Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hi Friends. Are we still friends?

Ahem. Hi. It's been a while. How are you? Good? Good!

I can start this post with all sorts of apologies and excuses for why I've abandoned my blog for five months. It's to the point where I feel this reacquainting with each other is a bit awkward, like I should ignore my absence entirely and pretend like it never happened. I have no stellar reason for quitting. I just stopped. I've even forgotten what it's like to read others' blogs. Do you guys still blog? I bet you do. You superstars you. I went about my days thinking in written format but for some reason couldn't write. I don't even have draft posts sitting in the works to be finished and published. I got nothing. Everything I thought to write about seemed so stale. You want to read some more about being tired and my babies not sleeping? Yah, didn't think so.

I could also start by proclaiming my reason for returning from my hiatus as something totally dramatic like I'm pregnant or we're moving or I've lost all my baby weight plus another 80 pounds. But none of those are true so that doesn't work either.

I could also write about every bit of minutia from my babies' lives. Oh man. You're just begging for that blog post aren't you? It'd be worth it though. My babies are pretty fab and blow-your-mind adorable. Sydney's not potty trained yet but she knows her alphabet and cuddles while we watch Tinkerbell movies (over and over and over). Holden now follows Sydney everywhere to include on top of the dinning room table and he blows kisses and waves "bye-bye" and it melts my heart every.single.time.

I decided to write for no other reason than I want to still consider myself a blogger. And because it's 2:00 am and I can't sleep and Jericho is asleep on Sydney's floor (as per usual) and I can type without waking him. I also am writing because I enjoy it immensely. It's cathartic. It's mentally cleansing. It helps remind me that I'm a literate, educated adult. I also write because I know some really cool ladies who also write and I want to be like them. Also, the other day I was thinking about all the nutty things about my babies and our adventures together and realizing how much I wanted to make record of things beyond Instagram and Facebook.

I guess this post is a transition post into more substantial, regular posting. Hopefully. I really am going to try harder. I promise. Is that sufficient? Have we lost a bit of the awkwardness of our absence from each other?

And for good measure, a few pics from our recent family picture session by my awesome friend Nikki:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mommy Q&A

I've only been a mom for a whopping 23 months. I've been a double-mom for 10 of those months. I still feel very new at this ballgame. I continually reference books and websites for answers to questions. I learned when I was pregnant that the best resource is other moms with tried and true experience. You can always find a mom to answer your questions and, more importantly, you can always find a mom that makes you feel better when you feel like you totally suck and want to run away.

The following are a few questions I've thought about recently. Some are actually worth while. Some are just because I'm curious and hope I'm not the only one that any of these apply. [Note I didn't ask: "Have you ever spent 3 days straight in your pajamas?", because I really don't want to know the answer]. Instead of searching aimlessly through questionable authorities online, I thought I'd hit up the amazing moms I know, or I know through social networking that may also see this and chime in with their knowledge.

You may answer with "anonymous" if you wish but know this is a safe space. No judgments. You all rock the socks off of parenting even if you don't feel like it.

1) What is the worst injury you've sustained from one of your children?

2) What is the most expensive thing your child has damaged/destroyed/eaten/flushed down the toilet?

3) How messy have you let your house get because you honestly stopped caring?

4) At what age did you start doing time-outs, or other forms of discipline? Did it work?

5) When did you successfully break your baby from using a pacifier?

6) When do your children start to listen to you and do what you say? Ever? EVER!?

7) Do you have a mommy-only-hiding place in your house?
[your secret is safe with me]

8) How do you get anything done when you have children that ransack your house at every opportunity? How hard do you have to work for any semblance of productivity?*

9) Do you ever stop being completely smitten by your children when you see the sleeping? Is it a least before it starts being creepy?

*this one is particularly daunting to me right now. i try to read, they attack me. i try to do projects, they destroy the house. i try to do dishes or cook, they pull stuff out of the dishwasher or the freezer. i could go on, and on, and on. this might help explain my aforementioned pajama issue.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Entertainment

I try to tell people that Sydney's a funny baby. It's very difficult to explain. I don't really say too much because I don't want to be one of those people that talks about their kid like everything they do is so unique and wonderful and that everyone else in the world cares as much as they do about the minutia of their toddler's life. I also don't think I can ever verbally do justice to Sydney's personality. I quickly realized I needed to have a camera on the ready from the moment this girl wakes up.

