ain't nobody got time for dat

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Up until yesterday, there were three times daily where I wanted to poke my eyeballs out from pure frustration. I would seriously wake up in the mornings dreading breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And it all had to do with that happy kid up there. Good grief, for the past two months I have spent so many waking hours fretting and prepping foods that this kid will eat. Prior to yesterday, I would have welcomed anyone over to my house at 6 o'clock, and guaranteed a performance of Jared doing some sort of rendition of all the Bluth family's chicken dances at the dinner table. These extreme measures had become part of our dinner routine as a way to get Warner cracking a smile wide enough to slip a spoon of food in his mouth and distracted so that he didn't realize what he was eating. Every meal has been a circus show - full of snapping, clapping, whistling, and other noises I didn't know my mouth could make, electrical and light displays - just to get Warner to eat. And it has been exhausting, to say the least. I am embarrassed to admit that I would go to bed at night, slightly dreading how I was going to get him to eat the next day.

But then, on the magical day of Wednesday, August 28th, he decided to be my knight in shining armor and took to table food, no questions asked! Today he ate a whole half of a grilled cheese! I know, this sounds like such a small thing to throw my hands in the air and hooplah about, but for real, I AM SO RELIEVED. It was a joke how much time I was spending (not to mention money wasting) on trying all kinds of new foods for this kid, steaming and pureeing, mixing different concotions, yada Yada, pulling my hair out in between, even crying and sulking. I seriously didn't have time to cater to him, but I made the time, and the minute I relaxed and thought whatevs kid, eat what yo want, he totally did. And we're both happy campers. And apparently we both will do anything for a grilled cheese. Hallelujah!

Let's move across the country again, because that's fun!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Well, we did it. We made probably THE toughest and most humbling decision yet in our entire marriage and decided to pack (and sell) all of our belongings and make the trek back to our roots in California. Our last day here in the state made for Lovers will be September 25th. I am so many sorts of emotions right now, but I can honestly say the overall feeling I have is peace. And that is always a good sign that you're heading in the right direction.

We left California for Virginia two years ago, hoping Virginia held some promise for us as Jared started grad school. While the fruits of his labor haven't been immediate, we have faith in the future. I don't know what California holds for us this second time around, but I know it will be good to be surrounded by family. Jared has 3 different great career leads that would only be possible to pursue if we were in California, so until one of those (hopefully) gets sorted out, we'll be bunking up with my family for a couple of months until we know where we will certainly be. Jared and I are from the same hometown, so lucky for our kids, they will have two sets of grandparents to play with and exhaust :)

On the flipside, that means we're leaving behind beloved Virginia, a state that has been nothing but kind to us! Well, I take that back, the winters are downright AWFUL, but I guess 90% of the states have terrible winters, so Virginia isn't alone with that. But Virginia, oh, is a beauty. My heart is aching about leaving just a smidgen too early to witness the changing of the leaves and the crispness in the air. There is nothing like an East Coast Autumn. Mostly, we are sad to leave our lovely friends whom we love so dearly. This really hasn't hit me yet that we are leaving, so I'm sure a blubbering post will be up here within the month once the truck is packed and farewells have been said :( Our friends have been like family to us.

What's making this transition easier to bear is that I'm kinda looking at this as "going home for the holidays," since we'll be there October - December. And that seems nice. But I'd be lying if I said the California ventricle of my heart isn't speeding double time at the thought of being under palm trees again. So I'm letting out a big boo-hoo for leaving Virginia, but a loud hoorah for returning to the Golden State!


Friday, August 16, 2013

This past week has been quite an anomaly in comparison to what Northern Virginia summer's should be like. We've been enjoying highs in the upper 70's, low humidity, and a much appreciated reduction in mosquito bites. Yesterday we gathered with friends on the bank of the Potomac, threw out our blankets, ate some lunch, played tag, and the kids bartered with each other in snack exchanges. The great thing about this park we went to is that it is an empty lot right next to the airport, so a plane takes off every couple of minutes. Evelyn was a bit rattled by it at first (quite literally. I could feel the noise of the engine roar from over head vibrating in my chest), but Warner was entranced. I also need to add a stomp rocket to Evelyn's Christmas list. She loved it! She looked so cute and all little school girl-ish with her skirt and tennies jumping on the thing!

Also, it's hard to tell in these photos because her hair is still so sparse, but Evelyn is sporting pigtails! She made her debut on instagram the other night, so yesterday was our first outing where we put those piggies to the test!

a quick jot about nursing Warner

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The other night I came out of our room after having put Warner to bed and I told Jared about this little game that Warner and I have going on. When Warner is nursing, he is very touchy. He always has to have a blankie to stroke, or clench his fist on my shirt. He just has to always be touching something. Recently, he's been grabbing at my face and pulling my hair. Well that night he looked up at me and squeezed my nose. Naturally the only thing to do when someone squeezes your nose is to honk, right? So I did. And that opened the flood gates to a giggling fest! I even had to take a video because it was that good of a party. Jared thought that was weird and creepy, taping a giggly exposed nursing session. I believe it probably is, but what other option do you have when an adorable 4 toothed baby is beaming and smiling and laughing at you and thinks you are the world's greatest? Videoing it is the only option, let me tell you!

