Storage Full

The other day I pulled out my phone to take a picture of my kids but my to my dismay, I could not take a picture. My phone storage was full. At capacity. No room for any more pictures.

I can relate to my phone. Lately I feel like I am always at full storage.  I’m always feeling overwhelmed.  And stressed out.  As a introverted, Highly Sensitive Person, being with two little people (who are also extremely needy and demanding) means that I am at max capacity at.all.times.  My relational margin feels very narrow, and yet I have a lot going on. A lot of commitments.  A lot of weekly plans.

My system is in overdrive.  My internal systems are screaming at me, “FULL storage!  No room!”

Honestly, the transition to two kids has been difficult for me.  This has been humbling and perhaps even a little embarrassing at times.   I always had this picture in my head of what kind of mother I would be.  In my mind, I was just going to love having little babies around!  I would snuggle them all day, I would be engaging and filled with joy at all times. These little blessings would total satisfy the longings of my heart.

And for the most part, that is actually what my first few years with Riley were like.  I’m sure that I was sometimes that annoying mom who just posted all of these pictures and blog posts that made everything look so blissful.  Because honestly, it kind of was!  Especially years 1 -2 and a half!  She was a pretty easy and we would have sweet little days together.  It was rich.  I deeply enjoyed it, and tried to soak it in. And I was able to because I was getting breaks.  She would take 3 hour daily naps (it’s true) and had an early bed time.

And then I had another kid.

Copeland honestly is the easiest baby I could ever imagine, which is part of why I feel embarrassed for thinking that it’s hard.  He is easy, but he is still a baby.  Which means he needs to eat (a lot.  Off of  my body for that matter) and be burped and changed and put down for naps and tended to in the middle of the night.  All while also taking care of a demanding 3-year old who no longer naps and is also waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares.

I’m exhausted.  And maxed out.  I feel like I have nothing left over at the end of the day, and somehow I keep running on fumes for so many other things.

Storage FULL. Internal systems screaming “May – day! May – day!”.

So this year is a year of some major simplifying. I’ve been trying to practice saying “no” frequently (which is very difficult for me!).  I’m giving myself the permission to scale down to the bare minimum: Meeting with the Lord. Tending to my kids.  Tending to my marriage.  Taking care of myself.  Eating, sleeping (when possible) and sometimes showering ;).  I’ve stepped down from church leadership positions.  I’m unapologetically setting boundaries around my life that will allow me to function well as a daughter of God, wife, and mother of two as I am.  Me, Krystal.  Not some other person I look at who has a higher capacity for being around people, or some figment of my imagination created by Pinterest.

Unapologetically.

Maybe that will be my word for the year.

Unfortunately,  I have lived too much of the past 30 years of my life trying to please people and get people to like me.  I struggle to say “no” and I’ve believed the lie that I have to prove myself through ministry and involvement.  When I speak up and try to set a boundary, I am apologetic about it.

But that life is only leading me to burnout, and staying home with two is forcing me into a new place of forming healthy and protective boundaries.

I have a feeling that God has a lot for me in this season, and I need the margin to hear and receive.  I love when He leads us into new places of freedom, beside the still waters.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year <3.

 

 

KM.

Fully embracing minimal makeup, the top knot, and cheap coffee.  It's a season of low standards, my friends ;).

Fully embracing minimal makeup, the top knot, and cheap coffee. It’s a season of low standards, my friends ;).

The Only Lullaby

I was recently watching the movie Philomena, when I felt it. The sadness boiling up again, threatening to spill over and burn every part of me.

In the movie (spoiler alert), Philomena’s 3 year old son is taken away from her, against her will. She watches as he is crying and fighting and driving away with his new family.

I couldn’t stop the tears. Although I have never had to watch my child being adopted out to someone else, I have experienced the raw grief of having a child taken from me against my will. Her child was taken from the monastery where she lived; mine was taken from my womb.

