Thursday, May 30, 2013

Challenge: React to this term: Letting go.

There was a time in my life where I had a lot of anger and a lot of hurt in my heart. Don't get me wrong...I was still very very happy and some of the greatest things in my life occurred during this time. 

But, when everything was quiet at the end of the day and things stood still...hurt and sadness crept up on me and that little unwelcome knot would appear in my throat. I'd try to fight that little knot, but others times that little knot won and I would find myself bawling and bawling.

Like I said, anger accompanied my hurt. I would say out loud, "I am just. so. mad." As if that would help...not. I told myself that I didn't need to surround myself with such negativity and that I was somehow above it. But doing this was like putting a little bandaid on too deep of a wound.

I don't know how long it took for me to finally let go...I think it was kind of gradual. But, when it happened, it was beautiful and liberating.

I had made a decision. I had decided that I needed to replace my anger with love. Unconditional love. The kind of love where you love enough to see past someone's faults. The kind of love that your throw yourself full speed into, leaving behind your pain and hurt and anger. The only way I can describe is like when your child is just so frustrated about something, and you know they need a hug. You go to hug them, but they just want to lay on the floor and cry. They try to wiggle out of your arms, but you hug them tight, as if you could squeeze the frustration out of them. And then they give in to your hug and hug you back. Does that make sense at all to anyone besides me?

That amazing action is called forgiveness. I forgave. I thought I had forgiven before, but I hadn't. I hadn't followed that forgiveness with love. And when I did, that huge weight came off my shoulders. I physically could feel that weight lift off of me...and I was happy all the time. That silent still moment at the end of the day? I wasn't mad or sad anymore. The knot was gone. 

I had let go. And I've never looked back to that ugly place.

J: Eight Months

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

His personality positively exploded this last month.

...crawls all over the house. easily distracted.
...always wants in on the fun. He'll follow either me or sister around.
...hates getting his nose bulbed. It's the one thing that makes him so mad!
...loves brushing his teeth. He has five now!
...say "mama" and "dada."
...laughs at books.
...cuddles before bedtime.
...gets uber excited when Dada's around. Almost jumped out of my arms today.
...kills me daily with his sweetness. 


The month is almost over. I can do this.

Today's challenge: Five songs (I'm only doing four) or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.

I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers. C made a CD with a bunch of "his" music on it, and a few years ago we listened to this CD and song a lot. It specifically reminds me of our long drives to and from NJ the spring before S was born. We would spend those hours talking about what we thought parenthood would be like (answer: indescribably amazing) what our future baby would be like (answer: wild, wonderful and at times, heartbreaking-ly sweet) and what we had learned from other parents we knew. It was the last of our time of just us. I look back fondly at that special time full of anticipation.

Every song on Jack Johnson's album In Between Dreams. I listened to all the songs in that album over and over and over in the fall/winter that I met C. I cannot listen to those songs now without falling in love with him all over again. I remember walking to class while listening to Banana Pancakes and wishing so badly that someday we would wake up together on a sunny Saturday and make banana pancakes together. 

Buddy Holly by Weezer. Oh, how I love/d The Blue Album. This song, the album, the band remind me of one of my very best friends, Rita. A boy we liked introduced us to Weezer and were instantly hooked. We would listen to the album whenever we were together (which was basically ALL the time) and I remember us being silly young freshmen in high school belting out the chorus. We knew all the words to all the songs. And we really got into it. Big time. It was a time where we were stepping into this big place called high school and a whole new world opened up. I would have been lost without her. And although Rivers no longer gives me shivers (hope you read this, Ritata) I will always have a special place in my heart for Buddy Holly.

