Monday, April 18, 2016

hey, you guys. it's me.

as I write this to you guys, we're four days in of it being just us. your daddy's on a business trip to napa, and my only goal since he's been gone is to be a present, fun mom. i've really tried you guys. this should be an easy goal - but you're toddlers. and i work a lot. and i have this thing called an iphone that steals my attention from you so much more than it should. it's a hard goal. i'm sorry for that. but it's true.

first, i should also just acknowledge i know it's been forever since i've written to you two. it hit me today on my ride home that i miss doing this for you both. i started to feel like it was an obligation awhile ago and i made the call to take a break -i don't want anything i ever write to you to feel like that. i want it to feel natural, and it 100% needs to be for us - you both, and me. summer, you're right above me, stomping around - singing a song that consists of only one word: "mommmmmy", on repeat. it's 8:15. you've officially been fighting bedtime for an hour. this is an every night occurrence. wyatt, you're currently mad at me. this too, tends to be an every night occurrence. you both seriously go to bed pissed off 6 out of the 7 nights a week. that sounds awful. i promise, we're good parents. but there's locks on the outside of your doors right now. you have these dolls that tell you when it's bed time because you don't listen to us when we tell you. for awhile there (aka the last two years), waking up in the 5s was normal. last month, i couldn't take it anymore. you were owning us, killing us. honestly, we weren't getting enough sleep. none of us. we hated each other a good 65% of the day. exhaustion has to be the number one premature aging cause for anyone in their 30s with toddlers. enough was enough. we needed our sleep back and we took control and it's been good - for the most part. it's 8:22 now, and i am about to give in and walk up there and get you cozy, summer. because again, #everynight #youwin #youoweme #pleasehaveaminiyou. (8:38 and i am back. you had doused yourself in baby lotion, removed your pull up and replaced it with a pair of shorts under your jammie bottoms. nice try, girlfriend. i'm onto you. wyatt, you are completely assed out. 'not going to bed mad at the ones you love' isn't a rule of thumb you're following quite yet.)

so, on day four, which so happens to be a monday, i picked you up from school at 5:05pm and you had mcdonalds for dinner on a picnic blanket at the park across the street from the house. i don't feel guilty about mcdonalds. ever. this is exactly why god invented happy meals. and you both were fucking happy. until you weren't -- when i said it was time to go home and no one would help me carry anything back home so i changed my mind on the fruit snacks i previously offered to give you as a bribe for leaving the park. i also changed my mind on the shower instead of the bath. (you both love the damn shower right now -- you each have your own squeegy thing to wipe the water off of the glass with.) i change my mind a lot. sue me. it's the one thing i have left. my mind. #barely. in all seriousness, i try not to do that but when you guys make things harder than it needs to, i might reverse a decision that was originally intended to benefit you. like fruit snacks, or that extra book, or dinner after bath vs. before. or the shower instead of the bath, or the bath instead of the shower, or no dessert. i remember the power of the changed mind growing up -- you'll catch on soon enough. i am actually counting on it.

wyatt, you're 4 and i never wrote you a letter for your birthday. you're days away from being 4.5. i watched you the other day playing at the park, and you looked ginormous and little at the same time. i clearly remember uncle cam at your age. it was yesterday that he was 4.5 and now, he's 17. he's driving, he's taller than all of us, he works. when i looked at you up there on the jungle gym, i saw the years ahead in seconds, and i imagined seeing you at 17, and flashing back to that moment when you were this paradox of little and small. i wanted time to stop. i do that a lot too - i want time to freeze just as easily as i want it to speed up. another paradox i guess. i want time to stop because i never want to look back and regret anything about you being little. i never want to forget the right now. at the same time, the right now tends to be super hard. so i want things to speed up to when it's not so hard. here's the thing -- i hear it is always hard in it's own way. what's hard right now is that you are little, and i don't always have all of the patience i need to be your mama. you're busy, you ask why a lot, you don't always listen, you absolutely break down when you hear the word "no" and you scare me. i am terrified of any and all what if scenerios that involve you. what if you run into the street when i am not looking? what if you choke on something? what if something happens to you when you go to sleep and i don't hear you? it's terrible what crosses my mind sometimes. you're 4, you're smart, you are getting more and more independent by the day. i need to get a grip.

