Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Archives: Fan Fest 2012

A once, maybe twice in a lifetime event took place over the summer.

Our very own Kauffman Stadium-- here in Kansas City-- hosted the MLB All Star Game.

And these two cuties jumped on the chance to have a Guys Day & join in on the festivities.

I sure wish I'd known what a huge deal this was & I would have tried my best to convince Jared that he needed to purchase the outrageous tickets {the man refuses to ever buy himself anything} & go. But, being the girly girl I am, I failed to recognize this monumental event until it was much too late to purchase tickets. Boo.

Luckily, our neighbors had an extra set of tickets to Fanfest-- the largest baseball fan event in the world, & they invited my baseball lovin' boys to join in on the action! 

So even though they didn't sit in a thousand dollar seat, didn't holler with the crowd at the Home Run Derby & didn't witness the first pitch being thrown at the 2012 All Star Game...

they still made out with a little piece of baseball history.

{Daddy has photos from the actual day on his camera. I'll add a collage to this post as soon as I get them uploaded}

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Archives: County Fair

How can it be that an entire year has passed since we ventured off to THIS county fair last summer?

And how can it be that the wee little guy in last year's post has grown like a weed & is having all the fun there is to be had at a fair?

This year, Coach & Gigi joined us as we all made our way out to the biggest fair I think I've ever been to. I'm not kidding, this fair had every farm animal you could think of--I'm talking rows upon rows of chickens, cows, pigs, horses, bunnies...

We had to stop & say hello to a few.

 You'd think that this big cow would have frightened Jett, but actually, it was the other way around--Jett sneezed & this cow & another one in the stall just about jumped out of their hides!

It's a good thing we'd all had enough of the barnyard smells, because once Little Mister laid eyes on the carnival in the distance, those pens upon pens of animals quickly became chopped liver.

 I want to bottle up that face--those eager eyes. That, my friends is childhood wonder in it's purest form. 

"I want to ride THAT one!" he exclaimed.

And so he did.


And again...

And again.

If I can't bottle up the excitement from that first photo, any of the above will do just fine. 

First roller coaster ride. I'm positive it won't be his last.

Little Miss Lu-Lu enjoyed herself, as well. Though too little for the carnival games, she still managed to score big--with plenty of smooches & snuggles from Coach & Gigi.

The whole evening had been a hit. The night air was cool. Jett was floating on could nine. Lulla was content as content could be. It couldn't have gone better.

And that's when we should have packed up & called it a night. Because you know how the saying goes...all good things must come to an end.

End it did.

And not without a bang...

I had the bright idea that Jett would love a ride on the great big, brightly lit ferris wheel. There it stood, towering at the very front of the fair, lights flashing, passengers sailing higher & higher, giving a view for miles around. It looked to me what would be a perfect grand finale to a perfect evening. It would be our last stop--the final ride of the evening--the one that would leave a lasting impression of our 2012 trip to the county fair.

Oh, it left an impression, alright.

Long story short--the ferris wheel took forever & a day to load/unload passengers & Jett was done about three minutes into it. After those three minutes were up, he burst into tears, wailing, "DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE!" And if it wasn't bad enough, once the poor kid got to the top, he sat strapped in & forced to peer down at a carnival of rides he actually wanted to be riding. Talk about torture. That was one long  ferris wheel ride I'm sure he won't be forgetting anytime soon. Nor will the other passengers who had paid for their overpriced ticket, only to be stuck listening to a two year old scream his lungs out for twenty minutes. Oops. My bad.

And don't think it was all funnel cakes & cotton candy down on the ground. We were busy fighting our own battle. Lulla had hit her breaking point {Whose bright idea was it to bring a two month old to a fair, anyways?}. Suddenly, I couldn't figure out which was going to get me the Mom Of The Year Award first--traumatizing my two year by sending him high into the air on a rickety ride he despises OR having my infant out at 10:00 at night, highly overstimulated, while an interesting crowd begins to multiply all around us}.

Things were not good.

Finally the friggin' ferris wheel dumped my husband & little boy out & we made it up to Jett the best way we knew how-- cotton candy, a few more motorcycle rides & a promise we'd do it all again in a year. Then we hit the road, screaming baby in tow.

We stumbled in our house at eleven o' clock that night, a thick coat of dirt covering every exposed part of our bodies. We took another good hour to get everyone showered & scrubbed & then finally, just after midnight, we tucked worn out, sweet smelling babies into bed. Jared & I then curled up together in our own bed, whispering just before falling asleep...

