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in a (honey) nutshell. (13)

11 Aug

At this very moment, I am eating my second smallish bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for the day. I rarely eat cereal anymore, except, apparently, in the last six weeks or so of pregnancy (when I eat a bowl nightly to attempt avoiding 3am hunger pangs). I tried rotating in all of the super healthy, crunchy granola type cereal I’d otherwise choose, but at this point, Honey Nut Cheerios are the thing. I don’t have very many pregnancy cravings. I guess this would be the big one.

Jason is out for a run as I type this, and when he gets back, there’s Captain Sundae waiting for us in the freezer. I’m going to eat that, too…and guilt free, because we’re in the home stretch here and it sounds delicious. I pushed the dairy-free, refined sugar-free thing pretty hard for most of this pregnancy. Turns out a little slipping up here and there does not seem to impact (or cause) any re-occurring headaches at this point, so I’m cutting myself some slack. That, and my body was aching for calcium, despite all of the whole foods sources and amazing vitamins and supplements I take. Baby needs what baby needs.

And on the subject of baby, the tiniest of the bunch is currently hiccuping to get my attention. He or she has had my attention all along (and should hopefully know this by now), but this weekend has been full of attention getting behavior on the Button’s part, so it’s clear we’re gearing up for some big event in utero. I can’t imagine what that might be…

The eldest of the tiny bunch was vying for my attention tonight as well–he nearly hyperventilated upstairs from crying so hard that he “needed me.” This was not your normal cry (nor has it been for the past number of nights), but more like a full tilt panic/scream that would have any parent’s heart in a knot. We’re trying our best to strike a balance between coddling and supporting, and I think there’s a very fine line when your two year old is likely just feeling the growing pains of baby sibling’s impending arrival. H’s needs have been on this rise this past week, and as much as we adore him and want to make sure he feels loved, it’s been trying to say the least. The munchkin is now (finally) sound asleep upstairs after wearing himself out and four separate visits from mom and dad to calm things down. I’ve never learned patience to the degree that I’ve learned it in the past month. I suppose the heat had to turn up at some point as we ready ourselves for the babe on the way.

Aaaaand, lastly, as I wrap up my thoughts on the day, the nursery is 90% or more done after this weekend, and it feels amazing. I know baby wouldn’t know if it weren’t finished, but we would know, and it was getting to both of us. The only thing left is to hang the mobile above the crib and photos on the walls (and I need to go looking for a floor lamp this week if time permits). Beyond that, the projects still on the list are crafty ones that I’m committed to only if life and motherhood allow, and we’ll see what the next week or two hold. In the meantime, teensy clothes are washed, folded, and tucked into drawers, the crib is made up, bookshelves are hung and stocked full, new light fixture is in, all is in place. SO good!! Now if I would only pack a hospital bag for baby and myself, we’d be golden. Then he or she could come at any time without all of the rushing I’ve dreaded might take place. No more dreading. To do list, relatively conquered. Amen.

So that’s the report on this second to last Sunday before my due date. We’re making our way here–all of us. Each differently and dynamically, but we’re making our way.

thinking about baking a blueberry crisp, and it’s 11pm. nest much?

mm

prep. (19)

5 Aug

Things have a tendency to evolve more slowly with a toddler in the house, it seems. And by “things,” I generally mean projects and cleaning and to do lists, and not so much messes or fun or shenanigans (those seem to develop quite easily, as it turns out). Such is the case with prep for baby number two, and it isn’t for lack of desire or effort. We’re just plain busier this time around. So baby’s room is taking shape little by little, and while we’re both feeling a bit impatient to get it all done, I think we’ve turned a corner on progress over the past few days.

Tonight we’re both knocking things off the list–J is outside with a dremel as I type this, filing the dresser/changing table knobs down to size. I’ve been ordering a light fixture and mobile, in between organizing baby items into the closet and clearing out clutter that’s been hiding in boxes and drawer spaces unnoticed. It feels good to be getting rid of things as we prep to take other things out of rubbermaids stowed in the attic. No doubt baby items, each with a gigantic footprint, will descend upon the house again over the next few months…pack ‘n play, bouncer, possibly a swing. It’s a beautiful reason for clutter, and yet, I’m tempted to fight it as much as possible. Streamlined kind of feels like the name of the game this time around. It’s refreshing, and working in our favor.

