Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some of my favorite latest reads

FAST READ. Lots of twist and turns.

There are 5 total in the series. It is the type of books you can read aloud to your kids. I loved the make believe world of Fablehaven.
Very interesing novel on Slavery. I think I liked it more then the Kitchen House. Plus it's only .99 on Kindle!

Amazing, makes you think about humanity, type book.

Super FAST READ. Anyone with kids, it will break your heart (in a good way.)

**If you have any favorites tell me in my comments. I'm always looking for suggestions. (Thanks again Lindsey for your suggestions.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Popcorn Picnic

Some how "popcorn picnic" has become a Sunday tradition. After dinner Steve pops popcorn (in a popcorn popper, not a microwave) and the boys watch a movie of Carson's choosing. I started laying down a blanket to help with the mess, but quickly learned that the blanket makes eating popcorn so much cooler. Luke has ended up in his high chair during popcorn picnic because the large bowl of popcorn was too much of a temptation to climb into. There is a lot more tranquility now that Luke is contained.

Just another Sunday night at the Bonner's, killing time until bedtime.

What a helper boy!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I think naps are coming to an end with my three-year-old. Seriously, I don't know how I'm going to do it without a nap break. I feel like crying. Fellow Moms, how do you handle your pre-school age kids when they are done napping?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Leah look-a-like

While I was visiting my parents they gave me a bunch of pictures of me as a kid. Here are a few I found where I look a lot like Carson. So crazy! I don't look much like Luke though. I'll have to compare Steve/Luke pictures and get back to you.

Such a Carson upset face

Totally a Carson happy face, and I think my Dad looks a lot like my brother.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A perfect Article about being a Mom

My sister Annie posted this on her blog and I loved it. I know it is a little long, but if you are a Mom who sometimes feels guilty because you aren't loving every minute of it this is for you!

By Glennon Milton

Every time I'm out with my kids -- this seems to happen:

An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, "Oh, Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast."

Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness,be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.

I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn't work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life - while I'm raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I'm not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I'm doing something wrong.

I think parenting young children (and old ones, I've heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they've heard there's magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it's hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.

And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers -- "ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU'LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN'T!" TRUST US!! IT'LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!" -- those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.

Now. I'm not suggesting that the sweet old ladies who tell me to ENJOY MYSELF be thrown from a mountain. These are wonderful ladies. Monkees, probably. But last week, a woman approached me in the Target line and said the following: "Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast."

At that particular moment, Amma had arranged one of the new bras I was buying on top of her sweater and was sucking a lollipop that she must have found on the ground. She also had three shop-lifted clip-on neon feathers stuck in her hair. She looked exactly like a contestant from Toddlers and Tiaras. I couldn't find Chase anywhere, and Tish was grabbing the pen on the credit card swiper thing WHILE the woman in front of me was trying to use it. And so I just looked at the woman, smiled and said, "Thank you. Yes. Me too. I am enjoying every single moment. Especially this one. Yes. Thank you."

That's not exactly what I wanted to say, though.

There was a famous writer who, when asked if he loved writing, replied, "No. but I love having written." What I wanted to say to this sweet woman was, "Are you sure? Are you sure you don't mean you love having parented?"

I love having written. And I love having parented. My favorite part of each day is when the kids are put to sleep (to bed) and Craig and I sink into the couch to watch some quality TV, like Celebrity Wife Swap, and congratulate each other on a job well done. Or a job done, at least.

Every time I write a post like this, I get emails suggesting that I'm being negative. I have received this particular message four or five times -- G, if you can't handle the three you have, why do you want a fourth?

That one always stings, and I don't think it's quite fair. Parenting is hard. Just like lots of important jobs are hard. Why is it that the second a mother admits that it's hard, people feel the need to suggest that maybe she's not doing it right? Or that she certainly shouldn't add more to her load. Maybe the fact that it's so hard means she IS doing it right...in her own way...and she happens to be honest.

