Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grin and bear it

This little stinker has been giving me a run for my money lately.

In his defense, he is battling it out with his gums and teeth. Both his eye teeth are bulging and threatening to poke through any second. And I have a hunch that some molars are planning the same escape route as well. Poor little buddy.

Notice the unsnapped choose your battles, that was one I was bound to lose....

He has been miserable.....MIS-ER-ABLE.

I had to hold him through his nap again yesterday...and my hubby wonders why I always beg for a massage at the end of the day. Although, I have to say that there is something incredibly sweet and serene staring at that little sleeping face. Reminds me of all the milk coma's and sack-of-potato baby snuggles that I miss so dearly sometimes.

Then he woke up, and I spent the remainder of the day trying to convince that oh-so-sweet baby that the world in fact was not over just because I wouldn't stand at the light switch letting him turn it on and off over and over...and over again.

I was able to side track him for about two minutes....

before the attitude started creeping out again.

Then there were more tears, more rolling around screaming, more overly-dramatic head whips...

And Kyle wasn't even close to being home.

When all else fails, when those blasted teeth cause this much grief, the only thing I could think of doing was dance.

So we cranked up some Christian rock on Pandora (mama needed her soul soothed ALOT by this point) And with baby on my hip and three year old at my feet we danced our little hearts out. We may have sang a little too loudly and a little too out of tune....

But there were smiles, there was a one year old attempt at singing, big brother showing off his moves (thankfully he has forgotten his fascination with ballet that he had ALL LAST WEEK!) and this mama's heart soaked in the moment and was refreshed.

Precious success.

And when the waterworks returned later, I found that a pull-up on the head was a simple solution.

I mean, why not? 

Here's to hoping those toothers start showing themselves, so my little bud can get back to enjoying life again. But if not, I have a whole drawer full of pull-ups :)

Friday, January 24, 2014


It's been a busy, tiring, long, and incredibly wonderful week.

I don't know quite what has happened to my littlest (story of my life with Mr B) he has suddenly felt the need to be attached to either my leg or my hip at all times. If I so much as think about moving two inches from him, he screams and cries, and reaches out to lead me back to him. And don't get me started on his naps.... I find myself either letting him sleep in my arms or standing in his doorway, with it open just a crack so he can see me peeking in. Waiting until he stops popping his head up every few seconds to make sure I am still there, until finally, he drifts off....and I tip-toe away trying to avoid all the squeaky floorboards.

He also is back to waking up several times a night (I don't know why I am even surprised by this) and by waking, I mean, screaming like his life depends on it,  immediately turning off the water works the second I pick him up....and then demanding I take him to bed to nurse. Upon nursing for a few seconds he pops off, homes in for kisses.....then wants to roll around our bed until the wee hours of the morning....talking and laughing, often right in my face. Last night we actually wound up with both boys snuggled in bed with us. I think the two of them have been conspiring against us, they have impeccable timing as to when they begin and end their night time fits.

I can't really complain though, both boys gave me quite the birthday gift and slept solid without making a peep the entire night before my birthday.  I'm not stretching the truth when I say that I felt the most rested and rejuvenated in entire 32 years. I guess they figured that was all the sleep I needed to carry my tired body through the rest of the week.

Thirty-two Years.

Why does that sound so much worse than 31? Good thing I got spoiled rotten and scored in the gift department.....softens the blow of growing older just a little.

My two favorite gifts that are already getting tons and tons of use, a new camera lens and a Vitamix blender (well, it was both Christmas/birthday).

The lens, the nifty fifty, as most people kindly call it, is just as it sounds. I can't stop snapping away, while it's definitely a bit of a learning curve for me, I am already loving the results.

So prepare yourself for even more picture overload on the blog, as I'm sure I won't be able to help myself. I have such incredibly cute subjects to practice on...although, Cole spends more time telling me "NO MORE PICTURES MAMA!" than actually smiling for the camera. So I have to be sneaky when I when I try to capture him. Hence, the very few of him actually smiling at the camera!

