5.11.17

Hi baby: Cooper Turns 1!

Happy birthday my sweet baby boy. This has been the fastest year of my life. Part of me feels so sad! I feel like somehow I missed out on your life. Where have I been?? But then I realize I've been here, with you an you sister as we have created our new normal. The first half of your life was spent being saved by your sister, and this second half has been spent experiencing PTSD and assuming every time she comes close its to hurt you. But you've survived. You are kind of a whimp, but I don't blame you.

You're definitely a mamas boy and are happiest when I'm holding you. You have this billy goat laugh that is the sweetest sound. We were in a class at church and you started laughing for about 5 minutes straight- straight thru a prayer and everyone in the room was laughing right along with you. Your smile is contagious and plastered on your face 90% of the day. When people meet you they comment on your bright blue eyes and say something like " happy boy!!"

You started walking two weeks before your birthday and have the bumps and bruises to prove it. You love cars and balls and can toss a ball pretty good! You're in the phase of "take everything out" and love to explore an unopened drawer or basket. To say you love soft blankets is an understatement. You're obsessed wth your little minky blanket and sleep with it nuzzled into your face.

You're eating me out of house and home and I don't know what I'm going to do when you're a full grown boy! You could literally eat all day, but spit anything out you're not in the mood for. You turn hangry pretty quick and if I even think about getting you out of your chair before you're full you give me an ear full.

I have been much less stressed with you, and have been enjoying each stage as it comes, instead of looking for the next stage to begin. You don't sleep in. Ever. You don't even make it to 6am and I have no idea what to do about it. Despite bedtimes or nap times, you're whining around 5:30am and your mean mother leaves you to fend for yourself until 6.  The handful of times you've made it to 6 we have celebrated. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll figure it out soon.

My favorite things I don't want to forget:
-your gap teeth grin
-billy goat laugh
-your baby blabber
-rolling around and laughing with your soft blanket & pillow


You have made my heart grow two more sizes. You bring peace to my soul. 

12.10.17

4 quick things you can do to minimize your wardrobe

Take everything out of your closet and drawers and pile them all onto a space you’ll need to use later (like your bed). Then spend hours thanking and touching and appreciating every piece for all the memories it has given you and focusing on your true inner-self to detect any joy or value  and then one-by-one put everything back.
Sound overwhelming and “ain’t nobody got time for that”? Yeah- me too. So today I’m sharing some simple ideas you can do before bed or during nap time TODAY. If you have extra time, do more than one. If you have 5 minutes- that will be enough for at least one (maybe more if you’re quick at making decisions) and these baby steps will help you get the ball rolling on that overwhelming closet/wardrobe issue.

1. Find one item you didn’t wear this season.

The seasons are starting to change and if there is a pair of summer shorts you didn’t wear this summer- it’s time to let them go. This can apply to a winter jacket, fall boots or a spring top. If you didn’t like it enough to wear it this year- you won’t be missing it next year.  (If you’re feeling motivated go ahead and find two, three or a dozen things you haven’t worn and give yourself permission to let them go.) 

2. Find that pair of jeans you’re never fitting into again and just…get rid of them. 
I saved one of my favorite pre-baby jeans for more than a year after my daughter was born. Even after I lost “all my baby weight” (gag) those pants still didn’t fit. My hips were never going to be the same at 26 as they were at 19. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s time to say goodbye to those jeans.
This also applies to any fat jeans you have laying around. I also had a pair of fat jeans, but guess what? Even when they fit after my baby was born, I didn’t like them. They were out of style. They didn’t fit my new fat body the same way as my old fat body (I’m using the word fat here very facetiously–no one get upset.)  The point I’m trying to make is that our bodies are constantly changing. The pants that fit you a few years ago may or may not fit you again. And if they do, are you still going to want them? And is there a reason you can’t go intentionally purchase a specific pair of pants when the time comes?

Long story short- stop holding on to clothes from the past or clothes for the future. Allow yourself to appreciate and dress your TODAY body. Not wait for tomorrow’s body. Your self esteem and closet space will thank you.

3. Next time you take a shirt off because you don’t like it- don’t put it back in the closet. 

This is my favorite way to maintain my wardrobe. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule (does anyone have a great fashion day on day 2 of their period? I say no.) but you’ll know the difference. I bet you can picture an item in your closet right now that you don’t really like whenever you wear it. Halfway through the day you’re thinking how much you don’t like it, or you take it off and change. Time to say goodbye
.
4. Do a quick initial sweep. 
Just go to your closet and look at your stuff. Maybe it’s overflowing and overwhelming. Maybe it’s simple and intentional. Be honest with yourself and trust your first thoughts. Grab what you want to let go of, and then don’t second guess yourself.

