Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Things

Last Saturday we woke up to a whole bunch of snow & a whole bunch of snot. Blech. Two sick kiddos with buckets of snot & barking coughs paired with eight inches of snow they can't go outside & play in can become a momma's worst nightmare...

or an opportunity to go into denial get creative. 

So I don't know about all of you, but Spring? It was popping up all over the place here at our house.

Snow? What snow?

Birdhouse Painting:

Bahama Blue. That's the color he wanted to paint his birdhouse. One thing's for sure, it'll stand out. I'm positive it'll be the most coveted little birdie residence on the block. 

Homemade Bird Feeders:

A house painted in the loudest of turquoise and a tree dripping in birdfood? Forget flying south. If the birds are smart, they'll figure out our place is where it's at.


"Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail". It's the only song being sung in our house these days. Jett makes me sing all the verses & he has memorized almost every word. He pushes a cart full of eggs around the house. He hops when going from one room to the next. When we aren't singing the Peter Cottontail song, we are reading the Peter Cottontail book & when we aren't reading the Peter Cottontail book, we are watching the Peter Cottontail show {it's a show on Nick Jr that he loves--excpet the fact that they don't show the face of the gardner in the show. Oh, he gets ticked off that he can't see that man's face.}  It's safe to say, he's obsessed with Peter Cottontail.

But what's Peter Cottontail without a cotton tail?

So the other night after his bath, I stuck a tail on him. And we laughed until we cried.

Yep, he put his own undies on...backwards.

It's Spring here, so of course we have baby bunnies, too.

Sweet Treats:

He dumped & poured, measured & stirred. He cut out the cute little bunny & egg shaped Rice Krispies treats. But when it came time to eat them? Not a chance. How does this kid, the one who will eat anything if it's got a coat of sweet on it, not like a good old fashioned Rice Krispies treat? I'm stumped.


Did you know...that if you plant a handful of magic jelly beans in the ground, then go in for your hour & a half afternoon nap, you will wake up to find...

a lollipop garden?

It's true. It totally works. Go try it.

We managed to keep ourselves entertained. In spite of snow & snot, we made the most of the week & we did Spring things. We brightened up our sick/snow days.

But let me tell ya, yesterday & today, when the sky opened up & poured down it's sunshine, I almost leapt for joy, I was so happy. I grabbed the kids & out the door we went to soak up every bit of outdoor adventure we could.

I know with all my heart that the Lord knew stir crazy was a brewin' & he reached down & gave this momma a great big hug. In fact, he hugged me the whole day through. The sunshine. The two different friends that unexpectedly, in their own ways, came alongside me, offering encouragement & words I so desperately needed to hear. The laughter. The breath of fresh air--both literally & figuratively. He reminded me just how much He loves me. He loves me when I doubt it. He loves me when I resist it. He loves me when I don't love Him enough. He loves me in the most unexpected & perfectly timed ways. He loves me through a sunny day & an understanding friend. He loves me & there's absolutely no denying that.

And this weekend, as we enter into the biggest celebration that could ever be celebrated--the Lord Jesus Christ, a risen savior-- my Risen Savior--I feel so blessed to know Him--the one who died for me, the one who shed His blood for me, the one who reminds me exactly when I need it, just how unfailing His love is for me.

I can't think of a Spring thing that tops that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lulla Cate: Ten Months Old {Beyond The Baby Book}

Little one is on the move. As in, crawling. Forward. Not rolling from across the room & getting herself lodged underneath furniture. Not stuck in reverse. Real true, hands & knees crawling. You go, girl.

I'm hopeful this newfound freedom in crawling helps to simmer this girl down a bit, I don't know, maybe make her a little more content with life. But so far, all it's really proven is now she has the ability to throw an all day hissy-fit and chase me down whilst doing so. 

She's a tough cookie, this one.

