Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"My Feet Tickle"

Lauren. Lolo. Sweet child. 

Where has my good little sleeper gone? It seems, to my dismay, that she left when the binkie left. 

Everything I feared about getting rid of that little pacifier has come true.

Bedtime is a nightmare. A fight. A giant headache.

You cry. 

You scream. 

You kick. 

You make excuses... 

Tonight your feet tickled. 

Now what in the world am I supposed to do with that? 

Nursery Tour...5 Months Late :)

I had every intention of having Mr. Easton's nursery tour up before he was born. Almost five months later, here it finally is! I blame the sleep deprivation and the fact that when I actually have the time (or the arms) to take pictures he is in there sleeping, and umm, hello, no thank you very much. Sleep is a rare jewel around here and we do not take it lightly.

I wish my photography skills were better, but they aren't and we have no plans to work a nicer camera into our budget for the time being so these pics will have to do! Unless someone wants to gift me a camera. *Crickets* No one? Really?

Let's start with the view from the doorway looking into his room. Like that shadow on the lefthand side of the picture? You would think a professional took these pics, right? Also, the nice smudge in the middle of the picture is classy too. :) As you can see, the canvas I painted for him is hanging, but I still haven't decided upon or written his verse on it.

The curtains are black-out and were pretty inexpensive (considering we splurged on Lauren's from Pottery Barn) from Target.

As you can see this is the changing area. We used the same black furniture from Lauren's nursery. We found the boxes that hang on the wall and the black mirror at Target. That big box usually has one of his stuffed animals in it, but for some reason it was gone in this picture.

What's that? Bad lighting and another blurry spot? You are SO welcome! The vinyl sticker with his name was found here on Etsy and there really isn't anything else on that wall...we are still trying to figure out if we should keep it that way or add something...

When I found this fabric we used in his bedding on Etsy I knew I wanted to build his room off of it. The bright orange and the lime greens and blues just drew me in. The bedding was handmade and created by a lady on Etsy. We absolutely love it! My Meme Bandy made the sheets and that minky dot fabric is sooo soft and cuddly!

Ahhh, the bookshelf. Remember it? My amazingly talented husband created it for me after I could not find anything like it around here. I LOVE it so much. Even more since I know it was made by his own hands. He made one for Lauren's room too. You can see pics of her room and that bookshelf here!!! :) The painted canvas on top of the shelves was done by Lauren for her little brother before he was born. I just gave her some paints in the colors of his room and let her go at it. I think it turned out fabulous and she loved that she had a big part in decorating his room.

The license plate map was the first art piece we chose for the room. (We found it at Target for around $30.) Shawn and I both fell in love with it and knew it would be something we could use in Easton's room for a while! The pictures left of the license plate picture were taken when Easton was almost four months old. The one to the right is an ultrasound picture of him. My friend Carissa made the awesome name art piece and the shadow box on the black shelf is incomplete but will hold his baby beanie hat, hospital bracelets, and his birth stats!

The big comfy chair in the corner is one of those furniture pieces I will never be able to get rid of. I nursed and rocked Lauren many a night in that thing and now I visit that sweet chair every night (multiple times!) with my Easton.

The rug in front of the changing table was a steal at Target! I found it on clearance and I just couldn't believe my luck! They were the absolute perfect colors!!! That door goes to his closet which you can see a little bit of here.

All in all we really love his room and I think that the pictures really don't do it is way more adorable in person! I love that the colors and patterns we chose can grow with our little man and we can add different elements as he grows up.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet Lauren

My little girl is becoming such a darling little lady these days. Of course, we have our moments, but she has made me laugh or get misty eyed more times in the last few weeks than ever. I wanted to record a few of these sweet memories so that I don't forget them!

Almost every day since Lauren was a baby I have asked her at the end of the day when we are cuddling and winding down for the evening what her favorite part of the day was. I always want to have open communication with her and I want to know what sticks out in her mind as totally awesome. I can remember asking her before she could talk and I would answer for her. These days, however, she is big enough to answer for herself. I've loved hearing her thoughts on what makes each day special for her. Some days it is that trip to the park. Other days it has been watching a movie (right now it is Tangled) together. The other night, I was giving Lauren her bath and I was sitting on the side of the tub with my feet in the water. She decided to sit beside me with her feet in the water and then she looked up at me with the sweetest face and said, "What was your favorite part of the day, Mama?" I almost lost it! It was seriously the most adorable moment ever. All of these nights I had asked her and now it was her turn to ask me. Loved it!

The other day I was playing with Lauren and Easton and I said, "I think I should throw Easton in the trash, right sister?" I was kidding, of course, but Lauren looked at me with a look of shock and said, "No! We need to keep brother. I love him!" And she really does. I am constantly amazed at the way that she looks out for him. She is the first to get him a toy or his binkie when he cries and she wants to make sure he is okay at all times.

I love my little girl so much and I cherish these little moments now because I know that before I know it they will be gone and we will be on to bigger and different sweet moments and challenges.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a Big Boy!

