Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Mother's Day Blessings

 These are definitely my new favorite pictures of my kiddos. I LOVED the way the light was pouring in all around this spot but, at the same time I loved that I had a nice shade patch for the kids to walk around in. And Bruin even looked at the camera like twice! What a great Mother's Day gift to me! hehe

 Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing Moms both in our family, in our circle of friends and in all the world!! Thank you for all that you do to love on your kids and families! Every drop of love that you pour out makes this world a better place.  God Bless you for all that you do.  I am blessed to know so many strong, giving, loving and selfless women.  I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful day being celebrated.  xoxo


Being a momma is such incredibly hard work.  It's bone weary, gray hair and wrinkle inducing,  brain frying hard.   Every Momma would agree to this and they would probably also point out that I am being far to gentle in my description here.  lol.  

But I also think that every Momma would agree that motherhood's rewards are made up of priceless treasures that money could never buy.

 The gifts that these little people pour into our weary hearts is so rewarding.  Every time they smile.  Every time they snuggle up to us.  Every time they scribble us a little note or love letter.  Every time they get hurt and run to us because they know that we are the only ones who will kiss the boo boos just right.  Every time they wrap their little arms around our necks as we swoop them off to bed.  Every time they point at something new and stare with such an expression of wonderment.  Every time they show love to each other and we get to see a tiny glimpse of our hard work paying off.  Every time they breathe and we simply appreciate the fact that they are okay.  Every time they sing on stage with their class.  Every mother/child tea in preschool.  Every thoughtful gift and every slobbery kiss.  Every time they call us on the phone when we are away.  Every time they come to us for advice and encouragement.  Every time they say, "you are the best mom in the wold world."

What a gift these little wild ones are.

What a sweet gift motherhood is.

(Below: Daisy is not smiling her usual over the top smile here but, I promise she was actually having a lot of fun with Bruin;) 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Daisy is SIX!!

Our little girl is six!

How is it that when our kids are just one day older than they were the day before it feels like so much more time has passed??  

Daisy woke up on her birthday extra early and walked out to see all the decorations I had put up the night before in the dining room and in her bedroom.  She was beaming.  She kept putting her hands on top of her head and standing up really straight and saying, "Mom, I am totally taller now that I am six, than I was when I was five."  I can barely handle that much cuteness!!! She was so excited to go to school and be taller...I did try to gently explain to her that while she does grow a bit taller every day, that she might not have grown that much taller since yesterday.  She seemed to accept that explanation and we moved on to presents and her special birthday breakfast of chocolate chip waffles with strawberries and whip cream.  I don't think she liked it very much because she hardly touched it.  This girl cracks me up.  

It is often said that our kids shouldn't be our friends because we are supposed to be their parent first.  Well, while I agree with that to an extent and I do want my daughter to respect my authority, I also believe that we are laying the foundation for our friendship each and every day.  I want to be friends with my daughter when she is an adult and the only way I see that happening is if she knows that I see her as a friend now as well.  I'm not sure if I am making any sense but, that is the best way I can explain it.   I love planting seeds in our friendship garden by going on dates with my daughter and chatting with her at night about all the odd and random things that float through her brain.  I love taking her with me and involving her in the things that are important to me so that she will learn that she is also important to me.  

Anyways, I'm very grateful that God gave us Daisy.  She is not a perfect kiddo by any means but, she is an awesome kiddo.  She has a beautiful, kind and big, heart.  She is an amazing big sister to Bruin and she has been a joy to parent.  Exhausting (wink)...but, an absolute joy.

And by the way, I adore this picture of my big girl. 

Daisy has grown up so much over the past year.  It's probably a mixture of a lot of things but, definitely the big contributors were her promotion to big sister and her first year in public school.

Right before my eyes Daisy has transformed from the princess and tea party obsessed little girl to the older but, still very little girl who wants to be a teacher, an artist or a decorator and she is obsessed with Transformers right now...WHAaaaa? lol  Works for me.  I love them too.  

 She spends much of her time collecting office supplies and stapling pieces of paper together so that she can create books.  She is a girl after her Momma's own heart for sure.  

She often tells me where decorations or furniture should be moved or what colors I should paint the walls in the different rooms in our house.  She definitely has an eye for design! 

She recently started an art wall gallery in her room.  It was all her idea.  She just taped one of her drawings to her wall one day and now she has probably over 15 drawings taped to the wall and they are really impressive drawings!  I love that she is creating her own space in her room and that she is enjoying her room so much.  She also has a CD player in her room and I passed on a bunch of my Christian music CD's.  I actually have most the CD's from my teen years still to this day so it is a treat to share them with Daisy.  She loves listening to Mandisa's Overcomer album and Brit Nicole's Gold album.  She also got a Veggie Tales sound track recently from Lulu and she listened to it over and over again for days.  It blesses my heart so much to hear my daughter belting out worship songs while she hangs in her room.   

She loves playing games on our tablet.  At this present moment her favorite games are Shopkins and Pet Buddies.  I would say that Pet Buddies is her favorite game of all time and it is a game that I would have loved as a little girl.  You get to buy clothes and furniture and decorate rooms and dress your pets.  It's basically like a really souped up version of the paper dolls that I played with as a little girl.  This kid is so lucky! lol

Her favorite shows are the Rescue Bots, Transformers cartoon, Miles (on Disney),  Inspector Gadget the cartoon,  Wiggles with Bruin...(I think she has a kindergarten crush on Anthony and Sam because she told me that she wants to have two boys so that she can name them by the same names!  I think it's adorable:).  She also watches plenty of all of the Disney cartoons like Sophia, Doc etc. because we have the ap. on the tablet.

Joey and I enjoy watching Fixer Upper together and Daisy has taken notice of this.   We only watch it after she goes to bed but, we talk about it a lot.  A few days ago she asked if she could watch Fixer Upper on the Tablet.  I think she was curious about all the fuss we make over it.  She sat through 20 minutes of it and I could tell that she was a bit bored but, she was so determined to watch something that her Mom and Dad watch because she wanted to be able to talk about the show with us.  Isn't it amazing how much kids want to be so much like their mom and dad...for a brief while.  I am glad that Fixer Upper is a fun and harmless show and I thought it was the cutest thing that she wanted to watch it.  She hasn't asked to watch it again since though...hahaha. 

I am thinking about starting a series like Little House on the Praire with Daisy sometime soon.  She has never watched much of anything other than cartoons up to this point in her life and while she doesn't seem to mind just watching Disney cartoons, I think something like LHOTP could be something that might intrigue her and teach her about what life used to be like.  Plus, I love that the family has strong faith.   Those types of shows are practically non-existent now days.  I also watched Little House on the Prairie as a kiddo.  I've been waiting for the day that I could watch it with one of my own am I this old?? oye.  

Daisy's favorite colors are pink, purple, aqua, gold and red.   She said she likes red because it is a Christmas color and that makes it pretty....she has never liked red until this year.  But, I would definitely say that she is still very much a pink girl overall.  Having a girly girl like Daisy has been so much fun.  I have gotten such a wonderful dose of dress up, sparkles, dolls, princesses and sweetness.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

We signed her up for tennis lessons a little over a month ago and she is loving it so far.  It seems like a perfect sport for her personality so I hope we can keep up with it.  I told her that I would sign up for a class as well so that I can learn the basics and then we can practice together!   She asked if she could go to my practices and cheer for me.  I was tempted to say no because I wasn't sure if she was supposed to go with me but, then I realized what do I care.  My kid wants to cheer for me, heck yes she can join.  So, if tennis eventually becomes a family activity that would be so fun!  Even Bruin has taken an early interest in the rackets and balls.  Who knows...maybe he will want to take lessons and then he and his sister can play together in a few more years.  We have been trying to go to the tennis courts as a family once a week in the evening.  It's been so fun to get some energy out together and Daisy has already improved dramatically since she started two months ago.  It's amazing how quickly kids pick up on something!  

