Three.

IMG_6554Dear DDT,

Are you really three years old today?!  What. The. Heck. You are such a special little boy.  You made my biggest dream come true the moment that you took your first breath and goodness do I love being your momma! You make me smile and laugh every single day {and you drive me a little crazy, too}. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown this year.  There is no “baby” left.  You are a big boy {but you’re still my little boy} and you are a country boy.  You love your rubber boots, riding your tractor, exploring in the woods, digging in the sand and dirt, and finding critters.  You also love superheroes, robots, legos, puzzles, and reading.

You have a naughty side topped with a whole lotta sweetness.  When daddy or I ask you not to do something, you like to say, “Don’t look at me” so you can go ahead and do whatever it is anyway!  You are super affectionate.  You love to give hugs and to cuddle with me {and you still love your blankie}. You get a little annoyed with your brother {get used to it}, but you like to look out for him to make sure he is safe.  Recently, you two started to play more together.  It’s awesome!  You like to play with your friends a lot, too.  You are always asking about them.  You are a smart dude and you like to ask a lot of questions.  I think you like to learn – just like your momma 🙂 Lately, you like to ask what letter different words start with and you like to ask where things came from.  I love our conversations, especially when we are driving in the car.

You have a hefty appetite.  You always have! You’ll say, “I’m starving!” It’s pretty funny. Some of your favorite foods are fruit, cheeseburgers {with ketchup, mustard, and pickles}, pirate booty, steak, sausage, and PB & J.  You really love PB&J’s!

You went on your first international vacation this year and it turns out that you really like to travel!  You ask to go on vacation and to go back to Mexico at least once a week!  You love swimming and playing in the sand.  You can play in the sand for hours!

Sweet Declan – You make life so fun with your silliness and your carefree attitude. Your daddy and I are so proud of you and G thinks you really are a superhero!  You bring so much joy into this world and my heart could burst from all of the love that I have for you.  I am so thankful that you are my son and that I get to grow and experience life with you.  This journey is so very amazing. Happy Birthday, D Man!  I love you SO much!

XO- Momma

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Happy Birthday, GPT!

Happy Birthday, GPT!

Happy Birthday, GPT!

Dear GPT,

Happy 1st Birthday! You are such a big boy {but you’re still my baby}. I have to admit that today is bittersweet for me. I am excited to celebrate all of the awesomeness that you brought into our lives over the past year, but my Momma heart aches at how quickly time is going by. I will never forget the moment that I first held you in my arms. We’ve had a lot of other special moments together since then. Days filled with discovery, fun and goofiness. There have also been days that have been tough. Days filled with tears. Days where I feel like I am letting you down because I can’t seem to figure out what you need at the right moment. But on those nights when you reach your chubby, little hand up to my cheek as you fall asleep – you let me know that I am doing alright. You are a Momma’s boy and you are your Daddy’s twin. Well, your Daddy already has a twin so I’m not sure what that would make you…a triplet?? The point is that you look just like your Daddy. You are a laid back little dude and are pretty happy for the most part. You have your moments, but those usually come when you want milk {whoa, buddy} or on days that you feel like you need some extra snuggles. You love to snuggle. It. Is. Awesome. You give sweet little squeezes and pats on the back. Pure joy! You balance out your snuggles with a little bit of rowdiness.  You like to be right in the middle of all of the action that comes along with having a big brother. That is probably why you started walking {running} by the time you were 11 months {this makes your Daddy super proud}. Speaking of your big brother, you think DDT is the coolest {he is}. You love to play with him and get into mischief with him. You love to play with cars and your little people toy barn. You are a great eater. You aren’t very picky {that must mean that Momma and Daddy are awesome cooks}. You especially love bananas. We also just discovered that you love smoked salmon. You have recently started to throw tantrums and they are pretty funny. They usually happen when you try to get a treat out of the snack cupboard and you are told the dreaded N-O {you like to help yourself to snacks}. I’m sure it won’t be long until you are telling us, “no.” You say a few words: Momma, Dada, Da {Declan}, Dog, Cat, Hi, Moo, Cow, Duck, Quack. You like to pretend to talk on the phone, too. It’s pretty darn cute! You also love your baths and to swing outside on the play set.

You’ve been on a few adventures this year, too. We took a road trip to Nashville for Thanksgiving to visit Grandpa Ratti and Mia. You went to your first football game while we were there, too. You got your first passport and we took a trip to Mexico in February for some fun in the sun! You loved playing in the sand {or eating it} and swimming. I think you are going to have a lot of fun this summer!

Graeme Patrick – my heart beats for your silly, crinkled nose smile, your sweet, soft snuggles, and the sound of your little voice saying, “Momma.” I am honored to be your mother and I can’t wait for all of the memories that we are going to make on this next trip around the sun! Happy Birthday, Chunka Monka. I love you!