Soooo. I took a break from my projects to sign in here and document a little of the baby prep process for tonight. No time for a long post–just a little snapshot into this timeframe and what we’re up to with 19 days til baby’s estimated arrival date. I’ve been bargaining with this little one all week… “You stay put for another week or two and we’ll get along swimmingly…” ;) Kidding. We’ll be thrilled to meet this sweet one whenever his or her timing allows (although the planner in me really would love the week or two I’ve been hinting at). There are lots of things you just want to be perfect in this season, you know? And since labor and delivery are such a mystery every time–always changing and throwing fun new twists into the mix, a little predictability where the nursery and house are concerned would go a long way for this mama (and the boys around here, too).

we’ll see who gets a laugh this time around. maybe i’ll be twiddling my thumbs in three weeks, wondering whether he or she will ever join us ;) no matter. when baby is ready, baby is ready. i should probably at least pack a hospital bag at some point, hmmm? and until then, we prep on.

mm

quotables. (21)

3 Aug

Today I’m incredibly thankful that it’s the weekend, and that we spent the entire day together as a family. We just needed a dose of normalcy in the midst of the crazy schedules we’ve collectively juggled over the past few weeks. It wasn’t a down day, necessarily, but we did enjoy coffee and the farmer’s market downtown this morning, burgers on the grill tonight, and a visit to the park with Henry before the day was out. We’re still checking things off of the baby prep list…and probably will be until baby arrives. I think that’s just the nature of getting ready for something big–you do as much as you can for as long as you can, and then eventually, the day is here and there’s nothing left to do but embrace its arrival. No doubt we will do so, regardless of how much or how little is done. I keep asking God to be generous with time right now, but not too generous ;) Typical expectant mama, right?

Henry was in rare form today, and I think it was just that mom and dad were both home all day with him that did it. He was wound like a top, chatty as can be, and full of jumping, running, hopping, climbing, bouncing, shouting, testing, persuading,  and directing…all of the things you’d expect from a little boy…on overdrive. We are two exhausted parents at the end of it all, but to be fair, H kept us in stitches the entire day. He may have been acting like a handful in spurts, and yet he was delightfully entertaining. The most authentic way to represent the day, I think, is just to share some of Henry’s commentary. He never ceases to surprise me, and almost always in a good or entertaining way. From our babe’s mouth in the past sixteen-ish hours…

As we talked about the day: “​That’s a good plan!”
Heard randomly in the kitchen: “Come here, Kruger, and I’ll fix your head.”
While playing after nap time: “I like your belly, Mommy. I like that baby growing in there!”
At the dinner table tonight when offered corn: “I believe I’ll have some corn.”
Several times after Jason asked H to do something: “​You bet, buddy!”
When I asked Henry if he was done going to the bathroom: “No, I’m still pooping.”
When I asked him how much more he had to go: “Tons of poop!” (Oh, dear.)
When I told him that I was going to change his diaper: “That’s your job!”
On our way to Target tonight: “We are going to Target, and we will go see the Matchbox cars and Matchbox trucks! Here we go, here we go!”
Before bedtime, after I told him the baby would be so excited to meet him: “And I will hold the baby myself.” “Myself,” he added with emphasis. We’ll have no trouble getting him to show interest in the Button, I’m sure.
And my personal favorite from the day, in random reference to the new baby monitor (and its built in song feature) that we’re testing out before we add it to baby’s room: “I don’t like the ridiculous songs of that white camera. I don’t like that monitor.”
There are a few words lately that I can just hardly handle when Henry says them. I know his speech will change, but I wish a few words could stay the same. “Ridiculous” is one of them. I know I should never have taught him to say it, but it’s just too funny. Undoubtedly, it will backfire on me at some point. I’ll keep stifling laughter until then.
No matter what we’re up to, Henry is pretty much non-stop conversation and observation. Admittedly, there are times when I’m not sure I’ll have the energy for one more chat about cars and trucks, but inevitably, H finds a way to engage us and keep us on our toes. We are so blessed by his two year old insights, and better for the added smiles. H continues to be a deliverer of joy in our home. I can’t wait to see how God will use him in the life of his little brother or sister! This will be a sweet, sweet season for the two of them soon, as they get to know each other and to learn how to be siblings, playmates, and friends. I wonder who will be the ringleader… ;)
grateful for laughter and progress,
mm

heat advisory. (38)

17 Jul

Today was Wonderful Wednesday again (they just keep coming!), so naturally, H and I had plans to go the farmer’s market, among other things. I made a long-ish list of items we needed to pick up, filled water bottles with LOTS of ice, packed H’s bag, and we were off. I was determined to be out of the house on the early side, and to return early enough that we would avoid the midday heat that’s settled around these parts for the past few days.

