Monday, December 28, 2015

Dear Nick- Month 48

Dear Nick,

Just a few short weeks ago you celebrated your 4th birthday. It has been quite a milestone, really, it's like 4 years old is completely different than 3. You admit, now you are big-- because you are 4- and frankly I actually agree. You are more articulate, verbal, and self aware than I thought anyone at four could be.  You are still incredibly sweet, and I cant wait for all that is in store for us this year.

You are breaking through more firsts than I ever thought possible, I think you are remarkably smart. You know all your letters and sounds and have even starting reading beginning readers books (BOB Books). You can write all the letters, and understand that you read from left to right. And yes, you do know your left and right (even better than mommy).  You can count pretty darn high, you understand simple math , you still love to sing and play music, and your musicality is infectious.   I love to hear you talk and sing.

You are a very gentle little boy, yes you definitely have energy, but you are SO gentile.  Your little brother is always grabbing, swatting, throwing, hitting, and I have to admit I don't think I've seen you hit back. As much as you have wanted to.  You like to be the leader, I do wonder if you realize what an example you are setting. You seem very excited to meet your new baby brother or sister, you ask interesting questions, inquire about getting ready for his/her arrival, and the first time you felt a kick in the palm of your hand was like the lighting of the very first Christmas tree. Your face was so thrilled, I will never forget it. To have a  little boy to genuinely interested and concerned for this baby you haven't met fills my heart up so big I can hardly stand it.

You're love for mickey continues into your 4th year of life, and I am fairly certain we have seen almost every episode of mickey mouse club house that was ever made. Lucky for us, Mimi and Bob are taking our family to Walt Disney World next month and we will actually get to MEET the characters!!!  the first night we arrive we have dinner at Chef Mickey, I hope it goes as wonderfully as I hope. I know you and your brother are going to love riding all the rides, and frankly I cannot wait to have 4 straight days of all about you and Chris!!

You are still very coordinated, you seem to run and skip, and jump with ease, and you pick up new sports fairly easily.  Both your gross and fine motor skills to be developing normally, if not slightly faster than others. You keep up with older kids with ease, and sometimes tend to gravitate towards them at parties and other social situations.  You are shy at first but become very social when you warm up in most situations, but you do have a slightly underdeveloped knack for going with the flow. If things don't go as planned you have a hard time adapting, I am hoping this is just a stage.

You are over 42 inches now and 40 lbs at your last doctors appointment, you passed the hearing and vision tests at your age, and you continue to be long and lean. Finding pants for you I have a feeling will be a long standing challenge for me as your grow older.   You are a great sleeper, and I count my blessings every day that you and Chris share a room so harmoniously. You seem like a wonderful role model to him, and I love to see you laugh and play together every day.

This year will definitely be a year of change for us all, with a new family member arriving in March, and I (hope) my work situation will change drastically, and you may even be at a new school for pre-school and grade school beginning in the fall.  There is a lot to look forward to, and I am hoping we all adjust to what's to come with grace and ease.  I am hoping you will want to play a new sport, perhaps soccer or t-ball again this spring, and become and even better swimmer this summer. It's amazing how much you are growing and changing, and both you boys are exceptional in my eyes.

Right now some of your favorite things for your age:
-You love your mickey watch
-You pick candy over ice cream almost any day
-You still love trains (just like chris) so we now have a pass to enterTRAINment junction
-You are an excellent eater, and east most vegetables. Mini corn dogs might be one of your favorite food though
- you like to fix things and figure things out, if I gave you batteries I am pretty positive you could unscrew a battery pack and replace.
-You love Bob, and I know you look up to him more than anyone most days
-You like to help and be involved, but also like to lead and have things go your way
You are beautiful both inside and out. And I love you more than I could possibly love you, keep being wonderful.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dear Chris- Month 24

My Dearest Chris,

I know it's a couple weeks early, but I couldn't wait to write your birthday letter because I just have SO much to say about you. I don't even know where to start, you are a bird brand all your own and, frankly, I cannot get enough of you!! Let me start by saying it is NO coincidence that as your progressed through room after room at Kids R Kids, every one of your teacher has commented to me (MULTIPLE times!!) what a joy you are to have in their class, how sweet you are, and even that you are their favorite kids (if they even are allowed to tell me that). I believe it all. You really are one incredible sweet kid, and not to mention ADORABLE!!!!

