Friday, March 30, 2012

The Nurse Is In

This one has a horrendous cough & is producing ungodly amounts of snot from that cute little button nose of his {& yes, he will lick it if I don't get there fast enough with a tissue}.

This one just got his wisdom teeth removed & is sportin' some mighty fine chipmunk cheeks {& just might kill me when he sees this photo posted on my blog}.

And as far as I can tell, I'm the only nurse on duty for the weekend. 

Nurse Holly in the house, yo. 

Looks like a weekend of chicken soup, afternoon naps & all the TLC I've got to give.

Gotta run! One of my patients just hit the call button!

{Dang, I make a good nurse!}

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Monkey Business

Blankie. Lovey. Wubby. Security Blanket. "Transitional Object".

Around here, he just goes by Monkey.

Or "Muh-Hee" as Jett calls him.

Or "Ooooo oooooo, eeeeee, eeeee", when Jett is panicked & needs Monkey RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

If you've been around my blog for more than a minute, chances are you've noticed a certain blue friend my Jett Jett has clutched in his hands at all times. And on the rare occasion you don't see Monkey in some of my photos, attached snugly to Jett's side, you can bet Monkey isn't very many feet away. This kid doesn't let Monkey out of his sight. Ever.

Monkey gets dragged along with us to the grocery store, Target, Grandma's house, the doctor's office, church, you name it...he comes along for the ride. We don't step foot out of this house without Monkey in tow & often times I feel like I may lose my mind trying to safeguard with my life this 8x8 piece of fabric that has become such a part of my little boy. {I do set some limitations into place. Monkey is allowed to join us for every car ride, but when it comes to going inside stores, Monkey has to stay in the car for a "nap". This isn't to wean Jett from Monkey or cause him to not be so attached, but more for the purpose of not having to look after TWO children while I'm out & about. Now, things like church, doctor's appointments, any place or instance that adds stress or anxiety or where Jared & I won't be with Jett, of course Monkey gets to tag along. Jett knows the drill & has figured out exactly when & where Monkey gets come along. Now, that doesn't stop him from asking me a trillion times during my grocery shopping about Monkey, but I just reassure him a trillion times that Monkey is in the car & just fine.}

{There have been a couple of instances where Monkey has gone MIA & let me tell you, I never knew I was capable of such sheer panic over a stuffed rattly, fuzzy, silky, blanket.} 

Much research has been done on the concept of children & their attachments to some sort of transitional object & all findings conclude the same answer--that not only are these attachments completely normal, they are actually quite healthy for a little one. Early bonds formed with raggedy stuffed animals, tatty blankets, & fraying friends lay the foundation in the development of healthy & happy relationships throughout a child's entire life. 

Music to this momma's ears! Because we love us some Monkey & completely attached, we are. 

Sweet little side note: When I worked as a nanny for my four boys, they too, carried around with them little monkey blankies. When I was pregnant with Jett, the boys surprised me one afternoon with their very own baby shower for me. They had chosen little gifts that would be sweet reminders of my days of taking care of them. Some of those gifts included: an "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" book, a pair of Rock & Republic jeans & a brand new identical-to-the-one-they-carried soft, cuddly, Monkey blankie. Ahh, the sentimental stuff gets me every time.

Jared asked me one morning as we carted Jett & Monkey into church with us, if we would take Monkey away at some point in the future. The very thought brought a hiccup to my heart.

Monkey has been around since before Jett Jett entered into this world. Monkey became a sense of security for my baby when he was learning to sleep in his crib. Monkey was clutched tightly in my toddler's fist as he received those dreaded immunizations. Monkey helps to calm tears when my Jett Jett is transitioning to a new Sunday school class at church.

Monkey has become much more than just a tatty, worn, stuffed blankie that doesn't get thrown in the wash near enough. He has become a picture of my child's growing & developing identity. He is the essence of a tender little boy's childhood. In the eyes of my little boy, Monkey is an extension of his momma & daddy who absolutely adore him.  Monkey brings a soothing comfort to my little boy's life that aids in making him the loving, caring, affectionate little guy that he is growing up to be.

So my answer to Jared's question about taking Monkey away? Never. 

One of these days, when Jett is ready, he'll toss Monkey aside on his own. He'll grab his baseball glove & he'll head out the door for a game of catch with his buddies . 

And if I know myself the way I think I do...I will shed tears. I will scoop Monkey up, give him his final washing, & I'll tuck him away neatly into a box of keepsakes labeled "Jett's". 

But never will I forget our Monkey Business days.

A quote I love from The Velveteen Rabbit:

Real isn't how you are made.
It's a thing that happens to you.
When a child loves you for a long, long time, 
not just to play with, 
but REALLY loves you,
then you become real.

Monday, March 26, 2012


We had a simple weekend.

As time goes on & the more I get nestled & settled into this whole wife, motherhood, family stage of my life, I'm realizing a little something about myself-- I seem to thrive when life is simple. My family seems to thrive when our lives are simple.