Truth be told, the “feels like 100 degrees” week we’re having hasn’t really phased me in my pregnant state. Sure, it’s hot, but I’m honestly not terribly bothered by the fact that it’s this warm in July. It is, after all, July. And I’m not sure I feel hotter these days than I would any other summer when we’re all doing our best to keep cool in the sun. For the most part, we can be choosey about when we’re out in the heat, we can limit our exposure if necessary, and we are fortunate enough to have air conditioning at home and in both cars, so I really can’t complain. The only place that’s tricky is work, and that’s because we sit in the front, south facing windows of a very large building that is not staying adequately cooled off this season. Not much to do about that (although a dear co-worker brought fans in to cool off the space with her pregnant friend in mind. A huge blessing!) At any rate, the temps merit mentioning, simply so I can accurately recall what the weather was doing in these last few weeks of baby carrying and such. It will be fun to look back on “that July of 2013″ with fond memories of a heat wave and our braving it with joy, but I digress…

The market was deliciously beautiful as always. It was also a bit less crowded than normal (presumably the heat factor), which made pushing a stroller around much more pleasant. We gathered cherries and blueberries, peaches, potatoes, and tomatoes, carrots, maple syrup, cinnamon swirl bread (hello, french toast!), whole grain bread, peppers, an onion, a cucumber, and a quarter watermelon. Oh, and a handful of dahlias and zinnias for good measure. How could any other time of year be my favorite when we have this kind of agricultural joy at our fingertips in the summertime?! Henry was delightful company, hanging onto the flowers and making conversation with the vendors. It’s just become one of our very favorite pastimes together!

Afterwards, H declared we needed a carwash, so off to the carwash we went. I have genuinely come to revel in the quiet bliss of a three point five minute car wash. Seriously, it’s brilliant. Henry is fascinated by the brushes and sponges and water and blowers, and I’m just as happy as a clam in the front seat, peeking in the rear view mirror to watch his face and enjoying the very minimal interruption from my side of things. A car wash (and a clean car) certainly make Wonderful Wednesday more wonderful.

From there, it was off to the meat market to round out our shopping before heading home. H got a kick out of asking for every last type of meat in the case, and I stocked up on good finds for dinner and grilling over this next week. I do have some thoughts to share on the meat market and some changes taking place there, but perhaps it’s best saved for another day (and not used on a perfectly good, 100 days post;) I so love being able to drive only minutes down the road for high quality, locally farmed meat from a small business, but I think that’s all about to change. That does not make Wonderful Wednesday more wonderful, but I’m just saying…

When we got home, I did the most natural thing a pregnant mom would do after being out in the heat for a few hours. I gutted the refrigerator and cleaned it out from top to bottom. Standing in the open door of a cool fridge will help you to forget how hot you may have been slightly earlier. And besides, a clean and organized refrigerator makes a nesting mama a very happy one. The project was mildly laborious, but mostly it was just fun to tackle. H helped by taking things out of the fridge to examine them, and by keeping me company with his silliness all the while. We rounded out our W.W. morning with a Skype call to Auntie B and Miss E, which makes any day better. By nap time, we had exercised a lot of energy and were both ready for a rest. The day felt well rounded and sensible (in light of the heat advisory and the need for a little grocery run and all).

The closer we get to August 25, the more determined I am to make things count. I was reminded again tonight at worship team practice to treat every day like a miracle. Because they all are. Even when it’s hard or hot or riddled with emotion. Even then. So tonight I’m thankful for another miracle. Another day of baby kicking and Henry being two and the house needing attention. I am so blessed to have all of these things to be responsible for, truly. It may be hot outside, but I’m doing my best to keep my cool indoors. Take that, heat index!

here’s to another miraculous day tomorrow!

mm

practice makes perfect. (86)

30 May

Two years and three months ago, a crazy blizzard hit our hometown hard–so hard that everything (besides the indomitable local coffee shop) was closed. No one was going anywhere. That particular morning, Jason was outside shoveling feet of snow and I was inside on the couch, almost 28 weeks pregnant, and having contractions every five or so minutes apart. The day got really interesting from there: a call to the on-call dr. at the hospital led to an unexpected outing, a morning spent on monitors, me talking myself off the ledge about having a baby at 28 weeks, and J spiking a fever of 104 at its worst. Turns out major (quick) changes in barometric pressure can cause funny things to happen…and going into false labor would be one of them. Noted. We returned home exhausted and relieved, and didn’t welcome Henry into the world for another eleven weeks. Good little man stayed nice and put until just the right time.

