Sunday, August 9, 2015


I remember really being hit with the fact that I was a mama to a tiny little person when they wheeled me out of the hospital after having S. It was hot, dreadfully humid, and it hurt for me to even turn from one side of the bed to the other. But, I was on cloud nine. As I watched my husband put her carseat into our car, I looked back at the hospital where I had just spent the last three days and thought, "Wait! Hold on. Wheel me back in there! You're just going to let us LEAVE with her?? You know we've never DONE this before, right? What kind of real hospital are you to just let people walk out with babies?!"

Thank goodness we had help from people that knew what they were doing. And when you set the bar low, like "Okay, let's first work on just keeping her alive for now" low, it turns out you can surpass your own expectations pretty quickly.

Back to mama.

I tell ya. Sometimes, I wish my kids would call me annnnything but that. Call me any name under the sun- just don't say "mama" for one entire minute.

One time, I decided just for kicks, I'd count how many times I heard my kids say "mama" on the ride home from church. It was pretty close to twenty, and the ride was about fifteen minutes long. I think the average is much higher other times.

And there are so many ways of saying it, aren't there?

Here are just a few I came up with:

"Mama! Do you know where my Lightning McQueen issssss??" He only loses it like a million times a day.

There is also...

"Mamaaaaa....pleassssse! I want to paint my nails nowwwww." Did I mention we are now the proud new owners of a pink nailed-polished blanket. (Just grin and smile. Grin and smile!)

Oh, and you can't forget the...

"Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. MAMA. Watch me! ARE YOU WATCHING?!"

But then, there are the "mama's" that make your heart almost skip a beat.

"Mama. Will you cuddle me?"

Lastly, my all time favorite: "I love you, mama."

And doesn't it just get ya when they tell you that you love you after you've had a particular crummy day where you didn't exactly nail it in the mama department? It's like they know.

Last but not least, there's just "mama."

This morning, S came quietly into our room saying that she didn't feel well. She crawled up next to me, and just said, "mama." She said it in a way that I knew she hurt and I knew she needed me. So she laid with her head on my chest for the next hour or so, and I just held my little girl. I kept repeating, "I'm right here, baby," as I stroked her hair.

I am the luckiest to have two amazing little people call me "mama." Sure, sometimes I feel like my day is like a broken record of "mama's" but there's no other name that is more important to me. Inevitably, they'll outgrow the "mama" phase and move on to just calling me "mom" and that's okay, too. But, I'll forever treasure these mama days, and remind myself that they're short, so I'll take every version of "mama" I can get.


"Mama" necklace c/o Leila. You can find the exact necklace here. I haven't taken it off since I got it :) I'm a sentimental sap like that. 

A little confession and our summer essentials.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

So I'm about to say something that's going to make a lot of people think I'm crazy.

I don't like summer. At all. 

And that's putting it mildly. The heat, the humidity, the lack of boots and layers! Come spring time, I always get a little bummed because I know summer is just around the corner. When I tell people this, I often get the, "This girl is crazy! I'm going to back away slowly" look. 

But, the kids have no idea of this, and insist that we spend as much time out and about as possible. And you know what? Their enthusiasm really has a way of rubbing off on me. And the fact that we're no longer in Virginia really helps! (Sorry, Virginia! You know I love ya! But your summers are brutal!) I actually turned to my husband the other day and said, "You know what? This may be my favorite summer ever!" 

The summer here in Utah has been absolutely gorgeous. It cools down at night, and today we felt an amazing breeze as we were playing outside. If all summers were like this than, boy, call me converted. 
I think another reason I'm not crazy about summer is that I miss my leggings and sweaters too much! Anyone with me? I have one or two jackets hanging in my closet in hopes that maybe I'll need it one day soon. Or maybe I stand in the closet, put my leather jacket on, close my eyes and pretend it's hot cider weather. No? No one does that? 

Seeing as how summer is inevitable, and there's no way we could spend our entire day inside just for the air conditioning, dressing my kids in things they can run and play in, while still keeping cool (and cute) is super important. And while I know it cuts way down on laundry, I can't just let Pato sit in his undies all day...though I'm sure he wishes I would! 