Sidenote: Bruin was in between tears at this moment.  He was mad that we tied his balloon to his hand and he was just plain fussy...definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  This was a picture session fail in every way.  Daisy's balloon slipped 30 feet up into a tree shortly after this sweet picture was taken and she was completely heart broken.  She couldn't stop crying and then it started to rain....what the heck.  Still I am always so grateful if we are able to catch even a couple of decent pics and we did.  At least this picture looks like they are both happy to be there...Daisy of course always glows on camera:). hehe.  Love our babies!

Daisy will wrap up kindergarten in about 2 months and will start first grade immediately after since she is in year round school.  And if you are wondering...yes, I LOVE year round school.  I grew up in traditional school with the 3 month Summer and more often than not, while I enjoyed being out of school...I was SO bored.  3 months is too long of a break but, that is totally my opinion.  Plus, I love having several shorter breaks throughout the year.  This allows us to plan seasonal activities or vacations that we can do together as a family.  

It blows me away that she will be in first grade already.  Why oh why does time move so fast???  She learned SO SO much this past year in Kinder.  She started the year not knowing how to read and not really having much interest in letters or spelling.  Now she can read most level one, easy reader books and she has drastically improved her spelling.  She is also doing addition and subtraction math problems!  I am in awe of how quickly she picks up on things and how excited she is about learning.  It's so fun to see all the papers that she brings home from school because each week I can see her progression and improvement.  I'm proud of this girl.  I will say that I think the length of a school day for a five year old is ridiculous.  Just being honest.  When I was a wee one we only had a half day for Kindergarten.  Daisy is so fried by the time she gets home from school.  Hyper but, fried.  She gets more hyper as she gets more tired.  Does anyone else have a kiddo like that?  I also must complain about the fact that kids get so much less recess time now than they used to.  Oy.  That being said, I really try hard to not put as much emphasis on homework or studying when Daisy is home because I see how badly she needs to decompress from all of the learning.  Of course I care very much about turning in assignments and encouraging Daisy to learn but, I strive to give Daisy some relief when she is home. hard to figure out. 

She is very much a night owl and has literally been that way since she was born.  She would be happy to stay up until midnight every night if I let her...but, I never do. Poor girl.  Life is rough.  ;) I try to get Daisy to bed at night by 8 and now that she is a little older I got her a reading light and I let her read books (which she is really beginning to enjoy!) or chat with her dolls for another 30-60 minutes.  She does not wind down easily and never has but, once she is out, she is out and she sleeps like a rock.  She never remembers getting up to go to the bathroom nor does she remember the times she has fallen out of bed in the middle of the night and hit her head on her step stool.....  Very solid sleeper.  Lucky girl.  

She generally wakes up around 7 these days.  Sigh.  Before Bruin was born, Daisy would sleep in until 9.  I miss those days SO SO SO much.  I've come to realize that Daisy doesn't like to miss out on anything and I think that she hears Bruin get up at 6:30 and her little mind just kicks in to high gear.  "Brother's up, so I'm getting up!" lol

Daisy is a fairly picky eater but, she has become a bit better about at least trying things.  She hates most all vegetables but, I can get her to eat steamed and seasoned broccoli and cut and peeled cucumbers with Italian dressing on them once in a blue moon.  She doesn't like anything spicy.  Her favorite dinner, hands down, is sushi.  So, I can't really complain.  As long as she likes sushi...we'll be aok. LOL.   She also likes sandwiches without crust but, I have been working very hard to help her kick this bad habit.   She loves tacos and rice.  Tonight we ate a taco salad casserole and she kept saying, "yum, yum, yum, this is so delicious Mom!"  I was grinning ear to ear.  Most rewarding meal I've ever prepared:).  She also enjoys small variety of fruit such as strawberries, watermelon, canned mandarin oranges and sometimes sliced apples and applesauce.  She loves to make fruit smoothies with me.  She also loves crackers, chips and carbs.  She is a carb kid.  She also loves candy.  I would say that she likes candy more than baked treats.  More often than not she will eat the frosting off a donut and leave the rest.  Or eat the frosting off of the cake but, leave the rest.  She loves chocolate and has recently started enjoying minty things like York Peppermint patties and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  She is also a big, BIG fan of popcorn.  We had root beer floats to celebrate her birthday.  She seems to like things like that.

She doesn't care a whole lot about what she wears each day.  She would rather I pick it out for her most of the time.  I would like her to take more of an interest in what she wears but, on the other hand it has been fun to be able to pick out outfits for a little girl for so long.  She does somewhat, prefer skirts and dresses these days.  Evidently, one of her friends at school wears a lot of dresses and Daisy definitely takes note of what her friends wear.  It's almost like she goes through little phases of caring for a few days and then not caring for a month. lol.  The other night she put on a dress, her white heals, a necklace and sweater and she walked out of her room to show it off for me and Daddy.  I adore those moments.  The moments when I get to see my little girl enjoying being a little girl.

Daisy is quite petite and lean.  She is only wearing a size 10.5 shoe and has been for over a year! I think we are finally almost an 11...almost.  She still fits in most 5/6 tops and bottoms.  Most size 6 pants are still way too long for her.  But, she is definitely a six in leggings and pajamas.  She isn't very tall at this point which surprises me only because Joey and I aren't short.  I'm wondering if she might be like her Dad and have a growth spurt much later on.  Who knows.  We don't talk about her height but, she must notice that other kids seem a bit taller because she has commented on it from time to time.  She has no idea how lucky she is.  I would have loved to be a good 2-4 inches shorter!  lol.  

Daisy's favorite toy is shopkins.  She loves collecting the little pieces and we also have two shopkins games.  She loves playing the "go shopping", Shopkins game which is basically go fish.

She asked me to decorate the house with shopkins party supplies for her sixth birthday.   I got a few things online and I decorated the dining room while she was at school on her birthday.  She was completely elated when she walked in the door after school with her friend and saw all of the decorations.  It was priceless.  Daisy is so fun to spoil because she is so thankful for every little thing.  Makes it such a treat to love on her.  HAHA.

 We decided not to have a party this year which felt SO SO SO wonderful.  Instead, we had two of her friend's that all know each other, over for a simple play date and pizza.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was to nix a party this year.  I have officially burned myself out on parties and I would be happy to never have another one!! hahaha.  I feel bad saying that but, whew.  They are a lot of work.  Anyways, I will try and do whatever my kids want but, nonetheless it is a treat to do something so simple this year.  Daisy also mentioned that she would love to go to the great wolf lodge next year for her birthday and you know what...I would do that over a party any day so yeah!

Daisy is So great with Bruin.  She is truly the most patient and gentle sister I have ever seen.  She just wants to play with him all the time and she is literally counting down the days until he is old enough to engage her a little bit more, throw the ball back to her etc.  She doesn't like when Bruin cries and she does everything she can to calm him down and cheer him up.  He is so stinking lucky to have a big sis like her.  She gives him loads of hugs and kisses and though he probably doesn't want that I know deep down he knows that she adores him.  I love that Daisy seems so much more complete with a sibling.  She is never lonely when he is around.  It really is the sweetest thing.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Bruin screams bloody murder a lot every day and it is usually because he wants everything that Daisy has.  His fussiness has always driven me crazy but, that is life with more than one kiddo.  lol.