Fast forward to tonight, and the realization over dinner that I was, indeed, having fairly intense Braxton-Hicks contractions–right near 28 weeks along. Maybe this is just my body’s fascinating way of preparing for every baby, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that storms have been rolling in and out of the area all week and the temps have shifted 50 degrees in 36 hours. Regardless, I’ve decided that practicing labor is more than unnecessary this time around, so we’ll be done having said contractions from now until it’s really go time, thankyouverymuch. In the moment (ok, hour), I did what any clear-headed mama would do. I excused myself from the dinner table, took a five minute break on the couch, and declared it time for a walk with the munchkin. After all, we hadn’t explored nearly enough together yet today, and I knew a distraction would do me good. What will resolve B-H contractions in no time? Well, precisely the following…

First, you’ll need a toddler and a reliable plastic vehicle (preferably a $6 garage sale procurement in the form of a John Deere Tractor):

h on a toy tractor

Next, it helps to wave at the neighbors for a little while:

waving at neighbors

After that, you’ll probably want to take inventory to be sure that both (or all) of your children are along for the adventure:

h and bellyCheck.

To really make the experience more pleasant, it’s good to admire the blooming flowers and local landscape for a bit:

springtime front of house

hanging basket

japanese irisAnd supposing it starts to drizzle as another storm rolls in, it’s best to spend a little time in search of pill bug families on the porch:

pill bug habitat

If you have luck in finding any, your next move should likely be to designate appropriate names for each pill bug, using monikers like “Mommy,” “Daddy,” and “Henry,” or other such titles that are readily familiar:

pill bug investigationNext, wander around the yard for a while admiring the newest plantings and grass seeding efforts. Hard working people (like husbands/dads) seem to appreciate this sort of thing– and plus, it’s a good way to get involved in the fun:

side yard plantings

After a time, make your way “back home” and indoors on account of the threatening thunder, but be sure to note the beauty of distraction and the delightful nature of Springtime as you go:

marguerite daisies

And certainly, remind yourself that B-H contractions are just part of the process, that all will be well, and that barometric pressure can simply be a bugger sometimes. Park the toy tractor for the night. Dust off the little one. Put on some comfy pajamas. Smile.

embracing the promising signs of change…and all of the practice ;)

mm

matters of the heart. (89)

27 May

There are lots of heart matters on my mind tonight. The wedding yesterday, a tear-jerking moment with H earlier this evening, a day later this week to celebrate a friend’s upcoming nuptials, and of course, prepping our hearts and home here for the Button’s arrival. There are others, too, but those four should make for an already lengthy post, so…I’ll stick to my outline. ;)

Above all else that happened today, I walked into to living room just before dinner to a most sacred moment. Henry (who I’d left playing cars on the couch minutes before) had climbed up into a big chair and was sitting, all by himself, and praying aloud. I am absolutely certain that I don’t get everything right as a mom, but this moment–this perfect and precious and remember-it-always moment, was a difference maker for me. To see the heart of Christ working in our tiny little man is the most beautiful thing–and so affirming! I’m afraid my walking in sort of interrupted H’s conversation, but I did catch the last few bits…”Thank you for my feet, and thank you for my pants, and for my clothes…” When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I’m praying!” Be still my heart. Then I asked him what he’d been praying about and he said, “Daddy, and the baby, and Mo…and YOU!” Oh, my. To think of our little one lifting up his dad and mama in his own way moves me greatly, but to realize that Henry is joining us in prayer for his unborn sibling…it might just be too much for this emotional and expectant mama to handle! Baby Button, when you read this someday, I want you to know just how much your big brother has loved you from the very beginning. He has been thanking God for you daily with us, and also without solicitation. You two are woven together in a marvelous way! I can’t wait to get to know your heart, too, just as I am learning your brother’s. What an amazing gift as your mom!

Not sure how to transition from there, but…in other news, I’m getting excited to spend some time with a dear old (as in, long-lasting, but not aged :) friend as we celebrate a most beautiful season in her life. She’s getting married this August, and while we’ll quite sadly miss the wedding (it’s 9ish hours away and two weeks from my due date), I’ve had the privilege of walking this wedding journey with her for the past few years, and it’s a lovely one. Our day of showering and surrounding Miss Emily with good things has been a shining spot on the calendar for some time now–I’m so glad it’s almost here! As a bonus, the pampering elements of the day will guide me gracefully into my 32nd year on the eve of my 31st birthday. Just a little icing on the cake, if you ask me! Oh, girl time and delightful food and a beautiful city in the Summer and pedicures and my precious, elegant, remarkable friend. Bliss!

