Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Three fourths of a year.  As long out as in.  Nine months sure sneaks up on you when you're the mother of a baby.  It's also a reminder that the big 0-1 mark is right around the corner.

My little guy at nine months:

*Isn't enamoured with baby food any longer.  Loooooves to feed himself if he's given the opportunity, and can officially eat an entire animal cracker.  On his own.  With only minimal freaking out from the momma.

*Foods tried this month include: egg white, pork, animal cracker, french fry, potato salad, jello, banana pieces, avocado pieces, guacamole, tortilla, zucchini and mushroom.  Can you tell he's starting to eat what we're eating?

*Still does the army crawl, but nothing is off-limits anymore.  He's also jumped the single step from the living room into the entry, and made his way back down.  The first time was pretty cautious, the second he just barrelled off the ledge.  I don't think we're in Kansas anymore with this one.


*Wears exclusively 12 month clothing (and really, has since sometime during month 7 with only a few exceptions).  I'm pretty sure he's going to be in 18 months by his birthday.  {gulp.} 

*Diapers have been let out to the fullest possible extent since roughly 6 or 7 months.  I can't remember when I took the plunge, but it's been a while.

*Is getting to be so responsive.  I absolutely adore the little personality that's emerging.  For the first time, I can watch him really mentally process the world around him, and trying to be obedient.  It's kind of amazing.  I ask him to stop, and he does.  I ask him to be gentle (since he's prone to smacking me.  Hard.), and he will.  He bit me last night (the first time, thank goodness) and I yelped "OUCH!"  He cried, but I don't think it was because I scared him.  He kept touching and touching my face, and his cry wasn't his typical "I'm upset" cry.  I swear, it was like he felt bad for hurting mom.  I'm predicting it now: this boy of ours has one sweet little heart (and a great big personality!). 

*Does the SOBIG!! in response to, "how big is Logan?" {love.}

*Sleep.  You guys?  We're getting some.  He takes two 1.5-2 hour naps during the day and sleeps from 6:30 or 7 to 4 a.m.  He then nurses and goes immediately back to sleep until about 6.  Can I get a hallelujah?

*Has the world's best blue eyes.  When people meet him for the first time, I always hear two things: "...is he... really big?" and "He has the most beautiful eyes!"  (And yes.  He is really big.  Thanks for noticing.)

*Has an awesome mohawk.  And by awesome, I mean way more hair than Sister ever had.  It's possible that he may need a haircut before he turns three.  Rock on. (LMS still hasn't had to sit in the big chair.)

*Pretends to be part of the WWE on the changing table.  Spins and squirms and rolls and grabs.  I'm kind of exhausted from trying to wrestle him into his diapers and clothes. 

*Fits so well into our little family.  He is absolutely adored by Big Sis, and the feeling is completely mutual.  It still takes my breath away sometimes - we are blessed beyond words or imagining.  I love that little sweet boy more than I can say.

Happy 9 month birthday, my beautiful boy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Adventures in swimming: A naked story

"Leah, go grab your swimsuit so that we can go to the pool."

Standing in the kitchen, I have an armful of towels that I'm wrestling into a bag that's proving to be too small.  Casey is bagging animal crackers, popcorn, sandwiches and other snacks so that we can venture down the street to the pool, which has been open all of about 3.5 seconds.  I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it: we live two blocks down from our neighborhood pool, and it might be my dream come true.

I can hear her upstairs.  I'm sure there will be some sort of pile when I walk up there, but before I have to, her little fleet fly down the stairs and she makes her appearance in the kitchen: thoroughly proud of herself, sunglasses on, Dad's flip-flop in one hand and swimsuit in the other.

And completely buck nekkid.

She grins and giggles, obviously pleased with the reaction her antics have attracted.

And then, drops everything and bolts -

running around and around the island.

There is also a crazy song and dance that goes along with her merriment

about how excited she is to go swimming.

Nekkid running aside, she might be her momma's girl.  Can you tell?

She's a little rocket.  She can't be stopped.