(Tip: get in the habit of doing this. Every time I walk into my closet my eyes are now in the habit of seeing my things and asking myself “is that still working?” If the answer is no- it’s gone.)
 So there you go! I hope these simple steps help you get started on that closet purge. Good luck!

20.8.17

Hi baby: Coopie boy

Hi Coopie

Hello my sweet baby boy. I love you so much! You're growing and learning everyday and I can't believe you're almost 10 months old. It has gone by so fast, and it feels like you've always been a part of our family. You are a mama's boy and it's been an adjustment for me. Most moms don't like their babies crawling around and exploring and getting into things- but I don't mind it. That's how your sister was- but not you. You want me to hold you or be on the floor right by you as you play. 

Sometimes if you're in a good mood you might go off for 10 minutes or so checking out all the toys. But it doesn't last long. I think you're getting like 4 different teeth right now and so that makes you a little (lot) more whiny. You LOVE food and sometimes I run out of things to feed you. I try to make sure it's all balanced and there are times you've eaten your way through the food pyramid and I just have to give you a few graham crackers to fill in all that extra space still in your belly. You're a wonderful sleeper and take two naps a day and sleep great at night. You love cuddling with your soft blanket and you have a monkey binki you love.

Right now your favorite item is a big yellow plastic ball. It's bigger than you are, but you chase that thing around the entire house and giggle and yell in excitement. You can pick it up and "throw" it and then chase after it. Its adorable.

Everyone comments on your beautiful bright blue eyes. You smile at everyone and people think you're just the perfect looking baby. And you are. You don't look much like your sister anymore but you are so beautiful in a way totally different from her! You're growing big but feel proportioned and just look like the typical chubby Gerber baby.

You say dada all day and blow raspberries. You will say mama if you're whining and trying to track me down. You are terrified by your sister but you also giggle the entire time in the backseat when she plays and talks to you. I hope you two can become friends.

I love you Cooper boy. Your sister is still calling you Booger and it's growing on all of us. We also call you Boogs a lot or Coopie or Boogie. We'll see if any of these nicknames stick through your childhood. I hope you know how special you are, and how much you complete me life and mommy heart.

xox

Mom

Hi baby: another entry

Hi my sweet girl. I just got done reading a small journal my mom kept as she wrote down memories and things about me as I was a baby and toddler. It was so fun to read her thoughts about me and feel her love as she wrote. I hope that is what you get out of this as you read my letters to you! 

I love you so much. You are three and bold and beautiful and smart and independent and funny and sweet and sassy. I hope you never give up on your confidence and excitement for life and new things. You have a fun imagination and like to play games. You like to be the mommy and I'm the "honey". You're a sweet little mommy and you take good care of your honey. You aren't nice to your brother and that's probably my biggest frustration with you right now. You like to terrorize him and I'm at a loss of what to do. I feel like if you could just play sweet with him all my problems would be solved. He loves and is fascinated by you, but he's also scared of you and doesn't have much patience for your constant badgering. I'm assuming one day you'll move past it, but I'm not getting my hopes up too much.

Right now you love to play with other kids. Everyone immediately becomes your friend and you can play outside with kids you just met for hours. You're a social butterfly. Sometimes you're the one in charge, but most of the time you're fine with following the leader. As long as they're being nice to you, you aren't too particular. You love to climb and test your body and learn what it can do. You also love to draw and color and surprisingly you prefer a pen and lined paper over crayons and a coloring book.

You have a funny mind that is a bit OCD/neurotic. If something is broken or bent or cracked you can't move past it. You like things how they should be. Your shirts can't come up in the back when you sit down or you freak out. You don't like capris, 3/4 length sleeves or tankinis because you think they just don't fit.

You're talking wonderfully and you're a big chatterbox. You're also a champion whiner and it really gets on my nerves. I've had to say many prayers of forgiveness for losing my temper, and my prayers for help in being more patient with you. But at the end of the day you want me to "hold me for little bit" and sing you lots of songs. I'm trying not to rush those nights. I'll know I will miss them soon enough.

I love you so much Kenny bear! You are my whole life. Me and your daddy are constantly talking about you. Praying for you, and thinking of you. I can't wait to see what kind of person you grow up to be. I know as you make right choices, you will become a wonderful spiritual giant who does amazing things.

Xoxo

Mom 

12.8.17

Out of sight. In my heart

I hope I can put into words how I was feeling today!