And of course, on the subject of weddings, I promised a little recap of last night’s affair. To begin, it was the loveliest representation of a pure and Godly and genuine couple we’ve been blessed to see grow together in love over time. Everything about the celebration–from the worship and fellowship to the location and decor and attire, was perfectly suited to them. It was a delight to be a tiny part of their day. As they said their vows in the spring sunshine overlooking Lake Michigan, the atmosphere was one of sheer joy. It will be awesome to watch and see what God will do in and through them as they make a powerful force for the Kingdom together.

Every little detail of the wedding and reception was sweet and intentional. Personal touches made the evening feel cozy and family-centered…from the adorable handwritten signs to the picnic blankets and lawn games for playing and mingling post-ceremony, right down to the tea and coffee cups we were all invited to take home at the party’s end…each aspect felt like an extension of the happy couple–just as a wedding celebration should be! A few of my favorite elements and moments from the night:

the altar and bench where mr. and mrs. washed each others' (and their respective parents' feet) during the ceremony. beautiful.

the altar and bench where mr. and mrs. washed each others’ (and their respective parents’ feet) during the ceremony. beautiful.

a mom's gotta have a few tricks up her sleeve to keep a two year old quite at length. ;)

a mom’s gotta have a few tricks up her sleeve to keep a two year old quiet at length. ;)

two handsome boys and a classy getaway car.

two handsome boys and a classy getaway car.

snacks, drinks, and an impeccable view.

snacks, drinks, and an impeccable view.

someone had a ball ;)

someone had a ball ;)

it's party time!

it’s party time!

can't get enough of his sparkling apple cider.

can’t get enough of his sparkling apple cider.

learning to shuffle with mama. love.

learning to shuffle with mama. love.

family shenanigans by the lake.

family shenanigans by the lake.

sunset backdrop.

sunset backdrop.

all good things must come to an end, hmmm, h? not an easy lesson to learn when you're two and having a blast.

all good things must come to an end, hmmm, h? not an easy lesson to learn when you’re two and having a blast.

Looking around here this weekend, it was so wonderful to have extra time as a family, to get a few more items checked off the list, and to have great little interactions and moments together. We prepped for the Button in a few simple ways, with conversations woven in about bigger changes that will take place over the next few weeks (moving us to our new room to make space for baby, putting together the crib that arrived (!) Thursday, organizing more baby books and toys and clothes to fill drawers and shelves in the nursery, and tackling as many projects as we’re able before life gets busier with two kiddos in tow). I might have overdone it this weekend, but it’s only out of joy and anticipation that my motivation helped carry me away. Today has been a lighter lifting day, and J has worked hard to stop me from causing myself more trouble. This means he also has a bit more on his plate, and while I feel guilty about that, I’m looking forward to working together to strike a healthy balance through the summer months. The accountability is good–and necessary when I want to see so much accomplished. Slow and steady wins the race from here, I think.

needless to say, my heart is full–and my mind is busy, busy! so thankful to God for all of the beauty He allowed into our lives this weekend. best “weekend time!” i can remember in a while.

happily,

mm

goodbye, second tri. (91)

25 May

Well, it’s official. 27 weeks tomorrow and headed into my third trimester with the Button. I would say I can hardly believe it, except this kiddo is on the move and I am feeling every kick, punch, jab, twist, and turn. Simply put, he or she is growing at a crazy pace, so it’s a good thing we’re in countdown territory. 91 days is still a ways to go, but saying “third trimester” is certainly a wakeup call. No wonder I’ve been roaming around the house and seeing things I want to accomplish left and right! If this little one is like his or her brother, we’re down to 12 weeks. Amazing.

We spent the morning picking up a few extra flats of flowers–along with some potting and top soil, and then got to work once little man was down for his nap after lunch. Four hours later, the planters and window boxes are filled afresh with new blossoms, our new edging in the front is nearly complete, the grass is cut, and between us, we managed to keep H occupied while we dug, tilled, plotted, and planted. Nothing a little red wagon, ball and glove, bubbles, a toy mower, cozy coupe police car, earth worms, grubs, a rock collection, watering can, and “new” ride-on toy tractor can’t manage. Whew! It’s a wonder that we still had a bounding ball of energy running around the house just shy of 10pm. I’d like to know where I sign up for his power nap extravaganzas!