I have recently started going to counseling (highly recommend it). Between the loss of Salem, the shooting an murder of our neighbors, and a couple of other huge things that have happened this past year, it seemed it would be foolish not to seek some outside help. Praise Jesus for professional counselors. Anyway, at one of my recent sessions, we talked about the loss of Salem for the first time. My therapist pointed out how my body was physically responding as we spoke. That I looked like my body was trying to pull itself into fetal position, but I kept fighting it.

A year and a half has passed, and to most of the world he has probably been forgotten. The world, after all, never got the chance to know him. I never got the chance to know him, although I have been changed by him.

Sometimes when I’m holding Copeland, I think of Salem. Copeland has my blue eyes, light hair, and fair skin. What would Salem have looked like? Copeland has my laid back nature and shares my love for sleep. What would Salem be like, as a 4 month old? Would he be a good sleeper or would I be up with him all night? Would he be laid back like his mama and his brother, or more proactive and ambitious like his father and his sister?

And sometimes I feel guilty, thinking of Salem while I’m holding Copeland. After all, if Salem had lived, Copeland would have never been born. It’s such a tricky thing and you just cannot follow all the feelings down their own paths to sort it all out. It’s just messy and mucky and it doesn’t fit together in a tidy way that can be explained. I wish I didn’t lose Salem. I wish he was here with me right now. I also cannot imagine my life without Copeland. And I want him with me right now too. They are both mine and both loved.

But I’ve started to notice that thinking of Salem while I hold Copeland doesn’t take away from the sweetness of the moment. On the contrary, it makes me realize just how much of a gift my little rainbow baby is. My appreciation for Copeland is even richer and deeper, because of his brother who I never got to hold.

In this time in our Western world society, we don’t know what to do with grief. We treat it as something we need to just eventually get over. A hurdle that we are meant to get over. Something that eventually has to move into our past, as a faint memory. That is so sad to me, and so wrong.

No, grief is not an obstacle. It is an end in itself. It is not something we must get over, but a pure and beautiful expression of love.

So I want to embrace the grief that will remain with me for the rest of my life. It may feel different as each year passes, but it is a part of my life from now until eternity. It is my love for my son. The ache and cry of my heart is the song I sing to him. The only lullaby that will exist between us.

This is a painting given to us by dear friends, that made them think of "peace" - the meaning of Salem's name.

This is a painting given to us by dear friends, that made them think of “peace” – the meaning of Salem’s name.

KM.

Newborn Photo Shoot

It is hard to believe our little boy is almost 1 month old!  Time really has been flying by.  Shortly after we had returned home from the hospital, a good friend of ours (and amazing photographer – check out her website!) came to our place to do a newborn photo shoot.  Carolyn is so talented and has captured several sweet moments in our family’s life including a newborn photo shoot for Riley, a 1 year family photo shoot for Riley, and a Father/Daughter shoot! We are so thankful to have these pictures to preserve each of these special times in our family’s history.

Here are some of my favorites from Copeland’s newborn shoot.  I can’t wait to order some to put around our home!

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KM.

Joseph Copeland Maroon – The Name

copelandOn January 3rd, 2015 at 3:39pm our son, Joseph Copeland Maroon (we will call him by his middle name) made his grand entrance into the world! 7lbs, 11oz and 19 inches of pure cuteness and joy. I know I was getting antsy (to put it mildly) at the end of my pregnancy and having a hard time with the waiting each day that I went past 40 weeks – but the timing of Copeland’s birth could not be more beautiful. It was on January 3rd last year that we found out we had lost our second child. God sure had a very specific time picked out for Copeland’s birth for His own glory – January 3rd one year later. What an incredible glimpse into our God’s redemptive nature! We are so in awe, humbled and grateful.copeland 4

So, how did we choose the name Joseph Copeland?

Joseph – Our little guy is named after his grandfather (Jordan’s dad), Joseph Maroon. We pray that he grows up to be like his grandfather – a man of love, integrity, courage, strength, humility, wisdom, gentleness, a hard worker, a great dad and husband and grandfather.