Can you just take a moment to be as annoyed as I was that the ONLY direction this balloon wanted to go was.....arg....the wrong way.  I am not exaggerating..95% of the pictures are like this.  Thankfully, I got like 2 good ones with the stupid balloon behaving...before it ran away into the tree.  Good riddance.  ;)

Daisy has taken an interest in art lately.  She loves to go in her room and doodle in her notebooks with markers and crayons.  She is quite creative!  A few nights ago she drew a really detailed giraffe and she also created several bubble letters for the first time.  I was really impressed that she taught herself how to draw bubble letters.  She looked at a three dimensional letter D book that she had sitting on her desk and she drew it how she felt she saw it.  I love that! She also loves to write notes and messages.  It's so fun to watch her discover new passions.  She is a very creative kiddo.

We got her a desk for her birthday per her request.  Daddy set it up while she was at school (thank you hubby because I would never be able to pull something like that off!) and she came home to it.  I also got her a bunch of pens, highlighters and notepads.  She was THRILLED.  Like she squealed SO loud with delight and ran around hugging us and saying :thank you, thank you over and over." Totally warmed our Mom and Dad hearts.  She has been hanging out in there a little bit every night since her birthday.

I love going on Mommy-daughter dates with Daisy.  We get out about once a month now on average.  I wish it was more often but, that is the best we can do at this point.  We usually do something simple like get a shake at Sonic, go roller skating, or we go window shopping together.  It really doesn't matter what we do.  I love hanging out with Daisy.  She is so fun to be around and we have such great conversations and laughs when the two of us get a little quality time in.  Quality time is definitely Daisy's love language.  I can tell when she is needing it and that is usually when I make the date happen.  This past weekend we walked around in Michaels for an hour together.  I let her lead the way and look at whatever she wanted.  I also let her pick out a journal book cut into the shape of a D.  It was so fun to see what caught her eye and to listen to her explain how she would decorate with the different things she liked.   I'm very grateful for the daughter and friend that God has given me in Daisy.  She is such a gift.

Daisy and Daddy have been having a lot of fun playing Wii sports together lately.  For a while they played Zelda until they beat it and then I suggested that they play something that allowed Daisy to be a bit more active and that led to Wii sports.  It seems that video games will be one of there things and I am glad that they have something special that they like to do together.  They also love to be wild together, wrestle and goof off.   More often than not Daddy brings the crazy out of Daisy.  LOL.  I'm also glad that she has a fun and wild Daddy because that is so not me and I'm glad someone else can give her that energy!  Tonight they worked on a Palace Pets lego set that Daisy got for her birthday from a friend and now as I am typing Daisy is reading a book to Daddy in bed.  I'm thankful that Joey makes an effort to engage our kids when he has the time.  I know he is also planting priceless seeds in his daughter's heart.  Her first boyfriend/ her Daddy.  


Monday, March 7, 2016

Human Perspective vs. God's perspective.

I'm in the process of reading through the New Testament again.  I got the Beautiful Word Journal Bible recently and I LOVE it.   I think I can say this has been the most me Bible that I have ever had because it is full of color, journal art and sidebars for me to write my thoughts as I go.  It's pretty and fun:)

When I was a kid I remember vividly that the last thing on Earth I wanted to voluntarily read was the Bible.  It was SO boring to me.  I really enjoyed reading through the Comic Bible and the Kids Study Bible but, I didn't carve out time to sit and study on a regular basis.  I couldn't have imagined then that the Bible would be my favorite book today or that I would look forward to every study session.

One of my favorite things about reading the Bible with the intention of learning something new is just that...there is always something new to be found.  The words in the Bible never get old.  Each time I read, I find that I learn something that I never knew before.

Sometimes I will read a chapter and then just sit back, blown away by the depth that I have missed so many times before.  I will wonder how I never understood what that passage really meant until now and I will recall the Bible verses, "he who has eyes let him see and he who has ears let him hear." I don't think our eyes are always open to see everything all at once.  Learning about who God is and what His words mean is a process of understanding and growing that continues for a lifetime.

This time as I read my Bible, I am taking my time and trying to really think on every verse with more intention than I did the last time I read through.  The last time I did a Bible read through I was more concerned with quickly reading through to accomplish my goal than I was concerned about actually learning a whole lot...probably not the brightest goal I have had but, I was young lass.

While reading today, I found myself really mulling around a short passage in Matthew chapter 16.  Jesus is beginning to prepare his disciple dude friends for his imminent Crucifixion.  He tells them that he is about to suffer many things at the hands of the leaders, priests and teachers of the law. (v. 21).  He tells them that these people are going to kill him but, on the third day he will be raised back to life.  

Can you imagine your bestie telling you that someone is about to kidnap/capture/arrest them and then brutally torture and murder them?  

Yah, I can't either. 

But, that is exactly what Jesus just dropped on his bros.  

A bomb shell.  

I think many of us would respond the same way as Peter does...

"Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!" (v. 22) 

We would all say that to a loved one right?  In our own words of course.

I would probably say something more like, "Heck no!  I'm not going to stand by and let anyone hurt you.  They will have to come through me first.  This is insanity!!"

 I would do anything in my power to protect a friend or family member who was being threatened by someone else.  Or to look at this from another angle, I would do anything in my power to prevent anyone I love from ever having to feel pain of any kind.  If I could prevent someone from suffering somehow, I would do it.  Wouldn't you?  The last thing we ever want is to see anyone struggle. That is what we humans do for each other.  We generally don't stand aside as our friends are being abused or mistreated.  We stand up for them.  We fight for them.  We defend and protect them.  

But, Jesus doesn't want Peter's protection or his involvement and not only that, Jesus has some strong words for him.  

"Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."  (v.23)

Um.  Mega Ouch.  

My feelings would be hurt.  He just called me Satan?!  :( Sad face.

But, here's the thing, Jesus sees everything and Jesus knows everything.  He sees the past, present and the future.

We see the past and we see a portion of the present (with our limited understanding and wisdom) but, we certainly can't forsee the future, despite our best efforts to.

Jesus sees through the lens of eternity whereas, we often see only through the lens of our present troubles, struggles or circumstances.

Jesus knew that He would have to suffer many horrible things in order to fulfill something so much greater and bigger than His present suffering.

In this situation, the greater thing was the salvation of the entire world.

So yah, that was a big deal.

A deal that we could not see or understand with our human eyes and logic.

Peter could only see and feel the present moment.   He may have been feeling anger.  He may have been feeling fear.  Ultimately, he didn't want his friend to have to suffer or die.

 He couldn't recognize that the pain and suffering that Jesus was going to endure might be something that he would have to allow his friend to endure in order to bring about something GREAT for eternity.

How often are we like more like Peter and less like Jesus when it comes to how we respond and deal with the  pain, suffering, trial and struggle in our lives and in the lives of those around us?

Like allllllll the time right.

Yes.  Me too.

When I found out that the pain my sister had been having in her knee for some time was a tumor I instantly felt anxious.  My entire family began praying and believing for the tumor to be benign or praying for God to remove the tumor completely.  We believed for healing for my sister.  We were filled with hope because prayer is encouraging and believing for healing and waiting for it with anticipation is exciting.

My mom called me a few days later to tell me that the results had come back and my sister's tumor was not benign and in fact was a very aggressive form of bone cancer, called osteosarcoma.

There was a lot of shock initially because the news of cancer is such a bombshell.

I know far too many people whose lives have been cut short because of cancer.

The shock begins to fade as the reality of the diagnosis sets in and then anger crept in.

We prayed for a healing.  We believed for a miracle.  I know God is able!!  Why are you allowing this to go on God?  Why would you do this to my baby sister?  I'm mad at you God...please don't strike me dead for being so honest, but, I am mad at you.  This isn't fair.

I absolutely felt like Peter.  No. No. No.  This is not happening.  I will not allow it.

And you know what, the truth is that I can't explain exactly why God allows so many people to suffer and die "before their time."

