Toddlers, Babies & Parents say funny things

Much of the day of mommyhood is processing and responding to funny, sweet, and weird phrases, conversations and requests from Henry and Owen. So many of these parenting gems have been lost to the abyss of noise that is forever constant from sunrise to sunset, but every now and then, I have enough mental clarity to recall from my working memories those little sillies and jot them down for posterity. And then add to this an assortment of the many socially acceptable behaviors we try to encourage and discourage the boys from doing in an attempt to socialize them to the cultural norms they are a part of.

From the parents:

No, you can’t lick your brother

Don’t touch your butthole or you will get pink eye

Eating a cake pop off the floor of Starbucks is yucky

Did you pee pee on the couch? Where should we go to the bathroom?

Buster doesn’t want you to ride on him

From the babies & toddlers:

Let’s play pretend tiger. What is that? It is when I roar at you and then you scream and then say wait you are just pretend.

Baby in thereas Owen points to my boob

I have an idea, how about I eat my dinner and then we go to CVS for a new toy?

Can we play hide the ball? I will hide it first….okay ready Owen runs over to the hidden spot and points to where the ball is. No, Owen stop it, be more fun.

Ce Ce Ja Ja? Puppy Ja Ja? Santa Pajamas or Puppy Pajamas what Owen wants to wear all day everyday.

Can we just do dinner and a show? Trying to have dinner small talk and Henry would prefer to do otherwise. Ha Ha nice try kid!

Hands mommy Hands! Any time we ride in the car, Owen gets his shoes off and slides his socks onto his hands. His proudest moment.

Owen Edward: 18 months

One year and 6 months ago, Owen arrived on the scene! In the last 3 months, he has transformed from a baby into a little boy: thinning out, getting taller, running around with the fastest of feet, babbling and talking, pointing and making his presence known from the moment wakes up until he heads to sleep. He is really quite silly and smart and it has been so much fun watching him grow into his unique self. Despite crowding his bed and room with stuffed animals, he prefers to sleep at night with a small rubbery bouncy ball. He holds the ball in his hand and tucks it under his arm while he sleeps only to wake up in the morning to bang it on his crib rail when he is ready to start his day! Sometimes we hear him throw it across the room and immediately regret his decision. No matter how many nights we follow the same sleep routine, he always seems surprised and saddened that in fact it is bed time. He will play during stories and “ignore” the inevitable, and he will fuss during songs, and when it is time to transfer into his bed he clings to his carrier and begs for it not to be so! He enjoys twinkle twinkle litter star before bed followed by the I love you song from Barney and he loves to give us kisses on our lips at the part of the song, “With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you…” And my heart just about explodes every time! He is great with chores and loves to clean up the dog bowls and throw ANYTHING in the garbage. He laughs non-stop and loves to run around at top speed after Henry. He is terrible at hide and seek always giving up his position by running out smiling or walking over to me or David and pointing at us when Henry is searching, but I cannot get enough of this phase of life with  Owen. He has some phrases now like when David dropped his apple on the floor and he said, “Dadda apple uh oh.” He mimics everything he sees and hears. If you are talking about something in the car and you think for a second he is not listening, if you look  back at him through the mirror you can see him touching his head or feet if the conversation was referencing these body parts. Dogs are his obsession. If you want to get his attention you need to show him a dog, talk to him about Buster and Bella, or read a book about dogs. While he prefers to dip all of his food in every condiment possible, he is generally a good eater and will at least try everything we offer him for dinner including olives, fish, and random vegetables. The funniest thing of all is that he still prefers momma most of all and I can almost hear him saying “not the momma,” when anyone else tries to hold him. No matter what this little peanut is all ours and all cuteness and finally sleeping like a pro through the night with an awesome nap in the afternoons too! So while he might have been a “tough” baby, he is a killer awesome toddler and I want him to stay forever 18 months old!





Better than expected

Some days Owen really surprises me. Today took the cake. This little guy can be so independent and fiercely so. I have heard mamas say that the way their babies entered the world was indicative of the kiddos’ personality and that is so true about baby Owen! Owen was born fast, without hesitation, daringly missed arriving in the parking lot. He is our courageous and fearless one. He is always ready to try something new and death-defying that keeps his momma’s heart racing.  But today he was calm, quiet, and cozy. He “knew” that something was going on and about to happen. When we arrived at the hospital, I worried about containing my free spirit during the pre-op stuff that would inevitably take forever. Owen sat with David and me, played with a single toy, and laughed gleefully as we blew him bubbles. He snuggled hard and always wanted to be touching. He waved to every nurse and bashfully hid his face in my shoulder. It was sweet and simple and it made the whole experience so hard at the same time. He had no idea what was going to happen today! While getting tubes put in is a “routine” procedure, it still felt so scary as his momma. I just wanted to stay with him through the whole thing. When it was time, he gave his daddy a kiss and while David walked into the waiting room, I carried Owen to the OR.

