.:23:. // hibernation \\ 

^Bear cub A (Lainy) – – – – Bear cub B (Hannah)^

A few months ago (right before the real cold set in), I went on a chilly walk with my two little ones. We strolled past a grassy den-like cove, that looked as though it could be a perfect spot for a bear to fluff her pillows and chill until spring. I discussed this scenario with my girls – how bears hibernate, taking long naps until “the snow starts to melt and pretty little flowers bloom!” I made it sound very desirable with subtle persuasive cues alluding to how wonderful sleeping is.  …praying they would take a nice long nap when we got home.

Then I had one of those moments, as we continued our walk in silence… One of those daydream moments. I imagined myself nestled in that cozy spot, laying on freshly fluffed pillows, getting a wonderfully long nap… Just like a mama bear (in my story, bears love fluffy pillows). I imagined someone graciously bringing my girls home to their beds while I snuggle up in that den and get lost in sleep. Unfortunately,  I’ve been cursed with a terrible ability to nap – I’m not typical mama bear material… but the “daddy” bear I share my fluffy space with has a pretty comfortable relationship with hibernation ;).

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taken by one of my children and very fitting as this is the typical view of my lower half…

As a Minnesotan, I’ve proudly worn my puffy parka and big-ole-furry boots to the grocery store. I love when big pretty snowflakes fall from the sky, I can handle below zero weather and dark winter mornings haven’t kept me from being a morning person. – – – But as a mama in Minnesota, I now have my puffy parka pockets full of Kleenex, bandaids, disney chapstick, extra tiny gloves, crumbs of some sort, something sticky or just plain unknown… My big-ole furry boots once looked cute when I wore my sassy skinny jeans but now they stare up at me partially covered by my yoga pants and yell “get a hold of yourself! What is happening here?!”. Oh, and mornings… I’m still (what some might consider) a morning person. However, sluggishly rolling out of bed has become a more common introduction to the day. We push ourselves out the door like a roll of Pillsbury dough… you know the ones that “POP” open when you peel them and hit the container against the counter (release of aggression, EH?). Well, I’m not aggressive… and I’m not Canadian but their is a small sense of fulfillment when that tube pops open.  Where in the world am I going with this? This is exactly how we get out of the house. After all of the getting un-dressed/dressed/brushing teeth/throwing little tantrums/trying to look like tame sweet bears… once we “POP” out of our cozy den of a home, their is a huge sense of fulfillment + accomplishment. Really? Yes, with two toddlers who love playing in diapers and have a strong sense of determination when it comes to dressing themselves – inside out . upside down . slowly but surely – getting out of the house feels like I completed a marathon some days, and I only have two!

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Me + my bundled little cubs, just to walk into the mall…

Motherhood is tiring. Just ask any mama bear… Go ahead, she’ll tell you exactly why she naps for so long. Because she NEEDS it! Or she’ll growl and claw at you, due lack of sleep and frequent interruption of the hibernation she’s seeking.

>Funny story<<

Their once was a tired mama bear who never hibernated and she was extremely exhausted, and possibly a little irritable. With a smile and many sighs, she did what she could to keep her ‘coat’ clean and fluffy, her den in order and her cubs content. However…

…some growls and sharp claws may have come out a few times……..maybe.

The end.<<
Unfortunately, us mamas don’t get to nap like real mama bears, but we definitely deserve a break and time to ourselves. We need a little R&R, we need to slow down, take deeper breathes, fluff those pillows and chill until spring. Winter can really drag a mom down and wear her out – especially after months of being continuous toddler entertainment, while (mostly) indoors.

Now, excuse me while I go fluff my pillows in my den and close my eyes for a few months…

…or minutes. (very easy to get those two confused).


 

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///\\\

I’ll let daddy bear take over.

 

 

 

 

>Follow Ladybugs + Jumping Beans :: LBJB on Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/ladybugsjumpingbeans/

.:22:. >>2016<< a new year | a new version | no need for resolution.

 

my mini juviniles : Lainybug (L), Hannah bean (R)

–>> a H A P P Y new year.

ball drops | clean slate | the year is NEW and so are you!

The year of chalk art, glitter + selfies has ended… Ha. Just kidding! I’m pretty sure all of the above will just become more 2016ish.