...she spots the animal crackers sitting on the counter, and realizes that would be a really delightful nekkid treat.

It's going to be a good summer. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Word Wars part deux

I think that this sweet child of mine may outspeak his hyperverbal sister.

It makes sense: even though I talked to Leah a lot when she was a baby, this time around there is someone to actually answer back, which basically means that he's hearing twice as much language. 

His little babblings are becoming more and more pronounced, and take on the form of many more consonants than Sister's did.  Around 9 months, she had mastered her G's, B's, and of course said her first word.

Logan, on the other hand, has mastered the G's and B's, but also lesser-spoken P's, K's, S's, occassionally L's, and most recently, the M's.

As in: MAMA.

It's so awesome.  I love being Mama.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On throwing in the towel and knowing when to quit

Today was my last day of teaching.

I had a tough time packing up my classroom.  We all know that I'm pretty sentimental to begin with, and if walls could talk, they'd tell you many of my happy memories. 

I adore teaching.  I love the faces.  I love their stories.  I love the laughter and random moments.  I love watching them change between August and May, transforming from children into semi-adults literally before my eyes.  I {usually} don't even mind the sassy-pants and defiance that happens with teenagers. 

Why?  Because in exchange, I get the priviledge and opportunity to impact lives.  To literally change the course of someone's future.

It sounds hyped up.  Clearly, there are those who will sleep through my class (and probably every class, for that matter).  There are those with whom I will clash, and they will miss much of what I'm saying because we simply don't jive.  But much, much more often, I am a small cog in the giant wheel of who these children will someday become.  And it is humbling, amazing, and totally awesome.

And I'm throwing in the towel.

It got me thinking about why I got into teaching in the first place.  It has a lot to do with this lady:

She was my 5th and 6th grade teacher, and her influence on my life can't be overstated.   (Sidenote: she also officiated my wedding, if that tells you anything about how very, very important she has been to me over the years.)

It's hard to leave this job behind.  It isn't just a job where I go in everyday, sit at a desk and push papers around.  Being a teacher means something, and being part of this crazy profession and the 600 crazy middle schoolers who have passed through my classroom has meant something.  For a few years, I got to be a part of something incredible. 

There are only two things in this wide world that could make me give up that awesome job, in exchange for the best teaching job of all: motherhood.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why mother's day isn't really about me

To my beautiful children:

It is hard for me to remember a time in my life before I knew I wanted to be a mommy.  Your auntie and I played dolls long past the time one of us was too old for that.  I had a notebook wherein I scribbled the names of my imaginary children.  Elizabeth was on there for a long time.  Jo (after too many readings of Little Women).  Joshua and Caleb, my Biblical heroes.  When I was old enough, I looked after the tinies at our church nursery.  I gave up a kind of amazing opportunity to go to school in New York because I knew I wanted mommyhood to be my life's central focus.

Although I've had other dreams - the teaching one chief among them - I used to spend hours daydreaming about what life would be like as a wife and mother.

Now that I'm here - on the other side of that dream - with two beautiful, blossoming, wonderful and creative little lives, there is something I want you to know:

My darling children, you have made my dream come true.

In my young mind, motherhood was all about snuggling and kissing and dressing up those tiny humans.

And, while that is certainly part of our world, it turns out that that isn't my favorite part of motherhood.

From the moment I knew you were going to be part of our family, you each captured my heart.  The process of carrying you in my tummy, feeling the outlines of your sweet little bodies, the miraculous, breath-taking view of your faces for the first time.  Admiring and anticipating which of you would have my eyes, which your daddy's.  As you grow, I get a front row seat as your personalities emerge and are shaped.  The stubbornness.  The tenacity.  The desire to do right.  The amazing coming together of a life built partly of me, partly of the man I love, and partly out of someone all their own unique self.  I am priviledged to get to find ways to encourage you, to guide you, to understand you, to love you.  Those are the best parts of being a mommy. 

You are mine.  We are forever connected, and I love you so much more deeply than I could have ever imagined possible. 

