Friday, July 27, 2012

Mommy Guilt

My friends warned me about it. They told me it would hit me smack dab in the face once I was juggling two kiddos. They cautioned me that I'd feel like I was jipping my eldest child & that just when I would begin feeling like his needs have been met & that he's balanced & fulfilled & perfectly content, it's then that I would spin around to find, Crap! I've just gone & neglected my youngest! 

Sure enough, ol' Mommy Guilt has shown up & she's been a beatin' down my door.

We don't get out of the house enough. We don't go to the pool enough {Actually, I haven't even taken Jett to the pool once this summer. Thank goodness for grandparents & aunts & uncles who have filled up his days with summer fun}. Jett has watched Toy Story for the third time today. Lulla is has been sitting in the bouncy seat for too long. Jett is bored. Lulla isn't signed up for a Gymboree class... or a music class... or any class, for that matter. The list of guilt goes on & on.

I look at our summer last year, where we were constantly on the go--the pool, afternoon ice cream trips, playdates with friends, Tropical Sno visits, mini vacations. Our tans were golden, our gills had grown & our days were dripping of summertime sweetness. 

When I look at our summer at hand, the one that is breezing right by us--where we stay in the house most of our days, where we can't whisk off to the pool whenever we feel like it, where an impromptu playdate is virtually impossible because once the bottles & diapers & burpcloths & stroller have all been loaded, it's basically time to turn around & come home for nap times--I can't help but get discouraged.

I can't help but feel that we're missing out. I can't help but feel that my kids are getting the shaft. 

**Enter Mommy Guilt.

And let me tell you, I appreciate our families more now than ever-- I really do. We have leaned on them more this summer than we ever have in our lives. My parents, Jared's parents, my brother, Jared's sisters--every one of them have stepped up & come to help us entertain Jett, whether it be a morning spent at an inflatable bounce house, an afternoon spent at the pool, an evening swinging on the swingset or just some quiet time doing crafts, they have given my little boy a summer that I am simply not capable of giving to him at this particular moment. Deep down I know it's the best thing for him--to make lifelong memories with the people who love him so deeply, to spend the day hanging with someone besides Momma, to be doted on & absolutely spoiled rotten. And that's what I repeat to myself as the tears well up in my eyes while I'm dropping him off at the local pool, his loved ones by his side. I'm so thankful for our family & for the memories they are building with our little boy...but I can't help but wish it was me who was soaking up the summer with him.

This Mommy Guilt business is quite the kicker.

And you wanna know what's not helping the situation? This freaking thousand degree heat. 

Even if I were to get both Lulla & Jett's schedules in order {which is truly a miracle when it actually happens}, even if I got the diaper bag packed, even if the double stroller were loaded in the back of my SUV & we were all set & ready to roll out, this 100+ heat is not bearable--especially with a tender one month old in tow.

So for now, we're stuck indoors. We're watching too many Disney Pixar movies. We're staying in our jammies til noon {okay, so it's actually til' 3:00--whatever}. We're calling up grandparents to come & save the day. And my Mommy Guilt is crankin' full force.

And though it bums me out, this looming cloud of you're not measuring up as a momma to two guilt,  I have a choice in the matter. I can choose to let it eat me alive, to become slave to it, to cave & accept the fact that this summer blows. I can stay in my jammies, say forget it & look forward to next summer, where our family will be a little more flexible & mobile.

Or I can choose to embrace this season of life, to treasure the simple moments where life is slow moving & the days are a clean slate waiting to be filled with board books, rocking chairs & snacks eaten under a fort made of blankets. Where we trade in our smoldering summer activities for some beat the heat activities.

Beat the heat activities like these ones:

**Perfecting those fine motor skills while simultaneously practicing colors. {Little Mister has his colors down}:

Yes, that is a huge alligator tear rolling down his cheek. Grandma had come to visit & had to leave for a doctor's appointment & this little boy's heart broke. In an attempt to console him, I thought a morning activity consisting of pipe cleaners & a kitchen colander might remedy the situation. The tears still rolled, but at least he humored me & played along. 

**Cooking Class:

Because every child should know how to make a mean batch of Rice Krispie Treats

A two year old, a cooking class, & no mess? What fun would that be?

**A Homemade Sandbox:

A $7 tub. Two bags of play sand from Home Depot. A couple $1 toys from the Target dollar section. A few kitchen utensils from Home Goods. An Uncle Curtis who builds out of this world castles. And there you have it-- a backyard sandbox, my friends {or a front drive sandbox--cause it's moveable, ya know?}. Jett loves this thing--begs to go out & play with it.

**Afternoon Naps:

Take that, Mommy Guilt.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lovable Lulla

Lulla, sweet Lulla, 
How do I love thee? 
Let me count the ways.

* I love when people lay eyes you--friends, family & strangers alike, they can't help but comment on how incredibly beautiful you are. It's true--you really are one beautiful little baby girl.

