Friday, April 18, 2014

My Peeps

I present to you: the face of pure Easter joy.

Though that picture does accurately sum up his almost-3-year-old attitude that has surfaced in recent weeks, it does not represent the way he was actually feeling about his Easter party at school yesterday. There were eggs filled with candy and other random crap toys, there were stickers, there were cookies, there were crafts... those preschoolers, they know how to party it up right.

Little sis didn't want to miss out on all the fun, so she stole the bunny ears after he got home and demanded I take some pictures. She's a bossy one, that Avery. Must get it from her daddy.

From my Peeps (see what I did there?) to yours, have a happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The good life

I was looking at pictures on my phone recently and thinking about how the pictures represent just how good my kids (Davis, specifically) have it these days...

They get to eat ice cream and hunt for Easter eggs filled with candy with their friends, without feeling even a little bit guilty for the junk they are consuming.

They get to go to awesome parks and cool children's museums and play to their heart's content without fear of looking silly or worrying about wasting time.

Everyone thinks everything they do is cute, even something as simple as gnawing on a plastic, inedible egg, and people just want to hold them and love on them, even if they have done nothing to earn such affection. (Side note: it seems the Easter bunny must have softened Avery's stranger-hating heart! We went to a party on Saturday afternoon and she let TWO people hold her for long periods of time without losing her mind. Progress!)

They get to spend rainy Monday mornings hanging out in a cool fort, not having to spend a single second wondering how in the world they are going to pass the rest of the day without losing their minds.

They never have to worry about logistics or schedules or bills or jobs or parenting or really anything of much significance... must be nice. Though I suppose that's how it starts for all of us, huh? One day we are running around without a care in the world, and the next we are 30-years-old with a mortgage and a few mouths to feed and plenty of things to worry about.

So to any 3-year-olds out there who might be reading this, here is my message to you: ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS. (Also, stop throwing tantrums and being generally unreasonable human beings.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

More firsts

Avery had her first visit with the Easter Bunny last Thursday!

The girl has a history of crying and/or screaming when anyone besides Wade or me holds her, but she has no qualms about sitting calmly and quietly in the lap of a giant, furry rabbit... I will never understand babies.

And although her big bro was there with us and dressed to impress, he refused to participate, as I'm pretty sure he still has post-traumatic stress disorder from his last (and only) visit to the Easter Bunny in 2012

Can you blame him? I think we can all agree that the Easter Bunny is creepy.

Anyway, another first for Avery came on Saturday: her first taste of solid foods!

She seemed interested in the first few bites, but was overall pretty unimpressed. Then again, what is there to be impressed about when it comes to grainy cereal mixed into a paste with breastmilk...?

Davis was close by to watch the action and offer a helping hand as needed. 

Doesn't feel like all that long ago we were plopping him in the Bumbo on the kitchen floor in that very same spot, giving him his first taste of food! Hopefully Avery will follow in his footsteps and become a decent eater one day.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 11, 2014


It took me a good 13+ months before I put Davis in childcare anywhere. For the first year of his life, my parents still lived in Austin, so I had family babysitters readily available anytime I needed them - there was not much need to drop him off with strangers. I should have been brave enough to put him in the nursery at church on Sunday mornings, but being the stickler for schedules that I was (and still am), I instead skipped church for months on end in the name of keeping him home to nap in his own crib. Between the schedule and the potential germs and the potential tears (his and mine), I was that mom who just made excuses for a long time until I finally started to feel silly and knew I needed to cut the cord - for both of our sakes. And when I did, he did totally fine!

Before Avery came along, I swore I would do better about handing her over sooner - if for no other reason than out of necessity because of our busy schedule with Davis. I told myself I would keep her with me most of the time for at least the first 3 months, especially because she was born smack dab in the middle of cold/flu season. When 3 months rolled around and we were enrolled in a Bible study on Wednesday mornings, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to put her in childcare, give myself a little break, and get her used to being taken care of by other adults.

But when it came time to put her in there, do you know what I was worrying about? Keeping her on a schedule, and potential germs, and potential tears (hers and mine)... just like I did with Davis! Twice I tried to push those concerns aside and put her in the nursery for just a little while, but to my disappointment, I came back to pick her up both times and found a childcare worker walking the halls with her, because she had cried and screamed so loudly after I disappeared. I hadn't counted on her disliking being held by other people so much since Davis never cared who was holding him. Plan foiled!