Bennett, on the other hand.....well, he hasn't learned how to dodge the camera yet....and is actually quite the little ham. So I plan on taking full advantage until the day that he starts yelling "No pictures!"

And I may have a soft spot for knit hats with little ears....

My other big surprise gift, the Vitamix blender, gets used every single day. Not even exaggerating. Every morning I make the boys and I a green smoothie of some sort. It's a great way to sneak in both veggies and fruit for the boys, and actually helps give me the much needed energy to keep up with the turkeys.....especially this week, so very thankful for it's goodness this week, the Lord knew I needed it!

So far this has been our favorite, as you don't taste the greens as much as some others we have tried.

Green Smoothie

1 C vanilla almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
3/4 C water
4-5 ice cubes ( more or less depending on how cold you like it)
1 ripe banana
2 Tbls almond butter
2 Tbls chocolate ovaltine (or plain cocoa powder works)
1 Tbls chia seeds or ground flax meal
2 handfuls of organic spinach
- I sometimes like to toss in about 1/3 C of frozen organic tart cherries or half an avocado(the avocado makes it really cream and almost ice cream like)


Place liquid in blender first, then toss in the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, I like for it to get slightly frothy. Pour and enjoy.

And share with someone you love. :)

Sharing is caring, and these two sure do care for each other. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


So I have attempted to write several posts, but for some reason none of them feel good enough for posting. So I am going to do a semi Wordless Wednesday instead.

This picture made my heart stand still in all its tenderness.

Brothers, this is what it's all about.


Hand in hand, walking through life.

And mama gets to watch...sometimes referee, but mostly soak up the joy and love between these two.

How I hope and pray there love only strengthens with time. May they never stop reaching out to hold the others hand.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our weekend in a nutshell and our fireplace makeover!

If you thought I was joking about all the additional help we receive while trying to do home improvements, please, allow me to enlighten you.

We have a strict dress code around here. Thomas undies, especially during work time.

And there is that rat tail in all it's glory, just begging me to whack it off. But currently he won't let me touch his hair....

First he found the hammer.

 Look at those biceps. Just look at em! Must be all that hammering.

He's so good, he doesn't even have to watch where that hammer is headed.....

And then this.

Cole.....where ya going bud?

Uh, forget something?

All that chiseling.....must have needed to give those biceps a rest. :)

And while he rested those guns, Kyle was able to switch out some blinged out gold door knobs for some lovely oil-rubbed bronze ones. Definitely helps, and I just love the black and white contrast.

Little by little, our home is coming together.

The biggest and best improvement thus far was finally completed today! And I CANNOT take my eyes off of it. Remember Mr. Green?

About two months ago we ripped off that green marble and painted the mantle white....and then there it sat, for TWO months! Honestly though, it looked one hundred times better with no green surround (really when was that ever in style?!) that I didn't even mind the back board that was nailed up against the white.

Then this weekend, I saw magic happen. I saw the vision of a beautiful fireplace unfold before my eyes. Kyle put on the surround stone! And it is GOR-GEOUS!

Doesn't even looks like the same fireplace. I just want to sit and stare at it all day long. And sometimes I do. He did such a good job, you wouldn't even know this was his first fireplace reno.

And just when I thought the weekend couldn't get any better then the beautiful fireplace, it was topped off by this.

I happened to look out the window....

My youngest, driving.

Looks like I will be having two little boys screaming in the back seat because I won't let them drive to Nana's....

Still a little shocked Cole gave up the wheel for Mr. B. True love right there.

Check out the drool, when oh when are those blasted teeth going to pop through?

He is always watching and checking out whatever big bro is doing....doesn't even matter how awesome what he's doing is.

Grass is always greener.....

So he quickly swiped the trike that Cole drug out of the garage.

And made himself quite comfortable, ringing that bell like he was a man on a mission. Check out those cheeks, he is finally getting some! I can't wait to see how much he is weighing at his appointment later this week.

And then Cole thought it would be a good idea to do this....

