' platform shoes...
8. Who sings better? He does. Though neither of us would make it past round 1 of American Idol. At least we know it.
9. Who is smarter? Anything related to math, and he wipes the floor with me. But then again, he's never written a book. I'll let you decide.
10. Whose temper is worse? Probably his. Ok, defitely his, especially during football season, but mine came out in full force as soon as Jake hit about 18 months old and started morphing into Mr. Hyde. My easy, perfect baby and my seemingly anger-free personality...poof, gone. (These are green M&M's he swiped at Christmas and got all over himself and my carpet.)
11. Who does the laundry? I wash it, I dry it, I fold it...and neither of us puts it away.
12. Who takes out the garbage? He does, and thanks.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Hmm. If you're in the bed, he's on the right. If you're standing at the end of the bed, it's me. Like anyone cares that I'm clarifying.
14. Who pays the bills? I do. I can't have him finding out that I'm not the bargain shopper I claim to be. Oh wait, I got this jacket at Ross. For $6.99. I'm totally serious. Why would you not bargain shop?
15. Who is better with the computer? Probably him. I don't have any witty comments on this one, sorry.
16. Who mows the lawn? He does, though unlike Faith, I'm perfectly capable of doing so.
17. Who cooks dinner? Normally it's me. But if you want something really tasty, he's the man. He should be the next Food Network Star. I would have said the next Iron Chef, but he's not very fond of tripe ice cream.
18. Who drives when you are together? He does. Probably saves us money on speeding tickets.
19. Who pays when you go out? He does. If I have to calculate a tip I feel woozy.
20. Who is most stubborn? We both are.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Neither of us. We're both always right.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Probably his. Mine are off galavanting in Hawaii right now where we can't swing by as easily.
23. Who kissed who first? Actually, Ryan kissed Michelle first. Then Dan kissed me (he couldn't let Ryan steal all the thunder of that awesome double date they had planned.)
24. Who asked who out? It was all him. He had it all thought out, so I had no excuses. Even if he hadn't, I'd have said yes. He was the man. Still is.
25. Who proposed? I did. I got down on one knee, and...just kidding. He did and I cried.
26. Who is more sensitive? Me, though it kills me to say it. It's not like anyone would believe me if I said him.
27. Who has more friends? Me. I'm nicer.
28. Who has more siblings? He does. 4 to 1.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Definitely him. Speaking of which, I need to sew those jeans again.
30. What’s your favorite thing about your man? He pauses his football game and wrestles with his boys, even when he's exhausted.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Olive Ainsley Grace

We're surrounded by babies!! Congratulations to our friends Vergil and Kelsey on the birth of their first, a girl, Olive Ainsley Grace. She was born happy and healthy and adorable on Tuesday October 23rd. Vergil is our pastor at Gresham Bible Church and we became fast friends with he and Kelsey when we met them a little over a year ago. He wrote an email to our church awhile back, which includes Megan and new baby Elsie, and warned everyone not to drink the punch at the potlucks. There's tons of new babies and pregnant mommies walking around at GBC! They've started a blog for Olive, but these last few days have been crazy so there's not an update yet, but I'm sure one is coming soon, right Verge?

Welcome to the world of parenthood, Browns. We are so excited to see little Olive grow up, and to see you guys take on the role of mommy and daddy. You're going to be great parents!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Elsie Mae

Congratulations to my best friend Megan and husband Eric on the birth of their baby girl. Elsie Mae joined big sis Jenna on Friday October 19, and I couldn't be happier for this sweet little family! She is beautiful, such a tiny miracle. Check out pics and more of the story on the Wood's blog.

I'm so glad I got to hold you today, Elsie. I'm hopefully going to be seeing a lot of you over the next few years. Not that we've discussed this, or even thought about it, but the odds of your mother and I being related through marriage some day have gone up since you entered the world. Ty and Elsie, Jake and Jenna. Ty and Jenna, Jake and Elsie. Hmm, guess that's about it. Promise me at least a Prom date with one of my boys, okay?

