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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obligatory Halloween Photos




Simple. Easy. She wanted to be a butterfly.

Just wings.

Antenna.

And sparkly boots.

No tutu.

Nothing else.

She is happy as a clam.

You got it kid.

....and so her sister joined in the butterfly fun, too, because why not?

***

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lucy, 3 Months Old.


Dear Lucy,

You're 3 months old. A quarter of a year already? Amazing. A fun quarter of a year it's been, too.

This month you are still full of crazy smiles and coo's. You are entertained daily by watching your sister and her crazy 2 year old ways. Your eyes light up when you see her. You smile and coo big at her, and even let out little "heh-heh" giggles these days. 

You totally found your feet and find them completely fascinating. You're almost to the point of rolling from back to belly, you try so hard--almost there! (You already do belly to back!)


You are one happy-go-lucky little baby. 

Your happy days make up for the fact that you can't sleep a long straight shot of sleep for nothin'. Hey, it's the truth. Pretty much the max you'll go without waking up is 5 hours and even that is rare. I really didn't think anyone could sleep worse than your sister, but honey child, you might take the cake on this one. Every night it's multiple, and I mean multiple times. I need to experiment more with the way you like to sleep this month. Maybe that will help.

You're wearing size 3 month and 3-6 month clothing. You have some cute little rolls in your upper thighs, and you feel like such a thick little chunka', I love it! I don't know your weight this month, but I'm sure you've grown. 

You are a go-with-the-flow kid. I have this suspicion it's a 2nd child thing (or heck, a 3rd/4th, anything but #1 kid), because your schedule? HA. It's more about big sisters schedule. You get awoken to do preschool drop-offs and pick-ups and you kind of just do your thing on the go. Because really, there's no other choice. 


You're still an A+ nurser and things are going well in that arena. Those chunky thighs prove that we're doing just fine :) You do, however, hate the bottle, which kind of sucks for me. It's a darn good thing I'm so much more comfortable nursing in public nowadays. 

Your sweet demeanor does not go unnoticed, Lucy girl. It's one of the first things people always comment about you. You just have a gentle and kind way about you, giving out your precious little smiles, and being a happy kid. 

Despite the lack of sleep, you still brighten my day and are the best little sister we could have asked for.

Love you,

Momma

***

My oh my how you've changed. 



Friday, October 26, 2012

Another Emeline Video---

...because she's too funny not to share.

Happy Weekend!

A little 'mom in the pic' fun.

You've all seen that great article from Allison Tate that was on The Huffington Post a few weeks back, right? The Mom Stays in the Picture? If you haven't read it...you should. So good. So so good.

Anyway. The basic gist is that our kids deserve to see photos of their mommas one day. They'll want to. They'll want to be able to know what you looked like when they were babies, and how you looked when you held them, and to see the love on your face. They deserve that. Even though the moms so often feel like the memory keepers, the one who so often ends up behind the camera.

I'm pretty good about this--I often hand my camera over to Declan to let him get shots of me and the girls. I try to, anyway. But I know it's just easier to stay behind the camera most the time. Sometimes it doesn't seem like it's worth the hassle.

This week I finally decided to get my hands on a remote for my camera. When it came I geeked out hardcore and couldn't wait to try it out. Thankfully my sweet little Lucy didn't mind being in some photos with her 'ole Ma.

Yep, I'm in sweatpants. Yep, they aren't technically perfect. But they're photos I now have.









Moms---stay in the picture with your kids. They will thank you one day. Promise.

***

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I wanna be the woman she sees.

I want my daughters to grow up knowing their full potential in life. That it stems so much further than just the typical feminine ideals. That they are strong and capable and contributing members of society. That they have a desire to be healthy and take care of the body God gave them. That they seek for justice and equality. That they know just how amazing they truly are.

It took me far too long to realize the potential I had--or the potential my body had. That it's capable of all sorts of things, with a little bit of pushing and hard work, and determination---it can be done.

I also still fully believe there is so much more that I'm capable of, that my mind fully doesn't even believe right now--but one day it will.

One of my facebook friends shared this the other day and when I saw it? It just clicked something within me. Man, what a powerful statement. That Socrates knows what he's talkin' bout.


It resonated with me and not all that often something really does---so when it does? I felt the need to re-share it. So I did. 

As I was clicking that share button, Emeline came crawling up in my lap. 

She pointed at the picture, directly at that strong, amazing woman---and she said, "Mom, 'dats you!"

I was at first like ohmygoshcrazychild, that woman has arm muscles! and she's toned! I bet she doesn't have a single stretch mark! I'm not even sure I can hold my body up like that! psh! I mean, I didn't say those things, but they totally popped up into my head within seconds.

But as she kept pointing at the screen, repeating, "dat's mom! dat's you mom!", I was kind of taken aback. Like, whoa. Maybe my kid does see me like this? As a source of strength and beauty. Strong and powerful. Pushing her body. Trying to be healthy and on the right path. 

And I thought- dang, I want to be the kind of woman my daughter sees

I want to be that woman. 

So I remember that with every workout, with every healthy food choice, every time she sees me stand up for what I believe in, advocate, be strong and courageous---I'm that woman. 

I want to be the woman she sees.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Back to our happy place...

Remember that time I told you about that little farm down the road where I spent way.too.much.time last Fall? Well, yea---we're back. We love that place. We love Fall. It's a fun way to pass some time. This time we get to share it with an entire other person, sweet Lucy.

I can't get over how tiny Em looks in last years photos compared to this year. These kids grow too fast. I'm telling you. If you want life to speed by? Then have children. It's true.

Anyway. We spent last night after Declan got home from work just soaking in some of the pretty weather. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.


















