Thursday, December 13, 2012

time with Jax.

 Most of the time during the day, I keep the dogs and Brynn divided by a baby gate.  Why?  Because it's just easier.  Ellie, the smaller dog is a wild, anxiety filled crazy thing that rarely stops moving and she could care less about what any of us are doing unless it involves giving her food.  Ellie surprisingly does well around Brynn as she has had a few opportunities to crawl over her paws and pat her tail, Ellie has stood there all bug-eyed staring at me waiting for the free moment to move away, but still she handles herself well.  Jaxon, the bigger, older and recently injured dog is the sweet one and the one that would sleep under Brynn's swing as she slept as a baby.  Jax is the one who always wants to be near us and will move (even with two torn ACL's) four feet just to get closer to watch us.  He is the one who, I feel loves us as much as we love him.  Jaxon has even jumped over the baby gate just to get closer to us and today I just let him stay near us.  I am still cautious of Jaxon's rogue back paws that could possibly scratch Brynn, and I want to make sure Brynn is gentle or careful while petting Jax too (and she is!)  Every time I say "be gentle" she so sweetly pets Jaxon's head or points to his ears when she wants to identify a few body parts.

 Brynn proudly announces she found Jaxon's feet!
 A random sock is found in the hallway and Brynn would love to put it on Jaxon, however he is not interested.
So she chooses to put the sock on herself.  These two are friends and it warms my heart to see them interact so sweetly.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Photo update

 This is the view from Brynn's window at about 5:05 p.m.  Love it.
 Eating snacks in our stroller at the zoo.. so fun.
 Until moma tries to take too many photos... not cool.
 The start to our search of the perfect christmas tree.
 She liked walking around the lot, but we went to another place to find the best tree (and deal).
 Ahhh, the fresh smell of pine and my handsome hubby setting up the tree before dinner...
 The next morning Brynnie getting to see the lights and pick out her favorite ornaments.
 So precious.
Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


...of the last thirty days.

Election day!  Oh my my, oh hey hey.... Obama won and we are thrilled.  It was an interesting night and Matt made sure I didn't celebrate too soon, but once we knew for sure there was a sigh of relief and continued hope for the future of our country and this world.

The 15th!  Our daughter had her first BIG FALL.  She was playing with my brother's little dog and got wrapped up in it's leash and... face planted into the concrete.  It was a very scary 30 minutes.  To see blood coming from your baby's mouth and nose for the first and hopefully last time ever.. it's intense.  A quick trip to the doctor confirmed that her teeth, gums, and nose were all okay and she just had scrapes and bruises to heal from... the swelling went down in 24 hours too.

Thanksgiving!  Seeing my baby girl so comfortable at nana's house is just awesome.  She explores, she runs around as if she owns the place, she grabs everything glass and loves opening and shutting all the cabinets she doesn't get to play with at home.  I love seeing Brynn and her two favorite boy cousins play together and interact so well.  We had ping pong, soccer, LEGOS galore, turkey for the first time (Brynn is not that interested), sweet potatoes, homemade warm delicious rolls, what the HECK else do you need, I ask?!

On to Dogs.  Our Jaxon has torn both his ACL's, he has been in pain, he has been uncomfortable and he has been a challenge for our household the past few months.  Some days I get so annoyed because he has never whined, jumped over gates or stunk to high heaven until recently.  But other moments I feel bad because he is obviously uncomfortable and I want nothing more than to help him.  I want him to dash outside and chase the neighbor's dogs rather than having to go outside on a leash.  Matt went to my brother's concert tonight and it was one of those moments that reminded me how happy I am to have Jaxon and Ellie in our family.  I love those stinky, sometimes obnoxious but always loving family pets.  Thank goodness for these sweet beings.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


This little chick helped us decorate our trunk for our very first trunk or treat.
 This cold, sad look only lasted about as long as it took to take this picture.  She did so great even though her moma kept adding a new layer of clothing to her every fifteen seconds.
 The most beautiful Princess Leia ever. 
Oh do I love every memory we are making as a family of three. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

12 days.

....till the election.  In 12 days we will find out who the next President of the United States is and a part of me does not want to get that involved and a part of me can not stop thinking about it.  I watched all the debates, I have seen plenty of news shows featuring the President and Romney, I have listened to any npr story talking about the race, and I have discussed it at home probably a little more than my husband would care to admit.  I am fully aware that no President has checked off everything on their to do list.  I would never want to be President.  I wonder why the Romney campaign did not want Brian Williams and the Rock Center crew to follow them behind the scenes for a few days, yet President Obama let them follow them as if it was nothing.  Open and honest, good and accepting, and plans for a better future for our country, us, and more importantly our children.