I’m not really one for resolutions.  However, the idea of them is exciting and trying to work on something NEW is great, but I’m fully aware and accepting of the fact that in many ways I may return to myself from the previous year and continue with the routine of life that I’m comfortable with. If you can believe it, I do consider myself a very optimistic person (even though this may not read that way)…

I’m not saying I can’t or won’t start something new, I’m not saying I won’t make or accomplish goals and I’m not faulting those who do make huge changes. To be honest… my belief is that a change of a date and the transition of a new year shouldn’t be what ignites significant change. BUT, our society says it should and well… it works for many people. On the flip side, a new year can leave some people dissapointed, ashamed, doubtful, and unhappy that they couldn’t follow through… that they couldn’t make a real change… that they didn’t see purpose for anything new in their life. Sadly, this view is reality for more people than you might imagine.

So, my plan is to make it simple by taking a general+neutral route and be OK with what will happen this year and what will not happen. I still have goals but the result of accomplishing those goals is not fully dependent on a single date (for me).

If I really had to put these thoughts in the form of a Resolution it would probably go something like this…

In 2016 : Unpredictable, exciting, and sometimes planful events will define the 2016 version of myself and (honestly), my goal this year is… to be OK with however that may happen.

 

Much of what I’m saying, or trying to explain has almost everything to do with the mini juveniles I’ve happily shared a roof with for the past two years. These two (lady bugs and jumping beans) have truly molded me into the person I am right now. Just as they do with their play dough – today I stand tall like a lime green tree and tomorrow I may be a colorful blob on the floor. As a mom of two toddlers, my goals/my plans/my life in general is wholehartedly unpredictable now. Ok, we still make “plans” per say but I’ve learned to roll with the punches more than I ever imagined. My past “go go go” way of living hasn’t fully left me, but I am noticing the need to slow down – especially for my two peanuts whose little leggies can’t keep up with mine all the time.  Now, I’m learning to stop more often and rest with my girls – even when we should be moving and getting things done. I’m taking more moments to really look my children in the eyes when we talk and truly see them learning, understanding and discovering something new!

Prior to children, I had big goals – I made resolutions – and at the end of the year I found myself with mixed feelings… content with the achievement of certain attainable goals as well as disappointed for not reaching goals that I said I would reach. I don’t want my children to see this side of a new year. I don’t want them to think that a date really has the power to make them someone else, give them the ability to be superwomen at the “drop of a ball”, let them make unnecessary changes – just to make a change, I want them to be happy with how life unfolds. I want them to know that they can be superwomen without huge changes, even without telling the world about it… and that’s OK.

My Type A side : has made goals and loves making “to-do” lists of lists… of lists. The realist in me understands how these lists will work – they will be rewritten and rewritten. At the end of the year, I can look back and say…

…I made some pretty great lists and well, I am OK with that.

…I accomplished x y z and well, I am OK with that too.

…I watched my two little people grow, learn and explore a world filled with crazy expectations and well – – – we will all be ok!

Their is something to say about looking back onto a year and simply being content with all that it had to offer and in many ways surprised by unexpected successes!

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.:21:. switch :|: flipped


Almost 3 months ago we celebrated 2nd Birthdays!

I love planning these little get togethers, and going a little overboard for our little ones that still know very little about the world. Although, it was fun planning and joking that… if Pinterest didn’t exist we would all just be staring at each other and wondering: what the theme was, where the mason jars and chevron patterned napkins were hiding and why I didn’t build a life size wooden ark out of old pallets (throat clear) – our theme was Noah’s Ark Two by Two… and no, I did not build an Ark.

>>I would say less than 24 hours after 8:30am and 8:32am on 6/29/15 – something changed…

Summer had already begun but our official welcome to the sunny days ahead was that of two year olds that took over our world, with open arms and sticky fingers. I remember one night after they turned (two), my husband and I had just collapsed on our bed after a challenging bedtime routine. I imagined my sweet girls slowly morphing from fluffy pink princess gowns and smiles, into chains and leather flashing me their gang signs and gold teeth… yelling, “what? you can’t handle this?! well, get ready cuz we’re TWO!”  Little did I know this envision was kinda-sorta a premonition. After that sweet day of celebration filled with good company, yummy food and a song or two, I feel as though it’s safe to say that the switch has been flipped. You know, the “I’m a toddler” on/off  switch. It’s technically on auto-pilot and after reading the instructions, a special set of skills (along with major growth and development) is required before it can be turned “off”. I hear this can take years… err, maybe that’s just what it feels like. Well, due to small clues and warning signs… I had a feeling this phase was approaching – kind of like a flickering light during a storm. As if to say, “find shelter, it’s about to get loud, scary and dark! …and their is nothing you can do about it.”