Copeland – We knew for awhile that we wanted “Joseph” somewhere in his name, but we had a tough time choosing the name that we would call our son. And by “tough” what I mean is that I would come up with names and lists of names I liked, and Jordan would veto them ;). I even made a bracket once (like you would for March Madness) thinking it would help Jordan narrow it down or find something he liked. All it did was make him realize that he didn’t like any of the names. So in the end, Copeland was simply the name that we both agreed on and liked the most. I came across it online once, and it was the first name that I threw out there to Jordan that immediately received a positive response. For awhile we went back and forth as to whether or not we were going to choose it, but as our pregnancy neared the end we realized that there was just no other boy’s name that we liked more than Copeland. It’s very unique, and yet it doesn’t sound terribly unique (like “Rain” or “Fire” or something. No offense if that is your child’s name). To me, it sounds like a name that could be categorized with “Camden” or “Cole” but is less common. We have always liked names that are a little different. And we thought it sounded cute with Riley.

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At first, we didn’t choose the name based on their meanings. However once we had already picked his name, it was cool to learn what each name means and how perfect they are for our little guy. As I mentioned, right before getting pregnant with Copeland, we lost a baby in miscarriage. It was an incredibly difficult time for us, and we still mourn the loss of that child. On Easter Sunday, we found out that we were pregnant. Joseph means “The Lord will add” and Copeland means “The ability to cope.” Praise God that, in His undeserved grace, He added this sweet child to our family and Copeland sure has helped us cope during our difficult year!

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So, that is the story behind his name. I will blog about his birth story soon! 🙂

Until then,

KM.

Pregnancy Update

A couple of nights ago, I spent some time going through my old blog posts from my pregnancy with Riley. That was when I first started blogging, and I would do weekly updates on how my pregnancy was progressing.

I haven’t done that at all during this pregnancy. I think there are a few reasons for that:

(1) I think you just tend to do stuff like that more during your first pregnancy. When we were pregnant with Riley, we had plans for the color and design of her nursery, and had it all set up a couple months before she arrived! With this one, well let’s see… we have his clothes hanging in the closet? That’s about it! There are no nursery plans or decorating ideas. I guess he will just sleep in our room until he is sleeping through the night, and then he will share a room with his big sister. At that point, maybe we’ll change some of the decor?

I think the same thing goes for blogging. When I was pregnant with Riley, my whole world pretty much revolved around that one thing (my pregnancy). I was constantly consumed with it. When you have other kids though, your life is consumed by other things (those “things” being kids). You are just distracted. And I’m sure it is more like that with each kid you have. You don’t love them any less, of course, you’re just busy parenting! My mom said that she has a very detailed Baby Book for me from when I was born. It even includes clippings of hair from my first haircut! I was the firstborn. My sister has a little bit less in her baby book, and my brother (the 3rd born) has a Baby Book but… nothing in it. 😉

(2) In my first pregnancy, not only was I consumed by thinking about it all the time, but I assumed other people wanted to know all about it too. Maybe they did! Or at least a few people (Hi Mom, Grammy, and Anne!). But this time around…eh, I don’t think people really care much what kind of fruit he is the size of or what symptoms I’m having. So I haven’t felt compelled to document them.

(3) This pregnancy with our Rainbow Baby happened very quickly after our loss. So it has been a different pregnancy, having to navigate it while still grieving the loss of our baby before this one. For a while I felt a little guilty for rejoicing in this pregnancy, since it was right after my loss. It felt like it would in some way invalidate my sorrow over losing Salem or would devalue his short life in some way. It probably wasn’t until our 20 week ultrasound when we found out we are having a boy that I was actually able to let myself get excited and plan as if this is really happening. After our loss, there was a lot of fear in this pregnancy. I didn’t want to get too excited about weekly updates or developments, because I knew all too well that there are no guarantees, and I wanted to protect my heart in some way. Also because of our loss, I wanted to be careful about what I post publicly. I know how difficult it is to be a woman struggling in some area of fertility and to be bombarded by social media updates with all of the healthy pregnancies. I still want to be very sensitive to that.

