Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Short Order Cook

I swore up & down I would never be one of those moms.  You know the ones.  The moms that shuffle around the kitchen, preparing this & that, offering three different kinds of breakfasts to their picky toddler--all in an attempt to get their child to simply eat something.  Nope, that was never going to be me.

Well uh, let me just take a moment to introduce myself.

My name is Holly & I am in fact, a short order cook.

Yeah, I am sooo one of those moms.

Before I ever had a child of my own, I had plans.  Plans to be tough.  You should've heard me talk about motherhood. I'd spout off all kinds of things.  Things like, "My kids will eat what I prepare for them or they'll eat nothing!" & "My kids will never be allowed to eat candy except for special occasions." & "My kids will only watch a half an hour of television a day."& "My kids? Throw a fit in Target. No siree."

Oh my.  I look back & have to laugh at myself.  I spent so much time lining out all of these ridiculous "rules" as a mother & let's face it, I didn't have a clue.  I had turned the thought of motherhood in my head time & time again, but I hadn't felt motherhood in the depths of my soul the way you do when you look into the face of your baby.  I had no idea that once I held that little booger in my arms that my heart would turn to mush right there on the spot.  It didn't dawn on me that all that "tough" I had built up in my head would quickly be softened by a little boy who goes by the name of Jett Jett.

Motherhood changes you.  Or it did me, anyways.  The very core of who I am is different because of the love that has pierced my heart & soul. I look at this little boy who shakes his no at Lucky Charms, shakes his head no at peanut butter toast, shakes his head no at scrambled eggs, & my love overrides that "tough" that I thought I was going to be.  It's then that I find myself scouring the fridge trying to figure breakfast out for my finicky little eater so that his little body starts the day off with some sort of nutrition.

Now hold up for a second.  I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking I've gone completely soft & that this little mister is running the roost around here.  Well let me inform you--I haven't & he's not.  I've still got some fight in me yet.  There's some tough that lies inside me & trust me, I can whip it out when it's needed.  There are some wars worth fighting & by golly not only will I fight them, but I'll win them.  There are certain things that won't be tolerated around here & this momma will lower the boom when needed.

But over breakfast battles?  Nah.

I'll just continue being one of those moms.

You know, the ones people who don't have kids sit back & judge.

Well, judge on.  Or come over for breakfast.  Chances are, I'll cook up whatever you like.

Eggs, anybody?

How about toast?

Toast with peanut butter?

Lucky Charms?

How about just the Lucky Charms marshmallows?

Happy Hump Day, friends.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Easy Going

Sometimes I feel like our weekends are so crammed full that by the time Monday morning rolls around, I'm already exhausted & ready for Friday afternoon again.

Now don't get me wrong, I love me a good action packed weekend.  I'm all about filling up our Saturdays & Sundays full of family & friends & parties & date nights, but every once in awhile it's nice to just have an easy going kind of weekend.

Kind of like the one we just had.

We had not a thing planned for two entire days {that rarely happens in this house}.  We woke up Saturday morning, looked at each other & said, "What do you wanna do today?"  And let me just tell you, that felt great.  We ate a big home cooked breakfast, we drank our coffee slow, we lounged in our jammies til' noon.  And once we peeked out the door to see that the sun was shining bright, we made the quick decision to pack up a pool bag & spend the day at our local pool soaking up what's left of this summertime season.

{Clearly, little mister is thoroughly enjoying his orange flavored push pop. Pool snacks still remain his favorite part of going to the pool.  He makes me laugh!}

Sunday, we had church as usual, but for the first time in a long time we were able to actually say "yes" when some friends asked us to have lunch afterwards.

We spent the afternoon & evening at home, just the three of us.  Jared watched a baseball game & Jett watched Blue's Clues {on the portable dvd player, because you know, that's just way cooler than watching it on the gigantic big screen we have}.

I was able to spend some time in my craft room, brainstorming & sewing up some fun fall decorations to spruce up the house {I'll share the final product soon}.