 

from…

 to…

looks at those faces >>total gangsters<<

With two little ones (especially twins), I’ve been given more advice than I ever signed up for. Recent advice has revolved around this infamous stage ~  the “terrible twos”. I’m told it actually begins at age three. Which, by the way, is not something a mom of twins wants to hear. Ok, let’s be real… nobody wants to hear that, especially while already lacking sleep and trying to “shhhhhush” a screamer or two in the middle of the grocery store. I’ve been told that it’s going to be “so hard with twins” (while getting a quick pat on the back followed by a semi-serious thumbs-up and a dash to get away as if I had a terrible virus). I’ve also heard that it’s really a “trying time”, a true “test of parenthood”… a struggle, a challenge and the list of partially negative descriptions goes on.

WELP, we’re “on”. We’re live, the doors have been kicked open (and kicked and kicked, and pushed and kicked) and there is no turning back. You know back to those warm cuddly baby days – when they just cooed and stared deeply into your eyes until they fell asleep. Or those days when I could tell you exactly when I was going to get a break because naps were predictable. Oh wait, even those days when I could eat a meal without two sets of hands playing with my food – because when you’re two, you’re way too good for highchairs (at least that’s what our girls have decided).

 

goodbye high chairs > bibs + shirts are optional.

Here’s the catch – they are growing and developing like any other human and it’s not suppose to be easy. But it sure puts a cramp in my ‘chill’ style. Yes, as a mom I feel fairly ‘chill’ on occasion. I have days that I think, I finally got this and everything is “kinda-sorta” under control. I’m not trying to make any moms feel bad, because I know not everyone feels this way. I will tell you that this feeling or moment has been short lived lately, but it still gives me a nice little boost. Now, (more often) I am exhausted and trying to keep up with the pace at which my little ones are changing. I’m not sure how to exactly explain this but if you add some bad hair and bags under the beady/perky eyes of the “one eye shut/tongue sticking out emoji” >>> that’s me to a “T”! My two 2-year olds have successfully figured out how to make me look like the crazy emoji.

>> 😜 << like that, just like that!

The SUMMER OF 15 has been quite the intro to this new stage of life. 1. Language development and communication have blown my mind and 2. the emotional side of (probably) raising girls has slapped us in the face and definitely 3. strength and confidence have decided to be BFFs, but they rarely agree with each other.

:1.Language: It’s fascinating to watch my own children learn how to communicate, try to understand and listen to them repeat every word they hear. Oh, I’ll back up <<<< EVERY word they hear. We don’t (really) have potty mouths, but I’ll just let you imagine (anything anyone says, wherever we may be… they say and then they repeat it 10 times – – – or 30 times). I can understand most of what they say, but when I don’t… it’s A. just a cute, fun little guessing game or B. a sad and angry little face that says “you’re MY mom, you should know what I’m saying”… I’ll admit, they’re doing a great job with clarity and pronunciation but when we don’t understand what they’re trying to tell us, it’s as if we’re the alien on their planet and if we can’t translate within the next milisecond we’ll be sent back to a horrific planet (probably filled with DINKS basking in the sun – – oh, I remember those days).

BUT, at the end of summer I was proud to hear my little ones count to ten, recite their “ABCs”, politely ask for things using the highly desirable “please” and “thank you” and actually have a conversation (“kinda-sorta”).

