Friday, July 25, 2014


"There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice." - F Scott Fitzgerald

Two has come to our house. It has a face of years and months. Two years of sweet wonderful little darling stud man Laef. He struts into a room with his golden hair and large dark brown eyes. He loves being tickled, he loves fruit with all his heart, he loves Daniel Tiger, Curious George, eating, snacking, playing outside, tupper wear, fake food, cups, talking, piggy backing on Brandon, playing with balls, pushing his fake lawn mower and drinking from my water bottle. 

Two Sunday's ago on Laef's birthday we threw him a monkey party on our wonderful back porch. I spent a few afternoons making monkey jungle vines for his party. It turned out pretty cute. We had about 25 people come and celebrate our little monkey. We had a small pool and sprinklers for the kids to play in. At the end of the day I fell into Brandon's arms exhausted and started crying. Through my tears I told Brandon "I had so many fears of having kids and Laef is the result in spite of my fears.. he is incredible. They are incredible." (haha... as I'm typing this Laef is throwing a tantrum and being extremely difficult today. All of my words will be tested. It's still sweet though, tears, fits, smiles, hard moments, sweet moments... it's all a journey that is incredible.)

Our friends Josiah and Nicole (who made the watermelon pirate ship last year for Laef's birthday) made the monkey fruit for him.

Laef got so many toys- his own Ikea pots and pans, his own tool box, Mr Potato heads, his own broom, clothes, toms, fake food, blocks, bath toys, PJ's and a monkey back pack.

It really was a sweet party for my boy and I'm so happy that I could throw him such a fun time. At the end of the day I asked Laef "Did you have a fun day?" and he said "I did." (Brandon is his father.)

So two has come to us in yet another sweet way. Two months of my beautiful Atlas. His smiles are overtaking my heart. I don't love him like Laef and I don't love Laef like Atlas. That's why the quote at the top is quite true. The love I feel is so different and unique for each of them. Laef and I have history together. Atlas is coming in and adding onto the story with such grace. My favorite is watching his face whenever Laef walks into the room, walks by him, or plays close by. Atlas is pure smiles. He loves Laef so much already, and Laef loves kissing baby A.

For two years now my song for Laef has been Brooke Fraser's "Sailing" song. We sing it to him religiously before bed. It is a staple in showing love to my boy. Laef used to lay sweetly in my arms and coo at me when I would sing it. Now, he is the energizer bunny before bed, running in and out of his tee pee and trying to get me and Brandon to play. Every now and then he lets him hold him tightly and he lays his head on my chest. I knew the calm baby would someday be a roaring boy who loves to rough play and likes to dive at you full blast. And I know Atlas will be that too. There is such a sweetness in looking back on every night we have sang that song and seeing the growth of a boy who would stare at you with calmness to a little man who thinks your so beautiful, yet wants to hit you with his toys. The "Sailing" song is my song for Laef. And I would read to him a Nancy Tillman book every night. (They are my favorite)

So with Atlas, I thought.... I need a song for my boy. I want this to be our song. I don't want to sing Laef's song to Atlas because me and Atlas will have a different relationship then Laef and I. So this song became my song.

If the stars were mine I'd give them all to you
 I'd pluck them down right from the sky And leave it only blue 
I would never let the sun forget To shine upon your face 
So when others would have rain clouds You'd have only sunny days 
If the stars were mine I'd tell you what I'd do I'd put the stars right in a jar And give 'em all to you

If the birds were mine I'd tell them when to sing
 I'd make them sing a sonnet When your telephone would ring
 I would put them there inside the square Whenever you went out 
So there'd always be sweet music Whenever you walk about 
If the birds were mine I'd tell you what I'd do
 I'd teach the birds such lovely words And make 'em sing for you 

 If the world was mine I'd paint it gold and green 
I'd make the oceans orange For a brilliant color scheme
 I would color all the mountains Make the sky forever blue 
So the world would be a painting And I'd live inside with you I
f the world was mine I'd tell you what I'd do 
I'd wrap the world in ribbons And then give it all to you 
I'd teach the birds such lovely words And make 'em sing for you 
I'd put those stars right in a jar and Give them all to you - Melody Gardot

