Tag Archives: toddler

b and amen

17 Feb

When you have bronchitis, you cough and cough and cough and cough. A LOT. Cruz coughed so much and so hard tonight that he gagged. And then he threw up. All over B and Amen.

B and Amen are his two security ‘blankets’. They aren’t actually blankets, but two stuffed animals. The little bear/blanket has a ‘B’ on the blanket part. So naturally, we started calling him ‘B’. The sleeping stuffed bear he named Amen. When you press his hand, he says a prayer and closes by saying, ‘Amen’. Well, he actually doesn’t say it anymore because he wore it out. But he used to. Regardless, B and Amen are very, VERY special to him.

So back to the gagging.

He gagged and threw up all over B and Amen. SO I had to wash them and I had to wash them FAST. It was almost 7:00pm when this incident occurred and he wouldn’t have been a happy camper if he couldn’t go to bed with B and Amen. He already was slightly distraught that he couldn’t lay with them on the couch watching TV. So I hurried and washed them in a full cycle. And when they came out, they both looked so squeaky clean that it made me a little nostalgic. So I had to take a picture of these two little stuffed animals that I will keep forever. And someday I’ll look back on them, and on this picture, and remember when he was so little and so sweet and so precious. And how B and Amen were very special to him.

What a sweet little guy.

happy mom’s day

8 May

Exactly two point five years ago, a little boy completely changed my life when he was born. Exactly eight months ago, another little boy completely changed my life AGAIN when he was born.

I didn’t really think that you could possibly love two children equally as each other. But I understand now.

These two little boys have been the light of my life over the course of these past couple years. And although being a mom really IS the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I wouldn’t change one single second of it. Cliche? Yes, I know. It is. But it’s true. I have never learned so much about myself, Jason, others, the world and God as I have since they’ve entered my life.

And although I’m typing this as I’m listening to them both NOT NAPPING LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, I realize that I am lucky. God has blessed me with two little boys and the ability to stay home with them and watch them grow.

Happy Mom’s Day to me. Happy Mom’s Day to ALL of you. You all deserve to feel special today. Because being a mom is hard. And we all deserve a little TLC.

* These photos were taken on location during a recent photo shoot with close friends of ours. We love taking the boys whenever appropriate and are fortunate for generous clients and friends who let us do so. Kristina, your pictures of YOUR boys and Kayla are to die for cute. I can’t wait for you to see them! It won’t be long!! xo

don’t rush

19 Feb

I always find myself wanting the boys, especially Rider, to hurry up and grow up. Not really grow up to be adults quickly or anything. But I often catch myself wishing for some aspects of the baby phase to be over. Am I normal for wanting it to breeze by sometimes? Am I a horrible mom for thinking that? Sometimes I feel like it. The truth is, I don’t really want them to grow up quickly. Not even one little bit. BUT, there are some aspects of the baby phase that I’m impatient about.

Rider will be 6 months old next week and he has YET to roll over. Well, he rolled over once. He can roll to his side and I KNOW he’s capable of rolling, he just has yet to do it. I definitely do not have a little rollie pollie on my hands. He hates tummy time. I mean, loathes it with a passion. Anytime I put him there, unless it’s first thing in the morning, he screams and fusses and cries until I move him. He’s rather be sitting in his bumbo seat or standing up in his saucer. He hasn’t figured out how to hold his bottle yet or sit up on his own either. He’s only belly laughed like, twice in his entire life while all other babies I know that are his age are laughing up a storm. I find myself comparing all Cruz’s milestones to where Rider is at and wondering, ‘What is going on?’. I find myself growing impatient and ready for him to gain a little more independence from me.

Yesterday, this thought process stopped me dead in my tracks. Someday- SOMEDAY- I am going to miss this phase so deeply. And I’m going to remember that all I wanted was for him to GROW UP ALREADY. How sad will that moment be? So, instead of worrying about why he isn’t hitting these milestones when the books say he should, I am choosing to RELAX about it already. Something that is very hard for me to do. But the truth is, I don’t want him to rush really. I want him to be his unique self and reach these milestones in his time and when he’s ready. No more rushing or pushing or comparing from me. I don’t want to look back and remember how I really did just wish the baby phase away. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s only here once. And then you blink, and it’s over. And he WILL gain his independence soon enough. And I’ll be wishing I could still swaddle him, cuddle him and that he couldn’t escape my embrace.