Is it normal that a three-year-old have such strong opinions about what they wear? S prefers dresses and rompers over anything. My guess is that it's because she hates to sit still, and would rather I get the dressing over with. So, most days, she slips on a dress and is ready to go. I love dresses that can be used for play but also to wear to nicer places, like to church on Sundays. Again, cutting on the laundry.

Rompers may also be so prevalent in her closet right now because I have a mild obsession with them at the moment. Why can't they all come in my size?! I love these especially because sometimes it's a little cooler in the mornings and evenings.  

As for little Pato? He doesn't care much what I put on him. He's more of a shoe guy anyway. His favorites are anything he can slip on "alllll myself" and "blue!" 

I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, next year my confession will be that I actually like summer? 

Eh.....that's to be seen :) But, at least these two sure make summer look cute! 

*** This post was a collaboration with H&M. H&M has always been one of our go-to stores for children's clothes, and we're excited for this chance to collaborate with them! They were the perfect place to have our summer essentials covered. 

We don't eat sand pies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I overheard S having the following conversation earlier today...
Little Girl: Look! I made some sand pies! Do you want one?
S: Um. No, thank you. We don't eat sand pies.

I took the kids to the "beach" today because we were missing some of our favorite things we used to do back in Virginia. I say "beach" though really, it's a smallish area of sand on a man-made lake in our neighborhood. The kids didn't turn their noses up one bit at it, and they didn't even seem to mind that the sand was definitely not as soft as the sand we're used to. 

As for this guy? Well, I had to stop him from pelting the poor ducks with sand. 

(And yes, yes I know. Those sandal tan lines. Pato had those tan lines before the summer even started. As in...they were last year's tan lines. Oh, I hope he won't hate me when he's a too-cool teenager with Saltwater tan lines from his toddler days.) 

Later in the day, we were all cuddling on the couch, and Pato turned to me and said, "Mama, thanks for taking us to da beach. Dat was fun." Bless his heart. 

I really needed to hear that. With the couple of off days we just had, it felt so good to have a GOOD day. To not go to bed thinking, "I just need this day to be over." Aside from the drama of S experiencing her very first bee sting (hey, the good news is now we know she's not allergic!) I'd say this day was just what I needed to re-charge. 

Another good thing? I wore those two out so much, that come bedtime, they went down without a fight. That's what beaches are for, right? Wearing kids out? 

It's okay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Today I've been off. 

Well, that's not true. I've had a couple of days where my kids could tell you that I've been a less than stellar mama.

I've grinned and smiled till the impatient monster snuck out of me and I was speaking in a tone much louder than I would like. I immediately felt just awful, but was too frustrated to say sorry.

As I sat in the car, trying to choke back the lump in my throat my mom turned to me and said, "It's okay. It's okay."

And she's right. Because at the end of this day, I would say these two are some of the most loved kids I know. I hope most parents could say that. But I love these two with every fiber of my being, and I'm so lucky because they give me do-over after do-over.

So today, after mama put herself in time out for a little bit, I walked back to my kids, and we hugged it out. I promised that I would try to be more patient, and they said, "It's okay, mama. It's okay."

I know at some point in our lives, we become hardened and distrustful. We no longer forgive at the drop of a hat. I hope they can stay that way as long as they can, and when the time comes, learn that forgiving, while hard at times, is so much more easy to carry in your heart than anger.

J's romper c/o June & January

"It's only for children who have underwears!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Would you know that while I was taking these pictures, they were singing and dancing to "Shake it Off?" 

To hear them sing it cracks me up, especially since the only lyrics they actually know are "shake it off...ah ah...shake it off!" that we live so close to an ikea, I decided to see why I've heard so many moms talk about what a great place it is to take kids. 

Two words: chocolate cake. And play place. So, four words. 

