7 things i’ve learned in parenting

now i’m no expert in parenting (far from it, in fact!), but i’ve learned a few things in my five short years.

be patient – if your well of patience isn’t deep enough, dig deeper.  sorry, but we’re the adults here. your sanity and your kids happiness depend on it.   our kids are a reflection of us, and on the days my fuse is short, my kids are in crazytown.  on the days i can give more of myself, they’re calm…well, calmer.  it took me a long time to see that.  kids are constantly watching you and listening to what you say about them (even if you don’t think they are).  they will read your emotional health on the daily and reflect it right back at you.

go to bed early – you’ll have more of the aforementioned patience, yahoo!  i know it sucks, it means your evening is gone, your already limited time with your partner gets cut, BUT your fuse will be so much longer the next day.  and even if your kids each get up twice a night, your collective ‘napping’ overnight will add up to something good.  ha!  at the very least, pick three days a week to turn in early, and your body (and your family!) will thank you.

get up early – ok, i don’t do this on the regular, but when i do wake up before everyone else and get just 30 minutes to myself, it sets a tone for my day…a good one. i’m happier, calmer, and feel like i’ve already done something just for me.  read a book, practice yoga, drink coffee in silence, whatever makes you tick.  again, pick a few days each week, and see how it makes you feel.

everything is a phase – good or bad, with kids, it’s all a phase.  seriously.  sleeping, not sleeping, stranger danger, teething, hitting, clinging to your leg, you name it.  we’ve all been there with one or all of these, and just try to remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’.  it might not seem like it in the moment, but you’ll wake up one day, and your kid won’t be sleeping on your bedroom floor anymore.  i’m looking forward to that day.  ;)

undivided attention – now, some days are just plain cray cray, but try to give each child even just 10 minutes a day where you aren’t distracted by other kids, the dishes, or your phone.  make eye contact, talk, laugh.  maybe it’s early in the morning, while others are napping, or stealing a few minutes at bedtime.  you’ll help fill their ’emotional tank’ for the day.

put a positive spin on things – gosh, my mom taught me this, and it works a lot of the time.  the answer is always ‘yes’, but make it work for you.  it’s 7 am, and your kid asks for candy.  the answer is ‘yes, after lunch!’  can we build a fort?  ‘yes, after you pick up the 40 bajillion toys on the floor!’  can i have a sleepover?  ‘yes, when you’re 7!’  ha!

stop comparing yourself to others – ok, this is waaayyy easier said than done, and something i work on continuously, but quit it.  we each have our gifts (mine is not housekeeping) and that’s ok.

in an ideal world, we would be all these things every day, and that’s something to strive for, but let’s be real.  kids are crazy and they push us to our limits – currently mine are fighting about something stupid and scaling the posters on my bed- and perfection is just not possible.  if you’re like me, we’re living moment to moment and just trying to survive most days, but see if you can work in a few of these things each day and see where it takes you. remember, we are raising men and women.  

life ain’t perfect, but i’m choosing to find the beautiful in everyday.

   
  

   

meet {hudson}

many of you are family and friends and/or follow me on instagram, so this is old news, but we added a new member to our family in august this year, and we are all smitten.  meet hudson.

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he arrived with gusto – meaning he had bilateral pneumos (partially collapsed lungs) and a broken clavicle.  the latter is not uncommon during childbirth, but the pneumos seemed to puzzle everyone – especially the fact that he had them bilaterally.  he spent his first days in the NICU at st. luke’s on the plaza, where he was transferred the evening he was born.  i stayed at the hospital where i delivered him, st. luke’s north, until the next morning, which was excruciating.  he stayed in the hospital just one extra day than he should have, but it seemed like years that we were there, particularly that first day, when we didn’t know what was going to happen.  thankfully, the NICU staff was brilliant, his body took care of itself, and our stay was short.  i had some ‘survivors guilt’ leaving the NICU though.  there are so many babies that will be there for weeks or months.

fast forward four months, and we have a very social guy who loves to be held {i.e. rather needy} – must be a case of FOMO {fear of missing out}.  he’s basically a third child who thinks he is a first born.  he is long and lean {busting out of 6 month footie pj’s}, easy to smile and giggle, and very well loved, but don’t think about putting this kid down for two minutes so you can pee.  ticklish on the chin and chest and loves to have you clap his hands, but again, don’t put him down.  beckett and chloe adore him, sometimes too much, but it’s a good problem to have.

i am so aware of fleeting time with him because i know how quickly these first years go by – in a blur of giggles and crying and sleep {if you’re lucky}!

