Why I Will Actually Miss the Toddler Years

Toddlers. Tiny rambunctious humans with way too much energy and too many emotions to contain…full of NOs, questions and curiosity…they can be a handful. You may have heard of the terrible 2s, terrible 3s and so-on….but, what if I told you that I will actually miss this phase?

Just wait a sec and hear me out on this.

My oldest will be 3 in September and he’s now entering a really fun phase. He is potty trained, he can communicate more with us and is saying new words every day, he gets VERY excited about his favorite things and his attention span has lengthened so he stays occupied for longer periods. He is understanding the world around him more…what makes him happy & sad and so on. He is learning just what he is capable of doing…even when he thinks that he can’t, he will try it and be amazed at what he really can do. It’s really quite amazing for me, as a mom, to see him progress and learn as much as he is. It’s also so rewarding….because all the days of talking, repeating what things are and so on seem to be paying off.

It’s amazing and yet so incredibly bittersweet. Of course I want my babies to learn, grow and be independent, but it’s always a battle of wanting them to grow and wanting them to stay little forever.

There’s also the affection that my toddler gives us which may be the BEST type of reward for those long and hard mom days. He will randomly give me kisses or hug my leg. He gives us long hugs and squeezes…and then there’s the pats on the back that come with those hugs. It’s when his little hand reaches out for mine that makes my heart melt or how he stays glued by my side when he meets someone new. It’s when I lay down with him at night and he hands me his train book & declares “read”; one by one he will tell me which color each train is and the excitement on his face is priceless. It’s in that moment when a train in a book is enough to light up my son’s face that I know how precious this age truly is.

And how fast it will fade by.

Pretty soon, faster than I would like, my toddler will be heading off to kindergarten. He’ll be off making friends and he won’t want to hold my hand anymore. When I pick him up from school, he will excitedly tell me about his day and what he learned about, and I will sit back and smile. And as much as I long for the days of a little more time to myself, he will also grow a little more away from me.

Pretty soon, he won’t want the extra cuddles or kisses…and the random squeezes around my leg will become less & less. He will also grow out of his love for certain “kid” things and find the world around him less exciting. He won’t want to chat about the simple things and he will probably think I’m not so cool anymore. He will lose his baby face, grow taller & won’t want to be tucked into bed at night. And then will come the dreaded day when he won’t want me to kiss him in front of his friends (although I still will) & instead of picking flowers for his momma, he’ll be picking flowers for a girl. (although I hope he will still think of me from time to time)

So as hard as it can be parenting a toddler, I desperately try to remember that some-day when I have a moody teenager with a crackling voice, I will want these days back. And so I give my toddler one more squeeze and read him his train book one more time.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS! {and the boys mini-shoot}

It’s that time of year again!

This year, we get to celebrate as a family of 6 {of course we count our fur-daughters}. Last year, baby Bernie was in my belly and I was daydreaming of what life was going to be like with two small kiddos.

Beaux enjoyed his Christmas last year but he still didn’t “get” the whole Santa-thing {or unwrapping the presents…he was very gentle with the wrapping paper} so we are looking forward to what he will be like this year! The tree is up. Baby-gate included. Beaux helped by handing me the ornaments and saying “ooohh.” He really likes when the lights are lit and he helped Daddy put the Angel on top of the tree.

 

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Beaux helping Daddy…

It will be neat to see how he handles the presents this year and what he will think of Santa! Also, he might be into celebrating traditions a little more… I think he will be way more interested in making ornaments and his night before Christmas box. What type of traditions do you celebrate? Every year will only get better and better….having kids around this time of the year is THE BEEEEST!!

 

{look who wants to get in on the fun}

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Someone is trying to explore this weird new thing in our living room….

 

It will be Bernie’s first Christmas!

These firsts our so special to me! Even though he will have no clue to what’s going on, it’s still a fun time.

And do you see those ‘Mistletoes’ hung up by the tree? The first canvas is of Beaux’s little feet done when he was just three months old {soooo tiny!} and now Bernie has one of his own, done at seven months.

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I wanted the boys to get Christmas pictures done this year {and totally knowing that I had no energy, time, or patience to do it myself…..} I found a nice lady here to do a mini-shoot with the boys. She’s a military wife and runs her little photography business out of her home and charged a reasonable fee for the shoot, so why not. Originally, the shoot was going to be done outside, but German weather had other plans for us {that day it was rainy & muddy} so she moved the props to her kitchen. It still looked really cute!

So we got to this nice lady’s house and the boys were all dressed up in their best for these pictures. We managed to get out of the car and into her house with no mud or wetness on us, and Bernie managed to keep the spit-up at bay {at least until after the shoot was over}. Every-thing was fine. Beaux was shy like normal and Bernie was bouncing along for the ride. And then it was time to actually do the shoot and things went south.

