Ah ha!!

finally!! I won :) let the photo-blogging return!!


lskdhlkhdflh :):):)

This is the text my little boy sent me this morning from his daddy's phone. or something close, anyways. I definitely remember the smileys, because I definitely remember thinking "how on earth did he figure out how to do that??".
I'm sorry we've been AWOL for awhile...let's just say we had, *ahem*, a visitor (nastily disgusting stomach flu) at our house for about 10 days....somehow my husband managed to avoid it (I'm almost ready to admit that there's really something to all the green tea he drinks...almost) but the kiddos and I all had it. I was hit the hardest, thank goodness, because I would never want my littles to feel like that-I called my mom in for the day because I could hardly get out of bed. SO thankful she's in town for times like that! And, you know, general grandbaby spoiling.
B's birthday party was fun...her birthday was fun...and now we officially have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old :) and I'm remembering just how much I LOVE toddlerhood. Seriously--babyhood is sweet and cuddly and snuggly (and foggy); but I adore when my kiddos start walking and then running and playing games and talking more and more and, most importantly perhaps, sleeping really really well for more than a week at a time. I keep remembering all the fun things about Pax's toddler days; and I'm loving B's little personality emerging more each day. Each stage is seriously more fun than the last!
But all this growing-up has some serious thoughts floating around in my head about parenthood...and parenting...and being an adult...and accepting aging and life gracefully, joyfully, just plain fully! We've had some good discussions lately, that husband of mine and I...maybe someday soon I'll let you in on it. For now, let's just say we're grasping (probably for the millionth time) a bit more of what it means to parent our children WELL-the enormousness of it all. The forever-ness of it all. Or at least the until-they-get-married-ness of it. Not saying our kids are perfect (if you know them, you know they're simply human) or that we're perfect (if you know us, you know we're simply human, too) or that the way we parent is perfect (it isn't-and we also keep changing things about the way we parent as we get to know our kids' personalities). It's just a huge, beautiful responsibility we want to continue to dive into with joy, a little discipline, and a LOT of help from God.

Adam started a new semester today...the semester in which he will take his GRE and start applying for schools. Which is huge and so exciting and I'm totally stoked to go visit some potential new towns when he gets called for interviews (because, yes, I am praying that he WILL get interviews the first time around, and, more than that, that he'll get INTO a school the first time around). It also means once again re-adjusting our life for his schedule. I think we're getting pretty good at it :)
...my mind is going in eighty-five thousand different directions right now...once I get things sorted out I'll be back. For now-since it IS Thankful Thursday-I'll leave you with a few pictures of the ones I'm so very thankful for today.truly, my mom made last week so, so much easier on me..also, Blythe's party wouldn't have been nearly as pretty without her :)SO thankful I get to do life with this guy. He's pretty fantastic. Plus, I'm quite thankful that I WASN'T giving birth again yesterday!
Oh, and on my list of accomplishments for today? Working out HARD for the 4th day in a row (see ya, baby weight!) and "bandaging" a certain 1-year-old's cut finger with superglue. Pretty proud of that one, I gotta say :)


Happy Birthday, Sugar B!!

My tiny, sweet Blythe Linn--how can you be 1 already?? It seems like just yesterday we were waiting (and waiting and waiting...) for you to be born. (B 1/2 hour old)
Tentatively counting the mild contractions that marked the start of your debut into the world; a start so mellow that it belied your feisty, silly, on-the-go personality. I love the way you fake-laugh when other people are laughing. I love the way you play with your big brother; the way you adore your daddy so much that, as soon as you hear the latch on the gate when he comes home at night, your arms and legs start dancing and your eyes light up and you yell, "dada!!dada!!dada!!" while throwing yourself into my arms....(10 days old)
I love the way your sweet grey-green eyes sparkle; your funny, deep baby voice that makes it hard to tell if it's you or your brother crying at night. I love that you'd rather play with people (your brother in particular) more than ANY toy...except for Dolly. I love how unexpectedly you fell in love with that tiny, 3-dollar Tar*et doll and the kisses ("mmmmmuah!!") and hugs you give her. (6 months old)
I love your little personality; how you already know how to tease your brother (although it drives me crazy too...); your sweet snuggles, your toddling steps, your little words, your busy, climbing, un-cautious dare-devil-ness.
Daddy and I are so thankful you're our little daughter, B. We didn't know what our family was missing-but it was you. Love you so very much, sweet pea...can't wait to see what your 2nd year holds :)(the last 2 pictures are from her little 1st birthday party last Saturday...more on that crazy day later!)Oh, and Happy 1st Birthday to little Miss Peyton, too...Blythe's 2-days-older little friend :) this picture is from when the girls were both 6 months.