I  do however; believe that scripture is very clear that God is not the one who afflicts. He hasn't given my sister cancer but, he hasn't healed her yet either.

I also believe that scripture makes it EXTREMELY clear that pain and suffering is most definitely a part of life here on this Earth and no one can escape it.  I also believe that scripture makes it clear that we grow and learn so much as a result of our hardships here on this Earth.  Make no mistake, we can grow poorly or grow beautifully.  I suppose that outcome is up to us.  I believe that scripture makes it clear that the suffering itself is not good but, what can come out of it can be.  My sister having cancer is not good.  My sister suffering is not good.  But, God is good and he can bring something good out of this horrible thing.  He DOES bring good out of horrible things.  That is who God is.

I also know that I am not God.  As much as I try to have an eternal mindset and understand the things of God, I am certain that I only see a microscopic piece of the big picture.  I don't know what good things God is planting, growing and moving at this very moment.  I don't know whose lives are being impacted by my sister's strength and bravery as she fights this awful disease.

So instead of beating my chest for healing for my sister every minute of every day, I am believing that God will heal her in His timing.  I can rest in that truth.

I don't know what He is doing but, I trust Him.

Instead, I am focusing my energy on trusting God in this season and trusting that I cannot see it all.  I am trusting that he loves my sister dearly and that he is holding her, ministering to her weary spirit and growing her beautifully even in this not good thing we call cancer.  God is good.

My Mom and I love talking about our Bible readings together.  We love talking about faith together.  She is my favorite counselor and mentor.  One thing she has said to me on many occasions is, "that's great Case and I understand what you are saying but, where is that in the Bible."  In other words, I understand that you are frustrated about what you are going through and you have every right to be but, can you back up that attitude with scripture.  Can you back up that belief with scripture?  Can you back up that choice with scripture?

Sometimes we are so sure that we have the things of God on our minds.  We can totally convince ourselves that God would agree with us and support our thoughts, choices, actions etc. but, more often than not we are acting like Peter.  We think we know what's best but, we really don't have a clue about what's going on in the big picture.

 God doesn't see life the way we do.  He has a different perspective and as Christians that is the perspective that we are supposed to desire.  An eternal perspective. The bigger picture type of perspective.  This world is not our home type of perspective.  Denying yourself and taking up your cross every day type of perspective.

There will be so many times in our lives when we will have to face something really, really tough and we will always have a choice to walk through those seasons; with a big picture perspective or with near-sighted vision.

The truth is that the big picture perspective often requires more of us.  It's a narrow path with a really tiny gate and it's easy to miss it.  It's so much easier and even more natural to our flesh to opt for that wide path with the giant gate right next door but, it leads to destruction as scripture says.  The big picture, eternal perspective often requires us to endure and press on.  It often requires us to say no to the fire escape and walk through the fire.



Because, put simply, the things of God are not like the things of this world and in all honesty we will never fully understand the ways of God while on this Earth.  We do know by reading scripture that the things of God are SO SO much bigger than we can ever fully grasp here on this Earth.

I know that can sound so cheap to someone who is going through something horrible right now.

I know this can also sound like crazy talk to someone who doesn't have a personal relationship with Jesus.

I understand.

It's really not something you can understand until you walk it and even then it is a never ending journey of faith but, can I just say that once you put on these eternal glasses, life will look a lot different.

So the next time you find yourself at a crossroads, in the middle of a storm or confused about what to do regarding your circumstances, take the time to really pray about your situation and wait on God for answers.  You know what?  You might have to wait a while so ask God for patience while you are at it.

I have been given some of the most life changing answers because of the storms I have endured in my life and others I am still waiting on but, I know someday it will all become crystal clear.

Take the time to search out scripture for answers and guidance.  This will always strengthen your vision and through that time of study God will give you direction.

Press on mighty warrior.  Press on.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Random Musings On Life Through the Lens of A People-Loving Introvert

I am an introvert.

I have come to realize that introvert is a broad category and within that category are lots and lots of different types of people. Duh.  You already knew that.  You smarty pants you.  

I am this type of introvert:

My sanity and energy is only replenished when I am alone.   I would literally die without a BIG pinch of alone time every single day.  I would DIE.

No, I am not being dramatic.

Alone time usually consists of me doing some very relaxing activity like reading my bible, staring at a wall, watching a show, talking to myself, browsing on my cell phone, taking a 20 minute cat nap, or curling up in the fetal position on the floor.  Don't know you do it to...okay, you can laugh;).

Alone time must be in my home.  Not at a coffee shop.  Not as a guest in someone else's house.  Not at a store without kids.  Alone, in my home.

My home is my sanctuary.

My home is the only place that I feel completely relaxed and free to be me.  It is my escape.  I could even go so far as to say that alone time in my home is a vacation for me.  I am genuinely refreshed best in that time and space.

If I am a dead battery, then my home is the charger and the longer that I am away from my charger, the lower my battery level gets.

I love quiet spaces....They don't have to be silent..just not loud.  I don't want to hear any screaming kids, blasting music or TV, nor chatty people or wild hubby...just me and a mellow room = Bliss.

I never enjoyed sleep overs as a kid (though I did get through a fair amount) because I never enjoyed chatting with a friend until late in the evening.  I was always too tired to keep that up...probably because all of the high pitched talking and excessive giggling had completely fried my mother board.

I struggle with sharing a space with anyone other than my immediate family for too long.  Like I really do not enjoy it.

Some introverts do just fine sharing their space with others during a family reunion trip at a resort or at the beach or maybe during the holidays etc.  Good for them.  No me gusta.

I can handle a couple of days or maybe three at best and then I begin short circuiting.  It actually feels very much like I am running on a week without sleep after a few days of non-stop visitors and noise.

My brain and body begin shutting down.  Literally.

What is the problem?  Well, the problem is that I am unable to get the alone time that I desperately need to recharge when I am in the constant company of others.  My routine gets tossed out the window during long social events and I really rely on a routine for sanity.  

If you are already judging me at this point then you are an extrovert and you will never understand so just move along (wink).

I do not require a girl's night out each week to keep my stuff together.  I get my stuff together when you all go out and leave me at home...alone.


On the other hand, I LOVE my friends.  LOVE. LOVE. Love each and every one of them.  I love communicating (something that many introverts hate).  I love keeping in touch.  I love e-mailing, texting, voxing, facebooking, instagramming.  I care about my friends more than words can express.

It is only BECAUSE I love my friends so much that I will pull together every scrap of social energy that I have left after a long day of play dates and battling opinionated little humans, to meet up for coffee or whatever we decide on.

 In other words, I will sacrifice my beloved evening alone time of refreshment, for my friends, because I care about relationships and I recognize that they do require investment in order to thrive.

And I do LOVE those outings when they do happen because I love the people I am gathering with.   It is good for the soul to have girl time and I understand the great value of finding social balance in life...even for an introvert.

I may have to push myself much harder than an extrovert to get together with friends but, the friendships that have been built out of these efforts are priceless to me.

I have been blessed with some of the most amazing girl friends a gal could ask for.  Friends that I have known since I was a child, friends from school, church, my new state and even new friends that I have made through social media.

Building quality relationships isn't always easy for an introvert...or maybe it isn't always easy for extroverts as well....I dunno.  Extroverts, thoughts?

It is hard work sometimes and it is certainly not always an easy path to navigate with women because we are all so guarded more often than not but, it is so rewarding for me to invest in people this way.

We are all quite similar behind all the masks that we hide behind.  We all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are.  Right?

My greatest joy in life is encouraging others...and that is an interesting thing to derive joy from when you are an introvert who loves being alone.

Encouragement is the gift that God has given me and it is the one thing in life that when I give it away I too am blessed tremendously as well.