And they both wound up with mugfuls of grass and dirt.

I should have been running to the grocery store, but I was finding too much delight watching my boys. I love how much they want to be together, how they explore, instigate, and try new things by each other's side. They were born for their companionship, I'm convinced of that.

But sometimes chalk drawing on a wet sidewalk, all by oneself, is just what is needed to round out a day in the life of this toddler.

Come on, help a brotha out!

And then it ended, just like that.

The weekends always go way too fast for this mama. My Saturday was spent working on an upcoming shower.  Kyle had a boy's day, which I'm sure included a football game....or two. By the time I got home I was nearly devoured by a tired, hungry little boy who had not had his fill of nursing for the day. So nice to feel needed. :)  After a wonderful Sunday morning spent at church, complete with baby snuggles and baby cries. We ended our Sunday with night terror after night terror, and a gassy/teething/not wanting to sleep baby.

Oh well, could be worse. I could have actually gone grocery shopping and missed out on all of the above.

It's the little things that make our weekends beautiful, of that, I'm sure.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The moments I don't want to forget.

I suppose it's time i should try and sit down to do a little 2013 recap.  2013 was a great year, it was hard, it was challenging, it was tiring, it was stretching, it was growing, but most of all it was full of so much love.

SO much love from two little boys who adore one another. And I, them.

And there are so many things I don't want to forget about this past year....because in all honesty I feel like I floated by in a dense sleep-deprived fog for most of it.

I don't want to forget the early mornings that began in the dead of night because of a sweet little baby who decided at 4 months that sleep was not his top priority. But tugging deeply at his mama's heart was at every hour, every minute of every day and night.

I don't want to forget those late night snuggles, those moments where I sat in a half-awake trance, listening to the sweet baby breath melodically dancing off my neck, the curls that tickled my nose with each breath, and the never ending nursing that always seemed to calm. We spent a lot of precious time together, just me and my baby.

We still spend a lot of time together in the dead of night. But slowly we are making progress, which makes me not want to forget those long nights even more. I never want to get to a place where I take sleep for granted, ever. I don't ever want to get to a place where I take all the energy, patience, learning, and love that goes into parenting for granted. Each moment has meaning, has impact, has purpose....even if it means dragging your feet out of bed every hour in the dead of night to snuggle up a crying baby.

I don't want to forget the excitement of someone learning how to be mobile, who finally had a way to follow big brother around. And a big brother who loved having a little shadow, who learned how to care and share with him.

Those moments when the scurrying of knees on the hardwood suddenly was replaced by the padded steps of footed pajamas. And a little boy who was so happy that he could officially participate in the countless rounds of tag on foot, and was no longer legging behind because of being on all fours.

The binky smiles. Oh how I love those smiles. Cole never liked a binky, some people despise the binky...but I have loved the relationship this little one has had with his. Not too dependent upon it, but loves it none the less.

When big brother learned to jump and both feet actually left the ground. When he did somersaults and little brother tried to emulate them. There was a lot of looking up to big brother. Watching him and thinking he was pretty great.

Yes, there were many of these sweet smiles as he got to engage with his hero who he looks up to so adoringly.

The trains. Oh, the trains. I know I talk about them a lot, but it's simply because they have been played with countless hours by 4 little hands.

Hands that have learned how to take turns, share, and hold each other when needed. Much of 2013 was consumed with building intricate and expansive tracks, being ripped apart by the youngest, choo-chooing, bashing and crashing, and tripping over runaways.

There also may or may not have been an incident involving a distracted mom, helping one little boy with his shoes, another little boy with a motorized train....and my hair. Let's just say, I lost a chunk that day....thanks sweet boy.

Those trains have definitely brought out a special bond between these two.  And Cole continued to amaze me in his love and care for his little fan.

