Monday, July 14, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Looking forward

2014 is going to be my year of contentment, or at least I hope it is my year of contentment.

I am a planner and I always eagerly look forward to the next step in my life. Many friends and family would say that I am a bit impatient. When I know I want something, I rarely can sit back and wait for it to happen. Us having 3 under 3 is just one example of my impatience.

But this year, 2014, it is all different. I have the husband, we have our children, and now we have the home too.

There is nothing that I am waiting for. There is nothing that I am being impatient for. My life checklist is currently checked off.

I am not sure what next year will be like, but I am hoping that it helps me see what's next.

I want to live more in the moment. I want to try and be content with my present.

2013 went by in a flash. It was a milestone year for us completeing our family in April with Miss Kenley and moving in December. However, the year was a struggle for me. I felt defeated most of the year. I felt not good enough a lot of the time. I felt lonely and lost.

I want 2014 to be a year I feel like I can breath again. It to be year that I gain my energy back. I don't want to feel like I am just getting by. I want to feel accomplished and prospering.

Contentment will be my cure for 2013.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Surprisingly enough despite all the craziness leading up to Christmas, our Christmas was actually quite wonderful and stress free. Everything really just fell nicely into place. There were a couple of hiccups, but it was a wonderful time with our family and friends. 

Some of my favorite moments include:
  • Calan insisting the day before Christmas Eve that it had to be Christmas NOW, because he needed presents TODAY. It amazed me that even though I never asked him what he wanted for Christmas and Santa doesn't actually visit our house, he knew that he needed presents. I obviously have some work to do on his heart, but the way he demanded it, I will always remember. It was pretty darn cute and it took all my mom power not to smile. He unfortunately did get in a little trouble for talking to me that way, but I was pretty weak for his cuteness.
  • Then there was Maisie on Christmas morning when we were setting baby Jesus into our Nativity insisting that Jesus was her baby cousin Gwyn and not Jesus. It took some convincing. However, then she laid the lamb on him like in the book the "Crippled Lamb" to keep him warm. So, I think I won the Baby Gwyn, Baby Jesus argument.   
  • Kenley, my dear little one, I will never forget Christmas Day night. My poor little girl would only sleep with me holding her in our rocking chair. Her poor top teeth are coming in and they seem to be the root of all the trouble. She has not been the happiest of babies during the holiday, but her cuteness keeps me sane. 
  • What holiday would not be complete without a midnight run to 7-11 for batteries that I forgot to buy for a Christmas present? We were setting up Calan's race track we got him, when it dawned on my that this thing needed batteries. Definitely a rookie mom mistake. So, at 12:15 a.m., Bob trudged out and went to find batteries. Thank heavens for 7-11 and a good husband.
  • And who will forget the pajamas. Christmas 2013 will forever be remembered as the PJ day. I had basically told everyone the kids needed pajamas among other things, but randomly enough, everyone got them PJs, which honestly they needed and I am grateful for all of them. All the kids needed new ones. All of them were wearing the wrong size and needed multiple pairs of pjs. But, of course in pure toddler form, by the third pajamas Calan opened, he was saying "Oh no, more pajamas." It was pretty funny. I am very grateful my kids have warm pajamas to make it through next year. 
So those were some of our memories this holiday season. I hope that yours was just as memorable. 

On to 2014 ....

Friday, December 20, 2013

Part 2: Finding the House

So it was go time and go time it was.

After buying our first home, we realized we were the typical first-time homeowner and bought with our hearts and not exactly with our minds. Please don't get me wrong, we loved our home and the things we loved about it when we first saw it were the same things we loved about it when we moved out. It was home, but it had its issues and we really, really, really wish we would have waited since the market crashed just after.

This time we set out with a huge checklist of wants and needs and decided not to settle. We would look high and low for the perfect house that would fit our needs. There was no rush. We still had our home and decided to rent it if it did not sell once we found another home. Bob just felt that the interest rates were starting to rise a little and it would be better to find a home now instead of later. We did not want to miss the boat again like we did with our first home. We were trying to learn from our mistakes.

Our wants were not impossible and actually pretty simple for a family of 5. We needed space and room to grow. We needed another bathroom. We wanted an entryway that we weren't tripping over kids' stuff. We wanted a master bedroom with a decent (not crazy big) bathroom. We did not want to live on a main street (duh). We did not want land (we hate yard work). We did not want to be too far from Bob's work (the closer the better).

Pretty simple, right? And pretty standard for anyone looking for their second home.

With my mother-in-law, who is our real estate agent, we went looking for THE house.

We saw 2 houses on a Saturday, 3 houses on that Monday, and then on Wednesday I was suppose to go see a house, but forgot that I had scheduled a play date. My mother-in-law decided that since it was very close to where she lived, she'd keep the appointment and just preview it for us and if she knew we'd like it, we'd go see it Saturday.