You are still a little bigger than your brother at this age, your weight somewhere around 31 lbs. and probably close to 35 inches right now. No small kid, but you really are a crispy cream. All deliciousness on the inside. You go to bed happy and wake up happy, and it couldn't be more contagious. On the subject of sleeping, you are PERFECT!!! You love to sleep, at least you make bedtime effortless for us and I cannot thank you enough for that. You take great naps, and there is no fight when we put you to sleep. You just lay right down and that's all we hear from you until almost 11-12 hours later. And of course, you wake up happy as a clam. When daddy gets you out of your bed in the morning, you burst into where I am sleeping and yell " GOOD MORNIN!!!" and it's hilarious. Best alarm clock ever.

You love to dance, you love to sing, and your vocabulary is HUGE. I cant even begin to count all the words and sentences you know. Your favorite songs right now are the "itsy spider," the abc song, and "tinkle star" and yes, you know all the words. Just wait until the Christmas repertoire comes out in the coming weeks.  You say so much, whenever we are driving or walking or do anything you are always narrating your environment or pointing something out to me. Your new favorite word is "why." And I am pretty sure you have no idea what it means, but you say it anyway... all. the. time. 
Mommy: "Chris, don't throw the blocks"
Chris: "Why"
Mommy:" Because I don't want it to hurt the walls or someone"
Chris: "Why"
Mommy: Repeat previous answer
Chris: "why"
You always like to reprimand your brother when he is doing something wrong. And you have no shame in hitting him or "spank"ing him when you think it's necessary.  Nick never hits you back, but this is a constant battle with you two. Sharing is sometimes something you do harmoniously together, and other times it's the beginning to WWIII.  But you both seem to have no problems saying sorry, I think the words "im sorry nick" might be your most frequently used words.

I think you will be fully potty trained before you are 3, and probably MUCH before. I think you pee in your diaper a lot because it's easy, but frankly I think you got the peeing on the potty thing down. Every time I put you on the potty you can go, and that's amazing. I think it means you have some sense of coordination of what's happening, and right now it requires some care and attention on my part (and daycare) to really work with you. You are SO smart, and I think you pick up on things so quickly. You can navigate puzzles and games on the iPad incredibly well, I think it's way advanced for your age. You learn new words so quickly, you love to read all kinds of advanced books, you pick up things Nick says and does so quickly, you are just so, so smart.

You are also very physically advanced too, I have never seen 23 month old run so fast. I mean, those legs of yours can MOVE!!!  You love to chase after nick around the house, play trains, push cars and trucks around the floor,  go on rides in your little push car outside and hit the t-ball with the bat outside. You drag the tee, the bat, and the ball outside and set it up all the time when the weather is nice. And actually, you hit the ball SO well!!! Your form isn't perfect, but your hand-eye coordination for your age I think is astonishing.

You are a pretty laid back, go with the flow kind of a person. You are happy just going with the program, and that makes my job as mommy SO much easier.  You have your preferences, like you LOVE Boo Blaster at Kings island and REALLY insist on going on that ride whenever we pass it, but luckily the whole family enjoys it so it works out well. You are just big enough to start going on roller coasters now (on the very last day the park was open), you were cautiously but optimistically went on everything daddy took you on. A little scared before and during, but as soon as we got you off the first things out of your mouth were " SO FUN!" and " SO SO FAST!" You listen really well, and love to make us happy. When you dump out all the blocks you never hesitate to come help clean them up, and sing "clean up clean up every do share" and grab as many as you can carry to put them away.

You do have a sweet tooth, just like mommy, and I always seem you climbing up to get into the candy dish. You would eat your weight in sweets if I let you,  but ill just attribute it to you being so sweet inside and out. I could eat you up. You are just so adorable, so lovable, to cuddling, and just fantastic all around. I couldn't have dreamt of two better brothers than you two, and you fill our lives with more joy than every imaginable. And it just gets better. I cant wait to see all the fun stuff the holidays have in store, parties, seeing a Charlie brown Christmas (because you LOVE snoopy, sleep with yours every night), opening presents, birthday candles, so much... and then we go to Disney World in January with Mimi and Grandpa Bob. Soon your baby brother or sister will be here, life just keeps getting better.