I decided to go way out of my comfort zone, and dropped S off at the play place, and have some one-on-one time with Pato. He couldn't go with her because as she will tell you, "Its only for children who have underwears!" She marched right in there, telling me not to worry MOM! That she would have fun and make friends. As I filled out a little sheet out before the the drop-off (I felt like I was signing a form to let a total stranger take her to Abu Dhabi or something) she was basically begging me to hurry up. I quickly scribbled out some contact information (although who knows if it was even legible...I'm telling you...she was insistent) and off she went. When the lady working up front asked if I wanted to leave her for the full hour-and-a-half or just the hour I almost fell over. 

"Just an hour. I have to leave her the FULL hour??"

"No. Of course you can pick her up earlier!"

I made it a full forty-five minutes, folks. 

But, those forty-five minutes were so good! I let Pato pick out any treat he wanted, and naturally, he went straight for the big honkin' slice of "chocowet cake!" He only let me sneak in three bites, and he finished the whole thing. I do not know how he does it! In between bites of cake, he mostly wanted to talk about his sister, and I can't blame him. When I asked him if he was ready to get her, he leapt out of his seat. And so did I, for that matter. We were ready to get our girl.

I peeked in on her for a second just playing contentedly by herself and I wanted to scoop her up and smother her with kisses. So when she ran out with that huge smile on her face, I did just that. 

One of those parenthood moments, you know? 


In totally unrelated news. Anyone else watching Grey's Anatomy? UGH. Just ugh. McDreamy? Why?! I'm never watching again. Well, that's a lie. I'm watching it now. BUT, I'm mad. I can't stop because I'm a sentimental sap about everything. I started binge watching this show right when S was born to pass the time as she nursed. So, I feel this silly little tie to it because it reminds me of that time. 

Hanging in there.

Daniel Tiger I tell ya. I wouldn't survive in a world without it. I mean, I get it. Billions of people do manage to go on living their meaningful lives everyday without it, but as for me...I wouldn't make it. I'd be a nutcase of a mother. If there's two things that bring these two together in the worst of times, it's food and that little tiger. And it usually buys me about twenty-three minutes of peace. 

And right now, I'd do just about anything for some peace. 

Things have been pretty quiet on the blogging front, and for a good reason. In the past few months, our lives have been turned upside down. I feel like I was inside a Christmas snow globe, and an over-zealous toddler just shook us up. And shook and shook and shook. In a span of two months-ish, we traveled across the world, came back, packed up our entire house, and drove across the country.

To be honest, I don't know how I held it together. I think I came pretty close to just throwing all our things in the trash and never looking back. But, with the help of my mother-in-law, and friends who feel like family, we got it all done. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how. 

Now, I'm sitting here battling our two that don't want to go to sleep because I swear it doesn't get dark till like midnight here. I feel for them. I really do. Both were so heartbroken to see all their belongings packed into boxes and out of their rooms. We are trying so hard to make our temporary Utah house feel like home to them, but I know they miss Virginia. I miss it, too. 

Well, not the heat. Certainly never that. The temperatures have been simply glorious here. That eases the pain a bit. 

But, I'm so proud of our two monkeys. I know they are trying hard to keep it together as well, and sometimes when I see them just cry and cry over one thing or another, I wonder if it feels good to just release all those feelings. Those "mom-and-dad-took-all-my-stuff-and-strapped-me-to-my-car seat-for-five-days" blues. And the "my-toys-are-gone" blues. And the "our-little-best-friends-live-so-far-away" blues. 

And Sof! Bless her heart. Bless that little girl's heart. Everywhere we go she gives herself a little pep talk. She says she will be brave and make new friends. And so far, she HAS been so brave. Just in primary last Sunday I watched her shyly, but also confidently say, "I'm Sofia Jones, and I'm from Virginia." And after church she couldn't wait to tell us about how she wasn't scared and that she had made new friends. Sigh. 

Oh, Virginia, we just weren't quite ready to quit you. 

Just Jokin'!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My latest post at What to Expect is up, and I talk about how this little man's sense of humor has gotten us into trouble recently!

You can find the article HERE!

Also. I may or may not be to blame for my kids' dumb sense of humor. 

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