:2.Emotions:

 

Tantrums and crocodile tears will appear with no warning… over lack of song singing, too much singing, being too clean or too dirty, broken crackers, lack of sharing, the natural and competitive nature of twins who enjoy copying each other but also want to be the one that did it first. This whole “copying each other” is pretty cute… While CUTE, it’s also deceiving. I have a couple dramatic princesses. Many times I have thought about counting the frequency of “whiny moments” and then I realize these moments are sometimes too hard to separate. I’m sure this is probably the thought running through their heads, on repeat… “It is so hard to be a child, a child living in a safe home with fun toys, healthy food and happy parents who love me.” But really – what is with the whining? It is the current soundtrack of my life and I’m not sure if this is wise for me to admit, but I’m starting to dance to it – – because it’s the only way I can remain sane (along with a glass of wine). I think… if I’m dancing to their cries+screams (after trying every way I know to solve the problem) then they’ll eventually calm down and dance with me! Better than getting angry, because… I’ve also been told that this stage will really “challenge your emotions as a parent”. I’m not saying I’ve never been angry or exposed my frustration to my little life learners but I try to remind myself that this is going to be a very very distant memory someday (sadly) and when I can look on the bright side and tune out the craziness, life is so much better!!!

:3.Strength + Confidence:

Strength >>”Oh, hey there! I’m really super strong (I think).”

Confidence >>”Hey! I’m incredibly confident, we should be BFFs.”

Ok, so I wasn’t there when this decision was made and handshakes were exchanged between these two valuable traits… traits that I’m proud my two year olds uphold, but need a little lesson on managing them as a unit.

At times my children (like most) believe they are invincible and indestructible, climbing anything, diving into and off of everything… I love watching my girls explore and really use their imagination but we have yet to learn about fear and danger. However, I do have one fairly cautious gal (Hannah) and one who takes the lead (in many cases) and attempts “the impossible!”. As stated above… one thing about having two is that they do “copy each other”. So, cautious Hannah will watch and observe the accomplished or failed feat of her brave sis, Lainy, and then make a decision based on the results. Sounds like a simple and smart move. Then, she just goes for it in her own invincible way… because why would she miss out on that opportunity?! Luckily, cool bandaids and kissing ‘owies’ have been a pretty good cure so far.

However, I’d like to have a word with our pals, Strength + Confidence and say… “first of all, thank you for befriending my children but can you please play well together, be patient with each other and don’t over do it?!” All I want is a little more balance in this area. HA! Toddler life doesn’t have much (if any) room for balance.

>>As we welcome fall, I reflect back onto this new stage we’ve entered and I’m in awe at how our babies have turned into walking talking (sometimes sassy) people, right before our eyes and ears, and in such a short time!

We lost a little more sleep in these past few months, we’ve been challenged with the (expected) language barrier, we’re working on maintaining our sanity through unpredictable emotions, we’ve started potty training (kinda-sorta) and watched our two monkeys tackle strength and confidence while learning how to climb in and out of their cribs and release themselves into the world with little warning. We learned that car rides longer than an hour can quickly increase our heart rate and make earmuffs very desirable, even in the summer (our 6+ hour road trip this summer was a joy 😜).