I’m feeling it tonight after moving plants and dirt and bending at the waist 1,000 times this afternoon, but now that the initial ache has worn off, I’m mostly celebrating that hard earned tired feeling you can only get from working in the sun and breeze all day long. I LOVE the Springtime! And I love how the front of the house is shaping up :) No doubt we’ll be back at it again tomorrow mid-day, just before we head out to celebrate beautiful friends at their lakeside wedding.

Did I mention that we found those happy little flowers I posted about a few days back? I’ve been on the hunt to find more of them, and lo and behold, three tiny little containers sat waiting for me at the farmer’s market this morning. Now we have cheery pink Marguerite Daisies in the planters out front, and I am craving more of them to sprinkle elsewhere in the yard. Such sweet little flowers!

Ready to call it a night tonight–except for the Hulu date I have with the Mr. before bed. Sooo…it’s off to laugh a little on the couch before turning in and closing the door on my second trimester. I will miss it. Indeed. Although I’m hopeful to hang on to this energy and general feeling of wellness for as long as I can manage. Another 12ish weeks, perhaps?!

three cheers for progress!

mm

P.S. H is 25 months old today. While the monthly updates were a delight to record, now that Hank’s reached two, I feel like this daily challenge (with threads of H woven in) are equally if not even more fun. SO…H, when you read this someday, I didn’t forget about your month-day this time around. Just acknowledging all of your growing up and the fact that you probably won’t want to read about yourself in quite the same way for endless months going forward. You are the apple of my eye, little man. Never doubt it! You, and this precious babe growing with fervor in my belly. Love you both, more than blog posts could ever say…

weekend time! (92)

24 May

We have this little routine in our house that I absolutely adore. When Thursday night rolls around, we tell Henry that after J gets home from work on Friday it will be…you guessed it: “Weekend Time!!!” I wish you could hear the intonation and exuberance with which Henry repeats this phrase. His face gets all excited, eyebrows lifted and eyes as wide as can be, and then he says, “Weekend Time!” seemingly as one word, and with as much gusto as he can muster. It’s a favorite Henry-ism, for sure. I love these shenanigans because they’re so “us.” We’re all looking forward to the weekend ahead–to family time and a trip to the coffee shop, to the Farmer’s Market and church and time outside together. At this time of year, weekend time is enhanced by beach visits, ice cream, long walks, trips to the park, and plenty of work in the yard. There’s much to celebrate, even if we don’t have big plans. In fact, I think we like the unplanned weekends best of all–they leave room for extra playtime and naps and dinners out on the grill. They’re sometimes the reason we all hang in there the rest of the week :)

On the front end of the weekend, I usually like to try to get things in order as much as possible–shopping done, errands run, things around the house picked up, vacuumed, etc. to a good degree. Today was not entirely one of those days, although I had every intention of making it so. As I headed into the kitchen to make breakfast this morning, H bounced around the house with a giant ball…chasing it, kicking it, and torturing the dog with it as always. In a split second, he was diving after the runaway ball and I was watching his head make contact with the very solid kitchen doorframe. I lunged to grab him, but it was just too late. The tears were immediate, as was the black and blue spot–a terrible looking, swelling nugget taking shape on impact. I’m hard pressed to convince our active kiddo to use ice in almost any instance, but there was no way this big bad bump was escaping the relief of a cold pack today. So it was time to get creative. Enter: special breakfast. Cinnamon sugar toast and a sliced banana, served up on the couch with snuggles and a side of Handy Manny’s Big Construction Job on DVD. That, and a persistent ice pack. Thirty minutes in, we were good as new, with a bonus bump and bruise that will probably linger for a few days just for kicks.

"special breakfast," handy manny, and an ice pack. win.

“special breakfast,” handy manny, and an ice pack. win.

I won’t regale all of the details of the rest of our day, but highlights (and a lowlight or two) would include a $6 John Deere ride-on toy tractor at a killer garage sale, a FREE construction hard hat and Lowly Worm apple car for Henry (ten points for the “free” box today), traipsing around town, and H getting his arm stuck (and I mean, really stuck) between the bars of the seat in the cart at Target, replete with screaming in the checkout lane and yours truly frantically trying to free said appendage while paying for our things and hurrying out of the store with an inconsolable boy. Whew! Then lunch and a fairly routine afternoon, followed by a field trip to the most gigantic greenhouse I’ve ever laid eyes on. I thought we had entered greenhouse heaven. I mean, how many nurseries have a kettle corn stand and a junk wagon, a play area for kids, and more space than we could wander in an hour and a half? It goes without saying that we’ll be spending a good portion of the weekend out of doors, planting and sprucing up and officially welcoming the Spring season. Hello, Memorial Day Weekend!

this place goes on forever!

this place goes on forever!

