The Boys Right Now.

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Everett. Four and a half going on seventeen. Right now you are so much fun I can hardly stand it. I keep telling you to stop growing up and you keep telling me you’re going to keep doing it.

You love playing Candyland, we play it at least 3 times a day. Your favorite card is the ice cream floats, because you love ice cream AND because it bumps you so close to the finish line. Which you remind me of, every time.

Lately you have been telling me, “I’ll love you forever mommy and I’ll never stop loving you”. And you are also saying, “I love you 100”. There are really no words to describe how it feels when you tell me these things. I LOVE YOU FOREVER 100 TOO!!!

You are continuously working on your worksheets from school, even when we are at home and not talking about school work. You’re getting so good at your name that now you are practicing writing Daxton’s name and it makes me so happy when you are so proud of your work.

You are eating so good these days, my love, and GOSH is it a relief after the journey we’ve had. I am so proud of you for eating your broccoli, even if we do douse it with an extreme dose of parmesan cheese.

And you are so helpful with your brother, letting him know when his behavior warrants a discipline. I’m sure he appreciates it, but not as much as I do. You are going to make a great daddy with all this practice you’re getting these days!

You are so thoughtful, asking the best questions. Questions that make me ask myself questions! Like, “Mom, what is prison? How do you get there?” Omg.

You run so fast, Everett. I cannot wait to see where those legs take you.

We are reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe right now before bedtime, and you keep saying you want the witch to win, which makes me giggle. I can’t wait for you to figure out that she’s really the bad guy.

You refuse to nap, so we are in that stage where you are having “rest time” and somehow finding ways to get out of it. You are quite the negotiator! But seriously - I miss the days when you napped.



My two-year old. You big, beautiful burly babe. You have gotten so snuggly with me lately, which is really making my life. I don’t care what else is happening in the world when I’m snuggling with you - it’s just that good!

You are speaking so well, repeating everything you hear your brother say. It makes my heart soar to hear you say, “I wuv you, Ev-wett” when we put you boys to bed at night. And you say “Thank you, mama” about 10 times a day which makes all of my insides smile. You make me SO happy.

And watching you and Everett play together is exactly what I dreamed and hoped it would be all those months when I was pregnant with you and imagining the brotherhood you two would share.

Your hair is so, so soft. I hope it stays that way forever.

You are experiencing a good dose of the 2’s right now, so discipline is happening around the clock. I hope you will understand in the future that it’s all for your good and because we love you.

You also have decided to follow in your brother’s footsteps when it comes to his repulsion of most foods. Thankfully he has grown out of that, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed (and trying to stress less) that you will soon grow out of it, too.

Speaking of, you still call snacks “Thuhhhhh” and as much as I want you to start saying it the right way, a bigger part of me DOESN’T. Because when you ask for a “thuhhh” I can’t help but laugh.

You are easy going, fun to be with, and you make everyone around you smile because of your smile. Even your teachers want to keep you! You bless me every single day. Although I’m pretty certain I’m going to have to stop carrying you around places because, BOY, you are growing like a weed.

Both of you boys, stop growing! And at the same time, keep doing it, because with each incremental bit of growth comes an unexpected amount of fun and I feel like we are all just in a really good groove these days. You two have made my life full, so full. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you both forever!

Life Lately.

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Life feels like it's happening really, really fast lately.

We took these photos the other day because I was photographing this teether toy for another website that I write for. I'll share the link once the post is live, but I wanted to share a few of the photos here, too, because I am just wowed by how BIG my two boys are getting! Like, it's happening so fast, and I kind of can't believe it. Everett feels more grown up than ever (well, most of the time, let's be honest, his favorite word is "poot-ey"), and Daxton is growing up waaaaay faster because he has a big brother that he's looking up to all the time. It's just so crazy how people always say, "Oh, enjoy these years, they go by so fast!", and here I am, living that experience. And it is, indeed, going by so fast! It's hard when you're in the thick of parenting and newborn life - things feel so glacially slow. It feels like they will never grow up and actually feed themselves. Or go to the bathroom on their own. Or let you go to the bathroom on your own! But there are these incremental changes, and if you don't take a moment to take stock in them, suddenly your kids are big and it's like, "WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

Daxton pulled himself up to standing this week. My 9-month old is standing, he is relatively uninterested in anything that doesn't involved Everett and he claps his hands in celebration of things. I am blown away by how fast his growth is - his body is so big and his development just seems so much faster than Everett's was. I have no idea if that's actually true though. He has a big brother that is always running in circles around him - I'm sure that is motivation to get big and strong fast!