Megan and Eric, we so appreciate your friendship and can't wait to see how Elsie adds to your lives. Thanks for being great parents who are raising beautiful daughters to be women of God. We love you guys!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dad's are the best

Wednesday I took the kids to Dan's football game. The rain held out long enough for the boys to run around and me to have to pull both of them off the field multiple times. There is one kid on Dan's team that is not a lot bigger than Jake, but I'm not ready for them to be tackled without pads quite yet.

We had a great time even though Dan's team lost the game. It was frustrating for him because he would tell the kids exactly what the other team was about to do and how to stop them, and yet his players wouldn't listen and would end up watching as the other team scored a touchdown. Teaching and coaching have a lot in common. I know there are days when Dan feels like the kids just aren't learning a thing. But however frustrating those days are, I'm proud of Dan for the work he does.

Thanks Dan, and other teachers out there. I know some days you really don't see it, but you do challenge and inspire these kids to be better people. But most importantly, you're on a mission field making a difference for eternity by showing these kids what it looks like to love Jesus. Even in a math class. And even on a football field.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

19 months old

19 months old is not the typical milestone people blog about. However, 19 months means that Ty is now the age that Jake was when I gave birth to him (When I gave birth to Ty, not Jake. Wow, that would have been a pregnancy for the books.) Thinking about the way Jake was, and the way Ty is now...well let's just say if we'd had Ty first, baby number 2 would have come a lot later. A WHOLE lot later. Let me just say before I go any farther, that I LOVE THIS CHILD. He is a delight to me, and I love that he is not his brother. That would be boring, and folks, my life is NOT boring with this kid. Here's a little taste of 19 month old Tyler Daniel.

"Heil, Tyler!" Sporting the Hitler 'stache after a chocolate chip cookie. Appropriate because I'm convinced he and Felix are secretly organizing a plot to take over the world.

Telling me in no uncertain terms that he didn't appreciate not being consulted on the haircut idea.

This is Ty after any meal, any day, any time, any place. Just imagine him in different shirts, possibly with different colored dipping sauces covering his entire body, and you have an accurate picture of my son every time he eats.

This picture was taken this morning. I had my camera out looking at our recent pictures when I heard the terrifying sound of silence in the kitchen. This is what I saw. Pretty sure those drawers weren't built to withstand a 28 pound child searching for a snack. Ty's life illustrates the concept of "silent but deadly." I have a few more recent stories proving this point. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera readily available, but I think you'll get the picture. Ha ha.

Ty sitting on the couch watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and eating a tube of toothpaste. The living room floor covered with potpourri. The living room floor covered with quite artistic figure-eights of maple syrup. Ty cutting a hole in a brand new shirt with safety scissors. The kitchen table covered with 2/3 of a box of Kix cereal. Yes, that is a candle with bites taken out of it. The toilet full of an unrolled roll of toilet paper and half a box of Kleenex. 1283 baby wipes individually scattered on Ty's bedroom floor. Ty falling down 1/2 a flight of stairs after giving me a defiant look and standing up despite my warnings. (He was fine, I was 2 feet away and saw the whole dramatic thing.) Ty's face as he takes a sip of the apple cider vinegar he pulled out of the kitchen cabinet. Ty dipping his cup into the dog water and gulping away (this happens quite regularly.)

The list could go on and on. Happy 19 months, baby. Whew, I'm glad you're still my littlest.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Claude Louis Berthollet

My new favorite French chemist: Claude Louis Berthollet. Wanna know why?

"Cl2(aq) + H2O(l) H+(aq) + Cl-(aq) + HClO(aq) The H+ ion of the hypochlorous acid then dissolves into solution, and so the final result is effectively: Cl2(aq) + H2O(l) 2H+(aq) + Cl-(aq) + ClO-(aq)"

That clears it up, I'm sure. For all you uneducated individuals out there, I'll rephrase it.


AFTER:Mamma's got the magic of...Clorox.