Basically, I am an introvert who loves being alone but, I love investing in people just as much.

Definitely an interesting tug of war at times.

 I often have four or five play dates a week.  That is a lot for an introvert like me but, I love helping my kids to build friendships and I love being able to build mine at the same time.  I also prefer keeping busy with my kiddos than attempting to get through each long day on my own at home.  That is far harder for me.

I feel much more social during the day than I do at night, so play dates are a great way to meet up with my friends and entertain my kids at the same time.

But, even after a three-ish hour play date I am completely and utterly wiped out.  Yes, the play dates are worth it and yes, I enjoy them but, three solid hours of conversation makes me so sleepy.  If I hit that crashing point, my brain will just abruptly stop producing logical conversation.  It becomes a tremendous struggle to stay present.  My eyes might even feel a bit glossed over and my brain feels like it is in a daze.  I'm so done.

 And yes, it can be such a bummer to be an introvert when these types of things happen.

Talking on the phone....well, I love it and I hate it.   I only talk on the phone regularly with a handful of, five.  Talking on the phone is a social activity and once again it takes energy away from an introvert like me.

Why is talking on the phone depleting for an introvert?  Who knows.  Well, I do have some theories but, it would take too long to go into that now...It just is.  So there.

A good friend of mine asked me if I would ever consider renting a beach house with a group of friends for a week.  I, probably not.  I told her that I could handle a couple of nights but, that would be all and I would be whipped after two nights.  It wasn't easy to admit that to my friend but, I have learned that it is better to be honest up front than to make excuses later.

I could rent a beach house next door to my friend's beach house and survive that much better than sharing a space with them day in, day out, for a week.  Because I would have a space to retreat to....and I would pull away and recharge, if it all became too much.

I know how weird/strange/crazy/odd this all might sound to anyone who is not like this.

Like really is it so hard to share a house on a beautiful beach with friends for a week?

Yes. Yes, it is.


Hosting people in my home...

For some introverts, the very thought of hosting a gathering can induce a panic attack.

Not the case for me.

I actually love inviting people into my home on occasion but, I do need to plan and prepare for it.   Although, I don't think that hospitality comes entirely natural to me, I have really enjoyed the learning process over the years.  I am a slow learner but, I am getting there.

I take note of what other women do when I am in their homes that makes me feel more welcome and then I try to incorporate more of that into my routine with my own company.

I used to host gatherings quite frequently in my home before kids.  Again, I think this is because I love people and I love bringing people together.  I love building relationships with anyone and everyone.

I am the type of person who strikes up conversation with any random person in a store, in a line, at school, in the bathroom, while on a walk, etc.  Whenever I have the time, I will linger and chat or listen if a stranger wants to.

After having kids, I lost A LOT of my drive to host.  It is a good amount of work to clean a home, prepare a meal or snacks and then entertain company and then clean the home again after it is over.  Now that more of my energy is directed towards my kiddos I have much less energy to host.

I have a feeling that I will be hosting a lot more once our kiddos are a little bit older.

I have also noticed that I need more alone time now that I have children.  I needed far less before having kids.

Kids take a lot out of me...they extract every social/mental drop out of my system each and every day.

Make no mistake, I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE being a stay at home mom.  It is a priceless gift that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  But, it's the toughest job I have ever held without a doubt.  Amen. Amen.

When my kids are grown and I have an empty home once again, my introvert needs will change to reflect that season because I will be getting a lot more alone time every day.  I might even take that friend up on the week long beach trip then because I could handle it much better without kiddos.

We are always changing.

I like to leave lots of room for change.

This is just where I am at right now and where I have been for the past 6 years or so more or less.

Introverts, how much of this can you relate to?  I LOVE you!  You might be a nut that takes me a little longer to crack but, your hearts are so beautiful.  I love that I can relate so well to you!

And extroverts, I LOVE you.  Your energy is infectious.  Your zest for life is inspiring and you motivate me to get out of my shell.  I will never be able to keep up with you but, I love watching you GO!


Life is beautiful.  You are all beautiful!
And on that note,
 good night.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Our Sweet Boy is ONE!

Our little guy is one!

 I'm still processing it all to be honest.  I think the first year with a child is such a whirlwind of adjusting, sleepless nights, learning, juggling, bonding, diaper changes, spit up, blow outs, nursing, melt downs (Mommy;), exhaustion, teething, doctor appointments, cuddles and so can barely blink and it's gone!

Bruin has already been taking steps for over a month.  Full blown walking is on it's way any day now.  We are about to embark on another wild year of adventures and discoveries!

He had 11 teeth on his first birthday.  ELEVEN.  Heaven help me I hope this next year is a little easier. He is a little over a week away from being 13 months old and he currently has 12 teeth and is cutting 2 incisors!  Holy cow.

Bruin has been such a fun and also a very noisy addition to our family.  He keeps us going from the moment he rises until he lays his sweet little head down to sleep.  He loves to be held most of the day and he loves to eat.  I would say those are probably his two favorite things at this point.  He also loves to see new things, places and people.  He loves to grunt and make lots of silly faces and sounds.  He gives the best kisses, cuddles and giggles but, only on his terms and only when he feels like it.  He also loves to sleep though he has never been great at taking long naps but, he sure needs them (30 minutes and all!).  Bruin adores his big sister in his own way and he tries to follow her everywhere.  He is constantly screaming for her to give him whatever she has and he gets so made if she doesn't.  He will clench his fists, under bite his jaw and turn bright red while he screams.  He is intense...that is putting it lightly. lol.  He says "da da" or "daaahhdeeey" so sweetly every time he sees his Daddy and he screams "Muh Muh," whenever he wants to eat or be held by me.  lol  He says "duh" (duck) every time he sees a duck in the bath or in his animal books. He also says Day for Daisy and Huh for hi:).  For some reason the name duck has been the easiest for him to pick up on.

He is standing up on his own without pulling up on anything!  That impressed all of us because Daisy didn't do that for a really long time and I think she was even walking well before she got the hang of standing up without pulling up on something.   Bruin figured it out about a week after turning one.  He just kept trying to stand up in the middle of the room over and over and over again until he finally got it and then he wouldn't stop doing it.  He has been standing up like this ever since but, the scary thing for me is that he still teeters a ton and face plants often.  I hate watching him tip forward toward the floor, face first, with a pacifier in his I feel like I have to follow him everywhere to keep him from busting his lips open every day.  It's that uber exhausting..."try to keep your kid from seriously injuring themselves every second of the day" phase of parenting.  I'm whipped....At 13 months he is full blown walking..toddling really but, still he doesn't want to crawl at all anymore.  He is SO determined!

My son fell asleep in my arms while I was nursing him tonight. That has probably only happened all of 3 times this year so you can imagine how much I cherish these moments when they happen.  I try all day to keep this little guy happy and it's not an easy task but, the fact that he feels safe, comfortable and secure in my arms, enough to finally let his wild energy go and fall asleep with me makes it all right in the world again.  As I held him in my arms I gazed at his sweet eyelashes and his freshly washed bath hair.  I began to pray that God would help me to become the Mommy that I need to be to bring out the best in him.  I have quickly learned that my children are completely different (of course) and that as a result I may need to adapt my parenting and love languages to meet each of them where they are at...or at least try.  I need God to show me how to do this because I know it won't be easy!