All in all, I’ll give this particular Friday and 80% on the scale. I’m docking it 20% for all of the injuries our smallish person incurred throughout the course of the day. If I listed all of the falls and bumps here in one post, I’d have a few more paragraphs to go. Let’s just say I was very happy to tuck the munchkin safely into bed–surrounded by very soft things, a little while ago. Here’s to a day with more balance (and I do mean actual, physical balance;) in it tomorrow!

Ultimately, I think we made the best we could of the day, and we certainly prepped ourselves for a colorful and green thumb-ish kind of long weekend. The very best kind at the end of May, if you ask me.

look mom, a geranium!

look mom, a geranium!

my favorite little flower, with a flower ;)

a flower for my favorite little flower ;)

excited to get my hands dirty tomorrow! planters and window boxes and yard, here we come!

mm

nap time in the little blue house.

25 Mar

(An unconventional “Dear Henry” kind of post.)

It’s your nap time, smallish person who turns two exactly one month from today. Two hours into nap time, and I have just settled down on the couch with BBQ kettle chips, a glass of water and this keyboard because, well, my mind is in a million places and it just felt right. I am pushing my luck with this nap of yours, and I know it. So here’s the thing while I have a moment(or a few things, really):

-I’ve been trying to decide all afternoon how we’re going to break it to you that your dear beta fish, Seuss, has died. He hasn’t exactly died yet, but I’ve been watching this slow and painful progression for the past two days, and it isn’t pretty. I realize that you’re not quite two and that potentially (although quite improbably), you will take no notice of his departure. 1) Flush him and buy a replacement Seuss, or 2) flush him and just never speak of him again, are probably the suggestions I’d gather if I asked around. But no one else is here when you ask me in your little voice on an almost daily basis, “How’s Seuss doing?!” as you settle into breakfast at the table. No one else but your daddy knows that you love this little fish enough to get over the fact that he “stole” the green jeep that’s hanging out in his bowl. No one else will field the daily questions from here ’til next October about Seuss and his whereabouts. I know this to be true. So there’s that. At any rate, he’s dying. And I’m sorry. I probably fed him too much food, or we scared him with his own vehicle. Shoot.

-My belly is growing. You notice this and place your head there to greet the baby daily, but I’m not sure you’ve quite realized the magnitude of the expansion that’s about to take place in front of your little eyes. You can still sit on my lap, certainly, but The Button is not wasting time here, and I know it’s a matter of weeks before you’re on the edge of my knees. At least it feels that way. Perhaps this is some sort of subconscious recognition of the fact that I’m feeling like you’re being pushed out of your space and I don’t like it. You were here first, and the mommy guilt starts to creep up and get into my head when I begin to contemplate all of the changes ahead. You will adjust, I know. And probably well. Besides, you’re gaining a natural best friend (I hope!). But all of this growing and mommy being more tired and everything in the house getting the once over, well…I’m just as sorry about that as I am the fish, and probably more so. I’m so thankful you’re patient, and that God filled you with grace.

-I feel the need to confess that I still love this house. There’s been plenty of debate about this in recent days, and I just want to set the record straight. I went into the basement for something earlier, and as I climbed the stairs, I couldn’t help but think it again. I love it here. And I know it’s getting smaller as we get bigger (or not really, but it feels that way in moments), and I know we’re headed into a season of rearranging and losing our guest room and playing the furniture puzzle game, but secretly or not so secretly, I adore the challenge. We’ll have been here five years on my due date and I still smile coming home. I love the projects and the quirks and the angles and details we wouldn’t find in new construction. Maybe some people would think I’m crazy, but I know you understand–this has been home to you all your life so far. We’re good here. And the little blue house has been good to us. I think we always make it feel like home, no matter how much rearranging takes place. Let’s stay a while longer, ok?

-I’m not sure how we got here again, but we did. Wasn’t I just hand-making bug jars and sewing a birthday bunting and dreaming in Very Hungry Caterpillar? Planning your second birthday party is beginning to take over all of the random cracks and crevices in my day, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. This year’s theme is proving to be a party planning challenge. Am I up for it with all else that is going on? Only time will tell. Regardless, I promise you an amazing cake and a room filled with people who love you. Sound good? I promise I’ll give this one my best go. Can’t believe you’re almost TWO!