Oh, and this is for you, Diane. And Mom. And Dad. And pretty much everyone except my husband.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Walk like a man, talk like a man

I'm once again struck by how fast my babies are growing up. Jake just had a bath and was curled up on my lap under a blanket, and the scent of his squeaky clean little body made breathe deeply and smile. I told him I wanted him to use the same baby shampoo and sit on my lap until he graduates from high school. He said "okay" and then I told him that in a few years he'd be saying, "stop sniffing me Mom, I'm too big to sit on your lap, you're such a nerd." Then he brought me back to the present when he said "You're such a nerve, mom. You're a big nerve."

Jake is old enough now that he rarely mispronounces a word, but when he does, it never fails to crack me up. Ty of course has many words that are not quite perfect, but he's learning fast. I'm going to miss baby talk. Here's some of my favorite Jake-isms and Ty-talk.

wipe-kin = napkin
Beedits = Felix
Fewix = Beedits = Felix
Tih-tat = Tic Tac (aka Ty's reason for living)
aminal = every 3 year olds' version of animal
cimanin = cinnamon according to Jake and Emeril Lagasse
ownz = orange
Mohness = "doggy Alcorn" = Moses (Alcorn's dalmation)
meemac = music
nonny = laundry (most with permanent ownz tih-tat stains)
hot = everything Ty's not allowed to touch, regardless of temperature
abbies = owies, ie. what happens when Ty touches anything hot (this time temperature applies)
WOW, can't believe I forgot my favorite one: Ty calls bread "fred." And just FYI, zucchini fred rules.

Well I may be a nerve, but at least I've got 2 little boys who always make me laugh. Don't grow up too fast, okay?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Honesty 101

Honesty 101 is now in session. The reason I haven't posted in a while is because I haven't had anything amusing to post. I enjoy making people laugh, and having people think I'm clever, and I'll admit that I haven't been very clever lately. I've had boring days, and busy days and a run of really bad days. I've admitted and apologized to my husband and kids and my girls Bible study that I've just been in a bad mood and can't seem to shake it.

Jake and I have been reading Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop. There's a line that pretty much sums up my life right now: "Dad is sad. Very very sad. He had a bad day, what a day dad had." ("Ang" or "mom" doesn't really rhyme as well as "dad," but it sure seems to fit).

I've been wallowing in my small little problems. Rolling my eyes (and wiping tears from them) when yet another minor catastrophe bombards my day. I feel like nobody notices or cares quite enough about the woes of Ang's world, and so I talk about them all day long to be sure everyone is listening.

"Angela Marie Stump!"

"Yes, Lord?"

"I'm listening, and I'm not sure I like what I hear. You want recognition for each diaper you change and pity for your circumstances from a stranger? What about your eternal reward? Is my 'well done' not enough for you?"

Hmmm. Right. Needed a little perspective, didn't I. Well, I found it with the help of the Bible's promises, and a short story someone forwarded to me. I'm condensing it, but here's the part that got me:

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip! and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought this for you."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Thank you, Lord for giving my soul a little food. I'm ready to shake the mood. I'm losing the 'tude. It's all good, dude.

You get the point.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Got to love Costco

One tank of gas finding a parking spot, $40. A lifetime supply of Easy Mac, $6.99. Ty's body weight in Goldfish crackers...priceless.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Have it your way

First of all, before I get to my exciting life, let me say CONGRATULATIONS to friends Faith and Bryan on the birth of baby Luke on Sunday morning! Look at some adorable pictures of Luke and big sis Peyton on their blog. I can't wait to meet him! Way to go Faithy. I know you thought he'd never get here!

Now to my exciting life. Oh wait, there's nothing exciting to say. Life is returning to normal around here because Dan is back in the grind. But I do have some random cute pictures. Oh, I know what I'll do to entertain you...

Do you remember those "choose your own adventure" books? They're even doing movies these days with alternate endings on the DVD's. How about you choose which caption would go best under each of these pictures:

A. Jake loves his sunglasses.
B. Jake loves being naked.
C. The combination of the two just makes the kid giddy.
D. Skillful photography makes this picture wedding-slide-show appropriate.