And even though I've got absolutely nothing exciting to report from our weekend happenings, it was still one of the best ones we've had in a while.  Easy going weekends leave me refreshed, refueled, & ready to tackle the week that lies ahead.  I wake up Monday morning recharged & with a skip in my step, rather than dragging & praying for the weekend to just hurry up already. Easy going weekends make me that much more excited for the weekends ahead, where we're burnin' up the road, schlepping babies & diaper bags, & toting along birthday gifts & side dishes.

Action packed weekends are awesome, but I think the easy going ones have their place, too.

Friday, August 26, 2011


If you walked into my home right now, you'd most likely think that I haven't been very productive around here these past couple of days.

You'd see two baskets of laundry sitting on the living room floor pleading to be folded & put away {& that's not even including the load that's been sitting in the dryer for the last several days}.  You'd see that the carpet needs vacuuming.  You'd see toys strewn all over the house.  And you'd see a pantry that is bare & longing for food to come & fill up its shelves.

See?  Told ya.  Not very productive.

But then again, I suppose that it all depends on how you measure productivity.   

If being productive means keeping an impeccable home, having all errands completed, & a to-do list with tiny check marks next to each item, well then yeah... 

this week, I pretty much suck.

But if being productive means filling up the days with laughter, living in the moment, & being absolutely one hundred percent present, well then, in that case... 

this week, I've been quite the overachiever. 

Little mister & I have been having some precious quality time.  

During the morning hours, we've nestled in tight in our big comfy rocking chair, reading book after book after book.  We've jammed out to every kids cd we own & we've made row boats out of laundry baskets.  Come afternoon, we've dumped every puzzle & scattered the pieces all over the floor, we've wrestled & giggled, & we've played hide & seek.  We've colored on the drive with sidewalk chalk & we've kicked a soccer ball all over the yard.

Oh, & how could I forget.

We've jumped on furniture.

{I realize that in some homes, jumping on the furniture is forbidden.  But in this house?  We jump on furniture.  And it's fun.  Life is too short for firm sofa cushions.}

We ripped those cushions off the couch, flung them across the room & made a bounce house out of our very own living room.  We tumbled & rolled; flailed & catapulted.  I even broke a sweat.

It was awesome.

Sometimes the feeling of being productive has nothing at all to do with how much is accomplished in a day, but has everything to do with how much isn't accomplished in a day.  

Sometimes it's less about to-do lists, errand running, & hustling & bustling.  Sometimes it's more about treasuring fleeting moments, looking into the face of your child & realizing that tomorrow that face will be just a little more grown up, & taking the opportunity to live the day, rather than merely get through it.

Sometimes it's about seizing a moment to jump on the couch cushions while jumping on couch cushions is still cool.

Sometimes what seems to be the least productive day, in actuality, ends up being the most productive day one could ask for.  It's my "least productive days" that I always seem to go to bed with the biggest smile on my face, thinking to myself, "Man, I nailed it today."  It's my "least productive days" that I feel I'm doing a really great job at being a mom.  It's my "least productive days" that yes, leave behind a trail of messes, but also leave behind them a trail of perfect, sweet memories.

I'm positive that twenty years from now, Jett won't have a clue that the lunchtime mess sat dirty in the sink while Momma & him played with puzzles.  I'm sure he won't care that we had to slide piled high laundry baskets to the edge of the room in order make space to build our tents & forts.  And I bet he'll never recall the half inch of dust on his bookshelf that we had to get through before reading all of those books.

But the fun we had?  The laughter we shared?  That won't ever get glanced over.  That will remain in that little heart of his forever.

And for me, it doesn't get more productive than that.

So tomorrow those two baskets of laundry & I will face off.  Tomorrow I'll drag a kitchen chair into the living room to knock down dust bunnies from high to reach places {which have probably grown into full grown dust rabbits at this point}.  Tomorrow I'll sweep the crumbs up off the kitchen floor instead of brushing them off my feet.

But not today.

Because I'm making today a productive day.