ALL of that being said, when I read my pregnancy updates from my first pregnancy, I felt a little sad that I haven’t documented this one at all. There was something really cool for me about going back and reminiscing, and it also was helpful being able to compare that pregnancy to this one. I realized that I want to have SOMETHING to look back on to remind me about this time when I carried our son inside of me.

So here it is. I figured I would just do 1 big summary post of this pregnancy:

1st Trimester: My “tired” trimester (actually, that hasn’t really changed in any of the other trimesters!). I remember a friend telling me that once you already have a toddler, you don’t really get relief from the exhaustion you feel in pregnancy like you did when 2nd trimester hit in your first pregnancy, and boy has that been true for me! But first trimester was definitely the most tiring for me. I napped every day, was ready for bed by 9/9:30 pm, and STILL felt like I could sleep for days straight! I was definitely nauseous throughout my 1st trimester, but it was not nearly as bad as the nausea I experienced in my first pregnancy with Riley, and I never got sick from it. It was just kind of a constant, underlying wave of nausea that wasn’t enough to make me throw up or unable to function, but it did just make the day- to- day feel slightly miserable. I had a lot of food aversions, just like my first pregnancy. I had an aversion to coffee, to meat, to vegetables, and peanut butter – which is interesting since peanut butter then became one of my strongest cravings throughout the 2nd and 3rd trimester! All that ever sounded good to eat was carbs and cheese, which is ironic considering it wasn’t too long before this pregnancy that I had cut gluten and dairy out of my diet for awhile. I pretty much started eating the exact opposite of that. I ate a lot of biscuits, bagels, mac & cheese and cereal. Hmm, it is really a mystery where those 10 lbs I gained in first trimester came from… 😉

2nd Trimester: My “emotional” trimester. Thankfully once 2nd trimester hit, my food aversions and nausea disappeared. I was able to start eating healthy again, start drinking coffee again (super helpful when you’re a toddler mama!), and exercising more regularly. I actually lost 4 lbs at the beginning of 2nd trimester, which my doctor had told me might happen if my food aversions disappeared and I started to eat a little better. So physically, 2nd trimester was just as glamorous as they say it is, and very similar to my 2nd trimester with Riley. However, one thing that was different and difficult in this pregnancy was how crazy emotional I was! I cried so much through 2nd trimester. I really wrestled with depression. I shut down. I started to shut out God, Jordan, and my community in small ways. I wasn’t a very good friend. I just kind of wanted to resort into myself and indulge in my sadness. I struggled to be an intentional mother to Riley.

It was during 2nd trimester that we passed Salem’s due date, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. It was also during 2nd trimester that Jordan hit a really crazy season of ministry and was pretty burnt out. I felt alone and exhausted and cried all the time. As a matter of fact, when I wasn’t crying, Riley would say (over and over again), “Mama all done cry! Mama happy now!” and it would just break my heart. It really made me worried about having a 2nd child to take care of soon and made me wonder if I would have postpartum depression.

Strangely though, this all disappeared once 3rd trimester hit. I don’t really understand that, but I’m thankful! I would much rather be physically uncomfortable than emotionally distraught like that. Hormones… they are some crazy things!

3rd Trimester: My “everything hurts and I’m dying” trimester. I remember my 3rd trimester with Riley was difficult and uncomfortable. For some reason though, I really thought I was going to escape that this pregnancy! I think because I have remained active throughout my pregnancy, have eaten healthier (well… for the most part), and haven’t gained as much weight – I just assumed that I would be more physically capable and in less pain. NOPE. No such luck on that one. Pretty much once 32 weeks hit (I’m 35 weeks now) all sorts of aches and pains have started sneaking up on me. Low blood pressure/circulation issues, getting Charlie horses in my calves at night, hip pain, back pain, pins & needles in my arms, heartburn, ligament pain, pelvic pain & pressure, “lightening crotch” (umm, OUCH! I mean really. It feels like Baby boy has a knife and is just driving it into my pelvis. When it happens in public, I’m sure everyone thinks I’m in labor!), swollen feet, trouble sleeping. Again, I would still prefer this to the emotional mess I was in 2nd trimester! And I’m super thankful, because Baby Boy is growing and healthy and I would endure any amount of physical discomfort for that to be the case. But still, it’s challenging. You really forget how challenging pregnancy can be until you go through it again. I had told Jordan a couple of months ago that I wanted to keep my part of the gym membership through December because I wanted to workout until the very end of my pregnancy. Umm… haha. We’ll see how that goes! I’m still trying to workout, but it’s happening much less frequently and sometimes I just can’t do it (last weekend I only lasted 6 minutes on the eliptical because it was so painful). At this point I’ve gained 33 lbs, which is encouraging to me because at this point in my pregnancy with Riley I had gained 50! But that doesn’t change the fact that I still feel about as big as a whale. This was a conversation I had with Riley a couple of days ago:

