Sunday, October 30, 2011


When she wakes up tomorrow, she will be 2. Sleep well, sweet girl. Tomorrow is a big day.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Recently, a few friends have jokingly called me supermom. This always surprises me and makes me a little uneasy. I don't feel like decentmom most of the time, let alone supermom. I feel like instead of complimenting me, they're taunting me. They promise the title is genuine though.

It's all the crocheting, cloth diapering, cooking, sewing, and blogging I do in addition to full time mothering, they say. I feel like I need to set the record straight that while I do enjoy those activities, I rarely do them well simultaneously. I have a stack of unfinished crochet projects on the ottoman, a headful of unpublished blog entries, and neglected kids on most days of the week. I'm kidding about the neglected kids, but that's how I feel sometimes.

Having 2 is way harder than I imagined and just now, 9 weeks in, do I feel semi-confident in my mothering skills. When they both cry at the same time, someone doesn't get held. When they're both hungry, someone has to wait to get fed. When they both need to get loaded into the car, someone is left standing in the street. Kidding, sort of. Somebody gets the shaft when there are 2 babies and only 1 mommy and that makes me feel like a really bad mom. Superbadmom.

But for the last couple of days, something miraculous has happened. Some would call it sublime even. I have managed to get both girls to take their afternoon nap at the same time. It is heaven. 3 hours of uninterrupted mommy time to waste use however I want. I have been able to crochet, blog, cook, and catch up on the housework for several days straight. This makes me feel like I have it together. Like I really am supermom.


Just down the hall...

Friends, you were right. I am supermom. For 3 hours a day, at least. 

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have been in 1 fist fight in my life. It was with my best friend and it involved a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch shorts and Doc Marten shoes. We were seniors in high school. I can't remember how it started or why, but there was crying involved. And mean words. And more crying. Her dad had to break it up and we didn't speak for 6 months after the incident. 

Jamie and I met when we were 14. She didn't like me at first, she thought I wore my shorts too short and too much makeup. She didn't realize that my shorts were normal length, it was my long legs
that made them appear shorter. She was right about the makeup though. I was completely oblivious to the fact that she didn't like me and spent half of freshman year hanging around. Pa-thetic. A handful of fake-nice encounters later, we became best friends. We actually bonded over Jesus. She loves Him, I love Him: a friendship made in heaven. We remain BFFs to this very day. 

Our relationship has been tumultuous at times. Reference the first sentence in paragraph 1. It has been said that we fight like sisters. I don't have a sister so I don't know what that's like. All I have is Jamie and we fought a lot over the years. There have been Dr. Peppers dumped in cars, clothes thrown off the 14th floor balcony of our hotel room on senior trip, secrets exposed, hurtful things said, disagreements about nothing that lasted too long. 

Some have wondered why or how we remained friends after all of that. It's pretty simple really. More than all of the fighting there has been encouraging, supporting, fun, hysterical laughter, inside jokes that simultaneously crack us up and bring us to tears, accountability, complete honesty, a connection that seems to be destined, and love. We really, really love each other. Deeply, unconditionally, completely. She is the peas to my carrots. The cream cheese to my bagel. She gets my jokes even when she doesn't find them funny. She has seen me through the worst, most painful, ugly seasons of my life and has celebrated the happiest ones right by my side. She loves my babies like her own and tells me I'm a good mom. She owns a piece of my heart and is so dear to me. We are best friends. Sisters.

I miss her. She will be here in 2 weeks. Oh happy day, my heart will be complete once again!!

Jamie hates to have her photo taken. While this one doesn't capture her true beauty, it is an excellent example of her feelings regarding candid photography. 

 22 seconds. Snowflakes. Mama. Tall, tall trees (even though I never said that). 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

I love having a toddler, someone to talk to, someone to play with, someone to make me laugh and vice versa. And someone to fetch me things. Toddlers are excellent helpers. I like having a little friend.

Beatrice is at this wonderful age where she mimics everything I do. I catch her playing with her dollhouse people and saying things like, "Mommy has to take a shower before Daddy gets home" and "do what Mommy says the first time..." She is such a character.

