.: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 ūüôā

::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?!

 

 

.:16:. Parents “away” {first trip post-kids}

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As a new mom, my job description in life has really changed. My duties have been forever altered in order to manage the two subordinates I call my sweet little baby girls. They¬†have relied on me to not only give them life but¬†to give them me and all of me. ¬†I’ve learned that in order to do this, I’ve needed to find ways to keep myself sane. Mom’s NEED this. ¬†They need time with other women, they need actual alone time with their husbands, they need to sip on wine in peace and chug a coffee or two while indulging in some good-ole-fashion tv ;).

…and they NEED a vacation (so do Dads).

Our first trip as¬†parents and first time away from the girls came with mixed feelings. Besides the overwhelming task of detailing my children’s daily routine/mealtime, there was more weighing on my mind… 1. We didn’t even plan it, so until we boarded the plane I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming. ¬†I’ll explain later. 2. I’ve never been away from my girls for more than a few hours. ¬†So, I was excited but also nervous to pass onto someone else, two toddlers – who are bursting at the seams to welcome us all into the world of the¬†“terrible twos”. 3. My husband and I haven’t been alone and away together for a long time and I knew there would be a strange void without our girls but we really needed this. 4. We would be gone for just over a few days, and¬†they were in great hands. But, I had an odd guilt about it. I almost felt bad that I was so excited to get away! Then, on the flip side I felt sad that¬†they were missing out on this experience with us. I knew neither was true. If you can’t tell, I put way too much thought and emotion into most things in my life (ha).¬†Can I blame that on being a mom?! …and pretend I wasn’t like this before I was a mom?! In the end, I was able to succumb and officially turn my out-of-office to “away”. Ok, my office is home and (as stated above) my subordinates are my little girls. Let’s just say I found a way to let it all go. ¬†Sorry…for the song you’re most likely singing in your head right now.

Now, back to this vacation that we didn’t plan…

So, in the fall of 2013,¬†I found myself on a regular schedule alone with two new babies. This became a redundant, exhausting, repetitive schedule and I needed to find something to keep me from going too stir crazy with two little ones. The Today show became my outlet. Specifically the 4th Hour with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. As I chugged a coffee or two and indulged in good-ole-fashion TV, I found my sanity in the candor of these two women. I laughed at their crazy jokes,¬†I (mostly) related to the topics of discussion and instantly became a fan! Such a big fan that I decided to submit an entry as a “Fan of the Week” in January of 2014. ¬†Fast forward 4 months and I got a call that I¬†was chosen as a possible winner! I couldn’t believe it. ¬†I never win anything. I actually thought it was a joke at first. I even¬†asked that over the phone in a slightly annoyed voice. Who would do that?! Well, it wasn’t a joke and before I knew it I was on Skype, on National TV with my girls, winning¬†a free trip to Cancun from KLG and Hoda! I shared a cheesy poem I wrote (yada yada) and talked very fast through my nerves. It was a thrill!

see my poetry skills below.


 

Before the sun peeks out to greet,

I grab my little ones who are ready to eat.

Get out my yawns, stretching head to toe,

turn on the Today Show and let the coffee flow.

 

After diapers then comes bottles and the day begins.

The 4th Hour strikes and we are joined by our friends,

KLG and Hoda, sharing all the cool trends.

 

They sip on their wine and everything is fine

They laugh, they cry, and have such a good time.

I feel lucky to spend the morning this way

What an absolutely fabulous start to my day!

i love klg and hoda

Hannah on the left + Lainy on the right, one of the photos we submitted!

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Top: Just before we won… I had to quickly explain to Hannah and Lainy what was going on and that they needed to behave very well ;). Bottom: Just after we won and the girls were very well behaved!


http://sys06-public.nbcnews.com/today/klgandhoda/mom-twins-shares-poem-about-klg-hoda-2D79778628


 

Since then, we’ve been looking forward to this trip!¬†The past year¬†has been filled¬†with much less than enough sleep, (possibly) dangerous amounts of coffee, way too many diapers, spit up stains, bumps, bruises, drool and much more. It’s so nice that we could mix it up a bit and include some sand, sun, ocean, beachy elixirs, relaxation and time to just sit and do absolutely nothing (ahhh). I am incredibly grateful and flattered to have been chosen and have the chance to go¬†on a vacation that otherwise would have never happened!

While “away”, we were the typical parents concerned for our children as they most likely were having the time of their life with their aunt and uncle, cousins and grandmas. Yet, we still worried – are they going to be ok without us?, are they sad?, oh I bet they miss us! We called everyday and used FaceTime to see our girls (or their blurry little squirmy bodies).¬†Everything was fine but we were now unfamiliar with not caring and letting loose like we used to. However, we quickly turned that around and enjoyed every moment the best we could… parasailing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and thoroughly soaking up the sun. Our vitamin D intake had been depleted from our MN hibernation, and we were desperately in need of this¬†recharge!