You just have to meet her.

I was going through the several hundred pictures on my phone and decided I'd publish Sydney's nuttiness in blog form. Again, I recognize that these mean more to me than you and that you may glance through and think they look like pictures of everyone else's kid and yawn and forget about my blog entirely. That's fine. I know the grandmoms will love it.

Trust me when I say this is only a snippet of the things that make us smile.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Thinks I Think {At 2:00 AM}

photo credit

I have a moderate to severe addiction to the following: Diet Coke, chocolate, Honey Nut Cheerios. In fact, I'm thinking of getting together with my dietitian sister to construct a diet comprised solely of those three things.

I've previously alluded to my interest in sewing. I think it's time to take a real sewing class. I have a delusional concept of my own abilities. Every time I see cute quilts/curtains/pillows/chair covers I am totally convinced I could whip out something similar without breaking a sweat or, more accurately, swearing at my sewing machine. I'm often wrong. I'm mostly self-taught. My skill set isn't too limited but what I can do is fine. I can do things. But man, they could definitely look better. If you have any recommendations for places/sources of sewing lessons, please share.

The other day I misplaced a pancake. In my bedroom. 

Aside from the actually birthing of a child, coming in at a close second for the most physically difficult aspect of parenting is putting on a fitted crib sheet. I know babies are dropping left and right from loose crib sheets or whatever, but come on. Can we loosen it just a little? Just when I think I've got it under control, one corner pops back up and I end up yelling at the crib and Sydney is waiting patiently with her blankey thinking, "Dude, what's your deal? Haven't you gotten this down yet?" It would probably help if I took the mattress out of the crib but there are crib bumpers and they all tie on and there are six and they each have four ties that are double-knotted and you can see how this is just way harder than it needs to be... 

We have Netflix streaming to our TV. I love it. The Walking Dead and Jericho are among my recently watched TV shows. This might help explain my recent Pinterest board titled "Apocalypse Now". My sister thought I had a new calling at church. Nope, inspiration via zombies and nuclear bombs. I am now convinced I need to have random certifications in my back pocket like knot-tying, Morse code, marksmanship, helicopter pilot, and M.D.

A little while ago, I managed to painted all ten of Sydney's toenails. I consider this my highest parenting achievement to date.  

Oh. And the dude's crawling. It's sheer madness over here. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Photo Dump Courtesy of the SLR

Now that I have a Smartphone and can take, edit, and post pictures without having to leave the couch, the idea that I have to hard-wire my SLR to my desktop in a whole different room seems excessively laborious. I took some pictures the other day and saw that I only have 17 pictures left on my card and realized there must be a boatload of pictures hanging out in there that need to go on the computer. Many of them had too much cuteness to be contained solely on my computer so I decided to dump them on here. This is only a piece of the bunch. Jericho says one of my jobs is to clean out the excess pictures of the babies on the computer. I don't know what he's on about.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who Needs Sleep?

Well, you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what's that for
Who needs sleep?
Well, you're never gonna get it

Holden will be 6 months old on Sunday. He is not sleeping through the night. He did for a few nights when he was not even 3 months old and much jubilation was to be had. He then got a cold and was congested every night all night for about a week and ever since has only slept through the night once and that was on Christmas Eve due to what I can only imagine was Christmas magic.

Sydney slept through the night like a rock star starting at 10 weeks old. Every night. Twelve hours. With Holden, I'm in new territory. Sydney slept perfectly at this age. I secretly loved it when people would ask how she was sleeping and I could tell them how wonderfully it was going; like I was solely responsible for getting her to sleep so well with my amazing mothering skills.

It is not so with Holden. He wakes up a lot at night. Sometimes once. Sometimes every 3 hours. Jericho and I take turns for the most part. There have been a handful of nights when he's taken Holden downstairs and I'll get a good 5-6 hour sleep in. But we're both pretty spent.

Every morning my contacts feel like masking tape and I have bags under my eyes that need additional postage. I'm hungry all the time. My sister explained to me why this was a cause of my sleep deprivation. I don't get proper rest so I'm depleted of energy so my body compensates by wanting food. Or something. I don't have the focus or drive or mental capacity to handle any real responsibilities. I often can't even fathom preparing dinner every day or when I'm going to shower or unload the dishwasher. When you look at my responsibilities, they aren't that overwhelming, but when you haven't slept a solid night of sleep in more than 8 months, folding laundry feels like solving cold fusion. I can't read. I mean, yes I can read but I've forgotten how to read and comprehend. I belong to 2 book clubs and haven't read the books for either in months. I've tried and failed. It hurts my brain.