She is a little kid now. She does things for herself and wants to play all. the. time. This age may be my favorite thing ever.

Having a tiny baby is also pretty great. Someone to snuggle and sing to. A warm, fuzzy head to nuzzle anytime I want because this baby wants to be with her mama all. the. time.

Penelope is great for cuddling, she always smells great, and her smiles melt my stone cold heart. Ha! She has the funniest expressions and makes me feel needed. All. the. time. I love having a tiny baby to hold and make silly faces at. She is precious to the world with her bobble head and fantastic hair. She coos along to Jesus Loves Me when I sing in her ear. This just may be my favorite age ever.

Thankfully, I don't have to choose which age I like best. I have a toddler and a baby: the best of both worlds.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I've never been the girl with a ton of friends. I have always had a handful of really close girlfriends, but never can come up with more than 10 or so folks to invite to my baby showers, birthday parties, or the like. I'm more of a few-close-best-friends kind of person than a whole-lot-of-people-I'm-friendly-with kind of person. Neither of which are bad by the way, I've just always managed fewer friends at once better than having a bunch in my speed dial. And just so you don't think I'm pathetic or anything, I have lots of people that I consider friends - they just aren't people I would call in a crisis. There are only a few of those. I also have 288 Facebook friends. That should prove something. What - I'm not sure, but it's a big deal. Trust me.  

One of my biggest fears about moving away has been that I won't make any friends. The friends that I have I've had for 10+ years and my sisters in law are in my family. I haven't made a new friend in ages because honestly, how does one go about making friends as an adult? Do you introduce yourself and say, "wanna be friends?" Or better yet, how does one go about making friends as an adult when one does not work outside of the home, has 2 small children that require a lot of home time, and has very little time to invest in a new friendship? "Hi! Wanna be friends and never see each other but possibly babysit my kids next week?" 

When you're a kid, friendships just happen. On the first day of school, there was always someone you clicked with. At work, people buddy up almost immediately and effortlessly. When you get married, you inherit your spouse's friends and their wives. It's easy to make friends when you spend a huge chunk of your days with other people. But when you're at home most of your life with little kids, the task becomes much harder. It takes a lot more effort to cultivate a relationship when you don't get to spend the majority of your time with people other than your family members.

I have only been in California for 10 days and am desperate for friends. I think that this big, faraway place will feel smaller and closer with people to laugh with, cry with, and help me go places with my babies. And maybe babysit while I get my hair done every 8 weeks or so... I have met some moms on the playground and have high hopes that we will hang out on purpose soon. I also met up with a friend from back home that misses her friends like crazy too. She lives in Los Angeles too, in case that was confusing. I feel pretty confident in saying that I think we will be fast friends. Partly because we had a great time catching up, but mostly because we texted each other afterward asking if the other wanted to be friends...What? I really want to make a friend, y'all.

Seriously though, how does one go about making friends as an adult when one doesn't work outside the home or know the area?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This blog is coming to you live from the greater Los Angeles area.

Our big move has come and gone. We live in California now. This is our house.

Okay not really, but this is our view a few miles away.

So far, I don't really know how I feel about living in California. I love the landscape, climate, shopping, and food. But it's lonely. We don't know anyone. My mom has been here for the past week helping us unpack and get settled. She left today so it hasn't really sunk in yet that we are out here all alone. That makes me sad. Missing everyone so much my heart hurts when I think about them makes me sad. Not knowing how to get to the bank makes me sad. I guess California makes me sad.

The beach makes me happy though. We've been twice this week.

I grew up in Florida and weekly beach trips were a normal thing for us. We moved to Tennessee when I was 12 and after 17 years in a landlocked state, I never imagined myself to live so close to the beach again. It is awesome to be minutes away from some of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the country. California has redeemed itself from being so far away from Tennessee with its glorious beaches.

