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:).  
Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

Some years seem like they fly more quickly than others. This was one of those lightning speed flying years for me. I can't believe it is the holiday season again already.  I can't believe that my son is almost a year old or that my daughter will soon be six.  I also can't believe that she chose to dress up as something other than a princess this year!! A little bittersweet to be honest but, I couldn't be happier with her costume choice.  She was the perfect Dorothy!  It was a treat to snap some pictures of her this year because she actually wanted me to and she was having so much fun role playing as her character.  If I would have thought this photo op. through I might have even put some yellow paper squares down on the grass for her to walk on:).  

I got Daisy's costume on Amazon because Target was sold out and I of course had to get Toto...well, actually I didn't have to get him but, I did and even though he was the most disheveled dog I have ever seen...Daisy didn't seem to notice.  Win.  

And, if I had thought the costumes through I would have probably picked out a little lion costume for Bruin so that he could have complemented Daisy's costume.  And maybe, if I wasn't so dang busy as I always am this time of year, I would have picked out a costume for me and the hubby as well.   I love when families pull off theme costumes!  Oh well, maybe next year;).   

 Have you seen the new Legends of Oz cartoon?  We watched the movie on netflixs and we all enjoyed it.  I felt like the movie did a good job of reintroducing this generation of kids to Dorothy with an entirely new story.  Daisy has never actually seen the original Wizard of Oz.  I haven't wanted her to see it quite yet.  For now, the cartoon is perfect and evidently it sparked her interest enough to want to choose to be Dorothy:)!

Granddad and Beej joined us as they do each year for Halloween as did Auntie Jess, Uncle Seth and cousin Avery which was such a treat.  I love having family around on holidays.  It makes the celebration that much more complete.  I'm sure that many of you can relate.  We have a lot of family that live far away and we miss them terribly on every special occasion but, I am so thankful that we have some of our family here.

We made our traditional Martinez/Bailey burritos with fresh salsa for dinner.  Have you noticed that families often cook a lot of food from the same genre?  We eat just about anything in our house but, I think we probably eat more Mexican food dinners than anything else! lol.  

We headed out around 6:15 with our neighbors and family and the treatin fun began.  

Bruin starts to wig out like clock work at 7 so that definitely motivated us to get out early so that we could enjoy a little treat time before he got too tired.  He did great for about an hour and I was very thankful for that.  He seemed to enjoy looking at all the people walking around in strange outfits. lol.  I also stuck some snacks in his cup holder and that helped to keep him happy for a while.  He was so serious all night but, boy was he the cutest little serious bear!  Then, at seven just as I expected he started to get a little fussy so I took him home and Daddy and Daisy treated a few more houses before calling it a night.  It all worked out.  Score. 

Daisy was in Heaven all day long.  She couldn't wait to get into her costume and she had the biggest smile on her face all afternoon long.  She is my holiday kid and my celebration Queen. Daisy will find any reason to celebrate something and her joy in the process is so infectious.  

She walked up to a few doors to treat with her cousin Avery.  She was trying to teach her how to treat and the two of them were so cute, holding hands together.  It was pretty funny because Avery would have been happy to walk into people's homes or run around in the street.  She seemed to be in explorer mode! lol.  And wasn't she the cutest little bumblebee!  Love my niece to pieces and I was so happy that the cousins got to treat together.

Bruin mostly sat in his stroller the entire time but, towards the end he had enough and auntie held him for a bit as did my neighbor:). lol.  All in all it was a very fun night with family and friends.

When Daisy got home she dumped her candy out on the floor and did what she does best, organized it. She loves to organize and categorize things...also, much like her Mommy. lol.  She picked out a ring pop as her treat of choice and then a bag of chips and a bag of popcorn.  I realized she must be pretty hungry if she was more interested in food treats than all of the candy in front of her.  She even threw her ring pop away before it was finished so that she could eat string cheese instead.  I swear we don't starve her but, evidently all that treating made her hungry! lol.  She has also never been a huge sweets kid.  She likes candy but, she never seems to need much to be satisfied. 

Right before we turned off the porch lights, Daisy got to pass out some candy for the first time and she said she enjoyed that just as much as trick or' treating.  I enjoyed watching her!  She sat in the doorway on a little chair and waited excitedly for a new group of kids to come to the door.  "Mom, this is the most fun day ever," she said with the hugest smile on her face.  Oh how I love that little girl.  

When we sat the kiddos down for some pictures before going out, we all got a kick out of the way that Avery and Bruin kept staring at each other.  He was probably trying to figure out what was coming out of her head and she was mesmerized by the "baby."  Bruin never cracked a single smile.  He kept the same serious face all night long..which is pretty typical for him but, that  is the kind of thing that adds to the humor with kids.   So glad that we took the time to snap a few pictures and proud of the kiddos for tolerating it:)! 

 I can tell that Daisy is still adjusting (totally understandable) to life as an older sibling and also being the oldest kid in the family's small group of kids.  I notice her little attempts here and there to get the adults attention when the babies are naturally stealing the show.  All a part of life of course and all a part of growing up but, as the Momma it tugs on my heart strings a little.  She was after all my baby for nearly 5 years and I too was the baby of my family for over 6 years before my sisters came along.  A season of life that I actually still remember quite well.  She is such an awesome big sister though and most of the time she has that big smile on her face.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for these kiddos in the years to come.  

Holidays are so much fun with kids that is for sure. 