Well, we sure did love the little break and I think every couple needs time away to reconnect and just breathe together – while sipping a mojito (my favorite) with feet in the sand and a sun setting over the ocean. Or, anywhere in the world that takes you out of the daily grind and back to just being you two.

~Feeling more than blessed~

.:15:. {daydreaming} A mama’s escape.

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“look what happens with a love like that, it lights up the whole sky.” -author unknown

{daydreaming} Let’s be honest, this is sometimes the only escape we get.

In this busy¬†life of chasing two toddlers and keeping myself from being too unkempt, I somehow have the time to daydream. ¬†It’s somewhere in the hours (or seconds) I have to myself while my girls play together, while they dance/laugh/and roll around on the floor together and of course while they are in their own little slumber. I daydream¬†about organized drawers, clean and folded clothes, continuously happy children (ha), continuously happy mama (as I interrupt this message with a sneeze), freshly polished nails, clean floors, dishes and so much more. So, in all reality, my daydreams consist of stuff I could probably deal with if I wasn’t daydreaming. But, that just wouldn’t be fair.

I haven’t had a good night of sleep since before I was pregnant. Since then, my lack of sleep has been filled with…

excitement and joy –¬†we’re having a baby!

anxiety –¬†we’re having two babies?!

fear –¬†if I sleep than I won’t hear the babies.

stress –¬†I have so much to do and no time to do it, and I must think about all of it instead of sleep.

exhaustion and confusion –¬†why in the world can’t I sleep by now??

Are you like me? ¬†Please say I’m not alone or completely out of it!

I see daydreaming as a break, even somewhat of an escape. Heck, at times I’m probably sleeping with my eyes open but it’s my moment: my 3 seconds of deep breathing, my 5 min of relaxation, my 10 min of envisioning normalcy, because it will come again someday. Right? Please tell me it will. Well, my positive outlook is that these daydreams will all add up to a wonderful night of sleep.¬†With lack of sleep comes lack of energy. However, I still have a version of the energy I had prior to kids, but it’s shifted a bit and I expend it much quicker than I ever had in the past. Unfortunately, I can’t replenish it as fast. Dancing, singing, dodging food, coloring with toddlers who have an appetite for crayons and dressing little ones who prefer tiny sock hats versus socks on their feet – all of that can really wipe me out.


However, I have discovered that these daydreams can backfire. It’s like that relaxing feeling you have during and just after a massage and then you realize you have two 20+ lb weights to carry for the rest of the day.

While in a recent daydream of some sort, I was watching my girls play with each other – peering in while I slowly gulped my black coffee in a groggy daze. They were actually playing, sharing and laughing! This was a first and I couldn’t believe what I was finally witnessing! ¬†These girls really love each other and to SEE this love was so incredibly amazing that it felt like a real dream. I even got a sneak peak of a unique combination of emotions…¬†Anger¬†from accidental hair pulling and eye poking, followed by sincere concern and forgiveness¬†(a pouty lip made an appearance), along with a¬†desire to help and assist while figuring out a puzzle together. I even saw a hug and a kiss on the head somewhere in there!

I snapped out of my stare and this sweet exchange between my two girls continued. I snuck away to finish the dishes and moments later, two screamers b-lined it to my legs begging to be held, almost “pantsing” me. Ok, they succeeded.¬†Is that a word? ¬†Pantsing: when you are unknowingly approached by someone (or more) and they pull your pants down. ¬†It has to be a word, because I think it happens to me daily. Maybe my pants need to be tighter or I need to switch to jumpsuits.

…and this is where the Motherhood of the Yanking Pant Hands begins. Sounds like it would make for a very popular movie ;).

Back to the story. So, I had just been “pantsed” (past tense of the verb Pantsing) by my two little drama queens who, not moments before, were playing very sweet roles in each others life – making for an¬†award winning¬†day dream. Talk about tag-team attack! When I turned to one, the other one yanked and when I unclenched one set of mini “yanking pant hands” the other set of hands took over and finished the job. ¬†Yep, they have very effectively learned how to “pants” their mother. Maybe if I would have screamed and flopped on the ground (like they do during diaper changes), I would have survived… but I think that would be very unmotherly of me.¬† I guess I have to learn to accept this process of needing to be held: First comes the¬†beg in their eyes, then a yanking and pulling on anything that is getting in the way of being held. ¬†And I, the one and only MAMA, must sacrifice her pants sometimes.