I also started reading the book "You are my I love you" - (Thank you Sharon)

I am your parent you are my child
 I am your quiet place, you are my wild 
I am your calm face, you are my giggle 
I am your wait, you are my wiggle 
I am your audience, you are my clown 
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down 
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice 
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish 
I am your water wings, you are my deep 
I am your open arms, you are my running leap 
I am your way home, you are my new path 
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath 
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake 
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
 I am your finish line, you are my race 
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace 
I am your favorite book, you are my new lines 
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine 
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo 
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you Author: Maryann K Cusimano

So life with two boys? Not as hard yet as I imaged. I think about having another one already. (yah, I know... crazy) Yesterday I had a moment as I folded clothes and the two boys were sleeping.... the rain began to fall outside and the summer rain smell filled my room as I opened my windows and listened. I started crying looking around my room and outside. There is nothing whimsical about folding clothes (trust me) but I realized how incredibly happy I am. Never in all my days have I felt such happiness. Even on the hard days, there is a glimmer of sweet and pure happiness that unfolds in the chaos. I've learned to bend down and hug Laef more. To sit on the kitchen floor and watch him play hard with his toys. We pretend together, we laugh together, we make tents together, we walk outside together, play in water, play in the rain... my boys are my best friends, my sweet wonder.

I have learned so much that "things" cannot fill your soul with happiness.

Toys on my floor are a sweet reminder to me that my boys won't always be in my home. Dirty bottles in the sink that seem to never go away, remind me that my sweet Atlas is healthy and eating well. So we must enjoy their toys and their laughter as much as we can. (I do not feel this way about dirt, and spills and messes that are dirty. I'm Mrs. clean.)

So here are some crappy quality photos for your enjoyment. ;D Thanks to the lifeproof case my phone doesn't take great photos anymore. I'm not crazy about the case but when you have a two year old... a phone that takes blurry photos is better then no phone at all. 

The things we do for chiken.

My best friend Sharon came to see me last week. <3

So that is all for now. Brandon and I are having a date tonight, and that is a rare event. I have weddings for the next few weekends and we are finishing getting our office done and functional. We may even buy our first TV. (wow! right?) I'm happy with life. I'm thankful, so so thankful for the joy that coats my house.

Till next time. <3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sweet Chaos.

"Motherhood is the sacred marriage of the mundane and the eternal." - Lisa-Jo Baker

So officially I can say that I have survived and enjoyed one full month of life with two boys. I ventured out of the house very quickly with the two boys, figuring if I didn't start sooner then later I may just get more overwhelmed as they get older. Our first target experience together made me feel like I conquered the whole world. It's funny what you think is easy and what you consider hard. If you are a mom of two kids, I'm sure you remember the day you took both of them out for the first time. It's almost like we deserve a sticker or a badge for that first day of bravery. The tactic plan that you come up with in your mind before exiting your car to get both kids in the cart or in a carrier and a cart.

I grabbed a starbucks latte', hooked Atlas in my ergo, and put Laef in the cart. All was great. Atlas slept, Laef wanted to grab everything (his normal almost 2 year old self) and I was out to get diapers and take a stroll around the red store. Dreaming of all the things I so desperately didn't need to make my house even more home. And I did... until I got to the crayon aisle where I was buying construction paper to start a craft project for Laef's 2nd birthday. All of sudden Atlas began to cry from hunger and Laef thought that since Atlas was crying he should too. So they did, and I immediately became "that mom" that has two screaming kids on aisle 7 and I'm trying to keep peace on my face. I figured if I started laughing about it that the stress of the moment would roll of my chest and it did. I handed Laef my empty iced latte so he could suck up the melted ice cubes and I put a bottle in Atlas' mouth and held the bottle in place with my chin. I then pushed the cart to the check out counter and said.. "Well that was fun while it lasted." 

When we got to the car and I got "the boys" (so strange saying that) strapped in I sighed with satisfaction. Call it a small thing, or call me brave. But taking a newborn and an almost two year old to the store is big. Everyone is still alive and I have had more outings without Brandon under my belt since then, including a trip the splash park and the playground, and a few outings to the grocery store. 