So, sweet boy. Don’t rush. Take your time. And when you roll or sit up or crawl or walk, I’ll be your cheerleader. And I’ll try to stop wishing this phase away and enjoy YOU right where you are at. For you are special, right in this very moment.

random for 2011

4 Jan

Oddly, I don’t have anything to really say at the moment. Weird. I’m having a weird week so far. We’ve been working and dreaming and planning A LOT lately. Some changes are coming down the way, and we are excited for them. I’m anxious for them to be in full swing. I’m missing certain people in my life. Reflecting a lot on where we were at this time last year. I miss my house in Gilbert, but only because we built it together and I miss being in a house. Other than that, I find myself being very content with where we are at.

It’s kind of refreshing because usually I struggle with being content.

But I have everything I need or could want mostly. Honestly.

And that’s where I’m at today. Are you finding that my blogs are all over the place with wherever my hormones are at in that moment? Yea. Me too. I still find myself waiting for the rollercoaster of emotions to contain themselves, I think.

Geesh. What a ride.

Oh and since I haven’t said it yet, Happy New Year! May 2011 not be as confusing as I am being right now!


23 Dec

It’s obvious that Cruz loves cars. Most little boys love cars at some point in their lives, if not their entire lives. Cruz LOVES cars. My mom bought him some ‘roads’, as he calls it, and he just can’t get enough! He’s completely into Hot Wheels, and has more of these little cars than you can count! Pair that with the ‘roads’ and he’s set for hours. Lately he’s been asking me to sit at our dining room table with his ‘roads’ so he can play cars. It’s really fun to see him using his imagination already with these little cars. He’ll drive them around and make them ‘talk’ to one another. He can sit there for up to 30 minutes or longer if I let him.

He loves it.

I’m all about him letting him use his imagination to play! I just think it’s so funny that he loves doing this THAT much! Gotta love having little boys, with the Hot Wheels, Buzzlightyear’s, and monster trucks lying around the house!

past times

17 Dec

Lately I’ve really been working on tummy time with Rider. He’s starting to gain a lot of strength in his neck and I think he might even roll over soon! We will see. He laughed for the first time last week, and I actually caught it on video!! So, the milestones are really picking up now that he’s 3.5 months and I have to say, these are the things that I look forward to very much. I enjoy the newborn stage for certain things, but the truth of the matter is, is that it’s just really hard. It’s such a period of transition, adjustment and learning new things about yourself, baby and a whole new family dynamic. It’s a time of little sleep, lots of tears and also a lot of joy at the same time. It’s an amazing time, as it’s all new and exciting. But it’s just really hard. With Cruz and Rider both, once they hit about 3 months old is when I truly started really enjoying them. Is that bad to say? Their personalities just start coming through at that point and it starts to get really, really fun. And both of their sleep patterns got very consistent at about 3 months which obviously helps a lot.

That goes without saying.

So I’ve been giving Rider a lot of tummy time and he’s starting to notice his surroundings a lot! He smiles at Cruz (who is STILL trying to figure out his little brother) and he loves smiling and “talking” to Jason and I. It’s the best to hear his little coos and see his little smile. I love all the stages he’s about to hit. I honestly can’t wait for him to start crawling and walking.

Gosh it’s just really fun.

So that’s what we’ve been up to! Actually, truth be told, we’ve been up to A LOT more than that lately. Jason has been UBER busy so I’ve played “single mommy” roll a lot lately. He obviously helps tremendously when he’s home, but tis the season for him to be gone a lot with work etc. So we are all pretty tired and I haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet. People that are done shopping before Thanksgiving are my heros. I’ve just never been that ambitious I guess! Ha!


We’re hanging in there. Trying to enjoy the season as much as possible. Loving the rainy days we’ve had this week. Pretty much the same as everyone else. And I can’t believe it’s going to be 2011 in a matter of days. DAYS.