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

10 Months and counting

I never got around to finishing this post but, I am going to go ahead and post what I had written...for memory keeping sake.

wears size 12 months in pretty much everything but 12 mo. pants are still a hair too big.

eats just about everything we eat!  Bruin eats so much more than Daisy did at this age mostly because he doesn't like baby food much at all. 

breakfast is usually a large baby food bananas...he still likes those, or an unsweetened applesauce and some sort of breakfast puff or cereal for him to grab in his exersaucer while we rush around getting Daisy ready for school.  I also nurse him at some point each morning.  He still prefers nursing to all other food and he can demand it often when he is teething or sick.  Sometimes he nurses every 2 hours but, I think this is more because I am not producing nearly as much milk these days and he doesn't nurse long enough to build up my supply.  Oh well.  It is what it is and it works well enough.  

Lunch is usually a piece of string cheese or sliced cheddar cheese broken in to bite sized pieces, some sort of veggie if I have any on hand...he loves canned green beans!  I also give him veggie straws or some other type of cracker broken in to bite sized pieces.  He can eat a ton!  Probably about as much as I would eat for lunch. lol.  He loves dinner rolls in pieces, sandwich meat, small pieces of chicken, turkey or even steak.  He also likes pastas and so far he has devoured mac n' cheese and my italian dressing veggie noodles. 

Tonight he had veggie noodles, green beans, tiny pieces of cucumber, olive and bread.  He ate and ate.  I pretty much keep feeding him until he stops.  He loves to eat and he is little less grumpy when his tummy is full to the brim.  I also nursed him.  

I usually let him snack a little bit during the day on light baby puffs or cheerios and that is about it.   He also uses a sippy cup to drink water on occasion.  He likes drinking out of it but, he only sort of gets that he has to tip his head back to drink it every time.  

He naps generally around 9:30 each morning and his naps are usually 30-45 minutes long.  On a special day he will nap about an hour and a half which is such a treat but, because he is inconsistent I never know what to do with myself when he is asleep! lol.  He takes an afternoon nap but, it isn't quite as punctual as the morning nap.  The afternoon nap depends on how he is feeling on any given day.  Usually sometime between 1 and 2 though.  This nap is also about 45 minutes long.  He goes to bed at 7 and he is for the most part always eager to go to bed by 7.  I use a sound machine and he also takes a pacifier at bedtime.  He loves his blankets to snuggle and he is literally out within 10 minutes of being put down.  I don't have to do much of anything other than brush his cheek and gently pat his back while saying, "night night buddy," softly and then walking out the door.  

He has been waking up anywhere between 5 and 6:30 to nurse most mornings still.  I haven't tried to break him of this habit like I did all of the others in the past because I like that I can nurse him and then know that he will generally stay asleep until 7 or 7:30.  If I don't nurse him he will be up at 6 or 6:30 for good so that is the trade off...I like that extra 30 minutes to an hour of sleep!  

He doesn't like to play with any of his toys and never has really.  He will tolerate them for a few minutes if he has no other option but, he would much rather crawl to mischief.  He heads for the fireplace or the dishwasher, or the bathroom toilet or the bookshelf...pretty much every chance he gets.  That or he tries to pull himself up on chairs that will topple over on him or wooden ottomans that will split his face open when he stumbles head first on to them.  He is super wobbly and very uncoordinated still at this point but, the problem is that he has no fear.  Even though he pulls up on everything, he just lets go when he's over it and lets himself fall into whatever.  So this season is definitely more tiring than others with a wee one.  I do feel like all that I do most days is try to keep him alive. lol.  

He has just started transitioning to the propped up crawl this week and last.  Prior to this he was mostly pulling really hard with his arms and pushing hard with his legs and toes...I guess it is more of an army crawl but, it was highly ineffective because he had to drag his face along the floor and he got tired so fast.  I am happy to see that he is finally figuring out how to crawl correctly because it is making him happier and it doesn't wear him out as fast.  

I was surprised at how long it took Bruin to get to this point with his crawling but, a lot of that has to do with not only his stubborness but, his awareness.  He has been much slower to process his surroundings, people, stimulus etc.  I am only beginning to feel like he is making connections to people, fully connecting to his name...up until a few weeks ago he wouldn't even look most of the time if his name was called.  

Bruin has finally started to give me kisses when I ask for them and I can't tell you how big of a deal this has been.  I have been hoping to see some developmental progress because the doctor had said that he was a tad delayed/behind based on the overview checkup for 9 months.  It was a hard appointment, at least that day was hard.  I was also thinking that he might have a mild sensory issue but, at this point we are going to just wait and observe and pray:).  

 He is definitely doing things at his own pace though that is for sure and there is nothing wrong with that.  I think if he was my first kiddo I might be more concerned but, since I have already been here and done this so to speak I know that every child develops at such a different pace and for the most part all kiddos get there when they get there.

He sure is a cutie pie.  Love his boyish expressions and the sweet kisses that he has learned to give us.  Love my little guy so much. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Comparison Shot of Daisy and Bruin

It's not really a comparison shot but, it was my attempt at one.  Bruin is 8 months old here and Daisy was 6 months.  I had wanted to take this picture with Bruin when he was six months but, it just never worked out.  It was September in Daisy's pic and August for Bruins.  I still have the same jammy pants...which is cool for a comparison shot but, maybe that also means that I really need to invest in some new pj's? hehe.  I also have a similar haircut...five.five years later...maybe another area that a little change is in order?'s a functional mom cut and super easy to throw into a ponytail so it stays for now. 

