Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sharks live in the ocean. Occasionally, they eat humans. I am not afraid of this happening to me. I mean, I know it technically could happen, but it doesn't keep me from swimming at the beach. I grew up at the ocean and swam for miles to sandbars on my dad's back. I know sharks are out there, I'm just not going to let it keep me from enjoying the water. Don't get me wrong, I'm afraid of plenty of other sea life. Jellyfish, sand crabs, stingrays, and starfish all terrify me. 

JD on the other hand, is afraid of sharks. So much so, that he will not go in the water deeper than his ankles. He is convinced they can attack in shin-deep water... When we go to the beach, all he talks about is sharks and their sinister plots to eat us if we go near the water. He has psyched me out about shark attacks so much that now, I'm a little paranoid about it too.

It's pretty hot here now and the Pacific has finally warmed up enough to swim in it. The last 2 times we ventured to the beach, I have gotten in the water up to my neck to pee cool off. In the past (before my brainwashing), I would have floated for awhile without a care in the world. Now though? Now, I freak the freak out. Every rise and fall of a wave, every ebb and flow of the tide I search for sharks. JD has me convinced that they are out there, closer than I think, waiting to eat me. It doesn't help that there are shark sightings on the news almost weekly here. 

Basically, JD has ruined the ocean for me. I'm pretty upset about it too. I want to be able to body surf unafraid. I want to pee cool off in water deeper than my shins. I want to enjoy the beach without thinking I'm going to be eaten alive. I want my innocence back.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shameless Plug

I've been busy working on new styles of crocheted goodies for my Etsy shop and thought it would be nice to offer a little sale on the items already listed.

Any 2 hats for $25. You pick the colors, sizes, and styles. (And if you don't like the options listed in my shop, message me thru Etsy and we can work something out that suits you). This would be a great way to start your holiday shopping! Check out the sale here!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Too Fast

Today is Penelope's first birthday. Every time I sang to her, nursed her, or had a flashback of her first day of life one year ago, I cried. In fact, I have spent the last 12 hours in tears. Off and on, all day, I have teared up thinking about how fast the last year has gone by. 

I knew it was going to go by quickly. I had already experienced the fast forward of time with Beatrice's infancy. I tried to savor every late night feeding with Penelope, every snuggle, every cry, every exhausting moment. It didn't slow time down though. My second baby's first year flew by just as fast.

Reflecting on her fleeting babyhood has made me realize how precious the time we have with our children is. Not just because baby cuddles are the best, but the time we have to teach and influence who our children grow up to be is short. I want to make every minute count. And if I can't slow time down, I want to concentrate on each moment I have in the future to teach and train these girls to love God, to live lives that honor Him, and to love others. On her 18th birthday I want to look back and say, "man, I did a good job." And then I'll cry because it went by way too fast.

Today wasn't all tears. We did celebrate our baby with lots of Happy Birthday To Yous, a picnic at the beach with friends, Skyping with family, cake, and presents.

It's a good thing Penelope has a big sister. Otherwise she never would have gotten into all of her gifts.

Sissy had a great birthday. She is so loved and cherished and I think we did a good job showing her just how much over the last few days.

I continued my birthday ritual of recounting their birth stories before bed on the night of their birthdays. Penelope smiled and nursed while I told her about the first moment I kissed her squishy newborn face. I rocked her all the way to sleep while looking at all of the itty bitty photos of her from the past year on my phone. And I cried.

It went by too fast, sweet girl. Way too fast.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Garden Party For Two

Penelope's first birthday is tomorrow. I wasn't going to have a party for her since we are going to celebrate in Tennessee with our family in a few weeks, but I couldn't not do something for our littlest girl. Our dear friends and neighbors have a little girl who is 4 days older than Penelope, so us mamas decided to combine their parties for a sweet afternoon in our side yard.

We had no theme in mind, no real plan for a party. We just wanted to sit in the shade and eat cupcakes with our friends while our kids played.

We laid out some blankets, poured some lemonade, our friends came, the kids played, and we ate cupcakes. It was perfect.

I made the girls' outfits. I found some adorable first birthday stuff on Etsy that I decided I could whip up for really cheap. They turned out great!

If I were really wealthy, I would have gifted the guests with Pottery Barn anywhere chairs as party favors. But I'm not, so the birthday girls got to sit in them to eat their cake.

Gracen totally went for the cake. Penelope didn't want to touch it, so I had to feed it to her.

Our friends really showered our girls with gifts. They got a ton of great stuff and loved ripping through all of the packages.