We've gone over several reasons why he could still be waking up so much - Eczema, gassy, ear infection, too cold, too hot, not enough food during the day, humidifier, more prayers. We've more or less addressed them all. Once, I even wrapped him up in one of my t-shirts in case my magical mommy smell would make him sleep longer. [Do you operate with the assumption that you have this aura of magical mommy-ness? That you should be able to hug or cuddle or kiss your baby and all the problems in the world should be solved? I do. So the fact that I can't get him to sleep better at night with snuggles and lullabies is a blow to my mommy-ego.]

We now put Holden in the bed with us. Partly because it makes him happier than being in the pack-n-play and he sleeps more soundly [even if it's still short spurts]. Partly because we got tired of getting out of bed to give him his pacifier or rub his back or put lotion on his head every hour. [Lotion on his head because he still scratches at his head all night. Lotions and potions are gooped on him but he still keeps scratching. My 2 o'clock in the morning logic is convinced that he has a brain tumor and is trying to get at it with his tiny fingers.]

I've pulled out all the books in my library that may help with getting Holden to sleep better at night. We haven't read anything yet. When you want to get your baby to sleep through the night, you wanted this knowledge yesterday. I want a tag-line or article or short paragraph. A three hundred page book on the matter? You gotta be joking.

One thing that has helped [a little] is learning he's a very determined stomach sleeper. Won't have it any other way unless he's in your arms. And because he's a stomach sleeper and he's a boy with boy parts and only utilizes the front 1/16 of his diaper, we get frequent pee-outs. And because he's in our bed, the pee-outs sometimes happen where we sleep. When it's the middle of the night and it's the second or third time he's woken up, very little of me actually cares.

What am I missing. What haven't we done? What could possibly help?

I hope this sheds some light on why I haven't replied to your emails very quickly [or at all] or texts or why I stink at blogging right now or why I'm lagging in my church calling or why I haven't lost any baby weight or why I spontaneously start crying or why you don't see me at church as often or why I keep sending my husband to Wendy's for our cheap dinner.

This weekend I'm going on a Girls' Weekend with some friends to the mountains. I of course love these girls and know it will be a blast but the selling point that convinced me I should definitely go was the realization that I would have two consecutive nights of sleeping more than 4 hours at a time. I may even sleep in. I'm so excited I could do a little dance. In fact, I think I will..... Dance over.

These exhausting times are part of the reason why God made our babies so insanely adorable. Sleep is one of those things you don't fully appreciate until you don't have it. Count your blessings my well-rested friends.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Thinks I Think

The other day I tried to buy jeans. I wanted blue jeans. Normal denim blue. I wanted flare leg because skinny jeans make me look like the orphanage lady from Despicable Me. I thought this was a simple quest. One that I have had no trouble with in the past. When I saw all of my options having various degrees of skinniness in colors previously reserved only for Skittles, I realized I was old. Looks like we're sticking with yoga pants for a little longer.


Have you ever gotten a spray tan? Like a professional one? I got one for the first time a few weeks before my sister's wedding. It was a surprisingly hilarious experience. I stood in this big booth and had an automated woman giving me directions on the specific "positions" in which I was to stand. Position 2 and 3 resemble a Bangles song. You also have to put this goopy lotion on your hands and feet so they don't end up orange. You have to put it on so thick that it looks like you've been covered in mayonnaise. I was actually laughing. I was LITerally spray-painting my body. You stand there in your desired level of nakedness, wearing a shower cap, hands and feet covered with mayonnaise, and taking instructions from the giant spray-painting machine. And it's COLD! At least normal tanning beds are warm while they give you cancer.


I'm cool with being a stay at home mom for the most part. I'm not really a feminist but I occasionally get the urge to yell, "Who do you think I am!?! June frikkin Cleaver!!??!" Not at anyone in particular. Just in my house by myself; usually when I need to come up with something for dinner. Again. Or dishes need to be done at 9:00 at night. Or basically anything that means I need to come out from underneath the covers of my bed.


