Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Things We Can Learn From Our Children...

*Find joy in the little things - a pot, a wooden spoon, an empty paper towel roll... the possibilities are endless!

*Bubbles make bath time a lot more fun!

*When you're fingerpainting - the messier, the better.

*Who cares if the house is clean?!  Let's have FUN!

*Having ice cream for dinner is always a good idea.

*Spending time outside should be part of everyday.

*An afternoon nap makes everyone less fussy.

*Whenever you fall down, get right back up, brush it off, and keep on movin'.

*Always ask for exactly what you want.

*Use your imagination like a muscle - exercise it every single day.

*When you need to cry, cry.  When you wanna giggle, giggle.  Don't apologize for your emotions.

*Sometime we all need a little timeout.

*Schedules are important.  Routines are imperative.  But sometimes, it's okay to let life get in the way of those two things.

*Always greet your loved ones with a hug and a kiss.

*Whenever you hear music, no matter where you are, DANCE.  Who cares what you look like?!

*Go to the playground every chance you get.

*When you see yourself in the mirror, SMILE.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Should Have Been...

I'm having a hard time... 

stuck focusing on what should have been.

Today should be my due date.

I should either have a newborn, be in the hospital in labor, or be anxiously anticipating the first contraction.

I have dreaded today since December 20th - the day our baby's heart stopped beating.  And at that time, when I thought about July 30th, it seemed so far away.  And I always thought we'd surely be pregnant by now.

Yet here we are...

So it's hard for me, because logically I know it's a waste of energy and emotion to focus on what could have and should have and might have been.  But I can't ignore the ache in my heart, the hole that will probably always be there, longing for the baby whose heartbeat we heard.  But whose heart just wasn't quite strong enough to keep on beating.

Today, since I'm not having a newborn, or in the hospital in labor, or anxiously anticipating the first contraction, I will let myself experience the darkness, feel the pain.  And then I will squeeze my little girl extra tight and soak in every ounce of her being, knowing I am so, so lucky to be her mama.

And with all of my heart I will hope and wish and pray that one day, someday, I can be a mama to another little blessing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day Hodgepodge

Another assortment of midweek randoms for your reading pleasure... this week I'm linking up with In This Wonderful Life!!

*After my last blog post, I had a case of writer's regret.  Had I said too much?  Had I been too raw?  Was I too emotional, too negative?  There was an outpouring of support from family and friends who had read it, and it made me remember that there are a couple people out there who do actually read what I write - which, in turn, made me feel a little overexposed for a second.  Naked.  Like I had stripped away the smiles and the "life is AWESOME!" facade for a moment and let it all hang out there.  Sometimes, actually most of the time when I write, it's for me.  To free my brain of stress, to document our lives so that I don't forget, to give CK something to look back on when she's older.  And I think last week I hit my breaking point in a few ways and just had an UGHHHHHH moment.  And I let it show.  And sure, I do feel a little naked from the whole experience, but at the end of the day I want to always be real and honest and genuine.  And that post was definitely those three things.

*And on that note, we have had the BEST WEEK this week!  WE GOT OUR GIRL BACK, FOLKS!  While I was away this weekend (more on that later), Cameron Kate broke out in a rash, confirming our suspicions that she had roseola.  (A common virus - Google it if you're curious.)  By the time I returned on Sunday afternoon, she was back to being herself.  Funny, giggly, wild, and independent with a few tantrums thrown into the mix.  And since I returned, I have been soaking in every ounce of her being.  I hope my last post didn't lead anyone to believe that we aren't having a great summer.  Because it has been AWESOME.  And the fun has continued this week with tons of mama/daughter play time.  I have to say I am so relieved that the beast who took over my child last week has left the building.

*And speaking of my weekend away, it was GLORIOUS.  I won't go into too many details, but I truly feel like we were able to spoil my baby sister and give her the bachelorette weekend of her dreams.  You can read all about it on my sister's blog... it is certainly a weekend I will never forget!
 Think she's excited about marrying her most favorite man?!

*This week I took a mama and baby stroller workout class at a local park.  My friend Nicole asked me to come, and it KICKED MY BUTT!!  I can run my little toosh off, but put me by a park bench with some weights, a mat, and my toddler in a stroller, and I am a wuss.  Especially when the girl leading the class looks like she belongs on the front of Womens' Health magazine.

*Um, guys, I have been dying to scream this from the rooftops... I'M GONNA BE AN AUNT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby in early February.  Since the day they said "I do," I have been wishing and hoping and praying they'd become parents.  And it's finally gonna happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*I had my first back-to-work dream last night.  Nooooooo!!

*I am LOVING our Tuesday morning gymnastics class.  The best part is in the very beginning, when they call roll and each child runs to the middle of the circle and says, "Ta-Da!!!"  Cameron Kate LOVES to do this, even when we're warming up (before roll call).  She'll run to the middle and just stand there with her arms in the air yelling, "Ta-Da!!!!  Ta-Da!!!!!!" while everyone else is doing the butterfly.  Love.
 Watch out, Gabby Douglas.