Me: I feel like a whale! Do I look like a whale?
Riley: (looks at me) Yes.

🙂

You’ve got to love the honesty of a toddler. But seriously, even 33 lbs is a lot of extra weight when you’re only 5’1″ and most of it is carried out front. I have been daydreaming about what it would be like if our condo was like an indoor pool – filled with warm water, and I could just swim from room to room. It sounds amazing! There is a reason that whales don’t walk around on land, and it’s not just because of oxygen (in my opinion).

I’ve also hit a major grumpy phase. Poor Jordan. I’m sure he’s counting down the days as much as I am! I just feel so irritable and uncomfortable, and unfortunately he bears the brunt of it.

But we are SO close! I cannot wait to meet this little person that is growing inside of me, practicing his kickboxing right now as I type. Now that I know how sweet and incredible it is to have a child, I could not be more excited! I will say, I have struggled to bond with him as much as I felt like I bonded with Riley during pregnancy. I’ve heard that is very normal after experiencing the loss of a baby, and even with a second or third child. Even so, I love him so much already and I know that once I hold him in my arms, my whole world will change. In the best way! I have a feeling that I am going to be particularly attached to this little guy, and will probably have a hard time letting him out of my arms or out of my sight.

I look forward to sharing his birth story in the (hopefully) near future!

Here are some pics of the little guy, and the growing bump (and please excuse the messy room behind me in some of the bump pics! This is reality folks.  I didn’t stage the pictures, but now I realize that maybe I should have!):

Baby Son at 20 Weeks - I think he's cute already!

Baby Son at 20 Weeks – I think he’s cute already!

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KM.

The Big Rocks

Recently Jordan and I have felt pretty weary. Or maybe we’ve felt that way this whole past year. I’m too tired to think much past today, but I think that’s right. I think we’ve felt this way all year.

Perhaps it’s the fact that we kicked the year off with the loss of our second baby. Maybe it’s that being in full time ministry (and trying to balance it with a healthy family life) is just plain out tiring. Maybe it’s that I’ve been pregnant for much of the year, which makes normal life more difficult for me and puts more on Jordan. It could be that we’ve felt a lack of community for awhile, or that money is tight or that there just always seems to be 203984930 random life tasks on the to-do list that pile up and never get done.

Whatever combination of reasons, this season has been a weary one.

I know that sometimes it can get annoying when Christians over-use that phrase. I’m in a “season” of this or a “season” of that. What I love about that phrase, however, is the perspective that it shines on my life. Seasons come and go. They are temporary, but you can count on them coming. Each season has it’s misery and it’s glory.

For example, I hate the heat and humidity of the summer here in North Carolina. But I love to go to the pool, the lake, the beach, and on family vacation – all of which happen in the summer! I hate how I get sick all the time in the fall.  But wouldn’t it be tragic if I didn’t take time to appreciate the leaves and the crisp air and the fun fashion trends of the season? I think so. Winter is cold and barren, but with it comes slipper socks, cozy blankets, fires going in the fireplace, and the comforting smells, sounds, and ambiance of the Christmas season! Spring brings awful allergies, but also the beauty of flowers and grass in bloom and the amazing 60-70 degree temps!