Numbers, words and new sentences fall out of their mouths like cracker crumbs along with very high pitched screams. Their little minds are constantly ON. I anticipate a fall and winter filled with even more energy, excitement and probably a little more whining (and wine), but I want to thank Summer for welcoming us into this crazy world of #toddlerlife…

~~~>(sending good vibes to all who will be cooped up with toddlers this winter). To all parents ready to enter this stage or already in this stage… hang in their, hold on tight and know that their is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Eventhough it’s hard to see at times, this is a fascinating period of growth and development.

Embrace it as much as you can… especially before the chains and gang signs come out!

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>>the best part about his stage (as crazy as it can be), we are making so many great memories!!<<

you can never take enough pictures!

 

.:20:. This Mom life. {I’m getting it}

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More experience, longer amounts of sleep, a little more patience, thicker skin and a lot of emotional exposure…

This Mom life – – I feel as though I can say I’m getting it!

…at least more than I could say last year and much more than I could before I became a mother.

I get that it’s hard, stressful + exhausting. I get that it’s perfect, wonderful + absolutely amazing. Whether you have one or ten kids, chaos + beauty have no limits, they can be hard to separate and will change in definition each day.

In the past couple years I can say that I’ve found myself inpatient, fearful, concerned, overwhelmed, weak, helpless, exhausted, protective, critical, defensive, offended, stressed out, defeated…

But mostly and overall I am grateful, proud, amazed, blessed, strong, incredibly thankful, and so very much in love.

You might wonder why I would even share my negatives… Thankfully, these negative moments are shallow and short lived and tend to be graciously followed up by a deep positive that remains constant. Admitting to all the negatives is a little uncomfortable and yes, we can control our feelings. But I don’t believe I’m alone on this and if anyone tells me that they’ve felt none of the above (as a parent or mom), then I would love to know where you get your magic potions, which planet you reside on and I assume you click your heels and twitch your nose.

I think it’s necessary that we (mom’s) shed a little light on the truth. It’s not easy. Nobody understands our job, our role, our day, our struggles, our feelings besides us. We can seek advice or help and find a quick fix, a moment of encouragement or feeling of confidence but what nobody will ever understand is what goes on in our minds and exactly how our hearts and souls feel. In all our moments of glory and every moment of loss, WE may not even understand. But what we do know is that eventhough we hold the same title as “mom”, our motherhood experiences differ vastly.

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…even when we don’t think we have the time.

Whether you stay at home or seek balance between work and life… we all need to think twice before we judge our fellow Moms who were “called” for this role, just like we were. It can be so easy to misinterpret what we see on the outside, and (at times) difficult to look past perfection or disaster. We are all doing what we were meant to do. We are being the best MOMs we can be in the best way we know how – faults and all.

So, at the end of the day, when the kids are in their cozy slumber and all is calm – I’m learning to take a deep breath and know that all the good, bad and ugly I encounter from compliment to judgement… is just part of the formula that makes me MOM and how I handle it is what makes me human.

 

This Mom life – – I love it! Yes, my hands are full but my heart is overflowing…

From one {grateful, proud, amazed, blessed, strong, thankful and so very much in love} mother to another.

>>>Happy Mother’s Day<<<

.:19:. This thing called “bond”.

 

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Alaina (left) + Hannah (right): 20 months

April 10th marks National Sibling Day (according to someone, somewhere). I like to jump on bandwagons sometimes and celebrate random things. But this to me, this isn’t as random as one might think. I truly think this is something to be celebrated. The blessing of a sibling is amazing. We are born adoring our family, defending, protecting, and looking up to them. We soon find our own identity, we make our own choices and at some point we branch out and form our own life and family. But we never forget where we began. We may have our differences, strong views and perspectives in life, we may even lose touch or drift apart, but something holds us together – a memory, a story, a person… weak or strong, we always have a BOND.

I may be a dreamer, as I imagine my girls will remain best friends for the rest of their lives, thinking about how they’ll make the news… “90 Year Old Twins, Still Best Friends” (as they giggle over tea and hold hands).  Of course, my husband and I will be 120 living in a glorious place probably learning about such news via SKYpe (get it?). ah ha, ok (and I will not be a retired comedian).


Since day 1, I have been fascinated with this world of twins.  How special it is to raise two at once.  Chaotic and challenging in it’s own right, but this unique bond is simply amazing. I really wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am always surprised, taken aback and even a little offended (but I get over that quickly) when I get those looks of “good luck” or “no thank you”, as if raising twins would be the most horrible thing ever. I’ll tell you, it is not. Watching them grow up together is really the best thing ever.