"That was fun."

It really was. Grand finale & all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Archives: Swim Lessons

Kids are heading back to school. The local pool has reduced its hours to weekends only. Mornings & evenings are bringing a slight temperature dip. And daylight hours are slowly but surely, shrinking. 

It all means one thing.

Summertime is closing up shop. Shutting its doors. Putting a Sorry We're Closed sign in the window. 

And that means, I've got a lot of catching up to do. I have let this blog of mine take a backseat over the summer. So many things have quickly transpired in the three months that lie behind me that I'm not sure a hefty chunk of it has even processed within me just yet. Priorities in my life took a shift & something that has always been important to me-- my quiet time, where I come to release the many thoughts pondering inside of me, had to be slid onto the back burner for a short time. It was necessary. And it's perfectly okay with me. But I must admit, I am anxious to get back. To slow down. To hear & process the moments that have grown me, expanded me, shaped me into more than I was just three months ago. I will get back. I will share so much. I will write to my heart's content. Soon.

But first, I've got to get crackin'. I've got to pull out my Summer Archives folder, thumb through the fun, & jot down some of the big & small happenings that took place throughout a smoldering three months of sweet summertime. They are memories--& not just any old summer memories--they are ours. And they must be scribbled in--before Summer comes to an end...officially. 

First up: Swim Lessons

Alright, I wasn't going to say anything. But I have to. I can't stand it. I can't risk that one day my little boy is going to look at this photo & say "MOM! What in the world were you thinking letting me sport that Dumb & Dumber haircut?!" Sorry kid, Amy {you know her as "Mimi"} was out of the country & a stranger gave you one heck of a botched up hair-do. Trust me, I didn't even want to let you out of the house--but Daddy said we had to. 

Daddy did the honors this year... for a couple of reasons. #1. I just had a baby & my body ain't in no shape to be flaunting around in a bathing suit. #2. Jared missed swim lessons altogether last year so he was eager to take on the evening session this year & make up for it.

Jett polished up on some of the skills he learned last year--blowing bubbles, kicking his feet, floating on his belly, scaling the edge of the pool. Easy peasy.

And he even took on a few new skills this year----floating on his back, scooping water with his hands & his favorite--jumping off the side of the pool into Daddy's arms.

But there was one skill, I'll have you know, that our Jett man was having no part of....

Going under that water. 

Notice Jett's perfectly dry hair

He fought, clawed, cried, tried to escape & gave the dirtiest looks he could muster up in an attempt to keep that head of his dry. Kid's got determination.

So it wasn't the year he grew gills or swam laps or glided around the pool like a fish.

And we're okay with that.

Because we know our little boy. We know that when he's good & ready {& not a minute before}, he'll dunk his face under that water & he'll go for a swim.

Until then, we'll just sit back & admire those long,drippy eyelashes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Big Boy Bed {The Children's Book}

A few months ago, a children's author stumbled upon my blog & contacted me, asking me if I would be willing to allow her to feature Jett in one of her upcoming books.

After a little thought {& some research to make sure she was a legit author}, Jared & I agreed that it would be pretty cool to have a published children's book with our little Jett Jett gracing the pages. Not to mention, the sweet keepsake it would become to our family {& you know what a crazy  fool I am for a sentimental keepsake}. 

So we gave the go ahead.

And just this week, look what came in the mail!

My Big Boy Bed
Written by: Karen Langdon

The second I had the book in my hands, I frantically flipped through the crisp pages until I found it. Sure enough, there he was. My very own big boy in his very own big boy bed--in professional print.

I can't tell you how many times we've read this book over the past few days--but trust me, it's a lot. Jett loves it. Of course he gets all crazy-over-the-moon excited when he sees himself in the book, but he also loves looking at all the other pages, with the many different little boys who are just like him, sleeping in their very own big boy beds. Too cute.

If you have a little boy of your own who is venturing off into big boy territory, this book should definitely be amongst the others in your children's library {no moolah being sent my way for saying that, either}.

Or if you happen to be a family member of Jett's--grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, cousin, great aunt, etc...

You can order your copy here:

p.s. I am sure Jett wouldn't mind scribbling in your book if you'd like to send it our way for a signature, haha! You know, since he's famous & all, now.

Happy reading!

Friday, August 10, 2012

the little things

It's the little things...

* My morning coffee--Dunkin' Donuts French Vanilla. A splash of Creme' Brulee creamer. One Splenda. Served up in my favorite pretty cup.