Note: This has yet to happen in public and when/if it does you will all be invited to the world premiere of the Motherhood of the Yanking Pant Hands.

-You’re Welcome.


So, daydream every now and then. Savor those little and (sometimes) short lived moments of silence, bliss, stillness and call it a mini vacation! And when that silence is broken and the stillness quickly turns to commotion, you’ll be glad you gave yourself that time to stop {daydream} and breathe…

.:14:. It’s a New Year {for PATIENCE}

 

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Tried to take a normal picture, then decided it was much easier to enjoy the moment.

As another year passes¬†by and a bright + shiny year begins, I’d be remiss not to reminisce… Not just on the year that flew by, but also the year before that and many of the years prior.

There is something so raw and welcoming about a new year. An untouched palette, a fresh start, beginning anew. The chance to try it again, make things better, challenge, motivate, encourage and accomplish. We can’t wait to fill our plates (that are most likely already full).¬†So, why am I looking back when a new year is about looking forward? Well, for me this new year is a stepping stone to the years ahead. It’s my way of responding to my past. We cannot forget or ignore the past but we can learn from it and improve upon it. I believe it’s so important to reflect on our history¬†in order to¬†continue growing. As I think about goals and “resolutions”, I laugh a little because I know (first hand) how easy they are to break and that it’s really just another year… This year is slightly different. I’m not changing anything too dramatically but I believe that what I want starting now, will uncover some beautifully dramatic results…

>>>PATIENCE<<<

2015 (and the years that follow) will be¬†filled with “enjoying the moment”, caring less about a clean house and more about quality time, less concerned about keeping up with life’s fast pace and more about being thoughtful and thorough, less about feeling rushed and more about accepting my own preparedness and saying “it’s ok”. ¬†It’s not that I wasn’t trying any of this before, but I just wasn’t doing it fully. I wasn’t PATIENT enough.

This will be a year of¬†new experiences, new discoveries, new words, and even new teeth… By the way, teething is an experience I never knew took so much patience! I knew it would be rough. ¬†It’s rough to see your children in pain, hear their screams and cries for mercy¬†as they wait for their pearly whites to slowly break through their delicate baby gums. ¬†Ok, now when I re-read that, I cringe and completely understand why we don’t remember this stage of our life… because nobody is that patient, especially a child who lacks the vocabulary and comprehension to tell you what’s wrong or understand when you say “it will all be ok…it will pass…you’ll be just fine my sweet little peanut”. ¬†They hear gibberish and feel an excruciating pain¬†that only time can fix.

This year is the start of so much for our family… the beginning of that dreaded thing called¬†potty training (times two), learning to share and care, all sorts of growing pains, and probably interesting surprises I just can’t fathom at this moment ;). I hope that 2015 will welcome me and my family to¬†a place we can finally call “home”, where we can settle into a new life, new neighborhood, new house with a real basement and an actual yard (ok, I’m getting greedy now). I’m not naive¬†to¬†the fact that the year ahead is going to be hard – just like the past year was and¬†like next year will most likely be – it’s a sort of “hard” that I have yet to experience because every stage of parenting brings new challenges that nobody is really ever prepared for, even if you’ve had kids before. ¬†Every child¬†comes with very different instructions that require a unique set of skills in order to navigate, understand and develop. ¬†Now, when I say that the year will be “hard”, I’d like to stay away from it’s negative conotation. ¬†Of course it will be hard – – it’s parenting!¬†However, I am determined to accept it and work through all of the craziness with strength, creativity, determination, a lot of humor and most importantly… PATIENCE.

I’ve discovered something about myself throughout the years. Well, I’m IMPATIENT. ¬†I’m sure many can relate and those of you that cannot… I am assuming you are made of gold, your heart beats to the tune of Amazing Grace, and your feathers have never been ruffled because they are absolutely perfect.

To be fair – I’ve met some very patient people that have inspired me. ¬†BUT, we¬†can all use an extra dose or two of this highly necessary virtue called PATIENCE. ¬†Hey, I’d love a RX but it’s not that easy. This is a virtue I’ve been seeking to attain since I can remember.¬†Maybe it was when I was 8 and I secretly (shh don’t tell) found all my Christmas presents before they were¬†wrapped, or when I was 17 and took my parent’s van out for a drive when I shouldn’t have and ended up with a nice dent, or when I was¬†20 and I lost my patience with a friend whom I believe did me wrong, or especially when I was ONLY¬†27 and began to¬†question¬†why I wasn’t a mother yet, and then of course a couple years later (29) when I found out I was going to be a mother of twin girls and pregnancy felt like a never ending story of aches, pains, fat feet and unflattering clothes!! ¬†We all carry a lack of patience in some shape or form. ¬†As a mother I’m noticing how important patience is to my itty bitty learners who stumble, fumble, destroy, break, and love so hard it hurts. ¬†My actions, my reactions, and my love for my children and those around me are examples I am setting for this tiny fraction of the next generation I am raising.

