Monday, December 22, 2014

birdie turns two!!

We celebrated Birdie's birthday last weekend with donuts (her favorite) and a trip to the Georgia Aquarium! Going to the aquarium on her birthday is a tradition we started last year and we were so excited to do it again this year. 
When she first walked down the stairs and saw the tower of donuts she yelled out "CAKE!!!" Honestly, I didn't even know she knew the word cake so it was extra funny. And regardless of the fact that she was surrounded by presents and balloons all she wanted were her precious donuts. She hoovered up one and then we proceeded to tear into the presents. She loved them all but her favorite was the $10 shopping cart I picked up at Target for her. In fact, it's become her favorite new toy as she plays with it daily. We've started to call her our little old bag lady. 
After breakfast we loaded up our family of four in the car and headed for the aquarium. On the drive we told her about all the fish we were going to see and she was so eager to get going. Once we arrived we headed straight for the under water tunnel. Papa bear took Birdie out of her stroller and held her so she could get a good look. And look she did - every which way with such an expression of wonder, amazement and awe on her face that I couldn't possibly take enough photos to capture the awesomeness of that moment. She was completely overwhelmed. Only towards the end of the tunnel did she finally get her bearings back enough to start asking "what's that?" about every single fish she could point to. It's funny because pre-kids I would be all over those fish too but instead I couldn't take my eyes off my child and watching the way she experienced the wonder that is nature and the animal world. The fish didn't phase me... but her wide eyes did. 
By the time the day was done she had eaten nothing but donuts and sweets but that's what birthdays are all about am I right?!! On the drive home she was wide eyed but quiet, probably thinking about the day. By the time we got home she was exhausted and went straight to bed, birthday outfit and all. It was a perfect day that perhaps she won't remember but I sure will and we'll always have the photos to prove it!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

out with baby bear

hat - zara, jacket - jcrew, dress - old navy, tights - target, shoes - madewell

I couldn't be more grateful for the bond that is already forming between my two babies. Birdie was initially standoffish with Teddy, curious eventually and now there is genuine love and affection there. The other day she snuggled next to him on our bed and when papa bear tried to move him she wrapped her arms around him and yelled "no! no! no!" Also, whenever she hears him cry (most often through the baby monitor) she runs up to me, pulls on my sleeve and says "baby's sad!!" If she's around him and he's crying she will try to give him the pacifier or rub his head and say "no baby, ok. ok. ok" 
This morning I had put him in our rockaRoo and he instantly went to sleep so I didn't even bother turning it on. A few minutes later he was fussing a bit and she ran to him yelling "baby's sad!! oh no!" patted him on his head and turned the rockaRoo on! I'm telling you these two make my heart explode daily!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

this is me now

It dawned on me the other day, as I was hunched over and helping Birdie pedal her tiny bike - hair unwashed, makeup-less and in sweatpants, that I had always imagined that when I became a mother I would have it all together. In my mind I had always thought that I would be more elegant, refined, sophisticated, wise and accomplished by the time I decided to bring children into this world. What a silly, silly little girl I was. I was probably more sophisticated before kids than I am now. For crying out loud I had never dipped my toes into the "frozen entrees" section of the freezer aisle until I had two kids.
In my present reality I am far from elegant and accomplished. I don't have a "beauty routine," a trendy haircut or my "statement piece." I have hair ties that nicely put my mop in a bun 6 days out of the week. I have a lot of sweatpants. I eat m&m's for breakfast and lunch is often a clementine I peel while rocking my baby and ravenously shove in my mouth. I haven't finished a book in close to two years. I can no longer do basic math in my head (hello iphone calculator!!). I haven't seen a classroom in years and textbooks are something I remember fondly as being part of my life "when I was young." And I'm not particularly charming or dare I say fun as most of the time when I am speaking to someone I am keeping track of a feeding schedule (left or right breast??!! what time is it???), two separate sleeping schedules and trying to make sure I'm not burning down the house. Oh, in addition to always bracing myself for an imminent meltdown.
Inevitably as these thoughts crossed my mind I started to feel deflated, disappointed. Why can't I be one of those women for whom motherhood seems effortless? Who's hair and brows are perfect and are in possession of those "beauty routines" I keep hearing about? Why am I not more well read?? Hell, I thought I would have published something by this point. Why am I wearing pajamas?? Again? It became a "beatings will continue until morale improves" type of deal in my head until I was interrupted.
I was interrupted by Birdie's elated squeals as she pedaled past our neighbors twinkling bedazzled homes. And there it was. The answer to all these questions - two beautiful happy kids. Because for me right now a perfect arch on my brows or fresh nail polish means less time with my little ones and that is something I just will never compromise on. It's alright if my children don't remember me as some Jackie O figure as long as they remember that we always had fun, that I always made time for them and that they were always well fed, warm, happy and loved.
This doesn't mean I have to let everything go. Every once in a while I stay up a little later and read a chapter from a book I started back in 2013 or do my nails for once. I always make sure to pull out all the stops for date night and a few nights a week some pinterest recipe will inspire me to actually dust off those frying pans. It's not glamorous or elegant but my life is very full of all the good stuff, even if that stuff is awfully messy most of the time.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

to my darling girl on her second birthday

baby girl,

It is two in the morning now and the house is dark and quiet. You have been asleep for hours in your christmas jammies, clutching your beloved doggie. I hope you're dreaming of sugarplums and clementines (your new favorite food). I'm not dreaming at all baby, I am wide awake and probably always will be around this time on this day for as long as I live. Because you see today, right now in fact, two years ago I was changed forever. We went through hours of hell together to get to heaven - being in each others arms, finally. We both cried that night, you out of hunger and me because I felt in that first instant that my skin touched yours that I would never be the same.
You were a force to be reckoned with from the very beginning. Everything happened on your time and to your liking. Though the days were long and hard, the rewards surpassed it all. The first time I saw your smile one cold bright february morning while papa was at work and I had you all to myself, I knew that people would always say of you "she had a smile that lit up the room." And then you laughed and I thought my heart would break from joy. As the months passed and we got to know you more, we loved you more and more. You made our home brighter, louder and infinitely more fun and you've made us better people too.
You've made your mama and papa more down to earth, selfless, easy going and more game for a laugh. Your presence humbles us daily and we hope gives us added wisdom, though doubtful. Your spirit is strong and epic and we pray that we treasure it and care for it without breaking it. But more than anything we love how inquisitive you are. You devour the world before you with an eagerness unlike anything we've ever seen. Even before you could really talk you were able to mumble "wasthat?" and you repeated it a million times daily about everything from an airplane to a piece of lint on the ground. Now it's become "what happened??" I hope you never lose this curiosity. I hope even when you're thirty or forty-five or sixty you still find things daily that make you say "what's that? what happened?"
I'll never sleep through two am on December 11 because that forever marks the moment that I become a mother, the moment I got the greatest gift in the world - YOU. Before that moment I was someone else - someone weaker, more selfish, complicated and unsure. Thank you for coming in and knocking down all my walls, erasing my selfishness and doubts and filling all that empty space with so much love that every day it feels as if my heart could burst. I love you more than you will ever know.

kisses always,