A. Ty is refusing to let us help him eat.
B.Ty should be taking baths at least 3 times daily.
C.Ty read once that mac and cheese smeared in your hair once every few days has been shown to reduce the occurrence of split ends.

A. Felix has made himself at home these last few days. Last night he took advantage of the quiet after the kids went to bed to catch a snooze in the loving arms of Elmo.
B. I've agreed to assist the biology community in documenting the natural habitat of the puggle species. It appears they are attracted to the color red, and enjoy taking long naps in front of particularly large televisions.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Daniel John

On September 1, 1980 my life was forever blessed by the birth of a tiny baby. I'm pretty sure I wasn't even conceived yet, but I'm also pretty sure God had me in mind when little Danny J. Stump was born to John and Ann. This tiny baby didn't stay very tiny for long, and soon he was obsessing over sports stats like Jake obsesses over cars. He collected zillions of baseball cards that are still in our attic and at his parents house ("guaranteed money in the bank some day"). He was the man in middle school, ruling the basketball court, football field and track.

And then one day he met a pretty girl. They became fast friends and that friendship slowly grew. She watched him play basketball in high school, and break his hand playing football his senior year, and she realized how much she cared about him. They went to the winter formal together and held hands. They got married one summer day, and the pretty girl thought she couldn't love him any more than she did at that moment. But then they started to share their lives together and she realized how blessed she really was. They hardly ever fought, and even though his mom had spoiled him (love you, Ann!), he still remembered to do the dishes every once in a while, and always took out the trash.

Then they had a baby, and the girl knew by looking at Dan's face that he would be an incredible father. She was right. He has the perfect mixture of what a dad should be...wrestling with his boys, disciplining them in love, and never letting them go to bed without kisses from daddy.

He is a fantastic teacher, whose students love him and proved by their scores on the state test that they learned a ton from him. He is an awesome role model for the junior high guys that he coaches in football and basketball. I'm excited to bring our boys to his games again this year. They're so proud of daddy, as am I.

Thank you Ann, for giving birth to your little boy who turned into my big man. You and John did an incredible job of raising him, and I am truly grateful.

And thank you Dan, for loving me and our babies more than you love ESPN in high def on your 50 inch plasma. We love you, too. Happy birthday, dude.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Love at first sight

Ok, I've been trying to blog ever since noon yesterday when I got home with Felix, but since Dan is back to school and I now have 3 little ones to handle by myself...I know all of you are dying to know, or maybe it's just Diane, but I'M IN LOVE. This puppy is cuter than his pictures and so lovable, and he sleeps on my lap and frolics in my backyard. Hmm, never thought I'd use the word frolic in one of my blogs, but it's the most accurate term for his playful bouncing around.He slept in the kitchen last night in his dog bed curled up with an old blanket of Ty's and an old binky of Ty's that he's quite fond of. He cried for less than a minute when we locked him in there with the baby gate, and then he proceeded to sleep through the night. Good thing too, because there may have been bloodshed if Dan had to get up with him. But he didn't need to. Felix is perfect. Yep, perfect, no bias here.I took him to the vet today and he's totally healthy and doesn't need any more shots for a year, and even though I almost passed out when they gave me the bill, everybody at the vet's office (staff and other customers) told me they'd never seen a cuter dog, and they want to get one, and I'm the coolest person they've ever know, that sort of thing. I'm such a proud mommy. OH, and just so you know, Dan never wants to be referred to as Felix's daddy. I can't imagine why. He's been Scrooge about the whole thing, and yet Felix was asleep on the couch next to him when I got home from the store tonight (I thought he had made a strict "no mangy mutts allowed on the furniture" rule, but maybe I misunderstood.) We're pretty much an open house these days with the cuteness of the puppy and the hugeness of the TV, so stop on by if you're in the area. And if you happen to swing by Walmart on the way, I have an ever growing grocery list...