***

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where my heart is.

I'm just gonna let it flow, today. This post totally took a turn from where I thought I was going--but sometimes, that happens--and it's okay. Out of the heart the hands type I guess.

***

I'm sitting in my kitchen right now drinking my coffee, watching a semi-awake Emeline flip-flop in her bed over the monitor, and listening to the sweet, sweet sound of a coo'ing Lucy girl in her bouncy seat beside me. I just kissed my husband goodbye as he went off to work and said a little prayer for safety as he travels. It's still semi-dark outside---dark enough that lamps are needed on inside.


I suddenly am shifted back, years ago, to a day I watched an old friends daughter. I had a day off school or something, I forget---but I was home for some reason. She dropped her off, diaper bag and gear in hand, it was still dark out. Lamps were on in the house. The buzz of the morning show in the background.

I remember thinking, I like this. This is what it feels like to be a stay at home mom? Still in my robe and pjs, only the faint lights of the street coming in the window, the lamps clicked on, a quietness that comes with the morning, a baby to cuddle--and the buzz of morning talk shows. In my mind, it seemed like the utopia. Some utopia of motherhood or something. One day I hope I have this, I said.

It's weird--because flash forward to now---and there are and have been many, many days that feel like that morning, just with, obviously--my own children. The slow, calmness of knowing we don't have to go anywhere but staying right there, in our pj's, watching morning tv. The dark mornings, with quiet voices and couch cuddles before all the hustle and bustle of life begins for the day.

Sometimes I need to remind myself that a few years ago it wasn't on my radar that I'd ever be able to 'stay home' with my kids.

I prayed, I cried, I begged God to somehow, let me have this opportunity one day.

Sometimes, despite my unique situation---and that I don't fully identify myself as a "stay at home mom" since I work from home, and feel stretched and pulled in so many other areas that extend my motherhood role---I still do, stay home. I see my babies wake up everyday. I put them down for their naps.

Sometimes, when the stress of the day with two kids and a crazy dog and to-do lists and preschool drop off, and swim class, and work meetings, and church commitments, and photoshoots starts to wear on me, I remember that this is what I wanted, what I prayed for.

I'm grateful. Something that meant so much to me but for so long felt like a far cry, being home with my children, being able to have those dark, early mornings by the light of dim lamps, soaking in the slow start to the day---it's my reality. And even if it doesn't 'look' exactly how I imagined it to be, that I am stretched and pulled in ways all the time--I'm still home. With them.

That's just where my heart is today.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Emeline Updates...and stuff she says.

I'm so mean, aren't I? But her pouty face was too cute.
***

I'm really learning at this age the power of influence, holy cow. She repeats everything we say, so I really have to watch it. I can also always tell when she's picking up things from other kids and it sticks, man. I know this is something we'll be dealing with forever. Just goes to show you cannot keep your kids in your protective little bubble forever---but oh how I wish, sometimes.

One of the little girls at church talks about Monsters often. She "rawrs" at Emeline and often tries to scare her. So now Emeline talks about Monsters all the time. I'm not even sure she has any concept of what it is, but she'll say---"Mommy, da monsters are comin'! No, don't do monsters to Ennamine! They scare you!" (she goes back and forth with still using "you" for "me", sometimes she gets it right--I have to say, I think it's stinking cute, though.)

My kid is Doc McStuffins crazed. If you haven't seen this adorable Disney Junior show you are missing out hardcore ;) I'm pretty sure Emeline thinks she IS a doctor, like that she is a legit doctor. If she gets hurt, or falls--she'll say, "Ennamine needs a check-up!", and so we have to check her and sing the song, and then she follows up with the song, "I feel better, so much better..." 

We often find her pulling Lucy's shirt up and saying, "I check your heart-beat Lucy-girl!"  Sweet, huh? ha.

The other day on the way home from school she started singing, "Da babies on the bus go Wah! Wah! Wah! Da babies on the bus say WAH! wah! wah! Da mommies on the bus say SH! SH! SHHH!!!! Sh! sh! shhh! All FRU' DA TOWN!"  

And then I died. 

Around dinner time most evenings she'll come up to me and say, "Hey Mom, let's have a DANCE PARTY!!!!"  Which basically means that I turn my running mix on my laptop on, we jam out while dancing around the kitchen. We usually put Lucy girl in her bouncy seat, and Em proceeds to dance around her and yell, "LUCY, DANCE!" If Lucy even MOVES A LIMB, then Emeline screams, "MOM!! Lucy's DANCING!" with absolute delight.


Emeline has a bad habit of saying, that she "needs" something instead of asking for something in a kind way. So, "I need a snack, mom!" is often something you hear around here. We're really working on breaking this habit. So now, when she asks something with "I need..." I just give her THE LOOK and she quickly corrects it with, "May I have...."  But she doesn't quite get the sentence flow yet, so it comes out something like this: "Mom, may I have please a snack, please?" And she always inflects with her little sing-songy voice at may-I and it kills me with cuteness.

Whenever she asks for "some more" of anything, it comes out like "Some-Ra-More, please", EVERY time. I have no idea why the added, unnecessary wordage, but it's adorable. 

I think because we talk about a "baby" in reference to Lucy, we may have confused her a little bit. For instance, the other day at the Farm we were talking about seeing the Baby piggies. So she says, "....and we see daddy piggies, and mommy piggies, and Ennamine piggies, and Mac-a-boy piggies, too!"  Yea. Cuz that makes sense. 

She tells me ALL THE TIME to, "Mommy, 'TOM ON" (come on) 

If she falls or trips or whatever and we ask her if she's okay, she very quickly and precisely responds, "Yep, Mom, I'm OTAY!".