The room was big and bright. It was our first time ever in an OR. Everyone in there was so friendly and warm. We sat in a chair together and they pulled out a farm animal book. It warmed my heart because Owen loves animals so much. He watched and listened to the story and they placed the mask over his face and despite the warning from the doctors that he will fuss, wiggle away, and potentially scream, he just sat there listening to his book. He fell asleep and they took him from my arms and I kissed his little cheek while he laid on a huge bed. It was the longest walk out of that OR. Some many days I have complained that my arms were tired from motherhood. My arms were heavy and sore from it all, but that walk my arms felt empty, and that emptiness was devastating. 

Ten minutes is not a long time at all. I sit captivated for twelve 10 minute segments of the Bachelor weekly, but those 10 minutes of waiting were long and quiet and while we sat there I felt my breath catch. The doctor came out soon and I stood up and said to David, “it’s time to go.” But the doctor held up his hand and said, “just a minute.” For a millisecond, my heart sank and I panicked! What, what, what!!! He methodically explained that he had to go back to his office and would not take us to recovery and that Owen was fine, we could see him shortly, and that the poor baby had a “tremendous amount of fluid in his ears” and much needed the procedure. We shook hands and I shook off those little fears. Finally a few minutes later, we were brought into recovery by the anesthesiologist. He explained that while many kids wake up upset, crying, and clawing at their cribs to get out, Owen (our wild man) was just sitting up looking at puppy pictures with the nurse. Seeing him there with groggy eyes was the best moment. He reached out to me, I grabbed him, and my arms knew that familiar weight again, my nose took in his smell, my cheek felt his bristly hair, and I snuggled my baby long and hard. He drank some of his juice and fell asleep until we got home.

He is a little wobbly right now at home and napping hard this afternoon, but we are home and it went much better than expected. And we saw some yellow butterflies in our yard and if you know me, you know I take that as a sign of my nanny. 

Summer vacation 

Every summer my to-do list gets in the way. I end up racing around doing errands, home projects, and school prep and before I blink it is time for back-to-school. I am making a promise though to myself to not let that happen this year. The boys will only be this small for a short while and our short summer together should be filled with time together adventuring and exploring.  Those window frames can wait to be painted, it is okay if my garden is not meticulously tended to, and no one will judge me if all my dishes are not cleaned up after mealtime.  The hardest part of this plan is going to be sticking to it, reminding myself to take a breath and let it be, and to savor the these fleeting moments. He boys won’t remember their mommy cleaning up st this point but they will remember the sand, waves, and cuddles. So just going to do that this summer! 

fresh ink

Okay, I did something crazy yesterday. But when I say that, I don’t want you to think it was unplanned or rash. What made it crazy wasn’t the idea but rather the follow through.  While driving home from work, I pulled off the road I drive on everyday and walked into a tattoo parlor and got inked. WHAT!?  This past month has been emotional. I have written about it and shared some of the emotions that have gone into these past 30 days and many of these feelings feel “accepted” now. Have you ever felt like you walked 1,000 miles in a moment? That was this past month. There was a lot that happened, a lot that changed, a lot that was projected on to the future, a lot that was processed, a lot of transitions, a lot of living, a lot of growing, a lot of discomfort, a lot of frustration, a lot of tears, and finally it feels like some acceptance.

Almost a month ago exactly, David went in for the “snip.” Almost a year ago exactly, I was 100% on board with that decision. Having just had a natural childbirth, I swore on every holy text that I never wanted to feel the uncomfortableness of childbirth again and that our family was truly complete with the arrival of our second baby boy. Of course, those immediate postpartum feelings subsided. The “nope never again will I feel those contractions” conviction wanes as your once helpless little baby starts walking around, babbling, and becoming independent. Maybe this isn’t the sentiment of everyone, but for me that one year mark is the beginning of the return of “baby hunger.” Every inch of my heart starts to ache for a baby. And as both the one year mark and the date of David’s procedure approached and intertwined within 24hrs of each other, my emotional state became uneasy with the reality that our baby making days were over and that my baby was growing up faster than I was ready for. The next 30 days were and still are a period of letting go. Yesterday, while scrolling my Instagram a friend shared this quote and it resonated deeply, “Life is a gentle teacher. She will keep repeating the lesson until we learn. Help me remember that frustration and confusion usually precede growth. It my situation is challenging me, it is because I am learning something new. Rising to a high level of understanding. Help me be grateful, even in my frustration, that life is an exciting progression of lessons.” When I read this, it might seem silly but I found some much needed peace in these words. Everyone always says that life throws you curveballs and to be able to roll with the waves of time. But this is a lot easier said than done. When one has a particular “set” look for the future and that doesn’t end up being the reality, it is hard to grow into. At least, I found this really hard. I railed against the idea of not adding a daughter to our tribe, I did not know how to grieve the end of that dream and struggled to find comfort with David because in the moment he felt like the cause of my pain by going through with the procedure even though we had both always known that two kiddos felt “right” for our family. My questions kept me up at night, What if two was not the “right” number? What happens in five years from now when we wake up and realize we want one more baby but can longer even try? The finality of it all was very challenging to process.