And no, I will not be posting any pictures of the ridiculous TV. So don't ask.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The deal has been made

I can't stand it anymore. I wanted to give baby Jack at least a day to be the excitement around our family, but it's been 45 hours since his birth, and everybody loves him, he's the cutest thing ever, yada yada yada. (Kidding of course, he IS the greatest.) But now I'd like to call to your attention the deal that Dan and I made about a plasma TV and a dog. If you don't remember this deal check out my blog posting from May (

Well, there is now an enormous plasma TV standing in my living room. So as of Tuesday there will be...a tiny dog standing in my living room!!! I'm sorry, I can't help the excessive exclamation points, I usually hate them, but did you read what I just wrote?? DAN STUMP IS GETTING A DOG!!! Actually the only thing Dan did to get the dog was get the plasma. The rest was up to me. So I'd like to introduce you to my new baby boy.
He is a puggle (a pug/beagle) and he may be the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life, aside from Jake and Ty. And Dan of course.

We're going to name him Felix. Dan isn't excited about the dog, but at least he is pleased about the name I suggested because of Felix Hernandez, a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, whose games we will now be watching in perfect clarity and sound from our ridiculous new TV (which I'm convinced makes our living room 200 square feet smaller.)

Marriage is all about compromises, isn't it. I have to watch all my favorite TV shows and movies on a state of the art television, and Dan has to suffer through precious floppy ears, adoring eyes and a wagging tail. We are so sacrificial, aren't we?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jack Timothy Franklin

Congratulations to my sister Karina and husband Dan who had a baby boy last night!! (Karina was the one who actually delivered him, for which I'm sure Dan is very grateful, but he was as involved as a daddy can get.) He was born at the hospital where I work and I was actually in the ER yesterday from noon to midnight, so I got to run upstairs and be standing with my mom outside the door to listen to his first cries. I teared up myself, and I'm not a crier.

He was born at a little before 9pm and weighed 7 lbs, 12 ounces and is 19 1/2 inches long. SO PRECIOUS. Plus he's adorable which is really nice because I don't have to lie to my sister. Or make comments like "oh, what a...little blessing you have there. He's so...little, and such a...blessing."

Jack Timothy Franklin, I'm so glad you came out to play! A lot of people have been waiting for you. Jake is thrilled that baby Jack is out of Karina's tummy, and can't wait to see him. Ty is also thrilled (alright, he has no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm sure he would be thrilled if he could grasp the concept.)

Here's the cute little Franklin family. Big bro Matthew will be 3 in November. Brothers...priceless. Karina and Dan, you guys may have some sleepless nights and grouchy days, but looking into your little man's eyes, and seeing his big brother kiss him and hug, it doesn't get better than that.

Love you guys! Thanks for making me an auntie again!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've been tagged

Well, Faith has inspired me/forced me to get back to the blogosphere. I've been tagged. That means I have to tell you 8 random facts/habits about myself. This will probably take me 5 days to finish because 8 random facts/habits about myself don't immediately come to mind...besides the fact that I think using the backslash key multiple times in one paragraph is funny/entertaining. Okay, before I get to these random facts about myself I have to tell you the rules (which I have copied/pasted from Faith's blog.)

The Rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (If you don’t have a blog, email me)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My 8 random facts/habits about myself:

#1. I've seen King Tut's underwear. When I was little my dad took our family on a 2 month trip to 6 different countries to visit some of our church's missionaries. We went to Egypt and the highlight of my 6 year old life was not seeing the pyramids, it was seeing King Tut's underwear (looks like a typical loin cloth) in the Egyptian National Museum. I just read my last sentence and realized I sound like I know what typical loin cloths look like. You know, the typical loin cloths, like the ones Dan has in his top drawer. Anyway...

#2. I have never seen Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. I'm hoping I never will.

