Monday, November 25, 2013

Screenshot Shenanigans

This made me giggle.

Thanks, iPhoto.

Evelyn Rae is two, Liam is nine months old

...and holy goodness, this week is Thanksgiving. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

It's Tradition

I guess, since I have done it for two years now, it's tradition.

Yup, just like last year - I made my kiddos some daytime Halloween outfits that will be used again on Thanksgiving.

I made Evelyn's skirt using this tutorial and this tutorial.

I wanted to make a skirt both ways, and figured, let's just combine 'em.

I made Liam's overalls using this tutorial and pattern. (The pattern is generously sized for my skinny baby and was perfect for length, especially if you plan on cuffing the pants to show the lining.)

I opted for a pocket instead of the button placket to decorate his overalls, and since the tutorial and pattern calls for *almost* a full lining, I went ahead and did a full one.

So now, they are REVERSIBLE.

I mean, why not?

If you're already making them it's like two more steps.

I promise. Not that hard.

{"Evelyn! Hug your brother!"}


{This may be my very favorite photo, ever.}


 {Ok, maybe this one's better.}

Evelyn Rae is two years old, Liam is nine months old

...and we continued the baby in a pumpkin tradition too.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nine Months

My little man,

Here you are at nine months old. Why does 9 months always seem like such a big deal to me? Is it the clothing size change? (…though you have been in 9 month clothes for a while now…) or is it just because you have been with us for 3/4 of a year? I don't know. But so it seemed with your sister, and so it seems with you.

You have had an event filled and traveling month, my son. We kicked it off with your very first mountains trip. Hooray! Last year you were just a kicking little ball in my belly while we learned that your friend Levi (whose name had yet to be revealed) was going to be a boy! I remember standing there and thinking maybe you would be too, but either way you would be playing together this year. And this year, there you both were, in all your little boy glory.

Being the sweet, but adventurous, boys that you are - we all found some good usage in the playpen that I made your Daddy tote along for the front porch. Your sister even got in on some of the jailing action. While we were there, Momma's suspicions were confirmed and we found out for sure that you are going to be a cousin! Baby Clark will be making their arrival sometime this Spring and I am just so stinking excited for all of you to be friends and cousins. It certainly makes it all the more bittersweet to know that we may not be able to make it on this little trip next year - but I know that someday we will be back. A long weekend with the best of friends and no technology, it really is fantastic.

We also took a trip up to Richmond to hit up the pumpkin patch with your Aunt Haley and Uncle Justin this month. You had fun and did pretty well with all the travel considering your most major milestone this month - all the teething.

Teeth, teeth and more teeth. Ok, well not so many actual teeth, but you are certainly working on them. Drool, drool, drool, for sure. And lots of misery and restless nights and Momma snuggles. You continue to be my snuggliest of babies, continually wanting to be with your Momma.

Which is, you know, fine by me.

Your new-ish interest in books has continued to develop, which I continue to love and adore. You really love all the animal books specifically. This puppy book is certainly a favorite.

And, it, you know, manages to keep you in one place on occasion, so we have it on hand quite readily.

 Your new teeth have not diminished your appetite in the slightest, which continues to amaze and bamboozle me. Considering that your sister is going through a particularly picky phase at the moment, you occasionally eat more than she does in one sitting. She is a peanut and sometimes I fear that you will turn into a veritable tower of a child.

Breastfeeding is still going strong, very strong…through all of your appetite changes. It is most certainly your favorite comfort activity with all this teething business and still your preferred way to nod off. Since it helps you sleep and Momma is oh so tired, we just keep right on with your demands. Someday - please, please - you will learn to sleep without, but for now I love the peaceful moments it brings to both of us.

You had your very first Halloween this month as well, and made an oh so adorable little punkin'. Your sister had an array of costume choices and changes - for a school party and trick or treating and ballet, because, heaven forbid, we reuse the same costume! - but you just worked it out as a little pumpkin for Halloween night. You did great watching all the other kids and riding in the Mazzio's trusty wagon for a bit of the festivities.

We also snapped your requisite "Baby in a Pumpkin" photo, which I am sure will hang somewhere on a wall at some point alongside your sister's.

You are moving and grooving, little man. Still cruising and pushing and pulling and crawling all the live long day. Your sister doesn't know quite what to do with herself now that you can, you know, get to her and her things whenever you want. I have tried to reassure her, but since is only the very beginning of an epic battle to wage over the next well, many years…Er, I mean, the beginning of a beautiful friendship and sibling hood between you two, there's not much I can say except to try to prepare her for the eventual happenings.

She does mostly think it makes for a better playmate though.

And besides all the gray hairs you are currently giving me with your fearlessness, I agree. 

You have stolen our hearts and souls my little blue eyed man.

I love you so.