{the beginning}
I recently found myself reflecting back on day 1, when my girls came into this world together, well… 2 min apart.

After a shocking welcome, followed by gasping screams of “I’m here!!!” my babies’ fears seemed to subside when they were near each other. When I first held them together, it was beautiful… and when they made eye contact, as blurry and non-identafiable as I’m sure it was, I could see their heart rates increase on the monitors. As a first time mom, with preemies, and in the Special Care Nursery, I was actually scared “what was happening?”, but I quickly understood.

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Eyes locked. hearts raced. hands touched. tiny coos emited from the mouths of two. two babes. sisters. twin sisters.

As I stared at two sets of tiny everything, my mind raced with wonder.

Do they know…

they lie beside a tiny shoulder they will someday cry on, another set of feet they will run and dance with, another mouth to chat and giggle with, hands to hold and hug each other with?

what fun they will have exploring this world together?

how much they love each other?

how much they’ve changed our lives?

{and the rest of their life}
I cannot predict their future, but I can pray that they remain beside each other. I pray they find comfort on each other’s shoulders when that time is needed.  I hope they can keep up with each other and wait for one another…even when one wants to go fast and the other wants to slow down. I hope they can speak the truth and advise each other while holding back words of regret. I pray they can support each other as they sometimes “learn the hard way” and as they make those big life decisions (college, career, love, family). Through thick and thin, good and bad.  Sisters, siblings, what a wonderful bond.

Watching my two innocent sweet baby girls grow right before my eyes, is more than a blessing, it’s an honor to be their “mama”.  I am determined to guide them together, teach them to love each other and always have each other’s backs. Partners in crime (to be expected), both of my social gals are beautifully unique; outgoing, silly, wispy strawberry blonde (Alaina) and timid, serious, clever, brunette (Hannah). It is so awesome to watch them teach and learn from each other as they explore the world in their own way. They had one another before I even knew them and I pray this amazing and unique bond will only strengthen throughout the years.

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tummy time + learning to sit is pretty fun with a partner.

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“I wub sissy” is a favorite phrase.

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Now, at almost 2 years old, I watch my once preemie girls learn to comfort and defend each other. With caution and delight I witness their precarious wobbly run as they excitedly chase one another. I can’t help but belly laugh along with them as they roll around on the floor or dance their little hearts out – clapping, screaming and stomping their feet ~ I’ve never seen such passionate little dancers. Waking up to their chit chat/giggle sessions is simply wonderful. And the hugging… Well, it may result in a tackle on the floor but it’s all good intentions!


This thing called BOND… I think they’re getting it.

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::Happy National Sibling Day::

.:18:. Moving on.

{The Beginning . Fall 2007} we became first time home owners of a cute town home!

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pre-kids, we actually ate outside a lot, played some intense games of Yahtzee, enjoyed the lovely sounds of cars driving by as well as the millions of large bees that hung out in our only tree.

Easy downtown bus route for the hubby’s job, walking distance to park, farmers market, shops and restaurants. Just outside of downtown to feel busy and quiet at the same time. We had a heated garage (huge bonus in MN), and belonged to an association that kept our grass green and neat and our stairs shoveled (at 2am… shoveled nonetheless!).

While residents of our new town… we got married, bought a dog, had a couple jobs, took some awesome trips, met some wonderful people, had two kids and now we’re ready to proudly mow a lawn and tackle some snow with our own hands (I have a feeling I will not be as excited as that probably sounds)! We enjoyed the town fair, fireworks view from our front windows, meeting neighbors while walking our dog… or meeting their dogs (truth: funny how you end up knowing the dogs names vs. the neighbors names). I will really miss Sparky + Lulu – they were awesome neighbors.

::The (actual) Neighbors:: became comparable to the movie, “Neighbors”. The basis of the movie is ridiculous and very unreal, for the most part. However, certain scenes were uncomfortably real for us. Ok, comparing us to this movie is a bit of a stretch but their were more similarities than any normal person would care to accept. For many years we were calmly sandwiched in between a very nice man who kept to himself and a young couple who we rarely saw. Really, our entire development was full of yuppies, retirees, or road warriors who called their town home a 2nd place to live. As we were just getting used to life with two babies, our nice calm neighbors moved and we were blessed with a hip young guy and his lady friend. They introduced themselves along with their friends on the week they moved in and on a day they had to get to a concert and use our printer for the tickets.  