Everyone loves when she says "OTAY" because it's hilarious. When we're leaving our church small group on Tuesday nights, the kids are in the playroom with a babysitter, and I'll yell down that it's time to go----and she'll go, "OTAY MOM, I'M COMIN'! ENNAMINE'S COMING!!!" Too funny.

She saw something on TV the other day that had men dressed up from the 1700's, around the time of the Constitution....and she matter of factly stated, "Look Dad! It's a pirate! ARRR MATEY!"  Umm...fail.

She is the worlds best encourager and I'd like to thank potty training for that. She tells us all the time how proud of us she is, and "you did a good job, mommy"

Now that she's potty trained she's feeling all independent. We still have to help her with lots of things, even pulling down her panties and such, and, yea--wiping, you know. We usually say, Ok, let me wipe your bottom. But for some reason that translated into something else for her, so when she's done going potty she'll often yell one of two things: "Time to wipe my body!!!" or  "Wipe Ennamines ba-gina!" So you can imagine how fun that is in a public restroom. Yep.

She announces everything that Lucy is doing. All the time. It's both adorable and annoying. My favorite is when the famous rip-roar infant, ahem, poo, happens...she gets all wide eyed, and goes, "Lucy pooped, change her diaper!"  Gee, thank you kid. I had no idea ;) Or if Lucy is drooling or has a little spit up, she'll yell, "LUCY SPIT!" and run and grab the nearest burp cloth/blanket, etc and start dabbing Lucy's face. 

***

I need to start writing down the stuff she says---because even this just doesn't cut it. But, it will have to do. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Night, for the memory book.


...and the final results, because, we're clearly carving (and painting) geniuses.
Yea, you know it's impressive ;)

All that matters is that we had a good time, right? Right.

Hope you all had a happy weekend, too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Friday,

I'm glad you finally decided to show up, considering on Wednesday I thought it was Friday, then on Thursday I thought it was Friday again. That made for a really, really long week ya know?

Signed,
I really need a calendar

Dear Anyone Who thinks my life looks rainbows & butterflies all the time,

First of all, HAHAHA *gasping for breath* hahahahahahaha
Just half hour ago my dog pooped on the steps and the only reason I knew?  Was because my toddler was screaming "Oh nooo! Ennamine stepped in Mac poop! MOMMY! POOP ON MY FOOT, OH NO! HELP!!!!!!"  

Yea. Just pause and reflect on how awesome that was. Not. 

Meanwhile I'm nursing Lucy and trying to get the kid to sleep, so I have to rip my poor crying baby off the boob, put her in the crib (which she basically thinks is a torture device), and go, ahem, take care of that situation. 

Once Em was cleaned up and I'm scrubbing my bleepity-bleep carpets with resolve for the umpteenth time this week, she hears Lucy crying and starts BANGING on the nursery door, "LUCY, It's Ennamine! I said NO CRY-NING!!!!" 

So you can imagine how naptime went.

Signed,
You know you want my life  (ha.hahahahaha)

Dear Sleep Training/Scheduling/Stuff I'm awful at,

The *thought* of you sounded so good yesterday. I thought, I got this, I can put my baby on a schedule, easy peasy. When my husband questioned me, like, Kate, are you really sure? I was all, pshhh, yeaaaa. Momma needs sleep. 

The actual doing it part? Totally different story. Yea. I suck. We failed at it within the first 10 minutes. I basically cannot stand to hear my kids even whimper let alone cry for 5 minutes. My heart is literally pained and I'm done. I'm done. I've just come to the conclusion that I'll be a half-functioning human being for...umm, ever? And I don't even care. My heart cannot handle that. At all. Also, I'm gonna stop giving myself a hard time that my kid only wants to sleep in her swing for naps. Crib naps? HA. Ha. ha. She laughs in the face of crib naps.

Signed,
I'll sleep again when I'm dead

Dear Self prior to having children,

Why didn't you work out more before you had kids? Do you know how much easier it would have been to just get out there and run, without coordinating naptimes and feedings, or waking up at the butt-crack of dawn?

You really should have taken advantage of that time, sister. 

Signed,
Another workout ruined by my infant


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Little sweetness moments, then BAM. Reality.

This morning started much too early for my liking, and I'm not talking about the 3904823908 times my littlest gets up through the night. That doesn't count. Or better yet, I probably should just not talk about it. Yea. That.

I'm not a morning person. Duh. We know this. But this morning I heard Emeline sobbing hysterically over the monitor a few minutes before 6am. Here I am, snuggling and feeding Lucy who's laying beside me, staring at the monitor, pulling it to my ear to hear my 2 year old hysterically sobbing for....her sister. And holy heart melt batman.

In between the gasping-for-breath sobs I'm hearing this:

"Where's Lucyyyy girlllll? I need my baby sissssterrrrr. Lucy's sleeeepin'. Ennamine see Lucy girlllll, *sobbbbb* I need my sister, baby sisterrrrr where are you? Lucy girl....Luuuucyyyy!" 

Freaking sweetest thing ever.

We thought she'd put herself back to sleep, but after some time we realized that wasn't going to happen so Declan went in there to see if he could cuddle her back to sleep, and well, YEA RIGHT. Girlfriend is energized by people. So that didn't work.

Next thing you know, the whole family ended up on the couch by a little after 6am, snuggling and watching Disney Junior.

That never happens on a weekday. So I kind of loved it. All of my little family snuggled under a blanket, soaking in the last half hour before Declan had to leave for work. It felt kind of...warm and cozy and memorable in a weird way. Everyone slowly waking up, cozy in jammies, still dark outside, you know?