And this is a pretty recent past time for Cruz. We always tell him that that is ‘yucky’, but he still can’t help himself. Ha!

potty training

9 Dec

Two days ago, I bought this:

Yes. The time has come. Or is about to come. Let me explain.

Last week, after almost every nap and after every full night, he’s woken up with dry diapers. So while I’m not completely convinced that he’s 100% ready to go for this potty training thing, we are getting closer. Or maybe I’m in denial and just don’t want to potty train. I’m not sure. But we’ve been talking with him about it more, preparing him with the idea of going potty on the big boy potty and planting the idea in his head a little bit. He’ll tell me when he’s wet sometimes, so I know he’s going to be ready soon. So I thought I’d buy a potty, put it in his bathroom and see what happens. Mostly, I put it in there to generate a conversation with him about it. The day I brought it home, I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty. He said yes. I really, genuinely thought that he was going to just sit on it and go to the bathroom. After he blew me away with transitioning into a big boy bed, I sorta thought that potty training might be the same way! And I was starting to think I had the easiest child that was ever birthed on the planet.

I was wrong. Are you surprised? Me neither.

When it came time to actually sit on the potty, he threw a fit and acted a little scared of it. So I didn’t push the issue at all. I don’t want it to be a traumatic experience for him. And I don’t want to force him into doing something he might not quite be ready for yet. So for now we are just talking about going potty on the big boy potty. And in the meantime, I need to figure out how the heck I’m going to tackle this topic and actually teach him how to do it. Do you have any potty training tips? Good websites? Books? Articles? Anything??? All the comments would be greatly appreciated.

I can’t believe we are about to embark on this. Yikes.

big boy bed

5 Dec

I sort of was dreading this milestone. I mean, I wanted him to be able to sleep in a big boy bed and to move out of his crib. BUT, we had grown extremely accustomed to him sleeping through the entire night, since he was three months old. That is a long time to be sleeping peacefully, and I was nervous that I wouldn’t know exactly when he was ready to make the transition. I didn’t want it to be too early and have all kinds of problems with him sleeping. We’ve never had problems with him sleeping and I just didn’t want to rock the boat!

A great friend of mine said something to me that finally made A LOT of sense about this whole situation. I was explaining to her that I thought he was ready to move out of his crib, but that I was hesitant and I wasn’t sure why. How do you know when they are ready for sure? What if he’s not ready and he’s scared? What if he starts waking up and getting out and just doesn’t understand or grasp the concept? Keeping him in his crib was SO much easier! He could just sleep in there until he’s twelve, right? He never, ever tried to climb out so I just had no idea when he’d be ready. I was very wishy washy on it until she gave me great advice. She said that she feels like once you are confident that you child understands the concept of obeying, they can be ready to move to a big boy/girl bed. And after she said that, something clicked for me. It was exactly what I had needed to hear! That made A LOT of sense! Cruz does understand how to obey. He doesn’t do it all the time, but that goes without saying. But he does understand what obeying is and he does actually do it well most of the time. Without this understanding, how can he understand me when I say, “Don’t get out of bed or else…”?

Yes. This finally made a lot of sense to me.

So I went home and told Jay that I really thought Cruz was ready to do this and that I had finally gained the confidence I needed to make it happen. So after his birthday and after Thanksgiving, we thought we’d give it a go. So we took down his crib on a morning after Thanksgiving and put up his toddler bed. We made the whole morning fun and talked about what we were doing the whole way. Nap time came and I told him that he was going to sleep in his big boy bed now and that he was supposed to stay in his bed and not get out until nap time is over. We hugged and kissed him, tucked him in and walked out.

Jay and I looked at each other like, oh my gosh what have we gotten ourselves into??

Fully expecting him to cry, scream, get out of bed and that we’d have to lock him inside his room, we were pleasantly surprised. It was more like pleasantly shocked actually, because Cruz didn’t make ONE SINGLE PEEP. He took a four hour nap in his big boy bed, and was SO proud of himself when he woke up!! We were obviously thrilled, but bed time was coming so I wasn’t going to get too excited just quite yet! But he did the same thing at bed time! He whined only a little bit as we were putting him down for bed, but he slept the whole night and never got out of bed. Since then, he’s only gotten out of bed one time and he waits for us to come in to get him once he wakes up.