Anyways, you all keep saying that my children look so much alike.  I just don't see it so I took these pictures to prove just how different they look.  That was total sarcasm.   Yes, folks they look alike...I know, I know, I KNOW.  Bwahaha.  After all the same two people did make both of them...;)

This was a fun activity and I'm hoping to snap a couple more comparison shots of the kiddos before Bruin gets too much bigger.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

8 Months Old - Bruin

One of the things that I enjoy about having two kids is that I am now able to see, so very clearly that kids are SO different and that no matter what we do as parents..our kid's personalities are going to play a large role in how things pan out in our homes and in their lives.  Yes, we can train our children to do so many things but, some kids train more easily than others...that is just a fact.  If I only ever had Daisy, who has been a relatively mild tempered and mannered kiddo...I might think that all of my children might be similar in temperament.  Now that I have had two darling kiddos, and one who is much stronger willed, I can relate to all of my friends who have a more fiery and passionate kiddo.  lol.

So many of my parenting tactics have shifted to adjust for Bruin's personality.  So many of my opinions about how to do things have and are continue to change daily. So many of the things that I said I would never do...I do and it is quite liberating actually.  Freedom!

 Each of our children are inevitably going to be different and unique and I think as a result that we tend to parent a tad differently so that we can bring out the best in each of our kids.  As parents we love each of our kids the same and just as deeply but, I can see that some kids have different love languages and need to be shown love and discipline in different forms.  It's been a fun and crazy adventure these past 8 months and as long as I am a blogger you will get a front row seat to all the Martinez family, parenting drama so stay tuned!!  HAHA

And now on to Bruin's little 8 month details....

*He has four teeth in and two more in the miserable works:) bottom and top two are in.
                *For some reason he has gone on a bit of a baby food strike.  He has no desire to eat                                                    anything that we have tried to give him over the past week or two.  He might eat a few bites before       turning his head and refusing and then crying.  He does love the little puff crackers and little bites of anything we are eating...that I am okay with him a tiny piece of bread or cracker etc.  Not sure what his deal is regarding baby food.   We have tried all of the level one foods and he liked them all at one time.  He is not a fan of rice cereal mixed with his fruits or veggies so we had to give that up a while ago.  I'm thinking that we are going to ditch baby food somewhat and move on to big people foods that are baby friendly.

*his pointer finger and thumb grip has just started to improve in the past couple of weeks.  He now loves to pick up food.  I would say picking up pieces of food is Bruin's absolute favorite thing to do.  Sounds like a typical guy after all:). 

*He takes about 3 naps a day at this point. First around 9ish, second around 12:30ish (totally depends day to day) and the last one is usually around 3 or 4.  Most of his naps are 30-45 minutes long max.  SO SO SO hope that they get longer someday and I'm thinking that they will in time.  Every once in a while he will nap for an hour plus but, it has been extremely rare at this point.  We have a sound machine in his room and I usually keep a fan on low as it gets hot in his room.  The sound machine has been a huge blessing!  Wish I had used it with Daisy.

 *He goes to bed easily around 7 or 7:30 every night.  It's great actually.  This kid has always wanted to go to bed early.  It's in his DNA.  Daisy never wanted to go to bed...Bruin begs for it pretty much.  I don't have to rock him or do much of a special routine.  I just give him a pacifier and give him a satin edged blankie to snuggle with.  He might move around for a minute or two after I say good night and kiss his cheeks but, then he is out.  

*He wakes up for good anywhere between 5:30 and 7 AM.  His average is 6:15.  UGGGGG.  I'm trying to teach him to hang out in his crib for 15 minutes or so but, he is not always up for it. 

*He has only started improving in his night time sleeping in the past 2 weeks because he started rolling on his tummy and at first he hated it but, something clicked and he started loving and even preferring it. The first few nights he would scream after a couple of hours of tummy sleeping and I would have to roll him on his back but, with each passing night he would sleep a little bit longer.

*He still wakes up about four or five times a night just to move into a new position.  Only requires me to go in about 2 times...3 on a rougher night.  I often give him a pacifier at around 2 AM and I still nurse him every morning at around 3 or 4 and then he goes right back to sleep until 6ish.  I'm hoping to drop one of these wake ups asap but, I am SO SO happy with this progress.  I was getting up 6-8 times a night with him for 7+ months and for screaming that would never stop....yah, I don't miss that at all.  The other funny thing is that I still wake up at all the old times that he woke up...and I'm like wide awake checking on him in the monitor even though he is sound asleep.  I'm up at 12, 2, 3, 4ish, 5:30 and then dead when he wakes up. lol.  I hope I can get my sleeping groove back soon! lol

(the pictures of Bruin in the checked blue shirt are from his 7 month session.  I never got around to blogging any of them them:)  Isn't he just the cutest little man.

*He wears size 12 months in just about all clothing but, it still has a good amount of room.  Pants are too long in 12 months but, by fall/winter should be perfect.

*Hates being diaper changed our outfit changed.  He cries or tries desperately to get away.  It's my least favorite thing to do with

*He wears size 3 diapers still.

*His eyes are still changing color but, they appear to look more brown with each passing day.  I do so love my brown eyed family...but, I admit it weird to be the only person with light eyes in my family!

*I don't know how this has happened but, it looks like Bruin has the same reddish tint to his hair that Daisy had/has.  It's mostly visible in the sun.  Joey and I get a kick out of the fact that both our kids have a hair color that neither of us have had.

*He still hates tummy time but, we can get him to tolerate it for a few minutes off and on all day now which has really helped strengthen his back/arms etc and is hopefully going to help him crawl sooner than later.

*He likes baths but, he is pretty much over it after 5 minutes.  At that point he starts reaching for me and crying.  Sigh.