that book, "i'll love you forever"? describes me perfectly. the one you and summer will pick out and obsess over, and by the end when the lady is crawling into the bedroom with the ladder, i am laughing at how "silly she is" only to hold back all the tears. by the page when he's at his mom's rocking her i have a ball the size of australia in my throat, and by the time he's back home rocking his newborn baby i am an absolute mess. "mommy, you crying? why you crying? why you sad? this book makes you sad? why?" i get her. 100%. i take these pics of you guys almost every night because i am that mom. i will probably be doing that until you move out. i think i will have to draw the line there. me and ladders aren't a good match. and back to being serious -- this is how i will know you're home by curfew every night because you can bet i'll be in your room taking a picture of you asleep. don't mess with me.

you two are absolute perfection together most of the time. you're playing together, laughing with each other, being silly, and already i can see you two learning how to have inside jokes. i say this now, but i can't wait for you guys to make fun of me together. poke at me and call me out on stuff because you can. already you both watch out for each other, my only true ask of you as you grow up together. always, always, always watch out for each other. when your daddy and i are old and pissing ourselves like you two are now, you have to come visit us together so you can talk shit about how crazy we are when you leave. you only have each other.

i am obsessed with you guys. i am getting better at the mom stuff as we go along. i do have to be honest about something. i finally enjoy it. i know that sounds terrible, but you kind of like me more now which makes the job a bit more fun. you're so much better about giving me constructive feedback. you actually tell me when i do something well. it helps. a lot.

today when we had dinner outside, and you sat with me on the blanket enjoying this warm (really warm -- 97 degrees warm!) April day, smiling and sharing sweet and sour sauce, i got that feeling i've needed to feel. i know i am doing some of this right, fast food and all. you're happy kids. i fuck up a lot, and i lose my patience, and i know i hurt your feelings. and you're happy kids. you're patient. and forgiving. and honest. and sensitive. you're funny. polite. energetic. you love to be outside, you're up for anything. so adventurous. and encouraging. you always hug each other goodnight. you're always so happy to see each other in the morning. i love these things about you.

i'll write more. this little break has been good for me. starting again will be good for me too.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

happy 2nd birthday, summer love.

oh honey, you're two. two. two. it's been so long since i've written a post - not because these aren't important to me, but because it's been a whirlwind adventure around here. we've done so much in the last year - built a house, sold a house, moved, had a super fun and HOT summer, and as of today, you started at a new school with your brother. life is really good, my love.

you are seriously fantastic. you are small and strong. so tough. you put up and keep up with your big brother constantly. you're talking and almost saying more than a couple of words at a time. some of my favorites - "me now?" "me go?" "da-eee go?" "here y'g!o!"

your hair. it's growing, and blowing sweet cheeks. you've got the best side bangs going on, and as of this week, we're able to do pig tails. you rock these bows too - it's really too much. your smile. it's contagious. you have the most amazing face. so bright, and full of life. you are a constant reminder of independence. you always want to try something on your own. whatever it is - the stairs, washing hands, putting on your shoes, taking off your clothes, trying on every skirt in your drawer. you will do it on your own.

peeeeees? this is what you say whenever you think someone has to or is going to the bathroom. you try to go, always without luck - but the effort is adorable.

you do a lot of hugging and kissing - whenever i leave in the morning you give me a (few several) kisses on the lips (like, really good smooches) and a hug (a super burly one -- very tight squeeze) and a rigorous couple dozen waves goodbye. it's perfect. you always hug wyatt goodnight now, and it's kind of a game - you'll run the hallway between your room and his and hug and kiss him. i love when i get to put you down (daddy usually wins if he's home). we'll sing "wheels on the bus", and before i even get to "round and round" you stop me - "noooo" and ask me to sing "twinkle twinkle". i usually crawl down to where you are laying and pretend to kiss you through the bars of your crib and you hysterically laugh. there must be something about seeing me that way. you love it. i know you have your own little night night routine with your daddy too.

speaking of daddy. hello, obsessed. you really are. he is your dude. "my da-eee" comes out a lot. i joke sometimes that it hurts my feelings that you don't love me as much, but the reality is i wouldn't have it any other way. i love that you have such a special bond with him. it's all i ever really wanted for you both. he'd do anything for you. it's so so so important that you know how to be loved by a man. this, my love, is it. unconditional, everything, love.

you are cool. i was talking to gramma the other night and this is how i explained you. you're just cool. you are confident, and funny, and so incredibly smart. you'll try anything for a laugh, and have an infectious sense of humor. you stick up for yourself, tough cookie. never ever, ever stop.

your birthday snuck up on me this year. another year passed so fast. and sometimes i catch myself thinking - you're ONLY two? not just because you're so ahead of the curve (no bias here), but because it's so hard for me to think you've only been here with us two years. you are what i always imagined for our family. i look back on all of my earlier posts about you and to you, and it's so funny to read them - despite barely knowing you then, it's like you've always been the person you are today. even as a toothless, bald, mute, infant.

happiest of birthdays, summer james. until next year. because 3 rocks (and kills). just ask your brother.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dear Wyatt - You're 3.