So I am one proud mamma, that’s for sure! He was a rockstar through the whole transition and blew me away at how easy that was. He really does understand what it means when I tell him that he needs to stay in bed. And although he has tested the waters a little bit, he’s very good at obeying us. He’s such a good boy. I am so proud of him. And I am so thrilled that this transition wasn’t traumatic or a bad experience for him.

You gotta follow your mamma instinct on things like this. And good advice from good friends is always extremely helpful too!

dear cruz,

30 Nov

You turned 2 this month. Two years old. TWO. I just know I am going to blink and you’ll be turning 14 soon.

And I am so not ready for that.

It’s been a crazy season, ever since we brought brother home. That first week home with the two of you was probably one of the hardest weeks of my entire life. I thought for sure that you were wondering if things were ever going to be the same again. I wondered if you were confused. I wondered if you were mad at me. And that thought almost killed me. But over the past almost 12 weeks, daddy and I have watched you adapt and grow to really love your little brother. And nothing warms my heart more than when you lean in to give him kisses. Or when you still like to help me burp him. Or how you ask to go see him every morning if he’s not awake when you get up. It’s a special thing, to watch two brother’s relationship and friendship begin to develop. I pray for it to grow every single day. And I can’t wait for the day when you two will be running around wreaking havoc and getting into all sorts of mischief.

But then I can wait. Not just because of all the mischief that’s headed my way. But because I am all too familiar with how horribly fast this life goes. And I don’t want to miss it.

You are such a special kid. You are talking more and more these days- sometimes in complete sentences! You repeat EVERYTHING we say. Everything. It has us laughing all day long. You started sleeping in a big boy bed last week. And while I have an entire post on that coming, I’m happy to report that you have completely blown us away with how easy that transition was!

Can potty training be that easy please?

Your daddy and I often look at each other after you’ve said or done something and we say out loud how truly awesome you are. It’s true. You are seriously one awesome little dude. We have been so blessed by your life and you bring SO much to our lives. When I was a kid and imagined what my future children would be like, I had no idea that God was going to bless me with two of the most amazingly cool little boys ever. You are one special boy Cruz.

You bless my life so much, everyday.

So here’s to another year together little guy. I’m the luckiest girl to be your mamma.

I love you forever!


comparison kills

29 Nov

I’ve actually seriously taken a few days to even consider if I should write this post. After my slight freak out last week, I’ve since thought that it would be way easier to pretend it didn’t happen and to continue blogging about the daily happenings of my two boys. I guess I need to address it, if for no one else but myself.

The truth is, I’m not 100% completely sure what happened. I mean, I think it’s a combination of things, really. I’ve gone back and forth. Am I just tired? Am I just overwhelmed? Is it PPD? Am I just not organizing my day right? It’s probably a combination of all of these things. Although Rider is a great sleeper, I am exhausted. I am totally overwhelmed with trying to run our own business and balance two kiddos. It’s a lot of work to do ONE of those things independently, let alone all at the same time. I don’t think I truly have postpartum depression, but I do think my hormones are still balancing out and I probably have had a touch of PPD or at least the baby blues. I honestly don’t think I require medication, but I’d be the first to seek help if I truly thought that’s what I needed. It’s definitely a challenge for me to organize my day the way I want to. I have a toddler and a three month old. Enough said.

But this isn’t brand new stuff. Every mom deals with all of this and everyone seems to make it ok, right? I found myself looking around and wondering how everyone’s so happy and how everyone is making this mom thing look so easy. And I found myself wondering what their tricks were, reading facebook posts of everyone’s happy moments and feeling like I was sinking a little bit. I started believing a few lies that were anxiously being planted into my brain, comparing my abilities to others, and also feeling like I am too busy to get all of this done. How am I going to do this? How is everyone else doing this??