*He rolls both ways but, gets stuck a lot on his arm when he is on his stomach and trying to roll to his back and then he gets mad.  He gets mad a lot. lol

*He loves taking sips of water out of my glass.  He's really good at it too.  Always gives me a big smile whenever I let him.  I love it!

*Loves being outside if he is walking in a stroller or being held.  He seems to like the wind in his hair and I can already tell that he will love watching garbage trucks, mail men etc. working out front.  He is fascinated when they drive by.

*He nurses about 4-5 times a day.  Because he isn't eating solids very well I have had to continue nursing him every 3 hours most days.  I look forward to when we can consistently stretch him to 4 hours!

*He does smile often through out the day but, it's unpredictable and not easy to make him smile on cue.  He has to be in the mood and we never know when that will be.  I sure do adore his toothy grin to pieces when I get to see it.

*likes short car rides and loves looking out the window.  30 minutes seems to be his happy max.

*Prefers sitting up to any other position and does not want to be put in any seat, chair, bouncer etc.  He already tried flipping all of his chairs and bouncy seats a few months ago.  He still falls back or forwards and is a bit wobbly if he wants to reach for something so I cannot let him sit on a hard surface unattended.

*Just started putting him in the seat in grocery carts last week.  He liked it!  I hope that it might make shopping a little easier with him.

*Is starting to pull up...(very wobbly still) on furniture, people etc.  He requires adult support to stay standing but, he loves to walk around the house that way too.

*He shrieks/screams/yells/bites.....pretty much allllllllll day long and he looks like that (below) when he is shrieking!) I wouldn't exactly describe Bruin as a happy baby but, he can also giggle like there is no tomorrow.  I LOVE when he laughs because he can go on and on and on.

(this pic is obviously blurry but, that's what life with Bruin has felt like...a wild, non-stop blur...thus picture is perfect!) lol

*He laughs more at Daisy than anyone else.  He loves when she jumps up and down and says boo.  I'm really happy that they have this laughing bond because he pretty much shrieks at everything else she does with him all day. lol

*He has started trying to crawl...just barely popping his bum up and pushing his legs as hard as he can and then he screams.  I would say we are a couple of weeks or more out still but, he sure wants to crawl badly.

*He likes his pacifier and his satin edged blanket just like his big sister did.  He can go without the pacifier much longer than DAisy and I think it might even be easier to wean him off of it but, we'll see when that time comes.

*When I ask for kisses and lean in he generally wants to bite my face.  So sweet and loving. hehe

*I would say that he is starting to get mild stranger anxiety...very mild.  Nothing like Daisy.  He prefers being in my arms to anywhere else understandably because he is with me 24/7 but, I am thankful that he will let other people holding him for a few minutes!

Daisy is SO SO patient and kind with Bruin.  She tolerates his shrieking so well and she is always trying to make him happy.  He has the best big sister that he could ask for:)

*If you put your head or hair near him, he will yank on it hard.  HE loves that.

*Loves sitting outside on the patio with Daddy most mornings while Mommy gets her quick AM shower.  It's their bonding ritual and it is very sweet.

*I haven't left him in our church nursery yet.  Can you believe it?  Well, I have my reasons but, a big one is I want him to be able to sit up well or even crawl before leaving him there.  I often end up hanging out in the nursery with him at church on Sundays and I have enjoyed chatting with the other workers and helping out with the kiddos when I can.

*Loves when Daddy or mommy play the guitar on the floor near him.  He likes to put the guitar in his mouth and grab the neck while we play.  Who knows...maybe someday he will play!

*likes stroller walks around the block

This pic below is probably one of my favorite pictures of Bruin and Daisy to date.  Snapped it after church on a bright Sunday afternoon.  Bruin never smiles really big for pictures but, I can see the smile in his eyes and I love how his hands are both up.  Daisy is always sweet as pie during picture time.  These kiddos are such a blessing.

I can't believe that we will be celebrating this little guy's first birthday in just a few months.  I know it will be here in a blink.

Bruin Henley, I love you dearly little boy of mine.  I love that God knew that I needed a son because you are so precious in every way and I am quite tickled that I now get to play with super heroes and dinosaurs for a change!  I love everything about you...even the fire in your spirit that keeps me on my toes every day...because I know that all of who you are is going to give God glory as you grow and learn more about Him.  I pray a blessing of strength, health and joy in your life and I pray that you grow to serve and love on others with all your heart.  You are a delight my darling.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bruin and the Hoodie

Just a chance to share a few cute pictures of Bruin in his first hoodie:).  I have pictures like this of Daisy when she was about this age so I wanted to share these for future fun comparison shots.
Friday, July 24, 2015

Let's All Just Be Offended About Stuff

I wonder if this will be a period of time that will be looked back on and labeled, "the period of time in which everyone was offended by everything."

I'm offended by that. (wink)

I love Facebook and instagram!  I haven't jumped on the twitter band wagon yet and I'm not sure that I ever will since I already have to exercise tremendous self-control to stay off of all of the electronic devices around me.  I don't need another reason to pick up my phone to "check on something," and an hour later forget why I even picked up the phone.  I don't want another excuse to open my laptop, hop on the ipad (or an ipad mini), or turn on the t.v. and stream something through Playstation or the Wii.  
I love keeping up with friends both old and new.  I love feeling like I haven't totally lost touch with everyone that I am unable to see as often as I'd like; such as my family that live out of state.  

I enjoy watching all of the ridiculous and funny videos posted on Facebook.  There was a video circulating of Australians trying out American beer for example.  Have you seen that one yet?  Pretty funny but, seriously, I probably could have done something much more productive with those 4 minutes of my life....naaaahhh.  I take that back.  That was time well spent.   