I do not know how to explain it but some of the rawness wore off in the days following the initial feelings of shock, confusion, frustration, and sadness. David did the best he could to be a source of comfort, he demonstrated in a number of ways his love and commitment to me and to our family and in those moments with him at home and with our little boys, gratitude and appreciation for what I have bloomed bigger than the darker, superficial feelings of dissatisfaction, unfulfillment, and resentment. What exactly was I bemoaning? What exactly did I feel like I would be missing out on?  When toddler cries out about being denied something be it licking a light bulb or being laid in a crib a common acronym shared among mommies is FOMO, fear of missing out. What was my FOMO? Yes, I will miss out on mother-daughter things, but I have to remember that nothing about parenting or motherhood has been what I expected or anticipated. My two boys have surprised me since the moment they joined our family earthside and that the realness of motherhood is not linear, it is not predictable, it is not gendered, it just is what it is. It is just giving love to the boys, sharing experiences with them, caring for them, and growing with them in life and if that is the perspective that I start each morning with there is nothing I will miss out on unless I throw up my own walls and dig myself into my own corner.

It feels so  much better emotionally to let go and not just because it was the inevitable next step but to let go because it was a choice I made with myself to be grateful, present, and balanced. A choice to look around not with expectation for how I think the future will unfurl raising two boys and being married to David but to look around for the possibilities within our day, for adventures, and surprises and to not box any of us in. I don’t want to be boxed in by the narrative I wrote for myself when I was younger which I know no longer applies to who I am or what I want nor should I box in my spouse or kiddos because there is no fun in that. So why did I get inked?

Because life is about experiences and for a long long long time I have talked about getting a tattoo, drawn on my skin various designs but always backed out of them. Things that seem SO permanent are SCARY but also they don’t have to be scary at all. David’s procedure and its permanence was terrify and I am sure there will be days where I go back there, if momentarily, to that feeling of fear/dread, but I don’t have to live there and that permanence doesn’t change how much I love him, the boys, or our lives. Getting the tattoo helps demystify for me the power of permanence. It helps me remember that experiences are more important than check-lists. And sitting down to be tattooed by myself was an experience I will never forget. I felt braver in that moment than I thought I was capable of. It is a reminder that my marriage, my boys, and gratitude are my guiding principles, my doorways to the next great adventure, and that sometimes it is okay to do something permanent, brave, and unexpected!

When Owen was born

I am feeling all sorts of nostalgia today for my baby boy. I keep looking back at his birth photos and crying because it has been quite a journey this first year and he is becoming such a sweet little darling. But all I want in life is for my babies to stay babies. It doesn’t feel like too much to ask! 

A little trip down memory lane from Owen’s first moments and days (and months)  with us earthside because I cannot stop looking at all these sweet captured memories.

Owen Edward: 12 months

He did it!!! Owen officially took one trip about the sun. At 365 days old, the little man is the sweetest peanut and it is so hard to believe that a whole year has gone by. There might not have been a lot of sleep but there sure were plenty of cuddles, snuggles, and laughs. If given the chance, I would go back to do this year all over again. It is very exciting for Owen to be entering toddlerhood, but I am going to miss my little baby and can only keep everything crossed that he continues to be a mush for mommy. As soon as he sees me, little man wants me to grab him close and he lays his little head down into my neck nook and I could stay like that with him forever.

This was a very BIG month for O. He is totally walking now. He can transverse a room with incredible ease and delights in carrying toys about the playroom. In that “I pick things up and put things down phase,” he can always been seen striving to carry the heaviest item he can find. And if he is able to lug this thing from point A to point B, the joy on his face is truly apparent. It won’t be very long before the little guy is chasing after Henry and Mr. H will finally have to learn to share his toys with his active little brother. Owen also learned to drink out of cup and is in the process of being fully weaned. While I am excited to wear clothes that don’t need to consider the ability to nurse in them, it is a bittersweet transition as Owen becomes ever more independent with each day.

He has become the king of the tantrum! When he doesn’t get his way, he is very willing to let you know. He collapses in half on the floor and then lays out and looks up at you with eyes that say, “I am tantruming right now!”  But most of the time, he can be pulled out of this mindset by picking him up and cuddling him. Owen is for sure our little boy who loves loves loves attention. And, before we blow out the candles on his birthday cake, Owen decided to get 4 more teeth! Project smile is well underway, and once those teeth emerge, they everyone is back to sleeping through the night! Yes, we are officially all sleeping through the night and it is glorious and while morning might be hectic here, they are at least happy!

I wish I could freeze this day. Hold on to my little boys just as they are. They are playful and sweet and so little and the world is so magical to them. They make David and I choose to be our best selves and they inspire us to see the positive, love hard and play hard. I love you birthday boy SO SO SO much!