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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Motherhood Is...{13}b

My other blessing this week is that I have an awesome husband!

He knew that Eden and I were starting to butt heads a little more than just your every day stubborn-preschooler-with-a-strong-will vs. stubborn-Mommy-with-an-even-bigger-strong-will. {He might have even said "Ok, no yelling," as he left the house, but was talking to me just as much as he was talking to her - ok, he looked me dead in the eye as he said it just before he looked her dead in the eye!} Eden and I just get to a breaking point every now and then. We just can't take each other anymore. She's into pushing all my buttons, but I refuse to let her win - and then everything blows up. We were almost to the blow up stage. I'm going to blame the fact that I was a single parent while Lane was gone for 3 weeks - but not blame HIM - for the "why." 

Deep down, I know it's me though. I know I shouldn't let her get under my skin - or Hunter for that matter. But he doesn't know quite what he's doing. She's doing it just to get a rise out of me. Every time I get angry and I lose it, I remind myself of my Scream Free Parenting book that my dad gave me. It only speaks truth, and I get it, I just have a hard time practicing it sometimes. The basic concept of the book is to keep your cool. When it come to parenting, you cannot control their actions, only your reactions. The best example in the book is when he saw his son on the outside of the staircase banister {you know, the one that if you fall, you plummet? Yep, that wrong side!} If he were to yell, his son would have startled and fallen. By not yelling {and staying cool} he was able to ask his son why he was there, what he was doing, and tell him to come down safely. I think about this often, I just have to work on the execution!

Anyways, back to my husband and why he's such a blessing. He noticed that I was starting to be very short with Eden. I was not willing to let her slip, and I was not willing to allow her to even think about venturing into the "wrong." While this sounds all fine and dandy - she's 3! She's going to push limits, she's going to get a ton of toys out, she's going to tease her brother - she's going to be 3! Imagine that - a 3 year old acting her age! Say what?! I know, that's where my parenting was headed though. I didn't want toys to be taken out - I was tired of cleaning them up or standing over her to make sure she picked them up. I was tired of her teasing Hunter - I didn't want him crying. So, yes, I was slightly irrational.  

So what did Lane do for me? After going to the Easter Egg Hunt at church, he said to me, "why don't you just go out, spend the afternoon doing whatever you want to do and I'll stay with the kids." I don't think he expected me to run as fast as I did! The first thing I did was turn my music up in the car and head to the nail salon! Oh, wait, I had to stop and get coffee so that while I was getting my manicure and pedicure I had something to sip on. After that I sent Lane a text that let him know I wanted to run to Target and to get the jogging stroller fixed - just needed a new tire. The response I got was "whatever you want to do is fine with me," so I went to Target to do some last minute Easter outfit fixes and buy some new running clothes. I leisurely walked through the store and enjoyed being able to look at things without small voices talking to me and asking me questions. It was bliss! 

I loved it. I came home and I was a much nicer mom! I was able to be cool and calm when there was no need to blow up. Eden and I got along all through the afternoon, evening, and even through bed time. Hunter was oblivious to it all, but didn't get teased by his sister {looking for any kind of attention she could get} as much, so he was overall happy too! Basically - Lane saved us today! I was headed straight for a path of disaster and instead was able to peacefully {and rationally} parent my children. Ahhhh, a break from life - it was good! 

Motherhood Is...{13}a

This week I've got more than one blessing I'm going to share with you, so my posts come in an a and a b version of Motherhood Is. There's a first time for everything, right?!

My first blessing to share this week is that I have a reason to have Easter baskets!

Let's face it, this is the ultimate blessing! To have Easter. To celebrate that Jesus was born to a virgin and then suffered like he did so that our sins could be forgiven. And not just subjected to bullying, or name calling, or something trivial - he died. I was talking to Eden about Easter and what it means and as I was explaining it to her I sort of realized how terrible it really was. Because she's starting to understand what it means to die and realize the finality of the event {we talk about it when it comes to bugs mainly. They're the only things that die on a regular basis in her life} I hesitated to use the word "die" in explaining to her the events of Easter. In thinking about it though, how could you not? Why wouldn't I want her to know the extreme nature of the events that make up Easter? It isn't every day someone dies and then three days later is walking around again! So that was that, we used the word die and hopefully she gets it!

