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

Six Weeks in Newbornland.

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It's been quite a journey, these past 6 weeks.

I've laughed, cried, felt complete peace, felt complete chaos.

Stevie had 6 weeks of paternity leave (!!!), so my family was pretty spoiled by having daddy around constantly. And I didn't realize how much I would NEED him around, to do everything. Thank goodness for him! And for his awesome company for providing this policy for dads! I can't tell you enough how thankful I am that we had so much time together to integrate into a new family normal.

Because I've been recovering from a c-section, I couldn't do anything for the first two weeks postpartum. Like, anything. I couldn't move, let alone change diapers or pick up my toddler or even go to the bathroom. Stevie did it all - cooking and cleaning, taking care of Everett, taking care of Daxton. He had to bring me the baby every time to feed him, he had to help me change my underwear, he had to help me bathe. It was kind of a nightmare, for me. I felt so helpless and disempowered. Of course, all of those things got easier, but the process felt so, so slow. Once I got over being exhausted from the labor and delivery, I went into full-force frustration because I just wanted to be able to do stuff. I have a whole new empathy for women who have gone through c-sections, especially in situation that are emergent. I never understood what that must feel like, how hard the recovery can be, how emotional the process is.

Not to sound dramatic, but there were a lot of things that made the past 6 weeks feel endless.

But then there's Daxton.

He is just incredible. So sweet, with a peaceful demeanor and almost an air of maturity, somehow. His eyes are clear and his body is long and he has the gentlest spirit. Did I mention he is big? So big. In the few short weeks I've known him, I've fallen hard. We all have. This family is smitten with our little boy and we didn't realize how much we were missing out on before he arrived. Everett and I like to call him our lovey dovey, only Everett says it like, 'uh-vy duhvy' and it's pretty hilarious. He also calls him his "best brother" and kisses him on the cheek about 50 times a day. We are all just so happy with our expanded family. It's so nourishing to this mama heart of mine, especially as I sort through the highs and lows in this new season of motherhood.

All the "firsts" have been so unique to Daxton's personality. Finding a special song to sing to him in the middle of the night when I'm rocking him back to sleep. Giving him his first bath and seeing his calm reaction to the water. Taking family walks outside and watching his eyes as he takes in the blue of the sky, the song of a bird, the chill of the weather. Even though we've had Everett for over two years, showing us the world through his eyes, it all feels new again. Because it's with a brand new soul, fresh from Heaven and brimming with his own breath of life.

Sometimes I have to stop myself, to remind myself that I am living in the good old days. And these are those days! Marked with exhaustion and teeming with every degree of emotion. What a six weeks it's been!

P.S. - My birth story with Daxton.

A Little Mouse for Halloween.

This little guy makes me laugh so much. He wouldn't put on his costume all day long, even though his preschool had a party and parade. But after a little bribing ("Everett, there will be candy if you put on a costume...") he seemed to catch on that Halloween is FUN. I've actually never given him a piece of candy ever, but I know he's had some here and there with cousins and grandmothers and at school. So he understood the incentive! And boy, what a cute mouse he made.

We rode our golf cart a few neighborhoods over where the houses aren't decorated too scary and the sweet neighbors wait on the porch with candy. We like to go extra early, because I don't want to expose Everett to anything too scary. This little Halloween tradition has been in our family over the past few years, with all of Everett's local cousins. And friends, too!

I like dressing up, but this year that was the furthest thing from my mind. If anyone asked, I was a woman having contractions (true story you guys) and Stevie was my supportive husband, helping me get through them. Hence me stalking slowly behind them in the golf cart while they walked like normal people. Walking brings on those contractions, so I am trying to curb it. Braxton Hicks they call them, ha. More like Baby lightening punts straight into my special area. This is real life. But I had a really cute view from behind my man and my mouse, so it was manageable :)

Thank goodness for my super woman buddy. She swooped in from time to time in the midst of wrangling her own clan of super heroes, bringing me lots of good cheer.

I mean, how cute are these cousins??

Our clan of heroes, animals, villains and FRIENDS. So grateful for this crew. And so grateful to Aunt Lauren, who sponsored Everett's mouse costume :)

I hope your Halloween was a blast, too! And now that we're past this holiday, I can officially prepare for the very BEST holidays of the year without being in too much violation :) Much love to you, friends!

The Things I Miss and the Things I Don't.

Sunset over the Hudson River from a few nights ago. Taken from High Line Park.

Sunset over the Hudson River from a few nights ago. Taken from High Line Park.

I'm sipping on my Stumptown coffee this morning and the apartment is quiet. Processing. This baby inside of me is wiggling. The toddler is sleeping soundly. The husband went to play basketball early before work. I love these moments, because they are so rare. The ones I get to keep for myself.

I wasn't planning to post anything today, because, well, I have an editorial calendar and it's been a challenge enough to keep up with it. I have so many photos to edit it isn't funny. While being up here, away from our normal routine and childcare and grandmothers pitching in to help, "normal" has fallen by the wayside. It's been just me and my boys. And it's been wonderful and challenging in a special kind of way. Although my normal routine and responsibilities have been backburnered while I tend to the new ones - making sure everyone feels homey, safe, cared for, stable. Holding lots of hands. Making lots of plans. I am missing home, but not terribly. I am missing routine, but not craving it. I know it will come again, just like the morning and the ocean tide and the rising sounds of the city. So I am just enjoying these few moments, this odd gift of time where I get to adventure along with these 2 (3?) boys of mine. But I must say.

I miss my wild, untamed, jungle-y garden.

I miss the quiet under the trees of the winding golf cart paths.

I miss sitting on my back porch, watching Everett tumble around in the grass.

Thought I don't miss the mosquitoes.

I miss the comfort of my home, but I have rediscovered how cozy and simple a home can be. We don't need a big house with tons of furniture - this apartment is furnished with just what it needs, and it's enough. I like that. I really really like that.

I miss my mom. And my other mom.

I don't miss the humidity. Or that chain restaurants are kind of the only option. I have eaten really really well up here. You should see my burgeoning belly.

Up here, the drivers are aggressive, the roads are narrow, and the sounds are constant. I don't appreciate those things.

We brought Everett 12 books and two small canvas totes of toys. He's managing just fine.

Attitude really, really, really is everything. I could be crying about all the things I'm missing. And missing out on. Or I could be happy and optimistic about the coming season. Or I could be living each day, fully present and true in the moment. I've done all three on this trip. A simple attitude adjustment is the very best medicine, I'm convinced of it.

I packed too many clothes, and I packed for myself and Everett in the same suitcase. I am really struck by how little we need for life to go 'round. Life just really isn't about the stuff.

But then, I really do love the activity of shopping. Discovering and creating and planning and arranging. There's something so artistic in finding new treasures. So there's that. I am my own oxymoron.

I just realized that today is September 1 and it all makes sense. This is my month, the time that I always reflect and feel the shift in the season. So yeah. It all makes more sense now. Good morning to you friends, and happy September to you. It's going to be a very good season, I can sense it.

It all makes much more sense now.