We were like, “of course, yeah that’s totally cool, cause we’re totally cool and hip and oh yeah… I need to go breastfeed my screaming twin babies quickly, but please help yourself and no need to take your shoes off or leave your cigarette outside.  We’re super cool, so whatever.”. We actually did try to come off this way initially, while throwing looks of “what are we doing?” at each other. I think it was the dirt left behind or the cigarette smoke that lingered in the air or even the mesquitoes that made their way in, as the angst party crew sat in our doorway.  All of this got to us quickly and we knew we were in for some “real fun”. Fortunately, they were very nice. When we asked if they could please turn their music down, they would apologize and turn it down. When we complained too may times, we received a nice bottle of wine – who knew?! A final straw seemed to calm things down a bit… An attempt to politely (again) ask for them to “keep it down”, I almost walked into a contradicting house plastered with Miley Cyrus and her infamous wrecking ball on one wall, Our (blessed) Saviour on another wall, a billowing cloud of smoke and a naked dance party. A quick glance into the house made me turn around and just pray someone else says something. Luckily, I wasn’t the only neighbor who was annoyed.  We finally had some peace (for a little bit).

::Wednesday nights:: is beer pong night! Yep, of all nights. The middle of the week. Not a Friday, not a Saturday… a Wednesday! They would loudly congregate outside right when we had to get the girls to sleep (their front door and the girls’ bedroom window were just feet from each other). They amped up their base so the neighborhood would know where the cool kids were. I used to think our walls were thick and kept sound in very well (this was probably a selling point when we bought). That sound barrier was quickly broken and we very slowly got used to hearing the repetitive bounce of the ping pong ball, followed by loud cheers filled with laughter and cursing.  …you know, kind of like a lullaby. I say this because our nursery shared the closest wall. This was a huge source of frustration in our new parent life and then (when I knew their was really nothing I could do about it)… I dug really really (really) deep, to look on the bright side. The sounds became fairly similar to that of a heartbeat and faintly comparable to life in the womb (I assumed).  For my children… I ran with this positive spin.  For me and my husband, we didn’t sleep very well for the past year and we quickly became irritable on Wednesday nights/Thursday mornings when guests were leaving and shameful walks began… Needless to say, we were very anxious to move.  Funny, our girls were great sleepers through it all and they still are (should I thank the neighbor for this??).

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After months with our house on the market… something had to be done. This was that “something”. Probably not what sold our house, but this was our fridge the week we found our buyer!

::Showings:: are not easy with two kids and a dog but I didn’t know how hard it would really be to present my home as if I didn’t have two kids and a dog… on a moments notice.  Ok, we did get some notice. Just enough time to clean up and display our life as semi-perfect and neat (and I prayed they wouldn’t open up any cabinets or closets – ha). But it was exhausting and challenging trying to coordinate naps and meals around showings. Silly to think I could keep my house ultra clean with two toddlers –  I even had a very real nightmare that everything was perfect besides an open poopy diaper in the middle of the floor. It was comical wrangling my gang out the door while I wasn’t suitable to be seen in public (heaven forbid I remember my bra or matching socks), where was the time to get myself ready?? A calm sense of hope would quickly come over me, always thinking “this could be our buyer!”.  Until they opened up our cabinets or closets. I learned quickly that clutter can easily be misinterpruted as poor maintenance.  Well, thanks to some very persuasive fridge magnets the right buyer came along and not shortly after… we found our next home!

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these were just the first few boxes 🙂

::Packing up 7 years:: of our life is really bittersweet. So much nostalgia emerges, along with a lot of dust and junk. But I hold on so tightly to memories. I had moments of reminiscing where all my senses would awaken bringing me back to those moments… I could smell the rosemary bread (“bun”) in the oven as I thought about the night I told my hubby he was going to be a Dad, or I felt the warmth of layered cozy clothes when we lost our heat in the winter, I paused remembering the simple sounds of busy cars flying down our street or of our sweet new babies sleeping for the first time in our home (baby snorts and all sorts of unfamiliar new sounds), and I was overcome with emotion at various times re-envisioning my girls’ “firsts” in this house. Well, if you haven’t caught on, I’m a bit sentimental and probably reminisce about as much as a teenage girl tries to fix her hair… ha! Remember those days? Ugh my hair and that silly cowlick gave me so much unnecessary stress. Oh memories!! … ok, enough reminiscing. Where was I?…

…Packing up our life. Packing in general “sucks”, as my husband would say. I have to agree (for the most part). Packing is also a great opportunity to TRY to declutter. We started out really strong and just didn’t care in the end – we may have packed a couple boxes of garbage (I don’t remember).

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the girls found many uses for the boxes… they were especially great to color and climb on.