Bitter-sweet

I'm dreading deployment! What spouse wouldn't be, let's be real... So how on earth could this be bitter-sweet?! Well, it is. Today I booked our homecoming photographer!

I know, I know, don't get me wrong, he's not even gone yet and I know that. However, in talking to a fellow deployment spouse she mentioned that she'd already booked her photographer. Not just any photographer, but the same one that did our Christmas pictures and the kids' birthday pictures! I love her stuff, so I was frantic and feeling behind {even though Lane is still here for another month or 2 before our real countdown begins!}

So, am I crazy? I don't think so. I've met our photographer in passing, and I love what I've seen of hers. Remember that sweet baby that got to meet his dad for the first time and there was the sweetest picture taken of that very moment?
That was Megan {http://www.abeautifulmoment-bymegan.com} who took the picture. Not just that, but she's going to {hopefully} be taking our pictures this fall! *I say hopefully because there are a few days that she's planning on being out of town in the same month that Lane is thinking they're going to be coming home...Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'm hoping this work out how I envision them working out, but with the way the military {and life in general} work out, you never know!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Outside Fun

While the east coast has been blasted with some snow, here in SoCal we've been living up to the "Sunny Southern California" stereotype. While it's been nice, I have just one complaint...It's only the middle of March. If it's this hot now, how will we survive summer?!

The kids got lots of outdoor stuff for their birthdays, so we've been hanging out a lot outside. On top of that, we just dealt with the time change, so the sun is up longer and we can enjoy the evenings outside too! Last week we enjoyed temperatures well into the 80s, so I busted out the pool that Uncle Parker and Aunt Sara sent the kids and let them have at it!




The water doesn't get quite as warm as I had hoped it would out in the sun, but that's why we have the water table from Grandma and Grandpa beside the pool! The kids can get out of the pool, hang in the sun, but still splash around a bit!



Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Little Bit of This...

...and a little bit of that. It's been a while since I've posted random pictures of what's been going on in our lives. I've been taking pictures, but a lot of the events of recent times have warranted individual blog posts, so here it is, the pictures of everything in between the "big" events of lately! I can't let the "small" day to day things fall through the cracks!
Our apricot tree is starting to bloom! We'll have fruit in the back yard before we know it!
Hunter was feeding himself the remaining bits of oatmeal one morning.
I've started running at a new location once a week for training with some hills. We stopped here one day after our run and Eden and Hunter loved it! It's just some statue garden in the middle of the park. It was nice and open, but closed off, so I didn't mind letting the kids run around.
Hunter and his pink purse. He loved putting the strap over his head, but he could never get it off.
Mimi and Pop were leaving to go to the airport so they could head to Atlanta. We were sad to see them go, but Hunter was glad to be facing forward!
Eden reading her Jimmy Stories book from Pop. Her favorite story is the one about the rooster.
Hunter with the goats at the Safari Park. He loved that he could run around and pet them. Now, if I could get him to be soft when he pets animals we'd be set!
Walking to the mailbox. Eden wanted to pull Hunter in the new toy wagon. We were actually on our way out the door and Daddy called with Aunt Angela, Uncle David and cousins Mackenzie and Nathaniel to video chat. 
 Eden is playing possum, like I used to with my dad before being dropped off at day care.
Eden at her first ever dentist appointment! No cavities and a great visit. The dentist was very pleased with her teeth and with how good she did!
Eden, Addison, and Derek {brother Zack is running around} on the outside, scaring Hunter and Ryder on the inside. Both sets of kids loved this game!
Hunter found the ladder that I used to replace a lightbulb. I guess he knows how to climb those things now...
My Starbucks mug from Greece. One good thing about Lane traveling without me is that I get gifts from around the world. {I still don't think this makes up for going great places without me!}

Motherhood Is...{12}

My blessing this week is that these came this week! 

I've never heard a bad thing about kids who have Daddy Dolls! All military families who I've met who have used them have said they're awesome for the kids when Daddy is away. These came last week so the Easter Bunny could put them in the kids' baskets when he comes next week. I was so tempted to give them to the kids when they got here, but I resisted! They arrived on one of the days that Lane was supposed to come home, but was stuck while he was on his trip that seemed to go on and on and on forever. I can't wait for the Easter Bunny to come and put these out for the kids.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Butterflies

I'm so excited! Lane is finally back in California and in his way home! He was gone for 3 weeks - and it was longer than originally planned. He was coming home "in 2 days" for about a week! It was exhausting expecting him and then he didn't come, and doing it all over and over again.

