February 28, 2009

Can You Spare Some Change?

I remember, right after I had Ezra, I decided to chop all my hair off. Not because it was more convinient, or because it was more 'baby-friendly', but because I needed a change. A drastic change. Perhaps it was my way of screaming "HEY! I'm still here! I am more than a pair of arms that totes this baby around! I'm... me!" Or maybe it was the shifting hormones that needed a physical outlet. I don't know. But I do know that I am sooo feeling that itch again... the one that wants to do something extreme.

This time around, however, I am not so willing to obey that voice that is begging me to chop off my hair. Because... as you all may remember... growing my hair out was VERY HARD WORK.

I also don't have a lot of extra money to go buy some new clothes to mix things up a bit, so that outlet is out of the question for now too. So... if a girl can't change her wardrobe and is unwilling to chop off all her hair... what does she do?

No, really. I need suggestions.

One way I've found to "scratch the itch" is to daydream about changing these things. So I 'window shop' online, and I drool over haircuts that I adore. Haircuts like these:


Yesterday I played around with head wraps made out of scraps of vintage fabric... one way to change my look without scissors, I suppose:


Must... stay... focused.

...getting weaker by the second...

Send backup!

What do you change when you're feeling the need to revamp?

February 25, 2009

My Boys.

Did you know that babies Myer's age can only handle being awake for about 45-60 minutes before they get cranky and need sleep again? That's including feed time.

So, Myer eats, and then he is awake and happy for about 40 minutes, and then I can see the signs that he's tired, so he goes in his crib for a nap again.

This cycle leaves a lot of time for Ezra and I to play. And we have been having lots of fun together...

He recently got some Legos from Uncle Jared and Aunt Kristy (and Aunt Candace and Uncle David, too!) and the boy is so good at them, it's almost scary. He pulls out the instruction booklet, and looks at the step-by-step instructions, and BUILDS STUFF. With very little to no help. It's crazy, and you can just see how much he loves to accomplish each task.

He also got the game 'Crossbows & Catapults' from MoMar and DoDad for his birthday. Do any of you remember this game from when you were little? My brothers & I absolutely LOVED this game.

It has evolved and gotten fancier over the years, but everything is pretty much the same as the old version, and you can still buy it on Amazon. Anywho, it's a total blast, and Ezra and I have spent LOTS of time setting up our castles and then knocking everything over with our weapons. (I highly recommended this toy for the little boys in your life.)

Ezzie is such an amazing big brother. He's getting very good at "Binky Patrol". (reinserting the pacifier for me.) He just wants to constantly snuggle and kiss myer, and he's developing his own version of 'baby talk' which he uses when he talks to the baby. It's like this high-pitched sing songy voice that slowly evolves into a scary, growly, monster voice. hahaha. It's HILARIOUS.

While Ezra & I play, Myer sleeps. And grows. I can almost HEAR the boy growing as he snoozes.

He is currently TWELVE AND A HALF POUNDS. I know six month olds who are barely that big!

He is the sweetest baby. And he's soooo good! He only cries when he's hungry or tired- which, now that we're on a schedule, doesn't really happen that often.

I just can't get enough of him.

All of this to say... I love my boys. They are amazing.

February 23, 2009

The dreaded 'BS' word... BABY SCHEDULE.

So, earlier today I had a cup of delicious hot coffee in my hand, and I was looking forward to gulping it down my tired throat, but in some sort of newborn haze I grabbed a spoon and proceeded to scoop two spoonfuls of that coffee INTO MY SUGAR BOWL.

That's ass-backwards is what that is.

In other news, today Myer is six weeks old, which is the day that I had decided to start him on some sort of a eating/sleeping/waking schedule. (Jesus have mercy on my soul.) I am not naturally a "schedule" person, (I tend to run from it like from the bulls of pamplona) but I am naturally a "enjoy sleeping at night" kind of person. So... you know.

With Ezra, I just followed his cues. I fed him when he was hungry, let him sleep when he wanted to sleep, etc. And it worked out great, because, I think, he was my only child. And I was at home with him all day everyday and I didn't have to have any sort of structure to my schedule. But even with this loosey-goosey approach, Ezra was sleeping through the night at about 10 weeks. Hallelu.

With Myer, however, I can tell that I need to get things in some sort of order. He's still waking a lot at night, which is expected (and fine) of course, but I'd like to feel like I have a bit more of an idea of what to expect and when to expect it during the days. So, I've created some concoction of a schedule from several different sources, and it basically boils down to this:

1. We will have a set waking time and bedtime. (7:30 AM and 7:30 PM respectively.)
2. In between those times, I will try to fit in 6 or 7 feedings. (Approx every 2 hours)
3. I will do one 'dreamfeed' at night (around 10 or so) where I do not completely wake him, but feed him and put him right back down.