Forgive me. I don't mean to complain. I know I complained on the last update about our girl & now I'm complaining on this one & honestly, I don't mean to. Or want to. Really, I don't. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for my little Lulla Beans. I don't mean to appear insensitive to the women out there who desperately yearn to hold a child of their own, while I sit here griping about the one I have. Truly, I don't. But I also feel that if I came here & poured out words of how beautiful & wonderful & picture perfect our moments are, then I would be painting an image that isn't real.

Her very first crawl. Straight up made a b-line for the Legos.

I could list all of the stats--tell you she's measuring 25th% in weight & 10th% in height {we've got a little shorty on our hands. I love her tiny-ness}. I could tell you that on February 2nd, while sitting at my cousin's wedding reception, we discovered her first tooth {a bottom one} popping through. And shortly after that, a second one joined & now she sports the cutest little pair of tiny teeth ever. I could tell you that at ten months & two days, she started army crawling. And that two days after that, braced herself on her hands & knees & slowly but surely, crawled.  

I could tell you that she isn't all too thrilled about baby food & that she'd much rather go for the real grub.  She chows down on chicken, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peas, green beans, cheerios, salmon, rice--she really doesn't turn much down--as long as it isn't in mush form, anyways. Oh & how could I leave out the veggie straws? Girlfriend loves her some veggie straws. That's like her main staple food {They say 'veggie' in the name--they're healthy, okay? So what if they taste just exactly like a potato chip?} Only we don't call them veggie straws here at our house {thanks to my friend, Amy who first introduced them to Lulla}. Instead, we refer to them as 'ciggies'. Because well, the first time she took a hit off one  ate one, it looked like she was smoking a cigarette & so the name 'ciggies' sort of stuck. Of course Amy & I laughed. And took pictures. And texted each other for days about 'ciggies'. You should see how Lulla lights up when we offer her 'ciggies'. It's sort of hilarious. 

Infamous 'ciggie' picture

I could tell you that she loves board books that her favorite tv show is Peppa Pig. She seriously about breaks her neck to get a look at the tv when Peppa comes on. She only need hear the theme song & she's glued. And yes, sometimes I do sit her in front of it for thirty minutes when I need a little time out. Because there is nothing on the face of this earth that will keep this chick content for thirty minutes like that little British pig will. 

Here we have lined up, her favorite things trying to entice her to crawl: binky, brother's Legos, brother's sippy cup. But Peppa Pig came on the television. And as you can see, Peppa trumps everything.

I could tell you that she's learning to sign "more"  & "all done" & that she gets this combination of shy/proud smeared across her face when she does it. 

The milestones. The stats. The stuff scribbled in the pages of the baby books. I have to chuckle because at the end of the day, don't those baby books end up looking pretty similar?  I mean, they grow teeth. They lose teeth. They start solids. They start kindergarten. Don't get me wrong, all of those milestones are precious & document worthy & celebrated. I know, there I was sitting at dimly-lit table at my cousin's reception, with misty eyes, wanting to shout from the rooftops that my baby girl had just gotten her first tooth. I know as much as any momma that these little moments, they're everything. 

But I also know that when I come back here to this space a long time from now, I'll want to see more than the stats. I'll want to know where my head was, what my heart was feeling. I'll want to see motherhood & life & family. I'll want to be swept back to the days where pure chaos was the heartbeat of our home. Even if it isn't pretty right now. Even if I do meet my husband at the door many evenings with tears in my eyes, feeling so worn thin by the end of the day. Even if I do sit in the pediatrician's office begging him to tell me what in the world I can do to make my little girl stop with the incessant crying. Even if I'm beating myself up at this very moment with feelings of guilt for catching myself hurrying along Lulla's baby-ness, in hopes she will be a little more content once she's older & more independent. Even if I can't have an adult conversation because my brain feels too tired & foggy to form a paragraph. 

Even if it isn't all picture perfect & beautifully painted. I still want it. I want it documented. I want it recorded. I want to capture what is ours. 