On top of the basic task of packing up a house, packing with children is like putting an open box of treats in front of a litter of puppies. Most boxes we shut were reopened and quickly unpacked as if the most amazing toy they’ve ever seen was hiding at the bottom. If they weren’t emptying, they were excited to help by filling boxes with anything they could find (ie. socks, crayons, food). I already know we’ll be excited to unpack once we arrive at our new home and I’m sure we’ll be surprised at some of the things we’ll find… thanks to our very helpful mini moving crew.

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I double checked, and no I did not pack either child. However, our boxes were labeled appropriately, just in case.

::Moving on:: is a thrilling experience. A shiny new home – we’ll be the first to step inside and say “this is ours” but oddly that isn’t what excites me the most…

A place to hide a garbage from my mini dumpster divers (yay for cabinets made for this), a driveway ready to welcome any chalk graffiti artists, a front view of a peaceful neighborhood – unlike the businesses and busy road that blocked us from a larger busy road, a lawn to mow… ok, more like – a lawn to plant on/build a snowman on/pitch a tent on/do some cartwheels on – you know, all the basic turf play that requires more than a 4’x2′ plot of grass. Another bonus that I’ve never had in my adult life… a basement with a lot of potential – first: to contain all the “stuff” we’ve collected over the years that has no place besides an actual basement. Lastly, just general space. Happy to have a place for guests (aka Grandmas) to comfortably sleep and shut a door for privacy… happy to spread out my girls’ toys so it doesn’t look like a daycare in the entire home… happy to finally feel home.

But really, I will miss the “home” we grew to love, where my hubby and I started our life together, where we regulary sat on the front patio in the summer to eat, listen to the busy city and play a little Yahtzee – kind of like we’ve been married for 50 years. but I’m so much more excited for the home we will make the most amazing memories in, as we watch our little ones grow!

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Saying goodbye to Golden Valley. The last day in our first home. March 2015.

{Life Continues . Spring 2015} Our first home, with a lawn and a basement – yippee!

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::Our New Home::

 

 

.:17:. Survival: A Child’s life.

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August 2013 ~ My girls at 1 Month

Where am I? Who are you? What are you saying? Why are you staring?

Why don’t you understand me?

I’m so frustrated!!!

These are the questions that I believe run through our children’s heads immediately after they depart from the cozy little world they called “home” for nearly 9 mo.  A peaceful, quiet, calming place where everything made sense. Leaving that behind for a cold, foreign world where the language is confusing, fingers and needles poke at them, disease and sickness lingers in the air they breathe, everything is too big and it’s impossible to tell anyone what they need or how they feel…

Can you imagine? This crosses my mind frequently, while the puzzled look on my face tries to explore the reasons for my children’s unpleasantries. I believe our children go through more than we’ll ever understand (because we were not built to remember the beginning of our life). Learning how to eat, sleep, move, speak, express – the basic necessities in life. They define survival. When we are swamped, our house is a mess and our children throw tantrums we think we have it rough… Something to consider – maybe they have it rough?!

>>TRY THIS<<

Sleep in a cage with just a sheet and wait for someone to take you out of that cage to change your pee filled diaper you slept in all night. When they come to “release you”, you find a way to smile and jump for joy because you love them! Then, you wait for that same person to figure out the complexities of your eating needs/habits and feed you food that you really hate or… you’re just not sure you like yet. You sit with sticky fingers and crusty hair in a drool drenched shirt as your mouth throbs (encouraging teeth to painfully pop out). Your tummy hurts and for some reason your bones do too (because you’re growing). You are overwhelmed by your environment, surrounded by walls and furniture that tower over you and stare silently, just waiting to pick a fight. Nobody speaks your language, but they frequently nod and smile as if they understand – – but they have NO IDEA.

Yet in this world you still manage to smile at silly faces, scream with excitement and joy when you learn something new, show your curiosity on a daily basis because you are determined to figure this place out, and you still manage to love the people that welcomed you into this very scary place…

Something us adults could learn from.  The world isn’t fair, it isn’t built for us, not many people really understand us, we crave love + attention and seek solitude.

>>TRY THIS<<

Wake up patiently for the day to welcome you, be happy to see those around you and smile at their silly faces, be grateful for the people who help you and put up with the things in your life you can’t control, embrace the change around you (even when it’s hard), learn from your mistakes and be glad that you did, and just like your children – be curious sponges on a daily basis and challenge yourself!

Yes, this is easier said than done but we all started out this way and we can really learn from the little ones we brought into the world… or did they bring us into the world?!