Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dino Day

My boy is wild about dinosaurs.

He's got a tub full of plastic "saurs" that he roars & rumbles the mornings away with. His favorite books are the "How Do Dinosaurs" series that he insists we read over & over & over again & I watched as he experienced sheer disappointment on the day of our zoo trip once he found out there were no dinosaurs to be found lurking around at our local zoo.

Ever since our ZOO DAY back in April, I've probably reminded myself a million times that I need to research some sort of age appropriate dinosaur experience for my little guy {Dinosaur Dan on Nick Jr. just ain't cuttin' it}.

So when Jared came home from work one day letting me know an interactive dinosaur exhibit had come to town, we both agreed it was a must see.

Sunday after church, we decided to scrap our pool plans {& the excessive heat index that went along with it} & head on out for a dinosaur adventure.

Once we revealed our plans for a Dino Day to Jett, he exploded with excitement. But that excitement quickly fizzled into nervousness & he proceeded to ask me at least a dozen times, "Momma? Saurs eat Jett?" I have no clue where he got the idea that the dinosaurs would be interested in eating him, but I could tell it was certainly a concern of his.

We battled back & forth for a bit where he would bubble with excitement telling me he wanted to go & visit the dinosaurs, but then his hesitation would consume him & he would have me reassuring him once again that he wasn't going to become a mid-day snack for said dinosaurs.

He wasn't sure what he wanted to do. And as I watched this little internal struggle going on inside of his tender little two year old self, I couldn't help but vividly remember the same kind of struggles in myself as a little girl. I was so shy, so hesitant, so unsure of things & sometimes the risks I desired so greatly to take got squished into oblivion by the fears I allowed to well up & consume me--little things like not riding Fire In The Hole at Silver Dollar City, even though the biggest part of me wanted to plunge down that roller coaster & be amidst the shrieks & shrills that I heard echoing from within it. Or not standing up to my 6th grade teacher & mustering the guts to tell her that yes, I did in fact, know what the word "quarreled" meant when I used it in a story I had written & that no, my parents did not do my homework for me like she was implying. I always seemed to back down when I wasn't sure, even when my heart was saying, "Do it." 

So I decided, based on the fire I could see in my little boy's eyes, that we would go & visit the dinosaurs. We'd grow our own set of dinosaur feet & we'd smush & stomp those fears into the ground. We'd find the excitement, we'd experience the thrill I could see he was simply dying to taste of. We'd learn what it means to loosen the cuffs of fear & follow your heart when it's calling, "Do it".

I have to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the interactive dinosaur display. It was small & cramped, germ infested & smelly. 

But my boy? He had himself a ball. He walked into the exhibit slow & cautious, Monkey clutched at his side & took every bit of it in. Slowly, his guard came down {when he realized the dinosaurs weren't looking at him like he was lunch} & he had such a great time. He braved up the courage to stand next to T-Rex, he perched himself on the back of a Tyrannosaurus, he dug for fossils, he climbed through lava tunnels & he zipped across grassy bridges. He had himself quite the dinosaur adventure & I could see that his little heart was content that he was there experiencing it all.

Once we finished up at the dinosaur exhibit, we decided to extend our Dino Day & head out to T-Rex Cafe for a little more dinosaur fun. 

When we walked into the restaurant & were greeted by a gigantic moving, growling, roaring T-Rex with razor sharp teeth {which we reassured Jett were for eating trees & leaves}, Jett held onto me as tight as he could. I scooped him into my arms, immediately feeling his little body relax & before I knew it, he was roaring right back at that scary ol' T-Rex. That's my boy! 

Jett gobbled up his overpriced dinner of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, did some more dinosaur exploring, checking out all the prehistoric life that T-Rex Cafe held & then we were off to find a cool treat.

We were thinking ice cream...

Jett was thinking...


He stands with his little arms behind his back when he isn't quite sure of something. I love it.

Eventually, we found ourselves that nice cool ice cream treat.

That's one serious ice cream eatin' face right there

And we took home with us, one happy little dinosaur.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Lulla Cate {One Month Old}

Look who turned ONE MONTH old today!  

Caution: You may want to brace yourself for some serious cuteness.

This is the outfit we opened on Christmas morning--the one that revealed we were going to be blessed with a little girl! Blessed, we are.