XO-
Momma

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Little Brother has arrived {ahem…6 weeks ago}!

Welcome to the world, Sweet Boy!

Welcome to the world, Sweet Boy!

We are officially a family of four!  Graeme Patrick was born on April 11, 2014 at 8:09am.  He weighed in at 7lbs 6 oz and was a lengthy 19.5 inches {so much smaller than anyone expected}. GPT {Little Brother’s new name on this here blog} is perfect. He looks a lot like DDT, but has a fairer complexion.  We may have our blue eyed baby with this guy!

It’s hard to believe that he is already 6 weeks old.  I suppose time really flies by when you’re lovin’ on two kiddos under the age of two {one of which is constantly on the move}! DDT is loving his big brother status, but it took a bit of time for him to adjust.  Our first week home was a bit rough for him {and me}.  At times, my heart ached for him. The routine that he was used to was off.  WAY OFF. I could see frustration on his face and it didn’t help that he’s still at the stage where he is learning to communicate.  On Easter he began to ask to hold his brother and would randomly walk up to him to give him kisses and just to watch him sleep. So Sweet. Now DDT asks for “baby” as soon as he wakes up. If GPT starts to fuss, DDT tries to soothe him before HBG or I can get to him. I cannot wait to see these two when they are a little older and joined at the hip {and probably making plans to drive their momma crazy}. Actually, I can wait.  Time is already going way too fast. So what I meant to say is that I am looking forward to that time. There are definitely still moments when DDT runs out of patience {like when I’ve been nursing for a long time} where he will want me to put the baby in the swing or in his crib, but luckily those moments are few and far between. Overall, he is super sweet and is always watching out for the littlest dude.

This is the perfect depiction of our first week home!  Photo Credit: maisie jane photography

This is the perfect depiction of our first week home!
Photo Credit: maisie jane photography

With non-stop lovin’ from his big brother, GPT is doing great.  He eats like a champ and has already gained 5 pounds since he was born. I am certain it is because I’ve been eating a lot of brownies. A. Lot. He has also started to sleep 6-7 hour stretches at night {hallelujah}! He is starting to discover his voice {adorable} and loves to chat with DDT and his toys on his activity mat.  He is smiling now and has one sweet, little dimple.  We all adore GPT and are over the moon that he chose us to be his family.

I am loving all of the time that I have with my little dudes right now and I feel great. Tired, but great!  I am definitely easier on myself this time than I was when DDT was born.  I am an organized person so chaos and “unfinished” business make me a little nutso.  It is difficult for me, but I have decided to give myself a break and just enjoy this precious time.  It also helps that my husband is incredible and supportive.  He helps out so much with everything, but he is soaking up this time, too. On any given day around here there are two loads of laundry waiting to be folded or put away, a sink full of dishes, and it’s possible that my hair hasn’t been brushed.  Oh well.  I know that there will be a day when I do not have a reason to not get those things done in a timely manner. That day will probably be here much too soon so for now I am busy making memories with the loves of my life.

Life is beautiful. Photo Credit: maisie jane photography http://maisiejanephotography.com

Life is beautiful.
Photo Credit: maisie jane photography
http://maisiejanephotography.com

 

 

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whoa.

Here we are at week 38. Woot Woot!  I am getting excited to meet Little Brother {maybe sooner rather than later, little buddy}! HBG had to travel over the weekend for work.  A bit stressful at this point, but he’s home now and life is good.  My mom graciously offered to come and stay with DDT and I while HBG was gone to keep us company {Okay. She came to babysit me because she knew I’d overdo it. Because I am her kid.}.

Jules arrived on Friday morning wearing her Wonder Woman cape.  Well, I didn’t actually see a cape, but I know it’s there.  DDT was excited and immediately dove into playtime with “Mamaw” {G’s and R’s are hard when you’re 22 months}. We did a lot of playing on Friday and were all exhausted by 8pm.  On Saturday, WW cleaned my whole house {and let DDT help –  which was not actually helpful, but he loved it and therefore the extra work was worth it}, did laundry, built a fort, made homemade meatballs, and went along with whatever her little sidekick wanted to do.  I think he forgot I existed. Momma who?! Yesterday {Sunday} we planned on just relaxing and playing.  We had a low key morning with breakfast and snuggles.  “Mamaw” set up a grocery store in the living room for DDT, so he went shopping, learned how to swipe a credit card, and then made sure that we had a “clean up” situation on every aisle by dumping the play food everywhere.  I got him down for a nap and was on my way to take a hot shower when the power went out.  Awesome.  Since a shower had to wait, mom and I relaxed on the couches while DDT napped.  Once he got up, she had a play date with him since we were still off the grid.  She successfully wore him out which led to a second nap.  DDT went to sleep and we got showers. While DDT was still napping, mom decided she should give me a pedicure.  Because she is AMAZING. So, I was lounging on the love seat soaking my feet with my mom hunched over getting ready to make my toes pretty when this happened:

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A bullet came flying through my living room window and landed on the couch where I had been sitting 5 minutes prior. By some miracle it must have gone above my mom’s head because it landed right next to where she was kneeling down.  Thankfully, we are all fine {albeit afraid to walk in front of a window}. We just had a mess of glass to clean up and a window to patch.  I called the police and the officer felt confident that it was just someone out shooting in the woods and not being very cautious  – he was pretty shocked that it had traveled all the way through our woods. He called it a crime of stupidity.  I had assumed the same thing. We live in the boonies and it is not uncommon to hear gun shots, however, I was under the impression that people were smart enough to not aim toward other houses.

After I had time to process everything, I cannot believe how lucky we were/are.  The “what ifs?” take my breath away.  Thank God DDT was napping. Thank God my mom wasn’t hit. Thank God I had moved to soak my feet.

What an ending to the weekend, eh?! I’m still wondering how all of that excitement didn’t jumpstart labor?! Sigh. Oh well. I get to enjoy today’s gorgeous weather and puddle jumping with DDT.  It’s Opening Day. The windows are open. Mario and Rod’s voices fill the air. It’s a good day. Go Tigers!!

Ahh...Spring!

 

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big boy room.

I had a plan.  With Little Brother due in spring I was going to use Christmas break to decorate and transition DDT into his “big boy room.” I was also going to eat way too many cookies during Christmas break.  The latter part of my plan went on without a hitch.  The bedroom stuff – not so much.  The first two days of break were great.  We went to see Santa {DDT hates that dude}, took DDT to see his first movie in a theater {to help him forget about Santa}, and spent some time with family.  Then we lost power for about 7 days. I can deal with a power loss for awhile.  It can be nice to “unplug.”  Although, that loses its appeal rather quickly when it’s freezing.  The worst part was not the cold, though.  We’ve got plenty of blankets, a generator, and space heaters.  The worst part is that we live on a well and that means flushing the toilet is not allowed.  Pregnant. No toilet.  Not good. Thankfully, we have amazing family and friends so we had plenty of warm places to relax and have sleepovers.  In the grand scheme of things, it was just a major inconvenience.  We’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and each other.  Although, HBG should probably get that generator hooked up to the house ASAP so next time we just have to flip a switch to turn that bad boy on and run the house. Anyway, the big boy room got pushed back a little.  Even though I wasn’t able to decorate, I still wanted to try to get DDT sleeping in his new bed sooner rather than later because I didn’t want him to feel like he got kicked out of his crib when Little Brother came to town. I worry about these things.  I worry about a lot of things.  Okay.  I worry about EVERYTHING.  My mom came out to babysit in early January and HBG and I joked with her that her job was to get DDT to sleep in his new bed.  Of course she did it. She’s awesome.  Check that off the list.

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DDT’s first night in his big boy bed.

Slowly I started to gather things together that I wanted to use to decorate his room and it’s finally finished.  For now.  Actually, nothing is ever finished in my house.  I’ll find more and make more and add more.  But for now – it’s done and I love it.  DDT seems to like it, too.  Which is important.  It is his room.

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Most of what I used to decorate was stuff I had around the house.  We had the bed {DDT sleeps on the pull out trundle for now}, chair, and his dresser – which is in his closet to give him more room to play.  The crate that I used for an end table to hold his blankets, journal, and clock is an old milk crate from Flint, MI.  The crate shelf was actually our guest bedroom nightstand, but I flipped it sideways and hung it on the wall.  The other shelf is just a basic wood shelf from JoAnn’s.  Both are stained with a vinegar/steel wool/coffee ground mixture that I let sit overnight.  All of the frames are frames I had.  I just spray painted them white or gray.  The hanging light was on clearance at Target.  The curtains for the book nook were actually two body pillowcases that I made into curtains – also on clearance at Target. I made the abc pallet from a small pallet that I found at JoAnn’s and alphabet stamps that I have. The monster canvas was $5 at Target. The photo of HBG & I reaching out in the snow and the photo of DDT with the bow tie were taken by Rock Star Ra.  Not only is she a rock star, but she is also an amazing photographer {maisie jane photography}. Her portfolio is incredible.

The prints that I used in the room are some I found while searching on the internet.  All but one of them were free and I printed them at home.  Here is a list of where I found them:

So there you have it.  A new bedroom for a soon-to-be big brother!

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some extra time on my hands.