PATIENCE isn’t just a resolution or a goal, it’s a must needed change for all and it will be my main focus, right along side my innocent little angels who need me to be PATIENT more than I’ll ever know.

 

“Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.” ~ Neil Postman

.:13:. {quickly} rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

This is our first Christmas with two little ones that can run, scream, grab, yank, kick, pull and probably anything else someone with a black belt can do. Toddlers + a Christmas tree do not mesh well. ¬†Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. So, we decorated our tree very quickly and caged it up.

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Hannah (left), Alaina (right), Vulnerable Christmas tree (caged)

The entire process took an hour and it included a lot of “no no no”, crying, screaming,¬†falling, tree grabbing, ornament breaking, a lot of coffee drinking by me+the hubby, not the babes – at least I don’t think they had any… or did they? ¬†That would explain everything! …or they’re just toddlers. So, going back to the hour that it took. ¬†I must be clear, this was record time for us. ¬†Much longer and we would have a very unhappy tree, prostrate on the ground and the screaming decibels from our tiny shriekers would most likely increase tenfold.

We actually went back and forth between getting a tree or not.  Is is really worth it?  Will they even care? How are we even suppose to decorate with them running around? Where do we put it in our small home with a toy invasion problem? Well, as you can see we opted for the addition of a tree amongst the toys (toys not pictured as they are perfectly scattered just outside of the perimeter of the photo to your left).

With our coffee buzz and overtired brains, we thought – why not capture this “decorate with toddlers” experience somehow?! ¬†A time lapse of us doing just that¬†turned out to be pretty funny and honestly, exactly how it felt. ¬†Rushed, busy and kind of crazy ~ Not just our life, but I’m sure how most people feel around the holidays. We are always rushing, greedy, needy, stressed out, thinking about what we want and where to buy that perfect gift, waiting impatiently in lines for “the best deals of the year”, and sometimes forgetting¬†the meaning of Christmas.

Well, in the hustle and bustle of the season and the event that took place between our kitchen and our living room, we managed to enjoy. And I am happy to report that our tiny vulnerable tree (free from small fierce hands) is nicely snuggled in the middle of gifts and protected by our play yard. >>This is what these¬†circular gates are for!!<< So far so good. ¬†We've had it up for almost a week now and it remains intact, with very minimal needles on the ground, happy as a fir tree can be. ¬†I retract my statement/question from above… "Will they even care?". ¬†I've decided that our girls do care. ¬†They see the tree lit in the dark at night and every morning and still act as if they've seen it for the first time. Big eyed girls, in awe, so giggly and happy to be in it's presence. Sounds like my two tots probably grasp the meaning of Christmas more than most of us.

From our family to yours, Enjoy!

 

 

.:12:. caught in the storm.

calm

High, screeching winds. Hard and heavy hail. Unforgiving rain, changing direction every 30 seconds. Uncovered, unprotected, undeserving but the most necessary place to be.

This is how I describe my day with two snotty nosed babes, overflowing with tears and cries to be held, lack of sleep and hungry yet demanding nothing but to be cuddled.

I found myself in the middle of our house, on the floor in the midst of a storm made up of toys/clothes/food/kleenex, trying to tame two wild animals that really needed me but only fought over me. Clawing and climbing me, as if it were a competition to reach the top of Everest. My back aching, stomach muscles clenched while holding my two unhinged maniacs, trying my hardest to stay calm and relaxed (ha). My face in the line of fire – tiny hands poking at me like sharp tree limbs, slimy little faces rubbing against mine, thrashing elbows and headbutts. Contemplating a forfeit by laying down, hiding under a blanket and letting them go at it. A million serious questions and concerns running through my head, like “where are my ear muffs? why didn’t I put my hair up? how do I calm them down? how do I get up?…”

They look at me with desperate eyes and pouty lips, certain that I am the cure. Waiting for some sort of magic pixie dust (that only moms have), to make it all better.

For us, on this day it’s just the common cold (really, nothing more). I can’t imagine worse and my heart is heavy¬†for those¬†who are dealing with so much more that include hospital visits, bills above their heads, uncertain of the next day. From a minor scratch to long term illness, we do everything we can to be the cure for our little ones.¬†Unknown to the outcome, we do our best to stay strong. We battle the storm with bravery, sprinkle our pixie dust, hug and kiss their discomfort and pain away until we are fresh out of x’s and o’s (which we never are).

xoxo…