The point of all of that was to say that I love nursing Warner. I love the experience that only he and I share and how bonded I feel. He has always taken to me so well. Evelyn didn't nurse this long by her choice, which was fine and easier at times, but breastfeeding Warner for the past 11 months has really provided a strong base for our life-long relationship. It's so odd to say that by breastfeeding we have grown to trust one another, but we have. We feel confident and secure with one another. We have a time set aside for just our relationship to flourish. Everything seem peaceful and simple. And I can't help but feel proud that I'm the one that grew him inside me and now I'm sustaining him in the flesh, too. Everytime I kiss those heavenly cheeks, jiggle that squishy bum, tickle those feet, or blow raspberries on his tummy I can't help but think that all this chubby baby goodness is my doing. BEST CREATION EVER!!!

Now check out those four teeth!

celebrations and frustrations

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I've been rather silent in these here parts, but I can assure you that my life is NOTHING but silent right now. These two kids have been working me like a horse!  Jared asked me last night when I was going to write another post on the good ol' blog here, but I just haven't mustered up the energy to write anything. I feel like all I am going to blabber about is how horrible life can be some times, and no one wants to read that. There have been some good things, too, that have helped to make digesting the bad a bit easier. So I thought I'd do a weekly inventory, mostly for myself, of things to celebrate and other things that frustrate me. Basically taking to heart one of my favorite scenes from "White Christmas," and counting my blessings instead of sheep, no matter how small they may be.

>> Evelyn can now jump! It took her 2 years, 6 months, and a week to be able to plant both feet together at the same time, but hey! She's ready for the long jump, now!
>> Warner is doing better at eating! He still will not touch any food with his fingers, unless it's a cracker (sliced bananas or cheese - forget about it!), but he is doing better with textures.
>> I finally, FINALLY found a rainbow sprinkle mix that I am satisfied with! I love a good, hard, crunchy sprinkle and haven't had success in finding a brand I like until last week. Hooray! Let the sprinkle-and-ice-cream nightly unions begin!
>> I found Warner the most DARLING coat at h&m. I can't wait to see him all bundled up! Which has me excited for Fall.
>> Warner's two top teeth are fully through. Thank goodness! We had a terrible time with those. I thought I lost my tender child there to could it be...Satan? but he is back to being an angel.
>> Chick-Fil-A chocolate chip cookies. My word, where have they been my whole life?! Have you ever had one? It is a gooey bomb in your mouth. How do they do it? It has a perfectly gooey center with just the perfect crunchy outer rim, and when you break that bad boy in half, the chocolate separates so commerical-like. I didn't know chocolate could really part in half like that. Kudos to Chick-fil-a for the most perfect chocolate chip cookie for $1.25 I've ever had.
>> Evelyn has started requesting quiet reading time all on her own! At some point in the day she'll ask for a pile of books, close her door, and sit on her bed and read for a good 20 min +! Say what?!
>> I have wonderful, wonderful girlfriends. From the one friend I've kept since I was 8 years old, to my most recent ones upon moving here 2 years ago, I am more grateful with every passing day for exemplary women in my life that have moved me and strengthened me through thick and thin!
>> The other night Jared and I were in the middle of a discussion about our future, when there was a knock at our door. It was the sister missionaries and we invited them in. We talked with them about our demonstrations of faith in God recently, and how Jared and I were both differing in interpretation about how to proceed forward. I took a turn, and then Jared took a turn, then I talked, then Jared talked, all while the sisters just sat back and listened to us in kind of a "therapy session." After we spewed our hearts out, one sister sat with an astonished face and with a crackly voice and tears in her eyes that she had never seen a couple communicate so effectively and respectfully with one another. That just really made an impression on me. Jared and I weren't putting a show on for them by any means, that really is how we communicate. We've never fought. Disagreed, sure. Been frustrated, most definitely. But we're pretty level-headed. And that is definitely something to celebrate, especially in a time of trial.