Sounds perfect and magical, right?

It was. 

And then Declan left for work. He forgot to take the dog out. Mac reminds me by yelling at me barking my ear off. I have a toddler running around nude because of doing a half-pee in her panties (oops!), chasing the dog around like a wild woman, who is currently chewing up every one of her plastic food toys from her play kitchen, so sharp remnants of plastic are strewn about the living room. And my couch has a huge milk spill (or is that pee?) on it and I could basically care less. I'm trying to muster up the energy to get us ready and out the door to swim lessons.

Oh. And the sun just came up.

Thanks reality. It's gonna be a loooong day. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

There's a Superhero in our midst....

Yesterday I needed a little sunshine. It was obvious I was feeling down and heavy about situations going on around me. But I needed to just keep on praying, and then find a little pick-me-up, something I could do with my girls.

So we packed up the crew (we meaning me) and went to the fabric/craft store. See, Emeline's cousin is having a Superhero themed party this weekend....and it said to wear your capes and masks...and here I am, a girl mom--and, umm...we have no capes and masks on hand. We have princess dresses and tiaras. Cape and masks just aren't on our radar at the moment.

That is the case no-longer, my friends.

See--I picked up a few supplies, knowing that I was totally capable to make a no-sew cape and mask. I'm crafty sometimes. I'm good at hodge-podging things together. And heck, my 2 1/2 year old isn't picky, she won't know if it ends up looking awful, anyway, right?

We put Lucy down for a nap and then my big girl & I crafted together. She supervised. She helped pick up scraps. She did what she could do without getting burned by the iron or the hot glue gun. But the girl could not stop talking about being a superhero. Suddenly girl-power took over her like nobodies bizznaz and it was amazing.



I wish I could tell you how I did this all---but see, I'm not a tutorial gal. Because I have no rhyme or reason when I start--I just go. And then adjust and trim and make it better (sometimes worse) as I go.

Basically---a yard of felt was enough (plenty leftover). Another glittery piece of felt for the "e". A hot glue gun. Iron on riff-raff glitter ribbon. And some ribbon to tie the whole thing on. I said it was easy.

The mask? I just started with a rectangular piece---put it up against her face and felt for her eyes, marked it out. Cut the eye holes and then just kept trimming to fit around her nose and face until it looked superhero chic. A little elastic that I had, glued on, with some felt backing? And voila.


Insta-superhero girl.


Girlfriend literally cried for "my superherooooo caaaaape" at naptime for a good 20 minutes. It's safe to say she's obsessed.

The first thing upon waking up she put it on, too and ran around the house saying things like, "I strong! I a superhero! I can fyyyy!!!!! (fly)" When Declan got home, he "flew" her around the house approximately 390820938x times. It was amazing.

Whoever said superheroes couldn't come in the form of a tiny 2.5 year old, blonde hair, blue-eyed girl with pink-sparkly-cape has another thing comin'.

***

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

dark clouds

Thank you so much to those of you who introduced yourself on my last post. It was so fun to read those comments and 'meet' you. I responded to every single person who had a way to be responded to (email written there or attached)--so thanks :)

***

I'm trying so hard to put into words what I really want to say this morning--but I'm struggling. The words just aren't coming out coherently--and aren't accurately expressing what's inside me today. I've deleted this sentence 300 times already. So bear with me, choppy waters ahead.

I'm sad. I woke up heavy and burden bearing for my friends and family around me that in the last few days have experienced awful and emotionally painful situations. My heart hurts, a lot, and sometimes I just don't know what to do with it. Sometimes I don't know how to be the best friend or support I can be, when I'm dying for them to know how much I care.

I just keep praying for Jesus to continue to carry them. Hold them. Comfort them and give them peace. Because I don't know what else to say or pray and it's times like this when you realize that all you have is the power to pray for someone. And I mean ALL in the all-encompassing-that's-all-that-really-matters-anyway way.

Because the truth is, nothing I can say or do can fix anything. I can be there. In heart. In mind. In encouraging text messages. I can send flowers. For some, I can physically be there. To talk to, vent to, cry to. But I still feel helpless. And that's because ultimately I am.

The only person who can carry my friends and family through these situations is Jesus. And I know He is.

I'm starting to realize that the real power in being there for those around me, who are hurting, going through hard situations--is to really lift them up, to really pray for them. We're so quick to say it, I'll pray for you, but you have to remember to do it. The real power is knowing that ultimately, you can't fix anything. You love them where they're at. In the sorrow. In the brokenness. In the anger. In the agony. And then you let God work.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

On the outside, point blank--looking at situations, when friends and family are hurting--it seems so stormy. So hard to navigate. So hopeless. 

But in the end, I have to to trust that just as the verse above says, even the darkest, heaviest situations will be worked together for good.

And so I just keep praying.

***

Sunday, October 14, 2012

You may know me, but you don't know me.

"I could never do it. I could never share my whole life on the internet". 

I've heard this a million times. And you're right. I couldn't either. And I don't.

Being a blogger is weird thing, but an awesome thing. It's like, you suddenly click this orange Publish button and you're published. Boom. Out there for anyone to see. There's no detailed editing process. There are no publishers and editors reading through every little detail to make sure you've used every apostrophe in the correct spot, or used the correct form of then versus than. It's just you. And suddenly your writing is as accessible and judged as much as anything else out there. You're vulnerable to critics (and trust me, they're out there).

And when you write on a blog that shows your family, and photos, and you talk about struggles, and when you're honest about things--people assume that's your whole life. That you put your whole life out there for the world to see. And so they think they know you. Because, she puts her whole life on the internet

Let me assure you something. That's not the case. 

