Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Breather

We've been having a bit of a rough go around our parts lately.  Maybe it's the freezing cold weather that's giving us a bad case of cabin fever.  Or perhaps it's the three year old uncharted territory we are nineteen days deep into. Whatever it is, I'm ready for brighter days.

Valentine's night was going grand. We had a Bo-Ling's picnic dinner on the floor of our living room while Jett bounced around between bites, so excited for the special treat of eating somewhere besides the kitchen table. We enjoyed gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies for dessert. We had a dance party in the dining room {which has been deemed the "play room" because well, when you don't have dining room furniture in a dining room, it quickly becomes a catch all for toys}. Life was sweet. Sweet as sweet can be, really.

And then it all hit hit the fan. And if you'd like a definition of just exactly what hitting the fan means, I invite you to come on over to our homestead any weeknight between the times of  5:30 & 9 o'clock at night. You may want to bring popcorn--'cause it can prove be one doozy of a show. Three years old--it's doing a number on us. Screaming, crying, slapping, throwing things, using the word "no" as if it's the only one in his vocabulary, putting up a fight at dinnertime, bathtime, bedtime...anytime. I'll be honest, it has completely taken me off guard & I wasn't at all armed & ready for all the heat that three is packin'.

On this particular night-- Valentine's night--it went down a little something like this:  Jett screamed through his entire bath & tossed a soaked washcloth at me, resulting in a spanking & being sent straight to bed. I spouted off to Jared, something along the lines of how I feel like he never does the disciplining, leaving me constantly feeling like the bad guy. I stomped up to bed at 8:50 p.m., leaving Jared downstairs in the living room by himself.  I cried myself to sleep, feeling like a failing mom & a crummy wife. Happy Valentine's Day.

{Real life 101: It ain't always pretty.}

We've been snippy. We've been short tempered with one another. We've been counting our sorrows & not our blessings. Our fuses are fried down to nubs.

I don't know how you all deal with spouses who are on your nerves & little ones who need to run off pent up energy from their little systems, but me? I need a breather. So when Sunday afternoon offered up a spillage of sunshine,  I jumped on the opportunity to get out of Dodge for a bit. I loaded up my kiddos, a scooter & a Baby B'jorn & drove until I found an exit marked Change of Pace--otherwise known as home. 

Little sister's first time in a swing. She wasn't quite sure of the idea at first, but it didn't take long for her to warm up & for that smile of hers to spread across her face. 

It's amazing the difference a change of scenery can make. A visit with Papa & Grandma, a park playground, an ice cream treat eaten lakeside & a couple hours on a four lane highway can prove to be really, really good for the soul--both the kiddos' & a momma's.

That night, just in time for evening baths, the kids & I rolled back into our neighborhood. As we rounded the turn on our street & I reached up to trigger the garage door opener, I could feel that my shoulders were carrying much less of a load. The foggy vision I had left the same house with earlier in the day had been replaced with a clearer, renewed outlook. And my lungs, instead of the heaviness that had weighed them down, were now filled to the brim, full of the fresh air I had inhaled throughout the day--at the park, pushing bucket swings & spotting fearless climbers.

We were greeted at the door by a daddy who had taken the opportunity, while we were out of the house, to tackle some of the big projects he'd had looming over his head for some time now. Together we lugged in two tuckered out babies from the car, ones who hadn't even an ounce of energy left to put up a bedtime routine fight.

I know these three year old shenanigans are just a phase & simply a speck in the grand scheme of Jett's precious life. Jared & I will figure out as parents how to come together against the fury of three & become a united front so that we aren't so easily divided & conquered. I know these long winter days, where we're cooped up & about to wring each other's necks--they'll melt away. Spring will blossom & bloom & beg us to come out & play & we will happily do so.