* Frequent Grandma visits-- Play-doh. Arts & craft time. Jeep rides. Shopping. Talks til 2 a.m. {me & mom--not the kids}. Sure, we've had a whole gob of doctors' appointments to buzz here & there to, but the down time in between has been sweet.

* New jammies. I'm getting better, but if you skimmed through my dresser, you'd see I've got one crazy serious addiction to pajamas. I don't know why--they just make me happy. And cozy. And who could have too much happy & cozy?

* Home cooked meals. Life lately has been a whirlwind for us & we have found ourselves tucked inside the booth of our favorite mexican restaurant, downing chips & salsa or in line at a fast food joint, carting home greasy hamburgers much too often. I hate that. Fast food, restaurant food, food not prepared at home makes me feel blah after awhile. I need fresh ingredients--garlic, onion, basil, parmesan. I need the mess. I need the around the table togetherness. I need the "This is good, babe." from my husband. I'm back in the kitchen & it feels good.
Lasagna Soup recipe here. {I make it without the cheesy yum--I'm not a fan of gooey, gunky cheese, but if that's your thing, go for it.}

* Brother/Sister love. That he now asks, " I hold Sissy?" instead of "I hold it?" She's not an "it" any longer. She has made it to sister status in his mind. I love that.

* Homemade cookies straight out of the oven. Sorry, no photo of the finished product--those puppies didn't stand a chance. You should have seen the four of us, huddled around the oven, waiting for the timer to go off. We got em' while they were warm & gooey & we saw no point in transferring them from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack. Oh, one question... if you bribe your child with chocolate chip cookies in order to get them to eat a healthy, well balanced the cookies then cancel out the healthy dinner? Just wondering. 

Crisp, clean sheets on the bed, the school supplies section at Target, a much needed drop in evening temperatures. Tell me, what little things are brightening your world on this lovely Friday?

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lulla Cate {Two Months Old}

Look who's two months old!

{Actually, she's been two months old for a couple of weeks now. I'm a little late on this post. Better late than never, right?}

Nope...I'm not having a bit of fun dressing this little girl up.

First let me start off by telling you about her two month check-up. The moment we walked in, our little Lulla girl stole the show. She was dressed in ruffles & frills & my goodness, those nurses done went & lost their minds over her. Seriously, they oooh'd & ahhhh'd & called every nurse out of her station to come over & check out our little miss priss. Even our pediatrician {a big, tall, father of four boys} came walking in all curious as to what the fuss was about. This momma wasn't proud or anything *wink*. Oh & the pretty, foo foo outfit everyone was making a big hoopla over? Yeah well, she pooped all over it two seconds after the crowd walked away. At least she waited til' the crowd cleared.

Lulla put on quite the little show while Dr. Moylan examined her--she cooed & grinned, showed off how quick she can kick her chunky legs & how strong that little neck of hers is. She weighed in at a whopping 11.2 pounds & all of her stats fell in the 50th% range. Dr. Moylan called her "perfect" {which we already knew} & Miss Lulla was having herself a grand ol' time being the star of the show.

Until...{duh..duh...duh...} those darn dreaded shots.

Like most mommas, I have a hard time when it comes time for shots. That's where Daddyboy comes to the rescue. Jared stood next to Lulla, holding her little hands, talking softly next to her ear, while I curled in a corner, eyes squinted, ears plugged, tears festering. See how well I do when my kiddos are in pain? 

And let me tell ya, I'm not the only one who has a hard time with those shots. Lulla Cate had herself a full fledged hissyfit. I am so used to Jett, who immediately stopped crying after he was scooped up & safe in our arms, but whoa buddy, our little girl let us have it. And she didn't quit letting us having it for a good twenty minutes after the fact. She cried & cried & once she would stop crying, she then would do the little catching her breath thing {that breaks my heart}, & would burst into tears all over again. All of this was complete with a fat bottom lip poking out the entire time, as well.  Little sister hates her some shots. Poor baby.

We spent the rest of the day administering doses of Tylenol & snuggling up together in our comfy chair at home. This seemed to be the remedy we both were needing after those blasted vaccinations. 

So now that you know how the two month check up went down, let me fill you in on a few other things our sweet girl has been up to at TWO MONTHS.

Girlfriend loves her bath time. In fact, the very second she hears running water, she falls into a state of relaxation. She sometimes gives me a little sass when I wash her face with the cloth or when water drips from her hair into her face, but other than that, bath time has proven to be one of her favorite parts of the day.  