Have a great weekend!  Let's be productive, shall we?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Little Sports Star

Nine months pregnant.  

I must have packed & re-packed that hospital bag over a dozen times.  I was pratically oozing with excitement.  I loved pulling out those tiny little baby clothes & neatly organizing them into perfect piles. I loved twisting the cap off the bottle & sniffing that delicious scent of baby lotion. I loved holding those teensy socks in the palm of my hands, knowing that soon, little feet & itty bitty toes would wiggle inside them.  I had been dreaming of becoming a mommy for so long, dreaming of rocking & holding & smooching that baby of mine, & for some reason arranging & rearranging that bag over & over again was a steady reminder that all of this was really going to actually happen.  That my dream of motherhood would soon become my reality.  

But I wasn't the only one who was giddy with excitement.  I wasn't the only one with dreams & plans & visions for this brand new life about to be born into the world.  Daddyboy was dreaming big dreams, too.  

I won't ever forget opening up that bag to take one last glance at all that we would be hauling with us to the hospital {okay, okay, & maybe to organize it for one last time} when I found something lying there that I knew for a fact I hadn't packed.  On top of that little pile of baby clothes laid a tiny blue ball cap.  And even though that ball cap was two sizes too big & not at all soft enough to put on a tender newborn's head, there was no convincing Daddy that we weren't bringing that ball cap to the hospital for his little boy.

Yes, Daddyboy was dreaming big dreams, too.

And just here recently, I watched as Daddyboy's eyes filled up with pride, I watched as his heart swelled with love, & I watched as one of his very own Daddyboy dreams came true.

Little mister with a soccer ball at his feet.

Daddyboy's grooming Jett to be quite the little soccer star.  He's spending the evenings running around on hot pavement in an attempt to teach Jett all the fundamentals: the proper way to kick a soccer ball, how to pass with the inside of his foot, & of course how to score a goal that'll make the crowd go wild.  

I know I'm partial, but for a one & a half year old, little mister has got some skills {at least when he's not trying to color the soccer ball with an orange piece of sidewalk chalk, anyways}!

{We've had these little Adidas shoes for months & months just waiting for the day.  The day has come.}

And even though it's soccer that Jared has pulsing through his veins & has ever since he was a young boy, he's still making sure that his own son becomes a perfectly well rounded little sports star.  We wouldn't want to limit him to pro soccer when pro baseball could be in the cards as well, right?

He's got the throwing part down pat.  He can chuck a ball {or a toy or a piece of food, for that matter} like no man's business.  

And now, we're working on the catching part.  He cups those little hands & tries his hardest to grasp the ball as it comes sailing towards him.  

{I love watching Jared coach him.  He's a wonderful teacher & truly amazing father.}

It's so exciting, watching your very own child conquer & master new skills. It leaves me daydreaming--what will he be good at? What is it that will pulse through his veins & inspire him, move him, & challenge him in his life?  Will he pelt a soccer ball down a grassy field & into a net like his daddy dreams for him to do?  Will he hoist a baseball bat over his shoulder & crank a ball into the outfield while we cheer from the stands? Or will he do is own thing, find his own hidden talent, a talent that has nothing to do with sports at all...

Only time will tell.

For now, all that matters is the fun we are having out on that hot pavement in the evenings.  The laughter that abounds after he chucks a ball & it bounces off the side of mom's head.  The million dollar smile my husband flashes as he watches his little sports star toddling right along in his very own footsteps.

Yes, that's really all that matters right now.

And for fun--our sweet, perfect newborn & that little blue hat I was talking about {sniffle}.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Date Night

We always tell ourselves we're gonna make the time.  Schedule an evening once a month where we take a few hours for just the two of us. Where diaper changes & tantrums aren't at the forefront of our minds, but are replaced with uninterrupted dinners, lighthearted laughter, & conversations we haven't had opportunity to dive into.  

But then things like parenthood & wiping noses & butts takes priority & our once a month dreams of simply pursuing one another get buried in all the rubble of life.

