And They're Off!

This morning, I said goodbye to my little man as he drove off with his Aunt Juju and Uncle Ryan.  This will be his first time away from us for more than one overnight.  Granted, it's just two nights, but it feels like such a big milestone!!  They're heading down to South Carolina for my younger sister's high school graduation.  We'll be joining them at my mom and step-dad's on Sunday morning.  He's going to have such an awesome time, but I can't seem to squash my worrying (typical...) I hope they drive safe, I hope everyone else on the road drives safe around them, I hope he doesn't miss me too much at bedtime, I hope he doesn't get sunburned, I hope, I hope, I hope...

He's been so excited about this trip, asking me the past three nights at bedtime "will Juju and Ryan be here when I wake up?"  This morning was the big day when they actually did arrive overnight and when he woke up, he went quietly downstairs and crawled onto the pull-out to snuggle them.  When I went down to check on him, he was just laying next to aunt as she slept.  He was so content.  They left at 8:30 this morning.  I just talked to my sister and he's already told her "I like this car ride, Aunt Juju!"  (Let's see if he's still saying that in another 8 hours or so...)  I'm so happy for him to have this time - independence from Mom and Dad.  He needs it.  And quite honestly, we do, too.  We'll be freshly re-charged when we meet with the family on Sunday for a long-overdue few days with the South Carolina extension of our clan!


My Word for 2011

As 2011 approached, I read several blog posts about the typical stuff: resolutions, reviewing the year past, and setting goals for the year ahead.  A couple of the posts mentioned choosing a "word" for the year to come.  A word to focus on with intention and to live by.  Some people chose words like Trust, or Authenticity, or Kindness.  I didn't feel a connection to any one word more than another.  Having just had our second child on Christmas Eve and navigating life as a mother of two, I think the most appropriate word at the time would have been something like Overwhelm or Tired. But one word has shown itself to me time and again the past several months and I have declared it my "word for 2011."


In previous blog posts, I wrote about my participation in Simple Mom's Project: Simplify, which led me to her book, "Organized Simplicity" (which I'm devouring and putting into practice with gusto every chance I get).  This book focuses on de-cluttering - each room of the house one by one, as well as life in general, finances, etc... clearing out the crap.

Then one day I was browsing my Amazon Wishlist and saw that over a year ago I listed a book called "Simplicity Parenting" and bought it that day.  Very randomly, another site I follow, Clean shortly thereafter started an online book club based on that exact book!  We've just finished week/chapter four of "Simplicity Parenting" and while it's interesting to see many of my own family and child-rearing values echoed on the pages, there are so many other great ideas to put into practice - all with goal in mind of raising happy, well-adjusted kids in a loving, peaceful, rhythmic home free of physical and emotional clutter.  I plan on writing more about this book once I finish it.

Project: Simplify, Organized Simplicity, Simplicity Parenting... I realized I'm obviously drawn to a theme right now and it's not surprising since the whole of 2011 has been an ongoing challenge for me  as I struggle to balance my roles as Mother, Wife, Housekeeper, Cook, and Employee.  As I've said before, I'm a recovering perfectionist and I take it to heart to be the best I can be in every one of my roles, which often leads to frustration.  What better way to manage that than to embrace simplicity?

I love my word for 2011.  I'm glad it found me.  More correctly, I'm glad I finally noticed it.  It feels great to purge the junk of life, be it material or not, and focus on what matters.  And these guys are what matters...

I realize I just posted this photo on Mother's Day,
but it's my favorite right now, so you get to see it again.


I Heart Faces {Yellow}

This is my first entry in the weekly i heart faces photo-share!  The theme is "yellow".  This is Bug at our local mall, which has one of his favorite things in the "whole wild world"... a fountain to throw pennies into.  We went that day to do just that on an unscheduled afternoon while I was on maternity leave. His joy was tangible.


What is it with bedtime??

~ While putting him to bed one night, out of nowhere he says "The world is my nemesis!"  Wha??  Where on Earth did he come up with that??  I guess he really might be a superhero after all...

