Tag Archives: mom

hot dog dance

10 Jan

If you hung out at our house for a full 24 hours, you would likely catch an episode or two of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is in fact, on the Disney Channel.

At the end of every episode, Mickey Mouse and all his friends do the ‘Hot Dog Dance’. Are you laughing yet? We laugh at this EVERY. DAY. Mostly because Cruz immediately flys into a routine of his that he’s choreographed all on his own, on beat and in perfect rhythm. It’s pretty cute, his blonde crazy curls bouncing around everywhere. Below is a photo of Rider’s version of the Hot Dog Dance. He doesn’t move for the entire 45 second song, but stands through the ENTIRE song with his little stubby hands held high into the air; so proud and sure that he is ‘dancing’.

Random, I know. But as parents, it’s these funny moments that get you through the day sometimes.


christmas 2011

28 Dec

What a blast this season was. It was a NIGHT AND DAY difference from where I was last year. Last year I was at the peak of dealing with postpartum depression and I was SEARCHING hard and trying to dig deep to find the joy. I knew what the season was about and I knew that there was plenty of reason to BE joyful. But it just was lost in my soul. And I was sad. When I think back on this time last year, I don’t see my memories in color. I see and remember them with a tinted black color. Like I was in a tunnel. Which I was to some extent. Is that weird that that’s what my memory holds of last Christmas? Sad kinda, huh?

THIS YEAR, was TOTALLY different. I really loved this year. I embraced it. And although I had my moments of tears due to the craziness we just went through, I didn’t do it with the same attitude as I did last year. AND it helped that I have good friends who saw when I needed an impromptu girls night out here and there to just SIT and be with girlfriends.

Christmas Day itself was the best. I think one of the best moments of my life to date is hearing Cruz gasp when we all came out in the morning to find the presents under the tree. He GASPED and his face lit up SO bright. It seriously made me cry. And it made me wish I had a camera, which I did not. But I’m also kinda glad that I didn’t because I was able to really see his reaction first hand and be present in the moment with him. So I have the memory forever burned into my memory, which I am grateful for. He loved every single minute. We had family over. We made cinnamon rolls, beignets, coffee. We opened presents, stockings and ate pumpkin bread. Later we had soup, enchiladas and watched Tron. Then we closed the evening with a good game of Clue. Do you remember CLUE? Good times. It was fun!

Poor Rider had a fever all day, which I now know what teething related. But on Christmas Eve I put him to bed at 6 pm and he slept (I’m not exaggerating here) until 10 am. THEN he went BACK down for a nap at 11:45 am and he slept until FIVE O’CLOCK PM. He went back to bed at about 8:00 pm that night and slept until 9 am the next day. So he was only up MAYBE a total of four hours the whole day. Which was sad. So he wasn’t around too much, but it was actually a nice break for me believe it or not. After his all day nap we opened his presents with him and he was able to play and eat a bit. His incisors are coming in. You know- the REALLY sharp vampire teeth? Yikes, man. Those suckers have got to HURT.

All in all, it was an amazing day. Jason’s mom came over in the morning for a bit to spend time with us and the boys. My grandma came over a little later in the morning to hang out too. And we just rested, relaxed and ATE lots of food! It was a great Christmas. One with memories that are FILLED with color for me this year. One that wasn’t full of depression for me this time. And watching Christmas through your kids eyes is seriously such a huge gift. I’d LOVE to see Cruz’s face again on Christmas morning. It was magical. Which is exactly what I wanted this year to be. Magical, full of love and celebration of Christ.

And it was exactly all of that and more.

Cruz and Great Gram…

Jay opening his new record player…

Love my sisters. This is Danielle and her husband Cameron right behind her…

He had such a great day…

He loves Cars. And he asked for each of these characters by NAME to Santa. (More characters not pictured)…

It’s a new goal of mine each Christmas to get a picture of each of the boys with a bow on their heads. I don’t have girls. I’ll take what I can in the bow/accessory department. HA.

Such a sweet boy…

Have you ever listened to The National? DO IT.

Bows on the head…

He has no hair. So he needed more bows. HA.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas as well. I already can’t wait for 2012 to start. It’s going to be fabulous. And even if it’s not, it’s all going to be ok. Remain faithful. Make goals. Love people. Work hard.

There it is in a nutshell.

santa’s lap

23 Dec

I have ALWAYS wanted a picture of the boys sitting on Santa’s lap. But don’t even GET ME STARTED on how expensive it is to take your kids to see him at the mall. Good. Night.

Ok there’s my rant about THAT. And it’s not even the full rant, it’s just all I’m going to say about it.

SO, we went to a Christmas party last week and my dear friend Chelsea had her dad dress up as Santa so we could all have pictures of our kids taken!! It was a bring your own camera kind of deal, and he graciously posed with all the kiddos that came from the neighborhood etc. So it would only seem normal that it would be the ONLY time in my LIFE that I FORGOT my camera, right??

That’s what happened. In the hustle and bustle of trying to get out of the house on time, I left my camera at home. I walked up and immediately when I saw Santa it dawned on me that it was sitting on the kitchen counter. Thankfully, there were a lot of other mammas there with cameras. And my good friend Steph graciously snapped this photo of Cruz and Rider sitting on Santa’s lap! YAY.