The next song doesn't have a name (that I know of.) Let's call it El Patito, which means "the little duck." My mom used to sing this to me every night when I was little. There were about five or six songs we would always sing together, and this was one of them. It's a simple short song that talks about a little duck who sang all the way to the store. This song is special to me for a couple reasons. First, it reminds me of my mom, and our special time together before bedtime. Secondly, it's a song we sing to our babies. And I love that we call our little guy Pato, so the song is kind of about him, too :)


Challenge: Only here are some that were sitting in my phone.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27, 2013

We had friends over today, and C grilled. On tap: balsamic mustard grilled steak sliders with feta, grilled corn (only way we can eat it now) and I whipped up a grapefruit and avocado salad. Plus, Brazilian lemonade. I got the recipe here. (Thanks, Brooke!) C has offered to teach me how to use our grill many times, but secretly, I like not knowing how to even turn it on. Heaven forbid I should actually be asked to make something on there...I'll stick to the salad.

I keep telling myself that someday...someday...she will be still in a picture with me without flinging herself out of my arms. Maybe when she's thirty.

My guys.
S using her powers of escape on the left. We gave up at attempting to get a shot of us all, so we let the uncooperative one in the group go. Can I take a second to talk about J's bottom two teeth? They are adorable. Not so adorable when he bites me when I'm nursing him. He'll go days without biting, and then all of a sudden will do it each time. I've tried flicking his ear, and get really mixed reactions. Sometimes he laughs, other times he gives me the saddest "How could you?" face and cries.
Not looking but at least he's not trying to escape.


Challenge: A letter to your readers.

Dear Reader, 

I will keep it brief. 

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for putting up with me posting a billion pictures of my babies. And thanks for looking the other way when I just plain don't make sense. 

I also want to say that I really hope you haven't been offended by anything I've written or may write in the future. If I have, I am really sorry. 

Lastly, reader, please only visit my blog when you are able. If you have a child by you waiting to be cuddled, friends that need a call, family to catch up with, or a significant other to spend quality time with: tend to them first. But, if you have a second to kill or a quiet moment to yourself, please visit.


Arrested Development

Pato pulling off the cutoffs. The dozens of Nevernudes around the world would be proud.

To celebrate the release of the latest season of Arrested Development, our friends hosted an AD party. We decided to dress the babes up at the last minute, and I think we pulled it off quite nicely.

"Steve Holt!"
There was a bunch of AD themed food. It was great.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Skipped another day. We've been catching up on Arrested Development and snuggling our sick babies. 

Anyway...the challenge for today: something you read online. A friend of mine posted a link to this the other day and it made me laugh. And yes, it did make me feel old. 

43 Things That Will Make You Feel Old

Backstreet Boys cruise, anyone?

I Stink

Friday, May 24, 2013

Challenge: Your top three worst traits.

I don't mean to be self-deprecating, but really, I have a lot of bad traits. The hard thing is picking out my three worst. So, people may see this list and think, "What? She didn't think to mention [insert terrible thing I do here}?" Please do know that I am well aware of these bad traits, and they are something I work on daily.

1. I'm an interrupter. My mom taught me better. As a child, I knew to wait my turn to speak and not to interrupt when others were speaking. Sometimes it was hard though! My dad told me if I really wanted to say something to just raise my hand. Problem is that now that I'm an adult, I probably couldn't make it through a conversation without having to wave my hand wildly at least twenty times. Can you imagine how terribly annoying/awkward that would be? No one would speak to me again. I think I have a hard time differentiating when I am just adding to the conversation and when I'm just being rude. 

2. I have a lot of good intentions, but most never make it past the "intention" point. Sometimes I think, "You should send so-and-so a card just to let them know you're thinking of them." Or, "This person could probably use a cupcake right now." I will momentarily get really excited about doing something, and then I will get busy doing something else and I just put it off. I really really really admire those people who just go above and beyond in everything they do. I think that is a true gift.

3. I'm not a great conversationalist. I catch myself turning conversations back to me quite often. Please know that I am SO sorry if you're reading this and I have done that to you. I think I do it because I'm trying to show the other person that I know what they are going through and can relate, but I'm afraid it just turns into the "Karim Show." I once worked briefly with a girl who did this all.the.time. I wanted to record her and play it back because I could not believe how every single thing we talked about was turned back to her. It got to the point where it made me feel kind of uncomfortable, and I tried to avoid her if I could. I would hate to be that person. Oh, and adding to the whole conversation bit...I'm a terrible story teller. I'd explain that but I'd butcher that story, too. In my defense, I come from a family of really bad story tellers. 

