Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ruby is 7

Dear Ruby,

You are SEVEN.  I feel this way with the change of every year, but it just sounds so...old!  I told you on your birthday that I remembered so clearly the day you were born - it was hard for me to believe that it was so long ago!

We celebrated with a pile of balloons and seven-shaped cinnamon rolls on your special day.  We also sent balloons and a teddy bear to be delivered to school.  You were so excited to go eat dinner at Texas Roadhouse (your pick!) so that you could sit on the saddle and they would sing to you!

 You have always had the kindest, most loving heart of anyone that I know.  I went to your parent/teacher conference at school a couple of weeks ago and listened to your teacher get emotional as she told me that she was inspired by you, that you would lay down your life for your friends and that you always put others' needs before your own.

I began to tear up as she spoke - I am just so proud of you.  And the timing of her telling me that she was inspired was quite ironic.  Days before, I had discovered a vivid and imaginative song you wrote about what it might be like to find yourself in Heaven and I cried my eyes out - just then, I told Daddy that it seems so humbling to be inspired by the heart of a (then) six year old.

You were absolutely made to be a big sister and you are the best at it!  You are so patient and eager to teach things to Eisley and Luca.  They adore you, and look up to you, and love you like crazy.

You are loving reading!  Currently, you are about 100 pages into Little House in the Big Woods - I hope you always soak up books like that.

You also really enjoy our family movie and game nights.  You love to help me in the kitchen, and you love to help out with most anything around the house.  You have recently decided that you want to learn to sew - I am so excited to watch your precious little heart grow big to carry so many things that you love.

I love you more than you could ever know - you are precious to us, and such a perfect gift! 


Monday, November 2, 2015

a very woodland first birthday

This has been the craziest month...possibly of my life.  Jimmy flew me on a surprise trip to Seattle, I threw a gender reveal for my sister (!!!!), we had company, I had parties, hosted a game night, and organized crafts for our MOPS group.  All deserve their own blog posts and all have been fun, but I'm glad to see November where I am likely mistaken in the belief that life is about to calm down.

We threw Luca's 1st birthday party last weekend - my very precious friend, Rebecca came to celebrate with us and captured all of these fun memories.

(favor tags and cupcake toppers were purchased from here.)

picture boards - Hobby Lobby

 pinecone cheeseballs and woodland sandwiches (critters found at Joann's)

he was over it at this point.

 so much chaos; so much love - I feel blessed that our house was FULL to celebrate our little boy!

 sweet, sweet friend (and her sweet, sweet baby boy in her belly)

Happy Birthday, sweet little critter.  We love you so.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, Luca

To the sweetest boy on his 1st birthday,

My pregnancy seemed to last about five years, while the first year of your life seemed to last about five minutes.  I have spent the last week with all sorts of nostalgia and thoughts about life before and after you.  I can hardly believe you are now considered a toddler.

You weigh 21 pounds and you are 29 inches tall.  You are the busiest little person I know.  You took off and walked across the room the day before your birthday.  You actually sort of skipped walking and  ran/galloped before catching yourself.  You think anything will catch you and you will often just fall into your sisters, hoping they got the memo.  I think you'll be walking within the next week and I know we are in big trouble!

We have had a maaaajor sleep regression problem in the last month or more.  One visit to the chiropractor made the waking up bearable (compared to the 30 minutes of sleep at a time before that), but you are still a horrible sleeper.  I think there is something upsetting your tummy (I believe it's dairy) but we haven't gotten anything official regarding that.

You have seven teeth, and are working on number 8 (fourth one on the bottom) - maybe that will be another answer for the sleeping problem.

I have loved watching you learn so much this year, but this month, you just seem like a little boy.  You know what to do with cars and you love to drive them all over the floor.  You know when things are upside down (your cups), and recently, you crawled right over to the cabinet with a piece of trash in your hand, and you threw it in the trash!  You also love to pick up socks and hats, and attempt to put them on your body where they belong.  You learned how to drink from a straw this month which has been just as amusing for us at has been for you.

You came to Seattle with me and daddy this month, and you were such a good boy.  It was hilarious to push you in the stroller because you are a magnet for attention.  You wave and smile and charm the pants off of everyone that you see.  You are social until someone makes a big deal out of it, and then you try your best to bury your face in something nearby.

You do well at signing and you have added Da-da and "all done" to your word list this month (still waiting on know, the one who feeds you and wakes up with you and makes sure you are happy at all times...yes, that one).  You have something that you yell when you are looking for Ruby and Eisley but it's nothing I could repeat and it certainly doesn't quite sound like their names just yet.

This year has been such a blessing - sometimes, I still can't believe I get to be mama to such a beautiful baby boy!  I am honored to watch you learn and grow.