This was when he started going bald and we called it the "old man," stage. lol.   We were doing some serious teething at this point and this was also about the time when things became super challenging just about every day with our little guy. Bruin has been such a tough baby in so many ways.  He has cried so many days despite every effort in my strength to cheer him up and the days often are weeks.  I feel like we have probably had about 90% fussy, irritable days and 10% cheerful over the past year.  I feel bad saying that but, I also want to document what it has really been like so that I can hopefully look back and praise God when this season passes. Or maybe Bruin will have a tough baby someday and he can reflect on this and understand better where that passion came from (hehe).  I am a sensitive momma and when my babies cry endlessly it breaks my heart and my spirit unfortunately.  I went through a few month phase where I felt like he didn't even like me.  I was always able to soothe Daisy and cheer her up when she was an infant.  With Bruin I have tried so hard to adapt to his personality and to "figure him out," but, he is just much more fiery and much harder to console.  I have been trying to figure out how to come to terms with this because it doesn't make it any easier to handle all the days of endless fussing.  On the other hand I have to give my poor guy some credit because he currently has 12 teeth fully in and is currently cutting at least 3?  His teething has been non-stop, brutal and I can only imagine how irritating that has been for him.  He has had quite a few low grade fevers and quite a few earaches as well due to teething so I guess he probably has a few reasons to be fussy.  That is why I am praying that once he gets through this rough teething phase that he might cheer up a bit!  In Jesus name I pray.  Fussy or not, his sweet smiles, bright eyes, chubby cheeks, arms and pouty lips have captured my heart since day one.  He may be tough but, goodness I love him to itty bitty pieces.   I knew I didn't get around to snapping of shot of him each month...just couldn't remember which month it was until now...guess I wasn't feeling so hot on month five! hahaha Soooo, on to month six! I enjoyed snapping these shots of Bruin with his half birthday hat on:).  I love this picture:).  The birthday hat was a last minute idea to capture the "half birthday," and I'm glad I did it.  I see this picture popping up on our slideshows in years to come.  I was planning to take Bruin's monthly picture in this IKEA chair in his room but, by month six I realized that there was no way in heck he was going to stand for the patient chair pictures any longer.  So I started moving the pictures outside as often as I could after this.  But the chair shots were cute while they lasted:).  And a sidenote:  I LOVE having this IKEA chair in Bruin's room.  I got a glider rocker for Daisy and though I enjoyed the rocking motion it didn't recline much and I always felt like I was sitting up to upright.  This chair has a slight lean in the back and I just like the simplicity of it.  The arms aren't padded so a nursing pillow helped in the early months but, now I just rest my elbow on the arm rest and it's fine.   yah, forget about it... see those teefers...poor miserable boo boo bear. they were taking FOREVER to come in...probably about 3 months at least. Finally they came through but, then the next 10 came in so it's been pretty much non-stop!  Sorry buddy you didn't get that gene from your momma!  lol this was a fun session. Bruin was able to sit up while propped up against something and he just looked like such a big boy in his outfit. Plus he was really starting to give us so many facial expressions by seven months and his hair was really starting to come back in:).  It has been so fuzzy and all over the different than Daisy's hair.    I have a few of these pictures on the wall in our home. Love this little boy to pieces.   The outfit was given to us by a friend and it was one that I couldn't wait for him to wear:).  You have great taste Chaissons:).  and then there was 8 months:) I tried snapping some pictures outside but, the lighting was horrible so I brought Bruin inside and sat him in  entry way. Well, he wasn't much of a sit still kiddo anymore at this point...but, I managed to snap a few and kept him from smacking his face on the hardwood floors.  Mission Accomplished.  He was also teething four additional teeth at this point.  They just kept coming in SO FAST!! 

Nine months!! I didn't think I took pics this month but, I just found these in a folder that wasn't labeled...way to be unorganized mom...gotta work on that...maybe when the kids grow up I'll have time for organization! 

I digress, Bruin loved having his teddy bear around and he seemed to really enjoy being outside, playing with the leaves and sitting in the sunshine while we all hooted and cheered for him to smile.  He is becoming just as much of a ham as his sister:).   You will notice that he was happy as a clam until big sister put her arm around him...He has never been a fan of people squeezing him and especially not a fan of sister trying to put an arm around him.  Not sure why but, he goes downhill from there...and so did big sis. LOL  It was pretty funny though if I do say so and we quickly swooped them both up and took a walk to make it all better again.  hehehe.  sibling love.

Ten months!  It was October so a pumpkin seemed fitting! Plus the pumpkin really helped to keep Bruin in one place long enough to snap a few pictures before he tried to crawl away.  I really do love the stage of the "sitting baby."  It doesn't last nearly long enough though! lol.  At this point Bruin was crawling all over the place and was getting into everything.  Forget about all the awesome toys laying around.  All he wants is to get into our pantry, freezer, bathroom toilets, trash can or anything else messy or gross.  Also, he was standing up on everything and falling just as often.  We tried to watch him like a hawk because we really didn't want him splitting his noggin' open on one of our cabinet corners or other sharp cornered object.  It was a bit tiresome to keep him safe but, it's what you do for these little loves!  I do so love soaking up life through the eyes of a little one again.  Everything is new and exciting for them and it reminds me to see things in a new light again myself.  Sometimes we need the powerful reminder to appreciate the little things a bit more.  Thanks buddy for teaching your Momma!

then I remembered that dang monthly sticker....hurry put it on and let's snap a few more before he notices and rips it off:). Hand him a leaf! Hand him a pine needle! Jump around like a monkey:). oh how I love when he gets this giant happy grin on his face. I can't help but, talk in that high pitched baby voice and squeal with delight when I see it:). "Oh wittle baby boy I wuv you soooo much. You are so so cute wittle bubbus!  Do you know how much your mama wuvs you buddy? So so so so much!" 
And then there was 11 months...probably my most favorite of all the monthly picture sessions...just loved his expressions, his outfit and it was such a lovely day outside.  I felt like this session sums up his personality quite well:).

Bruin's 12 month session was an

I was so busy with his birthday party planning, Christmas shopping and oh gee, just life in general that I just didn't have time to get around to it.  I even had a really cute idea up my sleeve but, oh well...
 I know that some of you may think it's silly to be upset about such a thing but, after having done so many previous months I should have pushed myself to finish up the year with a bang.  Regret...but, hopefully this will be something that I will regret very little at the end of my life...I realize it is a drop in the bigger picture. lol

I did however do a cake smash session with Bruin and it was so much fun!  I will share those pictures hopefully soon...I never got around to doing a cake smash with Daisy so I was pretty proud of myself for tackling it with Bruin.  As always, motherhood and life in general is all about giving ourselves lots of grace.  So, I guess I will work on that some more!  We win some we lose some.

A quick stat update:

I am still nursing Bruin at this point.  I have also been adding some whole milk into his daily diet but, he hasn't taken to it nearly as well as Daisy did.  He sips a little bit but, mostly holds out for his next nursing session.  I was really hoping to be close to done by now but, Bruin is calling very different shots.  I am curious to see how this will go down.

Bruin wears size 12 months mostly and sometimes 12-18 months in shirts and jammies.  He wears size 4 diapers ( I just started buying the Target brand because they are great after year 1 and so much cheaper!) and about a size 4 shoe but, he hasn't worn shoes..just the mocs that I got him from a company I follow on facebook called Simple Addiction (awesome name  They basically look like the super expensive Freshly picked mocs only they cost $12 so I couldn't pass them up.  I have absolutely loved them.  If I ever have another kiddo I will buy them again for sure.

Bruin goes to bed at 7 pretty punctually every night and wakes up around 6ish.  Usually I can stretch him to 6:45 or 7 but, he fusses a bit more often than not.  Whenever I am about to go into his room and get him I talk into the monitor and say, "I'm coming buddy.  I'll be right there."  I might take another five minutes to get to him but, he always calms down and snuggles in his blankets while he waits.  I never make him wait long after saying that and I love that he seems to understand that I am coming.
He naps around 9 or 9:30 and sleeps for maybe 40 minutes to an hour usually and then again naps in the afternoon around 1 or 1:30 for another hour.  He has never been the longest napper but, sometimes he surprises me and takes a longer nap...once ever few weeks.