I know I'm going to like it here once I get to know the area and it finally feels like home. I just have to get over the loneliness first. Be good to us, California, pretty please.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working On It

I've been neglecting this blog lately. Partly because I have been busy saying our goodbyes to family, but mostly because life has pretty much fledged a full on attack on us. Our townhouse got flooded by a busted pipe last month and the insurance companies have been horrible to work with. Some of the moving expenses we originally thought would be covered by JD's employer turned out to be our responsibility. Penelope got sick and had to spend 2 days in the hospital. Unexpected bills have piled up. And on and on. Oh yeah, and I have had 2 little kids to take care of all by myself. It has been exhausting, emotionally (and financially) exhausting.

Most days start out pretty normal, but by 10 am I am faced with another bad news phone call/tantrum throwing toddler/simultaneous crying baby and toddler and I start to lose it. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to throw in the towel on the day and go back to bed. But I don't. I can't, can I? Pretty sure having kids makes that a non-option, darn it. I usually just scream a little, cry a little, and feel sorry for myself a little. It helps. A little.

Life is hard right now, but I have realized that it's probably always going to be hard in some way. The girls' simultaneous crying may end one day, but it will be replaced with fights over clothes and other things I imagine sisters to fight over. Busted pipes and ruined hardwood floors will get replaced, but insurance adjusters aren't going to make it an easy process. There's little I can do to avoid life's punches, they're going to come.

What I do have control over is my reaction to it all. I can react negatively (note the little bit of screaming, crying, and feeling sorry for myself above), or I can react in a way that honors God and shows my family that I can handle the pressure. I want to get good at the latter. I want to handle life's trials with grace and barely any tears. Some tears are okay. Crying is a really good stress reliever. I'm working on it. One screaming, crying, bad day at a time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bubble Baby

Penelope and I just returned from a 2 night stay at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Around 2 am Monday morning, she woke up whimpering and feeling hot to the touch. I tried to nurse her, but she wouldn't eat and would not be comforted. After a few hours of her sleeping on and off, I took her temperature. It was 100.9. Because she is so young, I decided to take her to the ER.

We were met with a team of doctors and nurses prepared to run a series of tests on my tiny baby. For the next hour, she endured a spinal tap, chest xrays, blood draws, urinalysis, and an IV. It was horrible. The doctors then rushed us to Vandy by ambulance for 48 hour observation and to rule out meningitis. I was scared. Beyond scared. Nothing like this ever happened to Beatrice and I was not prepared for any of it.

The next 2 days were pretty bad. Penelope had to endure a total of 3 spinals, all of which failed to collect any spinal fluid. She was exhausted from being poked and prodded endlessly during our stay. I was emotionally exhausted from it all. Finally on the second day, her fever broke and we were sent home. It was determined that she caught the enterovirus, not meningitis.

This whole scary ordeal has been a sobering wake up call on my parenting. I am quite a different mother with Penelope. When Beatrice was a newborn, I didn't let anyone hold her unless they washed their hands and sanitized. We stayed away from sick family members and kids in daycare. I didn't take her to restaurants or grocery stores or any place where people could breathe on her. I had her in a bubble and despite being pretty annoying to everyone else, it worked. She has never been sick (other than a cold twice in her life).

I have been quite different with Penelope. By the time she was a few days old, we had taken her to Target, church, and everywhere else. I don't insist that people wash before holding her and I don't freak out if little kids are around. I do shield her from old ladies in Target trying to touch her face and hands though. What's with old ladies wanting to touch stranger's babies? I totally don't get it, but it happens all the time. 

After spending 2 days watching helplessly as my sick baby endured a litany of tests, I have determined to put her in a bubble. I will no longer be careless about her health. Her tiny, precious body will no longer be put in compromising situations. No more shared toys, no more little kids, no more breathing on her. Her health and safety are my number 1 priority while she is so little and vulnerable.

Hi Bubble Baby. Mama is sorry she let you get sick :(

On a side note, not once during the scary hospital stay did I ever feel hopeless about our situation. I held on with a white knuckled grip to my faith in God the Healer. I knew Penelope's health was in His hands and that no matter what the diagnosis, we would all be okay. That's the awesome thing about a relationship with the LIVING GOD: there is always hope. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

She Snores

Like a grizzly bear.