Here I am, once again digging in my heels as I watch yet another baby of mine grow up too quickly. "They" were right--time sure does sail by quicker with the second one. Boo hoo.

But instead of wallowing in my wonder of how an entire month has passed by when it feels like just yesterday that a little "Jumping Bean" fluttered inside my belly, I will suck it up, lift my heels out of the dirt & tell you what our sweet little Lulla has been up to during her first precious month of life. 

* She's growing like a little weed. I'm not quite sure of her exact weight right now {I'm guessing somewhere around 8 pounds}, but at her two week check up, she weighed in at a whopping 7 pounds, 11 ounces {she had gone home from the hospital at 7.4}. But don't worry, we're taking care of this growing thing--we had a heart to heart, she & I. At 2 a.m. the other morning, just after her bottle & just before she fell into a milk coma, she promised me she'd stay little forever. Oh, how I wish. 
{Even though she is growing way too fast, she still feels sooooo tiny to me in comparison to what Meatball felt like. It's fun having an itty bitty girl who can actually wear her teensy newborn clothing}.

* This little girl is a spitting image of her daddy. It's funny because in my mind I have always pictured my daughter being a little blonde headed, blue eyed girl. I've pictured a little girl who looks just like me, who looks just like I did as a child. I've pictured a little girl who looks just like our Jett Jett, with his blonde streaked hair & deep set eyes. But out she came out with her head full of dark hair & her features resembling those of her daddy's {except those lips-those are mine--all mine. Both of my babies have my lips & by golly I'm claiming them!} & my heart did leaps. She's not what I expected & I absolutely love it. And you should just see that Daddy of hers well up with pride every single time someone tells him how she looks just like him. 

 * We hit a little bump in the road around day eleven. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things, but enough to have this momma up at 2:30a.m., crying on the phone to the doctor, contemplating a trip to the E.R. Not fun. Turns out, at just eleven days old, Lulla had developed a milk allergy & a simple switch of formulas would be the remedy. Even though it was a very expensive switch in formulas {think double the price--ouch!}, we are so very thankful it was nothing more serious.

What can I say? I'm a total sucker for baby toes. 

* Her nicknames. Oh goodness, there are so many-- Lulla Beans, Beans, Lulla girl, Sissy, Lu-Lu, Sissy-Boo, Sugar Plum, Sugar Plum Fairy, Lump of Sugar, Sack of Sugar, Sisserini, Baby Cakes, Lulla Cake--just to name a few.

Yeah, I suppose we kind of go goo-goo over her. Can you blame us?

* Remember when I was worried about the little wiggle worm that partied it up in my uterus once nightfall settled in? Yeah well, she's still at it. It's safe to say, we aren't getting much sleep around here. It's not that she's wide awake at night or that she's up crying--in fact, she rarely cries at all--usually only when she's hungry. Instead, all night long she lays in her bassinet & grunts, squirms & wiggles-- I'm talkin' all. night. long. It sounds as if she is on the verge of waking up & crying any second, yet she never lets out a wail--just continuous movement & noises coming from her bassinet. It's just enough to keep me on pins & needles, wondering if I should or shouldn't allow myself shut my eyes & enough to have me praying for just the smallest stretch of quiet, sound sleep.  It's funny how well a mother can know her child, even before that child ever actually enters into the world. All along I knew our little Lulla was a mover & a shaker.

In spite of the sleepless nights, expensive formula & phone calls to the pediatrician, this month has been nothing short of amazing. In only a matter of 30 days, this little girl has slipped in & changed our lives, transformed the way life looks like for our family & we could have never dreamed it would all be this good.

It's been a month that has expanded our hearts, a month that has deepened our love tanks, a month that has us eagerly anticipating the many more that lie ahead {even if it did whizz by just a little too quickly}.

Oh, how we love life with Lulla Cate.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Birthday DaddyBoy!

Happy Birthday, DaddyBoy! We love you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

To the Daddy who:

Rocks his babies to sleep

Changes poopy diapers

Takes middle of the night newborn feedings

Drops his bags at the door every evening & plays with his kiddos til bedtime

Insists on doing the bath-time/bedtime routine every single night

Drives grocery carts like they are race cars

Kisses & hugs & tells his children a hundred times a day how much he loves them

Tiptoes into nightlight lit rooms for one last peek & kiss goodnight

Works incredibly hard at his job so that Momma can be home everyday to play...