I'm willing to bet for most people--it's not all out there. They don't share everything. There are moments and photos that are kept only for your family. There are personal things, maybe about your husband or your loved ones that you share only with your close friends, those that know you heart to heart. There are life things and struggles going on that can't and won't and may never ever be written about. There are events you're a part of and places you volunteer that you've never written about, nor may ever. There are struggles in your head that are best hashed out with your spouse, someone who gets you, who doesn't judge you. There is so much life being lived that surpasses the posts of a blog a day. Never published. Never written about. Just because. Out of respect. Out of personal space. Out of boundaries. 

And I think it's just super important to remember that. 

You know me, but you don't know me. 

I feel like I know other bloggers, but I don't truly know them. 

Now that's not to say I'm one big giant secret keeper ('cuz lawd knows that ain't the case), and it's not to say I have some big bomb lurking in real life that I don't share--because that's mostly not the case, for me right now, anyway. 

But you get peeks. Little peeks into my world. And that's all I've come to learn that, through reading other blogs, that's how I have to view it, too.

If x,y,z doesn't seem to add up from blog post to blog post, it doesn't mean there are lies and scandals going on. It doesn't mean that you, as the reader, reserve some right to call them out on it. Remember, so much is unseen. Unwritten about. To think you have the whole picture from a few word slapped on screen is silly.

And so I try to read with those things in mind now. Truly. It took me a while to get there, but I've come to realize that our blogs, where we write, wherever that may be--is a part of us. But it's not all of us. 

And it's important to remember that. 

***

With that, I'm just going to ask if there's anyone out there who hasn't introduced yourself yet to me, that you please do! I love, love, love it when someone tells me they're new around here, or that they're commenting for the first time, or emailing, whatever. 

Some of you may even know me in real life, see me around, go to swim class with us, see me at chick-fil-a (too often), or are a friend of a friend, or of family, etc. If you're reading this, tell me. Say hi. Introduce yourself. 

I like doing this every once in a while because a) it's really fun and b) this is how I actually met one of my very closest friends and c) because when you write, and people read, I think it's just nice to let them know every once in a while. I try to do that with some of the blogs I enjoy, too.

Go ahead...say hi, tell me a little bit about yourself :)

(and pssttt: if you don't have your email attached to your blogger profile I can't respond to you...just know this. xo)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Life as of late. Mainly about my girls, because. Yea.

-We've spent more than average time at home this week, and it's been oddly nice that way. We left the house very little thanks to Potty Training 101, but it has worked out so well being able to be home and get this figured out---because by golly, I think she's got it. And trust me, I don't say that lightly. Picture me shooting fireworks in the air, giving endless high-fives, shrieking with glee at the top of my lungs, and fist pumping, yea--fist pumping. Because we are that happy about it.

She's done good, man. And I'm no idiot---accidents will happen here and there, but it's all good. 

And a pantie'd butt is so darn cute, I must say. She's just so...old now. Sigh. 








-I also just have to say that my sweet Lucy? Is a doll face. She is such an angel. I can't even handle it. I feel like having a baby the second time around just makes you that much more aware of all the little things because you know how fast it goes with your first. Maybe? Either way, I have been enjoying her to the max. And I let way more things slide than I did with Em. Schedule? What schedule? Yea. Whatever. I'm not stressing about it. We'll get there. And so what if she still sleeps in my bed 75% of the night. SUE ME. I kind of love it.


-My girls together? I feel like my heart could explode sometimes. So many moments with the two of them are just so good. Emeline is just so aware of her. Every squeak and cry and chatter it's, "oh bess you, Lucy! Lucy sneezed!", or "Ohh Lucy's happy! She tawk to me!", etc. She cuddles her and likes to be near her. I often overhear her teaching Lucy things. "Lucy, 'dats a hippo....'dats a ladybug! See Lucy, nine boats!" She is just such a good big sister.


-I guess the mamarazzi in me is starting to rub off on Emeline. If I get my camera out and she notices, she fa-reaks out saying, "Ennamine needs her camera, too!!!! I find Ennamine's camera!!" and then she goes rummaging through her toybox. It looks like one of those cartoons, you know, where they fling EVERYTHING out from the box to find that one, little trinket? Yea. That's exactly what happens every time. 

Then she'll come back with her camera, nevermind the huge mess she just made, and it's ALWAYS backwards in her eye (like, literally, the flash goes off in her eye, ha!), and she'll say, "Lucy-girl...SMILE!!!! Say CHEESE!". She snaps away. She is obsessed with all things photography.

I came home from a family photo session last night that I shot, and she wanted to sit on my lap and look through all the photos. "Mom took 'dem! Good job, mom!" Her new thing is to say "I'm so proud of you!" to everyone. You can thank potty training talk for that one. ;)

little photographer in the making
Dang. I have so much more to share. Mainly about Emeline---but I had no intent of this being an Em-update-post, I'm such a mom. Swaying everything back to my kids. Typical :)

ANYWAY.

Life lately has had some challenging moments, having nothing, absolutely nothing to do with my girls or potty training, or anything. BUT. It has also been really great. I'm so thankful for the balance.

***

Have a happy weekend.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Change the way I see

Sometimes I find it so easy to focus on the negative. The little, naggy things that are going on around me, that feel like in the moment are bringing me down, stressing me out, and making life difficult. But sometimes I need to check myself. Because it's ridiculous.

Last night I was brought back down to my knees again, asking for forgiveness for being so freaking selfish, thinking of myself, and not allowing my heart to live in a state of gratitude. I talk about this subject often because it's one I think about often, need to work on daily, and need to be intentional about living this way. And yet I fail, often. Lots of times.