And that is how falling down the rabbit hole started for us. The next circumstances and events were purely gifts from God.Of course it was a house that we almost didn't go and see that we decided to buy.

Here is how it went down:

  • Mother-in-law decides to go see house without us.
  • House looks vacant from pictures, so she arrives early and homeowner is actually home, but let her in anyway. 
  • Homeowner shares their life story. Spent a long time looking for a home. Finally found this one and on their closing day just one month earlier, found out they were being transferred to California for the job of a lifetime. Bought the house and listed it on the same day. 
  • Mother-in-law finds out that they already have another offer on the house, but it is low and they are just hoping to get their mortgage paid for because the transfer is taking care of the deposit on the house that they lost. 
  • Mother-in-law calls me, says that Bob and I have to come see this house today. 
  • We head out after nap time. Bob meets us from work. We walk through one-at-a-time because we had the kids in car. 
  • House is perfect. 
  • On Halloween, we put in our offer knowing the facts of what we know. As kids are trick-or-treating, offer is accepted. 
  • We are buying a house.

So, if you are keeping track, we decided to move, started looking, found a home, had an offer accepted all in 10 days. We went from not moving to packing everything up in a blink of an eye.

There were so many things about this house that just worked out. It had everything on our list and then some. Probably the only thing we settled on was that it is a corner lot. Bob hates shoveling all the sidewalk associated with the corner. But that was a small sacrifice when everything else was going just right.

It is about 2 miles away from Bob's work. A friend of mine lives down the street. My mother-in-law lives a half mile away. The neighborhood is overflowing with children. And the kicker of it all, it is in my hometown.

It was the right home. We got in at the right time. One month earlier and we would not have been able to afford it. The previous owners' circumstance made this house our gift from God. We needed them to make this house a possibility for us.

We weren't sure what "go time" would look like, but we never thought everything would happen so quickly and smoothly. We are so thankful and grateful for it all.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Part 1: The Move - The way it went down

Goodbye 3225. 
I mentioned briefly yesterday that we moved. Yep, we did, boy do I have a lot to say about that. So many mixed emotions I kind of don't even know where to start.

You might remember last August (2012) that we decided to try and see if we could sell our house. We didn't. The fact is we bought our first home the year before the great housing market crash. We bought high and have been dealing with the aftermath ever since.

Because we did not sell and I was pregnant with Kenley, we hunkered down and made room in our home. We knew it wasn't perfect, but it was our home, our kids were happy, and we were doing fine. I had really come to terms with the fact that we were going to be in our home for probably the next 3 years. And I honestly was content. Ever once in awhile I would think we needed more, but for the most part, I was very content. We had a lot to be grateful for.

However, my husband was not exactly in the same zen emotional state that I was feeling. He was frustrated with one bathroom, small entry way, and stuff upon stuff. It was getting to him.

The whole situation reminded me of our engagement. I basically figured we'd get engaged right after college. We started dating freshman year, and four years later, I was ready (or so I thought) to get married. I had subscriptions to bridal magazines much to the jokes of my friends. Everyone knew I was just waiting. And waiting I did. And more waiting. Till finally, I stopped the subscriptions and moved on. I became content. I knew it was going to happen and it finally didn't matter to me if it was now or then. I knew Bob was going to be my husband and that we would have a wonderful life together as husband and wife whenever it happened.

The night we got engaged (Nov. 25, 2005). I had just come home from work, so I look fantastic. 
And that is exactly when he proposed, 2 years later. There was a lot going on in our family life at the time, so I never imagined that he would actually propose to me then, but he did. It was the exact timing that was meant to be. It was perfect.

And that is basically, what has happened with our house. I finally got in the mindset that this was where my babies were going to all become preschoolers, and there Bob goes changing the plan saying it is time to go.

Things fell perfectly into place and it was time to move on. So we did.

I was not ready emotionally and packing up was pretty hard for me. In our first home, Bob proposed on one knee in our family room, we spent our second night as newly weds, I beat cancer there, and we brought all 3 of our babies home to that house. So many life-changing moments occurred there that will never happen again.

I know this house will be filled with just as many moments, but it was still sad to move on from those precious memories. The house where I never thought we'd have children in is where we ended up having all of our children.

I can not deny that everything has worked out perfectly and quickly. Everything has fallen into place despite my worrying. It could not have been easier, but I just wasn't ready.

I'm hoping now that we are in, I can breath and see this new house as our home.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Where do I even start???

We are all healthy and happy, busy but excited, tired but surviving. We are all living and life just keeps happening for us.

I actually never meant to stop blogging. It just kind of happened.