Trying to learn...

I stumbled across a shoot I did of Adam and Pax the summer before Baby Girl was born; Pax was about 22 months old. I LOVE these pictures of my two guys...and, since it's a snowy Sunday, I have some free time (!!), and I'm trying to teach myself some new editing techniques with the fantastic software Adam got me for my birthday...I had a little fun. So...voila! A little step back in time. Some of my favorites from that beautiful day in August of 2009

Pax was super cranky that day...I'm pretty sure this is the closest things we got to a smile all morning!

Adam took this one of Pax and me-it's one of the only preggo pictures of myself I actually LIKE. I'm about 5 1/2 months pregnant here.

and, fair warning...the next one is of my husband's booty. But it's my blog, and I like the picture and the edit on it--so, if you don't want to see his rear, I suggest you scroll down a bit :)

Yes, this is what I do to relax now....I think another snowy Sunday next weekend would be just the ticket!


Wordless Wednesday

Always great when Big Cousin comes...

"Ayden, you don't NEED to go home!"

Always sad when he leaves.


the Toddler School of Life

AiAiAi!! now there's TWO of them...
for the first time ever, on the way to a little birthday party Pax had been invited to, I almost had to pull over to separate my children. Yes, my 3-year-old and my almost-1-year-old. And it was the little almost-1-year-old who was causing the trouble! She kept reaching her tiny hand over to touch Pax's milk cup. Well, Pax likes his things a certian way, so he asked her to stop (which she totally understands); I told her no touch...she kept doing it. I looked back-she gave me the sweetest, most angelic little smile. And stopped touching the milk cup. And started putting her baby doll on her brother's "side". Which continued to drive him crazy. So he began to growl like an angry bear (truly, that's what it sounded like!) at her and push the doll away, again and again. Again, I told Blythe "all done" and, at a stop, turned around to take the doll away. She looked at me with that sweet, sweet smile again...and laughed.
And it hit me.
My 11-month-old already knows how to tease her brother. He likes things a certain way--AND SHE ALREADY KNOWS IT.
Looks like there won't be room for anyone else in our car anymore...her seat will be moving, soon. Much much sooner than I expected, thanks to the little pixie. She may look innocent, but...
And that little party Pax went to? well, "little" may be an understatement-it was a crazy party for a 3-year-old (one of Pax's little buddies) with LOTS of kids of all ages. On the way out, we had the typical discussion about behavior (you know, in between the big-brother-baiting): We talk nice to kids, not nasty; we don't hit or kick other kids, etc. (not that Pax usually does those things, but it's always good to remind a physical little boy of the rules BEFORE the chaos and sugar hit). At the party, there were several 6-8 year old boys there, running around doing little boy stuff-only these boys weren't so nice. And their mothers obviously hadn't had the we-play-nice-with-kids discussion beforehand. They liked to play the "you can't play here" game. Which worked pretty well on the other little kids, who simply went somewhere else to play when the bigger guys bullied them. My son? Welll....
When the biggest of the boys tried to push Pax away from the gate dividing the upstairs and downstairs, telling him he couldn't go down, Pax insisted he COULD, in fact, go down. Which was true. They went back and forth a bit, with Pax becoming more and more adamant that it was ok for him to go downstairs. The bigger boy held the gate closed with one hand and tried to push Pax back with the other.
so what did my stubborn, determined, confident little guy do?
He obeyed me perfectly.
He didn't talk nasty to him.
He didn't hit him.
He didn't kick him.
He did, however, lean over and bite the big boy's knuckle.
Guess I forgot one.
But somehow, I couldn't get too mad at him...am I crazy, or should a little guy have SOME way to defend himself against bigger kids who bully them?
I want my kid to be polite. I want him to treat others with respect.
But I still want him to know it's ok to tell people no if they're treating him in a way he's not ok with. I want him to be able to stand up for himself, his sister, or any other kid who is being picked on. And I don't want to completely squash the determination, stubbornness, or aggression that are part of his male-ness...just refine them a bit and teach him how to be wise in using those things.
Am I completely wrong?
That's the thing about the Toddler School of Life...I'm never sure just who is in school!
But didn't they look adorable on Christmas Eve?