At one point they even flew to DC, just to turn around and fly back to an island off the coast of Portugal again. It wasn't a wasted trip though. He was able to see his sister and her family and have dinner with them. That was great because as a family we're going to miss his retirement ceremony from the Army. It was neat that he was able to do that.

Anyways, what I'm most excited about today is the fact that I have butterflies in my stomach. I'm so pumped to see Lane again! We've known each other for 12 years and have been married for almost 6 years and he still gives me butterflies! That's so awesome to me and I hope that never goes away!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What's New?

Lately the kids have been interacting so much with each other. I just love it. They're doing new things all the time and Hunter is learning from the things that we do {more than I ever thought he was!} The other day he picked up the brush from the counter after bath time and started brushing his hair. I didn't realize that he would even know what to do with a brush! He also "brushes" his teeth when Eden and I brush our teeth. He thinks he's hot stuff!

Hunter is learning to love and be affectionate too. This is probably one of my favorites. He will lay on my shoulder and say, "aaawwwwwe" while patting my back. He gets up from naps and loves on me, there's nothing better! When he says night night to Eden, he leans over and hugs her before going into his room for bed time. He's always wanting to give kisses - that sometimes lead into bites. He's just an all around sweet guy!

Eden isn't lacking in her funny things she's learning and doing! The other day we were at the zoo and she had worn her slippers out of the house. Luckily she had a pair of flip flops in the car so she wore those. As she was walking around the park she got a blister because they aren't shoes she wears all the time. The blister ended up popping before the day was over, so she was in some pain that day. When she was able to, she wore her friends shoes {he was in a stroller}, but other than that she just wore her shoes with a bandaid around the shoe, or she rode on the stroller. When we got in the car she looked at her foot and she said to me, "Oh no Mommy! Where's my skin?" because her blister had popped and she could tell there was a "hole" where her skin had been.

I love my kids and watching them grow never gets old. They always come up with the best things ever and they can always seem to bring a smile to my face at the best times for me!

What Would You Do?

Picture this: you're walking behind a little girl {at least 6 or 7 years old} who is following a few footsteps behind her mom through Target minding your own business. You notice that the girl bumps into a rack of skirts and one falls. She doesn't pick it up - but maybe she didn't notice. Then the next set of clothes, she knocks one down. The next rack, she pulls one down. The next, she pulls another down. She gets to the toys, plays with one for a second and then crosses back over to the baby clothes and works to pull socks off the shelf. She pulls another pair of socks down, then sees her sister and goes running to her.

Ok, so I was giving her the benefit of the doubt and was going to let it slide. Then I got mad and was going to say something to her mom. But what do you say? "Excuse me, your daughter is being a brat and a bully, please control her," or "excuse me, your daughter just pulled all these clothes down, please control her." Nothing seemed right. I felt like I was telling on the girl {who deserved it}.

As soon as I decided I was just going to let the mom know what was up she turned a corner and the girl was running off to her sister. I picked up what I passed by, but I still didn't feel right about not saying something. I didn't work up the courage in time and then didn't want to chase them through the store to tell the mom that I thought her kid was being bratty and could quite possibly need some talking to.

I wish I had done something about it, but it's over and I used it as a teaching opportunity for Eden - who also saw what was happening. I told her that if she knocks something down she needs to pick it up, but that she also should never just throw things on the ground. I told her that what was going on was not acceptable behavior and that it was very rude. Here's hoping the lesson sticks!

Motherhood Is...{11}

My blessing this week is being pampered.

I envisioned fashion shoes, dress up, and all things girly when I found out Eden was going to be a girl. I wanted to paint nails, have slumber parties, and have tea parties. Eden has been so much fun, and I love that she's willing to get dirty, but I've longed for the day that she wants to do all the girly things. She's recently been wanting to do these things and its just getting better and better every day.

Playing with my hair is one of my favorite new things. It has always been a relaxing thing to me, so for Eden to come running with a brush in hand wanting to brush my hair is amazing! I love that she wants to have girl time with me and that I get some relaxation too. Not all things in my parenting world include relaxing!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well Baby Visits

I can't stop calling Eden's visits well-baby visits even though they've not been well-"baby" visits for quite some time! I guess Hunter is getting to the point that they aren't well-baby visits as much anymore either. Ugh, what a sad realization!!!