BOY, now this list could go on for days, but I'll try to be nice about it.
>> Evelyn. I could write a chapter book about how terrible her two's have really been!
  1. She is in a stage of running away from me for EVERYTHING!!! Me: Evelyn, do you want go to the park? Ev: Yes. Me: Ok, let's put your shoes on!... Runs away from me. Evelyn: I have to go potty. Me: Ok let's go. Runs away. Same thing when we get ready for the pool and sunscreen, getting dressed, going to playdates - Ahh, it drives me nuts! So senseless. It's not like she doesn't want to do any of these things, she clearly wants to go to the pool, has to go potty, loves the park, but gosh darn it if she isn't tripling the time it's taking us to accomplish these simple tasks and rapidly wearing down my patience in the process!
  2. Chapter 2. This goes along with the running away, but not listening or delibrately disobeying me. What a Simba I have on my hands! The repetition of "Dont hit/push/kick/ your brother" is exhausting.
>> Night weaning. Warner is perfect, except he still isn't sleeping through the night. And if that is his only downfall, I'll take it! Except when he pulls stunts like waking up 3 times a night like the past three in a row. The kid doesn't take a bottle or pacifier, and we've let him cry it out soooooooOOOOoo many times, but he just will wail for hours, so I'm the only option to soothe him. He'll grow out of it, right? heh, heh..
>> Still struggling with this
>> It's been a rainy summer. 
>> A lot more crap.

Thanks to Amanda, this quote has earned a spot on my "words to live by" wall in my brain. I need to pick up this book.

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve upon the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity." - The Alchemist

night animal.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We took a side off of Evelyn's crib a week or so ago to convert into a "big girl" bed, and so far the outcome has been what we expected. There's a good hour of playtime involved before she actually falls asleep. A few minutes after we close the door, we can hear her dollhouse being dragged out of the corner and to the middle of the floor. The clank of horses hooves can be heard as she is meticulously forming them into a line. Every now and then she'll mutter a key phrase that Jared and I have been saying lately from one animal to another (this can be funny or sad to see what she picks up. For me it's "mom says, don't, don't, don't, don't!" and Jared it's a funny "hey, what's going on you kids!"). Curiosity sometimes gets the best of me, and I try to sneakily open the door to a crack, but she always darts her eyes toward me and usually give me a look of "uh-oh, I've been caught!" But on this particular night I was actually delighted to see her imagination sprouting and brought the camera in to film her a bit. After I "interviewed" her about her set-up, she wanted me to take pictures of each animal. After snapping a few shots, I turned to walk out the door. I decided this time not to tell her to pick up her toys and jump back in to bed and threaten to put the crib side back up. Just this once ;) She looked like she was in the middle of something far too enchanting.

the fair

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What's summer without a good country fair? Saturday we decided to take our chances with this weather that has been so finicky, and hauled our cute bums to the 4-H fair at the quaintest little farm. We've been to the farm on prior occasions, since it is always operational, but the barns were FULLY stocked with all kinds of loud and wooly livestock that had the kids mesmerized. I think the sheep sheering was a bit disturbing for Ev, but she hasn't stopped talking about the girl who was brushing a horse's mane. That was money in her book, who would've guessed?! 

In conjunction with the farm was a carnival perfect in size for us to seize. I had no idea that once we crossed the parameter in to the mayhem of cotton candy, clowns, oversized balloons, and screeching colorful metal every which way, that we were going to make some pretty darn good memories at the small cost of $6 in tickets. We surveyed the rides and found a few that Evelyn could do. Jared and I were kinda unsure about how she would react, and part of me thought we would be sending her off for the longest minute of our lives as she would be screaming and crying and potentially injuring herself upon trying to exit prematurely and we would have a carnival catastrophe equal to the horrific circus nightmare that is Dumbo on our hands. Her first ride was "Willie the Whale," and I don't know who had a greater time - Evelyn or us as parents watching her. She LOVED IT!! 

And Mr. Warner Boy, as always, was a trooper. He was just happy to be there :)

memorials and good stuff

Friday, August 2, 2013

Whew, alright, rolling up my sleeves and getting back in to this documenting life business! Last Saturday some good friends of ours were back in town after having moved away from us, and we were excited to reunite with them again and meet their new baby girl! As is customary around these DC parts, one must always visit Good Stuff when rendezvousing in the district. It might be to some like what In-n-Out is to us Californians (although I am super glad that those burgers are spreading their buns to more and more states! I'd take in-n-out over any top gourmet burger always!). We decided to leave a bit early and stop by the Iwo Jima Memorial since we hadn't hit that one up yet. It was beautiful!

Sitting high on a hill in Arlington, next to the cemetery, the view is breathtaking as your view includes the Monument and the Capitol. All in one sitting, just like that! We took our time walking, one of us crawling, and one of us twirling around the memorial. I parked myself down on the grass next to Warner as he picked at the reeds. It's amazing what happens when your eyes cross his. It's like a surge of energy is transmitted, and he breaks out in a huge smile, lets out a screech, does a quick wink with his eyes, and then powerhouses over to me. I pretty much wrote that same thing here, but I can't ever get over how much this kid LOVES me (and Dad, too!), but he really loves me and shows it! Warner then "tackled me" and I just thought "oh, I could live in a cardboard box as long as I had my family with me!" They truly make the the happiest. But that salty caramel shake from Good Stuff also makes me pretty darn happy. The kids were lucky I let both of them take a nab at it ;)