Social media is great.  Really!  It has opened so many doors for communication that we didn't have before and it networks people all over the world.  It can be such a blessing. 

The one aspect of social media that I am not quite as fond of is the hyper sensitivity and offense that everyone takes over everything now.  Or maybe it is the fact that everyone has such a strong opinion about everything and in the process of having these strong opinions on social media we forget to treat each other with respect.  We forget to be loving.  We forget to be empathetic.  We forget to be forgiving.  We forget to be patient.  We forget that those tiny little squares of a face next to a name on Facebook or instagram are a real person, with a real soul and with real feelings.

Or more honestly, perhaps we really don't care?  

I don't like when Facebook and other social media outlets become a war zone of words and hatred. 

I also don't like when people blast the world with their strong opinions and then belittle everyone who doesn't share in their opinion.  Can we agree to disagree sometimes?  Can we not just respect that we are not always going to see eye to eye on everything?  

Let me give one large example which requires me to bring up the very touchy subject of gay marriage...can't believe I am going here...but, just for a tiny second, simply to prove a point I shall boldly go where...well, anyways.

Honestly, I was overwhelmed, heartbroken and even angered by all that I read on Facebook the week that gay marriage was approved for all of the states.  I never posted anything opposing or supporting the news one way or another but, I did read a great deal.  A quarter of the folks that I'm friends with were viciously attacking gays and gay rights community and the victory that they were celebrating and another quarter of the folks I am friends with were viciously attacking Christians and the community who are not in support of the gay marriage victory.  It was hostile.  It was ugly.  It was hurtful and down right brutal.  Am I right?  

Another quarter were actually quite civil about the whole thing...and to those of you on either side who were civil. I APPLAUD YOU.  It takes self-control, patience, kindness, understanding and love to be respectful in the midst of a hot issue but, you all prove that it is in fact possible!  

Yes, we can love each other and not always agree.  We really me! 

 I love my daughter to pieces and yet we disagree with each other a dozen times a day.  It's absolutely exhausting but, it CAN BE DONE. :)   

I think opinions are great!  God made us to think creatively and independently but, he didn't create us to control or manipulate others to think exactly like we do.  He didn't create us to attack and condemn each other.  He didn't create us to hate.  

When we feel hatred or disgust towards another human being (and I'm not even talking about a murderer or rapist or someone like that...maybe just someone who doesn't cover their mouth when they cough, GASP and you de-friend them on facebook.)...we need to realize that we are in fact part of the big problem that our world has today.   
God created us to love one another.   He created us to think less about ourselves and our feelings and our emotions and more about the needs and hearts of others.  

And if you do not believe in God I can understand that you might have your own moral code but, I'm guessing that you still want to be loved, do you not?  I'm betting that you still want others to treat you with respect am I right?  

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a pretty widely accepted philosophy. 

All of this is not to say that engaging in healthy debate is wrong or inappropriate.  Not at all!  Debate can be very productive and educational for listeners.  I love listening to and participating in a good debate on Facebook!  I love hearing what y'all have to say and what y'all think about things and you all know that I too share my heart and thoughts on subjects as well.  I'm right there with yah!

 I would say that it is a fine line and more often than not, even a healthy debate turns into something completely corrupt and hostile before it has concluded.  Not always of course...but, often.  

We don't need to call each other names do we?  

Kids would get put in a really long time out for the kind of stuff that most grown ups participate in online.  Maybe we grown ups need to remember to take a time out when we are feeling frustrated or too hot-tempered to control our words.  Just walk away from the keys.  Just step away from the hot topic post that is making your eye twitch.  Step away from it all and cool off and get some fresh perspective before responding in anger.  Think before you speak.  

Maybe consider asking God to give you a loving heart for even the most difficult people in your life. Trust me, I can attest that this is not easy territory to walk in.  #dailystruggle

I saw a handful of people who shared that they were taking a break from Facebook because it was too painful to read all that was being posted.  

Good for you.  I took a little break too.  I prayed.  I cooled off and then when I wasn't overwhelmed by it all I returned...though it only took like 5 seconds to feel that heat rise when I got back into social media. lol  I'm guilty too of course. 

Anyways, I couldn't help but, blog about this today.  It was one of those posts that has been itching on my finger tips for SO LONG.  I know that this post isn't going to change anything...okay well, that was a bit pessimistic but, what I mean is that very few people read my blog.  

Sometimes I write simply because I publish my blog and I save these posts for my kids. 

 I hope that my kids will know the kind of grown up that I try to be.  I hope that my kids will not only read my words someday but, be able to say that I tried my best to be a loving example in action and truth. I hope that they can someday say that I taught them how to treat others both those that we agree with and those that we disagree with.  I will surely fail at times and some of you will witness my failings but, I will seek forgiveness and try again.  I want to be a kinder and more loving person today than I was yesterday and tomorrow I hope that I can be a kinder and more loving person than I was today. 

I love you all.  I really do....each and every opinionated one of you:) hehe

And now that I have poured these jumbled thoughts onto a page, I am going to close this laptop and take a little break and visit a friend.   