Jared & I have made a conscious effort over the past several weeks to keep our schedules free. If you were to come over & take a peek at the calendar that hangs in our kitchen, you wouldn't see little boxes that are scribbled in with a million activities & events. We've put a limit on how much we cram into a weekend. We've said no to company. We've passed on opportunities that would have us scrambling for a sitter & schlepping all over the countryside. We've slowed our pace. We've taken it easy.

And might I say, it's been nice.


A Saturday afternoon suds & duds carwash on our very own drive.

Both our cars were in dire need of a good scrubbin' & the three of us spent most of the afternoon cleaning, polishing & detailing the mess that Winter {& a certain two year old} had left behind. {Who knew that a child could make such a mess of a vehicle. You should have seen the amount of food we dumped out of his carseat when I stripped the cover off & turned it upside down--enough goldfish, raisins, crackers & fruit snacks to feed a small country. Blech.}

I slipped Meatball into his cool new swimtrunks, flip flops & shades, handed him a water hose & some sponges & we got right down to business. With an extra set of hands, things went sooo much quicker. *wink*

I'll admit that about three hours into our carwash adventure, this pregnant momma & her two year were shot. I don't do hot, chubby, sweaty, waddling, pregnant & tired. So Meatball & I sat out for awhile to cool off from the blazing sun {It may only be mid-March, but 83 & not a cloud in the sky feels like a mighty hot summer's day to me}.

A refreshing treat of lime flavored ice lollies seemed to do the trick--for both of us.

An evening in the golden sun, basking in the pure bliss of childhood. It's nice to sit & take it all in sometimes. To see how our Jett man is growing into a little boy right before our eyes. To watch him go up & down stairs without using the railing, to see him muster up his courage & tackle that rope ladder, to watch him perch himself up on the big boy swing without any help from Momma or Daddy. It's little moments like these that happen over night, ones that if we don't take the time to slow down & catch while they're in action, we'll miss altogether & find ourselves wondering when he grew up so quickly. Not this particular evening. This particular evening we caught the moments. We noted them. We honored them. We watched him grow up right before our eyes.

Grilling out for the first time this season.

For the life of him, this man cannot cook. Bless his heart, he'll screw up a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & Minute rice if you let him in the kitchen {yes, it's happened--more than once}. But give him a couple of steaks, some baking potatoes & a charcoal grill & he'll serve you up a dinner that'll leave your mouth watering for days just thinking about it.

It's been an art of his that has taken time. Through a couple of trials & burnt to a crisp steaks {that he tried to hide from me by putting in the microwave}, the man has come a long way & has truly conquered the secret of grilling a steak to perfection.

Sitting on the deck, sipping ice cold, pink lemonade. 

This little lemonade monster chugged his drink in two minutes flat. And then grabbed mine & sucked it down as fast as he could, taking breaths to giggle like he was really getting away with something. 

Drink up, baby.

A Sunday morning spent at church. A picnic basket packed full of goodies. A blanket tossed onto the lawn. And a whole bunch of boys that make my heart sing.

I think there's a lot to be said for living a simple life. It's interesting because I sometimes find myself fighting against the idea. I catch myself getting antsy to fill up our weekends with adventure, to load up the car & take trips, to plan outings, to look at the blank boxes of my calendar & scribble them in with something--anything. I forget that some of the sweetest memories, some of the greatest adventures are the ones we make while living in the simple.

I'm learning that a hustle & bustle, pedal to the metal kind of life just doesn't seem to work for our family. I'm finding we're happier, our moods are lighter, our lives much more balanced when we slow our roll a bit & live this life rather than run in it like a rat race.

We've all got to find out what works for our own unique & individual families & furthermore, we've got to find out what doesn't. It takes some tweaking. It takes some self evaluation--does this full speed ahead kind of lifestyle leave my family happy, full, content, & feeling treasured? Or does it leave my family with a cranky, short, tired mom & wife who has nothing left to give at the end of the day but a burnt out attitude? 

With summer just around the corner & a life changing event taking place very shortly as we welcome our little girl into the world, I've been asking myself these very questions. Instead of reaching for my planner & my laptop to search out the best beach vacations because that's what everyone else seems to be doing, I'm looking to my family & realizing that maybe, just maybe, what they need is a summer that is easy, a summer that is slow, a summer that is adventurous, a summer that is chocked full of nothing more than happiness.

A summer that resembles the kind of weekend we just had...

a simple one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Play'n In The Rain

A pile of wet, soggy clothes laying at my front door. Muddy boot prints scampered across my entryway. A drippy Buzz Lightyear umbrella that has left a standing puddle on the linoleum. And one very satisfied little boy who is now warm & dry & snuggled up in bed for his afternoon nap.

It was a play'n in the rain kind of day.

I had a million things I needed to get accomplished today--errands, dishes, laundry, a gigantic spring cleaning list. But for some reason, watching my little guy peer out the window at a drizzle filled sky triggered a seize the moment urge within me that I simply couldn't shake. In that very moment I made the decision that errands & laundry & lists could all wait, but that this moment right here, where the sky has opened up & poured out drops from the heavens, it could not.