So on Wednesday morning, there I was, with my 5-month-old strapped in the Ergo with me instead of in the nursery with the rest of the babies. She woke up from her nap far too early, and I knew what I needed to do, so I reluctantly carried her downstairs and prepared to hand her over. I warned them that she would likely cry (very loudly) after I left, and then I headed upstairs. And do you know what I did as I climbed those stairs? I CRIED. I felt ridiculous, but I could not help myself. In general, our approach to parenting is not to shield them from things that might be hard, because we know it will be good for them... but I HATED doing something that I knew would make her sad.

Sure enough, when I came back to get her about 45 minutes later, she was in a separate room from the rest of the babies with the door closed. The ladies tending to her were very sweet and didn't make me feel bad, but do you know what I still did when I came in that room and saw them holding her? I CRIED AGAIN. I cried because I felt bad for her, I cried because I felt bad for them, I cried because she hasn't been napping well lately and I haven't been getting a good break, I cried because I love that she likes me so much but I also want her to like other people, and I cried just because being a mama is hard sometimes (or most of the time).

Thankfully a good friend in Bible study with me caught a glimpse of the stray tears that I tried to wipe away before coming back into the room and discretely sent me an encouraging text that made me feel better and less ridiculous. Because she's a mom, too. And she can relate to the fact that even though there are countless moments each day that make us want to channel our inner-Alex Mack so we can turn into puddles on the floor and disappear out of sight from our needy children, we still love them so darn much that something as simple as leaving them in the care of another capable human being can be hard some days.

I know I'll have to put on my big girl panties and try to drop her off again some time, probably sooner rather than later. And I know there are plenty of moms who drop their kids off with someone else every single day, and they survive just fine. But for now, I'll try to give myself a little grace for being crazy and I'll be extra thankful for all the people who don't laugh at me when I turn into a cry-baby about my crying baby.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A cool story

After my miscarriage and before I got pregnant with Avery, I received a facebook message from an old friend out of the blue. The message made me smile at the time, but it wasn't until recently that I came across it again and realized just how cool it was. I wanted to share it here on the blog so I will always be able to remember it. She said:

So this is random, but last night I had a dream about you. And your daughter. (I know Davis is a boy, so...) Anyway, you and Davis were playing with your little dark-haired daughter in a park or backyard. She was about three and Davis was like 6 or 7. You were happy. I hope this comes true, and I hope I did not just upset you. The tone of my dream was hope and contentment. 

Maybe it's not that far-fetched to dream that I was going to have a daughter some day (there's about a 50/50 chance every time you get pregnant, right?), and maybe it's not that crazy to assume I might have a child with dark hair (considering how dark mine is), and maybe it's nothing special to think I might have children 3ish years apart (technically 2.5 years apart, but close enough). But putting all those things together in one dream, had by a friend I rarely ever talk to, just 2 weeks before my little dark-haired daughter was ever conceived... that makes it a pretty cool story to me.

She had that dream and sent that message during a really difficult time in my life, and I like to think it was God's way of telling me to just hang on a little longer, and everything would be ok.

Monday, April 07, 2014

HBD to the twinky dinks

On Saturday, my cute little niece and nephew turned ONE! Amanda and Brian have been planning and working tirelessly over the past couple of months to throw them a big 1st birthday bash, so of course my little clan made a day trip to their neck of the woods so we could be there to celebrate Colby and Clara. I got to play photographer for the day, but I'll leave most of the pictures for Amanda to share.

However, I do want to brag on my contribution to the party: the cupcakes!

Did I do an awesome job matching the cupcake wrappers to the invitation or what?! And while I did do the manual labor of baking, frosting and decorating all 3.5 dozen cupcakes (from a box mix - let's not get carried away), let it be known that the presentation ideas were all Amanda.

Let is also be known that this little party animal was a bit of a party pooper for most of the day on Saturday.

Yeah, she looks innocent enough, and she's rockin' that party hat... but she screamed her brains out on more than a few occasions, causing many fellow moms at the party to give me looks of pity as I smiled and pretended she wasn't driving me insane. But tell me: how am I supposed to hold it against her when those little elbow dimples are so freaking cute?! Impossible.

Anyway, head on over to Amanda's blog to catch a recap of the fiesta - it turned out super cute and they did a great job helping everyone celebrate Colby and Clara!