Simple. (It HAS to be in order for me to stick with it.)

As for naps, I think I'll just watch for cues that he's tired and put him down whenever that happens to be. He won't be sleeping more than 2 hours at a time because I will be feeding him every two hours, so that should help regulate oversleeping too.

a snapshot into all the insanity. Thanks, iCal!

Lastly, I'm going to smother all of this in a whole heckuvalot of GRACE as well, because, honestly? I think that a person who clings TOO tightly to their plan or schedule can suffocate the life right out of... well, life. And that's no fun.

I believe that babies should adapt to their parents, rather than parents putting everything on hold for 'baby's schedule'. Ezra is an extremely adaptable kid, because from an early age, we included him in our lives rather than sectioning him off from them. We will do the same with Myer. We will have loud dinner parties and random roadtrips and we'll never stop passing him around to open arms. We will share our lives and our friends and our priorities with him. And part of the reason that he'll do so great with all of this is because we, as his parents, will be relaxed and actually enjoying the life we've brought him into.

All of this being said... Jesus have mercy on my soul.

Schedules have this cute little habit of making me break out in hives.

February 21, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Things...

New vibrating bouncy seats. BEST INVENTIONS EVER. Myer loves this chair... and I love it too because it's dark brown and has owls on it!

Gooey, smooshy, (addictive) baby lips. NOM NOM NOM. *slurp!*

Two big boxes full of the most amazing baby clothes ever (and boy did we need them!) given to us by a friend.

First smiles. I can't even talk about this without wanting to cry. This boy smiles A LOT.

Sock shoes! (Or would it be shoe socks?) The best of both worlds!

My whole family coming to town to meet Myer and celebrate Ezra's fourth birthday.

{A smitten Doodad.}

A boy who LOVES baths!

regulaaaarrrr clothes!!!!*&^%*&^%!!

Did I mention the vibrating bouncy chair? This thing is a lifesaver! The vibrations help him work out gas bubbles, and he stares at the dangling toys like they are long lost friends.

Aaaaaand, A precious family who does things like THIS when we get together. (This video will amaze you.)

Life is GOOD.

February 18, 2009

Catherine Gikas Photography

I am so excited right now, I can hardly stand it.

My ridiculously talented friend, Catherine Gikas, just posted the photos she took of Myer when he was a little over a week old.

I've NEVER seen such amazing baby photos before- and the fact that they are pictures of Myer makes me feel like the luckiest person in the whole wide world!!

You MUST go check out her brand new photography website that she recently launched- browse through the galleries- and if you need photos taken of your family, I highly recommend that you contact her! She's incredible!!

PLEASE go check out Myer's debut:


Click on "Proofing"

In the box on the bottom right type "Myer" (case sensitive)

What an amazing gift... Thank you thank you thank you, Catherine!!

February 11, 2009

Baby Love.

This picture makes me want to cry my face off from love and then have more babies. I never thought I was a "baby" person, but OH! I SO AM!

As it turns out, I just needed a chance to get comfortable around babies... and to get comfortable with myself as a mother.

When I had Ezra, it was like I was fighting against the mother in me... I still wanted to cling to the "old emery". I didn't want to budge one iota of my identity in order to embrace motherhood- because I was afraid of what I might become. Would I be boring? Stuffy? Paranoid? Would I lose all elements of self and be just another woman pushing a stroller?

Having this second baby has been so freeing for me. Because, Yes!! It's official!! I am a mother through & through! And you know what? It's the best thing about me. Being a mom has made me a stronger, more selfless person. And I've discovered that you CAN have children without completely losing yourself.

As far as I'm concerned, the 'old emery' can take a hike.

I much prefer the woman that these boys are making me.


February 10, 2009

Stepping Back.

There have been moments, in the past two days or so, where I thought I was going to lose it. Moments where I felt so overwhelmed I could hardly breathe. Where Ezra was demanding my attention and feeling overlooked and the baby was crying and my house was suffocating me with its never ending clutter.

Yet, every time I've felt that choking darkness creep over me, I've been able to stop and realize that, in reality, the world wasn't actually ending. This wasn't the actual Armageddon! This was just a moment of chaos in the midst of a wonderful life... a blessed life... a life that was going to continue marching on to goodness even though, for a moment, I felt like sitting down in the middle of the road and calling it quits.

It's always a good sign when you can quickly recognize your enemy. My strongest enemy in this life so far has been the lie that tells me I'm not enough. That my efforts will never add up, and no matter how much I try and try and try, it will never be sufficient.

That lie has kept its slimy hands off of me for awhile now, but a couple of days ago, I felt it return with brutal force. In one instant, I felt its grip around my throat and it left me mute. Trembling, even. It only took a few minutes for me to realize what was happening, however, and I was able to remind myself of the truth.