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Her First Week Of Kindergarten - Recap

Daisy was in preschool for two years so we were familiar with a school routine but, there is just something so much larger about the kindergarten least for me there is.  (sidenote: Daisy picked out her outfit for the first day of school.  I had new outfits she could have chosen from but, instead she chose a consignment dress we had gotten that had Daisies on it.  She said, "Mom, if I wear this dress then everyone will know that my name is Daisy!"  I melted.  I just adore the things that kids say and think.  So, she picked her dress and her hair bow.  It actually goes against my nature to let my kiddo pick everything out on her first day of school...usually, I like to have some say at least but, it felt good to let my little girl who was venturing out into a big world, make some bigger decisions for herself.  I was SO proud of her and thought she looked darling.  I don't know how long my kiddo will tolerate dresses on school days so I am eating this up!)

Daisy wasn't excited about starting Kindergarten but, she wasn't scared of it either.  She told me that she missed her preschool buddies and the familiarity of her past school routine.  She also told me quite a often told me she wanted to go back to her old school.  Completely understandable. She isn't the type of kiddo that charges into new things, rather, she quietly takes things in, observes, processes and slowly warms up...usually warms up.  She is also an introvert in the sense that she recharges with quiet time so I knew that long school day from 8:30-4:15 was going to be a big transition for her.  

She is a lot like her momma what can I say.  

She actually did get pretty excited on the first day of school which was a pleasant surprise.  I created a little checklist for her on a small white board that she got to carry around with her all morning.  It gave her a list of tasks that she had to complete before she could watch TV or play video games.  On day four of school she never picked the white board up once.  The novelty had already worn off.  She knew the routine already so she didn't want to use it anymore...that was fast!) lol.

And yes, my daughter LOVES playing video games!  I can barely keep her away from them.  When we originally got her Super Mario Cart she was barely interested but, when Daddy got Super Mario world her interest grew and she has gotten SO good...way better than me.  It's a trip. lol  It's also a really special thing that she and Daddy do together and that motivates her to get better.

 But, back to the checklist...that first morning Daisy proudly checked off each thing on her checklist after she finished the task.  She had a smile on her face all morning.  She really was quite giddy! I never had to battle with her once that entire morning which was a rare treat.  The second day of school was a different   

Then as we drove to school she got quiet which is what she does when she is feeling anxious.  I tried to chat with her a little bit, but mostly she wanted to look out the window and think.  She stayed quiet for the remainder of the morning and through drop off as well.  

In the hall as we walked to her classroom I felt the strongest nudge from the holy spirit (if you are not familiar with the holy spirit...shoot me an e-mail and we can talk:) to pray with my daughter...right there in the middle of that super busy hallway.  Daisy was so nervous, I was feeling nervous for her and we both needed some strength from Jesus that morning.  I'm not wildly extroverted or terribly bold so kneeling publicly to pray like that doesn't exactly come easily to me but, it really did that morning and that was another confirmation that God was all over it.  She held my hand so tight and bowed her sweet head with me and I prayed for bravery and courage for her.  I know Jesus was close to her and that lots of prayers were covering her that first day.  That gave me so much strength and peace. 

I can't tell you how thankful I am that I can kneel and pray in my daughter's public school!  I do not take that freedom for granted.  I love that no one gave me an evil eye or told me to go pray in private etc.  I don't have to be afraid of going to jail for the rest of my life or being shot for my faith.  Guys, we are SO SO blessed in this country to have that kind of religious freedom when so many around the world do not.  I pray that we get to have that kind of freedom for a long, long time in Jesus name.

By praying with my daughter, I got to invite Jesus into my daughter's school.  I got to encourage my daughter through faith and I got to teach her to seek Jesus publicly when she needs his help.  I was able to show her that no matter where we go, Jesus wants to be there with us and we don't have to hide our faith!  What an awesome thing this was.  I didn't know that my hubby snapped this picture and when he texted it to me after we got home, I finally started crying.  It kind of opened the flood gates that I had been trying so hard to hold back. 

Back to our first day of school recap...

We were the second family to walk her to the classroom door.  Only 6 kids were attending class the first day which was so nice.  In my opinion, her school day is far, far too long and I am at least thankful that they give the kids one less crowded and crazy day to transition a little at least.  

Daisy sat next to a cute little boy who was also quite nervous.  They both began coloring the activity page in front of them silently.  I asked them a few questions and tried to get a little conversation started between the two of them to break a little ice but, of course the jitters were too strong.

Honestly, I remember feeling the same way on my first day of school in every grade I attended...all the way through college!  First day jitters...excited and nervous all at once. 

Then another little gal walked in with her parents.  A lively, bold, carefree, extremely extroverted child who clearly had no jitters whatsoever.  (Can someone please tell me what that is like?) "Hi Ms. S!!" She yelled into the room.  She threw her backpack by the wall and then yelled, "bye mom, bye dad." Everyone was laughing because her ease on the first day was surprising and so cute.  Then she came up to Daisy and said with a burst of energy, "Do you want to be my bestest friend today?"  

I mean how adorable is that.  

She put Daisy at ease a bit and that helped my aching heart so much.  Daisy told me after school that they hung out a little bit at recess also so that made me feel better too.  I don't think they have hung out since but, I am thankful for the friends that God places in our lives to help us along each and every day.  God is good. 

It was hard to leave her that morning.  If I didn't have a baby who was squirming in his carrier, I probably would have dragged my departure out a bit more.  I wanted to sit in a corner and observe and be there for moral support.  I wished I had an invisibility cloak so I could linger without judgement. lol

Yup, I'm that Momma...the one who longs to help my kiddo every step of the way but, who recognizes that I can't and that it isn't always best.  But, dang it sucks sometimes to have to let them face those big mountains all alone.  Thankfully, I know she isn't alone...she has Jesus with her always and that gives me so much comfort. 