It hit me the other night as I was headed out the door with a couple of my girlfriends when I totally caught my husband checking me out.  I was all dolled up, hair curled, high heels on, & lipstick applied.  He kissed me good-bye & he looked just a little longer than he usually does.  

Which made me blush....& think.  

When was the last time that I got all dressed up with him & only him in mind?  Not for church, not for a girls night out, not to go on a double date with our friends, but for him.  I was floored when I actually did the math & came up with three months. Yikes.  That's too long. 

I've said it before, that I believe marriage is sacred; something that is to be valued, treasured, protected, & nurtured.  I believe it's the fun, the laughter, the silly & goofy that glide a couple through the bumps, bruises, & heartaches that also come along with marriage from time to time.  And I believe that once a marriage stops being a priority, it begins losing strength & energy & potential.  I want my husband to know that he's still the one, that he's always going to be the one.  The one I want to feel beautiful for, the one I want to check me out, & the one I want to make me blush.  And if a date night once a month is going to help keep that flame burning, help us to regroup as a couple, & help us to grow stronger & closer, then I'd say it's pretty important that 'date night' becomes a top priority in our busy schedules.

So tonight I'll glaze on a couple coats of nail polish.

{I am in love with this nail color.  It's called 'Power Clutch'}

I'll trade in my frumpy sweats {that I wear much too often} for a cute outfit.  I'll take my hair out of the usual sloppy ponytail it resides in & I'll curl it. 

And I'll slip into some cute high heels, of course.

And all of this I'll do with one person & one person only in mind--my husband.

I gotta run!  It's date night & I've got me a handsome hubby to pursue!

Friday, August 19, 2011


XANADU:  True love & the ability to create & share art.

And if that's not cheesy enough for you, add to it a disco ball, leg warmers, greek gods, glitzy costumes, & rollerskates.  Oh, & be sure to set it all to some really tacky 80's music.

Cheesy or not, it totally rocked.

I'll be honest.  I'm a real sucker for musicals.  Would you believe that I even performed in a few back in my high school days?  {Yeah, not so sure how I landed any part in any musical considering I have a pretty terrible voice, but okay??} And on top of that, I just might know all of the lyrics to the "High School Musical" movies. I said, might, okay?  Don't you dare judge me.

So when my bestie called me up last minute & said she had tickets at Starlight to see the musical "XANADU--a stage spoof of the really bad 80's movie", I didn't hesitate before exclaiming, "Oh yeah!"  It didn't matter that I had never even heard of "XANADU" in my entire life. Spending an evening out with my best gal pal was reason enough to say yes!

We had an absolute ball.  I found myself on the edge of my seat during some of the big performances, & I wiped tears from my eyes a couple of times from laughing so hard.  Plus, Stacy & I learned some pretty sweet moves from one particular character in the show.  We're saving those moves to whip out for our husbands one of these days, isn't that right Stace *wink*?  Oh goodness, Im still laughing when I think about it.

Obviously, it was a great night.  Spending an evening out, slipping away from our 'mommy duties', a chance to laugh our heads off, & giggling at the end of the evening about how we'll one day be little old ladies, still teaming up & venturing out for our fun Girls Night Out dates.

Every girl needs a BFF that she can share life with.  I'm so lucky to have snagged the best one there is!

Love you, Stace.  Thanks for an awesome evening!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Naptime Wars

Remember that post I wrote recently about the naptime wars we're facing around here?  Well, Meatball & I, we're still battling it out.

This kid is putting me through the ringer when it comes to his sleep patterns.  

He's got me googling things like "18 month old won't nap", "18 month old sleep patterns", & "Help a momma who's about to rip her hair out". Okay, I didn't really google that last one, but I did think long & hard about it.  I've reached out to friends & asked them if they've experienced similar problems.  I've dug out my old Babywise book & thumbed frantically through it, skimming for answers.  I've tried keeping him really active in the mornings in hopes for a great afternoon nap.  And I've crossed my fingers & whispered "please, please, please, no." when I've heard him stirring around in his crib after 30 minutes of laying him down.  