Bruin does not like being home.  When we are home all he wants to do is cry or be held.  SO I HOLD HIM A LOT.  My back and arms are burning all the time but, if it makes him happy it is worth it to me.  I also go out almost every single day just to help break up the day.  His fussing can drive me batty but, when we go out he often does so much better...up to a certain point.  I always try to time our outings so that I can get back home for his naps because it makes such a difference with his moods.

He eats just about whatever we eat, just in smaller pieces of course.  He has had steak, chicken, sushi, etc.  He loves almost everything.  He seems to resist carrots...throws them on the floor every time.  Not sure that I can blame him.  I'm not a big fan myself.  And peaches are hit and miss.  He does choke on occasion because he stuff too much food in his mouth and doesn't chew before trying to swallow so I never leave him unattended when he is eating in case I need to stick a finger in his mouth and swoop something out.  He does really well overall though.

Bruin loves stuffed animals.  We got him a giant teddy bear for Christmas and it sits in a chair in his room.  He cuddles "teddy," kisses, and waves hi to him all day long.  It is the cutest thing ever.  He has about 6 stuffed animals and he waves hi to all of them.  I adore his little wave...hopefully I can get it on video before he moves on.

Bruin likes baths but, only if I give them to him.  He cries when Daddy gives him a bath.  Sorry Daddy.  I have to keep his baths really short and I've learned how to get through the hair washing part which really bothers him.

He is a major, major momma's boy.  I am sure this is simply because I am with him all day long and I nurse him.  Daisy was the same way for quite some time but, she has since become so much more of a Daddy's girl.  Bruin cries a lot with Daddy if I leave him with him for too long and he tries to find me in the house if I am not in the room.  This phase makes things a bit harder for all of us but, we are all trying to make the most of it.  I realize it is a super short season.  And I have to give my hubby props for not getting upset about it.  He handles it like a champ really.

Bruin tolerates the car but, only for super short drives.  After that it's lots of screaming.  I look forward to when he will watch a show in the car with big sis and we will get a tiny piece of silence:). YESSSS!

He is currently still in his infant car seat but, not for much longer.  His transitional car seat should arrive any day now. So by 13 months he will be moving on up.  Big boy!

He is walking a ton right now...not consistently but, a ton...more steps than crawling.  He is so proud of himself when he does it too.  MELTS ME!!

I could never kiss his face or cheeks, or the crook of his neck, or his shoulders or his hands or his feet enough.  I'm one of the few people who he tolerates that from so I feel pretty lucky:).

So have I learned anything new after a year with this adorable little boy?

Sure, lots of things!

Boys are much rougher than girls...his idea of playing is usually decking me in the face and then laughing.

Bruin loves Daisy but, he isn't very sweet with her.  He will occasionally give her kisses when she asks him for them and he loves to give high fives but, that is where it stops.  Daisy is very affectionate with him...lots of kisses and hugs that he does not want.  He lets her know that he wants space by screaming at her and then  hitting her in the face.  His face is also quite expressive.  He doesn't hit her and laugh, he hits her and then looks at her with a shrewd expression that means business.  He's definitely not the nurturer in the family. lol.

Good times.

Private parts are not all that private when you are a boy (and it's hilarious)....TMI?  sorry...TMI is just how I roll.

I can never feed this kid ENOUGH.  He eats ALL day LONG.  And I am quite sure that it will never end because I'm married to a fella just like him.

Boys are SO SO CUTE.  I love dressing him and I love having more boy toys around the house.  It has  been so fun!

Life with two kids has been dramatically harder for me to adjust to than life with one kiddo..but,...big, big but, it has truly been worth it all of course.  Daisy has completely changed as a result of having a sibling and seeing her grow up as much as she has this past year has been incredible.  I have literally watched her bloom into a much more independent lady's hurt my heart a bit to see how quickly the change took place but, it's also a very sweet thing at the same time.  You get me right?

I've learned that life with four is far more entertaining and adventurous than I ever could have imagined in the best way possible.

My son is NON-STOP.  He has helped me lose all of my pregnancy gym membership required.  He kicks my hiney better than any zumba or yoga class ever could.  LOL.

Even though the days are so so long sometimes, the years fly by.  My greatest desire with my kiddos is to be as present as possible.  Tomorrow is never promised but, today while I am here I hope to love on the ones I love as fully as I can.

So thankful that God has given me two precious kiddos to raise and love on.  What a gift children are!

Happy First Birthday my sweet little boy!  Your Momma loves everything about you and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you in the years to come.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bruin is Eleven Months

Wears size 4 diapers.  Actually just moved up to 4 last week.  Much better because 3 was getting quite snug and leaking a little too often!

Wears size 3 or 4 shoes which is crazy to me.  I got a few pairs of Mocs from a site when they were having a sale and they have been perfect for Bruin.  I like them so much more than the slip ons I had when Daisy was a baby.  These are easy to put on and take off, they are comfy and they are flexible so he can learn to walk in them easily.  I adore the Freshly Picked Mocs but, I am too cheap to spend $60 on a pair of baby shoes...I scored mine for $11.95.  That I couldn't pass up!  Thank you wonderful people who make cute and affordable knock offs:).  

Wears size 12 months in just about everything now.  Sometimes I buy footie jammies and other pajamas, in size 18 months because 12 months will be too small in a month at best.  

This boy LOVES to eat.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Daisy liked to eat as well as a baby but, Bruin eats so much more than she ever did.  Sounds very much like a boy right.  I feel like our entire day revolves around snacks and meals...and lots of them.  lol.  He eats just about anything and everything.  Last night we ate sushi and he ate an entire raw sushi roll and tons of rice.  He loved the salmon.  He likes salty and sweet foods.  He has definitely caught on to flavor and he isn't fond of bland food any longer.  I can get away with an apple or banana baby food but, that is about all I give him now.  For breakfast he usually eats an applesauce, some baby yogurt bites or breat/biscuits/hashbrowns and some bites of my cereal if I am having some.  He usually has a snack of crackers or something like that around 10 and then he is ready for lunch by 12 or earlier.  For lunch I give him any combination of things such as: green beans, cheese, veggie sticks, sandwich meat, chicken nuggets, bread rolls, black beans, cut up oranges from the jar or peaches, fish sticks, banana pieces, yams, meatballs, etc.  He clears his tray every time!  Dinner is pretty much like lunch only I will give him some of whatever we are eating for dinner.  He loves variety and if we are eating you can bet that he will cry and whine for a bite of whatever we are having.  

I have also been giving him a his own sippy cup of water for a month or two now and he has gotten a lot better and tipping his cup up to get water sips.  He doesn't seem to love it though and I hope he grows to love it more soon because I don't plan to nurse a whole lot longer.  Of course he will also be drinking whole milk so maybe he will like that more than water:).  

While I am on the subject of nursing; I am still nursing which is great because I was hoping to nurse at least a full year or a bit more.  I think I was done nursing Daisy by 15 months and she pretty much weaned herself.  Bruin is SO much more atatched to nursing.  He only takes one side which has been a bit annoying lol.  Some days he wants to nurse every hour and I think it really is because my supply is so low now but, other days if he is happy and distracted he can go four hours...that is extremely rare though.  He no longer needs to be nursed at night which is so wonderful lemme tell yah.  I think I was nursing him at night at some point until he was 8 or 9 months old.  Then we got to one feeding at around 5 AM and now he is up by 6 or 6:30 to nurse and start the day.  