Thank you for being you little bear. Happiest of birthdays to you, cant wait to celebrate your wonderfulness!! I love you more than anything!!!



Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall is in the air

Fall is in the air. And I say the same thing every year; I forget how much I love this season. I am blessed to live in a place where I get to experience the changing season, because I do look forward to the new experiences, the rush of memories associated with each, and the excitement of what adventures are in store. I truly LOVE Halloween, too. And this time of year is the best because all the fun around Halloween rolls right into Thanksgiving fun, and then the Christmas season (which, of course, is the BEST!).  It's only October 5th and we've already taken the boys to a pumpkin patch (granted, on a terrible day), and decorated for Halloween around the house (thanks, Nick!!), and have our costumes picked out (for the most part).

I really LOVE my part time schedule, and I am SO happy to have finished with End of Year activities at work, that just this past weekend was filled with fall.  And the weather was ALL across the board. After the fun filled day at the pumpkin patch Friday, Saturday was spent making homemade apple sauce (which filled the house with yummy smells), a fire in the fireplace, homemade chicken noodle soup, and roasted smores in the fire with Uncle Bobby. It was in the 40s and rainy the whole day, and it was SO wonderful to put sweatshirts on, eat warm food, watch movies,  and spend quality time together. And then Sunday was a new and different day all together. We had a great breakfast in the sunshine together, Nick and I played in the leaves together, and then got dressed up to go to a baptism and spend the entire day outside with tons of Matt's extended family. The day was BEAUTIFUL! It had to have been almost 80, the food was great, the company was great, and the kids were SO well behaved.  Watching those boys laugh and play is music to my ears, and a great ending to the week.

It's never a bad time to count the blessings in my life, and I do have ONE more to be thankful for. We are expecting baby #3!!! I am 16 weeks now and due on March 20th. But who knows when the little one will actually arrive. And this time we are not finding out-- I cant believe it, but we decided before we even conceived that it will be a surprise, and frankly it is neat having a little secret that no one knows (not even me!).  Pregnancy this time around was fairly similar to the last two, minus a little more nausea in the first trimester (and headaches this time around--something I am not used to getting regularly in general). Overall these days I am feeling pretty good, the cravings have subsided, but I am hungry A lot!  The first trimester i was so tired and not feeling great, i hate a lot of crappy comfort foods, it's all the sounded good... things are a little better these days, although I go back to the doctor today and it is always scary stepping on the scale.  It's been a great, and Nick has been SUCH a curious little person. He asks TONS and tons of questions about the baby; like what is the baby wearing inside the belly, and where does he get his clothes. He thinks it's a girl. And he asks if the baby is sleeping, and how the baby sleeps.  Just yesterday he asks if the baby cries or talks does water go in his mouth. And where does the baby go to the bathroom. SMART QUESTIONS!!! Questions that warrant good answers. He is so inquisitive. AND SO helpful, he already wants to help and be part of everything. He makes me prouder than I ever imagined.

We still have lots to do on the home front before the baby comes, the biggest being purchasing a new vehicle that will fit 3 kids comfortably. Probably a minivan! And frankly, I cant wait! Then comes transitions, like moving Chris to a big boy bed (and sharing a room with Nick), looks at pre-school options next year, what will happen with work, lots to think about. But most of it is in God's hands, and I am pretty sure everything will work out. It always does.

Happy fall!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Faith part 2

So three years ago I wrote this post about faith and love, and this little girl named Anna who would pass away three years ago this past Tuesday, September 1st. When my friends were remembering her on facebook this week I found myself reflecting on what I felt that very day. And one thing I've never shared here was the conversation I had with Matt that night about God. And His very existence. I know I was feeling extra emotional, wondering why someone I had never met made me feel so profoundly sad-- and question the very existence of God.  I was driving home that day from work thinking about her, and I told Matt that I saw a rainbow as big as can be that day. I remember it now so vividly, it was a perfectly hot and sunny day (much like it  has been this week), and the rainbow was right in front me and it stretched right over the highway end to end.  To this day I haven't seen another rainbow like that, or one that was end to end.  Matt told me that night that if I couldn't find God in that he doesn't know what else could. It's funny how that never dawned on me, but I think about that rainbow a lot.