I love you so much, sweet boy!!


PS - you only eat icing and cake makes you gag, so I'm not entirely sure you're my child.   You are also about the daintiest cake smasher I have ever seen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm done hurrying.

I'm sitting here indulging what is likely the lone brain cell remaining, the one that desires an oreo.  Fine, oreos.

Because the last two weeks have been a circus.  Only there is no cotton candy and the lion tamer is me.  Kid tamer.

The dishwasher decided to choke on the detergent and got a big F for effort as it half-heartedly sloshed it all over the dishes. I wonder how it knew that I LOVE hand washing.  And not to be outdone, the washer quit last week and the only serviceman under our warranty will be unavailable until October 16th.  Convenient.  I'm not sure how to convey to them my need for my washing machine.  Days before ours turned in its letter of resignation, I was literally dreaming about how lovely it would be to have two washers.  Maybe it felt a sense of betrayal.

In all seriousness, it has hit the fan around here.  I'm so tired, I am dreaming about sleeping at a hotel for a solid week.  Nights have turned into my hours of reserved torture, and by morning, I can't even dream of bedtime, because bedtimes are so horrible.  So I dream of aforementioned trip to the hotel. Then reality knocks.
It all came spilling out my eyes today, and later, it came out from somewhere within.  Two hours, today.  Two hours of this nap time battle with Luca.  At some point, it came to the point where we both stared at one another through tear-filled eyes, me begging him to sleep.  The no cry sleep solution worked I went to get balloons today and didn't have the presence of mind to determine transportation with a giant bouquet of balloons.  You can imagine how this played out, except you can't, because I literally lost my mind in an embarrassing act that would have done a three year old proud.  I popped three of them and with every subsequent burst, I cried a little harder as my children looked on, horrified.  Shameful.  The tears continued as I struggled to make them stop; I was absolutely humiliated that the balloons sent me over the edge and that I subjected my children to such a train wreck.

This exhaustion?  It's paralyzing.  It has stolen all shreds of patience and kindness and love, and I'm left with the inability to just do life in a pleasant manner.  I have never known this level of sleep deprivation.  I have faked it until I made it many times, and I'm beyond that point now.  I have avoided friends and social obligations because I am sure I'll come off as a drunk, lunatic, or some combination that will likely be unwelcome at all future engagements.

As I tumbled down to what I can only hope was rock bottom today, I began reflecting on the things that have changed in life.  We are busy.  I don't like to overuse that term and I do like having things on the schedule, but it becomes a delicate balance...and a recipe for disaster in times like this.  It's more than the exhaustion I can't catch up.  There's this sense of dread when I start the day, because I have overfilled my plate, and I know that I can't possibly get everything done.  I have a desire to please people, so I say yes.  I fill my schedule with things for other people, on top of a life that I spend doing things for the people in my family. Do you know how many invitations I have for various events on my facebook at this very moment?  NINE. I feel this sense of dread every time I get one! 

We have places to be and deadlines to meet, and so often, I am guilty of hurrying my children along as we rush from one place to another.  I move through things on autopilot, without a pause to be grateful, as I take in life around me. 

I can remember life where technology wasn't in the forefront.  We lived for playing on the floor with Ruby, the milestones she hit, and there wasn't this sense of urgency in daily things like bath time, our bedtime routine, eating meals, and getting out the door. 

Where is that life?  Now, there is this pressure to GO GO GO GO GO and put your kid in all the activities so they can experience everything.  Why?  It's everywhere - this ungrateful, hurried, and absolutely draining way of living.  It's in the mail, on the outside of envelopes - HURRY! DON'T MISS OUT! & LAST CHANCE!, it's on billboards and restaurants - HURRY IN TODAY!  Don't know the answer to something?  Google it RIGHT NOW.  All of it creates this sense of panicked urgency.

This hurrying is a sickness.  Hurrying life, feeling stressed in the meantime, missing out on the things that happened while you hurried, and for what?  Time goes by quickly enough on its own!  I know this so well.  And while I certainly don't want this sleep situation to last for much longer, I also know that this is the last of babyhood.  I can't wish this away, because as this fades into the background of my memory, so will the images of his sweet face that belong with it. 

This week, I'm promising myself and my family to live for the small moments, the in between.  I'm vowing to be patient, to breathe life in, rather than hurrying it along.  If we arrive two minutes late with smiles on our faces, as opposed to two minutes early (or even two minutes late) after me shouting to get out the door, I'm calling it a win.  There's a reason my kids don't hurry.  They don't see the need, they haven't been tainted with this mindset that the world sells. Life is some marriage of crazy and beautiful, isn't it?  It's crazy to me that this overwhelming feeling of tiredness won't even be on my radar in the years to come; likely, it will only be a shred of a memory in which I can't even accurately recall.  With all of this hurrying comes missing out on things, things that I want to savor forever.  Memories that aren't properly cataloged because I wasn't present.