That little Sunday afternoon breather changed the course of direction life was traveling us on. It was just the thing we needed as a family to re-set & re-start. And in the meantime, until 60 degree weather decides to settle in & unpack it's bags, you can bet I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the next break in the clouds--for the next breather that's tossed in our direction.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy {heart} day

We've had a sugary, sweet Valentine's Day--both literally & figuratively. 

Come along, I'll show ya.

A Valentine morning playdate with sweet cousin/friends.

A quiet afternoon spent with my own sweeties, playing with new Valentine presents--Legos with the little man, dollies with my Lulla girl.

And the sweetness continues. Daddy's on his way home with take-out. A blanket is thrown on the living room floor, all set for a little family picnic. Pixie cookies baking in the oven & filling our home with a chocolatey goodness aroma. A bottle of wine chilling for after the kiddos go to bed.

Happy {heart} day, friends! 

Hope it's been sweet.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Super-Hero Pizza Party

He had only two requests for his birthday party this year: 
A super-hero pizza party--with cupcakes.
Easy enough.

He's been talking about this party for a good two months now. I've watched his little wheels turn & I've watched him put together the pieces of his big three year old birthday party & what he's imagined it to look like. The very theme of his super-hero pizza party originated from his own mind & he's had a part in many of the tiny details--making it one super-special celebration. 

Jared & I agreed we would scale back a little this year--a smaller guest list, no stressing about the tiny details, simply sticking to the birthday boy's basic requests--pizza, cupcakes, the happy birthday song, call it day. And then somehow along the way we found ourselves in the middle of the living room floor, burning the midnight oil, knee deep in an assortment of party makin' supplies. 

Because you can't have a super-hero party without super-hero city buildings to set the stage, a TNT piƱata to send a fountain of candy through the air, a balloon arch to wave in the wind, some poof balls to hang from the ceiling, a few BOOM, ZAP & POW signs to kick it up a notch, & a bounce house to master those Spidey jumps. 

You just can't.

The bounce house was actually a spur of the moment decision, made just days prior to the party. With a forecast showing 58, we decided to take our chances & gamble with the midwest weather. We figured there won't be many times in our boy's life that he will have an outside party with his February birthday, so we jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of some nice weather. And as the old saying goes--ya win some & ya lose some. We totally lost in the good weather department--it was a little chilly. Okay, it was a lot chilly. But it's all good--'cause we made out like bandits in the fun department!

Man, what a party!  Friends & family flooded in to celebrate our very own super-hero & once again, I was completely blown away by the love & support we have surrounding us. My boy, our family-- is loved quite a lot. There is no denying that. We could not have asked for a bigger, better super-hero celebration for Jett & our hearts--especially the birthday boy's--were bursting the whole day through. 

The kids bounced & giggled & ate their weight in cupcakes & lollipops while Momma's & Daddy's stood shivering, wiping the red snotty noses of their kiddos {the ones they could catch, anyhow}.

The entire day was an absolute blast & I just so happen to have a few snapshots to prove it: 

He told me the day before, that he had decided to be "shy" at his party. So this is him during the birthday song, head turned away from the crowd--being shy. He's funny, this kid.

Jared & I had several conversations while planning for this super-hero pizza party--as we sat on that living room floor, during the wee hours of the night, blowing up balloon after balloon after balloon & coating paper mache with paint. We laughed at the super-power our kids possess--the one that turns us into crazy people throwing our original plan of simple out the window & replacing it with over the top--because it means a little extra joy is brought to their faces & hearts. We also pondered the idea of whether or not our babies will ever know the depth of our love for them. Will they ever know that behind the detailed decorations & carefully chosen party favors is a momma & daddy that can't even begin to describe how deep a love there is for them? As their parents, we hope & pray. Whether it's a super-hero pizza party or a quiet evening at home, gathered around a made from scratch birthday cake, singing happy birthday, the one thing we hope for, is that our kids never once for a second doubt just how much loved & truly cherished they are.

**Happy Birthday, Jett man. We hope your super-hero pizza party was everything & more than you dreamed it would be. We love you & are blessed because of your precious life.**