She's sleeping through the night!!! {Sorry grammar police. I thought long & hard about whether the use of three exclamation points is necessary here, & I have come to the conclusion that indeed, all three of them are a must.} 
She usually has her last bottle for the evening between 9 & 11p.m. & then she hits the sack until 6:30-8 a.m. Oh the difference a full nights sleep makes in this household! 

Right around five weeks old, we found out Lulla has Acid Reflux. Thankfully, it isn't the reflux that brings along with it gallons upon gallons of puke {In fact, I have never in my life been around a baby who spits up as little as Lulla--I can actually count on one hand the times she has spit up. Crazy, I know.} Instead, her reflux consisted of horribly acidic stools which would burn the fire out of her booty, increased fussiness, gagging as if something was coming up her esophagus & grunting--grunting that would last all. night. long. because she simply could not get comfortable. Thankfully our pediatrician diagnosed it quick, put her a prescription of Zantac & our sweet baby was back to her content self. 

Because of her Acid Reflux, we have found that sleeping flat on her back is not an option for her. So we have kicked the bassinet out of our bedroom & hauled in the baby swing, instead. That's right, she sleeps in her swing. I have to be honest, I am petrified that she will never transition to her crib after this, but our pediatrician has advised us to do what works at this point. And sleeping in the baby swing, works. We'll cross the sleeping in the crib bridge when the time comes, I suppose.

She is every ounce of girl. Know how I know? She loves to talk! She's got stuff to say & she isn't shy about doing so. She'll give us a few great big million dollar grins to lure us in, but then she gets down to business--telling us all that's on her mind.

This chick is a 100%, bona fide, Daddy's girl. She is smitten with her daddy. Her eyes follow him when he walks away, she calms at just the sound of his voice & when he walks in the door at night, if he doesn't show her attention as soon as she would like, out pops that bottom lip & her little heart breaks. Oh, how she loves her Daddy. And you oughtta see how over the moon that Daddy of hers is about her {that's a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother day}. It's so very true, there's just something about a Daddy & his girl.

She's still a mover & a shaker. When my dad comes to visit & is holding her, he always chuckles about how wiggly she is. She's been a wiggle worm since I was pregnant & the only time she sits still is when she's sound asleep. She has even rolled from her tummy to her back several times. This little girl has places to go, people to see! 

It's amazing to me that two months of her life has already whizzed right on by.

Even more amazing to me is the fact that we ever lived life without this darling little girl. She is the perfect fit for our family...our lives... & our hearts & every single day she sinks more & more comfortable into her very own spot in our worlds.

We love us some two month old Lulla Cate.

This post is written solely for the purpose of capturing my little girl's life at the tender age of two months. It is not, however, an invitation to suggest to me how I should be parenting my babies. If you don't choose to formula feed, congratulations--here's a gold star. If you don't choose to vaccinate, congratulations--have another gold star. If you don't believe in prescription drugs given to babies--you guessed it, another gold star. I am an educated woman, a mother who loves her children to the ends of this earth & back & I know in my heart I am doing what is right for my family. I would never push my own beliefs on you & I would appreciate if you would have the same respect for me. Thank you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Detour Ahead

Often times, when I sit down in this chair, laptop glowing, happenings of our home pulled up in front of me & a blank page with a cursor blinking at me, I pretty much know the direction my post for the day is going to take. I have a topic all mapped out in my head, complete with photos to weave throughout it & I blog to my heart's content on topics such as potty training progress & weekend wrap ups. I keep a short list on my iphone of happenings I want to be sure & write about so that those fleeting moments don't ever get too far from me & eventually slip through the holes of my memory. Those posts are the newborn days of my sweet baby girl, they're the funny sayings of my growing toddler boy--they're the big & little moments alike, that make up who we are as a family. Those pre planned posts of mine are sacred & their price becomes more & more valuable as the days tick away.

But sometimes, there are posts that I sit down to write, having a topic of some sort in mind, & it's just after I hit the preview button that I realize my mind must have needed to take a detour, to travel off the beaten path, to trail-blaze a route of it's own. It's those posts that always seem to lift weight from my shoulders, patch up holes in my heart & bring attention to the things that are brewing underneath the surface in my life. Those posts are my heart revealed, they're the real & raw, they're ones that send a zing of fear through me the second I hit Publish. Those unplanned posts of mine are necessary. They birth growth. They force self reflection.