We finally got down the jumper from the attic for Easton to use. He's been holding his head up really well for a while now and he is super strong so we figured that he was ready to try it out. I am so glad we did because he loved it! It was so adorable to watch him try to absorb all the colors and toys and things to touch. He looked so overwhelmed at first.

It was soon pretty obvious that his favorite part of the whole activity gym was the teething sun. He grabbed that thing right off and pretty much stuck to playing with it.

I LOVE this picture of my little man. He is just too stinkin adorable!

Shawn wanted to make sure that I explained that Easton is not wearing capris. Ha! This picture sure makes it look like it though! What a little doll!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Women's Conference

On Saturday my dear friend Kelly and I headed to my hometown to participate in a Women's Conference my growing-up church was putting on. Actually, Shawn, Lauren, Easton, Kelly and I headed to my hometown. Shawn had to lug the kids along so that every three hours he could bring Easton to the church and I could feed him. Why will that sweet child not take a bottle?!?

The conference was really great. We enjoyed the speaker and I feel like I learned a lot by being there. We also got to take part in a couple of fun break-out sessions. The first one we went to was a "Spa Session". I was hoping for a massage, but alas my name did not get drawn. We still had fun soaking our feet and having some girl talk time.

Our next session was "Cupcake Decorating"! We were super excited for this one and had huge dreams that we were going to uncover our hidden talent of amazing decorating ability, get discovered by Food Network on the spot (why they were at the conference in my dreams I don't know) and get asked to start our own cupcake show. I hate to disappoint you all but that did not happen. However, I was pretty impressed with our mad sunflower cupcake decorating skills.

The frosting we had to use was pretty much straight up Crisco and sugar so we weren't on any kind of sugar high at all. Nope. Not at all.

The conference was a lot of fun and we are already looking forward to next year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Octopus Lunch

I've been so excited about starting preschool with Lauren this fall. Our year officially starts in just a few weeks and I've had our first theme on my mind so I decided to make a little lunch in anticipation of it.

Can you guess our first theme?

(turkey octopus sandwich with royal icing eyes and cheese mouth, sliced cucumber (seaweed), Scrabble Cheeze-its, and apples cut to look like coral)


Lauren and I love to create with chalk outside. It has been so steamy this summer that we really haven't had a lot of opportunities because the sidewalk has been too hot. Last Thursday night was a bit cooler though so we seized the chance to get creative!

We had just watched a Sid the Science Kid episode on rainbows so we decided to sing the song they sang and make our own.

"Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet too!"

As we sang the song, Lauren would hand me the color of chalk we needed. I drew this rainbow...

...then she drew her own!

She even made sure there were white clouds on either end of it! 

She was really proud of her rainbow and I was so excited to see her complete it all by herself! What a big girl I have!!!

This activity was so fun because not only did she get a review in colors and a chance to work on her fine motor skills (holding the chalk and drawing half circles) but we got to talk about the great story behind the rainbow. I love hearing her tell me about things she's learned from the Bible. I love knowing that her little heart and mind know that God made the rainbow.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life Ramblings

Life has been changing at rapid speed the past few weeks into months around here. I'm desperately trying to soak up all the moments and memories, but they are gone before I know it.

My children are growing. Too fast. It is one of the weirdest oxymorons to me that everything in me fights their growth and yet everything in me wants them to grow up healthy and happy kids. I'm scared to death of missing these days with them. Yes, I stay home and yes we are often together 24 hours a day, but I know that it is completely possible to be next to someone and to not be really there with them. I want to be present in their lives. Too often I choose cleaning over playing, worry and stress (or even embarrassingly the internet) over quality time. I'm feeling such unrest about this. 

We've begun attending a new church. Shawn and I both felt so led to do this. But there have been questions asked of us. People doubting us. That is hard. It is hard when neither one of us have the answer they are looking for. If you know me at all, you know that I do not like conflict. I do not like feeling uncomfortable. There is absolutely no way I would have chosen this path if I didn't feel God telling me to. We've attended for several weeks and while I love the service and the teaching I am getting there, I still feel alone. I feel like an outsider. How hard it is to give up comfort and security of a place you know and a place that knows you. 

I've got a big decision on my mind right now about a very special project I've been asked to be a part of and I am feeling Satan attack me from every single end. I keep hearing that I have nothing to offer. That I am too much of a mess to be able to help anyone. I hear that I am incapable. Am I? I'm so scared to make the wrong decision because one of my dearest friends is vested in it. What if I really am incapable? What if I really don't have anything to offer? What if my being a part of the project makes it less than what it could be? That it should be?

I've been a sorry excuse for a friend. I've been too busy and too wrapped up in my own struggles to take time for my friends. I feel like a liability instead of a blessing. How do I fix it? What do I say? I know that having two kids has given my friendships a hit. It is harder to get out. But, I miss our play dates. I miss our mommy talks. 

I feel as though I am doing a million things right now but not a single one right. Easton is still not sleeping through the night. Lauren has hit the terrible threes. I'm more stressed out when Shawn gets home than happy. My to do list booms ever present in my ear and there is dust all over my house.