Cruz was SO excited to see Santa. We are teaching him the truth about Christmas and that it’s about Jesus’s birth and not just about the gifts. BUT, we are allowing him to have some fun with Santa, although I don’t think I’ll ever try to keep his identity a secret. It’s fun to believe in magical things at Christmas and to have fun getting in the spirit, but I really don’t want my kids to lose sight of what Christmas really is. That said, he thought Santa was SO cool and had so much telling him what he was looking forward to getting this year.

Rider, however, wasn’t so sure. And ended up screaming.

All in all, it was a really fun party and I finally got my Santa picture with the boys. Can’t wait to do this again next year!

*A big thanks to Steph for snapping this picture for me! I’m really happy to have it so thank you so much!


20 Nov

We’ve had some changes around here. Nothing huge, whatsoever. Well, it’s huge in MY world, but no one else’s I’m sure. But I thought I’d still share it.

I’m not sure if ‘Year Two’ of Cruz’s life was going to be the hardest or what. But it was HARD. Maybe it was the terrible two’s or the transition with Rider entering our lives, or moving up to Scottsdale or… the list goes on. And while I know that all of those things I listed are huge transitions in any two year olds brain, the past year was still HARD when Cruz was concerned. Tantrums, talking back, arguing, more exhausting talking back and just a general grumpiness that NONE of us cared much for. Some days I would look around the room wondering where my sweet little Cruz went.


Every mom goes through this right? Gah. It’s really rough.

So last week I started wondering what the possible cause to his grumpiness could be. Besides just being two and that’s what you do, when you’re two. And I came to the conclusion that the partial problem is where Jason and I work. Our computers WERE right in the living room. It was easy access for us and, at the current moment, the only place that we thought the computers would fit. We wanted to have a space where we could work out in the living room. A space that was inspiring and creative building to us for our work. We have a very small space that the four of us live in, and so our options were very limited.

But because it was in the living room, I was very easily distracted. And I was constantly super stressed about work. Any time an email would come through, I could hear the ‘ding!’ even if I was trying to play with the boys. And no matter how hard I tried, my 100% focused attention wasn’t on them. And I know that Cruz felt it. And I know that he was acting out because of it.

I know it.

It took a few days of denying it once I came to the conclusion, but I finally decided to chat with Jay about moving the work station back into our bedroom. Although I don’t think THAT’S the best place for it either, I figure that Jay and I are adults. And can easily distinguish work time from family time. Whereas Cruz cannot. I was expecting Jay to totally put up a fight on it and I had an ENTIRE speech prepared to persuade him.

But I didn’t need it.

He agreed immediately and that night we moved our computers back into our room.

The next day (and ever since!!) have been NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENT. I have a different kiddo in Cruz. He is actually HAPPY. And while he does have his typical ‘three year old moments’, they are few and far between and have been ever since we moved our work out of our family space. I really had to realize that although our space is super small, it is our home. And if I’m stressed about work all the time, my kids are going to feel it. If I’m just checking emails really quickly and they are in the room, I don’t think there’s harm in that. BUT I DO think it’s not good when they start acting out because of it. Our living room now feels like our family space. Not a space that mom and dad have to share with their work. It’s not our office any longer.

And while I don’t think that ALL of his meltdowns and tantrums were because the office was in the living room, I do think it’s made a huge difference in his moral. He knows when I’m in the living room with them, that my attention is on them 100%. And my kiddos are WAY happier because of it.

Being a working stay at home mom is totally a work in progress. I find that every few months brings on new changes and new seasons. And you just have to be flexible until you find what works for you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s so worth figuring out how to make it work, every single day.

If you’re struggling at home, I challenge you to figure out what might not be working. And try to do something different! Even if you have a lap top, just put it in your room or in the ACTUAL office. And leave it there for when they nap. Work and emails can totally wait. As hard as that may seem sometimes, trust me! But our kids CAN’T wait all the time. We have to be present with them here and now.

So take a breath and make some changes if there need to be. And keep trying until you get it right! That’s the beauty of it!

dear cruz,

16 Nov

You are three. And I can’t even hardly believe it. It’s going so fast.

Part of me is grateful that you are three. Even in the past couple days, you have gotten SO fun. Even the sentences you’ve been putting together seem more adult. And it’s really amazingly fun to watch you grow and do new things.

But then I could bawl almost instantly at the thought of you growing up. Because I swear, you JUST looked like this:

But now you are three. And heaven forbid I blink again. Because if I do, you’ll be moving out, getting married and starting your own family. So for now, I am learning to embrace every little thing and every little day. I’m learning to celebrate every day. Not JUST your birthdays. I’m learning that work is important, but that it will always be there. And while I am so passionate about being a photographer, there is nothing I am more passionate about than being a good mamma to you and to Rider. Although I lose my way sometimes, I think. But you remind me every day that these days are not promised. And that these days will quickly pass us by.

And that they already have.

