learning to love

It's no secret that I am a baby mom.  It's quite apparent by the work that I chose to do.  When I was younger I always much preferred babysitting the babies.  I played dolls until I was much too old to be playing dolls.  Then I had my first baby at the young age of 25.  I savored those baby years, all 9 of them.  I will never forget that feeling I got every time I walked into Babie's R Us, that I belonged there.  But now my babies are not babies and I am learning what it't like to not be a baby mom.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days I relish the sleep full nights, the absence of baby accessories, the nearing of being diaper free.  Most days I don't.  I long for the little things, like rear facing carseats, strollers, Moby's, newborn diapers and even middle of the night feedings.  

I am learning though, that there are fun times to be had.  

The joy I get from watching my oldest do what he loves the most is like no other.  

The pride I have when my six year old learns how to swim and ride a bike, all in one summer!

The excitement I get thinking about this guy in Pre-K.

Or the thankfulness for all things girly that I get to do with this little one.

There is so much more to come!



Alexander {6}

Well, way back on May 4th my second born turned 6... and then summer happened.
What can I say about Alexander Daniel?  He is by far my most loving boy.  He is the first to tell me that he loves me and missed me when I come home from work.  He loves all things sports.  He made it through his first year of school with flying colors.  He has lost 2 teeth.  He eats, breaths and sleeps the 49ers.  
...And he is the most stubborn little six year old I know.  

He may make it to seven...

If he is lucky!


Happy Birthday Sweet Evelyn!

Well, the day has come.  For the last 6 years I have had a baby in the house.  Today marks the end of an era and the opening of many new adventures.  Evelyn is a blessing that I could have never imagined we would have.  She was the most perfect surprise.  The perfect ending to our growing family.  Her brothers adore her, her dad thinks she is pretty sweet and her momma, well that's a whole other story!  She completes us in the most perfect way.  

With her there is never enough pink.  With her there is never too many babies.  And with her there is all the snuggles I could ever want.  I stand no chance against her big blue eyes and curly blond hair.  My heart melts with each "My Momma" and "I yuv you".  

Ok, enough with my gushing.  Evelyn, here is a little bit about you on this, your 2nd Birthday.  You are definitely the baby and are exerting your right to have everything you want.  And sadly enough we usually oblige, whether it is your brothers or us.  I guess thats the perk of being the baby... we are so sick of hearing whining we will do anything to prevent it.  However, I will say, that you have your thank you's down, so at least your gracious.  
You are such the little momma.  A baby is in tow wherever we go.  Oh, and real babies, don't even get me started.  You will be an amazing momma some day, I can already tell.  

Your happiness is a true blessing.  While you may have your moments, you tend to be a happy little camper.  You are content to escape and take care of your babies and don't require constant attention.  Elsa is still a huge hit around here... God help me.  It's pretty cool to have princesses around the house, but if I hear Let it Go one more time I might scream.  
You are talking so much, it amazes me.  Two, three, sometimes four words all strung together.  My favorite was when you came up to me with a big puppy dog lip and said "Momma, A-yex push me.  Bad boy A-yex."  You are quick to discipline your brothers these days, which is pretty hilarious.  I wonder where you got that from.  Occasionally I overhear you disciplining your babies, but mostly just shushing them.  

Eating is not necessarily your fortay.  You seem to be somewhat of a self made vegetarian, although you will do anything for bacon.  Salad is a new favorite of yours and if I don't give you your own, you will make yourself right at home with my plate.  We have mostly done away with bottles but occasionally you will request one and I willingly give it to you.  Anything to keep you little longer.  
You are a mommas girl, there is no doubt about that.  When you here I am leaving your promptly cry and say "no leave momma".  It melts my heart just a little since none of your brothers did this.  There is nothing better than the "MOMMA!" that I get when I get home from a long day at work.  You would have me carry you everywhere if you could.  Luckily, you continue to be mostly easy going, but are definitely starting to exhibit some of the terrible twos.  No's are usually met with a drop to the floor and/or tears.  Thankfully you recover pretty quickly.  

Evelyn Anne, I have said this before and I will say it again...  You are the perfect ending to our perfect story.  While Tyler gets to suffer the wrath of being the first born, you too get to suffer the wrath but in the opposite way.  Each and every day I will remind you that you are my baby, my last.  And each and every day I will make one request of you... please don't grow up.  
I love you baby E!


Double Digits...

T minus 1 day and I will be the mother of a 10 year old!  How does that happen?  It feels like yesterday that I was surrounded by my family and friends after emergently welcoming him into this world.  Groggily I talked to Dan on the phone, giving him every last detail of the hurried birth while snuggling the tiniest, cutest little boy I had ever laid my eyes on.  His full head of hair and long toes were among the many things I was so amazed by.  I claimed he had Dan's nose, although that didn't hold true.