Quite simply, Lulla Cate at ten months old is tough. It's a lot of tears. It's a lot less sleep. It's cranky & crabby & fussy & fidgety {not just Lulla, but all of us}. And I know it will all be okay. I know it's a phase & a season & I will blink & it will be over. And that will make me sad...& a little happy, too. 

And one other thing I know to be true...

that when I peek in at her tonight & see her lying there peacefully in her crib on her belly, with Lambie underneath her head, her back rising & falling with deep sleep breaths, the love I have for her will slay me. I know that no matter what the day held, no matter how many times I had wanted to rip my hair out, that I wouldn't trade that little baby girl of mine for anything in the entire world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good {cheep!} Fun

My brother had a pet chicken when he was little. No lie. His name was Jack. Jack the chicken. Oh, the memories our hearts hold of that little chicken named Jack.

Jack's life began in a first grade classroom, where a dozen & a half sets of eager eyes waited patiently for fertilized eggs to warm inside an incubator & to finally, many days later, emerge as pecking, cheeping, tiny baby chicks. Amongst that group of pecking, cheeping, tiny baby chicks was a little ball of fuzz, soon to be named Jack. Curtis had to have him. And my parents were always pretty cool about that sort of thing, being that we lived in the country & all, so they said yes & built Jack his very own coop.

I remember Jack clear as day, my most vivid memory being the one where he received flying lessons from his six year old owner one afternoon, right there in our own backyard. My brother Curtis, a small statured six year old boy, with a fiery spirit the size of this universe was up to one of his tricks again. I'd bet just about anything that there was dirt caked under his fingernails,  holes torn across the knees of his jeans, & a frog wriggling in his pocket--that was him & that's who I see when I picture six year old Curtis. There he was that day, running as fast as he could {& he was fast} across the yard...with a tiny little chick perched on his back, just a flutterin' those fuzzy yellow wings to beat the band. Curtis wanted that chicken to fly. And Jack did his best. He fluttered & sputtered & I'm pretty sure he caught more air than any other chicken that ever lived. He actually seemed to be having as much fun as my spunky little brother was. He was an adventurous little chicken. I suppose he didn't have a choice, having Curtis as his owner.

I tell you this story of Jack the chicken to tell you this-- yesterday, on the first day of Spring, when my brother showed up to spend the day with me & the kids, I knew just the adventure we needed to go on. I knew in my heart there wasn't a soul on the face of this earth that would enjoy what I had up my sleeve more than my brother--even the twenty-seven year old version.

So off to the local farm & feed store we went.

To visit the newest hatchlings.

They were a noisy bunch, these chicks. Although located clear in the back corner of the store, their cheep-cheep-cheeping could be heard the moment we walked in the front doors. We were greeted by the friendliest store clerk, a lady I'm guessing was in her 50's with graying blonde hair & oversized glasses, who made us feel immediately welcome, as if she were inviting us into her very own living room. She took one look at us & exclaimed, "You here to see the baby chicks & bunnies? They're back there! You can't miss em'!. They're noisy! And we've even got baby ducks back there, too! ". We caught the come on in & make yourself at home vibe & oh boy, were we excited.  

Jett was dying to get his hands on these bunnies. Sticking his finger through the cage just wasn't cutting it & he was begging to hold them. I'm a rule follower. I always have been. I'm black & white, cut & dry & if there isn't a sign that says we can pull the bunnies from the cages & hold them, this momma just isn't going to do it. I know, I'm no fun at all. But lucky for Jett, Uncle Curtis' fiery spirit hasn't dwindled in the least. That six year old universe-sized spirit is still a-blazing & he's just the opposite of me--as in--if there's no sign saying you can't pull the bunnies from the cage to hold them, then what's the problem? So he did it. He pulled one out, let Jett pet it & quickly tucked him back in with his bunny friends. I don't have pictures because I was scared we were gonna get caught & my armpits were sweating & I was looking over my shoulder & I wasn't thinking straight to change my camera settings & all the pictures I frantically snapped turned out blurry. Rule follower here.