Especially recently, I want it to inspire me. I want to keep remembering it, even though a lot of days I don't think of it or even come close to thinking of it. I have been so wrapped up in my own thoughts and problems, most nights lately I just crash before bedtime glad to be done with the day.  I want to be inspired though; I want it to keep me positive, I want it to help me pray more, I want it to keep me moving towards being the best mom I can be. How do I do that?

I wanted to write again this week to share this story about Nick last week. He always likes to pick pretty flowers for me and give them to me no matter where they are, I know he love for the thoughtfulness of it. Well after dinner one night out of the total blue he reached waaaay into his little pocket and pulled out a whilty little flower than he picked for me at school that day. He was thinking of me, put it in his pocket for later, and gave it to me. I almost felt into tears it was so sweet. I think of him all day long, and my heart almost bursts when I know they do too.  I know what I need to do, I need to be home with my kids. To guide them, nourish them, inspire them, challenge them, discipline them, love them... I need to be there. I need to put my faith in God to hope that everything works out, despite all the challenges that lie on our road ahead.

RIP Anna. May God continue to bless us.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quotable Post

So I have this idea that I want to paint wonderful, inspiring, and loving quotes on the walls  to bring happiness and joy into my kids room. Quotes from famous people, spiritual teachers, and just wonderful words that I think have meaning. I heard 'quotables' and I never write them down, and when you actually go and look for such quotes you can never find them. They come when you are not looking for it. The thought behind this is to have something for the kids to read in those moments, and the right words always seem to find you when you need it the most. Words that you can live by, and wouldn't it be wonderful to have some of the first words you can read-- likely the ones painted hugely all over your bedroom walls-- be words that matter. When you are lying in bed before you fall asleep, or just resting before you get in up the morning. Words that will inspire you, rebuild you, lift you up, make a different in your life and others.  It's a simple thing to do, that can appear ever so minor, but matter when perhaps it really needs to matter.

People who know me know I am not crafty, I don't do party themes, I don't do monograms around my house-things- kids clothes, I don't do 'cutesty' projects around my house. Maybe I justify it with my practicality, I tend to use the time spent creating such "things" and use it towards investing in people. The bottom line is we wont need things, things are just things. And in my house, I want an environment where "WE" matter most not what we have. There will always be things we don't have or want to have, but we all know we wont be happier once we have it. We are happiest when we aren't thinking about what we dont have, but in the moment we are in and the people we are with.  I want the home to be the 'home' and just that.  A place where you can be you, be loved unconditionally, and just be.   I want my kids to grow up knowing they can be whatever they want to be. But what I want most for them is to love themselves, and be kind to themselves, and know they can be whatever it is they are.  Because I want them to be happy in whatever it is they do. I want them to grow and flourish and become good citizens. I want them to be stewards of this earth to create good, even if it is in the smallest place.  I want them to find happiness no matter where they are, and hopefully a little piece of 'home'  will always be with them. It will always be in their heart. Just like the true meaning of the Wizard of Oz, you will always be wearing those red slippers and to know you are wearing them and they are with you no matter where the yellow brick road takes you.

I say every day to my husband and boys how much I love them. I tell them they are so important to me, and they I am so lucky to get to be their mom (and my husband's wife).  I know they are wonderful people, they inspire me, they create me, they make me want to be a better person. I know I can be a role model for them, but they are also one for me.  I see their hearts in everything they do,  and frankly when I think of the wondrousness of that it makes me want to weep.   They are the people that give my life meaning, they are they ones that fill me up when I am feeling half empty, they are the ones that can make me feel vulnerable, they are the ones that propel me in this world.   If I can build upon a piece of their hearts that can make them feel worthy, and loved, and respected then then that in turn will go back out into the world.  It is easy to be kind when your heart is peaceful.  You are kinder to yourself.  When you believe in yourself you are more likely to succeed. Believing you matter and you belong in the space you in. And you can change the space you are in just by being there. You can create any space you want, and the energy it provides.  You are the light no matter where you are.  And I am so grateful for having it in my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

" Remember you are the ONE who can fill the WORLD with Sunshine" - Snow White
" If there is light in your heart, you will find your way home" - Rumi

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dear Nick and Chris-- Months 42 and 18

Dear My Most favorite little people in the whole world Nick and Chris,

Since your birthdays are just two weeks apart I figured I would start combining my letters to you. Not because you don't deserve your own individual attention to regard all your abilities, victories, awesomeness, but because being together also makes you perfectly wonderful as well. You guys spend a LOT of time together,  you are interwoven into each other's lives and have unlimited influences on each other.  I am not sure where to start.