Friday, April 04, 2014

DIY gift

In 4 days, my mom will be celebrating another birthday. (I won't reveal which birthday it is in order to protect the innocent.) My mom always does so much for her kids and grandkids on birthdays and holidays that I always want to make sure she feels extra appreciated when her day rolls around, but it's tough to come up with good ideas each year! So when Amanda and I were brainstorming several weeks ago and she came up with an idea for me that would allow me to get my craft on and give her something original and unique, I jumped on it.

I present to you: the oh so trendy... initial wreath!

This project was super easy. All it entailed was a teeny tiny bit of painting...

... and some hot gluing, and that was it!

I was pleased with the way it turned out, although I'm not sure this crooked pic quite does it justice.

I actually liked it so much that I had to make one just like it for myself.

Hope she likes it as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Texas rite of passage

Neither Wade nor I grew up with the annual tradition of taking pictures in the bluebonnets, but when the season rolled around for the first time after Davis was born, bluebonnet pictures were a must. And because we've gotta keep it fair around here, they were a must for Avery's first bluebonnet season, too! So plans were made for an outing on Saturday afternoon and I was just sure our perfect little precious angels would cooperate.

Naturally, they did not.

Really, I couldn't blame them. They had both missed their afternoon naps, the sun was shining in their eyes, I was being an angry dictator, there were bugs everywhere, and so on and so forth. It was clear that we needed to abandon our plans and move on, but being the stubborn individual I am, I kept pushing... and let's just say the rest of the afternoon/evening did not go well and I may or may not have spent a portion of it locked in the bathroom, pouting and being angry.

In the end, these were the only semi-decent shots we got.

You may not be able to tell from those innocent pictures just how disastrous the outing was, but trust me when I tell you it was bad. I was bummed out enough that Wade wisely insisted we have a do over the next day, and though I was fearful of history repeating itself, I'm glad he forced the issue.

Thanks for indulging me with these photo shoots, children of mine (and Wade). I like to think that some day you'll be glad I made you take all these pictures, but even if you don't, at least you've given me ample blogging material over the years. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Avery is five months old!

Today our favorite little lady turns five months old! (Yes, I'm breaking my recent pattern and posting on a Tuesday in honor of the occasion - don't get used to it!)

Here are some things we have learned about Avery in her fifth month of life:

She is sadly losing a lot of that pretty, dark hair on her head. Between my postpartum hair loss and her shedding, it's HAIR EVERYWHERE in our 'hood.

She knows how to roll over from back to tummy, although she usually gets hung up on that dang arm of hers.

We finally have her napping in her crib (rather than her swing), but most of the naps are still offensively short.

She loves hanging out in the Baby Bjorn or Ergobaby carrier, and people always comment on how quiet she is in there (that's why we have her in there, people!).

Sister loves to squeal, but nothing gets her going quite like her big brother. Davis is life and the rest is just details.

She loves it when we help her stand, like she's just elated to be able to see the world from some other vantage point than the floor offers.

We are still swaddling her at night because she sleeps better with it, but she spends a lot of time trying to wriggle her little hands free and/or roll over, so we'll see how long that lasts.

Happy 5 month birthday, Avery!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Celebrating the big 3-0

As you will recall, Wade had a birthday last week! It was on a Wednesday and he had to work, but I did my best to make his 30th non-boring for him.

He started his day with his gifts, a big breakfast made by his awesome wife, a rad picture colored by Davis, and the 30th of 30 post-it notes stuck to his side of the mirror with a reason why I love him written on it (he got 1 a day for the 30 days leading up to his 30th birthday).

After a mostly full day of work, he picked up his choice of pizza and we feasted on that, followed by dessert made, once again, by his awesome wife. (Dessert was cake batter blondies - do yourself a favor and go make some. And then try to consume as many as I did. I DARE YOU.)

The rest of the day was pretty much business as usual, but thanks to one of his birthday gifts from me, the celebrating continued on Saturday!

We always used to say we wanted to go skydiving together, but now that we are older and have children and all that, it has lost its appeal... but indoor skydiving? Sure! So on Saturday morning, I killed time with the kiddos at the nearby playground while Wade went through training and suited up.

Then it was show time! At 6'2", he looked like a giant in the big wind chamber. He was only "in the air" for 2 minutes total, but I think he'd agree those were 2 minutes well spent.

And with that, the 30th birthday celebrating was officially over. Next up is Davis at the end of April and me at the end of May, so the season of birthdays is to be continued...