Both kids had great stats when they went {last week...sorry for the delay!} Eden was spared, but Hunter got 3 shots in his bum. He didn't like it, but after the prick and the initial pain was over he didn't seem to be bothered by them again. Eden watched him get his shots, but gave hugs after he was done with them. Each kid is growing on track and the doctor is pleased with each of them!

Hunter was 28.5 inches long and weighed in at 19 pounds, 12 ounces. Eden was 37.5 inches tall and weighed a whopping 34 pounds. I'm glad to have healthy children with no real complaints!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Missing Him

The hustle and bustle of birthday parties is over, Mimi and Pop are gone and another weekend has passed. The weekends are hardest. Our friends with "complete" families are doing family things and we don't have Daddy home with us.

He's not deployed yet, but has been gone since before the party weekend. We're coming up on 2 weeks and now that things are slowing down, I'm noticing more and more. Eden has started asking for Daddy when she gets tired or restless. It's almost like she knows it eats at my heart and that I will give her anything to make her heart heal from missing him. I can't tell if seeing him on FaceTime is making it easier or harder in her. She loves seeing him, so I would never take that away from her - but in the long run, the days she sees him are the days it's harder on her. I think once he's set {and not bouncing from country to country} and there's more of a schedule she'll be better.

I guess I just now realize how hard deployment has the potential to be. I ordered the kids their Daddy Dolls today and I'm hoping the Easter Bunny will bring them for them. I think the dolls will help tremendously with the sporadic nature of Lane's schedule until it isn't so crazy anymore...if that's possibly in our future at all.

Motherhood Is...{10}


My blessing this week is this beautiful little girl!

I got lucky this year, even though my kids' birthdays shared a weekend, they were on both sides of a Sunday, so I could focus on them each week! {Did that even make sense?!} Anyways, Eden has grown and is such an amazing little girl. She's kind {most of the time} and she's a helper {most of the time} and she's full of spunk {all of the time}, but most of all, she's a lover. She cares about others. I'm excited, but sad, to watch her grown and evolve into a little girl to a teen to a woman!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Christmas Again?!

My kids got more presents than we knew what to do with! They ended up both opening presents at the same time, and the chaos and mess was worse than Christmas!! I'm thinking we're going to have to go through the toy room to donate some toys to make room for the new stuff! I'm glad to have people who love my kids in their lives, and I'm thankful for the fact that they were showered with presents for their birthday.
The kids' big present from Mommy and Daddy.
The gift stash!


Eden's dollar store ribbon dancer from Mimi and Pop!

Pop showing Eden her the "Jimmy" book he wrote for her. Growing up, Pop would tell us Jimmy stories that were based on his childhood. Eden loved them when he told them in December and so he wrote and made a book for Eden. {Now I don't sound like a fool when I try to tell a Jimmy story!}



Eden's "3" doll that I got when I was a kid. 
Hunter's crib aquarium to help him from getting bored when he wakes up in the mornings. 
Her Pink Pig piggy bank from our visit to the Pink Pig when we were in Georgia for Christmas.



Writing down our gifts from friends and family. 
Mimi said I never got to be in pictures, so she had me smile for the camera!
Eden loved her new balloon outfit!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pink Party

Eden never wavered with her request for a pink party. Any time she was asked she told you she wanted a pink party and that was that. I was nervous that since I asked her in January that she would change her mind, but nope, she stood strong on her decision for pink. We had a fun lunch with nothing but pink stuff {plus pizza because I didn't want to cook anything!}



Eden's party give-away was a Pinkalicious book for the girls and a Splat the cat book for the boys.



Trying to get Lane on FaceTime so we could include him in singing happy birthday to Eden. Timing didn't work, he was in Greece for this party. Rough life, traveling the world!
Setting up the phone in case he was able to pick up or call back in time.
She loved having all the attention revolving around her.




Anna, Sara {holding Ryder}, and Mimi
Ashley {holding Hunter} and Carlos
Cael
James and Mimi

Addison
Hunter and Eden enjoying cupcakes together.

Hunter and Luke
The kids eventually found the tv after playing outside for so long.