Aside from the fact that whenever you are not with each other, you both ask where the other is. Chris says a lot of words but saying "nick" was one of the first he formed.  You love to chase each other around, play hide and seek, steal each other's toys, swing together, slide together, play t-ball in the backyard together,  if it can be done simultaneously you both are doing it together. I know you don't realize how much you rely on each other, but you will. Your bond is unique and special, and seeing you both interact makes me prouder than anyone on the face of the planet.

Chris has so many traits and characteristics that I saw in Nick when he was the same age. It's kind of remarkable, and when I only have him around I sort of feel like I am time traveling. His love of playing with balls and joy of Mickey is endless. Just like it was for Nick. Now we just have to add snoopy to the mix, he's your favorite little guy to snuggle with. Although you call him "poopy," and it's insanely adorable. Nick always calls you out though, " you are saying a potty word." Just yesterday we started working on your "s' sounds, so in like fashion, now you say "sssssss. Poopy!"   insert large swoon here. I cant handle the cuteness.

There are so many down right adorable things chris does right now. The newness of everything is incredible to watch. You are both adventurous, reserved, and laid back all at the same time.  You love to see new place and experience new things, but you love to be with mommy, and have a sound sense for danger. But also go with the flow in just about all occasions. Remarkably actually. A perfect example is just yesterday morning as I was getting up with you both, I noticed my phone was almost dead since it was sitting in rice overnight to potentially dry out any damage it might have incurred when you conveniently started dunking it in your water table the night before during dinner outside. Luckily it seemed to be in working order, just with a grain of rice lodged perfectly in the hole for the charger. I was flustered,  daddy was flustered at me, and I was multi-tasking not realizing you were sitting on the table with an unopened yogurt and no spoon. For minutes actually while I flailed around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off.  But you sat patiently, not yelling, not screaming, just sitting there saying "spoon" "spoon" spoon" multiple times hoping to be heard by SOMEONE.  You, my little one, are amazing! That story personifies you perfectly. Gosh, I could learn so much from  YOU!

Your word count is past countable. You say more words now than I can begin recalling. And even put 2-3 word sentences together now.  You are very vocal, and sing now too.  You are a great sleeper and I catch you in your crib in the morning just chatting away to poopy or singing. It makes my heart sing listening to you.  You love to swing, you love to dance, you love music, you love to be outside, you love being around people who love you. But you are still hesitant about swimming-- luckily the summer is young.

And hopefully brother Nick can inspire you to get the pool. Being active and athletic appears to be one of Nick's strengths.  You have always been great with throwing and catching balls, you seems to be pretty good at blast ball this summer, running fast is something you excel in too. Literally.  You have a good sense of where your body is and sense of awareness. It impresses me.  However team sports still require a sense of humility that probably doesn't develop until after 3.5 years old ;-).  You are one VERY skinny kid, sometimes there are days you hardly eat anything and you have more energy to fill a baseball stadium. I don't know how you do it, but after swimming you tend to get SO cold so quickly. Poor little dude.

Not only are your thriving physically, you are also developing emotionally and mentally as well. I have a good feeling that you will be an early reader. You know all your letters and numbers, and you seem to really pick up on concepts well. Putting letter sounds together, associating numbers with meanings, and even have a concept of the clock and time. I think  these things are advanced for your age.  You really make us proud all the time with the things you say.  I often am shocked with your understanding of emotions as well, you are a very sensitive kid right now. And it's beautiful.

Aside from the fact that I think you both are probably the cutest kids ever put on the planet, I do want to document some stats for you both.