I’d give anything to go back and snuggle you in your rocking chair one more time. And I’m sure that I will feel that way, every single birthday you have.

You are an amazing kiddo. With talents already that far surpass anything that your daddy and I have in our bloodstream. You love the drums. We are working on getting you a drum set, but we have to find the right one. Because you will know the difference. And you already know how to play it. And it blows us away, all the time.

You are learning to share. And not doing THAT well with it, I’ll be honest. HA. But you are learning. And I pray every single day that you will grow to have a very generous, giving heart. Because you DO have a very compassionate spirit.

You are one of the best things that has ever happened to us.

Your third birthday was SUCH a fun day. At lunch time you even said, “Today’s a fun day mamma! I love you!”. And it was totally unprompted and melted my heart. We had blueberry ‘cupcakes’ for breakfast, which were actually muffins and that you DIDN’t eat. But you had fun blowing out the candle. You got a new car- the Cozy Coupe! And I actually used to play with a version of this car when I was a kid. You love it SO much and haven’t stopped playing with it since. We went to the train park and had more cupcakes with friends. But you only licked the frosting. And we went to Chickfila for lunch because it’s your favorite and you ask for it every day. Even though we don’t eat it every day. You didn’t really nap. And then we went to the church to watch Daddy play guitar for the high school group. We came home and I let you stay up late to watch Cars 2. It was a simple day, full of celebrating and lots of love. And you were so happy.

I am so blessed by you Cruz. Daddy and I wish you the best 3rd year of life here with us. And we pray every day that God will guide us to take better care of you this year than we did the last. And that He will continue to teach us about you so we can cherish you as He does. And so that you can grow up to become the man He’s created you to be.

But until then, please don’t hurry up to be anything other than three. Because this mamma’s heart can’t handle watching you grow up too quickly. Because once you do, you will leave us as you should. But I’m not ready to even think about that. Please slow down the growing up. And enjoy your red and yellow car for as long as you want.

I love you forever,


we’ll say thank you

2 Nov

Cruz has never really been old enough to understand what the holidays each mean, but he’ll be three next week (NEXT WEEK????) and so I KNOW he’s understanding so much more.

OR. He’s understood this whole time and I severely underestimated him.

We were driving home in the car today from Ikea, and ALL I SAID WAS: “Yay! It’s November buddy! Your birthday is coming up, Daddy’s birthday is coming up, and Thanksgiving is coming too!”

To which HE said: “Ya! That’s when we’ll say ‘thank you’ for things!”


I almost died in the car because my heart went to utter mush the moment he said that. I don’t remember teaching him that, so specifically! It’s crazy what their little minds will retain. As terrible as the two’s and three’s can be, there are SO many moments like that one that I just want to pinch him because he’s so sweet and so cute and so loving.

That’s when we’ll say thank you for things. Precious.

Happy November.

stir crazy

19 Oct

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you might have seen me post about how I’m going crazy being at home for so long that I started painting all the furniture.

This would be a true statement. I, right now, have big plans painting walls, tables, shelves and anything else I can get my hands onto. I just go sick of looking at my furniture and I got really tired of BROWN. So I started painting! I’m in the process of changing everything over that I can- on a budget! So Goodwill and Savers are about to seriously become my best friends as I search out some new pieces to add to my home so I can get rid of other ones. But the ones I want to keep are getting a paint job.

I found some old box shelves in my closet that I totally forgot I had. So I brought them out and gave them a facelift! They were white before, but now they are GRAY. Sounds as boring as brown?? Not to me! I’m adding in some really bold colors to compliment the grays and charcols that I’m adding into the house. I started doing this:

And it turned into this!

See the orange frames that my hubby built together? They are getting a facelift and full paint job as well! I can’t wait to start working on it!!

Cruz painted this little frog from THIS POST a couple of weeks ago. I’ve hung onto it because I thought it was so cute. Now it’s become a part of our home decor. One of those things that I’ll keep forever I think! Usually I don’t keep every piece of artwork, but I really liked the added touch that this quirky little frog gave to the shelves. Even better that it’s an original art piece by my Cruzer.

And for the update on Cruz. He SEEMS to be feeling better. No fever over 100.9 for 48 hours now. I’ve read that ear infections can last a LONG time. So I’m waiting until he’s done with his antibiotics to take him back to the doctor, UNLESS he takes a turn for the worst.


We’ve been getting out of the house for short activities and he’s just a GRUMP-A-GUS. Seriously, not happy. He’s sleeping a lot and taking long naps and still not eating much. But I can tell that getting out in little spurts is good for his morale. Who REALLY just wants to lay on the couch for two weeks watching Bugs Life and Cars over and over and over. He’s three, people. He wants to be throwing rocks and jumping through the sprinklers outside.

So we’re doing the best he can. I’m trying to discipline with some GRACE, but still, whether you’re feeling good or not there are still rules that apply.

So navigating that has been exhausting.

I’m hoping we’re almost through it and that there’s not something else that is going on with him. He hasn’t complained of much else. Just super grumpy, tired, and a slight fever just about once a day now.

*Sigh* I’m tired.

Back to painting my furniture.