I am highly addicted to fabric stores. I'm not even that big of a sewer. But I aspire to be and I do enough sewing that going into fabric stores is like creative crack. When I return from my trips, I tell Jericho the same thing. Yell the same thing, actually - Two years ago I was making Sydney's nursery bedding. I wanted yellow and grey. I couldn't buy yellow and grey bedding because I couldn't find any. Hence the decision to make stuff. I went to every fabric store in a 50 mile radius of my house. I shopped online. And I ended up finding some decent yellow and grey fabrics. I like the finished product. I don't love it. Now when I go to any place that sells fabric, I see beautiful yellow and grey patterns that I LOVE. Stripes! Chevrons! Dot! Tiles! Paisleys! I yell to Jericho every time - "MORE YELLOWS AND GREYS!!!" At least there is one area of my life where I'm slightly ahead of the trends.


I bought a Sudoku book. No, I'm not going on a plane soon. I bought it to exercise my brain. The other day I couldn't remember the name of a car that I knew I knew and it was making me crazy that I couldn't remember it. I went through the alphabet numerous times trying to figure it out. It finally came to me a couple of hours later. Now I'm doing Sudoku. Next I will be playing memory card games with Sydney and hoping she doesn't beat me.


Ever since seeing a beautiful brown color of nail polish on a friend more than three years ago, I've been on a mad search for the perfect brown nail polish. True story. Three years. I think I finally found it. I didn't want taupe or espresso or dark brown or brownish red or brownish-something else. Just brown. It's called Toasted Almond by Covergirl and it's glorious. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Survival Mode

With two babies under eighteen months, one acquires tailor-made resources to get through the minutes, the hours, and the days of taking care of two little babes.

The following are but a few of the resources that have made my life livable.

There's too much to list for why Jericho is essential to my survival. I shall be brief. One morning Jericho left super early to travel out of town for the week. I came downstairs hours after he left, groggy and grumpy and grumbling. I discovered that before he left, he'd unloaded the clean dishwasher. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I actually teared up.

As with Jericho, wayyyy too much to list in a blog post of the never ending service the GPs render. They babysit so Jericho and I can have nights out with friends or even just a quick bite across the street before making the one-hour drive back home. The GPs Smith asked if they could come over for dinner one Sunday. I told them I didn't have much to supply us all for dinner. They brought it all from their house. I decided to take a nap before they got here and I woke to my mother telling me dinner was ready. They'd come over, made dinner and helped take care of the babies. Why did I ever move out of their house?

I have visiting teachers/friends/neighbors that comes to my need at the drop of the hat. They steal my babies from me at church. No arguments here. I have this one friend that had a baby about the same time as me. We share many things. We have adorably crazy little babies. We have the same post-pregnancy physical ailments. We run into each other at Wal-Mart at the same odd hours at night in our sweats. We both cry for legitimate and humorously illegitimate reasons. We don't fold clean laundry. And we both hold very dear the remedial powers of a greasy cheeseburger.

[Speaking of greasy cheeseburgers]
I received two words from a cashier at McDonalds I never knew I'd hear and never knew would make me so sad. Two words that made me want to exclaimed, "That don't mean you know me!!!". She said to me, "Back again?" Two simple words that made me want to cry. In my defense, my McD's runs are not that frequent. I didn't recognize her so I'm making myself feel better by thinking this cashier just happened to be there both times I went within those couple of weeks. Or maybe it was within one week. It's all a big Diet Coke blur.

Does this gross you out to hear that I frequent McDonalds? Why do I even go to McDonald's? I shall explain. I generally have the attitude discussed by Jim Gaffigan. It represents all that is wrong with the stereotypical fat American. In my world, I go for survival. I go because it's practically in my backyard. I go on a morning when sleep was fleeting the night before and the babies are on the same fussy/noisy/need-to-go-to-sleep schedule. I call them our Family Drives. We listen to Harry Potter. I get an impressively large Diet Coke. Sometimes a biscuit, depending on the hour. Sometimes two cookies [for a dollar], depending on the level of emotional turmoil. And then I drive through my wonderful little town until the Diet Coke is gone. Everyone always chills out. The babies always go to sleep. I get to see their sweet faces while they sleep and while I listen to a book and wind down from some of my stress.

That is why I go to McDonald's. If there was such a thing as a drive-through Panera, I'd go there. But until they make one in my town, I'm sticking with the McDonald's. Judge as you wish.

