Thursday, October 28, 2010

To my Scarlett, on her 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! Can you even believe it's been 2 years since you entered our home and our hearts? I can't even imagine our family any other way. Little Miss, when you were a baby, you were so mellow, happy, and easy-going. I was sure you were going to be my easy one. Well...out of those three qualities, the happy one is about all that has remained. You're still my most smiley and happiest baby by a long stretch, but who would've guessed you could fit so many opinions and such a larger-then-life personality is such a tiny little body? You might've learned all that sass from your older siblings, I suppose, but I doubt it. By this time I figure I just breed sauciness in my children.

Scarlett, I can't help but smile when I think of you. I'm going to guess I'm not the only one either. As a friend once informed me, you're the cheesiest kid she knows. With that big ol' grin of yours, cheesy you most definitely are. Oh, my sweet Scarlett, y0u are sunshine to my soul. You have such a huge personality and I love watching it develop and expand as the months go by. Everybody that knows you loves you, Little Miss. I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty much impossible not to. Really, you love to be loved. I've never known another baby so eager for love and affection. Everything you do screams out, "Notice me! Love me!"

You are all girl, through and through. You love dressing up, Pinkalicious, lip gloss, and all things princess. I'm pretty sure you were born with pink sparkles flowing through your veins because you've been a girly-girl since day one. Heaven knows, you have an opinion about evvvvverrrrrything. You're absolutely convinced you're three, four, or five years old, never one (or now two). You consider my make-up your make-up, and search it out from all my hiding spots to use it as your own (much to Daddy's eternal chagrin). Even with all that femininity, you can still keep up with the roughest boys. You don't hesitate to climb over our chain-link fence, scale any counter in sight, and rough-house with the best of them.

Oh Scarlett, my baby girl, I'm so glad you're my very own. You make me smile everyday and I'm so very, very happy that you're part of our family. Honey Girl, it makes my heart ache to think how much I love you. You're like a ray of light wherever you are; you just brighten the room when you walk into it. Like I said know you is to love you, Miss Scarlett.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To my Ezra, on his 5th Birthday

Oh baby boy, I love you so. You were my very first baby (I know you love to hear that) 5 years ago today. 5 whole years!!! It seems like forever and just a moment all wrapped into one. I know it's cliche, but when did you get so big? You're going to preschool and making your own bed (with plenty of coaxing and threats sprinkled in)...and I suspect that pretty soon I'll be fixing your tie for Prom and bawling my eyes out at the MTC. Thank heavens you still cuddle with me nearly every day or I'd be sunk.

All dressed up at preschool

Ezzie, you are so very different then me in so very many ways. The way your bright little mind works just boggles me, my little Engineer. Sometimes I think you're a foreign country where I, frankly, just don't speak the language. Praises be that we have Daddy here for a translator. Although, I must say, I've got one on him when it comes to your very strong emotional side...I'm afraid you got that from me. I know they can be hard for you to control and make life difficult sometimes (for both of us), but I promise they can be a good thing. They allow a person to feel passionate about all sorts of different things, which is one of life's greatest blessing, in my own emotional opinion.

Showing off his artwork

You love building things, whether it's with blocks, books, blankets, or bricks (and it's been that way for years). You're my little book worm and adore being read to and cuddling on the couch in the process. You prefer to eat excruciatingly plain foods (heaven forbid there's anything remotely like seasonings or sauce). You're convinced that you and your cousin, Gavin, are twins (a brother from another mother, right?) and I think Auntie Libby not-so-secretly adores it. You love cooking and baking with me and dancing around to music. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash, We Are Golden by Mika, and anything by OK Go are your favorites. Wearing jammies has got to be your most favorite thing ever and you'd stay in them all day if I let you. You're a great big brother and you're nice enough to let your sisters play with you and they love you all the more for it.

Ezra and his groupies

Oh, my Ezra. I love you sooo much it's ridiculous, or at least it would be if every other mother before hadn't felt the exact same way. You were my first and so you were the first one to show me it's oh-so-possible to have a big ol' chunk of your heart walking around outside of your body. Happy, Happy 5th Birthday, Sweet Boy. I love you!!