Dear Wyatt,

You're 3, my love. And I'm two months late on writing to you. You are so many things right now.

Chatty - you are talking constantly. Saying so many things - there isn't a single word you won't say now. If you hear something for the first time, you'll repeat it back and add a question mark to the end, indicating you aren't sure what is being referenced and that you need further explanation.

Musical - currently, we're into anything and everything in the "toddler tune" category, or Frozen. Let It Go is a constant these days. And I have to admit. I don't mind.

Independent - always, always, always wanting to do your own thing.

Potty Trained - thank you baby Jesus.

Curious - about everything. Questions all the time. "Why, why, why?"

Artistic - you love to draw, color, paint, cut. Oh, and the stickers. So many stickers.

Outdoorsy - it might be 20 degrees outside, but you don't care. You love your pedal free bike that you got for your birthday. You're so good on it too.

Frustrating - you kill me. You're strong willed, opinionated, "spirited". You're smarter than me a lot of the time.

Picky - about food. You barely eat. Unless it's a cake pop, donut, or cookie. You will eat macaroni and anything cheesy. Or processed. #wecavetomcdonalds

Car-obsessed - and by car, I mean anything with four wheels - firetrucks, garbage trucks, wee-noo's (ambulance, cop car), beep-beeps (Jeeps), tractors, you name it.

You're getting better at the "big-brother" thing. Still sometimes only tolerating Summer, but starting to seem a lot more interested in what she's doing. You want her to follow you around and do what you do, and you hate it when she follows you around and does what you do. You're amazing with her (most of the time) when you don't think we're watching. Like today, you held her hand up the stairs. You kissed her head out of the blue yesterday. This morning, when she saw you for the first time when you woke up, she about barreled me over so she could get to you and give you a hug. You two together are my heart beat. It's why I can be a little more patient with us as we learn how to be a family of four - 17 months later. Yes, we're still learning.  You're a leader with her, the typical first born. Bossy, pushy, impatient. And at the same time, loving, patient, encouraging, and warm.

I am hard on you. I know that. I have really high expectations when it comes to you and often forget you're only three. I am not sure why. Maybe it's because I know what you're capable of. I know how smart you are. I know how incredible you are, and will be. I expect you to be a good kid. A respectful teenager. A wise man. A caring father. A contributing citizen. I want you to be a good man, someone people respect and learn from and want to be around. I'm always going to expect a lot from you, Buggy. And I'll probably always call you Buggy. Or Munchy. Or Baby. Or Lovie. #getoverit I am more and more patient with you as you get older. I think it's because I get you, my little fellow Scorpio. You have so much of me in you. I see your little ideas in your head. Your mannerisms when you play remind me of how I used to play. You're excitable, passionate, easily annoyed, whiney,  sensitive, and extremely easy to read. Your a good communicator, and you have high expectations of yourself. I know a lot of that has to do with me, but I do believe a lot of that is just who you are. You are already starting to see what you're made of. And I love that.

I am so proud of you. You are learning and growing so much. You are resilient. You are entertaining, exhausting, and all things amazing to this family. The love I feel for you is one of my best defining traits. You have taught me so much, and I know you'll always be that for me. A teacher.

I love you little one. The sprinkles on my cupcake.

