Happy birthday, William!

My dear, sweet, serious, snuggly boy,

I have to start by saying you and Lucy are the two best things that ever happened to me, and that will not change regardless of what life brings. And I cannot believe that you. Are. Two! Two is like this juxtaposition between baby and toddler, needing mama for absolutely everything and just needing mama to help you out on an as needed basis. You have the most sparkling blue eyes that look right into mine when you say, “Mama!” in your little sing-songy voice. You are my snuggly bear, who would choose a couch snuggle and a book read over most other activities. You love to play this game where I ask for a snuggle and you say “no” with a cheeky grin, then I pretend to cry and you run at me full speed and land your cheek on my shoulder. I’m not bragging or anything, but I’m pretty much the coolest thing to you and I. Love. It. I know it won’t be this way forever so I’m soaking it in right now. I was holding a baby the other day and you got REALLY sad and when I gave the baby back and held you, I’ll never forget how you held on for dear life. Your little arms wrapped around my shoulders and you pressed your fingers into my back as you plastered your face to my neck. I am yours, buddy. That much is true.

And let’s talk about YOU and all of your interests and quirks! At two, you are all about some tractors. And trains. And trucks. And cars. Basically, anything with wheels. I love hearing you sing “Round and round” (your name for “Wheels on the bus”) and watching you move your tiny arms to the motions (can I save the way you say “swish swish” in a bottle or something, for future generations?). And you love to play the drums, listen to the drums, and dance (jump, really) when you hear music. You dance to your own beat like your sister, quite literally AND figuratively! While you aren’t what I would call the life of the party, you do love to be with your people and can get pretty silly when the mood strikes. You love to run and laugh and be tickled. You love to build towers and knock them down, and put cones on your arms and crack me up saying “William funny! William cone arms!” You really surprised me the other day with your first pun when you pointed to your stuffed wooly mammoth in your crib, then pointed to Woody (your bestie dog) and said “Woody mammoth!” then cracked up. Buddy. You’ve got jokes! You know puns are the way to your mama’s heart! You also make your dissent quite clear when you are being asked to do something you don’t want to do. Examples of this include not being able to bang glassware on the table, being told to stop slamming the porch door shut over and over again, and using inappropriate (fragile) items as drum sticks. BUT as you are quick to anger, you are also very quick to get over it. Lucy has learned this trick where if you have something she wants, she can just distract you with some other preferred item and get what she wants. The same plan generally works when you’re upset about something. You can move on to the next shiny object rather quickly these days.

You are also in that phase where you are giving us a running commentary of our day. I love it so much. On the way to pick up Lucy from school the other day, you were giving me rave reviews about your snack! “William has a big nana (banana)! William take a biiiiiiiig bite! William chewing!” I also love how you are saying things so much about what everybody is doing. “Everybody walkin! Everybody eatin! Everybody talkin!” And as you get older, your words are becoming more grown up. “Flow flows” are now “flowers” and “sun gla glash” are now “glasses.” I mean, I know that’s normal development and all, but I really loved those words you were making up.

This year I have been so incredibly thankful to be able to be home with you and Lucy. I used to sit in my car at work and daydream about busting you out of daycare and taking you to the park. Now we get to do that so much more. I’m so so so grateful.

I don’t want to miss one “flow flow” with you! Your daddy and I love you so much, buddy. And as I sing to you every night, you truly are my sunshine. It’s hard for me to imagine life before you came along, because it feels like you’ve always been a part of me. Happiest of birthdays, my sweet baby boy.

Mama

Lucy’s 5th birthday party

Lucy had some pals come over to celebrate her 5th birthday, along with a cameo of Papa the shark! She wanted to have a shark party, so a shark party we did. Here are the pics! It was so much fin – I mean, fun! Bahaha. ​

Lucy is 5!

Wow!!! LUCY! Today, you are FIVE. That’s huge. That’s no longer a toddler. That’s a WHOLE HAND. I’m in shock but also I feel like you’re ready. You’re ready to enter this new world of kid-dom. When I look at you, I see your face becoming less baby-ish and your limbs stretching out. I see you thinking more before you speak or act, weighing how to say something, weighing how it might make someone feel. And overall, the thing that stands out to me the most about you is your huge, kind heart. I see you saving the last few pieces of your favorite cereal for your baby bro, asking me if the music is too loud since it might hurt my head, asking if what you’re thinking is something you should keep to yourself because it might hurt someone’s feelings. When I had your parent teacher conference last week, your teachers told me that one of the coolest things about you was that you were friends with everyone in your class. I was so proud hearing that! Be an includer, my girl. And along with that kindness that you hold in your heart and let shine out of your sweet spirit, you are also FIERCE. You have a fire in your soul that I know will drive you to fight for the things you want and, hopefully, the things you and your fellow humans need. You are tiny, my little one, but you are also a force. I love your tenacity (even if it means that we clash sometimes!), and I love your curiosity. You love sharks, princesses, ponies, bugs, superheroes, flowers, arts & crafts, dogs, and babies. You want to soak it all in and discuss it all at the same time. My vision in my head of you at this lovely  age, is you,blond morning hair unbrushed, wearing a princess dress and several bows with pajama pants, pouring over a picture you’re drawing of all the wildlife you saw on our most recent walk. There’s probably a princess on the page somewhere, along with a turtle, a butterfly, a deer, and maybe your little brother. Your focus on these things always impresses and inspires me. My Lucy girl, you can be anything you dream of being. Go get it, my fierce but kind girl. I’m so incredibly proud to be your mama. All. My. Love. 