But you are also your own.  Right from day one.  You each have your own heart, your own needs, your own wants.  As your momma, I strive (and struggle) to figure out how to nurture that heart.  To help you become the most amazing version of yourself. 

Sometimes I am so good at it.  Sometimes, you bring me to tears with pride.  Look what I've done!  I say.  Look at these amazing children who call me mom!

What I have learned over my short years of motherhood is that, as hard as I try, I will also let you down.  I will fall short.  I will momentarily forget, in the heat of stress and frustration, what little miracles you are. 

So, my babies, here is what I say to you today: 

thank you.

Thank you for making me a mommy.  For being my dream come true.  For teaching me about selflessness and forgiveness and perseverence, and my need for unending grace.  For melting my heart and loving me when I am unlovable.  For making me laugh and sharing my days.  For having my eyes.  For learning.  For living

I love you, my darlings.  Oh how I love you.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Date night, mommy style

**I'm a week late in posting this, but I know you'll forgive me when you hear the deets. 

So we've been a man down here recently.  Casey was gone 27 out of 34 days - which is a lot when you're still nursing, washing diapers, making baby food, napping ever two hours (that would be the babe.  I should be so lucky), working full time and trying to run an entire household, all while being outnumbered 2:1. 

My big girl needed something fun to occupy her time. 

I mean, we did have the toilet paper in the sink episode.  And all the chucking stuff in random places.  And the pooping in the bathtub incident. 

So we were in desperate need of something that would remind us both how much we like each other and why we get along. 

Enter: the sleepover.

The plan?  Have icecream sandwiches, eat popcorn in bed, watch Cars and fall asleep in Mommy's bed.  It was date night, Mommy-style. 

And it was a huge hit. 

Like, mind-blowing.  The little girl absolutely could not stop talking about the idea of eating popcorn in bed.  And she loooooved getting to sleep in Mommy's bed. 

She's pretty sweet, that big girl of mine.  And she has just the best heart of anyone I've ever met.  It's nice to be reminded, amidst the challenges of being a tiny person with a big vocabulary and big wants and desires, just how much I do love that sweet little thing. 

No pictures were snapped because, well, aparantly I just don't do that these days.  But we had a ball.  I highly recommend having a sleepover with the little loved one(s) in your life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

On the day I closed a door

"So... I quit my job today."

Read the e-mail I sent to my husband as my heart pounded away.  It was followed immediately by, "I have to submit a letter of resignation, so if we have any doubts, now's the time to call it off..."

I ran into one of my all-time favorite students.  He said to me, "I had a really rough freshman year.  Every time I got down on myself, I just remembered what you said to me at the end of 8th grade.  It really meant a lot to me."  (Sidenote: I sure wish I could remember what the heck I said to him!)

One of my co-workers who has been teaching for over a decade told me what a great teacher she thinks I am.  One of the best she's ever seen, in fact.  She was genuinely distressed at my leaving.

It's nice to feel accomplished.  It's nice to feel like I'm good at the job that I love.  I'm not completely sure how I got so lucky as to actually be good at this crazy job, but the truth is: I am pretty darn good.  Largely because I am surrounded by some truly wonderful people.  Together, we make an almost unstopable team. 

And I'm leaving it behind. 

These two little faces.  They're just so darned worth it. 

I'm nervous and excited.  And 100% sure they'll keep me hopping in ways those 8th graders never could. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Because motherhood is beautiful

Our sweet little peanut.  9 minutes old
Motherhood is beautiful. 
Even when it comes after 24 hours of labor.
Even when it comes accompanied by 16 gallons of IV fluid.

Motherhood is beautiful.

And oh, so worth it.

I came accross these pictures while designing invites for a friend's baby shower, and I couldn't resist posting them.
Between the going back to the hospital, the buying and rennovating a house and the moving, teeny tiny baby Logan didn't really get his fair air time anyway.  Not to mention, he was only teeny tiny for like 12.5 seconds.
in all its exhausted, worn out, joyous, overwhelmed, miraculous forms,
Motherhood is beautiful.


I changed my font at thecutestblogontheblock.com