~ While putting him down for a nap (last week??), I was laying with him with the baby on my chest, hoping to catch some zzz's myself.  About a half hour into his nap, he pops up out of bed and leaves the room.  "Where are you going?  It's not time to get up yet!" I say.  He's blank.  Doesn't respond. I hear a strange sound and he walks back into his room buck naked.  "What did you do?  WHAT did you do?!?!"  Again, blank stare as he crawls back into bed.  I jump up to discover his rocket ship underpants in the hallway and the garbage can (the one we keep next to the kitty litter) has been used as a urinal.  Now I've heard of this (and may or may not have witnessed it myself) in drunken college boys, but I'm in real trouble if my 3 year old is a pee-pee-anywhere sleepwalker!  His dad sure did get a kick out of it.



Soccer Pix

Our little soccer team. Aren't they cute?

This season of soccer, their first, has been spent running around, not following the coaches' directions, but in their own little worlds as they aimlessly follow the ball around the field punctuated by the occasional lie-on-the-ground meltdown (as mom or dad PLEADS for them to please get up and a. kick toward the goal, b. follow the leader, or c. humor the coach in the next game of fetch.)

How I'd love to adopt that approach to life - just following my own whims, not paying attention to any of the demands being thrown at me...  Oh, to be three!  But next year!  Next year they really buckle down and start playing games!  That will be an adventure!  It really has been a lot of fun.  I'm just jealous.


Mommy Learns a Lesson

I'll admit, with the kids I can be quick to react.  When Bug does something that I specifically tell him not to do, I get frustrated as any mom would.  The other day, he taught me a valuable lesson about my quick reactions, one that their father was (thankfully) there to witness and to also point out as a real flaw of mine...
Sometimes, I need to stop and listen to the whole story.

Bug's preschool has cameras in his room that I'm able to log into from my computer at any time of the day while he's there.  I love it!  Yes, it feeds my helicopter-mom tendencies, but that's a whole other post!

When he was settling down for his nap one afternoon, I saw him take something out of his pocket several times, look at it, hold it for a bit, and put it back.  It piqued my interest, so I watched him more closely that day and saw him do it several times.  He never showed it to any of the other kids or to his teachers.

I picked him up, forgetting to ask him about what was in his pocket and once we were home and sitting down to dinner, he reached in and pulled out one of his Mobigo game cartridges.  I remembered then about the pocket mystery and quickly scolded him, telling him that he's not supposed to take toys to class and I was angry because he could've lost his game cartridge.

"But Mom, it's my clock and I was waiting for you to come get me 
and the clock said you would be here soon."  




I love this kid's heart.  I love that he has an imagination.  I love that he loves me and misses me during the day because I love and miss him, too.  I don't check his pockets before school.  I honestly don't care if he takes his "clock" again.  If it gets him through the day with a smile, then I guess some rules are made to be broken.


Right Now #3

Right now (photos taken Saturday afternoon):

~ It's warm and the windows are open.  The only noise is the traffic in the distance.  It's a peaceful afternoon.

~ Button and I have just woken up from napping in Bug's room. Today was an exhausting soccer day and we all crashed together.  Poor daddy had to go back out and work, though.

~ We're all sick with a cold.

~ Button is feeling playful.  She's exploring in her crib - her owl, her mobile, her silky little blanket, her feet.

~ Bug is still sleeping, wrapped up in his "polka dot blankie".  I received that Little Giraffe blanket as a gift from my mom the day after I told her I was pregnant.  It was my first baby gift! We were all so sure I was having a girl that she bought a brown and pale pink blanket with pink and green polka dot edging.  It's his one and only "polka dot blankie" to this day.


I love this.

Happy Mother's Day

 This Mother's Day, I was greeted in bed by my favorite people, 

 had brunch with friends, 

 and put my feet up.

From my family to yours, Happy Mother's Day!



Our whole family has been sick with a nasty cold this week.  I swear, it's been our unhealthiest winter/spring on record thanks to Bug's entry into the preschool world.  We haven't been up to much other than sneezing and hacking, but I can share a few fun links to browse. Hope you're having a great weekend!