Detail                  Nick                              Chris
Weight                 ~35lbs +                       ~30lbs +
Height                   ~40 in                           ~33 in
Teeth                      20 (full mouth)              12-13 (haven't counted in a while)
Favorite food          hot dogs, chicken          yogurt, spaghetti,
                                nuggets, yogurt              cereal, sesame butter

Monday, June 1, 2015

No awards here

This parenting thing--- it's one INSANELY wild ride.  There are always unforeseen turns and loops, and twists that can downright throw you.   With two kids and a little under 3.5 years of parenting under my belt, who knows what's in-store. I read all my new-mom pregnant friends posting about their reviews of baby "items" and their picture perfect nursery and post gobs of pictures all over social media about where they made their purchases and  want to hurl my 3" shoe heal right through the computer screen because never have they been SO far off base of what is REALLY important. Your baby doesn't care what shade of pink you have the walls, or the matching curtains and bookcases, your baby will never remember it, and frankly--the perfectly organized diapers, creams, and drawers will never look like that again once there is an actual HUMAN living in there.   You don't have kids to have an audience to fulfill you own contentment's. With that said, when the rubber really meets the road, you can NEVER prepare for it. So stop the organizing, painting, picture-taking of all your time wasting  money wasting endeavors, and start preparing your heart for what's to come.

I have no  idea where to start with that, except for the trials you will endure will have you questioning every part of your being.  For example, JUST this morning my husband dropped Nick off at preschool and it was his first day in the Flamingo room, and I didn't know about it! Frankly-- they didn't send anything home about transition week or anything, and Nick is a child that likes "to know!" He needs preparation, he likes to know what's coming. And frankly, who doesn't?  But I am feeling awful this morning, because last night as we were getting ready for bed he was telling me that he doesn't like going there and would really like to stay home, so in in good nature I decided to walk through the day for him. Tell him about the morning, and where he will eat breakfast, and talk about what might be on the menu. All to prepare him and feel better about Monday and going to school. And ALL of it for naught, because he was thrown into a NEW room today!!! I am feeling like a terrible mommy, and guilty, and so sad for  my little man who I feel like is already losing trust in me when I left him last week to go to Hawaii for my dad's wedding. I know how that little man operates, and he was definitely not settled when I left. We are best buds, it hurt me to leave more than he could possibly know.

I don't know where I was going with this post, other than to vent about how hard it is to be a parent knowing all you want is your child to be OK, happy, and well-adjusted. And then you run into all your shortcomings.  If only there was a recipe to follow to make it happen, but there isn't.  I want to say that LOVE is all you really need; but frankly the love I have for my family oozes out of me veins and grows and grows with every breath I take, but one slip up can leave me drowning.  And I know I wont ever win any awards for the best decorated nursery, or the cutest play room, or basically anything crafty or creative. Frankly, the time I have free and unscheduled in my life is spent putting one foot in front of the other, and definitely no thinking planning the next step-- or next project-- or anything. But being. And living, and frankly just trying the best I can.... hoping my kids do the same.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

For the Sun, From the Sun, Of the Sun

The past few weeks have been rough-- it's the dreary, grey period of the year... and March has notoriously been my least favorite month of the year. I know it say that every year, and I always try to coveat the statement with the hope that this March will feel different, but it definitely came in like a Lion. I have been struggling emotionally with just a lot of self doubt, insecurities, over all unhappiness with stuff happening at work that has left my glass more the half empty at the end of the day. If seasonal effective disorder really is a thing, you might end up seeing my picture right next to the description in the dictionary. I don't want to undermine the circumstances at work, but had it happened at the different time of the year maybe it wouldn't have felt like a tractor-trailer sized blow to the gut.  A stumble then left me on the floor for days it felt like and the only thing that got me out of bed in the morning was the beautiful, jubilant, incredible faces of my amazing children and supportive husband that I am pretty sure are the very reason I am in existence right now.

But this week. THIS week the sun came out! Literally! There is one pile of snow left in my yard from over a month ago and the SUN WAS out for almost two full days. And it was over 50 degrees. Dare i say almost 60? And the sun and air and warmth felt like a rebirth.  I dont think the earth shifted orbit but it sure felt like it for me, my entire outlook on things changed, my energy level went up, and all of a sudden the greyness I was seeing and feeling became brighter.  I know we are all created by 'star stuff" but boy do I ever appreciate the fact that we are from the sun and it really is a healer of everything.  I am a creature of the sun and it really is comforting to know that even when things feel like they are bad, the sun will always rise again tomorrow. It's always there.  We need the sun, and I need it like I need air to fill my lungs and put the wind in my sails.

Having spent a considerable amount of time outside in the last couple of days, it's been easier to get up in the morning to head to work (when just last week  i could barely move in the morning, all my joints were frozen to the bed). My energy level is higher, my perspective is brighter, I appreciate small things, and I just want to do good like go to starbucks and buy coffee for some stranger. It's amazing the shift I feel, and it is ALL my perspective because the circumstances I am in are very much the same as last week. Just the way I feel about them has changed. Truly it is divine, and there is something about God and wonderment of all that is that really owe it too.