#3. I hate mucous. Not that most people don't, but because I'm an ER nurse this becomes difficult because my job pretty much revolves around bodily fluids. If the words "bodily" and "fluids" make you woozy, just skip right to #4 because I'm not done yet. Urine, feces, vomit? Bring it on. Blood? Glove me up and I'll dive right in. But when I'm starting an IV on Mrs. Smith in room 1 and she chooses that moment to attempt to provide "that sputum sample the doctor wanted," because she's had a "productive cough with green phlegm" for 2 weeks, I'm gagging like a pregnant woman opening a can of tuna.

#4. I bite my nails. Always have and probably always will. Faith said this one too when she got tagged, but unlike Faith, I've never really tried to stop. Nails are overrated.

#5. I would rather scrub my toilet than put away my laundry. Especially the clothes that need to be hung up. I lay them nicely on my bed so they won't wrinkle, then lay them nicely on the floor when it's they can get nicely stepped on in the morning which reminds me to either hang up said clothes or never buy clothes again that require being hung up.

#6. I have an unnatural fear of moths. I'm not the type of girl who screams and gets up on a chair when I see a spider, or a mouse, or even a snake, but for some reason I just can't handle moths. They're dirty and ugly and have huge hairy bodies, and they fly around your face...ugh.

#7. My husband is my best friend. People say that, but I mean it. I love to just hang out with him. He makes me laugh, he makes me think, he can always get me out of a bad mood. Sometimes we stay up way too late just talking about the past and dreaming about the future. We tell each other "I love you" multiple times a day, but somehow it's never cheesey. Heaven forbid I have any cheeseyness in my life after I've worked so hard to preserve my anti-cheese personality.

#8. My kids are miracles. Of course every child is a gift from God, but I was never sure I could get pregnant. I only have one ovary because of a tumor that grew on my other one, which was removed when I was in high school. After that surgery I've had 2 more to remove endometriosis which is supposed to make it very difficult to get pregnant. On top of that I have a thyroid problem which can also make you infertile. My body wasn't exactly a welcome wagon for a baby, yet by age 24 I had two beautiful and healthy boys who make me smile more than they make me sigh. As Jake would so eloquantly say, "Fanks, Jesus." Yes, Lord, fank you very much.

And now I have to tag 8 other people...good luck! Becca, Jane, Melissa, Heather, Mel, RaeAnn, Kelsey, and Holly.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Maui, HA or Wood Village, OR?

We're back. I know you've all been waiting on pins and needles to hear how our trip was. You can't wait for us to share our exotic stories. You want to hear all the exciting tales of world travelers. You want to live vicariously through us because of the amazing adventures we experienced. And so I'll tell you. Highlight #1: I read seven books. Seriously. Seven books in eight days. Do you know the last time I read even seven CHAPTERS of a book? Actually, reading seven paragraphs uninterrupted is unlikely. Seven sentences, maybe. Ok, reading seven WORDS in a row without having to stop to change a diaper or prevent a flow of blood from Ty's head from staining the carpet, is more accurate.

So reading was seriously my highlight. Before I bore you to tears, you should know that we did do other things. We snorkeled and saw sea turtles and amazing tropical fish. We saw the Bourne Ultimatum twice (there's a nauseating story about why I only saw about 1/3 of the movie the first time, which I'll leave up to your imagination because it's probably shorter and better than the true story, and no I'm not pregnant again.)Take a breath. We ate fancy but also cooked in our oceanfront condo. And last but most certainly not least, we got tan. I'm talking T-A-N. Here's my before and after photos.

Yes, I was frightened of what the sun would do to my skin.

You can see that I got over my fear and embraced the sun.

Alright, you get the point. I'll wrap things up. We had an incredible time. So, you ask, how does the island of Maui compare to the 1 square mile of Wood Village, OR? Read on, my friends.

Wood Village vs. Maui, round 1: Wood Village has an air conditioned house. Maui has a hot sticky condo...but the breeze out on the lanai from the ocean 20 feet away feels pretty darn good.

Round 2: Wood Village has a down comforter and body pillow ready at bedtime. Maui has one top sheet that wraps itself around your sweaty legs as you desperately try to kick it to the sweltering ground...but there's also no one screaming at you to get out of that bed before you want to.
Round 3: Wood Village has watered down juice and PB&J's for lunch. Maui has Mai Tai's and Cheesburger in Paradise.