You are the father every mother dreams for her children & you are the Daddy every child wishes for. 

Thank you for making our dreams & wishes come true. 

You are so loved.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Big Brother

From the moment our little Lulla girl slipped into this world, she's had a big brother that is simply over the moon about her.

Oh, how he adores her.

You can never be sure how a two year old boy is going to respond to a tiny little sister coming in & shaking things up in his world. There was a part of me that got a little anxious wondering how he would take to a new member of the family--would he be jealous? Would he act out? What if he wanted nothing to do with her? Would he felt jipped or slighted, unloved or less important?

But yet again, my sweet Jett Jett has me asking myself the question, How in the world did I ever get so lucky with this little boy?

Now I'm not saying he doesn't have his days--he throws tantrums, he hits other kids, he shouts "Mine!" to anyone who even glances at his stuff. He's a two year old--& he acts as such.  But I truly believe this kid has a heart of pure gold--especially when it comes to a certain little girl.

The moment he laid eyes on Lulla, he just wanted to love her. Since the day of her birth {I can't believe it's been three weeks already}, he has shown nothing but an outpouring of love, gentleness & pure adoration towards her.

He's never shown one ounce of jealousy. He's never pushed her away. He's never acted uninterested in her. And he's never begged to send her back to the hospital {like I did when my little brother came home & cramped my style}. 

Instead, he has welcomed her into this family with arms wide open. He asks what he can do to help Momma, whether it be tossing an empty bottle into the sink or throwing a tiny diaper into the trash. He helps put socks on her little feet & reminds me that she will scratch her face if she's not wearing her boxing gloves {that's what we call her little hand mittens}.

Not a day goes by that he doesn't ask at least once, "I hold it?".  And I can't help but swell with pride {& grab my camera} when I see the that little smirk turn up on the corner of his mouth as he gently snuggles her in his arms.

She's the first person he asks about when I go in to get him out of his bed in the morning. And come evening time, it's little sister who gets the first of the bedtime kisses.

It's an amazing experience, watching your children form a relationship--even as early as three weeks into it. But sure enough, it's already there--it's forming, it's blooming, it's growing. Each & every single day I am catching glimpses of a relationship that is beginning & one that only these two souls will every truly know the depths of. I believe in my heart that what Jared & I gave to both Jett & Lulla--a sibling--is one of the best gifts we could ever give to them. Their lives will be better because they get to share it with one another.

I know that one day down the road, these two are gonna duke it out. It won't always be hugs & kisses, snuggles & love. He'll get mad 'cause she's messed with his stuff & she'll get her feelings hurt because he's called her name.

But at the end of the day, I know there's a love between these two with roots that have grown deep. I know that even though they'll drive each other absolutely nuts sometimes, that they would be lost without the other. I know that they will share something that only the two of them will ever truly understand. 

I know it because I'm witnessing the beginnings of it happening right now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{happy} happenings

Shoo-wee! It's busy around here. My life has been overtaken by tiny baby jammie snaps, loads upon loads of teensy baby clothing, poop-up-the-back diaper blowouts, scarfing my lunch in two bites {on the days I'm lucky enough to eat a lunch} & nights that include a slew of events, but unfortunately sleeping has yet to be amongst that list of events. 

But hey, we're surviving. And in between the surviving, we're even managing to have a whole lot of fun with the new set-up we've got going on.

Here's a few of our latest {happy} happenings:

 Chasing Daddyboy with the waterhose.

 Check out the ornery smeared all over Jett's face--a tried & true 'Denace the Menace'

 Momma & Lulla decided to stay out of the water fight & just snuggle. 

Oh, how I love this angel baby

 Sportin' our green & blue stained tongues after a summer evening trip to Tropical Sno

Water day in the backyard--talk about a great family Saturday

 Afternoon photo shoots. This is my attempt at keeping Miss Lulla Beans awake during the day {in hopes for a three hour stretch of sleep at night}

Our happenings of late have been pretty simple. We're adjusting. We're slowin' things down. We're taking it one day at a time.

And by doing so, we've had ourselves some pretty darn good {happy} happenings.