Just yesterday the boys and I played outside with the neighbor girls, and the Nick and Marley were chasing each other throwing snowballs at the each other with no coats on. And then we went on a family walk at the trail by our house, and the boys just run and skipped, and threw sticks in the mud. And Chris was saying HIIIIII to every stranger, dog, thing that came past him. Ugh, it was beautiful. everything about it. I am thankful, I am so blessed,  I am feeling optimistic, and I cant wait to get home and give my boys a hug and kiss and thank them for being perfect. Because they are, everything is just as it should be. Thank GOD for the SUN!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dear Christopher- Month 15

Dear Chris--

 My BEAUTIFUL, animated, happy, vibrant, full of life little joy of mine . How lucky am I to have you. You brighten up every room, you fill up all of our hearts, and you are SO darn cute I could burst just looking at you.  At your 15 mos check up you are still a big boy-- 93 percentile for weight and 82 percentile for height, and 100% percentile for cuteness. Watching you go about the world is simply magnificent.

You are at an age that I simply want to drink you up and refill again, cannot get enough of you. You are so excitable, and so verbal, and your laugh is contagious.  You are social and you say hii and byeee to just about anyone in any circumstance.  And it pretty much knocks people's socks off when they hear it.  We sleep trained you with the ferber method and now you are an exceptional sleeper, and SO happy when you go to sleep AND when you wake up. ANd throughout the entire day. YOu sleep 8pm-7am (ish) with usually some sort of nap in there.

You have been in three of the rooms at daycare and I think it's a reoccuring theme that every one of your teachers falls in love with you. It's no coindences when they say how lovable and cuddly you are-- AND happy! And easy!! I've heard multiple times that you are the best baby in the whole class. ugh-- swooon. You are!! You are so easy going, and SO happy, and so content.  You can give higs on commaned and kisses, too (even though your mouth is still open) and even blow kisses now. And what are a talker you are, too!! You are are babbling and telling us something. Your word count is ever going. Right now your vocab (beside your signed "more" and "all done" ) include :
Mamama: Mama
Dada: Dada
CHeeee: Cheese
Hiii : Hi
Byeee: Bye
Niii : Nick
Baa: Back
Baw: Ball
I know there might be a few others, but those are reoccuring pretty much every day. But your understanding is remarkable. You can follow two step commands, like "pick up the  book and put it back" and so much more.

You and Nick follow each other around and play ALL THE TIME. I hear you laughing and chasing each other all day long. And wherever you go, he goes and the other way around.  You still sometimes hit for fun, we are working on this idea of being gentle.   I am sure it's just a phase. Luckily you are always a VERY good listening, follow directions, like to please. All very good traits in a little person.

Your tooth count is around 7 I think, with the back molars popping in now. But amazingly enough they come through unoticied for us because you are such a tough little guy! The biggest obsticles in our life revolved around menu planning since you have such bad food allergies. I am hoping and praying they many are outgrown. But again, even when you react and get sick you bounce back so quick.  You are a strong and exceptional little boy.

I am ready to be done with the cold weather to get outside and enjoy some outdoor fun. I know the pool and sprinkler will be a hit again (with your brother ) this summer.  I cant wait to watch you grow and laugh and become such a beautiful person.  You and your brother are so different yet so much alike And every day I wake up and thank God for being so blessed.  Thank you for being you, you are so important and special to me and I cant wait to watch you grow.'

Love you more than you know,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Things to document

I am terrible at writing stuff down; important milestones, words, new things they can do... I witness them all and CHERISH it all-- I really do, but I know I am going to forget the details. There are a couple things that come to mind that I dont want to forget (and I still dont know the exact dates), but better to draw some line in the sand than nothing at all:

First words: Mama (he has said for a few weeks now), Ba (which i think can be both bath and ball-- not totally sure) and Hi!! Which is freaking adorable. Not sure which one of these was first; Dada was definitely first but I think there was zero association with his actually dad. He just loved to say dadadada.

He throws balls now, dances, and loves to listen and read books now. He brushes his teeth and puts things back and follows simple instructions. He is such a smart cookie.