Your Mama.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

this is hard.

it's been awhile since i've written, and i wish i could say the only reason is because we've had "such a busy summer", or "i've been working a lot", or "i've taken time to immerse myself into my family"…

the honest truth is this - it's been a hard few months for me. while the warm months have treated us well, we've also been in a time of transition, as a family and individually. there have been several "perfect storms" if you will. and i've been shy to write. probably because i've been processing and analyzing and over thinking a lot. i haven't been ready to go head to head with the reality of my feelings either.

hormonally, the first year since sj's birth has been rough. i haven't quite totally felt like myself for well, two years. well, three years if we're being honest. the whole child birth, first year thing was hard on me. as soon as i wrapped the first year with wyatt and stopped nursing, i wound up pregnant with summer. summer's birth and first year were rougher than expected. of course, we had a great year. we became a family of four, we grew, and we celebrated our family a lot. there were times in the middle, and there still are, where i'm still searching for that piece of me i haven't seen in awhile. glimpses come and go, but i'm still adjusting to our new life. our precious babes, and simply put, being a mom.

being a mom is hard. it's amazing. but it's fucking hard. i don't care what they say, the hard sometimes DOES outweigh the beauty of it all. and it's OK. i am coming to terms with the fact that some days are just harder. some weeks are. and some months are. i live for the moments in between where, even if i am searching for that piece of me i miss so much, i fall in love with my kids on a whole new level. we're getting to know each other every day. i have a multitude of what i call "mom moments". good ones, fine ones, great ones, shitty ones, amazing ones, messy ones, unforgettable ones, and hopefully no unforgivable ones.

i wake up each morning knowing i have another chance to be better. to do better. and i try. really hard. every day. sometimes my best one day is just ok. sometimes my best one day isn't ok at all. the days are made up of these mom moments. but i have to keep telling myself the day isn't, and can't be, defined by just one of those moments. it's a compilation of many. rather than defining my days on one shitty moment, i define my days on the many (or few) amazing moments we had. i make up for the not so great moments in the day, with the very best bedtime routine i can think of. lots of giggles, and kisses, and silly faces. good bedside chats, an extra book, a lingering exit. a reflection of all of the great things we did that day, and all of the things we get to look forward to the next day.

i've been getting flashes of reality. that this is just the beginning. wyatt's not even three, and he already knows how to hurt my feelings. that scares me. i remember hurting my mom's feelings. i remember thinking she didn't care when i did that. i know now, i was dead wrong. #karmaisabitch

it feels good to get this out. and i know that for anyone reading this, some of you get it. some of you understand the roller coaster i'm on. at some point, the ride will be over, and we'll all high five each other because we did it. we got on, buckled up, wound around the twists and turns, found ourselves upside down, laughing, crying, scared, then proud, thrilled, and glad it's over.

i imagine feeling this way during wyatt and summer's college graduations. when i see their little baby faces peeking through those adult ones. where i see the pride they have in themselves, and know that they don't have a clue how much my heart is bursting. when i know that the beauty of it all FAR OUTWEIGHS the hard. when i know that the work paid off, and that we survived. when we reflect on all that got us to this amazing place.

when all of those years flash in front of my eyes. and i think back to how i truly feel right now.

only 20 years left.

happy 1st birthday, summer girl

dear summer,

you are one, sweet girl. and wow, you get more amazing by the day. it's been almost two months since your birthday - i'm a little behind on writing to you and telling you how much i love and adore you. you're pretty damn wonderful. funny, silly, bright, beautiful, sassy, independent, and opinionated. you're a daddy's girl to the core, and if i am being honest, that makes me jealous. not all the time, but sometimes. i kind of wish you would pick me over him a little more. the only time i am picked over him is when you and i are home alone. even then, you look around the room for him, peeking around corners, anticipating his arrival. as much as i get jealous, i am so grateful for the amazing bond you both have. you are aware of his love and adoration for you, and you are hungry for it. exactly how it should be. he's the one that has and will continue to show you your worth. he's the one that will teach you what you deserve and he's the one you will look to as the example of love. that is the most amazing part of the father-daughter relationship.

you're about two weeks into walking, and we're so proud of you. you're doing so great. keeping up with your brother, bracing yourself at his every sudden and drastic move towards you. you're such a good sport. i love when i catch you scream out even before he does anything but you know he's about to tackle you. you've been conditioned by him right from the start. you both are getting very good at playing together. for about 5 minute stretches at a time. usually each 5 minute interval is interrupted when wyatt "hugs" you, aka squeezes you so hard you can't breath. or when he knocks you down, or steals a toy from you. "mine" is a word you hear a lot.

speaking of words. you don't say any. you babble a little bit, but nothing definite. daddy swears you say his name, but i am in denial over that one. we're waiting for that first word. or apparently only i am.