If there is one thing we can be certain of in life, it’s that there will always be seasons. Seasons of joy and rest, life and energy.  Seasons of pain and grief, death and exhaustion. Every season is meaningful. Every season shapes us in new ways. And every season offers us the invitation to know God more, to rely on Him, and to make Him our greatest desire.

I don’t want to simply “get through” this season and miss what it may have to offer me. I don’t want to miss the beautiful and sweet things that God has placed all around me, that are unique to this particular season we are in. I don’t want to miss the things that God is trying to do in our lives and in our hearts. I don’t want to be distracted and discouraged.

A friend gave an analogy recently of filling a bucket. He said if you take a bucket and put some big rocks in it, you will still have some room to fill the bucket. You could put in some smaller stones, and you would still have some room. You could add some sand. Even then, you would probably still have room for water – in order to make the best use of filling that bucket. But let’s say instead of starting out with the big rocks, you start with the water. If you pour water in a bucket, you might be able to add a few small stones, and you might even be able to pour a little bit of sand in too. But you will not have any room for the big rocks.

One of the most difficult things in life is to figure out what the “big rocks” are, and then to orient our lives around those things. If we don’t put them first, then it’s likely they will not fit after all of the other things we let fill our lives.

In this season, I’m afraid Jordan and I have let the water fill the bucket first. There hasn’t been enough room for the big rocks. So we’re going to take some time to identify what exactly those big rocks are. What are the greatest priorities in our life? Time alone with God? Family worship? Community? Getting out of debt? Generosity? Ministry? Hospitality? Financial goals? Me staying home with the kinds?  Me bringing in some income? Exercise? Rest? I’m not sure, but as we figure them out, we are going to try to better orient our life around them.

This has been a difficult season, but we refuse to keep letting it fill our bucket with water that doesn’t leave room for the rocks. I don’t want to miss the riches that are hidden in this particular time in our life. And I know that the sooner we can figure out what our big rocks are and how to orient our life in such a way as to prioritize them, the sooner we can live fully in each new season that our life encounters.

What are your “big rocks” and how have you found ways to shape your life around them?

To My Sweet Daughter

Riley,

You are about to turn 3 in less than two months – when did that happen?! It feels like I put you to bed one day, and you just woke up grown up! I cannot believe the beautiful little girl you are becoming more of every day. You are the most sweet spirited person I have ever known, and yet you are independent and know exactly what you want (enjoy that. You definitely did not get it from me!)

You are actually are a lot like your daddy.  You like to know how things work.  You like to know what to expect.  You are a rule follower and enforcer, a thinker, and a creature of habit – just like him!  You do love your sleep though, so at least I passed something down ;).  It’s so fun to watch your little personality develop and to get to know who God created you to be and who you are becoming.

You love everything girly.  You love everything pink and purple, princesses, sparkles, makeup, Barbies, dolls, etc.  But you also love trucks and cars and airplanes, Lego’s, and sports.  And anything that your Daddy likes, really.  You look up to him so much, it is adorable.  You also admire me and love to do things “just like Mama!” (so I’ll go ahead and enjoy that now, while it lasts).

Tonight while we were lying in my bed I said to you, “You’re the best Riley.” You responded,”You the best too, Mama.”

Yesterday, unprompted and out of nowhere, you ran up and gave me a big hug and said, “I love you Mama.”

When I asked you today if you wanted to feel your baby brother move in my belly you said, “Uhhh no.” The “Uhhh no” is something you’ve been saying a lot lately and you say it in such a condescending way, as if the question is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. It cracks me up :).

It’s been a week where I’ve been sick, so we’ve been cooped up a lot and I have felt bad that I haven’t been able to do much with you. And yet every single day you have said things like, “This is the BEST day EVER!!!” and “Today is Mama Riley adbenture day! I so excited!” and something that you have been telling me several times a day lately, “Mama, I happy!” Even when I feel like I am at my worst, you have a way of making me feel so special. You just enjoy every minute of life and your contentment is contagious. If I could take the tiniest molecule of your daily joy, put it in a capsule and give it to people to take, I have a feeling it would be quite the antidote for much of the anxiety and depression plaguing the adult world.