 

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snow day

the first snow of the season.  there’s not much better.  jared’s office even closed so we all got a bonus day of christmas break.  yahoo!!

snow provides the most beautiful light so i had to get out {in my pajamas!} to get a few shots of the kids.

i can’t make any promises {since we’ve added a (very needy) human to our household since i was last here}, but my goal for 2016 is to get back to this space.  see you again soon!!

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life {lately}

whew – it has been so long since i’ve visited this space.  it is really a hectic season of our lives, but in the best way.  the kids are running on all cylinders at. all. times.  if they’re both awake, time to myself is non-existent, and since beckett is no longer napping, that mean’s i’m ‘on’ from 7 in the morning to sometimes 9 at night.  we have the kind of kids who are super-social and want us to play with them all the time, which is awesome – but doesn’t leave much time for anything else.  i’m trying to let them be when they play (nicely) together, or each by themselves, but to be honest, that doesn’t happen very often.  i feel like we’re still in straight-up survival mode.

school started friday for beckett, so i’m looking forward to the structure and routine that it creates.  he goes from 8 -12 on monday, wednesday, and friday, and he really loved it last year, so i’m really hoping he has a similar experience this year.  we did meet-the-teacher last tuesday, and i think he was a little confused why we were in a different room with a different teacher.  i had tried to prep him for it, but he was a bit perplexed.  he seemed to have a great day yesterday, and all he can talk about is how many race cars are in his new classroom, so he’s gonna be just fine.  i just got him signed up for soccer so i’m reeeealllly excited to see how that goes.  i can actually remember my brother playing soccer at this age, and it was basically a herd of kids chasing a ball – i expect the same for beckett’s time this fall.  beckett is in school, signed up for soccer, and is going to be 4 in 10 days.  i mean, seriously, how did this happen?

chloe hit the 18 month milestone on august 1 and is a little chatterbox.  she is picking up new words every day.  she says yes the most clearly, and recently said ‘take a bath’ – her first real phrase.  she is obsessed with dogs of any kind and loves to see them in person (though sometimes she’s a little skittish at first – funny since we have a 95 lb moose that lives with us), in pictures, and drawings.  she is pretty great with animal sounds and identifying different animals in pictures.  she gets particularly excited when she sees a cat, dog or monkey.  she also loves the monkeys at the zoo, and gets super excited if they’re running around.  chloe is basically running around too.  she and beckett love to race, and they’ll line up against our dining chairs, and she’ll say ‘go!’ and take off.  beckett loves to race anything and is trying to turn everything (from running to eating) into a competition .  is this a dude-thing?  i don’t get it.

we are entering a busy few months with three weddings, a family reunion, school activities and soccer, but i hope to visit here a little more often.  it sure feels good to write.

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spring {is about to spring}

well, the cold weather here has been peppered with a few gloriously spring-like days lately, and we are so ready for the warmer weather to be an every day occurrence.  i can see the light, and with that, spring clothes!  it’s funny how, in the fall, i can’t wait to get in boots and sweaters, and by march, i’m ready to chuck everything out the window.  anywho, my kids are taking monster naps today – at the same time (can i get a hallelujah!?!), so i had a minute to think about the blogosphere.  and since i’m thinking spring, i thought i’d put together a few outfit ideas for the coming weeks.  now, keep in mind that i’m a full-time mama, and i’m not getting dressed for work each day.  but, i do like to try and put my best foot forward when i can…and have the time.  my mom has the best term that i’ve adopted too – i’d say these looks fit into the ‘casually darling’ realm.  and i must say, i’ve become a little predictable lately with my formula.  i think it helps me get ready faster though – easy top, denim, neutral shoe, statement necklace.  go.

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new art {in the dining room}

so, months ago, my sweet and amazingly artistic friend, becky, came to my house.  did i say she was amazingly talented?  because, really, that’s a gross understatement.  anyway, on her way out, she suggested that my dining room needed a huge black and white piece of art.  bam!  i had been thinking the exact same thing, so i knew the idea was a ‘go’.  the wall is big, and it needed something big – like 4ft x 5 ft big – and i knew i wanted to try to do it myself.  having made the decision to do a black and white piece, i was then paralyzed in choosing what i wanted…for weeks.  i did lots of searching for pieces i liked and thought were do-able, but came up with nothing i was really wowed by.  a few weeks later, becky sent me this, and basically said, ‘do it’.  it was the perfect piece just the push i needed.