I might still be exhausted tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, but I don't have to let it consume my attitude. 

Next week, I will whittle my schedule to fit the priorities and nothing beyond.  These years are fleeting.  This life is fleeting.  And if I keep hurrying, I'm going to miss it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

dear Luca

to our little prince charming,

I don't know how in the world this is it - the last big month before you turn ONE.  I may be calculating your age in months until you are 18, because I can't understand how this has happened.  You are weighing in at 20.4 pounds and you are 28.25 inches tall (20th and 12th percentiles).

I'm mostly shocked that you aren't walking at this point!  You stood up and cruised so early, I thought for sure we would have hit that milestone at this point.  You got very brave last week and took six steps, so more trouble is right around the corner.  I can't imagine the madness we are in for when this all comes together for you.  And I think we need to actually baby proof this time around.

Your sleeping has been the best this month, but it remains all over the place.  Two nights this week, you were up for the day at 5:00 am and I very nearly died.  Last night, you slept for twelve hours solid, and I feel like I could probably rule the world with another night or two of that sort of sleep.

You had a well baby check up this month; the doctor got quite a kick out of you and your ways.  She tried to check your eyes with her light, and you squinted so tightly, she couldn't check a thing!

You have five teeth, very close to six (fourth one is coming in on the top). This is a different teething pattern than Ruby and Eisley, so we'll see where the next one pops up.  The third and fourth bottom ones don't seem to be anywhere close yet.

You are quite the entertainer and love to make your sisters laugh.  You also chime in with your funny little giggles when you hear others laughing.

This month has been really fun to watch you soak up the world around you.  You know that the remote turns the fan/lights on, you are very into mimicking sounds and actions.  You love to give kisses and hugs (just laying your head down), play peekaboo,  and you also can do TOUCHDOWN!  The girls have taught you to RAWWWR and you do it right back to them.

Your little vocabulary has just taken off.  You say: go, dog, hi, yeah, boo, and some variation of thank you.  You can sign for "milk" and "more" and we are working on your manners.

Despite the not walking part, you are so, so busy.  I have had to give up an actual portion of myself - the germaphobe - because I just can't contain you.  You crawl across floors that make me nauseous to think about.  I think it may be a preparation of what the path looks like ahead.  Yikes!

You love to play with toys (and things that aren't toys) as long as you can stop by for a snuggle and you can see me at all times.  I try to enjoy this part, because I know those days aren't forever.  I like that you can stop exploring to love on me, and that you need it to be comforted.

Birthday preparations are under way.  I hardly know how to process that.  The last eleven months have been the fastest year of my entire life.   I don't know what our future holds, and I certainly never envisioned life with you, but I can't imagine life without you.  This crazy, wonderful, adventure of life was made so much sweeter with you!

We love you more than words can say!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

oh, this life

With an impressive number of pumpkin spice lattes tallied and the afternoon air carrying whispers of fall, I have a full and happy heart.  Jimmy has toned down his couch-side football coaching as not to wake the baby.  This means he whisper yells and claps the side of his leg with his hand that doesn't hold Luca.  You know, instead of RAWWWWRRRRing at the television and pounding his fists together and pacing the room.

I celebrated a birthday last week which had me reeling before it even began.  Trepidation quickly turned into overwhelming feelings of gratefulness with how much love I received all week.  My friends surprised me with a night out for dinner, and the messages and the gifts that poured in left me with this reminder of how amazing it is to be here, to be so loved, to celebrate another year.

Also, a precious friend stopped by today to bring a gift, bringing my final birthday mug tally to FIVE.  And all I can do is smile, because my friends?  They know me so well; mugs are a part of my love language.

 Aunt Moo pulled Ruby's top tooth on the 13th - I can't imagine what she will look like with a mouth full of grown up teeth.

I seem to have this habit of overbooking myself which is something I am working on and probably riding that D/F grade line.  I like to live on the dangerous side.  And truth be told, I do like having things to do and purposes to fulfill, but there is a teeny, tiny line to walk before I slip into the land of the overwhelmed.  I'm figuring out the delicate balance of this as we have once again rearranged schedules with Eisley starting school.