Beaux didn’t want to leave my side, so I suggested that we start with Bernie first. Well, my usual very social and pleasant infant had a weird case of stranger danger that day {or maybe he was just tired} and wanted NO part in being there on the floor, surrounded by Christmas decor and having a stranger point a camera in his face. So my plan of having Bernie test the waters to show Beaux that everything was fine back-fired. Oh well. I gave Bernie a bottle and in the meantime, Beaux was slowly warming up to the nice lady. She was verryyyyy patient for not having children of her own and she thought of a brilliant idea: she introduced her magic sled to Beaux. She told him that he could sit on it, and it worked. His mood instantly changed and the smiles came out! She got some GREAT shots!! {see below for my favorite}

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He looks way too grown!!  

After this, it got easier! Beaux was okay now with the nice lady taking his picture, and he was even more okay with this cool sled. He even wanted Bubba to get in on the fun.

 

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My favorite <3

I’m so happy she captured this one. I’m not sure how many she was able to get of them both on the sled, but I assume it was only a few since Bubba was still a little wobbly sitting up at this time and was only on the sled for a few seconds. But she got it. And it’s my favorite one of them all. And it’s even better that they are both looking AND have smiles.

We chose this one of the boys to go on our Christmas cards this year {designed by Shutterfly}

{hey, I hear they’re holiday cards are 50% off right now. you better check that out}

We got so many compliments about out holiday card. I love choosing Shutterfly for our cards. It’s December 4th and my cards are sent out. Done and done.

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 {one more time on that cool sled!}

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Then it was time to get Bernie’s solo-shots. He was warmed up now so we went for it!

And, he was way more cooperative!

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those big eyes!!!

 

and….

 

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too darn precious!{we even managed to get a little smile here} you wouldn’t know that fifteen-minutes ago he was on that same spot crying.

 

So overall, the mini-shoot was a SUCCESS! I’m so in love with the pictures. I want every one blown up on canvas, haha! I was so worried that the boys wouldn’t cooperate but they were fine.

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Karley from Timeless Image Photograph  was AMAZING. She was so patient and warm. Plus, her reasonable prices cannot be beat. I’m even thinking about going back in the spring when she offers her other mini-shoot. So, if you are in the Ramstien area you HAVE to check out Karley’s work. Other than mini-shoots, Karley offers newborn, maternity, family portraits and engagement photos.

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Here’s the last of my boys! They are so adorable {if I do say so myself} and they are growing too darn fast!! 

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Now that the decorations are up and the cards are sent out, it’s time to finish shopping and to wrap those presents. It’s also time to watch a ton of Christmas movies and listen to way too much Christmas music! I love this time of year!

I hope the rest of your December is filled with happiness, memories and endless amounts of hot cocoa!

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Drop me a line below… what are your Christmas traditions? I’m always looking to do more with the boys around this time of year.

 

 

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Sweet Bernie: Your First 6 Months

My life changed dramatically on April 12th, 2017; our second son was born!

Bernard Robert{also known as Bernie, or ‘Bubba’ to your Big Brother} entered the world at 7:20 a.m. weighing a whopping 9 pounds and 3 oz. I still can’t believe how BIG you were(neither could anybody else in the delivery room.) You gave us all quite a scare when you weren’t crying right away. Just like your Big Brother, you got a little bit of meconium in your lungs. The nurse rushed you right over to the other side of the room to clear out your lungs, and my heart sank. Your daddy and I just stared at each other; all I could remember saying was, “why isn’t he CRYING yet?” It must have been 30 seconds (but felt like a lifetime) and we finally heard your sweet, but very LOUD, cry!

They handed you to me, and you immediately calmed down…..that moment will forever be ingrained in my mind and heart.

 

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after his first bath in the hospital. I can’t handle the chubby cheeks…..

 

Ever since then, you have been giving me a run for my money! They say that not every child is the same and boy is that true with you and your brother. Your personality is beginning to come out and it is so fun to watch….

You are crazy! You make silly noises, babbles, screams…so you are also very loud! I guess you don’t want us to forget that you are here, because Big Bro sometimes tries to steal your thunder. You are also a toughie… bumping your head, crawling into chair corners, taking brother’s toys. You are only 6 months, but you think that you are older, because you try to do more than you can right now. Your name most certainly fits you {meaning hardy/brave/strong as a Bear!}

You are growing! You seem to be doing so much at such a younger age. At six months you are already scooting, rocking back and forth on your hands & knees to TRY to crawl, almost sitting up without assistance, getting your first two teeth, and growing like a weed. You were already wearing 3 month outfits when you were 1 month old. If you keep growing at this rate, I will need to break out the 12 month clothes by the time you are 9 months!