we love you because you complete our family. us. me. we love you because you will try anything once, you're brave, patient, happy, the light of this place. your smile is the best physical trait about you, along with your adorable gramma butt. you are strong-willed. you'll always be that way. you don't sleep past 6am most days. and daddy is the one that gets up with you most days. i figure he's your favorite anyway, so why not. kidding. kind of. you prefer veggies over fruits, especially green beans and carrots. you eat about 100 pouches a week, and love garden burgers, black bean anything, and macaroni. when you take a drink of water, or when you see someone else take a drink of anything you say, "ahhh." as if it's the most refreshing thing you've experienced. wait, could that be your first "word"?!

your little core self is developing. you are you. and we'll always encourage and teach you to be the very best version of yourself.

happy birthday summer james, our littlest love. you've captured our hearts and have made this year a year we'll never ever forget.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


social media is interesting. so many of us open up our Facebook pages, our twitter accounts, our instagram feeds to people we've never met. but for some reason, we connect with these strangers, and by reading their posts, their blogs, their updates - and by seeing their pictures, we come to know them. they come to know us. through pictures and a couple of sentences here and there describing an image that brings us joy. 

this happened to me through instagram. a woman i've never met started commenting on some of the pictures of wyatt. we connected because our boys are close in age, have similar styles and our obsessions with them take us over. over the past 2 years, we've exchanged messages, and i've even bought some hand me downs of her sons off her for wyatt to enjoy. our boys shared similar interests, and each had a best friend. i loved seeing the pictures she'd post of her son with his little perfectly red-headed best friend. and she'd always comment on the pics i'd post of wyatt with paxton.

one day, she posted something unimaginable. her son's best friend was killed by a truck after running after a frisbee. just a week before that, she had posted pictures of the two of them celebrating her son's third birthday. days before that, pictures of them at disneyland together. a week before that, the two of them sitting side by side eating home made pudding popsicles. i'm pretty sure i commented or liked each and every one of the pictures of the two of them together.

he died.

three year olds don't just die. little boys, full of life and hope and innocence and love don't just die.

but he did.

i am and have been at a total loss. my heart has never broken for a stranger like it has for his beautiful mama. it aches for her. i cry for her, still. it's been 6 weeks. and a day hasn't gone by where i don't think of her. what she is doing. how she's coping. she posts on her blog 1-2 times a week. honest, heart wrenching posts. i sob for her. i'll read them when ty isn't home. like tonight. he's at a mariner's game. i caught up and read three posts and sobbed. this woman is incredible. and her pain is real and raw. and she has hope. and the love she and her husband share for each other, and their sweet angel, is inspiring.

i sometimes feel guilt when i read her posts. on nights where i lose my patience with wyatt, in particular. nights where i raise my voice, or when i decide not to read that extra book, or when i don't lay with him longer. i know i can do more, and be more to him. there was an auction circulating for this beautiful mama who lost her son, and i bid on a pair of red striped jammies. and every night i see them in his drawer, clean and folded, i swoop them up, put them on him, and immediately i focus on making our last little bit together before he goes to bed the best i can. for ryan. for jacqui. we call them his "ryan jams". he loves them. i also bought him another little t-shirt where the proceeds go to this family so they can take the time they need to heal. these things remind me to slow down, and show this little one love and patience and kindness. he can never go to bed not knowing how loved he is. about 6 months ago, he started repeating "ni' night, iluooo" back to me when i give him one last little look before closing his door. sometimes he even says it before i do. my heart bursts and it takes everything in me not to run in there and cozy up to him and smell him and kiss him and cuddle him for the entire night.

i know parents lose their kids all over the world. i try to honor them by never taking mine for granted. i'm not perfect and i mess up sometimes. i have some shitty mom moments like the best of us. but you can bet one thing. in the midst of my imperfectness, my kids will hear me own it, say i'm sorry and spend the rest of my life learning how to be better. i will continue to make mistakes, contributing to future therapists' job security, i'm sure. if that means they'll see me for who i am, and learn that great things come from being imperfect, vulnerable, 
loving with all you have, being authentic, 
and being human, 
then i'll die a happy woman.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

dear summer // 9 month letter

hi my sweet little love muffin. you are 9.5 months and holy crap, you're fun.

you are crawling, and clapping, and laughing, and shouting…. and simply a joy to be around. we are absolutely 100,000,000% in love with you. obsessed with your every move, your every smile. you are on the move, sister. pulling yourself up, cruising (a bit) and showing off those 4 hilarious little teeth every chance you get.

we. can't. get. enough. happy 9 months to you, our precious little chick.

love you, to all of the moons and back.

your mama.

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