I hope that everyone gets out to vote.  Vote wisely, vote as if it matters.  Remember that no President could have made things so much better than where we are now because of the hole we started from.  Vote for tolerance, peace and women's health.  Vote for someone who knows how congress works and knows how to fight for the American people, how to work together with other countries and how to present a strong position for our country. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Being a parent...

I've never clung to the word "Perfect".  I have no issues with doing what works (or doesn't work) for me, my family, friends, job, choices, you name it.  I have never been one to compare myself regularly to others.  I like "doing my own thing" or thang depending on what kind of mood I am in.  As a new parent I am in this amazing club of other parents forever.  A club where you can always ask for help if you need it.  You can (hopefully) be honest and know that someone else has gone through a similar situation so you are never alone in your experience.  A club that you can not fully understand until you are in it. 
As a new parent you will face a million new choices, what kind of food, diapers, sheets, clothing, toys, bottles will you give your baby.  Will you breastfeed, formula, when to start veggies, but not too many fruits as they are high in sugar, checking ingredients like you've never checked before.  Where will the baby sleep, how long will they sleep there, do they need a blanket?  Are we going to the park, do we need a sweater, what kind of germs are on that slide?  I know as humans we need some germs and it helps build our immune system.  I also know that wearing your shoes around your house all day drops little bits of disgustingness that I never want to see on a microscope.
I know that we try our best.  We can never do it all.  And as parents I think this is extra hard to comprehend.  When you first become a parent you can be so overwhelmed with the new experience, the exhausting moments and the heart warming days that trying to plan for what comes next is nearly impossible.
It is hard to watch when your baby gets a cold, an ear infection, even the sniffles for the first time.  But it happens.  I have let my germaphobe guard down a lot since becoming a mother.  However today, after having lunch in Lawrence with a good friend, I let my daughter walk a block or so on her own.  Every few feet she would stumble a little, let her hands touch the sidewalk and then she would regroup and continue to walk/run with both her arms straight up to the sky and her mouth wide open with pure joy bursting from her finger tips.  Every person that walked by smiled and took notice of her pride in walking all on her own like the big girl she is.  They did not notice her mother trying to kick things out of her path, and thankfully they did not hear the inner monologue her mom was having as she tried not to imagine the different ickiness that lay at her daughter's feet.  When we left I picked her up and did not let her put her fingers in her mouth which as a teething 13 month old that is exactly where you want your hands to be... I wiped her hands off with a wipe once we got to the car and on the drive home I wondered what I was irritated about.  I certainly wasn't irritated by the happiness this beautiful child has brought to me and anyone she meets.  I was irritated that I kept thinking about the possible germs she picked up from her fun walk and the fact that it was my fault for letting her do that.  That is one.... slightly skewed perspective but it is the honest one I was having at that moment.  As she got antsy in the car on the ride home I gave her several books and toys to play with... finally I let her have a water bottle to entertain herself with and it was the same one that was sitting on the restaurant table we had just ate, the one the waitress had just sprayed some substance to clean with and now in my mind, my daughter was now eating the remainder of that substance.  At this point I said in my head something I don't remember ever saying before "I am mad that I didn't do it perfectly".  And what does that mean exactly?  Never let her touch germs, never go out in public, never let anyone who has ever been sick be around her?  No, truly I'm not that far gone.... yet.  Perfectly means always coming up short, always feeling like I didn't do it right and that is no way I want to live.
I felt a big sigh of relief when that "perfect" word left my mouth.  I am doing the best I can.  I will continue to do a lot of things really well, and sometimes I will do things that just do not work out.  My husband and I will be the very best parents to our daughter, that I know for sure.  I will make the best food, sing and read to my daughter as much as possible.  Then again sometimes I will let my daughter watch some of the price is right and eat a graham cracker in the middle of the day.  I will show my daughter the alphabet, shapes and colors all day long.  Then again, sometimes I will end dinner with a dance off to a Beyonce song just to make her smile.  And some times I will let our daughter play in the grass and then not fully wash her hands before dinner.  Some times I will let our daughter destroy a roll of toilet paper in the hallway so I can go the bathroom for two seconds by myself.
Thank goodness we can all make these choices for ourselves and for our families.  And thank goodness none of us have to live up to perfect because it does not exist.  My days are made of love, and joy.... peace and beauty that I find in the wonderful, authentic moments spent with my family. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Birthday boy!