I have felt like I was drowning with my 3 under 3 and I am just now starting to feel like I can breath (sometimes).

Life has not slowed down for us at all. We've had birthdays, summer vacations, play dates, zoo trips, and the latest MOVING.

Since Kenley was born almost 8 months ago. Bob and I have had little time for anything but family and work. Having a preschooler, toddler, and newborn has not been easy.

Life is fun. Life is crazy. Life is loud. But slow, it is not.

Calan will be 3 1/2 in a week. He is quite the little boy. He still has an amazingly sweet heart and continues to show compassion. However, his love for superheroes and finding villains tends to leave Maisie his villain, which you can only imagine the wonderful bickering that comes from that.

You can tell that he just sees things differently than me. He lives in the gray. Where, I am more of a black and white kind of person. No toy is just a plane or just a truck or just a Mr. Potatohead. They are whatever his imagination sees. Some times this is fascinating to watch, other times, kind of annoying since toys tend to be everywhere rather than where I would like them to be.

He is not in preschool. As of right now, we are homeschooling our children. He is doing great with a lot of things, but hand activities like writing or coloring or cutting are pretty challenging for him. He is practicing, but it is a slow process.

Maisie is quite the little ham. Probably the most polite child I have ever met. Says thank you to everyone for everything. She is so appreciative for the simplest things. You can tell her heart loves service. Always making sure Calan or Kenley have their favorite toys. She, however, can be quite the little stinker at the same time too. She is my instigator. Everything is quiet and calm, so she decides to to sit on Calan. Yep, she is that kid.

But, she loves to dance and sing. She is my dance party queen. Always up for a little kitchen dancing. She is starting to like pink, her play kitchen, and a few other typical girly things, but yet, she still loves tools, trucks, and trains. She walks to the beat of her own drum and I love that.

Kenley is no longer my 6 lb baby. She is my chunky monkey.  At 7.5 months, she is already fitting into 9-12 month clothes. She is my mover and has been crawling for a couple months now. She loves to explore, which means she is in a pack-and-play a lot of the time. If not, the girl is everywhere. She loves to be smiled and talked at by anyone. It does not take much to keep her happy, definitely a third child. She is a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, and honestly, she probably doesn't have a choice with so much going on around her.

As for me, holy smokes these past 8 months have flown by. I really do not know where 2013 went. Every time, we think life will slow down. It just doesn't. And that's why I want to start blogging again. I am not sure how often or what I am going to blog about. But so much is going on and I need to write it down. I need to digest and figure out my emotions, which is what blogging has done for me. I need to talk about the fact that we moved from our first home, that my children keep my on my toes constantly, that my social life is pretty much nonexistent. I need to write. So today I am starting and hoping that I can once again share my life and struggles with you.

The beautiful photos were taken by Photography by Dina Marie.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's loud in here

There is no doubt that our house is a loud one. Indoor voices seem to be a foreign concept for our toddlers. Then add in baby cries and peace and quiet seems to be the Holy Grail of  my day.

This weekend we had Bob's family over for dinner. Luckily, it was a smaller crowd than normal because the kids were LOUD. The excitement was too much for them to handle and despite trying to keep them under control, the noise level was quite extreme. It didn't help that Kenley was having a hard time nursing and settling down. So between trying to host, cook dinner, control 2 toddlers, and take care of a newborn, Bob and I were stretched pretty thin.

As Bob's single, no children brothers left a bit earlier than normal, I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit remembering when Bob and I would do the same thing at my sister's house. The noise alone use to exhaust us. We couldn't focus through the chaos. It is something non-parents just aren't use to. And as a parent of loud toddlers, I total understand that.

Now the chaos to me just seems like any other day. The noise level is like music to my ears. I am so use to it that I've tuned it out.

A home full of toddlers is chaotic. No matter how well behaved your children might be (and mine are far from perfect), they are loud, demanding little beings. It is something that you have to embrace with 3 under 3 or you will go insane.

Having children is the best most exhausting thing I will ever do in my life, but (as everyone knows) the smiles, hugs, giggles, cuddles, etc. make everything 100% worth it. Plus, there is always nap time and bed time to maintain my sanity. A sleeping child means a happy parent.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ruffle Top without the Ruffles

For past 3 weeks, I've stared at the fabric I bought in preparation for Kids Clothes Week that I wasn't able to finish because I had Kenley. A good excuse, but still that fabric has been haunting me and wanting to be sewn. And the project that I wanted to complete more than anything else was the Ruffle Top by Elegance and Elephants.