You are sweet! Despite your crazy and wild side, you are a sweet heart. Your bright smile melts my heart! You are very cuddly and make it easy to want to hold all the time. Your giggle is contagious. You LOVE to laugh…and it is easy to make you laugh! You LOVE being silly with your Brother; it’s your favorite thing when he tickles you, or scares you! {you get a big kick out of that}.

You love your Big Brother! You two already have a strong bond, and it’s the sweetest. I can only hope that you two will grow even stronger together. We joke and say that YOU are Beaux’s “Little/’Big’ Brother”. I have a feeling that YOU will protect him through life!

 

a glimpse of you growing and changing these past 6 months….

 

*Here are some things about your first 6 months of life:

-your due date was April 8

-I was only in labor with you for 6 hours

-since you were born bigger, your blood sugar levels had to be monitored before we were able to leave the hospital {everything turned out fine, it was just more annoying then anything}

-nursed like a pro

-swaddling calmed you down

-born with a head full of dark hair {now- it’s thinned out and lighter}

-did NOT want to take a binkie the first few weeks of life! {now, you love your binks}

-hated your swing at first & screamed

-you peed on the photography lady when you got your newborn pictures done

-you peed on mommy, every single day, until you were at least one month old. {yes this will probably embarrass you someday}

-you slept in mommy & daddy’s room until you were 5 months

-it feels like you have been teething forEVER- but, i can finally see them showing.

-mastered crawling

-can hold your own bottle

-went on first vacation to the beach {and slept most of the time while there}

-went on first airplane ride {and slept the whole 8 hour flight}

-swam in a lake with daddy

-you love to be moving.. crawling, in your swing or walker

-eating baby foods: peas,applesauce,sweet potato,banana {sweet potato is your favorite so far}

-sleeping by yourself now, in your own room

-can also soothe yourself to sleep {at night time only}

-cries when momma leaves the room

-smiles big at daddy

-loves taking Big Brother’s toys

-is completely fascinated by your fur-sisters

-always falls asleep in the car

-loves when momma puts you in the Tula

-babbles {and growls} constantly

-hates sitting up {we need to work on that!}

-loves splashing around in the bath tub

-thinks paper is part of a major food group

-got first cold at 6 months old

-you have slept through the night, maybe twice. i am patiently waiting on this {your brother still doesn’t sleep through the night and he’s 2, so, can we try to beat him on this?} 😉

-i will unapologetic say that you love to watch tv – especially Minions

You have given us life, and completed our little family. You are perfect in every way, and I love you a million times over! I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring, and I hope it moves a little slower!

We love you to the moon and back!

XOXO

 

 

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On The Days When I Need A Break

On the days when I need a break…give me a hug. Tell me I’m doing the best that I can.


On the days when I need a break from being a mommy…hand me a glass of wine and run me a bubble bath.


On the days when our son is being so bold and I want to rip my hair out….remind me that he won’t stay this little forever.


On the days when the house is a mess and the sink is full of dishes….remind me that some people don’t have that luxury.


On the days when I fight with my husband and get annoyed at him….remind me how bickering is completely healthy in a marriage.


On the days when I feel ugly…remind me that beauty  is way more than skin deep.


On the days when I’m so tired from staying up with a cranky, teething baby…remind me how some women, would give anything to be in that position. And give me coffee.


On the days when I just can’t keep up with the endless laundry…remind me how fortunate I am to have clothes and loved ones to care for.


On the days when I feel like a bad mom…remind me that my little boy is happy.


On the days when I feel like I should be doing something different…remind me that my son is healthy.


On the days when I don’t feel important or appreciated…tell me that I am.

On the days when I blame myself….remind me not to live with regrets.

On the days when I simply feel defeated…lift me up.

On the days when I cry because I’m an emotional basket-case…offer your shoulder.

On the days when I just want to talk things through…listen.

On the days when I’m too exhausted to prepare a nice, healthy dinner…be content with frozen pizza.

On the days when I give you that look when you get home from work….offer a helping hand. And pour me a glass of wine.

On the days when I hate myself for still not losing all the baby weight…tell meI’m beautiful.

On the days when my patience is running paper thin…let me have a moment to myself.

On the days when I feel like I can’t win for losing…tell me that tomorrow is another day.


On the days when I cry because my son is growing up too fast….remind me to give him one more kiss.



These days happen often. It doesn’t make us a bad person, because moments simply don’t defy us. It’s a bad day, not a bad life.

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