 We started Matt's birthday by a family breakfast out to a delicious restaurant we had never been to before.  Matt got some bacon which made him smile and I had the best omelet with sliced apples, walnuts, chutney and goat cheese (my favorite kind o' cheese) and of course a side of potatoes.  Brynnie got her first sweet potato pancake and she loved it, Matt and I had a few bites and he described it perfectly "it tastes like christmas".  It was cool out in the morning when we were out so a warm, filling, flavorful family breakfast is just what we needed to start our day.  Brynn also colored on her first place mat and picked it up so quickly.

 I love Brynn's face in this one, she is full of great expressions.  And you know she was having a good time by how much she was "talking".  Also, this is proof that my germaphobic self is getting more relaxed by putting her food directly on a table at a restaurant (I wiped it off first of course).

As we were leaving the restaurant the sky was perfectly blue and the air crisp.  We quickly took a few photos and this just so happens to be one of my favorite photos ever taken.  Brynn's beautiful eyes matching the blue sky, her big smile, letting her moma and dada kiss her cheeks.
Despite my goofy expression on this one, I just loveee my girl's look.  She is just a beautiful child (inside and out) and I can't get enough of her!  Thank goodness for days like these!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One, what?! One!

 One year ago at about this time, we were at the hospital.  I am sure Matt had just given me an ice chip, I was taking turns squeezing his hand as he put a cool wash cloth on my neck.  Our midwife was probably rubbing my back and saying some sort of phrase with the word "strong" in it. They were both the very best labor team I could have asked for.  Through every deep breath and wave of contraction we grew closer to holding our child in our arms.  Some more breathing and pushing later, at 1:07 a.m. we got to meet our beautiful baby girl for the first time.
 She laid on my chest and we stared at each other for several minutes, quietly.  Well, she was quiet and I just kept looking at her, then Matt and saying "our baby, this is our baby".  I was beyond thrilled and just amazed that after all the waiting she was finally here. 
 Now we are blessed with this smiley, fast, wild, independent, strong and hilarious baby that is now becoming a toddler. 

 We are so blessed to have her in our lives.  Our family of three is full of love, more than I ever thought possible.  So Brynn, even though you may never read this; thank you.  Thank you for the joy you continue to give us.  I am grateful for the growth we have gained as a family.  And I am thrilled at all our now's and tomorrow's together.
Happy first birthday my gorgeous girl!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 This is Brynn and Lilli, future best friends.  No big deal.  We visited our great friends this past weekend because we love them and also because they just added a baby boy to their family. I had the pleasure of holding 2 week old Carter for a while and he slept the whole time, wiggled a little, and it was precious.
 Once my baby girl starts eating peanut butter we will pretty much be eating the same things.  This is Brynnie enjoying the heck out of her avocado.  Bath night = crazy dinner time.
 I love how she got it perfectly on one eyebrow but not the other.  If she is real tired at dinner, she takes that green hand and rubs it in her eye before we can stop her and it's just, well.... gross.  But honestly I LOVE that she gets to just go nuts on her food (that is a line of blueberry juice running down her tummy too) I mean, I guess I am a little jealous that we can't eat like this.
This was the first time that her lower half got all messy from dinner ... I guess I was too slow in cleaning her up.

Question; does anyone still read this blog?  I obviously have not kept up with it, but would be more inclined to if I felt like someone other than my amazing husband?!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


We had a very fun, very busy weekend.  There was a surprise party, graduation, graduation picnic, and a few other things all thrown into barely two days.  I definitely think we should have a three day weekend now more than ever.  There was so much anticipation for this weekend (about three months worth) that is kind of nice it is over with.  But truly another great reminder of how blessed we are.  How wonderful it is to support one another in times of need AND times of celebration.  Brynn did amazingly well with the crazy schedule and loads of people around this weekend.  So much so, that tonight she did not want to go to sleep.  Well, actually she fell asleep early and then got up and wanted to party.  Eventually she fell asleep and our list of things to do was thrown out the window as we realize the importance of doing nothing and then getting some sleep ourselves...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I know that as a parent we are going to have a million 'firsts' with our baby and soon to be toddler (hopefully not too soon).  And each new thing will be just as exciting as the next.  And it is so amazing to get to witness the things you teach your child when it comes to fruition.  Whether that is once they start walking, talking, driving or even clapping.  Every morning we sing to Brynn (sometimes I will sing to her if we are still sleeping when Matt leaves for work) and then at the end of our song we clap, saying "clap clap".  Nothing too crazy right?  But still it is sweet and she lights up every time we do it.  This morning for breakfast Brynn is in her high chair and before she goes to town on her banana pieces she just started clapping.  A lot.  Over and over again she was clapping all by herself and smiling.  It was so sweet.  She has been clapping all day long and every time I could well up with tears just because of how sweet it is to see her learn and then do new things.  It is another moment in time where I am thrilled and then I say a little prayer that time does not go too fast and that we enjoy each moment our baby is in (even when she is ten or fifteen or twenty).  Brynn spent some time at my mom's house this afternoon and had her first 'big girl' visit where she was totally content playing there and did not seem to be upset that Matt and I were gone.  She was very comfortable and got to explore and show my mom and Steve her personality more than she ever has before.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

10 things I am happy for today as a new parent...