Earlier this week when we had returned from a walk to the playground you said, “I have fun at Riley’s house! I LOVE Riley’s house!”  You have no idea how happy that made me.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in comparing what we have to other people and I’ll feel discouraged about how small or unimpressive our little home is.  But then I look at you and how much you absolutely love it here, and it makes me also fall in love with this little home that we have made together as a family.  You really help me when I need to keep my perspective in check, kiddo!

You always make it clear that you love your life, your home, and your family.

When I leave (even for just 15 minutes) I cannot get over how excited you are to see me when I return. You get the biggest smile on your face and excitedly say, “MAMA!!!!!” As if you haven’t seen me in weeks. And you often say, “Mama, I so glad you back.”

You’ve also started asking, “Mama, do wanna play with me?” or you’ll ask me, “Mama, do wanna sit with me?” But you pronounce the “me” with a long “e” in the sweetest little voice. It makes me turn to mush and I cannot turn you down. Your seriously have the sweetest little voice. I don’t ever want it to change! Well, I guess I do… I mean, you don’t really want to be a 30 year old with that little voice. That would be very weird. But I want it to last as much as your childhood as possible.

But even when I can’t play with you, you’re such a little sport about it. You actually do an amazing job of entertaining yourself. You’ve reached a really fun stage where you can play with your little toy figurines (like Mickey & Minnie or your little princesses) for hours at a time, entering completely into an imaginary world. You often make them say and do things that your daddy and I say and do. For example, one doll will say to another, “I have to go to work! I see you later!” or one will sing the “Baby Song” that I sing to you at bed time, as they tuck another one into the play-dough bed that you have made them :). I could watch you play like that for hours.

As much as you love me and shower me with affection, you also have a funny way of trying to get rid of me. One day we were at the pool and you met a little friend, Sophia. I was swimming right next to you. You gave me this really funny look and said, “Mama… go float.” I responded, “Oh, you want me to float sweetheart?” as I started to float on my back in the water. You kind of looked around and then said, “Mama go float… over there!” as you pointed to the other end of the pool. And a few days ago when you started dancing in the living room you gave me that same look again and said, “Mama… go hide!” I said, “But I want to watch you dance sweetie.” But you insisted, “Mama, go hide in Mama room” and continued to dance once I left. Clever :).

I can tell that you are starting to learn the blame game (your poor unsuspecting brother, who I’m sure is about to bear the brunt of it!).  Yesterday you ate the last banana Popsicle from the freezer.  Then when you saw the empty wrapper sitting on the coffee table you (literally) gasped and said, “Mama! You eat it ALL!!!!”  I said, “No Riley, YOU ate it all.”  You shook your head and said, “No Mama, you eat it all.”  Little stinker ;).

And you’ve become quite the negotiator – it’s pretty hilarious. Recently you had asked me for a rice cake. I told you “no”. So you tried to negotiate, “juuuuuusst one rice cake?” I caved, “Ok Riley, you may have JUST ONE rice cake.” You said, “Ok thanks mama, just two rice cake!” Sneaky ;). But you really were sneaky because I found myself handing you two before I realized what had just happened! You’ve also started the whole, “Just oooonne more minute!” When I tell you it’s time to leave or turn off the TV.

The problem is, everything you do is so cute and sweet that I have a REALLY hard time not giving into you.  I say “yes” to you a whole lot and you are probably getting way too spoiled. I’m sure it’s going to back fire on me at some point. Your daddy and I are often having conversations about how I need to be more firm with you and clear and consistent with my “no’s.”

But you are seriously the most incredible little person, and I feel so blown away and grateful that I get to spend my days having “adbentures” with you! I’m not saying it’s always easy. There are days when I think motherhood might swallow me whole, and I truly don’t know what I would do without your 3 hour afternoon nap (Seriously. 3 hours! You have no idea how much your pregnant mama appreciates that sweetheart. Please keep it up.). But being with you is so sweet. Always rich. And always worth it. It sounds so cliche but you are growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss a moment!

 

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