All my heart,


Evelyn Rae is two, Liam is nine months old

…and what am I supposed to do with this adventurous kid when it gets seriously cold outside? Yikes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Punkin' Pickin'

The weekend before Halloween, we headed up to Richmond for a family weekend of Monticello and Pumpkin picking at the Ashbury Berry Farm, just like last year. They have an "all you can carry" policy, so Daddy started flexing his muscles bright and early.

And, just like last year, we measured up...

...and visited the fish pond..

 ...before jumping on our hayride out to the patch.

These kiddos had so much fun, Evelyn especially had a blast pointing and scouting at each and every pumpkin and then declaring it "beautiful" or "icky."

We came pretty late in the season, so the pumpkins were a bit more picked over than last year, but we still found some keepers.

And again, just like last year, Mommy got a leeeeeetle ambitious about how many pumpkins Daddy could carry.

But, he managed to carry them all the requisite three steps - and we had ourselves a haul!

After some fantastic homemade donuts, Evelyn declared it was time to go, and she showed Daddy just how easy it was to carry those pumpkins.

Well, she tried.

Evelyn Rae is two years old, Liam is nine months old

...and this post had a lot of pictures. I know.

{You're welcome grandparents!}

A Terribly Beautiful Night

Last night was a terrible night.

The kids were both congested all weekend, and by the time grown up bedtime rolled around they had each woken up once from coughing and snotty noses, and were generally whimpering and pathetic little beings.

That baby cry that lets you know they are still just so tired, but uncomfortable and 'Why? Why can't you make it stop, Mommy? I am just so sleepy and sad.'

I am a total pushover when it comes to sick babies. I can't stand being sick myself {and am generally pathetic when I am}, so something about my babies being sick just makes me want to coddle and snuggle them. My patience levels somehow always expand to fill me to the brim, and every time I wish I had the energy to sustain that kind of patience all the damn time.

So last night, by 12:30, I had a coughing, generally not feeling very well, so sad she couldn't sleep, two year old in my bed with me. I don't know who could have said, no to that sweet little flushed face as she reached out of her bed with a soft cry and a "I go to Mommy's room?" But it certainly was not me.

And as I laid there, cuddling that startlingly long little body (didn't she fit into the crook of my arm just yesterday?), of this fiercely independent child who has never been a huge fan of snuggles, with my chin resting on those slightly sleep dampened curls - my heart began to flutter.

She reached out to put her hand on top of the arm I had around her, with just enough grip to let me know she wanted me to stay, but just relaxed enough to convey the trust that she knew I wouldn't move a muscle. And then, she drifted off to sleep.

And my heart kept fluttering.

I now knew that it was one of those moments, I knew. A crystal clear one that strikes right into your soul and stays there.

It was a familiar sort of feeling, that fluttering, but different. Somehow, complimentary.

Yes, that was the word, I thought, as I drifted off to sleep, complimentary. Then I drifted still further, and I had a strikingly clear vision of a lock and key.

For many years, I knew, I was the key. I was the key in my own relationship with my mother. I would have never described it that way when I was the key, of course. I knew that we had a complimentary love for one another. That we were pieces of a puzzle - as all mothers and children know.

You don't know, or care how or why, it

But now, now I have a key of my own. Two keys, in fact. Two little winged keys flying around my heart.

Because these little souls that call me their mother - they unlock an appreciation and awareness of the entirety of that relationship - the absolute wholeness of the love between a mother and her child.

Those two little keys of mine, they keep flitting about, unlocking little crevices of my heart and soul that I didn't even know existed.

There in their lowest of moments - the sick baby needing a snuggle, in their most normal and mundane of moments - the little boy who locks his legs in just the right way around my hips as I pick him up because he knows his spot, and in their most exhilarating, giggle filled highs of moments - their need for me finds these little nooks and crannies of reserve love. They click and pop those little gates open and those reserves rush out to fill my heart with as much love as it can hold. More, even.

And it never stops.

All that undiscovered territory, yet to open.
All that love, still to give.
All this heart, ready to burst.

All because of a little cough and bedtime snuggle.

Last night was a terrible night, but a beautiful one too.

Evelyn Rae is two years old, Liam is nine months old

...and this journey of motherhood is a strange one indeed.

*I wrote this post a few days ago, but it didn't publish for some reason. Strangely enough last night was the first night in a very long while that Liam slept through the night.*

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Conversations with Evelyn

This morning, I loaded the kiddos in the car, barefooted and still in jammies - to go get some "donduts". Evelyn has asked for a donut every morning for over a week - and well, I love me some donuts so it was time to cave. The man making my coffee was dressed as a penguin and a certain two year old exclaimed "Yay! Donduts!" Throughout the whole procedure.

Scene: Upon arriving home:

Evelyn: "Donduts are here! I'm so excited!!"