The chicks were an even bigger hit with my boy. There were dozens upon dozens of baby chicks--groups of itty bitty ones, groups of more mature ones--there were so many. We'd put our finger up to the cage & they'd all bounce over to it & peck at it. And while Jett had begged to hold the bunnies, this time he was begging to bring the chickens home with us. When I told him we don't have a home for chickens, he then begged that we buy one of those too.

**Grandma....Papa....didn't you mention that you're spending an awful lot of money on organic eggs? I'm just sayin'...**

Okay, now you're gonna need to brace yourself. Because I promise you, you have never seen cuteness like this ever in your life.

The highlight of our trip...

Baby ducks, people.

 Is this little guy not the freakin' cutest thing ever? He standing there all puffed up & proud like he's proclaiming, "I'm a duck." 
**Grandma & Papa--can we add a duck pond to our wish list, too?**

 Who knew so much adorable-ness could fit into one photo? Seriously.

I honestly cannot think of a single better way to have spent the morning of the first day of Spring. Memories were stirred. Memories were made. And memories were intertwined with one another. And that is so my thing.

Happy Spring, friends.

Forget the snow that's coming & go find some good {cheep!} fun.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Funnies

St. Patrick's Day was just all around funny at our house this year. 

I woke up Saturday morning, eager to get the festivities rollin' for the kiddos. I started by pulling outfits of green from their closets. Nothing fancy--a jet plane shirt & Mater socks for Jett & the only green article of clothing I could find in Lulla's closet--a hand-me-down, six month sized Carter's shirt that was two sizes too small.  But hey, they were dressed {before noon} & festive & this momma was feeling accomplished.

Next, I grabbed my bag of supplies & set out to string a rainbow of yarn throughout the house #pinterestdoesitagain. {Oh boy, did I seriously just hash tag in my blog post? I swear, I am beginning to think in hash tags. #socialmediaisfryingmybrain.} A twisty, turvy, zig-zaggy rainbow that would eventually end in a pot of golden chocolate coins. 

Jett's eyes lit up when he came down the stairs to find sea of colors covering the entire downstairs living area. He winded & gathered & wadded up yarn into his fist & used every bit of self-discipline he had to not simply ditch the ball of yarn & run to where he could clearly see the rainbow's end. Finally, his perseverance paid off & little man struck gold. 

Together, Jett & Lulla sat on a rainbow & tallied up their coins. And all was swell.


little sister decided that one lousy gold coin wasn't gonna cut it. And two lousy gold coins weren't gonna cut it, either. Girlfriend set sights on the whole pot. 

After a little coaxing, he lets her have the the whole pot. But only for a second.  Then he snatches it back.

Homegirl ain't goin' down without a fight. Look at her holding on to that pot of gold.

If looks could kill.

What these pictures don't show, probably because my eyes were bugging out of my head & my jaw was on the floor & I was asking my husband, "How does she know how to do THAT?!", was that when little miss Lulla Cate's hissy-fit failed to work it's charm on her big brother, she took a swing at him--swatted him good, right in the arm. Oh. boy. howdy. This girl is a handful. 

The pot o' gold tizzy concluded when we found out that Lulla didn't want the whole pot of gold-- just a fistful of it. And Jett was as happy as a little leprechaun to share that with her--after all, there was still plenty left over for him to have a chocolate coin breakfast. 

So there. Despite alligator tears & sibling brawls, it turned out to be a pretty good St. Patty's Day.


I came to the realization that it wasn't really St. Patrick's Day. That I had just celebrated, done the whole darn sha-bang, a day early. Oops. Hopefully the kids won't be scarred for life. 

Ya see there? Now you can understand why I've not blogged in almost a month & perhaps you'll bear with me. My brain has been a fuzzy/foggy mess & I am not operating at full steam these days. I've been in a little funk over the past month-- fevers, flus, colds, house decorating drama--it's all been a little overwhelming. But I promise, I'm crawling myself out of my little funk, I'm dusting off & I'm getting on with it. More blogging to come.