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so, with a little coaching, i did it….

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i mean, i know it’s not perfect, and i still might go back and touch it up, but it’s exactly what the room needed – a bit of edge to contrast the feminine chandelier – and it makes for a pretty bold entrance into our home.  it’s the first thing you see.  whammo.

dear {chloe}

dear chloe –

it was this day, febuary first one year ago, that you were laid into my arms.  a few days overdue, you had to be evicted.  i was induced  on a friday morning.  we got there at 7, they got the pitocin running at about 8, and at 11.44 you were here.  it was pretty fast, and fairly easy (i say that now, as a year has passed), and our lives would never ever be the same.  if i had to think of one word for you, it would be joy.  you radiate it.

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you are literally a ray of sunshine, sweet child.  you’ve got a smile for anyone who asks for it (except for picture-taking), and your eyes shine all the time.  you have the happiest little soul in your teeny body, and i know an amazing woman will grow out of it.  you are smart, strong, persistent, joyful, easy-going, and sweet as can be.  i did some ugly crying last night over you turning one – not because i don’t want to see you grow up, just because it feels like it’s going much too fast.  i’d like to freeze time for a while. right. now.  i am truly in awe of how much can happen in a year – you’ve gone from squishy newborn to a little person in what seems like no time at all.  i’m so excited to see what the next year will bring and who you will be 12 months from today.

love you, sweet girl.

– mama

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p.s.  parents of small children.  do yourself a favor and blow up some balloons this weekend.  they have entertained us for hours the last few days!

chloe {11 months}

chloe girl, you’re going to be a year old in a week, so i figure i’d better document your 11th month quick!

at 11 months, you are saying ‘uh-oh’ in context, mostly when you throw food on the floor for miller.  i think the two of you have a little deal going on.  he is a huge fan, and totally knows what ‘all done’ means.  if he’s not already camped out under your highchair, he’ll come running when he hears me say it.  you really like kiwi, cheese, apples, tortillas, and ham, and you babble constantly as you eat.

at christmastime, you really loved the tree (i mean, who doesn’t), and as i would carry you down the stairs, you would point and say ‘ta’.  and on the subject of stairs, you love them.  mainly love to go up and i have been trying to teach you to come down on your belly, feet first.  still working on that one.  you also love animals and carry them around.  you know what an elephant and monkey say if we ask you…most of the time.

around the middle of december you started to test out standing on your own, cruising around with one hand, and by the beginning of january, you were taking a few steps.  at first, by accident, and then we could see you start to figure it out.

my prediction is that you are going to be super social (wonder where you would’ve gotten that??) and athletic.  you are much less content to sit up in your crib and play.  beckett would sit up there after his nap for up to an hour babbling and playing, but you are ready to get back to the party.  you seem to be quite coordinated and have a little ornery streak, just like beckett.  you love to crawl on top of our little art table in the basement, using a stool to help you get up.  you’ve even screeched a bit to get our attention as you do it.  once you make it up, you’re so proud of yourself and just laugh.  honestly, we can’t help but laugh too.  memaw has said i’m getting paid back – apparently i was a little climber too.  dang it.

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{you love this mirrored chest…and the baby that seems to always be inside it}
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and a happy new year {to you}

for our wild and crazy new years eve, we set up a little ‘photo booth’ in our basement {all the credit for this idea goes to jared}, got dressed up, and acted pretty dang silly.  i drew some ‘fireworks’ on the chalkboard wall in the basement, threw the camera on a tripod and used our handy-dandy remote control.  it was fun, and i am so happy to have these pictures.  i think they’ll be really fun to look back on years from now.  happy 2014 to each of you.  i think it’s gonna be a good year.  

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{haaaaaaaaapy new year!}

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meet {jasper}

we have a new pet.  his name is jasper and he’s amazingly low-maintenance.

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i’m kind of into the whole antler trend, but not so sure about hanging up actual antlers.  i don’t know, it must be my bleeding heart for animals.   i found this guy at the target and got to work taking him up a notch.
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i used gold acrylic paint on his antlers to give him a little sparkle, and painted up a piece of mdf we had laying around to give him more of a presence.  our ceilings are really tall in our family room so we really needed something with height over the mantle.  also, adios builder beige.  our painter will be here next week, and i am so. so. excited.
jasper wasn’t weird enough so i added a scarf.  he’s totally comfortable in his manhood, so pink was a must.  and for the holidays, he got really dressed up.
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