*I may or may not have already started working on Christmas lists.

*I was honestly a little bummed that Kate Middleton had a boy.  I wanted a princess!!!!!!  But hey, at least we know who Cameron Kate's future husband will be.  Hello, royalty!

*We recently adjusted our schedule so that we have dinner around the table as a family every night.  (What did we used to do, you ask?  Well, CK went to bed so early one of us would sit at the table with her while she ate, then we'd put her to bed and T and I would have our own dinner together in front of reality tv.)  We knew it was time to make the transition, because having a family dinner every night is so important to both of us now that Cameron is more aware of what's going on.  I have to say, it's been quite an adjustment for me, but I am LOVING sitting around the table each night with my two favorite people in the world, talking about our day and connecting without distractions. (Well, no distractions other than CK yelling, "ALL DONE DINNER! ALL DONE DINNER! ALL DONE DINNER!" at the top of her lungs while TJ and I try to have a normal conversation.  But, you know, at least we're trying.)

*I am obsessed with the Runkeeper app!!  I have no clue what took me so long to discover it (Thanks, Lu!).  It makes me kick my own butt!

*Yesterday, when T was putting on Cameron's shoes, he asked her if they were too small.  Her response in a cool, casual tone?  "It's not so bad."  Let the toddler-isms begin!

*Y'all... we officially have enough hair for pigtails.

*Is it weird that we still use the monitor for CK?  I can't imagine not being able to peek into her room!  And we can't ever sneak in to check on her because she is the lightest sleeper!!!

*I have an obsession with grilled hot dogs.  I cannot get enough!  It started as a pregnancy craving, and never went away.

*I also have an obsession with bad summer reality television, like the Bachelorette and Big Brother.  I blame the fact that there is NOTHING on during the summer - I am dyyyying for Homeland and Parenthood to start again!

*Cameron Kate and I have had a BLAST at the pool this summer.  She's a little fish in the water - you'd never know she still has her bath phobia?!

*And speaking of my sweet girl, she literally talks  Now, don't get me wrong - I love hearing her sweet little voice and the things that come out of her mouth constantly crack me up.  But it literally NEVER stops.  It's hilarious!  And, she just started singing!!  I looooove it!  But she'll ask me to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and then as soon as I start, she'll interrupt me with "Bah Bah Black Sheep," and say, "Excuse me, Mama!" and then she'll start dying laughing.  It's so funny.  GAH I can't get enough of her.

*And I'll leave you with two of my new favorite quotes:
"My house isn't messy... it's decorated by a toddler."
"Don't let your worries for tomorrow rob your joys of today."

Have a great rest-of-the-week!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This week has been rough.

And by rough, I mean it's included some of my hardest "mothering" days to date.  So rough, in fact, that I just drove up to T's work, dropped off Cameron, and told him I needed to go home and drink and write for a little while.  He (of course) happily obliged, and here I am.

CK has been a bit of a handful since entering toddlerhood, but this week took it to an entirely different level.  Monday was disastrous.  She was a whiny, clingy, fussy mess.  On Tuesday, she had a low-grade fever and that day was worse than Monday.  And then on Wednesday, she woke up with a temperature of 103 (which is pretty high for her, she's usually very low).  There were no other symptoms.  We initially thought she was possibly getting her two-year molars, but the 103 fever seems a little too high for teeth.

Anyway, her fever started to go back down today, hovering more around the 100-101 range.  But she's still been exhausting.  She literally whined and fussed and said, "Up mama, up mama, up mama, up mama" for over twenty minutes WHILE I WAS HOLDING HER.  I was like, "LOOK CHILD, YOU ARE UP WITH MAMA!!!!!!!"  It's been tough because obviously something is going on with her little body, be it teeth or a virus, so we can't differentiate between what is "sick" and what is her just being, well, a toddler.  

Add her mood to my struggling emotional state this month and stress level with looming to-do's, and I've been on the brink of totally losing it.

Dramatic?  Maybe.  But this week I just feel like I'm not quite enough.

Questioning whether you're "enough" is a constant struggle for any mama, and for me lately it's been sitting on my shoulders like a cloud of guilt, taunting me, like, "Look!  Your child is a mess and your house is a mess and you haven't gotten anything done today and you haven't put in enough play-time with your child and you haven't tackled any of your summer home improvement projects and you're about to order a pizza for dinner for Pete's sake!"

Maybe it's because as of tomorrow, our summer is halfway over, but I'm in this place right now where everywhere I turn I see something that needs to be done.  Like the purge list I made months ago in an effort to clean house.  Or the black ants that won't get the hell out of our kitchen no matter what we try. Or the pile of home decor items I purchased a month ago that are still sitting in our kitchen waiting to adorn our walls.  Or CK's baby book not even close to being finished (yeah, she's almost two).