Have you noticed that I keep gravitating toward blue floral fabrics for most of my sewing projects?  I can't really explain why other than that seems to be my style, and luckily, Maisie is too young to protest. 
I had seen a few versions of this pattern circulating through a few of the sewing blogs I follow and fell in love. And the best part is that I won this pattern from Petit à Petit & FamilyThe funny part is that I had not even remembered signing up for the giveaway when I was emailed that I won. I was actually going to buy the pattern that week. I was pretty excited that I won. I have been dying to sew it for Maisie. It was obviously the first project I wanted to get done after having Kenley. 

I tried out two new sewing techniques while completely this project. The first was creating my own bias tape to cap off each of the sleeves. It was not as hard or as scary as I thought it would be and now I know I can do it. I can check it off my sewing milestone list. 

The other was sewing piping into a seam. The original pattern calls for ruffles along the panel seams, but I choose to use store-bought piping instead like a few variations I saw online. I love how the orange pops against the blue floral. 

Please no judging me on my horrible sewing around the keyhole packet. This picture is to show how I lined the bodice, and of course, seems to highlight my lazy sewing as well. 
I also liked a more open collar than what the original pattern calls for, so I in order to create that I just created a bodice lining with the center panel of the front and the back. I sewed the outer back and front to the lining back and front, respectively, before I began the patterns tutorial.

The pattern and tutorial were very easy to follow. I had a little trouble figuring out the sleeves, but I blame that on my sewing inexperience. I also would have liked the pattern sizes to be color coded instead of different black dash lines, but again that is just a personal choice. Piecing the pattern together and cutting it out was very straight forward.

I am very happy to be sewing again and I am really happy to have finally completed this top for Maisie.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Toddlers are the best (sarcasm implied)

Tantrums, whining, battles, struggles, giggles, pure joy, snuggles, singing, playing, dancing, hugging, yelling, time outs.

And that basically describes Calan right now. Over the last few days or so, we have really seen an increase of misbehavior and whining. OH THE WHINING.

Very little appeases him, anything small or large can set him off, everything is either high or low and nothing in between. We are absolutely sure that this is all stemming from the changes going on in our family because Kenley is here.

He is absolutely wonderful around Kenley. He loves tickling her toes and singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her, but I can tell that he is having a hard time adjusting too.

I just think that he can't quite process what is going, so he is having a hard time figuring out and handling all the emotions that he is feeling right now. It is all pretty understandable and Bob and I are trying to deal with it the best we can, but trying to help an unpleasable child is exhausting.

Here is a typical conversation right now:
Me: Calan, do you want your train?
Calan (instant tears and whining voice): No, I don't want my train.
Me: OK, what would you like?
Calan (more tears and much louder whiny voice): I want my train.

It's a blast.

Bob and I are hoping he settles down and this phase passes quickly. To say we are tired of this unhappy Calan, might be an understatement. We know that we need to remain patient and understanding while he adjusts. Hopefully as long as we can help him feel secure in our new family, this whiny, unpleasant Calan will disappear as quickly as he came.

Did any of you have this issue with siblings? How did you deal with it? How long did it last?

This was definitely on of the perks having Calan and Maisie so close in age. Calan adjust instantly to Maisie. This time we weren't so lucky.

Thank you my 3 debacles

Dear my 3 loves,

I love you. There are no better words than that. You are amazing little people and I am so in love with each of you.

You are not perfect. You don't always listen. Bedtimes are a complete debacle. You don't eat all your veggies (or any at all for that matter). Your energy and ability to exhaust me is amazing. You have lots of needs. You are pretty demanding. You whine a lot. You are debacles.

But, you are completely wonderful. You brighten my day everyday. Your hugs and kisses are cures for everything. Your smiles and giggles are contagious. You make life better in every way.

There is no doubt in my mind that I was meant to be your mom. I have been good at a few things in my life, but nothing ever felt so natural and so right as being your mom. I am not a perfect mom and I am sure I am screwing you up some how, but I know that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do by being your mom.

I am truly blessed to be here watching you all grow into pretty amazing little people.

I watch Calan with his tender heart and beam with pride. I watch Maisie be fearless and determined and smile knowing she will always hold her own in the world. I watch Kenley observe us all and can't wait to see who she becomes.

You guys are crazy personalities, but you are mine. You guys are one of a kind. I see your daddy and me in each and everyone of you and truly think you are the best versions of each of us.

We love being a family. Your dad and I have loved each other for years and dreamt of our family and you guys are better than anything we ever dreamed. Our family is crazy, but we love being a family.

The first words I spoke to each of you were "I'm your mommy" because that is who I am. I am proud to be defined as a mother. I know that is who I was meant to be.

You guys light up my world.

This weekend is Mother's Day. I am sure that our day will look pretty much like any other day with 7 a.m. wake-ups and little people demanding breakfast, but I will smile knowing that you guys make this day for me by just being you. I am proud to be your mother.

Heaven blew every trumpet 
And played every horn 
On the wonderful, marvelous 
Night you were born.