So we tugged on our rain-boots, rummaged through the hall closet for umbrellas, waved good-bye to three baskets of laundry that needed {oops, still need} folding & clomped out into the soggy, puddle filled afternoon.

Meet my little Rain Boy.

This kid was made for a play'n in the rain kind of day. In all actuality, he wasn't even phased the least little bit by the drops of rain that pelted his hair & had his clothes sopping within minutes. Give this boy the outdoors, some speed beneath his feet & some wind in his sails & he's good to go. It's one of the things I love most about him--he's tough. He's not wavered or shaken by the elements around him. He takes the little moments that have been given to him & he runs like the wind with them. I love that.

Catching raindrops on his tongue--is this a picture of pure childhood or what? 

He skipped & skittered across the slick concrete for nearly forty-five minutes & would have been happy as a clam spending his whole day beneath the gloomy gray cloud coverage above. But a drenched to the bone & shivering momma decided it was time to head inside for some Dora soup & a nap.

I need to do it more often. Say forget it all & take time to play. To stir up some fun out of storm clouds, to tip my head back & catch a few raindrops on my tongue, to take the moments I've been given with this little boy & his tender little life & run like the wind with them. 

A friendly little reminder to all of us with little ones.  I'll be hanging this one on my fridge where I can be reminded every single day.

From what I hear, these rainclouds have plans of sticking around for a bit.

Which reminds me...I'd better toss that pile of wet clothes in the dryer. There's a little rain boy waking from his afternoon nap & I bet he's gonna be raring to go for round two of play'n in the rain.

Have a happy week--embrace the sogginess!

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Day

Kansas City knows how to do St. Patrick's Day.

In fact, if you live in this city & haven't heard of the big, famous St. Patty's Day parade that rolls around every year on the the 17th day of March, well then, I'm afraid there's a good chance you may be living under a rock.

I'd heard about it, alright. For the past nine years of living in Kansas City, I'd heard about this parade of parades. I'd heard about the mass crowds that fill the streets of midtown, all donned in their every shade of green. I'd heard about the crazies who creep out from anywhere & everywhere, all for the simple sake of being Irish for the day. I'd heard about the raging energy. Id heard about the buzzing excitement. 

But I had yet to experience it all for myself.

So this year, I decided it was high time to try my own bit of luck & scope out this shindig for myself.

Sure enough, Kansas City knows how to do St. Patrick's Day, alright.

My girl {& Grand Marshal}, Kathy Quinn. Wouldn't you know it, she's rock'n GREEN animal print. Love her! Oh & yes, she is most definitely looking straight at me & posing for my camera {It wouldn't be because I was literally screaming her name at the top of my lungs like a crazy fool. No, that surely wasn't it.}

It was a perfect day for a parade & as we zig zagged through the sea of kelly green on a mission to find a seat with a view, I felt my excitement bubbling.

In the distance, the hum of motorcycles buzzed, the klippity klop of horse feet echoed & the blue & red lights of police cars flashed . We settled into our seats, said hello to our fellow Kansas Citian neighbors on each side of us & waited for the show to get on the road.

As soon as the parade came booming down the street, our boys were locked in. There were firetrucks & marching bands, leprechauns & men in kilts. For more than two solid hours, we were entertained by the steady beat of bass drums, pretty ponies that got jiggy with it {I'm not even kidding--these horses had moves I've NEVER seen before} & of course, my personal favorite, the Fox 4 News team that waved from their green mustang convertibles.

As the parade began winding down & we were packing up our things to head out, I took one last look around me & noted something.

The Kansas City St. Patty's Day parade was nice. It was entertaining. There was plenty to hold our attention. But at the end of the day, it was just another parade--nothing different or spectacular in comparison to any other parade I've ever been to in my life.

Except for one element--one element that sets it apart from all the others--that puts the Kansas City St. Patty's Day parade on the map.

The spectators. The fellow Kansas City residents. The hundreds of thousands you'll find packed shoulder to shoulder along the sides of those midtown streets. It's the normals & crazies alike, that come out with their enthusiasm & spirit to make St. Patrick's Day in Kansas City one heck of a festival.

And one heck of a festival it was.

Not even a five minute walk back to our car & Meatball was konked out.

We concluded our St. Patrick's Day with an evening spent relaxing on our friends' front drive. Stacy & I caught up on all that life had been dishing up while our carefree boys raced strollers up & down the sidewalk & took turns tracing one another with sidewalk chalk.

Jett laid eyes on these house slippers that Jude had outgrown & refused to take them off. We love our hand-me-downs!

Oh, & to wrap the day up, we showed our kids what's up with a fierce challenge of old school Hopscotch. 

It was a happy St. Patrick's Day for sure & whether I've got a speck of Irish running through my veins or not, I was Irish for a day.

And these Irish eyes were smiling from ear to ear!