Memory Lane: Covent Garden

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Slowly making my way through the rest of our England pictures.

London had a ton of neat activities leading up to Easter. One of them was this giant Easter egg hunt located in Covent Garden. They had over a hundred eggs that had their own theme. Although we missed having an outdoor egg hunt like our friends back in the States, this more than made up for it.

This girl has zero patience for pictures. We have tons of shots just like this one.
Her first macaron experience was from Laduree. We may never go back to other macarons.
Oh, just sitting down.
You can't tell from the pictures, but it started to snow ever so lightly.
Cute thang.


Challenge: Things you've learned that school won't teach you.

Sometimes it's about what you know. But really, a lot of times it's about who you know. 

Always check the bottom of your carton for mold when you buy berries.

Nobody's life is perfect. We all have struggles.

Images on magazine covers are not real. It's all photoshopped. 

Everything has a solution. And yours is not always the only one. 

It's okay to be wrong! That's how you learn.

You'll never lose by being nice. But if you do, that's messed up. 

Someday you'll find yourself complaining about the younger generations. 

When you use up the last bit of toilet paper, the polite thing to do is to replace it right away. 

Mr. Rogers will never steer you wrong. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Challenge: Rant about something. 

Sometimes I'm in a ranting mood, and man, can I get going. But, I'm feeling far too tired, so a short rant will have to do.

One of my pet peeves:

The misuse/overuse of the word "epic." Everywhere I turn, people are using this word. I looked "epic" up in the dictionary, and aside from all the poetic definitions it also means: "heroic, majestic, impressively great or of unusually great size."

Most of the things people are claiming to be epic are not. I'm sorry. Burning your cake is not an "epic fail."

Which brings me to my second pet peeve. 

Epic fail. Epic failure. One of these is correct, the other is not. 

End of rant. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today was a good day. Like, really good. It was as if S knew about yesterday's post and decided to be sweet as candy. I needed a really great day.

The day started off with a playdate. S was a little clingy, J was a little tired, but overall, it went well. S fell in love with our friend's slide and laughed and clapped each time she went down it. 

The rest of the day was super low key. We played a lot, tickled a lot, gave lots of kisses, and there was hardly any whining. My kind of day.
Cheeser face.
My view as I nursed. S likes to stay close.
This girl is SO funny sometimes. She went and took a few of J's pacifiers from his room and started putting them in her mouth.

Because one isn't enough.
"Hi!"A few minutes later she grabbed her blanket and lovey and said, "Night, night!"

My guy.


Challenge: List of links to your favorite posts in your archives.

Seeing as this blog is new-ish, I will be linking to posts in our old blog that we started back in 2007.

Baby J's birth story.
S's Birth Story: Part I & Part II (I was a new Mama. Couldn't keep it concise.)
Happy 26th to Me! So grateful for my husband.
Recap of 2011
My dreams came's a girl!
R.I.P Patrick the Pillow
Lost in Translation
Where We Call Home

I gave up looking after a while...but I'm sure there are more I missed.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Challenge: Get real. Share something you're struggling with.

(Before I go on...yes, I skipped yesterday. It was the end of the day and I was spending time with C. Blogging was on the back burner. I don't feel terrible as yesterday's post was to list my five favorite blogs. To be honest, I actually don't have any blogs I check frequently enough...certainly not five. Doesn't mean there aren't a lot of great ones out there. So, we're just gonna skip that one. 

Actually, I take that back. Head on over to my friend Janae's blog: A Hungry Runner Girl. She is a runner and I don't know much about running, but she's kind of a big deal. She gorgeous AND sweet. I check out her blog because a) her baby girl is the darling-est thing and b) she posts food pictures. And I love food. Her chicken enchilada soup was the last thing I ate before I went into labor.)

Back to today's challenge.