The man of the hour

ps-In honor of your birthday, I'm sharing your verrrry favorite YouTube Video (and one of your favorite songs). You refer to it as The Ball Video, ask to watch it all the time, and have tried to recreate at home more then once.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Orange Watermelons

Did you know that Spencer had Ezra absolutely convinced last year that pumpkins were really orange watermelons? Well, he did. I was all worried he'd be that kid in class who would staunchly defend ridiculous notions because "my dad told me that" (and still do worry about that, to be honest), but even I have to admit it was friggin' hilarious.

Anyway, we started our fall celebrations off with a trip to our much-loved Schaake's Pumpkin Patch (you most definitely can't beat free).

I seriously adore this place. There are multiple play areas for the kids to explore (including a kid-sized hay bale maze). Here's some proof of the action:

Scarlett got the biggest kick out of this thing.

This is pretty much what Georgia does all afternoon long in our backyard...when she's not smearing wet sidewalk chalk all over the house, that is.

Who doesn't love a giant jack-o-lantern?

Nothing like pettin' a pig's rump.

(hmmm...I realize it looks like I don't really love Georgia all that much in this series of pictures. That's because Spence had the camera most of the time and he was the one watching Biggest and Littlest)

We made sure to stop and take the mowglis' measurements
(I've included the pictures from last year for comparison):

This year Scarlett (nearly 2)

Last year Scarlett (nearly 1)
(if you'll recall, this was the best picture I could get because I was attempting to take the picture and hold her up by myself)

This year Georgia (nearly 3.5)

Last year Georgia (nearly 2.5)

This year Ezra (nearly 5)

Last year Ezra (just barely 4)

This where Ezra was chillin' while I was taking pictures of the girls. I love the fun textures and backgrounds in this shot.

After playing for a while, we headed down to pick our faves in the orange watermelon fields.

Our attempt at a hayride photo while in-route.

Gotta love that Kansas skyline.

Like Father, like Daughter, I suppose. Heaven knows she didn't get that big ol' tongue from me (Have you seen mine? It's cute and little, I promise.)

This picture makes me laugh. I was trying my darndest to get all three kids to pose by our pumpkins. First, Georgia headed for the hills, as she's apt to do. Scarlett decided to cooperate and hammed it up (although in the wrong direction), while Ezra just sat around whining that "the sun was in [his] eeeeeyyyeeees." [cue obnoxious whiny voice]

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
This is Scarlett we're talking about here. All 20 lbs of her actually could.

The Loot.

On a random ending note...

So, we took away Scarlett's binky last week. She's having some struggles coping with things...especially at night...when she's supposed to be in bed. She does what she can, though. Like hide in Ezra's discarded jammies and pretend to be invisible.

The End.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Formspring #2: Motherhood

As a tag-along to my last post, I figured I'd share a few more mom-related formspring questions and responses. Enjoy!

So, as a follow-up, how many more kids are you planning on at this point?

Probably 5, but we'll see what life brings. I mean, 5 total...not 5 more ;)
(Spencer insists that I should say 12 or we'll stop when I turn 35, whatever comes first :P)

Do you ever feel like you missed out on something by having your kids so quickly and not much time to yourself?

Yeah, the thought occurs occasionally. I used to feel that way a lot more often when I was a newer mom. Sometimes I see young, free college students and I get a little jealous. But, at the end of the day, I do much better in a steady relationship then alone, so I can't imagine life being better if I had married later...then, once you're married it seems the kids come too.

Part of me wishes Spence and I had taken more time to really enjoy ourselves before Ezra came along (we had only been married about 14 1/2 months), but we felt like we were supposed to have him when we did, so that was that.

While I most likely did miss out on a lot of kid-less play and freedom, I can't honestly say I'd have it any other way. My kids make my life so much more full and I can't help but think that it'd be a more then a little lacking if things had gone differently.