-We are headed out on an adventure this weekend and I cannot wait! A time to celebrate your daddy’s birthday and a time for us to be the three musketeers, just like we’ve been together for almost two years now. We’re going to have all sorts of fun and take a gazillion pictures and eat more good food than we can think of…and go swimming and exploring and creating all kinds of crazy good memories. I’m going to hear about this weekend for the next three months, and I’m thrilled about that fact! Dad and I are so excited to have a special weekend with you!

You are awake and talking to Scout upstairs in your happy little voice. What do you say we see if Auntie B and Miss E want to Face Time or Skype? Or let’s build LEGOS and plot out our evening with your dad…or read books…or all of the above? I delight in my time with you, Henry D.

thanks for letting me be your random and scattered mama. just one more thing to love about who you are.

mm

perfectly imperfect.

22 Jan

The past few snow-filled, white-everywhere-I-look days have gotten me thinking (or more accurately, stewing). I’m not a big fan of stewing, I’ll admit. I’ll also concede that for someone who doesn’t enjoy the exercise very much, I am, somewhat unfortunately, quite good at it. This does not bode well when I’m cooped up indoors with our toddler and staring down walls (read cupboards, closets, corners, dust bunnies, piles, and to dos) I would otherwise breeze by on our way to something more adventurous and fun.

The task of being in my (our) own space lately has started to feel like exactly that–a task. And it’s not because anyone else would drop by and be aghast at our style of living or the daily condition of our home (Well, maybe you would, I don’t know. But I’m not going to start losing sleep over that at this very moment). It’s just that I see 101 things in any given day that I’d love the time/energy/willpower/organizational prowess/Pinterest motivation to change around here, and it’s beginning to chip away at my self esteem and personal progress. Am I sounding at all rational/relatable/normal? Do you have any idea what I mean?

I’m sure you do. I’m practically counting on it. I know I’m not the lone mama here who wishes she could get more done in a day. But the thing of it is, when H’s nap time rolls around after lunch, and I’ve spent all morning in my best attempt to be loving and patient and engaged and consistent (and fun!), I am ready for a break. I am not (most days) ready to tackle that linen closet, the basement, the file cabinet that needs thinning out, or the guest room that’s become a catch all since the last guest went home. I’m just not. And for this reason, I wander around in the afternoon quiet of our completely livable and mostly kept up house, and I allow myself to feel inadequate instead of at home. There is something wrong with this, I’m sure. And there’s probably a reason I’m putting it here. The art of contentment is an art for sure.

Please hear me when I say that I’m really just fine, and that this isn’t some sort of confessional plea to beg for infinite wisdom or help. (Although regular wisdom I’ll happily consider, if you have some to offer;) I’m nearly certain that there are those of you reading who have given this train of thought an “Amen!” once or twice, and probably others who are thinking, “Just wait until you have more than one kid to juggle someday!” I don’t begrudge you either angle. I have nothing to complain about and I know it fully. But I do have my snowed in days like everyone else :)

When I look around at life in our little world, in this house, in my mostly simple and fretless days, I do feel the good. And I am blessed beyond blessed by what we have here–our space, our memories, our trio, lined up like soldiers on the floor each night for story time. There is an abundance of life here, and much gratitude that comes with it. Still, I can’t help (in moments), feeling like I owe it all more…I owe us more, and God more, than I accomplish in 24 hours time. I am living in the perfectly imperfect and hanging balance of young motherhood, just wanting to serve well and do well and be good in every sense. And even still, wanting a nap more than I want my floors sparkling clean; praying for the stamina and discipline and wherewithal to lead an honorable life in every day.

This dance we do with ourselves, with our parenting, with our expectations and aspirations and hearts–it is clear evidence of our humanity and of our (my) great need for something bigger than myself and these worldly things to hang my hat on. Thank goodness my self worth is not found in the state of my bathroom countertop or the order of every keepsake and photo tucked away within these walls. Now if only I could remember this exact truth on days like today, when every task calls after me from it’s position, stealing away the joy that’s to be found in the still of winter, tucked away at home with my boy….I have much to learn!

so grateful for God’s patience with me as i toddle along. it doesn’t look like the snow will be letting up soon, so i may as well embrace the grace that falls with it, no?

mm

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