Trust me, the list goes on.

So why, you ask, am I sitting here drinking and writing rather than doing some of those need-to-get-done tasks?

Writing is my therapy.

Well, writing and drinking and running (which I did early this morning to try to clear my clouded head... run, that is - not drink).

So here I am.  Wrestling with what words to put on the paper screen to represent the dark, blah place I'm in right now.  But typing faster than I can even think because the words just wanna come out.

I don't feel good enough this week.  At the end of each day, I'm all, "Did I do enough today?  What did I do today?  Why didn't I get more done?  WHERE DID THE DAY EVEN GO?!"

I'm questioning whether I'll be able to hold my temper during the toddler years, and feeling sad when I see Cameron's temper come out, knowing it's probably something she inherited from me.

I'm wondering why I can't seem to get my child to nap for more than thirty minutes.  This is one of the reasons why I'm feeling so exhausted and unaccomplished - a toddler who doesn't nap leaves you ZERO time to breathe.

I'm second-guessing whether I put in enough face-play-time with my sweet girl.  Sure, we play, and everyday of our summer break I try to take her to do something special, whether it's a magic show at the library or SciWorks or the pool or story time at Barnes & Noble.  But, when we're home (because we're not home very often), I'm usually trying to get her engaged in something independent so I can try to GET SOMETHING, ANYTHING DONE.  And yes, I know independent play is important.  But so is soaking up my time with her.  And yes, I know a to-do list can wait, because it won't be like this for long... but in a short month I'll be back at work and I know I'll feel a lot better about our summer if I've at least tackled SOMETHING from our home improvement plan.

I'm not looking for sympathy, or for reassurance, or for affirmation.  I'm just being real, and raw, about what's on my mind today.

I want to do better.  I want to be better.  I need to be better.  Not only for my family, but for myself.

This weekend I'll be going away to celebrate my little sister's last single days.  It'll be the longest I've ever been away from my girl.  I've been apprehensive about being away from her, but if I'm being completely honest here - after the week we've had - I need it.  I need a break, some girl time, some extra beverages, some staying up late, some sleeping in.

Some going to the bathroom in peace without a toddler yelling, "MAMA GO POTTY!  MAMA GO POTTY!  MAMA GO POTTY!"

I plan on filling up my "me" cup this weekend and coming back recharged and ready to hit the ground running during the second half of our summer.

I plan on making sure that from here on out, at the end of each day, no matter what the day has included, it's been... enough.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Drawers with Five Gifts

That's what my amazing husband gave me for our five-year anniversary.

A brief recap so I don't forget...

On Saturday, we left an unfazed Cameron Kate with my parents, and went to a local cafe to have lunch.  We then ventured to a little village of shops to walk around, breathe, be.  

After a quick stop at the gas station to load my purse full of candy and drinks, we went to the MOVIES!!!  I was so excited, y'all.  The last time we went to the movies was the day I went into labor.  It was so nice to sit in a movie theatre with T, like we used to do all the time!

After the movies we headed to Graylyn, the place where we had reservations to spend the night.  

As soon as we unloaded our bags, there was a gift sitting on the bed for me.  Honestly, I was shocked, as we have sort of an unspoken "no gifts on anniversaries" rule (choosing to focus on spending time together instead).  But, being a girl, I was excited.

It was perfect.

A jewelry box, with five drawers holding five gifts to represent five years.

A dolphin boat ride scheduled during our upcoming beach trip.

A gift certificate to a spa in town.

Pearl earrings.

A pearl necklace.

And the best gift of all - a poem he'd written for me... for us.


We took a midday nap (!) before pulling ourselves out of the bed and taking a tour of where we were staying, learning the history of the estate.  Then it was time to freshen up and enjoy some happy hour drinks before heading to the most delicious dinner I've had in as long as I can remember.  Better than the food, though, was the company.  Without a high chair, and a spilled sippy cup, and chicken nuggets on the floor - I was able to focus on my husband.  My adorable husband, who gets cuter by the day, and whose big brown eyes and dimples still captivate me.

I will never forget the moments we shared, celebrating our marriage, how far we've come, all we've been through - together.  It was a much needed break from everyday life, a tiny little getaway that filled my heart with so much joy, so much excitement about the promise of our vows and all we have to look forward to, me and my best friend.

Friday, July 12, 2013


To my very best friend,

Five years ago today, we stood on a beach and promised to be there for each other for the rest of our lives.  With our toes in the sand under a setting sun, we vowed to stick together through the fun times, the scary times, the hard times, the good times.  It was the first best day of my life.  You are everything I've ever wanted.  And with you, I know things are always going to be okay, because we can get through anything, together.  I'm so lucky you chose me.  I love you, babe.  Happy 5 Year Anniversary... YAWILFT.

And now, a little walk down memory lane...

Let the fun continue...