Don't get me wrong. There's so much hardship in the world. There's so many awful, pressing, life-altering situations. There's so many illnesses and diseases that plague families. There's spouses that are separating. Ladies dealing with infertility. There's death, unexpected death, and the grief that comes with it. And sick babies. And awful financial situations. And really.hard.things going on all the time, just to name a few. And it sucks. These situations suck, they rock us, they shake us, they're the dark storm, if you will.

There are legit reasons to feel negative, to feel awful--to feel hopeless. Trust me when I say, I get that, I so get it.

Last night before bed I was reading about a woman who's been sick for a long time. A long, long, time. Bed-ridden. She has a child. A husband. Yet she's known no real life outside her bedroom for years. My heart just sunk. Reading about how much she ached to just feel the sunshine on her face. About how she longed to take her kid to the first day of school. And I literally stopped dead in my tracks and had a self-talk---, I'm an idiot. A complete idiot. Get it together, Katie-.

I need to get back to relishing in the moments. Nothing is hindering me from enjoying them and yet sometimes I just let them pass me by. And it shouldn't have to take me reading about a situation like that to make me realize the things I take for granted in life. It really shouldn't and shame on me, seriously.

I need to start seeing differently.

I need to see that pacifiers and endless baby stuff lying around my house is a blessing not an annoyance, and a sign that I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I need to see that my cute little decorative pumpkins that were supposed to make sophisticated little candle centerpieces are now adorned with toddler scribbles, adorable little toddler drawings. I need to see that the fingerprints all over my toilet seat of my 3 foot by 5 foot powder room means I have a healthy, learning toddler--just moving along in this process of growing up.

God, help me change the way I see.


I am a continual work in progress.


***

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Confessions. And help a sister out.

I ate what I wanted this week, and I lost weight. I've been feeling a bit irritated with tracking points again and having some weeks where I wasn't losing at all, so I gave myself last week 'off'. Now, don't get me wrong--I know this program inside and out, and know what I can and can't eat to stay within points. So it's not like I became a wild woman, although I did have my splurges. But I just decided I needed to chill out for a second. I didn't do this last time, at all, as in, cheat. Or take a break. BUT. I also didn't start near as early and my body is still a little confused and working out the postpartum kinks if you will. I think since I've done this once before I'm just a teeny tiny bit burnt out from it.

But surprise, surprise, I lost weight. So weird. But awesome. This means that since I started 'trying' to lose the baby weight, I've lost 9lbs. Yep. Only 9lbs. But I've also lost a total of 5.5", mainly in my waist and hips (as expected). I'm down 19 pounds total from the day I had Lucy, and it also means I have 12lbs to go until my pre-Lucy weight. 

****

Halloween...what? I'm skipping to Christmas. Sometimes when life is so dang busy and overwhelming you just have to put all your stupid (read: important) "to-do list" stuff aside and just do something totally brainless. Like, make a Christmas craft. On Sunday afternoon I did just that. (and can't share it yet...since it's part of a special blog contribution...but I want to! it's so cute!)

So, yep, I've made a christmas craft when neither of my kids have a costume nor have I even thought about it yet. And, YES I've noticed that all the stores are completely picked over by now. Because they're basically sold out of everything the same day Pumpkin Spice Latte's come out, let's be honest. Peeps go crazy over that Fall stuff. 

We're screwed.

****

My kid is totally annoyed with me. She does not want nor need me to ask her 9038240932 times a day to "tell mommy when you need to go potty", because she's proven me time and time again that she will tell me WHEN she needs to go. Or better yet, just go in there and do it herself (miss independent say what?) But yet I still ask. And now? When I ask her to let me know when she needs to go, she tells me "No. No I don't tell you". Because she's that annoyed with me. So, basically I need to stop asking her.

Also. She is successful 100% of the time when she has no panties on. Put the panties on? And dribble. dribble. dribble. I may have bought 17 new pairs of panties last night, and I *might* not be exaggerating, AT ALL. Usually she can catch it and finish the rest on the potty, but stillllll. (Yes I'm talking about pee on my blog, get over it). Or I just have to watch her like a hawk, and that's kind of hard with Lucy, too. What the heck do I do? I mean, it's not socially acceptable to go nude from the waist down--and, umm...preschool. So. HELP! I've read this is common and everything basically has said just.stick.with.it. But I need a success story. STAT. Someone give me a success story, for the love.

****

Happy Tuesday (how is it only Tuesday???)!

Monday, October 8, 2012

An unexpected weekend twist...and it's not what you're thinking.

from the park that night.
It started off awesome, this weekend, that is. I picked Emeline up from school with a surprise Icee in hand and we took a trip to the local farm.

Then we had a Friday night family date. One where we all go out, ate dinner at a real restaurant, didn't offend people with our rambunctious crew, meaning, everyone (including me) was semi-well behaved.

One where we go out afterwards to a park, let the 2 year old run rampid....just kidding, where we actually hover over her as she goes up the most god-awful-dangerous things I've ever seen in the worst non-grippy and unsafe shoes known to man (her TOMS). One where we smile a lot and where Lucy-girl was a little doll face angel baby, just along for the ride, completely content. One where I thought, yea this weekend is gonna be the bomb dot com.

It was a gorgeous night, and just felt like a good opening to our weekend. You know what I mean?

But in between taking turns being helicopter parents helping Emeline on the death trap playground, we started talking about our weekends in October, and about how this was literally our only weekend free for the entire month. Between weddings, birthday parties, special dinners and wedding dress shopping with my sister (can I get a what!what!), we're booked.