Me: "Mommy is pretty excited too - but we have to eat breakfast first and then we can have a donut, ok?"

Evelyn: "Okaaaaaay Mom!"

Takes a bite of sandwich...

"Mmmm. Delicious!"

Eyes donut as she chews and whispers...

"I'll see you soon, dondut."

Evelyn Rae is two, Liam is almost nine months old

...and Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eight Months

Sweet Baby Boy,

What a month you have had, my little man. You are growing and changing by leaps and bounds, seemingly each and every day. I think that your observant little self takes in much, much more than I was giving you credit for - a few of our grown up friends have been saying that you seem like an 'old soul' ever since you were born, and I cannot agree more. As fun loving and happy a baby as you are, you just seem to know so much more than you are letting on right now.

I fear that I won't be able to keep you in this chair much longer for these monthly photos, but we will get to that. This month you have had a bunch of firsts. The biggest one hanging over us for the last few weeks has been your very first cold. You can thank your sister for bringing home some preschool germs that hit her, you and Mommy all pretty hard.

You have come through it like a champion, with the aid of many, many Mommy snuggles and cuddles - which has pretty much meant we got nothing else done for a while. These Mommy snuggles were usually following your new trick, a little sound you liek to make that sounds suspiciously like "Mama." Well, it really sounds like, "Mamamamamamamamama." Daddy and I are pretty tough on the word front, so we're not calling it your first word just yet - but you sure seem to say it when you are sad and looking at me with the most pitiful eyes, wanting me to snuggle you.

I think you are working on those top two teeth right now, as though your sickiness has passed - you have seemed a little extra fussy the last few days, and again, the hands are constantly in your mouth. You exhibit the signs and symptoms well before a tooth cuts though, if your first two were any indication, so we will just hope these come a teensy bit faster.

You are eating I can hardly believe it. I honestly thought that boys were supposed to wait until they were teenagers before they began eating you out of house and home, but if your appetite now is any indication....we are in trouble. You eat *at least* a one egg spinach omelette (sometimes two), some sort of fruit, a waffle or toast, some snacky baby food item while your eggs are cooking, and usually anything else I can scrounge up from dinner the night before when you are STILL hungry after all the rest of that.

You have started showing a whole lot more interest in books this month, which warms this book ner Momma's heart. To be fair, you haven't really had a chance, as your sister is very very very concerned that every time you pick up a book you will rip it or wreck it. "No, no, no baby! Too little!" she can often be heard yelling. Daddy and I have been more stern lately making sure that she knows the books in your room are just fine for you to play with, and lo and behold, you do!

Your absolute favorite bedtime book this month has been your two Little Blue Truck books, which are admittedly, adorable. I think you like hearing Momma make all of the crazy animal, truck, car and city sounds.

And now in movement news. You are scaring me, my dear moving and shaking son. You are just! You are leaps and bounds ahead of where your sister was at eight months, and truth be told, I think it is because you want to keep up with her so badly.

You are officially cruising the furniture, and within a day of figuring that out, you were reaching out to cross over to different pieces of furniture. So, you now cruise from the ottoman to the couch, to the bouncer, to the arm chair and back again. And you look so darn proud of yourself. I can hardly believe it when I watch you do these things and look at me like, "Oh yeah, I do this now."

Along with all this movement though, have come a few really, really hard falls. You go all out, my boy, that is for sure. Your Dad and I like to theorize that because everyone else around you is walking, you just forget that you can't quite do it yet and continue cruising past the end of the furniture sometimes - can't walk, so then you fall. And man, do you fall. You never did like sitting a whole lot, and so you do not do the toddler fall into a sit, thing. Nope, you completely trust fall yourself over. Your poor little head. Your Daddy and I try to catch you, but we have been just short a few times and whew. Those tumbles are real ones.

But, you keep trying. And just recently, as you can see in these photos, you have started pushing things and walking behind them. Like, in the last few days. Let's just slow it down a little bit, m'kay? Mommy can't handle all this business. You just started doing a legitimate crawl all the time! Let's take it one stpe at a time.

But, I am beginning to wonder if this just isn't going to be your personality. Running headlong into what you want, with just enough passion and perseverance to get you through...usually. But, the good news is, when it isn't quite enough - you are never too far behind with another try. You are definitely a "get back on the horse" kind of kid, so far, and should that continue I think you may be the cause of more than a few more gray hairs on your Momma's head.

I love you and that flirty faced mischief making smirk you give me more than I could ever describe. And, as your shirt says, you are indeed "Seriously Handsome." I think I'm in trouble.

All my love,


Evelyn Rae is two years old, Liam is eight months old

...and this post is brought to you by a super long day, two rainy drizzly forecasts and almost no natural light for these photos. With the windows open. At noon. Gah. Summer, come back!