I have been meaning to start publishing on this blog for MONTHS now and it just hasn’t happened. Partially due to the fact that life with a toddler whose only speed is “GO” is busy {and awesome} and partially because I am an ace at procrastinating. Well, Little Brother has decided that momma needs some free time {luckily for all of you – go ahead and thank him later}. He’s granted me with the gift of an overnight stay in the hospital and bed rest by trying to make his debut a little too early. Unfortunately, I am not good {read: the worst} at sitting still and resting. Hmm.  Maybe that’s what put me here?  Or maybe it’s the awesome Ortonville dirt roads? Either way I am on bed rest and I am going a little crazy. Not only am I a busy body, but I am also a nurturer.  I like to take care of everyone else, so this whole thing makes me feel like an incredible burden. Oh, hey, preggo hormones.  How’s it going?!

I have been driving myself crazy with thoughts of guilt for the past week because I feel like I am letting people down.  The people I care most about. I feel awful that HBG spends his days working his butt off with his job and then has to take care of all of the house/parenting stuff {yet he never complains}. I feel like a bad momma because I can’t chase DDT – or my two favorite little girls {Rock Star Ra’s kiddos} – around, I’m not supposed to pick him up, and he’s too little to understand why I can’t do all of our usual activities. I feel like a bad co-worker because the classroom is chaos right now with new students and I had to up and leave. I am also struggling because I am a planner and this was not part of my plan {dude – labor and delivery never go as planned…you should have learned that the last time}! Thankfully, I have amazing people surrounding me that reassure me that I am not a burden and that I am a better momma to both of my boys for taking it easy. I know that the thoughts that I have are my own emotions getting the best of me and luckily my peeps have no problem {gently} putting me in my place.

When I let go of those emotions and embrace the fact that this is not permanent, I do realize how truly blessed I am. No, this was not part of the plan, but I am lucky that I am able to be off of work without having to worry about added stresses that many others would face. I am blessed that I have a husband who is truly my partner and who doesn’t think twice about taking on the household duties that I usually try to take care of while reassuring me that everything is going to be fine. I am blessed to have a family – which includes friends and co-workers – who pray for my guys and I, who drop off dinner, who love and take care of DDT, and who put me in my place when I’m trying to do what I shouldn’t be doing. I am blessed that I have a healthy little boy running around my house and a healthy little boy baking in my belly. I am blessed and I am extremely grateful.

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“all our sweetest hours fly the fastest.” ~ virgil

What is happening? Does anyone else feel like time is going by even faster than it typically goes by? I have a student who is really into time travel. Really into it. I feel like he may have made me a guinea pig in his time travel research and development and slipped something into my coffee. Except I didn’t end up in a different century.  I am just missing seconds from my minutes, minutes from my hours, and hours from my days. It is kind of a form of torture when you think about it.  Am I right?! Somehow during all of my time loss, DDT turned 2. How the heck did that happen? I can’t believe that it has already been 2 years since HBG and I began our journey as parents. I remember all of the details as if they were yesterday. How I told him that he would need to call in to work because we needed to go to the hospital. Listening to the Nicklas Lidstrom retirement on the way to the hospital. HBG calling our families to tell them it was time. My friend Stephanie calling me to make sure that I wasn’t driving myself to the hospital. The labor. The excitement. The change of plan {emergency C-Section}. The moment I held my first child. Now that itty, bitty baby is a big boy. He is sweet. He is silly. He is sassy. He is pretty damn awesome!  Last year, we threw a big first birthday party and created a time capsule for DDT. This year we decided to celebrate his big day with a simple party at home with our family. The weather was gorgeous so we were able to spend the whole day outside. It was perfect.  DDT had the best time and was SO happy.  When we went to bed that night, I told HBG that it was one of my favorite days ever.  There is nothing better than seeing your child bursting with happiness.  I hope that I get to see that a million times with my boys.  I will do whatever it takes to make sure they experience that joy as often as possible.

DDT enjoying his new trampoline.

DDT enjoying his new trampoline.

So DDT is a big, bad 2 year old and his little brother is already 2 months old. I know. Crazy. GPT is growing like a weed. As his grandpa says…he is a tank! He is still smiling all of the time and is “chatting” more and more. It is so fun to watch him and DDT interact as if they understand each other. Maybe they do. HBG and I joke all of the time that we need a translator to help us understand our kids, but maybe they know exactly what they are saying to one another and to us!

GPT soaking up the sunshine.

GPT soaking up the sunshine.

 

 

GPT - 2 months

GPT – 2 months

I was so nervous when I was pregnant with GPT because I didn’t know how I could possibly love another baby as much as I loved DDT. What a silly worry {although I am sure it is normal – right?!}. It is incredible how instantly the love for your child consumes you. I love them both so much. My heart could explode.

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Sweet brothers.

Sweet brothers.

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