He sleeps from 7 PM until 6 AM.  It was 7 AM until the time change totally screwed us up and he hasn't slept in until 7 since then...arg.  He naps from around 9:30 until around 10:00-11...totally depends on the day and it is usually the shortest nap.  Afternoon nap is usually from around 1:30 until 2:15 or 3.  In all honesty though most days he naps 30-40 minutes tops and since he is go go go all day long it proves to be a very long day with this little guy.  

Bruin has four of the basic bottom teeth in and strangely enough he skipped a few and cut a molar.  It just came through this week after a brutal two month long effort.  He has four teeth on top fully in and three more coming in.  This kid hasn't has a break from teething since he was 3 months old and as a result I haven't had a break from the endless crying in just as long.  Teething has been really rough for this little guy.  Daisy was fussy when she teethed but, not nearly as much.  Bruin has literally worn out every ounce of my sanity for days and months on end...just being honest.  The crying would start shortly after waking up and carry on for a good portion of the day.  It has been depressing at times because with all that crying my heart simply didn't get as excited about each day...again, just being honest.  I had anxiety when he would wake up from his naps and the first thing he would do is scream into the monitor.  My head was throbbing most days from all the crying and I even got frequent headaches which is not normal for me.  I'm not recording this to rub it in Bruin's face when he is older because he has a valid reason to be unhappy and I know it will pass but, I am sharing this to encourage some other Momma who is worn so terribly thin by all the screaming of her little one, that it will get better in time.  

We've had two better than usual days recently.  I am chalking it up to the fact that his molar is in and thus we are getting a tiny break before the next storm.  Of course I would love if this is the new norm but, I am not betting on it.  But, these two happier days with my son have been so healing.  I desperately needed to laugh, cuddle, smile, kiss and enjoy his company a bit more and we have gotten lots of that. Bruin enjoyed exploring the house a bit more on his own and laughed so much at his big sister.  It has been a treat and has reminded me that I am not crazy and yah, it really has been that bad...because this is a whole lot easier!  My head feels clearer and my heart feels light once again.  Thank you Jesus for a little reprieve for both me and my son.  

I have a whole lot more compassion for all of the folks who have traveled this road before me! 

One of the things that has helped me to get through this more exhausting season with my precious son is praying for him and myself.  With all of the crying, I found myself worrying.  Worrying is so draining!  "What is wrong with him?  I'm doing everything I can and it doesn't seem to help him.  I feel like a failure with this little guy.  I want to cherish this sweet season but, my brain is screaming hurry up time..I'm ready for a new season!  He cries so much that I can't tend to his big sister like I want to.  I feel like I am neglecting her but, what other options do I have here?  I wish my Mommy was here!"  I have spent so many moments on my knees in prayer while my son was napping.  I cried out my worries, my fears and my weariness to God and each time, I kid you not, my mind and body were flooded with a restful feeling.  I have spent so many moments praying for God to comfort my son, give his mind peace and his body relief from any pain he has been feeling and I know God has answered those prayers.  Prayer is so wonderful.  God is so good.  

When Bruin is happy and pain free, he is the most charming, heart melting, little prince.  You may recall that I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a son and of course now I can't imagine not having a son.  I adore my son.  I love his squishy cheeks, his priceless giggle, his chubby body, his sweet brown eyes (I'm a sucker for those brown eyes!), his fluffy blonde hair that is growing like a weed, his adorable sounds and noises, his sleepy eyes that turn a bit red around the rims when he gets too tired, his shrill scream that is reserved especially for his big sister, the way he lays his head on my shoulder when he is scared, excited or tired, the way he puts his fingers in my mouth when he is nursing, the way he flaps his legs wildly when I am holding him and he gets excited, the way he throws toys with incredible force, the sweetest bye bye wave that he gives Daddy each morning and the dozens of facial expressions that he gives me every day.  I am completely smitten...even if he has been a tough cookie for most of his short life.  (hehe)

Bruin prefers playing with anything that is not a toy.  He likes to get into the fridge and freezer.  He plays in the pantry and in the bathroom drawers.  He wants to get into the shower so badly but, that is one space that is a no play zone.  He has found my bookshelves and I have allowed him to destroy one of the shelves in hopes that it would get the books out of his system and so far it has worked! Score.  He likes to see new places but, mostly he likes to get out and explore the leaves, the dirt, sticks, bugs etc.  he loves crawling around or pulling himself up on low walls.  Last night we went to Grandad's 80th birthday dinner and I spent about 20 minutes sitting outside with Bruin on the wet wall while he stood and played with every tiny leaf he could find.  He got quite dirty and it just seemed fitting for a little boy to be playing in nature and getting dirty:). I enjoyed letting him explore and loved watching his little face as he observed everything around him.  Priceless. 

Bruin would fall and get hurt a lot at this point if I didn't somewhat monitor him and what he pulls up on.  He pulls up and then often loses his grip in either his hands or feet and smacks his face really hard on whatever service is around him.  Carpet is no big deal but, there are so many deadly corners and hard pieces of furniture.  This is one of those high maintenance phases with a kiddo.  Gotta watch them like a hawk and mostly just to keep them alive! lol.  Bruin loves standing and has preferred it to crawling since he was quite little.  Now he pulls himself up and stands without holding on to anything for a couple of minutes.  His balance has gotten so much better.  I would say that he will be walking sometime in the next month or two but, you never know.  Babies can be so funny about when they start walking. He loves walking around slowly while pushing either his giraffe with wheels or Daisy's old pink car.  He is getting better and better at it.  I love how proud he gets of himself when we clap for him and he turns to look back and get our approval.  Love this little boy so much.

Bruin loves to grunt and if I grunt back he will go back and forth making the sounds with me.  I've always adored this because he sounds like a little bear cub.

It took a long time for Bruin to appreciate physical touch like people touching his hands (he is still not  a big fan but, he tolerates it much better) or giving kisses.  Now when I ask for a kiss he holds perfectly still and waits for it.  I think he likes kisses even if he doesn't quite get it yet:).  I need to get a little video of him "giving kisses," but, it's more like getting kisses.  lol

Bruin is very attached to me which is to be expected when he is with me 24/7.  He tolerates Daddy for short outings but, before too long he wants his momma and he starts getting fussy for Daddy.  For anyone else he would be in meltdown mode the entire time I was away.  Daisy was the same way so I was pretty much expecting this.  Another phase in the endless sea of phases with kiddos.

I try to get out of the house for a little bit after each morning nap as that is Bruin's best window.  I run errands with him or go to play dates and he does really well from around 11-1.  Then he is ready for lunch and bed.  I took him to Target today to get some birthday presents for friends and he did really well so long as I kept shoving baby puff crackers in his mouth.  He ate half of the container of puffs before I left the store.  We were probably there for about 20 or 30 minutes tops.  I thought I would be embarrassed to let my kiddo eat a snack in the store when I was a Mom but, I am the biggest fan.  Whatever makes the kid happy and keeps them quiet, DO IT.  Simplify and minimize stress....

Bruin loves when I hold  him facing forward and we run around the house chasing after Daisy.  He squeals with delight and his legs kick wildly.  He also loves when Daddy comes up for a tickle while I am holding Bruin.  Bruin burries his face in my shirt and giggles and tugs on his ears while Daddy tickles his sides.  He always tugs on his ears when he is getting a tickle.

Going to church has been difficult with Bruin.  his nap is smack dab in the middle of the first service and if he doesn't it the entire day becomes even more difficult and to top it off I have to sit in the nursery with him because he cries too much at this point and it is just easier for me to stay in and help.  It just proves to be a very long day.  It will get a bit easier when he no longer needs the early morning nap but, that won't be a for a while.  So for the time being we make it when we can otherwise we watch a sermon online at home.

I have been SO busy with this little guy that this is yet another unfinished post but, once again I want to post what I have so that when I print this blog I will have the monthly updates...incomplete or not:).  


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