This morning we stopped by the park. Two boys came over (around 8 and 6ish) and Kenzie started playing with them. They were all playing so well at the playground and eventually their games took them away from the playground and toward the walking trail behind it. Soon she was out of my sight. I could still hear them every once in a while. But I couldn't see her. I realized it was my first time ever that she was playing away from me and I couldn't see or hear her at all. Not only that, but she was even playing with complete stranger kids. This was a whole new experience for me. As I sat in the grass with Cooper my mind was racing. 

Should I go check on her? But it's good for her to feel safe and independent while she plays. I don't want her to see me and think she needs to be checked on as she plays. 

There's really nothing dangerous over there. But what if something happens- will I be able to hear it? What if she wanders off and gets lost? 

The boys are playing with her and being really attentive. But what if they get bored with her and run off? Or do something physical that she can't yet but wants to? (Climb walls, scale the hill, etc). 

On and on and on. 

I'm not a helicopter mother. I don't mind them (you do your thing mama) but that's not how I am. And sometimes I think free range parent's are seen as taking an easy route. Look at that mom sitting on the grass in the cool shade instead of going down the hill and following her daughter in the sun. 

But you know what? My heart and brain were ON FIRE as I was letting her be a kid. I was a hot mess inside while she was out of my view. But I believe it's important for kids to be able to play semi-unsupervised with other kids. Even at age 3. And because I believe that, I stayed on the grass with my baby. It wasn't easy. No parenting style is easy. And maybe there are moms out there that don't blink an eye when their kids aren't in their view. Maybe I was a hot mess because she's my first, and I can't believe she's old enough! Maybe it's my anxiety that gets triggered and I go to all those bad scenarios in my head. Maybe I'll send Cooper out the door without a second thought. Or maybe not. 

But either way, I was really happy when the games were over and we could go home. 

4.8.17

Hi Baby: Happy 3rd Birthday

Happy birthday my sweet baby girl.



 I know every mom says this on every birthday- but I can't believe you're already 3! Today after your nap you cuddled with me for a full 15 minutes. And while that might not seem that long to some, for you and your world with big, explosive feelings and energy- it felt like forever. And it was just what this mommy needed. Your sweet soft skin clutching onto that stupid old puppy and still fitting your head right where it needs to be. It was the best 15 minutes I've had this week. You can tell everyone your birthday is "August 5th!" and when asked what you want for your birthday you immediately yell "CAKE!" and then a notch quieter yell "AND POPPY AND NANA AND JAKE". You're an easy girl to please.



I remember August 5th 2014 and being told you were coming TONIGHT, not in 3 days like we thought. I was in labor but your stubborn body was breach which meant we had to do things a little differently. But you came out perfect at 6PM and I've been enamored by you ever since. You have made me a better person. You have shown me my purpose here on Earth. Being your mom is the most satisfying and fulfilling thing I have ever done. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my Heavenly Father for trusting me to be your mom. I pray that I can raise you and love you and mother you in the ways that will help you grow and succeed and flourish. I never want to be the person that dulls your sparkle or rains on your crazy little person parade.



 I've learned to give you space and independence and you're thriving. You have such amazing control over your body and strength. You're such a physical person and I love watching you experiment and test your body's limits. You're starting to draw and I'm pretty impressed by you. You can draw circles and faces and lines that are "mom and daddy and Booger and Kenzie!" You love to use your scissors and still aren't super into toys. You still yell "I'LL HELP YOU!" and proceed to drag a kitchen chair over to the counter to help me cook. You get frustrated, but can be talked down pretty quickly. You throw tantrums, but only when you're tired. You love to watch movies/TV and we usually watch a show in the evening to help you calm down a little bit. You're starting to become sweeter and nicer to Cooper and you two actually played together for 20 MINUTES and I thought I died and went to Heaven.



You're smart, sassy, funny and quick. You ask questions when you don't understand something. You repeat until you totally comprehend what I'm saying. You love making new friends and can play for hours with others. You also sometimes like to act like a "little baby" and need to be held and I don't mind it one bit. You're starting to test bedtime and try to pull the "I need a drink. I'm hungry. I want dad to sing me a song" but I'm still winning that game...for now.



I don't know how to express my love for you. And this last year has been so much FUN. I've loved being able to talk and communicate. I love your funny sayings and demeanor. You make me smile and laugh every day, and I try to make you laugh every day too. You're my best girl. I say a silent prayer every day that we can always be best friends. I hope as I write you something on your 13th birthday I can say that same thing. But for now, I will soak up every sweet moment with my little 3 year old. I love you Kenzie girl.

xoxo
Mom

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