I am enough. I have all that I need. My hope is in greater things than smooth days and everything looking exactly like I want them to at all times. God is still good when the baby is fussy and won't let me sleep. Ezra is secure in my love and it's not going to ruin him to have to wait for mommy's attention or play video games for an hour.


This may sound totally silly, but there is a movie that I love that keeps coming back to my mind when I'm feeling overwhelmed lately. It's one of my all-time favorites. "The Family Stone". The thing that this movie has helped remind me of is that this is just a season in my life. One day, my kids will be older and grown and coming home for Christmas and filling my house with their life and laughter. And that later season will have it's own unique challenges as well, I know, but I find hope and strength in that picture all the same. (That movie makes me want to have, like, a MILLION more kids.)

That's one thing that has been so different this time around- something I didn't have when I first had Ezra- the ability to step back and look at my life with wider eyes. Eyes tuned in to the bigger picture. I know now that this is a learned skill, one that doesn't come easy or naturally. I'm so grateful to be learning this skill slowly in my own life... to know that my future (no matter what it ends up looking like) is GOOD. Because, God is good. I may not know anything else about Him for sure, but I do know that. (How do I know it? Only from my own story! I called, He answered. I leapt, He caught. Over and over and over it's been true. I've tested His goodness in my life and He has never failed me.)

It's strange how all of this 'stepping back' to look at my life has somehow made me more able to be 'present' in the now as well. When you're not feeling like the world is physically crashing down on your head, I think you're more able to laugh and somehow enjoy the chaos that otherwise would have swept you away...

In other news... if that old baby scale I stuck him on the other day was accurate, little myer elliot has gained almost THREE pounds in four weeks. Say WHAAA?!?!^#&$#^# He is wearing 3 month old clothing now. He is a TANK!

(Just one more way he's proving himself to be all things opposite of his {tiny} older brother...)

February 6, 2009


Dear Ezra,

Today you are four years old.

It seems you've decided that this is a day of big changes. It started out small, when this morning you promptly declared that you would eat your ENTIRE banana. When I asked why this blessed change had come, you said, "Because I'm four now." And you did... you ate ALL your banana. I was shocked. (You never eat all your fruit willingly.)

Then, later, you told me that your room was messy, and that you would clean it all by yourself because "you were four now". Sure enough- your room was spotless by the time we left. I was thrilled!

One other thing that has magically changed upon your waking this morning:

You've decided that you no longer love the color pink. You've decided that since you are now four, you will like brown. Apparently, brown is a "big boy" color?

This has been a big year for you.

You've acquired a little brother! Wowza!

Seeing the love and care that you have for him already, in his short three weeks of life so far, has made me feel somehow... bigger than myself. Like you had been a little snowball in my care, and now I'm watching as you pick up steam and roll down the mountain on your own- getting larger and faster with every turn- and who knows where you'll end up? Every time I look at you, you are lovelier and sweeter than the moment before. More caring and precious to me than even one second earlier. And you've taken on the role of 'big brother' like a knight pulling on his armor. It suits you. It will strengthen you. You were created, in part, to be a brother- and I can't wait to watch you as you grow into this calling. (What a lucky little brother you have!)

You are also starting to fall in love with your friends. The friends who have been in your playgroup for years and the friends you've made at school and at church. This has been a joy for me to watch unfold in your heart... you are such a sweet little buddy. You love your friends fiercely, and I know that in the years ahead, you will have many of them around you... good and loyal friends who will feel the love you have for them and gladly return it.

You are doing so well, Ezzie Bug. I am proud to call you my son. I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Thank you for constantly showing me how to live and love brightly... You are an amazing teacher.

Happy happy Birthday!!!!


February 4, 2009

You Might Be Sleep Deprived If...

1. Within the course of one morning you have misplaced your car keys TWICE- Finding them once in the dryer and once buried in your son's drawer of Hot Wheels cars.

2. You're hungry for greasy lunch at 9:50 in the morning.

3. You fall asleep in the bathtub.

4. It's 2:00 in the afternoon and you STILL have not located your missing cup of morning coffee. (oh god could THAT be in the dryer too?)

5. You almost forget to cover yourself up while breastfeeding at the library.

6. Your older son suddenly decides to stop taking naps on the very day that your newborn arrives in this world. Joy of joys!

7. You giggle like a school girl when your sweet little midwife tells you about the 'fancy new lambskin condoms' at your first postpartum appointment. Then you turn beet red from embarrassment.

8. You're having trouble keeping the numbers in order while typing this blog list. ("Is it six and then seven? Or the other way around?")

9. Wow! This has been *such* a small post for ONE MA-JILLION TYPOS.


11. Oh, sorry, I was staring into space just then.


12. You're still blissfully happy even though you can't think straight- because the thing keeping you up at night is this:

Now, if only he'd sleep this peacefully when the sun went DOWN...