Is Fully potty trained-- and hasnt looked back for a few weeks now. Started peeing exclusively in the potty for months, but now he is accident free and doesnt wear diapers at all. Even at night he only wears a pull up for caution but no accidents there either. And he can go by himself, and even undress himself and put pants on by himself. He feeds himself perfectly now (even soup!), is very neat and uses a napkin to wipe his face. WOW!

He is SO chatty and still LOVES to sing songs.  I love all the things he says and it's so fun to hear his opinions on things now. If you dont have kids-- THIS IS THE BEST!!!!  I cant wait to come home to see what he says every night, even if it makes me sad when he says he misses his mommy at preschool.  But also fills me up when I walk in to the whole classat preschool creating the "happy rainbow" where each kid picks a color and the teacher writes down what makes them happy. Nick;s blue stripe said "My Mommy."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy new Year

First Cut-- January 6th, 2015
Happy New Year! I cant believe it s 2015.... and I am optimistically looking forward to what is in store for us this year. I know it will be wonderful. 2014 was great but definitely not without it's ups and downs and major bumps in the road. Changes and challenges both with my family and at work, but all is well that ends well. And we brought in the new year on the Freedom of the Seas somewhere in the carribean together. With all the family on matt's side and it was FANTASTIC! I couldnt have asked for a better way to end the year than non-stop time with the boys, too... because it's my favorite thing in the whole world.

The holidays will end this saturday when we celebrate one last time. But overall it was wonderful. The kids did great on the trips to Cleveland, cars, trains, plans, ships.... they were spectacular. I am so lucky I have such well behaved kids.  They got a lot of cool toys-- TONS of stuff to get us through the cold winter days indoors between christmas and birthday presents.  It is particularly cold these last couple days, on the way into work this morning the car said it was -1 out there. I know it's going to be a long few months until we get more warm weather, but I also know how important it is to not wish time away.

Being off work and with the famuly always leaves me with a new sense of who they are, i feel like i learn more about thier personalities and we always get closer.  Nick seems like he grew up in the last week. All of a sudden he is doing all kinds of things by himself without help. And Chris just is the biggest little ham you ever saw with a mind of his own. Just does what he wants on his own time. AND LOVES TO WAVE AND GET AS MUCH ATTENTION AS POSSIBLE WHILE DOING IT. Like he knows he's pretty darn cool.  He cracks me up.    He is incredibly smart too because it has amazed me countless times with what he understands.  Same with Nick-- he just has his own mind, and thoughts and feelings now and it's incredible. Not to mention I think he is physically grown the in the last couple of weeks. All of a sudden I can see in ankles and his tiny little wrist in clothes that fit him just fine before the holidays.

The winter is only in its infancy as we prepare for long, dark winter nights but there is a lot to be optimistic about too. Maybe visit some pre-schools, trips to the museum center, playdates with neighbors and friends, the circus, some wedding, showers, etc. It's important to stay busy because this is often a hard time of year without much daylight.

Edits Jan 26th, 2015
I cant believe how long this month has been. It's been SO busy as work and even crazier on the home front. Lots of things to write about, but one of the biggies was discovering Chris's insane food allergies. We wondered for a few weeks now why he would all of a suddent throw up his entire stomach for no reason and with no apparent warning. After seeing it happen seemingly more frequently I put in a call to the pediatrician regarding food allergy concerns. Without much ado we were scheduled for some blood work and the results were shocking. He was only tested for a handful of allergies and ALL of them came back positive with a very SEVERE allergy to egg. It wasnt much of a shock, but it was after going to the allergist to discover all the OTHER things he is also allergic too that i have been feeding him over the course of the last few months. I have literally been poisoning my child!!

The next few weeks/months is definitely going to be a learning period with meal times feeling like a test laboratory. But so far so good. He hasnt gotten sick or broken out to ANYTHING I have given him. I also think it in a strange way he has a sense for what he can and cannot eat. He tends to push a lot of food away, he has ALWAYS had an aversion to eggs when i wanted to make it for him for breakfast, and I have a strong suspicion that all the foods he doesnt eat that I once attributed to picky eating is now he sense for intolerance.  I think nature knows what to do, and I see it working in my kids almost every day. The wonders of God's creations.

Without much senblance to this post, that's all for now.... Lots more to share, i hope to write