It's called survival mode. It's something I heard other moms talk about but never truly understood until I was in it. I have a feeling mine might last a while. Now if only I could figure out how to incorporate the gym as a survival mode resource.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Four Months Ago

Four months ago, we had another baby. We had a teeny little spitty beautiful baby boy.

Now we have a four-month-old, still beautiful, still spitty, bigger baby boy.

Every time we hit a month milestone I think, "Wow, another month, and I've still never done a monthly update on my blog." Not that my readers are sitting on edge wondering how much Holden now weighs. I do intend on publishing this stuff one day for my own records and I need to record this stuff so that he doesn't feel less loved than his sister, who has a diligent monthly update for the first year of her life. Man those firstborns can really kill it for the follow-up siblings.

I thought that Holden was big for his age. He seems to be growing out of his clothes faster than Sydney did and he's bigger than my friend's baby who is two weeks older. But according to his stats, he's 25% for height and weight and 75% for his head. Those measurements should indicate that Holden resembles an orange on a toothpick but as you can see, he's a studly little man with no likeness to oranges or toothpicks.

He's made four months worth of physical progress but my most significant status for him is that I love him to pieces. Some days, I wake up and look at him and think, "I don't know how he did it, but he's cuter today than he was yesterday." He's warm and cuddly and lets me hold him and rock him to sleep. He lets me kiss his cheeks a thousand times a day and smell his sweet little angel baby smell. He's completely mellow. Although his mellowness is probably accentuated due to the contrast to his completely nutty toddler sister. Aside from the fact that he spits like a llama, he's perfect. Even the pediatrician told me so and you know she only ever tells that to me.

Holden is so lovely and sweet and makes me so happy that I look at him and think, "I can't wait to have another one so I can be this happy times three." [Don't worry. We're still on pregnancy hiatus.]

My favorite thing about him is that he loves to smile and giggle. You hardly need to look at him and he bursts into the biggest little baby grin. Look at that face. Seriously. If you need a pick me up, come on over and give Holden some snuggles and he'll smile and bury his little face in your neck.

He's pretty much awesome. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Resolutions? ME??

With the new year comes new goals. At least that's the premise. We probably aren't making new goals but revamping our drive to accomplish the same goals from last year. That's what I do anyway. Maybe there are some people out there that they make 20 goals every year and accomplish them with dramatic flourish. I am not one of those people.

For example, I failed my goal last year of not being pregnant. I will remake that same goal this year. If I only accomplish one thing this year it will be:

1) Not be pregnant.

Seven days in. So far so good.

I have previously written on the subject of goals and resolutions. Go read those if you want. I'll wait.

My mindset from those posts has not drastically changed since writing them. I hate making new year's resolutions. They seem weak and like I'm only making them because that's what everyone else does this time of year. Plus I'm sure there is some statistic out there that says that like 86% of resolutions fail. Actually, I just looked. It's 78%. With that kind of failure rate, what's the point? Then I'll have all these resolutions mocking me yet again.

But I still make them. I can't help it. I get this motivation to start anew. It's the only time in my life that a true transition period is obviously marked. I have no school or job to break up the space time contiuum of a stay at home mom. Heck, half the time, I don't even know the date or day of the week. This year in particular I feel especially defeated. I had two babies back to back and my ability to maintain control in this world of infantile chaos lies in question almost daily.

This year will be my year. I hereby proclaim this year the year of Kelley!!

Here we go. I will make my goals in the secret public journal of my blog. [In no respective order of importance, except for the aforementioned #1.]

2) Take more pictures of baby #2 [in my defense, I mainly took more pictures of baby #1 because daddy was overseas]
3) Blog more. Lots more. All the time. Get those creative synapses firing. Churn out the cathartic prose.
4) Be healthier.
5) Be happier.
6) Be spiritualier.
7) Use my beautiful new sewing machine that Santa Jericho brought this year.
8) By this time next year, have Sydney potty trained. [Gack!!!]
9) Implement and follow a structured family budget.
10) Play sports. [I miss them so much. My heart aches to run up and down a basketball court. But must get going on #4 first because my ab muscles can no longer support my core in the act of running.]
11) Read lots and lots.

There we have it. I will put them in written form around my house to stare me in the face. Glaring their critical eye. Daring me to abandon them. I wish you tenacity with all of our goals, if you make them. Perhaps you're an inherently better person than me and don't need change. If not, cheers. Let's make the most of this year! Feel free to join me in any of our shared pursuits.

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