Ch- ch- changes 

Wow. It’s fall, y’all! Somehow it’s late September and I haven’t posted anything since the beach back in June. It was quite a summer with some pretty major changes. The big news is that, after 10 years working for Metro Schools as a teacher and then their lead behavior analyst, I resigned. Yep. After Will had a very rough first year in daycare, ear tubes, one illness after another, and became underweight and anemic, Whit and I made some big decisions. For the health and well-being of the whole family, I quit. I’m now officially a stay-at-home mama and I’m LOVING it. In one sense, after working a full time, intense job and managing the kids and household mostly by myself, some of this still feels like I’m on vacation. But really, I feel like I’m in a dream. I loved my job, but I love spending unstructured, unrushed time with my babies even more. I’ve started my own consulting biz that I’ll be doing very part time, but that still leaves plenty of time for me and Will to hang while sister is at school, and pick up Lucy without having to do before and after-care and all that jazz. As Will and I went for a nature walk at the park this morning, examining leaves and casually meandering around the greenway, I remembered a moment I had last year when I was working. I had seen a mom at the park with her little boy, about Will’s age, and I sat watching them in my car, crying. I felt like I was missing so much time with him. The thought of taking him to the park when I wanted to seemed so unattainable. Today, that simple moment felt like a dream. I’m so thankful. 

And speaking of young William, he’s almost 18 months old! WHAT?! How did this happen? No, really. I mean, I barely remember last year due to extreme sleep deprivation, so I basically feel like a black hole swept us up and we are now on the other side of it with TWO toddlers. He’s really a peach, though. A delicious, sweet peach. Let’s see, he is saying a good amount of words (faves include ball, hug, dog, airplane, choo choo), and his favorite thing is looking at books with pics of animals. He can’t get enough. He’ll grab a book, make this sound meaning he wants something (you’ll hear it in the video below), and then, if you sit on the floor, he’ll walk backwards and plop his tiny heiny right down in your lap. Read it! Again and again and again! How can you say no to that (news flash: you can’t, unless your heart is made of granite)? He also loves to find you if you hide behind a door or run to another room. His squeal of laughter is basically what I live for. He’s asking all the time for “yeah yiiiiiiiide!” (Outside), where he loves to do bubbles and chalk and look at rocks and basically be a wild little boy. And finally, the snuggles are the best. At night, I’ll ask him if he’s ready for his night night song, and he nods his head and snuggles in, head on shoulder, tiny finger twirling my wedding ring around my finger. Eeeeeep! I’m biased, but that boy is cute!   


And Lucy is almost FIVE! She’s rocking prek and really loving it! Current interests include drawing, art, crafts, books, puzzles of all kinds, and hanging with friends. She’s such a kid. She got a lot taller this summer and went up 2 shoe sizes all at once! She’s losing her baby look, which is quite bittersweet. We had a lovely month of July when I wasn’t working and she wasn’t in school. We lived. it. up. The zoo, the farmers market, the splash pad. We did it all! Having that month was priceless. She and I also took a weekend trip to New York to see daddy play Good Morning America. She was a total rock star that whole weekend, and we had so much fun! 

Leaving the baby stage behind is sad in a way, but the kid stage is proving to be fun, flexible, curious, and exciting! I can’t wait to travel more with my sweet, spirited girl. 

This fall we are looking forward to pumpkins, Halloween fun, and Thanksgiving in Virginia. Happy fall!! 

Outer Banks 

We went to the beach a few weeks ago. It’s taken me this long to upload even one picture ha! We had a blast! Granted, going to the beach with a baby is not the most relaxing thing, but it was fun! Unlike Lucy at that age, Will has zero fears of the ocean and wants to DIVE. IN. Lucy at 4 1/2 now (the 1/2 is very important, BTWs), is a beach queen. She lays out her towel, presents all limbs to be lathered in sunscreen, and gets her beach ON. Building sand castles is cool, but she really wants someone to take her to jump in the waves. That’s where it’s at! Such fun memories. Here are some (a bunch) of pics: 


Traveling there was a marathon day of two flights and a 2-hour car ride. Thank you for joining us on this trip, Bailey! We (mostly I) wouldn’t have made it without you! Overall, the kids did great. William would definitely prefer sitting on his lap having his mama’s undivided attention for an entire flight to sitting strapped into his car seat staring at himself in the baby mirror. And the big moment finally arrived: getting to the beach for the first time! 


And really, the week is a blur. Whit was able to join us for a couple of days, too, which was SO awesome! 


Mothers Day 2016

We had a great day! Will must have known it was a special day because he “slept in” until 6! Thanks, buddy! 


And we got to pick up daddy at the airport, which is always a great time! 


And my big girl made me the sweetest things at school. A painting and a card, which totally made me cry. That girl has my heart. She made me a mama, which is by far the best thing that ever happened to me. Oh, and she thinks I’m 30. I’ll take that!


Overall we have had a great weekend, despite the fact that poor Will has strep throat! He’s handling it remarkably well. He’s such a trooper! Here are a few more pics from this beautiful weekend. 

We are MOBILE! And using a spoon. #NBD

Yep. Young William is off to the races. Despite battling strep this weekend, he is officially fully mobile. No more hand-slapping, forearm-bruising crawling for this little man. No sir! He is on two feet. And he has places. to. go. You best just move on out of his way. Favorite destinations include the toilet, the bathroom door (so he can open and shut it and play peekaboo with you), and the kitchen cabinets (particularly the one with all the dangerous cleaning products in it). I’m totally winning mom of the year.

Also, Will has a love for silverware. As in, he’s not really interested in dinner unless he has a fork. Here’s a video of his stainless steel skillz (with a great cameo from big sis)… 


So yeah. He’s growing up at a rapid pace! Such big boy skills!