I loved their party. It was so simple and casual and fun. I'm so glad we decided to do something to celebrate these two precious girls turning one.

Tomorrow is Penelope's actual birthday so there is more fun and celebrating up my sleeve.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Beginning of the End

I think Penelope is trying to wean. She is only interested in nursing in the mornings. The rest of the time she is too busy or gets easily distracted and doesn't focus on drinking her milkies. This has caused me many mixed emotions. Part of me is really excited to have my body to myself again, to be able to wear regular bras, and not have to dress with easy access to the goods in mind. The other part is really sad this part of motherhood is almost over. Mega sad face. 

I nursed Beatrice for 15 months. I planned to go longer, but the time was right to wean. It made me sad for a second because I loved having that connection with my firstborn, but I was a few months pregnant with Penelope at the time and knew it wouldn't be long before I would be nursing another baby.

Penelope came soon enough and we began our nursing journey. Feeding her has been such an easier and more enjoyable experience than my first go around. It is probably because I know what I'm doing and have way more faith in my body's ability to nourish my girl, but also, she's just a better nurser. Where Beatrice took her time and fidgeted, Penelope gets the job done. We never had an awkward learning stage, she never bit me, she doesn't try to undress me in public to get at the goods. Nursing her has been a real joy. I enjoyed nursing Beatrice too, but it has been a completely different experience this time around. 

I'm not sure how much longer Penelope and I will continue to breast feed. I have a feeling it won't be very much longer. I am proud of the work my body has done to feed my girls, proud of the wear and tear its endured, and proud of the commitment I made and kept to nurse for the first full year of their lives. I'm a little sad it's almost over, but mostly glad we made it to a year without any hiccups along the way. I sure am going to miss these snuggles though. Mega, mega sad face.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Night Walk

We've started a new family tradition around here. After dinner each night, we take a walk around the neighborhood. We load the girls up in the stroller and walk for almost an hour.

The exercise is great, but the best part is that JD and I talk, really talk. We were kind of in a bad habit of talking about the girls and not a lot else. We reconnect every night while working off our dinner calories.

Sometimes we let Beatrice out of the stroller to walk with us. She loves this. We do too (although it does slow us down considerably). She loves the freedom to explore and pretend. So far, we've been in the jungle, to a wedding, and ran like antelopes.

Penelope enjoys riding in the back of the stroller, laughing at whatever silly thing Beatrice is up to. Sometimes she wants to be big too. Daddy helps her out with that and carries her.

We try not to miss a night. It's something we all look forward to.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not A Good Idea

A couple of months ago, I bought this top:

Photo via J. Crew. Buy it here.

I became obsessed with finding the perfect pair of white skinny jeans to wear with it. I scoured the internet looking for the perfect pair, all the while planning many summer outfits styled around my new white skinnies. I found a designer pair on Hautelook for half the price (seriously, sign up for this site if you like fancy things at a fraction of the cost) and couldn't wait to wear them everywhere. 

These are my kids. They are sweet, little angels, but don't be fooled. They are stain magnets. If it stains, they find it. And make sure it's all over their clothes, my clothes, and everyone else's clothes. Sweet, little stain magnet angels and white pants don't mix. 

I did not think about any of this before purchasing my discounted designer jeans. All I could think about was how cool I was gonna look in my summery outfits. I've had my jeans for 2 months now. Do you know how many times I've worn them? 3. They have been in the laundry room soaking in Oxyclean and bleach and other stain removing concoctions the majority of the 60 days I've owned them. Buying white jeans with a toddler and a baby was not a good idea. 

Know what else is not a good idea? Buying white jeans for a toddler and a baby to wear themselves. My mom sent a package a few weeks ago with 2 itty bitty pairs of white skinnies for my girls. Just like when my jeans arrived, I couldn't wait to put them on them. The first time Beatrice wore hers, we went to the park. The second I let her out of the car, she bucked around on her knees like a bronco and scooted around the grass on her bottom. Her jeans were destroyed. They sat in a bleach solution for a good week before I got all of those stains out. I didn't even bother putting Penelope in hers. 

Today, with the end of white pant season upon us, I broke out all the white jeans in the house. All 3 of us wore our skinnies to meet JD for lunch. I made sure no one touched me the entire day. I fed Beatrice her lunch so she wouldn't mess up her hands and wipe them on her pants. There was a close call when Penelope pooped, but miraculously we made it a whole day (plus an outing) without staining our white pants. 

Oh, and ask me how often I've worn the top I bought that started this whole white pants obsession? Twice. Because it's silk and silk is not that good of an idea with a baby and toddler either.