I love these little men of mine. We are in Disneyworld this week (I am staying up way too late to type this post - we hit Magic Kingdom for day 2 tomorrow!) But I just wanted to share this little thought with you - take stock in the moment, right now. Take stock in listening to your babies breathe, your spouse's laughter, your parent's quirks. Remind yourself what you love about your life, right now, today. Remember what the sky looks like this morning. Look in the mirror and like what you see. Because these moments are so fleeting, friends. They world is passing us by and I don't want to miss a thing. Okay, now I'm quoting an Aerosmith ballad so it's looking like time to close up this laptop for the night. Hope you're all having a wonderful week! xx

7 months after.

It's been 7 months since I had my c-section with Daxton. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I have lived with pain at my incision site every single day since then. Every day. In the past month I can honestly say that the pain has subsided significantly and now it's only a twinge here and there. But it's been present with me, every day, reminding me of that ludicrous day and night of trying so badly to give birth to my boy.

We tried everything. Ultimately, my natural birth plan was rudely interrupted by an emergency c-section. I've come to terms with it. I am grateful, so very grateful. A hundred years ago my outcome might have looked very different. Thank goodness for modern medicine, truly. But I still can't believe it happened.

I can't believe that women, so very many of them, live with this kind of wound striping them forever. Having gone through this experience has given such an awakening, such an understanding and for what others have endured.

I have a new respect for the medical community and for how well cared for I was by my doctors and nurses. For real.

I'm more aware than ever of how very strong women are.

I'm astounded by how beautiful and terrifying and gracious childbirth is.

The thing about having babies and becoming a mother is that it changes you. Forever. All the things you once thought about parenthood and "what you will do" means nothing. All the moments of judgement you once had toward other parents - you will find yourself in their shoes. You will find yourself remembering how you once judged someone for shoving an iPhone in their child's hand when they were screaming in public. You realize it at the exact moment that you are doing the same thing. I'm not saying its right, I'm saying you will find yourself doing it though.

This journey has humbled me. I used to think people who had c-sections were weak. They couldn't give birth or didn't really have the will to finish the job. Of course, I didn't mean to have these judgements. Forgive me, all of you. These thoughts were based on ignorance (as most judgements are). But after my experience, I see now how wrong I was. I worked so hard for both of my baby boys. It's the hardest work I have ever done. I was so strong and so fierce and yet my outcomes with both of my babies were so different. Everett was born naturally without any pain medications after 36 long hours. Daxton was delivered via c-section after 24 hours of labor, and an escalation from no pain meds to an introduction of pitocin, an epidural and finally, the emergency surgery. In fact, I think I even worked even harder for Daxton and still had a c-section. Life is strange, friends. Babies are worth it, though.

The day you give birth, there is awe and wonder at the new life you just created. But there is very little celebrated about your new life - when you become a mom, you are getting a new identity. You are forever changed. And to be honest, giving birth is kind of like the hazing before you get into the mom club. I'm kidding (sort of). But it's hard to find time or energy to really celebrate your own new identity. It's all so different - the new feelings (aka crazy hormones that are running the show), the new body (that you're trying to get on board with and not have self-loathing toward), the instincts of protection and ferocious love and adoration for your squishy (in my case, hefty), little love.

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. You're never ready. But I can say with certainty that any pre-concieved judgements I once had towards other mothers is totally gone. Whenever I see a mom barking at her child at the grocery store, I say a silent prayer for her. Who knows what kind of day she's had and what kind of pressure she's been under, the lack of sleep she's probably be living with, the overwhelm she must be feeling. Grace grace grace. Grace for all the mamas!

I saw a cool-looking mom the other day at Target. We were both checking out at different registers, and she was holding her infant while her toddler was pulling on her shirt, and she was swiping her credit card and loading bags into her buggy and she was just momming so hard. I hollered over to her, "You're doing it! You got this mama!" and without even a pause she put up her one free hand and hollered back, "You're doing it, too, mama! You're amazing!" and then we both went our separate ways. It was such an empowering, fun, warming moment with a complete stranger - I love the camaraderie of motherhood and the dissipation of competition. We are all in this together and I am so grateful for my baby boys who have introduced me to my best life - full of love and wonder and the fight for this good gift of life.

So to all of you mamas out there - you're doing it! You're amazing! You got this.