Craig is a software salesman. It's a hard job in this economy. And he comes home each day and talks a little bit about how hard it is. And I don't ever feel the need to suggest that he's not doing it right, or that he's negative for noticing that it's hard, or that maybe he shouldn't even consider taking on more responsibility. And I doubt anybody comes by his office to make sure he's ENJOYING HIMSELF. I doubt his boss peeks in his office and says: "This career stuff...it goes by so fast...ARE YOU ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT IN THERE, CRAIG???? CARPE DIEM, CRAIG!"

My point is this. I used to worry that not only was I failing to do a good enough job at parenting, but that I wasn't enjoying it enough. Double failure. I felt guilty because I wasn't in parental ecstasy every hour of every day and I wasn't MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT like the mamas in the parenting magazines seemed to be doing. I felt guilty because honestly, I was tired and cranky and ready for the day to be over quite often. And because I knew that one day, I'd wake up and the kids would be gone, and I'd be the old lady in the grocery store with my hand over my heart. Would I be able to say I enjoyed every moment? No.

But the fact remains that I will be that nostalgic lady. I just hope to be one with a clear memory. And here's what I hope to say to the younger mama gritting her teeth in line:

"It's helluva hard, isn't it? You're a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She's my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime." And hopefully, every once in a while, I'll add -- "Let me pick up that grocery bill for ya, sister. Go put those kids in the van and pull on up -- I'll have them bring your groceries out."

Anyway. Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn't work for me. I can't even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so a whole diem is out of the question.

Here's what does work for me:

There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.

Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.

Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is so beautiful. Kairos.

Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.

Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.

These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.

If I had a couple Kairos moments during the day, I call it a success.

Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day.

Good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Luke Twelve-Month Update (better late then never)

I’m a year old now and what a fun boy I am! I am right around the 50th percentile in height and weight. I have two bottom teeth and one top tooth. Mom says the other top tooth should come in any day now. I don’t stand on my own yet, but I do pull myself up using furniture and use it to help me walk. I think it will be a while before I take my first steps all on my own. For now I enjoy exploring my world via crawling.
I’ve really found my voice lately.  I’ve been mimicking the words and sounds I hear around me. Even when I’m alone I talk and talk to myself. I also sing little “tunes”. It won’t be long until I start using real words to communicate. I’m really starting to get the chasing/catching game. When I see a grown-up I start to squeal and crawl away (preferably up stairs.) I love when they come after me and tickle me. Sometimes I love it so much that I forget to crawl because I want to be caught!
I continue to be the world’s best eater. I eat most everything Mom puts on my tray. My new favorite is cooked broccoli. I can’t get enough of it. I eat a lot and fast! The rascaly side of me is that I still want to nurse all the time. I will only take water out of a sippy cup and don’t want any milk from any type of cup. Mom is very ready to be done nursing and says that once we get home from all our trips she’s going to get more serious about cutting me off.
I take two naps a day, usually about 4 hours total. Mom is very lucky that Carson and I are both good nappers. She usually gets an hour or two where we are both asleep at the same time. I can only imagine how boring that must be for her…
Carson and I have so much fun together. He loves to play with me and show me things. He can get a little too rough and Mom says I’ve got to toughen up now that I am one. =) I’m no dummy though. If I feel like I am in any danger whatsoever I start squealing and calling out for Mom and she comes to my rescue. I learned really fast that that is the way to get immediate attention and have started doing it even when Carson isn’t hurting me. Every once and a while Carson gets in trouble for doing nothing at all. I don’t feel bad about it because he gets away with a lot too!
My family is so lucky to have me. I’ve been a wonderful baby and know I will be a great toddler too.   

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Carson insisting on wearing his sunglasses upside down

Luke and I

Ollie and Carson

Bath Time

Dana Point Harbor

Luke and Chelsea
Chelsea, Ryan, Laura, Becky
Ryan the surragate father

The look of shear joy!