So do you ever feel alone in the world of women without a friend to talk to?

Sometimes, especially if the day is particularly rough...but then I remember that I do have people to talk to if I choose to open up and rely on them. I have my sisters, who I talk to very often. I have my best friend from high school (who I co-blog with on Hot Chocolate Talk). I have girls from my ward and friends online.

I think the biggest thing for me is realizing that those women might just be feeling a little down and lonely themselves and it's just as much up to me to reach out to them as it is for them to reach out to me. No matter where one is in life: student, young married, new mom, veteran mom, or empty nester, there are always women who are dealing with the exact same stuff and can reach out and relate. Even better, one can easily cross those lines and realize that a veteran mom can help and relate to a young mom or a young mom to a student or newlywed. We're all just trying to get through the day...but life's trials and joys are so much better when one shares them.

One more thing, just so y'all know...

this song makes me happy :)

(it kinda makes me want to be a hippy)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Formspring #1: Babies

You asked and I promised to answer. I can't say I was all that shocked when I received this as my first real question from formspring...

"Not that you can go back now, but how do you feel about having 3 kids so close together? Any chance baby #4 is in the works?! You're a fantastic mother!"

You want the short answer? Honestly, I love having 3 kids so close together. Oh, and I also hate it.

As for the long one, we'll start with the Cons: There no denying that there are a lot of difficulties that come with having kids so close in age (currently almost 5, 3, and almost 2 or 19 and 17 months apart). First off, they fight...they fight, fight, fight, fight! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they play so much together (and so often with the same toys) that arguments are inevitable. But...rumor has it all kids do, so I don't know if their ages really effect it all that much. The hardest so far was when they were babies (we missed the Three Under Three cut-off by 5 days)...because they really were still babies when the next one came along. I used to have people inquire how my baby was doing and I couldn't help but ask, "which one?" in confusion. It was really hard to deal with a screaming newborn and a clingy, whiny toddler all at the same time. Not to mention, it was really really really hard simultaneously dealing with a screaming newborn, clingy, whiny toddler, and naughty, attention-deprived preschooler. We didn't plan on having Scarlett so soon after Georgia and it was a huge shock to the system. I just didn't have enough hands and honestly, still don't. You should see us try to go grocery shopping. We're like a friggin' three-ring circus, which, of course, innocent bystanders don't hesitate to point out to me.

Pros: That being said, there are so many things that I love about having my kids so close in age. They are each other's ever-present best friends. They learn from each other, but they're young enough that there are so many things that they learn with each other. They entertain one another really well (although I can assure you there's massive gobs of destruction and disorder in their wake). I love the thought of them growing up together and having a big rowdy house full of teenagers (crazy, I know ;). One of the things I love most is the idea of them having built-in peers. As my kids are so close in age, I will be having a senior, junior, and freshman in high school all at the same time...I'm really hoping that the peer pressure in this case will be a good thing. I also love the fact that I'm blowing through these baby years and will be done young. I guess the hope is that I can enjoy lots of middle-aged kid-less years to make up for the fact that I started so young.

When it comes to a recommendation, I really can't say. Something like that is so dependent on the parents. It's a good fit for me for a number of reasons: I'm young and have lots of energy, I love change so I really enjoy frequent pregnancies, I don't really feel the need to keep my children babies for very long, and I honestly don't mind being in baby-mode (although I could do without the massive amounts of money spent on diapers). So, if you fit those categories, you might do well with multiple small children.

As for baby #4...We've been attempting for about 6 months now without much luck. It's been a big shock to the system since the other three didn't take much effort (Ezra was the longest at 4 months, but he was our first and we were still working out all the cycle kinks, Georgia was a lucky first time, and Scarlett was our oops). We waited until Scarlett was 18 months to start trying to give us a bit of a break, but we really hoped to be well on our way to #4 by now. Oh well, in the words of Miss Doris Day, "Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be."

Hope you enjoyed the extra peek into me! Feel free to direct any additional questions to my formspring widget on the sidebar. Have a fabulous day!