So Atlas turned one month on Monday, this time seems to be going faster since I had Atlas. Laef keeps me on my toes constantly and being consistent to teach and train him in right and wrong is extremely hard work. Thankfully using love and logic has made it so much easier, and I rarely find myself extremely frustrated with him, and if I do its because of the lack of sleep.

Atlas is just super super sweet, and extremely strong. He has a tenacity about him even at this age. He's already turned himself over from his stomach to his back numerous times and fights like mad till he does. He sleeps pretty well... 3-4 hour stretched during most nights. Brandon and I both get up once with him.

Laef really does love him, and doesn't ever try to hurt him on purpose. He comes over to his bouncy 5-6 times a day and kisses him on the face. I hold my breath hoping that Laef doesn't just fall on top of him. Whenever Atlas does tummy time, Laef loves to come lay beside him and stare at him. He puts his arm around him and kisses him.

It takes me back to the dream I had before I found out I was pregnant. A friend of mine in the dream told me I was having a boy, and that this boy was for Laef. Laef needed a friend. And so I'm loving the sweet response that Laef gives Atlas.

Atlas is already pulling his head up while he's on his belly and looking around. <3

So, Laef is my brown eyed wonder and in the beginning of having Atlas, Laef had a look of spite and jealousy on his face for a few weeks. He wasn't directing it at Atlas, but at me and Brandon.

At one point he slapped me so hard in the face and I took him to his room and sat down with him and we talked about the baby. He told me all about his frustration (of course I didn't understand what he was saying, but I heard "baby" in there a few times) I sat and held him and cried. I had never seen my little man who has been my whole world have such a deep struggle. It pained my heart that me bringing Atlas home was hurtful to him. And yet at the same time, sometimes life is full of disappointment, but in this case, Laef will love Atlas so much in days to come. It is all going to be okay. I still hate seeing Laef struggle.

A few times I had caught Laef sitting in Atlas' bouncy and trying to hit the little birds that hang down. I try to approach this not with "No! Get out of there." but I gently go pick Laef up and hold him, I tell him your always going to be my baby Laef, but you are to big for that bouncy. I love you just the way you are and you are an amazing big boy! The other day this happen, and he laid his head on my shoulder and hung his arms around my neck while I danced with him around the living room, shedding a small tear.

The war in my heart between loving these boys is so tough. I recently sat on my couch holding Atlas while sobbing and telling him how I hope I'm loving and bonding with him the way I have bonded with Laef. I keep trying to put Laef's feelings above my own because I know he will remember.

Breastfeeding Atlas hasn't gone as planned and from day one Brandon and I made the call that I wouldn't going to go through the torture I put myself through last time. I wanted to enjoy this season with Atlas and not wish it was over. So pumping bottles and storing a freezer of milk has been what I've had to do to make this all work. I was able to find out what was wrong the last time and this time, and hopefully I'm getting better. Maybe the 3rd child will work like a charm.

He is a little Brandon, every day, becoming more and more like his daddy. His 2nd birthday is in two and a half weeks and I'm planning a small party for him. I may cry a little too.

So in the last blog, I shared my story of Atlas' birth, but in case you haven't seen all of these... these are a few favorite photos from the last month.

My best friend came to the hospital from Jacksonville to meet Atlas. <3

Atlas and Laef- 

First bath

Have I mentioned that Atlas looks like me as a baby?
Atlas is on the Left, I'm on the right.

My Grandpa came and met Atlas.. 

These are Atlas and Laef's friends. 

So besides a messy house some days and a pile of onesies that have been blown up by Atlas, crumbs on my floor, and a sink full of empty milk bottles.  I would say that we are doing well. I'm cleared next week to start working out and start shedding all my baby love. haha. My heart and emotions seem full and positive. I feel grace on me in this season. 

I'm working to get Atlas on the "Eat, Wake, Sleep" cycle like I did Laef. It is my sanity to know what will happen next. 

I start shooting soon and I'm booking up for the fall and winter months. Brandon and I might be going back to Arizona for a few days... we'll see if it all works out.  I could use a a get-a-way <3

Oh and I leave all you moms with this...