(Please don't stare too much at the horrible hack job I did on Cole's hair...that has also been a learning curve for this mama in the past way am I going to plunk down 10-15 bucks a head for their hair to be cut!) For the record, there are no longer weird looking side-burn-taily-things screaming amateur....little by little I am improving. Hopefully 2014 will be the perfecting a technique year. :)

However, there may or may not be one little boy walking around with a rat tail and another one that has an awesome 80's mullet going on right now... it's not even business in front and party in back...more like party all over, thanks to those crazy curls!

But we are talking about 2013 and not the now.

Back to 2013...

I don't want to forget the moment Kyle and I looked at each other and knew we had outgrown our sweet little home in the city, and decided it was time to become Washingtonians.

The hours we spent looking and searching for our next home. The tears, the discouragement, the moment when we fell in love with an old farmhouse, at the same exact our hands shook and sweat as we signed on the lines (or maybe it was just mine).

And then we had to walk away as we realized even with all the charm in the world, it just wasn't what was best for our family right now. Then how God blessed us with our new home, and to be honest, I was a bit heart broken as it didn't compare in the charm department to the old farm house....but together we have learned how to put in our own grunt work, add love, and some charm little by little.

We also learned it can make a 10 minute task turn into a 5 hour one with two little ones wanting to grab nails and hammers....for the record, none were consumed, no one was hurt, and the pictures got hung.

When both boys finally got their own rooms, and then Bennett reverted back to his newborn days, and Cole had night terrors. Sleep. There wasn't much of it this past year. So we did a lot of walks, a lot of park dates, and a lot of swinging to try and shake the cloud of sleepiness that seemed to hover over us.

As you can see, the no sleep had the least amount of effect on those two punkin heads.

I don't want to forget when Cole finally found his words, and all the sweetness that began to pour from those lips. The times  he ran into my room (drenched and fresh from the bath) to give baby and I kisses goodnight. When he went bounding out of the room and I called "I love you" after him and I heard "I wub you do" as he disappeared down the hall.

Or when he wore nothing else but my headband all day under his armpits and walked around proudly proclaiming it was his "scarp" (scarf).

The huge, full-blown tantrum and screaming down the freeway when I told him "No, Cole you can't drive the car to Nana's today...."

The "No problem Mama, No problem" when I thanked him for helping me clean up.

I definitely don't want to forget the love of cooking that was better established this past year. Or when Cole would throw fits because he wanted to help make "deener" at 7 in the morning.....

This past year I have found more joy in getting to know my sweet little man and all the thoughts bouncing about his little head.

And speaking of joy, I cannot express the amount of joy that welled in my heart the first time we sat down for dinner, and like usual we told Cole it was time to pray, reached out to hold his hand....and then heard someone hollering his disapproval behind us. I turned to see Bennett clearly upset that he was waiting patiently for someone to hold his precious little hand so that he could also pray with us.

From that moment on, every night, before dinner he holds our hands and waits for the "amen" before he resumes his eating.

And as much as I want to forget the moment that nearly scared the life out of me. I know I can't, and I know 2013 will always be the year when I realized how quickly life can end, the year I got a slight taste of what it would feel like to have to say good-bye to part of my own flesh and bones. The year I I realized I don't ever, not for a moment want to take these little hearts for granted. They are a blessing in every form. They breathe life and joy...even in the early morning. They are my world. My loves.

That moment of holding my nearly one-year-old baby seizing in my arms symbolizes so much of what this year has been about.

Soaking in the moments, all of them.  Savoring stages. Kissing soft cheeks, staring in the blues of their eyes. Being still. Being real. Embracing change, welcoming the unknown. But remaining steadfast in the truth that Christ was and is there to guide us through it all. That He gave us this life, these kiddos to be in the moment with.

We have grown  a lot in 2013. We have all come out stronger, with more thanksgiving and more love than we thought possible. We have grown in personality, in ability, in closeness, in the reality of life itself.

I am grateful for this life that God has given me, I am excited for all that He has in store for 2014. I know it will be hard, it will be challenging, but I am also confident that it will be better and bigger than we imagine, and that our love will only grow in leaps and bounds.

How can it not with these two?

I mean, seriously. The sweetness.

Bring it 2014, we are ready for you.