~ we made these for Teacher Appreciation Week
~ this video made me laugh - thanks, Kim!
~ Tina Fey's mother's prayer is hilarious
~ a great summary of some of my favorite sites


Our Day at the Gardens

Just a few shots from our April 24th anniversary trip to Longwood Gardens. 
Do you see those legs rolls??  Mmmmm yummy!

That's a teething necklace I'm wearing.  Isn't it great?  One more reason why I heart Etsy.  
Who'd a thunk it... making a fashion statement that's covered in slobber!

Channeling Mary Poppins!  We forgot her hat.  Thank goodness the gift shop had umbrellas.
(P.S. Don't you just love a man that wears a baby?)

Of course, the little man had to have an umbrella if dad and sister got one.  
I think it suits him.


Time to Plant!

Bug and his daddy planting the garden in 2009.

There's a patch of land at the back of our property that backs right up to the woods and is technically owned by the state, but they don't do anything with it or care for it.  Two years ago we asked our neighbor if she'd like to do a garden with us on this land.  My husband installed a raised bed and away we went!  Our garden is in it's third year.  We've grown blueberries, raspberries, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, thyme, lavender, basil, peppermint, peas, beans, peppers - hot and green, oregano, and a jungle of tomatoes.  For the past two years, we manned the helm of planting and reaping, but with two little ones, I gladly handed the reins to Miss Carol this year.  She and Bug got to work this weekend.  I can't wait to see what pops up!


One year ago...

what you don't understand she quietly confided
is that I need you more than you need me 
the tiny eyes stared back confused
she thought she would hold on and never let go 

Almost one year ago to the day, we found out I was pregnant again.  It was a surprise, even though we knew we wanted another one someday.  We just weren't quite mentally prepared for so soon.  Dear husband was a new business owner, having just bought out his employer in February and I was due to be the Maid of Honor in my sister's wedding in June.  I hadn't imagined being a pregnant bridesmaid and was nervous to tell her the news.  I got upset thinking about how Bug would take it.  He had been our Sun and Moon for so long.  I was afraid he would resent the change, dislike the baby.  I was worried about how we would balance work, home, and family.  My husband didn't worry a bit.  He gave me countless reassuring hugs and smiles.  He was the yin to my yang and he was a very calming presence for me whenever I fretted.  Less than a month into the pregnancy, I relaxed into the idea.  I'm one of those odd ones that truly does enjoy pregnancy and even though the second one kicked my butt, I savored it.

Fast forward to today ~ I can't imagine our life without her.  She is exactly what I didn't know I needed.  I can't really put into words what I mean by that because our lives weren't lacking anything before her, but I truly do feel completed by having her.  I bought the beautiful artwork with the quote above while I was early in my pregnancy, before I knew we were having a girl, before I knew how much those words would resonate to me once she arrived... a gift to my future-self.

To say her brother adores her is the largest understatement I could tell.  She is his very own Sun and Moon.  There was never an ounce of jealousy. She typically awakes to him kissing her face (despite my protests to "please... let. her. sleep!) and he falls asleep at night asking for me to "put baby sister next to me."  I don't exaggerate when I say he says "I love you, baby sister" at least a dozen times a day.  From the moment she arrived, he has been her biggest fan.  The love is tangible.

The wedding was amazing!  Beautiful!  Stunning!  And my sister took the news with excitement, to my relief.  Thankfully for a forgiving waistline, I still fit into the pre-pregnancy ordered dress come June and I was actually grateful to be one of the few without a hangover the next day!

Balance remains a challenge... more than I actually imagined and maybe I'll talk more about that in the future, but it's a beautiful, chaotic life we've built... and it is perfect for us. 


Right Now #2


I'm a bit behind in posting this, but the last Right Now post by Willette was on Friday.  Here was my "right now" of that moment.

~ We'd just gotten home from Button's four month check up.  Here was the pile 'o schtuff I'd just schlepped in from the car.  That's 3 shopping bags, a diaper bag, a purse, a Bumbo, a Boppy, and my laptop. I swear I'm part pack mule these days.

~ This mountain of laundry awaits me.  It will keep waiting because...

~ Button and I were enjoying some serious tummy time!

Previous Right Now posts: #1