So Saturday morning rolled around and Emeline happened to mention her Dora panties....and just.like.that it was as if she decided for us. This was the weekend. Our only free weekend to really go nowhere, and just drill this thing in. Yep. Dun, dun, dun. Potty training.

Declan and I just looked at one other and kind of gave each other the shrug like well it's gotta happen sometime. And so. Yea. We just went with it. There was no planning. There was no potty chart. No special trip with toys or stickers to bribe her. Nothing that I had planned on doing. But oh well.

We probably said, "Em, tell us when you have to go potty" about 43904839084 times. We've had a little nakey tush running around. We've talked way too much about bodily fluids. Gave a million high-fives. Made celebratory phone calls (per her request). Did lots of dancing. Lots of praising. Lots of "you did it!" and "I did it!"'s were uttered. Basically, all the things that make you sound like a looney-bin unless you're a parent and have been there. It's cool. We know we're crazy.

But the good news is, most parents are crazy--so it's okay.

I'm not really sure I'm ever going to get into the throes of potty training details here. Because, um...fun times, yea? But, I will say--it was a lot less stressful than I anticipated, which probably meant she was ready. And so far I'm both super proud of her, and super scared to ever leave the house. I know other moms who have been down this road feel me on that one. (tips??)

So instead of wasting* away our only free weekend in October? We might just have one kid in diapers now. How 'bout that? Here's to hoping...

***

*there is nothing wasteful about a free weekend, fyi--I love a good do nothing weekend like the best of 'em. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

...and it's already turning around.

Today I'm already feeling better than last night, and leap years better than the rest of the week. I don't know, I'm so weird....when I can finally get the emotions out, somewhere, it kind of helps me get over it.

And I think that happened a little bit last night. Which is awesome. So yay. And thanks.

I decided that despite getting little sleep as it is (because no, my 2 month old doesn't sleep great, ok? Now that we got that over with...), I still need to start getting up early. Earlier than the girls. Maybe even earlier than my husband. Because I need some time when the house is quiet and still and I can get a head of the game. And this is hard for me, because I hate the mornings. But I might actually like them a little better if I do this. Because so far? This morning has been great.

I was able to chug my morning coffee in peace and quiet. I was able to leave a little mirror message affirming my husband, because I'm usually awful at cute things like that and I'm trying to be better. Because I love that man to death, but sometimes suck as a wife. I was able to read. I READ. In peace and quiet. A few chapters of a book I find (so far) to be pretty challenging and inpsiring (The Resolution for Women, if you're wondering). I ate breakfast, alone. I had a few minutes of quiet morning chit-chat with Declan. I was even able to prep Em's breakfast. I did my hair, makeup, and got dressed. I mean--all by 7:30am.

So? It's been a pretty good morning so far.

The sun is shining. Despite the fact it's going to be 80 today (hello! It's FALL!), I'm happy at how this week(end) is shaping up.

I'm making the change. I'm trying, anyway.

**

So now? I'm going to do something random and fun, and thank you Chelsea for reminding me of this.

Currently....
Obsessing over: new things I can do to spruce up the house, without paying a fortune. Wanting new curtains, to do little projects, but yet not really having the motivation to do so. Interesting predicament :)
Working on: unloading and putting away all the laundry that was washed LAST weekend--because I'm awesome like that. My only motivation to do so is that we'll need the baskets to do laundry for THIS weekend. ha.
Thinking about: my plan of attack for my two-hour-sans-2-year-old this morning, aka: what should I check off the to-do list while she's at preschool.
Anticipating: some good-for-the-soul family fun this weekend.
Listening to: RockStar Mickey on the iPad....I wonder who that could be. And the coo's of a happy baby Lucy.
Drinking: Coffee and water.
Wishing: my back would get better quicker and that my first run this week (hopefully tomorrow!) will be an awesome one.
***
Happy Weekend...make something of it ;)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Mood.

I have no pretty pictures to post. I don't even have many good things to say. When I'm feeling this way it's just much better to leave my precious little blog alone for a few days. Because when I'm having a funky week, one where I'm feeling all sorts of blah, and sickness is traveling from person to person, and my oldest kid is unhappy because of it, and I'm not sleeping much, and my back hurts every time I pick up a child (40 million billion trillion times a day), and I haven't worked out, and I'm annoyed with my dog (for the LOVE! 12lb yorkie for sale, heck, he's free! I can ship!), and I'm just in an all around bad mood? I end up word vomiting. And it isn't pretty. It's ugly, actually. And oops. The ugly just came out. Because, that's just how it is this week.

Sorry not sorry. Ok, I'm a little bit sorry, because I do like to keep it more pretty here, there's enough ugly in the world as it is. But I just can't help it tonight. Sue me. 

It rained for what felt like all week. I didn't take a photo of a darn thing. And I mean with my real camera. Because of friggin' course I took forty million instagram photos. I questioned my mothering capabilities multiple times this week. And usually I think I'm a rockin' mom (because I am, but still). This week though? I questioned my decisions about a million times, which is unusual. It was annoying. My little hat tricks of happiness didn't work this week, either. In fact, they backfired and laughed in my face. Multiple times. 

My stress level has been high. Off the charts. Let's just say, teeth-clenching-jaw-pain-nightmare-inducing-stress. It's so not fun. And I so need a day to turn my brain off. If only that was possible. 

So-
I hope to re-find myself over the next few days. 

I pledge to get my camera out. Despite the fact the forecast is calling for rain again. ALL WEEKEND (hold me). 

I vow to focus on the important stuff.

I promise to let myself de-stress a bit. Somehow. To pamper myself in some way, because gosh-darn-it, I deserve it. 