There is one night during the week that Jimmy isn't here for bed time and if I thought that was hard last year when I was pregnant and sick, it's nearly impossible now.  I felt a new mom low when I was juggling an overtired baby at the time I should have been brushing teeth and reading stories.  Ruby - oh, my sweet Ruby, brushed her own teeth and her sister's, and I walked into her finishing up flossing Eisley's teeth and I was able to kiss them both.  This mom thing is hard, but then I find them like this; paying attention to details and acting with such care and love and I am hopeful that I'm doing some of it right.  A couple weeks ago, Eisley rocked and sang Luca to sleep.  TO SLEEP!  Something that doesn't come easy for me.  The following text chimed on Jimmy's phone: 

"Eisley just put Luca to sleep.  I don't even know what planet I am on."

But then.  It happened again.  And again.  And again.  She sings him some made up song - "go to sleep, sweet little bunny" repeatedly.  And then I have to gather the pieces of my heart that lie all over the floor because I can hardly handle the sweetness.

Since Luca can't seem to find the time to nap by himself, he is perfecting tricks and words.  Oh, that boy.  He's ornery and perfectly charming so that I don't eat him.  He has learned to point and he loves to point at everything, but my favorite is when he sticks his tiny little finger up to my lips when we are snuggled together.  He smiles as I kiss it, every time.  His favorite two activities at the moment are shredding magazines and banging on the fireplace glass (winter will be fun) - and as he crawls to the fire place, he makes eye contact.  Sort of like a challenge.  Then he flashes that smile, maybe a twinkle in his eye and BANGBANGBANG!  I try to redirect, but sometimes NO! comes out.  And sometimes there is snapping so that he will be distracted.  Today, he snapped back at me, and while he wasn't successful at making the snapping noise, my 10 month old totally just sassed me.  He is talking now, and very into mimicking his sisters.  His list of words includes: hi, dog, thank you, yeah (notably NOT making the list: mama).  He loves to play peekaboo and he gives good kisses.  

In other news: we retested Eisley for allergies.  The fruit culprits that have made her sick in the past are indeed not allergies, so we can attempt to try them again.  She is still very allergic to chicken and as I suspected, she is also allergic to turkey.

(taking dinner recommendations)

Life seems so thankless sometimes, recklessly throwing me from one scheduled thing to the next.  I thought for sure I would reach this point in my life and have everything under control, know exactly what I was doing and be a proper adult, adulting with the best of them.  But I don't know what I'm doing, and no one else does, and no one did when I was younger and thought they did.  And that's okay, because I have this little family where we are happy and healthy and loving, I have these friends that seek me out to lift me up and love me, I have a never-ending list of things to be thankful for in this life. This crazy, beautiful life I couldn't have scripted better myself.

Busy, but so thankful.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

taking notes

Things I have learned since school begun:

Ridiculous o'clock is a horrible time to assess the mopping job beneath the table because the sunshine doesn't lie.

It's pretty easy - too easy - to shop at places when I'm down one kid.  There's something about Ruby that makes Eisley very...touchy and giggly so a trip to Hobby Lobby turns into this thing where they dance and I cringe while I imagine all of the fragile, innocent things they twirl by, and they dance some more and then through gritted teeth for the 700th time, I say HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK; DON'T EVEN LOOK AT EACH OTHER!

So, where was I going with this?  Hobby Lobby.  Target.  Been there a few times with two kids and it feels like a vacation.

The pick up situation is a little sticky. So sticky, in fact, that in order to be perfectly prepared and on time, I have routed myself to the nearest Starbucks for the proper fuel. Constantly.

The first day of school, I was so excited to pick her up and hear about everything they had done.  She hopped into the car with a wide, but tired smile, and the very first thing she said to me was, "Mom, can I finish my lunch?"  In that moment, I slipped on a pair of sunglasses and let the pent up tears spill. 


Onto other life things.

Last weekend, we made homemade noodles, used basil from our garden to make amazing pesto, and then we heard angels sing and I said every weekend should be a noodle weekend - we were all in the kitchen and it was just a fun family memory.

 This garden thing?  I'm a total rookie, but have enjoyed the results, and think maybe I'll need to add a few more things to my lineup for next year.  And somehow convince my husband we need to move and get chickens, because why not? 

 these aren't my own produce but the outcome was amazing.  (recipe here)

First birthday and Disney planning are underway, that thing where I imagine I have loads of free time and the ability to sew outfits right up has happened again which means: fabric collecting, and my schedule has officially transitioned from swimming dates to football and school functions.  Pumpkin spice is around the corner - I may have already lit some festive candles.

Luca took a step on Monday - he is about to figure out this walking thing.  I thought my life was crazy before as he tears apart cabinet contents, grabs cords, and man handles books like a professional- I think we're in for it.

My sister moves closer to us next week - excited is an understatement.  Skillet cookies, movies, and DIY until you collapse in a fit of laughter: here we come!
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