Our first year together was bliss.  Tyler proved to be a pretty easy baby.  We got to welcome daddy home and moved into our own hose as a family.  It was so fun to see him learn and grow.  And grow he did!  To quickly.


From his first steps to the first times outs, they were firsts for all of us.  We are learning every step of the way with him.  Soon we will encounter our first dances, first girlfriends and first driving experiences.  Although he is getting older, the firsts will never end with him.  He has weathered our learning curve and always forgives us when we admit to messing up.  With him he knows that everything is a battle worth fighting and he is learning to work with us as we are with him.

Tyler has endured a lot of change this year and done it in stride.  He has found his place at his new school and done so with ease.  We are beyond thankful for this experience and he is too.  This spring brings about another new adventure.  Tyler joined a new baseball team.  Practices are underway and we are looking forward to another exciting season!

Thank you Tyler James, for making me a momma.  For putting up with me.  For making me smile, laugh and even cry.  Thank you for being you, even when we punish you for it.  Thank you for loving me through the rough times.  And most of all, thank you for teaching me how to be the best mom I can be.  I know you hate to hear it, but you will forever be my baby.


Still learning

After being a mom for 10 years you would think I had this thing down.  But just when you think you have gotten in a grove,  those kids, they go and change things up on you.  
One thing I know about my parenting is that I have high expectations.  High expectations of myself, and of my kids.  I have come to find out that these expectations get in the way... a lot.  Choosing my battles is one thing I have not mastered.  To me every battle seems to be the most important.  After all, I am trying to raise responsible, caring, and hard working kids.  Dan and I never have and never will serve things on a silver platter.  However,  I have started to ask myself more frequently, where is the happy medium?  Where is that spot that we can meet in the middle and everyone can be happy?  My frustrations have far outweighed my happiness these days and I feel guilty.  Guilty that I am taking away a carefree childhood from my kids.  Guilty that I am noticing all the bad things and none of the good.  But most of all guilty that I am not simply being with my kids.  
So today, I write this down to hold myself accountable.  This year, instead of giving up some meaningless thing for lent, I am going to gain something.  I am going to gain happiness.  I am going to gain time with my kids.  Most importantly, I hope to gain a better relationship with the ones I love the most.

Sometimes life just ain't pretty, and that's ok.



It's the little things...

The beginning of a new year always gets me into a sentimental mood.  It's no secret that I don't like the passing of time.  As a matter of fact, I down right hate it.  The thought of my babies growing up sends my heart into palpitations.  Shoot, going up a size in diapers is like open heart surgery to me.  Just wait until the day I don't have to buy diapers at all.  Watch out Target patrons, I might be holding a vigil there.  
On the flip side of the heart ache, I begin to think about all the things that I am missing out on right now while I am worrying about what is behind me.  The constant arguing will eventually fade.  The discipline, the consequences, the bargaining... that will all be a distant memory.  What we will be left with are the good times.  The times we took a walk to the park as a family.  The times I sat down and played games with my kids.  The vacations we took and the moments that we shared, those are what will stay with us.  

While I know this to be true it is still a real struggle to make time for those moments.  To put aside the housecleaning, the cooking, the grocery shopping and truly make time for my kids is challenging. Challenging, that is, until I stop and remind myself of what is truly important.  
I constantly worry about how my kids will grow up.  Will they like me?  Will they say close, or want to move aways?  Will we host family sunday dinners?  These things I may not know until they come but what I can do is lay the foundation for this family and hope that it is strong enough to keep us all together.  

I think January is off to a pretty good start.  

Do you have any of those articles of clothing that you just can't stand but your kid loves?
Yep, this is one of them.  Someday it will disappear.  

 On a side note... How did my kids get so lucky with their eye lashes?


It can only get better

I gave up.  I did. 
I gave up on something I loved because I was worried about how it would make others feel.  I gave up writing about the trials and tribulations of being a mom because I felt like I could't write about what I was really feeling.  Today I am letting that go.  I am starting fresh.  I am doing what makes me happy and not worrying about how others might perceive that.  Back to blogging it is.  The nitty gritty.  The down and dirty.  It ain't always pretty but that's our life... and I am proud of it!

2014 was a challenging year.  We were faced with some difficult situations which led to big decisions which morphed into big changes.  We questioned ourselves, we beat ourselves up, but in the end we did what we felt was the best for our family.  It challenged us to be better parents, to look beyond the surface, to go past what we originally thought was best for our kids and to take the not so easy road. And you know what, we wouldn't change it for the world.  We learned, we grew and we survived.  

And in true form, 2014 went out with a bang...  well, with 3 very sick kids at least.