I promise to have a grateful heart...for the little things, the big things, all the things. 

I vow to relax. Take a breath, and chill the heck out

I promise to find happiness in the small things.

...

So we'll start with my favorite IG photos this week:

If all else fails? Someone send xanax.

***

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a valuable lesson on a Monday

I know it's only Tuesday---but I'm already having one of those weeks. The ones where on Sunday night you're dreading it a bit because you just know how much is going on, how much is expected of you, how much you cannot.forget.for.the.love so you must write it all down, you, the girl who never writes stuff down. 

I honestly said a little prayer to God to please, despite The Busy, give me moments...moments with my girls that will feel special, slow down time a little, because there's nothing I regret more than not enjoying moments. 

Yesterday I was all caught up in running here to there, and everywhere. I felt like I was in a constant state of go go go, drop kids off, go to work, run there, pick kids up, organize someone to be home by X time so we could be somewhere by X time, meet somebody by this time, go here, there, everywhere, blah blah blah. It was exhausting. But that was my day. Ok, it's my entire week if I'm being honest. 

But yesterday afternoon, amidst the crazy, I had a doctors appointment for Lucy. Luckily Declan could manage to leave a bit early to be home with Em so I didn't have to deal with a rascally two year old at the doctors, too with my bum back*. 

As we were sitting in the waiting room I watched as a mother and her seemingly ill daughter, probably, I'd say, about a 2nd grader, come out of the room, obviously done with their appointment. They said goodbye to the nurse/receptionist and were all ready to head out the door. 

Except, the daughter stopped....saw the kids show that was playing on the big screen in the waiting room, and kind of zeroed in on it. Instead of hurrying her daughter along (which honestly...is probably what I would have done), I watched as the mother took notice that her daughter was obviously interested, and do you know what she did?  She sat down. The mom sat down. And patted the seat next to her for her daughter to sit, too, and watch the show.

All checked out of the doctors office, obviously ready to leave, keys in hand---but she took a few extra minutes to just slow down with her little girl. 

I heard her make a few little comments to her, all with a smile, "you know, baby, most people leave the doctors when they're done...not stay and hang out in the waiting room..." Me and the mother exchanged glances and I smiled at her. 

Honestly, that small little act? It spoke to me. Here I am, rushing, rushing, rushing through my day. Going here, there and everywhere, on a time schedule, go-go-go busy, and it was nice, so nice, really, to get this lesson in SLOWING DOWN.

That's exactly what I saw. I saw this mother take a second to slow down with her daughter and just enjoy a moment. To spare the few extra minutes and just sit beside her, heck, in the doctors waiting room, even. 

Sometimes you can't help when you have a busy week. I know I can't. I don't always control all those factors with all the hats we juggle---but I do know that I'm in control of slowing down. Savoring moments. Taking in an extra snuggle or cuddle on a rainy morning with my girls before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. Or heck, right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

That lady? She taught me a lesson yesterday. 

***

*I'm having back issues like whoa on top of everything else. My lower back is basically pulled out and it's awful, especially lifting kids...gah! So I will take any and all prayers for a quick healing. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Because, they're memories. Fun, flashy lights, and crappy prizes---but memories.

Funnel cake, corn dogs, toasted cheeseburgers, fried oreos and more--junk, junk, junk food galore. Cheapie stuffed animals, ugly prizes, rides that creak and look umpteen thousand years old. The fair. A good, ole' fashioned, street fair, in fact. That's where we spent our Saturday night as a little family of four.


We went on a complete whim. I mentioned it to Declan briefly and without hesitation he's all, sounds good, let's go. As soon as the girls were up, we packed them both up in the car, made the forty minute trip west, and started our little fair adventure.

I have to say, this time, with Em's age, it was definitely fun. She could enjoy a few little rides, and seeing her smile from ear to ear on them as a bystander (because I was on the sidelines with Lucy--Declan got to have all the fun) was way cute. She'd wave as the ride passed me and shout, "There's mommy, HIII MOM!" and I beamed a little with pride at my big girl.


I managed to perfect my Still Trying to Be a Documenter persona, while also playing mom, which I have to say is something I worried I'd lose a little with the addition of another kid. Just, honestly, how will I have hands to take as many photographs anymore? Sounds silly, maybe--but I realized that you just figure it out if it's important enough to you. And thankfully my husband doesn't mind too much when I'm all, hold my camera for a minute, oh, hey can you get my lens cap? okay, let me set the camera right here while I feed Lucy, oh, oh, make sure it doesn't fall--oh, babe, can you give me my camera back, quick...! He's good like that. He realizes my crazy antics and loves me anyway. He realizes it's important to me. Sometimes he'll even pick up the camera himself.


After we walked around, marveled at the weirdness of (some) fair people, made fun of the cheap prized stuffed animals, got a balloon "flower" for Emeline, rode a few crappy rides, watched my kid shove a hotdog down her face so fast so she could have "ice cream, ok, mom?" (which she never ended up getting, oops), and dodged stepping in a half eaten cheeseburger, it was time to pack up and head home.

Fairs are weird. They bring out an interesting crowd of people to say the least. But Saturday night, we were totally in that crowd, and we owned it.


On the drive home, amidst an overtired Lucy meltdown (she'd been an angel the entire night, poor kid), Declan and I couldn't help but smile and talk about the fun we had. It was like we had a little eavesdropper, because from the back seat we hear, "I wanna go back to the fair, dad!"...

and then he said "That was just the beginning, you've got lots of fun fair years ahead of you, baby girl..."

I couldn't help but burst a little in my heart at the thought of all these years of memory making still to come.



bring it on.