Her teacher is a really sweet lady and I know with a little more time that Daisy will grow to really like her.  Daisy did get scolded for the first time yesterday which was day 3 (I was like, wow that didn't take long) and boy did it ruin her entire day.  She said she was coloring a picture and she didn't hear the teacher say that they were only supposed to color the tree.  She said she was trying so hard to make the teacher proud by staying in the lines as best she could and she thought she had to color the entire picture.  The teacher sternly and loudly reprimanded Daisy for disobeying and she was absolutely crushed and embarrassed which is typical of her personality.

She was crying pretty hard last night when she finally opened up and shared the story with me.  I'm not sure if she was worried that I would be mad at her and that is why she waited all day to tell me or if she actually forgot about the whole thing for a little while. lol.  Either way, she was very upset when it finally came out.  She said her teacher doesn't like her and that she didn't want to go back to school.

I tried my best to use the opportunity to teach her that mommy and daddy have to discipline her but, we still love her like crazy and it is no different with her teacher. I told her that even Jesus disciplines me and it isn't fun but, it is to teach me something good and He loves me more than anyone in the whole.  Love and discipline can work together, I explained to the best of my ability...She's five....she didn't really get it but, she was listening so that's a plus.  The lovely learning train has really started taking off for my kiddo:). lol   

I picked Daisy up in carpool that first day because she asked me to and because I wanted to make her first day a little easier for both of us.  I had a good 30 cars in front of me or so.  Daisy isn't used to a carpool that long so by the time I got to her I could tell that she was crumbling.  She was clearly tired, emotional and worn out.  She pretty much looked exactly how I felt and how I used to feel after putting in an 8 hour day of never really gets easier even for grown ups does it? lol  

She got in the car and had the blankest expression on her face.  I asked her how her day was...really not expecting much chatter but, I got complete silence.  I asked her a couple more light questions and she just stared off.  Poor worn out thing.  I know my kiddo needs to decompress from overwhelming things so I pulled down the DVD screen and put on her cartoon...and let her watch her books on tape for about 20 minutes.  When we got to Target and I could tell that she was not in good shape at all.  I opened her door and asked if she needed a hug.  She did.  I picked her up and she burst into tears and just kept sobbing and sobbing.  A good cry always feels good and sometimes it's just the release a little person needs after such a huge first day away from the safety of home and Mom and little bro.  

It broke my heart but, I held it together as we Moms always try to do.  

When she was done crying I asked if she felt better and she said that she did and she genuinely perked up a bit after that.  I told her she could pick out our ice cream flavor for that night's dessert in the store and she was happy about that.  She also got a palace pet to add to her collection.  I don't always spoil my daughter but, on a hard day I sometimes can't help it...:). 

As the evening went on I gleaned a little more about her day here and there.  She liked reading books in her center.  She played with her extroverted pal and was thankful that she had a friend.  She loved the house keeping center.  She had a hearing test and that was interesting.  The cafeteria was neat but, she didn't know anyone that she was sitting with so it wasn't as much fun as she was hoping.  She never mentioned the play ground which I thought for sure I would hear about.  She also mentioned the bathroom and that the seats are her size. lol.  

That night in bed after her first day of school she asked if she had to go to school the next day.  I said nope, not for another week kiddo.  She was thrilled and never asked about school after that.  Oye.

At this point in her life, she LOVES being home with us.  She loves being with her brother and doing whatever we do.  She has a vivid imagination and she could tell stories and come up with creative things to do all day long at home.  She loves relaxing in her chair.  She likes space.  She likes quiet sometimes.  She loves cuddling and hugs and kisses.  She is so helpful at home and almost always has such a great attitude at home.  She is a home body...again like her Momma...and her Momma's momma....and her Momma's, Momma's Momma. lol....Perhaps learned...perhaps genetics or perhaps a bit of both.  Regardless, it's just who she is.  And I love who she is.

A few days ago was her first day riding the bus and her second day of school.  Technically, it was her first day of official class as all of the kids attended together for the first time.  I was far more anxious about my kiddo taking the bus than I was about walking her to her classroom door the previous week. 

I think a big reason for my nervousness is that I never rode a bus as a kid, nor did any of my friends growing up.  Most of us walked as school was super close and that's just how we did it in California.  Because I am not familiar with the bus experience it is hard for me to be comfortable with it.  I'm sure you can understand that.  Also, my kid is five.  Dang, it blows me away how young our babies are when we send them out.  Growing up, my kindergarten days were either 9-12 or 12-3.  We never, ever had a full day at that age.  It is CRAY CRAY to me that a baby-five-year-old has to be in class that long. Lame.  Most grown ups are wiped out after an 8 hour work day so why would we expect any different from our kids?  Sorry, rant over. 

Anyways, Daisy was nervous and a bit quiet again this morning but, she was also more chipper today than she was last week.  On her first bus day she had a good friend that will not only ride the bus with her but, also be in her class.  I am so thankful that she has a friend to make this adjustment with.  I know how much braver I feel when I have a friend with me in new places.  

The two girls faces lit up when they saw each other this morning and then they held hands all the way to the bus stop.  I gave Daisy a few hugs and kisses and told her that I couldn't wait to see her after school and hear about her day.  Her little hands were made my strong heart crumble and I felt my tear ducts giving out on me...but, I stuffed it down again.  

She marched on the bus so bravely with her pals.  I held my phone up in the air to snap a picture but, it refused to unlock and thus not a picture to show for it...first time ever that my iphone has ticked me off. lol  

I guess it wasn't a moment meant to be captured.  I did snap a picture of her getting off the bus in the afternoon:). 