10.  Seeing my baby girl walk, with assistance of course.  But goodness, does this girl love walking.  Hold hands and lift her up, and she is off.  Even if she is bugging out, nothing will cheer her up faster than getting to walk around. 

9.  I love seeing the determined look my girl gets on her face when she sees something she wants.  Usually a toy, but it could also be anything new that enters her line of vision.  Today it was my glass of water.  She eyed it so hard, then looked at me and back at the water.  Sure why not? I thought.  I let her try and figure out how to take the tiniest sip of water out of it, and as the water rolled down her face her eyes lit up and let me know that I had opened a door.  Now I need to make sure to have a tight grip on any glass I hold or it is either going to her face or on the floor.

8.  Sleeping.  I have never been one of those people that can fall asleep in three minutes or less (my husband) but you would think after a good but long day watching my daughter all day or running errands that I would fall asleep faster than before.  False.  I find that as soon as my head hits the pillow my body is worn out, but my mind is racing.  I think about important things to really ridiculous things that make me even say in my head 'why in the heck did that just come into your brain?!'  So needless to say when I eventually do fall asleep, it's nice.

7.  Hummus.  I do believe some days I eat half my body weight of hummus.  It is a delicious snack but more importantly it is fast.  And some days I just have a minute to grab some food if my girl wants to play or needs my attention, hummus is the way to go.

6.  The two bottom teeth that now peak out of my girl's mouth every time she smiles.

5.  Clean clothes.

4.  A hot shower.

3.  Hearing my girl "talk" more, she is trying out more "pft" and "bbb" sounds along with her usual "mmmm momma mom ma".  So sweet hearing her little voice.

2.  The fact that I have figured out exactly which parts of the floor in our entire house creak and which parts are safe to walk on.  We play music while Brynn sleeps but sometimes it still seems to quiet in there and I will not risk me walking around the house to wake her up.  I think the show Up All Night should do an episode just on how new parents eat (with one hand, or shoveling food down quick before the baby gets upset or needs you) and watch t.v. (quietly or near silent).  Oh how things have changed... but thank goodness for it.

1.  The thumbs up my husband and I give each other (depending on who puts girlie girl to sleep that night) and the big sigh of relief we feel afterwards.  Sometimes she just doesn't want to miss the party and fights going to sleep, but other times she falls asleep easy. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What we've been up to....

 Oh goodness, we borrowed this great new toy from a friend and Brynn likes it more and more every day.  It is so fun to see her get excited and bounce around in that thing.  And her face lights up anytime she makes eye contact with me or Matt while she is playing.
 Matt's mom came to visit and got some good playing time in with Brynn.  My dad stops by about once a week to visit and Brynn just loves it.  She really studies their faces and observes everything they do while they are playing too.
 Brynn is a good eater!  She has now had peas, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados and butternut squash soup will be next. She will giggle when she gets the food in her hand and plays with it, so cute.

 I made this onesie for my friend Megan's son.  I have liked getting in an art project or two here and there considering I have done much of that lately.
 I can't get enough of this girl, not only is she beautiful and sweet, she is so much fun to be around!  And she loves reading!
 This is me clipping her toe nails, we do this about every other day.  Matt is not comfortable doing this on her tiny hands and toes and I will say after 6 months of doing this I am quite the pro.
 My big girl sits up so well on her own now and she still smiles and is so proud of herself every time she stands up.
 This is her excited face, whenever she sees a new toy (in this picture she was lunging towards the camera) she will open her mouth up like that, her eyes get big and she darts towards whatever it is she wants.
Brynn doesn't mind tummy time at all now and she is scooting herself around whenever she gets determined to move towards a toy.  Can't believe I managed a post update when she is on the floor rolling around all over the place, don't worry I'm still watching her... :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Photo update

We took our first family trip to the zoo this past Monday and it was great!  A little cold when we first got there but it warmed up and we had a blast.  Then Wednesday we joined my sister and her boys at the zoo again.  We take advantage of fresh air any day it's nice enough to get out.  Brynn is eating more food (we tried peas for the first time, that's the green stuff on her face).  And my mom finished painting an awesome mural in her guest room for the kids.  I had a few seconds to actually post a few photos so here goes... enjoy!