All such efforts to no avail.

Back in the day, it wasn't unlikely for my little man to sleep in in the mornings until 8, 9, even 10 o'clock, sometimes.  He hasn't ever been one of those kids that would take a three or four hour nap, but he would snooze for a solid hour & a half.  And I didn't care how long his nap was because I knew he was getting the sleep he needed during the night.  But it seems that once the little guy turned the ripe ol' age of eighteen months, the sleeping in days packed their bags & got out of town.  He started waking up earlier...& earlier...& earlier each morning, & then he decided to help his naptime days go ahead & pack up their bags & move out of town, as well. {From the data I have gathered, it isn't uncommon for an eighteen month old to go through a little phase like this. I'm not the only mom out there who's questioning her sanity.  Good to know.}

And it's not like I'm wanting him to have this great big nap in the middle of the day for me, it's honestly not about that at all.  I mean, sure it's nice to get a few things done around the house, have some peace & quiet to blog, or even catch a little nap for myself every once in awhile. But if the kid took a thirty minute nap every day & woke up a well rested, happy little child, fine--dandy.  A thirty minute nap would suffice. But unfortunately, that's just not the case.  He's waking up screaming with tears flowing down his face, the afternoon drags on & on with crankiness, fussiness, & crabbiness, & by the time we finally make it to bedtime, I am saying thank you prayers to the Lord for just getting us through one more day.  It's not ideal.  And ultimately, Jett's not getting the rest he needs.  

So I'm trying everything.  I'm moving nap times around, I'm putting my foot down, & I'm on a mission to win this war.  Not because I'm a mean momma, but because for the sake of our family running smoothly, this kid has got to get some good sleep.

For any other mommas out there who may be going through this same thing & have stumbled upon my blog while frantically googling answers for your 18 month old's naptime, here is something I *think* {crosses fingers & hopes I didn't just jinx myself} has helped.  I moved my little guy's naptime up by an hour.  I was putting him down at 12:30 or 1:00, so I moved naptime to 11:30.  We do lunch at 11 & then it's off to bed from there.  I know, it doesn't make sense--you would think laying them down later would make them more tired, thus resulting in a longer nap, but it just doesn't work that way.  Since I've started laying him down earlier, he has begun taking 1.5-2 hour naps.  We're going on three days of this, so I'm hoping this little schedule unpacks it's bags & sticks around for awhile.  Eventually I would like to move his naptime in fifteen minute increments until he is taking a nap that falls later in the afternoon, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, here.  For now, this is working so we're gonna leave well enough alone.  

 Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Haircut

I've been putting it off for months.

I made the appointment & considered canceling it about fifteen times or so.

But in my heart I knew that the time had finally come to set aside that selfish part of me that yearns so deeply for my son to remain a baby, & dig down deep & muster up the responsible parent that dwells within me.

I did it.  I bit the bullet.

And Jett got his very first haircut.

Say goodbye to the infamous "rat tail".

Jared & I were so proud of our little boy.  He sat there in that hairdresser chair & although a bit somber, was so very brave.

He only got weepy a couple of times, but don't worry, it was nothing a bubble gum flavored dum dum couldn't cure.

Those very first fine locks that sprouted from his little baby head months ago are no longer perched upon the top of his noggin anymore, but instead are now sealed away in a crisp, white envelope, dated, & ready to be tucked away inside his baby book.

Milestones...they're a killer, aren't they?

He's sporting a brand new "do"-- all trimmed & tailored.  Quite handsome, if I do say so myself.

As much as I'd like to hold onto my baby for dear life & attempt to keep him little for as long as I possibly can, he's much like those wild wispy strands of hair of his.  He's meant to grow & he's meant to sprout.  I can turn my head, pretend that I don't see it or that it isn't happening right before my eyes {like I did with his crazy hair} or I can embrace it, embrace the little boy that my once little baby is growing into.

Here's to embracing.

{Thank you, Amy for doing the honors of our boy's first haircut. We love you!}