Once she boarded the bus, I saw her squeezed on the front bench with two of her pals and she had a big smile on her face.  I waved over and over and blew her kisses and she did the same.  Then I saw her looking for Daddy and she couldn't find him in the crowd.  I hollered for him (he was in the back with Bruin in his stroller.  I was so thankful that he was taking care of the baby so I could focus more on Daisy..that was a big blessing) and they saw each other and her smile got even bigger. 

Boy, my kiddo has become a major Daddy's girl since the birth of our son.  It is pretty sweet if I do say so and I know a certain Daddy who is just fine with this little change.  He eats it up.  

Then as the bus drove away and my heart dropped...really, boom, crash.

I almost never cry in front of people and I seldom cry at all so I stuffed the emotions down and walked home with a friend and chatted a little bit.

Then I came inside, put some worship music on and began looking through the pictures that I had snapped at the bus stop before the bus came.  Looking at the pictures of my baby girl walking away from us with her friend and being so brave as she walked towards that bus when I knew how scared she really was got the water works going.  Ugggg....It was a rough few hours I'm not gonna lie.  I worried about her. I wondered how she was doing.  I wondered why on Earth the clock hadn't moved in three hours...I swear it said 9 AM an hour ago??  The day dragged on and on but, I got through it and I tried to keep myself busy.

I Couldn't wait to pick her up.  The bus rolled up and I saw her cute face in the dark tinted windows up front.  She was grinning wide.  She marched off the bus and came straight into my arms and gave me the longest hug that my sweet friend captured that moment for me.  I'm so thankful for all my awesome friends and hubby who capture these special moments for me unprompted.  I'm a blessed gal. 

I could tell that she was tired but, she was in a totally different mood than her first day of school.  She was chipper, silly and quite hyper.  She wanted to walk home with her friends and she was chatting with a Mom on our way down the street.  It felt great to see her in a better mood.  I was so encouraged.  

When we got home we had planned to take Daisy out to her favorite ice cream place for "first day of riding the bus," treat day.  She seemed excited.  Then she got very into washing Daddy's truck with him.  She got in her bathing suit and sprayed water everywhere.  She had a blast hosing her hair and all the plants.  When I asked if she wanted to go get ice cream she said, "I just want to eat ice cream at home and keep washing Daddy's truck."  

Yup, that's my home body girl.  
Love you to bits Daisy. 

So, we stayed home and had ice cream from our freezer instead.  She also ate a ton of dinner so I think her big day worked up an appetite.  

I heard a little more about her day at bedtime.  That is often when she is the most talkative and as exhausted as I am at bedtime, I try really hard to be available for chatter at this time of day.  It seems to be when kids are more relaxed and able to process their thoughts.  It seems to be when they feel safe to share things.  Is it that way for any of you with your kiddos?

  She liked riding the bus a lot.  She liked the play ground and the cafeteria but, everything else was SO BORING MOM.  She did however mention that they were told a story about letter land where the magic letters live and she loved that.  Then she said, "but mom, I already know all the letters.  This is going to be so boring."  She knows the letters but, not how to write them all so she actually has a lot to learn...tough life kiddo.  Let the many years of boring, learning begin.  lol.

She also forgot where her snack was in her back pack so she didn't have one when she needed it and that made me feel bad.  I suppose that might have been why she was so hungry after school today.  hehe

Overall, I would say that her very first bus day to school was a decent one! Yay! And I am so, so thankful for all the prayers, encouragement and loving support for me (my hubby too) and our sweet girl as she begins this new chapter in her life.

Day 3 was a bit harder for a few reasons, one: she was scolded by the teacher as I mentioned above, two: she once again forgot about her snack so she was quite hungry and three: she experienced a tiny bit of friend rejection when she asked a girl if she could play with her at recess and the girl said no because she already had friends.  So, Daisy was playing alone for a while and she doesn't like that. Later however; that same girl came up to Daisy and asked to play because her friends left and Daisy was happy to play with her.  I hope that she continues to make regular buddies as the school year goes on.  She also lost her art project that she was so excited to show me, somewhere on the bus.  She was really sad about that and I think that was the icing on the cake of her rough day.  Our sweet neighbor photo copied the piece (her youngest is in Daisy's class) and had her older daughter walk it up to our house.  Thanks so much Lori!

Today is day 4.  I'm just as eager to get her from the bus today as I was on day 1 and and can't wait to hear about her day today.  I'm thankful that Daisy is such a chatter box because it really pays off in times like these. lol.  That kid loves to tell me every little detail of her life.  Again, much like her Momma as you can tell by the length of this blog post:). 

  It's hard letting go.  I had no idea just how hard!  I also know that the letting go is a gradual process and I will have so many more moments of feeling this same bittersweet tug as I watch my daughter's wings unfurl more and more with each passing year.  Sixth grade graduation, middle school graduation, high school graduation, college graduation (if that is her thing:), a wedding someday perhaps....sigh.  

"Little by little one travels far." 

Love that quote.  Thankfully, we don't have to take huge steps all in one day (because that would kill this Momma's heart!) but, with God's help, little by little we let our kids go and grow.  

And lastly here are a few pics of Daisy that I took around Valentine's Day but, never got around to sharing.  Love them all!

The truth is this probably isn't even half of the facial expressions that this kid has in her data base.  Daisy has made so many faces since she was a baby.  All I did was set her in front of the camera and asked her to smile.  This is what I usually get instead of a traditional "smile." The top smile picture was the very last expression she gave me, right before I snapped my camera off:). 

  Thanks for being such a ham, you sweet and silly daughter of mine.  Love you so much.