Something I'm struggling with. Easy. Being a good mom. Particularly to S. I used to think moms were magically just good at everything. I've learned that it really is a daily effort. It's a daily effort because some days your babies are going to be dreamy and smiley all day long. On these days I actually feel like patting myself on the back. Some days, they both decide to want nothing but you (I kind of love this.) 

This week has been a bit harder. J is teething (S never seemed to have issues with teething) and since he is normally such a smiley happy baby, that when he's not, I'm sort of taken aback. Poor baby has three coming in at the same time and we're all trying to hang in there. 

S is still her normal kind of moody self. I think this week has been harder because it's so hot outside, and she loves being outdoors. I try to take her outside to play in the morning when it's less hot, but it seems to wear both of us out. She's at the age now where she and J are interested in playing different things. So, today she and I had a girl date and bought some learning toys that were more for her age level. After her nap, we colored, played with stickers, sorted and played with her magnetic letters. She was getting good at picking out the o's and we're working on the letter "s." It was so much fun to do all these things with her while Pato napped. She loves the one-on-one time. 

There are so many things I love about S. She is observant, curious, passionate, funny, and silly. She cuddles now and gives the sweetest kisses smack dab on your lips. At least once a day she'll come sit on my lap and we will give each other kisses and say, "mas! mas!" (More) And we laugh about it. We like to play in her room and make music. J thinks she's hilarious when she claps her little cymbals. These moments are perfect. And then there are the the times she comes up to me out of nowhere, puts her face inches away from mine, gives me THE hugest smile and stares into my eyes. Really really stares as if to yell, "Gosh, I love you mami. You're great!" (Okay, I'm sure that's just what I wish she were saying.)

Then there's the not so easy side. You see, S is a little touchy. Moody. Her own little person.  She will now smile at strangers pretty regularly, but doesn't like it when people get too close. Who she feels comfortable with is totally random. There is a girl at our church who is eleven, and S loved her immediately. They looked at each other and S looked like she had just seen an old friend. Two weeks ago S went to nursery and she felt totally comfortable with one of the nursery workers she had never met, and never left his side. There really are only a handful of people who she feels comfortable with. Sometimes I wish we could go out and she would be that happy smiley little girl who charms the socks off of others. Sometimes I wish she wouldn't get so frustrated when she doesn't get things done just right. Sometimes I wish she had another volume other than "really loud." Sometimes I wish  I didn't have to worry about every time I went out, "Is she going to be okay? Will she cause a scene? Is she in a good enough mood?" 

I struggle with letting my kids be who they are, trying to help them be good kids, and not pushing them into being what I think would be "perfect."

I've talked to a lot of different moms, and I've gotten a lot of great advice. The one that hit me the most was from a woman I admire greatly. She told me this: "Just love her. Give her a hug." 

I think about this every single day. When S is having a particularly hard time, I bring her so close to me, hug her tightly, and whisper, "I love you, baby."

I'll just keep hugging that girl and love everything that makes her my little S, my little shadow, my little best friend.

*Anecdote from the week. Like I mentioned before, S is pretty loud. We've been teaching her to be quiet by saying things like, "Shhh! Time to be quiet while baby sleeps!" She then puts her finger up to her lips and says, "Ssssss!" At church we kept telling her to be quieter. After the sacrament was passed she yelled, "Thank you!" It was loud, but that girl at least has manners! 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

I love Saturdays. I love that it's our day to spend together as a family, and I love the C is home so that I can occasionally use the bathroom without an audience. Today, I decided to take S to the farmer's market while C stayed home with J while he napped. It was just me and my girl. We ditched the stroller and held hands instead.
I thought this was cool. But not $350 cool.
If we didn't already have beautiful hydrangeas back home I seriously would have considered buying these stunners.
Love this little shadow of mine.

Later in the day, there was a surprise waiting for S (and me)at home... her very first field hockey stick! We were so excited! Thanks, Dada!
Let's not forget this little guy. Two teeth in and three on their way. We're all hanging in there.

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