* I love the way you sleep, with your little fist always curled up by your face--sometimes it's tucked under your chin, sometimes next to your cheek, but it's always there, looking like someone came along & posed it there for a photo.

* I love when it's me you want--how when someone else is holding you & you begin to fuss & stew, it's me that can come along, scoop you up & settle you into a perfect state of contentment.

* I love that sad little bottom lip that pokes out long before a cry is ever worked up. You've been poking that lip out since before you were born {I have the 3D ultrasound pics & video to prove it} & you've already learned it's a sure fire way to melt my heart into a puddle.

* I love how only your Daddy's voice can calm you when you're smack dab in the middle of a top of the lungs wail {usually after your bath when I'm putting your lotion on you}. I can shush & sing & baby talk to you until I'm blue in the face & then Daddy walks in, bends down close so you can hear him, utters off a "Hi pretty girl" & just like magic, you're soothed & back to the easy going baby we know.

* I love your little milk mouth after you've just finished a bottle. As you are drifting off into a milky state of drunkenness, I pull the bottle from your lips & you lay there, cradled in my arms,  mouth open, tongue just barely peeking out, milk covering those sweet lips. It makes your Daddy & I laugh every single time.

* The arm rolls. Oh, how I love the arm rolls. Even though you came into this world as a teensy, tiny little thing, you came sporting the most delicious arm rolls. They cascade down your arms & I check every single day to make sure they are still there. Don't go thinning out on me, sister. 

* I love that you recognize us--Daddy, Jett & me. You hear our voices & turn your head in our direction. You smile at just the sound of our voices, before ever laying eyes on us. And you light up & get those little feet & arms pumping when you finally do catch us in your eyesight. We are your family, the three people who are absolutely smitten with you & to know you already realize exactly who we are makes my heart burst.

* I love your little grunts. Not the acid reflux grunts--thankfully those have been taken care of & are long gone. I'm talking about the grunts that take place just before you drift off into dreamland. You twist & turn, nestle & nuzzle, grunting until you find the perfect spot to catch your peaceful zzzzz's.

* I love our morning visits. You're the first one up & it's those early morning hours that I find you are the happiest. When the rest of the house is still snoozing, you & I, we have quite the girl talk. You lay on your changing table while I put you in a fresh diaper & a new outfit & we chat about all sorts of things. Your little eyebrows get to dancin', your mouth moves in every which direction & then finally, you work & work until you belt out a little screech or gurgle. It is certainly the best start to a day.

* I love holding you. If holding a baby can spoil them, then let me tell you--you're going be the most spoiled rottenest little baby around. I don't know what it is, but I just can't get enough of you. It's been like that from day one. You are so snuggly, so squishy, so little & cuddly & I could dream away the day with you snug as a bug on my chest. 

* I love being your momma. There isn't another soul in this world who is in love with you more than I am. You swooped into our lives & you've stolen the show & my heart. Everyday I love more & more about you & find more & more that I just can't live without.

You are my Lovable Lulla & I am so in love with you.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

{sweet} happenings

Brotherly love.

 Lulla's sweet lips.

Spending my days with the cutest kids ever.

The smile she brings to his face.

Lulla's first trip to church.

My sweet helper. 

Snuggle bugs.

Arm rolls.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lulla Smiles

At six weeks on the dot, little Miss Lulla started doing this...

My goodness, how this little girl lights up our lives.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth Of July {In Photos}

We had a lovely Fourth. It was simple & basic, yet overflowing with all that an Independence day should be filled to the brim with--a surround sound of snaps & pops, food cooked on a charcoal grill, an American flag waving in the humid filled July air, family members to laugh with, a blanket thrown underneath a color-bursting sky & babies decked out in red, white & blue.

Here's our Fourth of July in photos:

 Off to the fireworks tent to get stocked up on explosives. Jett carefully chose an assortment of smoke bombs, black snakes, snaps, jumping jacks, parachutes & sparklers--all the kid essentials.

My annual, {actually it's not mine--I just borrow it from Pioneer Woman} made from scratch, fully loaded Fourth Of July cake. I always consider making something new {dessert wise} for the Fourth, but I never can seem to bring myself to do it. This cake is absolutely AMAZING & is always a crowd pleaser. Why go & mess with a good thing, right?

Daddyboy & Momma snuggling our little American beauty

 Boys will be boys

Some Uncle Kyle & Auntie Aubry lovin' 

Pulling our sweet babies in tight, thanking God for the blessing of their little lives & for the beautiful country we proudly raise them in

 Once the big fireworks show was underway, Jett sat in his kid-sized Mickey folding chair, still as a soldier, uttering "Oh wow!" to the displays he found to be especially exciting, while Lulla snoozed, not even flinching at the sonic booms that filled the night


I apologize that 'happenings of our home' hasn't been very happening lately. Between the sleepless nights & Acid Reflux battles, my mind has been one big muddled mess. I promise I'll kick it into gear & get back to my ramblings once I get rested up. Until then, bare with me!