Round 4: Wood Village has Jake and Ty. Maui does not have Jake and Ty but also has no temper tantrums, no snotty noses, no split lips after tripping over toys, and no nap schedules to worry about except my own.

Round 5: Wood Village has a three year old telling me he loves me and missed me, and a 17 month old who wraps his chubby arms around my neck and puts his head on my shoulder.

Wood Village wins in a knock out.

Friday, August 03, 2007

We can't come to the phone right now...

This is Dan and I August 3-10. We'll be in Maui without the kids. I'm sorry, but I just have to say it again...Maui without the kids. Love you boys, but right now we're sipping pina coladas on a gorgeous beach and getting ridiculously tan. Ahhh, life is beautiful!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jacob Gary

Let's pretend it's August 3 for a few minutes. Why, you ask? Because we're bad parents and we're leaving for Hawaii without the kids on August 3, which happens to be Jake's birthday. Hey, we saved $100 per ticket to leave on Friday instead of Saturday, so we'll feel guilty the whole way, but I'm thinking we'll get over it as soon as we step off the airplane.

So it's August 3, and I am looking at my three-year-old and thinking, "wow, even though that epidural didn't work for 3 hours, he really was worth it." Not that I ever doubted he would be, but I am still amazed at the intensity of my love for that little boy. How can I love him more today than yesterday, because yesterday I couldn't possibly have loved him more.

Some days he's easy to love. Most days, let's be realistic...he's three. But even on those days that I consider actually letting him drive his hotwheels down the freeway as requested, I still find myself thanking God that He gave me such a precious and unique gift.

I'm so proud of the little man he is becoming. He is funny, and thoughtful. He is tough, but he still gives out hugs and kisses freely (maybe too freely, but we'll work on that later.) He loves his baby brother with a passion. He's insanely smart for his age...well, maybe it's selective intelligence. He can't remember where he put his socks, but he remembers the make and model of every person's car he's ever seen in his life.

Jacob Gary Stump, you are my treasure, my delight, and you will forever be my baby boy, no matter how many inches taller and pounds heavier than me you'll get. (Please, God let him weigh more than me someday.) I love you with all of my heart and I am so excited to see what God has in store for you! Happy birthday, Jooj-a-roni.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ella Kate Huson

There's something about holding a tiny newborn baby that makes you feel as if the world has stopped for a moment, and God and all of heaven is smiling down upon you and this precious miracle. My friend Heather had her baby girl, Ella Kate, on July 16th and she is beautiful. I was holding her last night and there was a quiet voice inside my head saying "look at this amazing example of God's goodness to her mommy and daddy," and then there was the not so quiet voice saying "I am so glad I'm not the one waking up with her at 2am."

I've got to say, though, Heather and Steve are really doing well. Baby girl's been easy on them so far, sleeping 4 hours in a row at night. Heck, Ty didn't sleep 4 hours in a row until he was 9 months old, and because I got up every hour while I was pregnant with him to relieve my smooshed bladder, I'm estimating there were about 18 months of nights that I would have KILLED for 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Not that I'm bitter. Not at all.

Actually, as much as sleep deprivation can be a hazard to anyone's emotional stability, I tried to make the best of it by praying for my boys during those midnight feedings. There were many nights that I forgot, or just plain refused to, but I hope my prayers weren't in vain. Jake might not amount to anything because he slept through the night at 2 months and never looked back, but I'm pretty sure Ty will be the next Pope with the amount I've prayed for that child.

Heather and Steve, welcome to the greatest adventure you'll ever experience. You will laugh, you will cry, you will pray like you've never prayed before. Parenthood is the most exhausting and exhilarating task you will ever be called to. I know you're up for it!

And little Ella, welcome to the world. You've got a lot of people who love you and are praying for your new little family. You are truly a miracle, in more ways than one.