I saw a tweet last week that nailed it on the head for me. It was a comment that simply said, “Comparison kills joy.”. A comment that I completely agree with and at first read, I thought that only applied to the artistic world. Meaning, I shouldn’t be comparing my photography to other photographers work- which is still true. But the more I thought on it, the more I realized that this actually definitely applies to my entire life. Especially my ‘mom life’. Isn’t it so easy to compare yourself to other mom’s? To other’s lives? To other’s kids? Houses? Cars? Money? Jobs?

The list goes on.

And in a season where I’ve struggled with finding joy and delight in all the things I have to do, I still find myself looking around and wondering how everyone else is doing this. Comparing myself to other moms. Comparing myself to others’ lives. And it’s absolutely killing my joy. What a true statement, don’t you agree? It’s a dangerous place to slip into. Comparing can turn to envy. Envy to jealousy. And jealousy can destroy everything around it (James 3:16). All comparing myself to others was doing, was creating anxiety. Which I struggle with anyway.

So I needed a break. And when I looked at the list of things I had to do that day that I posted that, blogging was the only thing at the time that I could cut out. And it’s the last thing I wanted to cut out. Blogging has been my daily ‘out’. My breather. My escape. My journal, essentially. A place where I can just get it all out there. I should have started blogging years ago. But last week, I just needed to take a step back and figure out what was going on to make me anxious. What was going on to make me feel so overwhelmed.


Isn’t it enough that we, as moms (and just women!) have enough on our plates as it is? Why do need to compare myself to what is working (or even not working) for others? Where is this ‘standard’ that I have to live up to? So often I feel like I’ve got to shower, have my makeup on, stay up on the latest fashions, bath my kids, have perfectly folded laundry, clean the house, cook dinner every night, grocery shop, clip coupons, run a successful business, breast feed, cloth diaper, make my own baby food, eat organic food only, have consistent date nights, have perfectly obedient children, and sleep eight hours a night to be a successful mom. And don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING WRONG with any of those things! But why am I trying to hold myself to these daily standards? Who’s standard’s are these anyways?? Why do I feel like a failure as a wife and mom if I can’t accomplish all of these things every single day?

I am not super mom. And I am finished comparing myself to others who actually might be super mom. Or who might be pretending to be super mom. It’s hard to tell. I could be comparing myself to others who appear to have it all together, but who are sinking just as I felt I was.

And the thing that I’ve realized and the thing that I desperately want for myself and mom’s everywhere is this: It has got to be OK that we can’t do it all. It has to be ok that laundry sits on the floor ALL THE TIME. It has to be ok that I can’t get my makeup on every single day. And Lord knows I’m not sleeping eight hours a night.

It’s OK.

What is truly important here? Does it drive me crazy that my house isn’t spotless all the time? Yes. It drives me nuts. But it has to be ok. I keep trying to remind myself to find the joy amidst the exhaustion of the season that I am in. And I am trying to prioritize my daily list and remember what ACTUALLY is important and forget the rest. Of course I want to keep the house up, raise amazing children AND work my business full time. But I’ve come to realize that those three things are each a full time job within themselves. THREE full time jobs. There is no possible way I’m going to get it all done all the time.

And it kills the perfectionist side in me. And Satan knows it.

I’d rather have it kill the perfectionist side in me than have comparison steal my joy. And at the root of it all, that is exactly what is happening. Why am I letting comparison steal MY joy? I have so much to be joyful over this season. And I am trying to take a stand and not let something as lame as comparison to others steal that away from me. How simple it is to forget though. I fall victim to this all the time. And it really can start to destroy you if you don’t stop it.

So it was a nice little breather, not blogging for a few days. I got my head on straight and realized that comparing myself to others is doing nothing good for my kids and my family. Everyone feels overwhelmed at times. Everyone feels like they have too much to do. Everyone wonders how to get all of it done.

We are not alone.

Comparison does nothing to help, but simply equips us with a sense of inadequacy. And isn’t this the last thing that our husbands and kids need? Every mom and woman feels like this. It’s taking a hold of these thoughts and the anxiety that will stomp these feelings in their tracks. Today I’m remembering, that although my to do list is tremendously long, it will not all get done. But my kids and husband will know that I love them. Even if we are only eating grilled cheese tonight.