To be honest, what I'd really like to do right now is to tell you all about our latest happenings. I'd like to whip up a quick pre-planned post, insert a couple photos of some really adorable kiddos, hit Publish & call it a day. I'd love to tell you about Jett & his potty training--how he's rocked the socks off it & completely mastered it--even the pooping part. I'd like to tell you what a little sweetie our Lulla girl is--how she's been sleeping all the way through the night--sometimes til eight o' clock in the morning!  I'd love nothing more than to tell you about the exciting possibility of our little family relocating to a new home here soon--a home that will put us in a town that is located smack dab in the middle of both our families.

But lately, every time I come here to this place of mine, this place where I unleash all the thoughts bouncing around in my head, it's not the above happenings that rise to the top. It's not potty training & sleeping newborns that have my full attention at the moment. Those aren't the happenings making their way to the forefront of my brain.

So muddled mind is going to jump on a path less travelled & it's going to have its way. I give in. Because until I write about what's really on my mind, it won't clear up & leave space for the happenings I so wish to get caught up on...

Detour ahead.

Tonight as I stood underneath a much needed hot shower {let's just say--it was a snot flingin', baby pukin' kind of day}, I felt a sudden yank in my stomach. I'm actually beginning to get used to the knot that has taken up permanent residence within my gut.  For the past two weeks, I've slowly mastered how to live life with it there. I've managed to accept the pain in holds within it. I've figured out how to continue on with everyday life, not allowing it to consume me. But even still, the knot remains all balled up inside of me, a constant reminder that life is throwing a curve ball in our direction. And every once in awhile, something comes along--sometimes a thought, sometimes a what if, other times a cold hard stare with reality & that knot tightens as if two forces on opposite ends are pulling with all their might in an attempt to rip out my insides. Tears follow. Then every emotion under the sun surfaces & I find myself sorting through the rubble of fear & anxiety. Rinse & repeat.

Two weeks ago today, we found out my mom has cancer.

Please, if you know my mom, don't go running up to her hugging her & telling her how sorry you are. She has found a strength inside of her & has taken on a great attitude about confronting this thing & she's going to be mad enough at me for posting a blog about it. Don't shower her with sympathy--she may haul off & take a swing at you! I'm just teasing about her decking you. But seriously, if you must say something-- simply cheer her on. {Okay Mom, now you can't be mad at me!}

I'm not going to get into all of the details right now. I don't have the energy. I have spent it all up in a subconscious attempt of trying to control this situation. I've called up doctors, I've scheduled Oncology appointments, I've researched Cancer Institutes, I've faxed pathology reports, I've googled words I don't understand & I've kept myself busy, busy, busy thinking if I stand up & take charge, that surely, somehow all of my efforts will sway the outcome.

Ridiculous, I know.

Truth is, many of you have faced the C word dead on & you know as well as I do that there isn't an ounce of control that is held in the tight grip of my hands. I can run myself ragged--& I will--in an attempt to make sure my mom is cared for in the very best way--but at the end of the day, I won't do it anymore with the irrational thinking that I am the master of this plan. Instead, I will surrender. I will know that the only one who holds the reigns in this life, in this particular situation, is an all sovereign God. He has a perfect plan & though I may never understand it, He has His reasons.

The only thing I am able do at this point is to ask you to join me & my family in our journey. I ask for your prayers. I ask for your experiences. I ask for your own personal stories. Our family is stepping out into uncharted territory & if I've learned anything about trials & tribulation in life, it's that we aren't meant to bear them on our own. I've learned that we have a better chance of healing when we have a cheering section, when we have an encouraging word, when we feel like we aren't facing our giants alone.

Today my mom & I were texting back & forth about my obvious inability to embrace change & something she said to me really stuck...

"Just imagine trying to swim up a river instead of simply going downstream with it. The ride is much easier when you go with the current instead of against it. Resistance only causes exhaustion. Acceptance offers peace."

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, sometimes it takes us on a detour, sometimes it rushes us down a fast flowing river. We may not have the ability to control the situation or even the outcome, but we can accept that detours are a necessary part of this life. We can accept that sometimes those detours bring forth healing, sometimes they birth growth, sometimes they bring to the surface the things that are really important in this life. Sometimes they offer peace.

We are marching ahead on this detour together as a family. We will pray. We will fight. We will encourage. We will hold one another up when one of us falls.

I welcome you to join us.