I feel all this pressure in my chest and I've been fighting it daily but it's keeping me quiet here on the blog and it's keeping me quiet in my life. I figured if I just let it all out then maybe I could breathe regularly again.

Hey Babies

Lauren and Easton had their well check ups last Friday and I wanted to record their stats here so that I don't forget, because let's face it...they both have sorry excuses for baby books and the best chance of them ever knowing how big they were at 3 years and at 4 months, is this blog...their only hope.

(longest run-on sentence anyone?)

Lauren at 3 years:

Weight: 31 1/2 pounds (60th percentile)
Height: 37 1/2 inches (50th percentile)

Easton at 4 months:

Weight: 16.3 pounds (70th percentile)
Height 27 inches (95th percentile!!!)
Head Size: 43 1/4 (75th percentile)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tummy Time Love

Shawn's mom found the neatest little tummy time mat for Easton. He has never been a fan of being on his belly so we were thrilled when he really liked the mat and would stay for longer than a few seconds! The mat is so neat because you fill it with water and when they push around on it the little fish inside move all around. He absolutely loves it and it is on my new go-to list for baby gifts! I do like to keep an eye on him while he is on the mat because I don't want him to face plant into it and not be able to breathe, but he has done a great job so far!!!

The Next Great Cake Decorator

For Lauren's birthday she received a cake decorating kit from her Aunt JuJu and Uncle Darell. We'd been super busy and hadn't had a chance to get it all out and decorate anything until last week. We finally bit the bullet and went for it.

It was a little advanced for Lauren but she and I worked together to make it work. She helped me roll the fondant out and put it on the tiny little cakes but her favorite part by far was decorating with the icing and sprinkles.

The cake tasted about as good as it looked...which was awesome, right? Ha!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

To My Three Year Old...

Dear Lauren,

I seriously cannot believe that you are three years old. I keep asking myself how that even happens. In so many ways it really does seem like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the very first time. When I think back on all we have gone through, all the firsts we have seen together, it feels like a dream. Did you really never sleep through the night? Were we really ever dealing with a teething baby? Did you really learn how to crawl, then walk, and better yet say my name? I look at you now, all grown up, all girl, and I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that God chose me to be your mother. Overwhelmed that you love me. Overwhelmed that I get to pour my life into yours.
You are such a funny little girl. You keep your daddy and me on our toes. You love to make us laugh and you do the silliest things to accomplish that. You've started singing us songs as we go about our days. One of my favorites lately is simple titled, Dishes. This song is sung loudly and as you dance around the kitchen while I put the dishes away. Cracks me up!

"My wike hewp do disses, but my no wike hewp do disses!!! My wike hewp do disses, but my no wike hewp do disses!!!"

You have the most tender heart. You hurt for others when they hurt and you look out for everyone around you. If a friend of yours wanted one more chicken nugget, you wouldn't hesitate to give them yours. You stop everything you are doing to get Easton a binkie or talk to him if he is upset. You give out hugs and kisses and make everyone around you feel so loved.
You are very shy around people you don't know. You like to have your own space and aren't a fan of people or kids who get into yours. You've been known to leave a playground set because there are too many kids playing on it. Once you warm up a little bit you usually do just fine, but it can be a painful start for you.

You wan to eat all of the time. If it were up to you you would have a sippy cup and a snack with you every waking moment. I have to give you some credit in that you will usually pick a healthy snack to ask for but ice cream can also be heard as one of your most asked for snacks. You love peppers! The bell variety as well as those little sweet peppers that are red, orange, and yellow. You also love fruit. For lunch you prefer turkey or chicken nuggets to peanut butter.
You are so much fun to be around. You are starting to really get into pretend play. I love to hear you talk to yourself as you play with your kitchen or with your dolls. You are just too precious for words! You are also really starting to get into Disney movies. Your favorite right now is Tangled. You could watch it over and over and over and over. You even sing along to some of the songs in the movie. I think it is adorable! 
I can't imagine our lives without you in it darling child. I feel like the absolute luckiest person in the world to be able to spend my days with you. I wish I could freeze time and keep you this small forever but I know you need to grow up. I pray for you daily, my daughter. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you but I intend to soak up every single moment with you in the process.
Here is a little interview I did with you on your third birthday (your words are in pink):

Do you like to sleep? No. Cause I no like to. 
What is your favorite thing to eat/drink? Water, tea. I like nanas (bananas)
What are your favorite shows?
I like Mickey Mouse, Dora and Boots. I like...ummm what's that girl name? Oh yeah, Tangled. 
What are your favorite songs?
Um, Dora and Boot. No, I like sing “Happy de de de de dee” “Mary had a wittle wam, wittle wam”
What makes you sad/frustrated?
I don’t know.
What makes you happy?
Smiles) Mommy
What makes you laugh?
What is love?
You (pointing to me)
What do you know about Jesus?
What is your favorite Bible story?
Esther and the King   
Who do you love to be with?
Mommy (sweet smile) Daddy and Easton
Where do you love to go?
Ice cream place to get ice cream. The one with white and orange chairs.
Is being three better than being two?
Uh uh. Cause I want to be two. 
I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times, 
Love, Mommy