Friday, November 18, 2011

letter to my (TWO YEAR OLD) girl


Today I was folding and sorting some of Lawton's laundry, pulling out the newborn onesies and sleepers that are now too small.  As I placed them in their own little pile to be relegated to the attic I had to stop and catch my breath for a moment thinking of you, my big, beautiful, smart and sassy little girl, fitting into those same newborn onesies only two years ago.  Only two years and yet... two whole years!  I think only a parent can understand how a length of time can seem so long and so distant and yet have flown by.  I remember so clearly the doctor's appointment when I learned you existed, then standing on the balcony of our tiny one bedroom apartment going through my contact list to let everyone know I was PREGNANT (oh the joy and the terror and the triumph and the anticipation and the anxiety and the excitement wrapped into those eight letters).  And then 39 long/short weeks later, laboring for so long in the hospital and finding out you were a girl (!!!).  I remember bringing you home (to a TWO bedroom apartment), watching you grow, filled with anxiety and wonder and pride, moving you into our first home as a family, seeing you learn to crawl, start to speak, take your first steps...and all of this was just in one year.  And now you're two.

In your second year I found out I was pregnant again in January and had your brother on September 1st (it's been quite a year for both of us, sweetpea).  You went from being my only child to being my first.  And you became a big sister.  If I was proud of you before, I don't know the word to describe the swell of emotions I feel as I watch you with your brother.  Whenever people hear how close in age you two are they always ask me how you're doing... if you're gentle with the baby, if you're a good helper, how you've handled the changes.  My response is always the same:  you're a rock star.

Being a big sister is not the only thing at which you are excelling (and blowing Mommy's mind with).  Holy smokes, girl, are you SMART.  Your vocabulary has skyrocketed and your diction is truly impressive.  Even your pediatrician looked at me across the exam table with raised eyebrows when you started talking to him.  You speak in full sentences, connecting thoughts in way that sometimes surprises me.  (When I got pulled over on our way home from Augusta - NOT for speeding... apparently I didn't slow down enough when passing a police car - you were entranced by the police officer ("the man" as you referred to him) and asked if he was "like Robert", a police horse in a book we hadn't read in weeks.)  You're funny, precocious, flirty (btw, you may want to back off of Travis a little... aunt Chelsea might be getting a little jealous), stubborn, and sweet.  You love to sing and have really remarkable pitch for a 2 year old.  You take that "dance like no one is watching" quote very literally.  You devour books like candy (which you will also devour... like... itself) and have many of your favorites memorized.  You still sleep like an angel and eat like a champ.  You are learning so much so fast about being kind and sharing and taking turns... not that you always do it, because you are a willful and spunky little goober sometimes and certainly know how to have a fit with the best of them.  But basically what I'm getting at here is that I could not have asked for a more remarkable child.

Darling daughter, I just plain adore you.  You are beautiful to me and I can assure you that you always will be.  I am so happy to have added your brother to our family, doubling our number of children but exponentially increasing our joy, but you will always be my special girl, the one that shares my middle name, my first baby.  You light up my life, warm my heart, and fill my soul.  I am so grateful to be your mother.

I love you very much.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Today has been one of those days in which I walked by a mirror at approximately 3pm, stopped, walked slowly backwards, and gave myself a good, long, horrified look.  No make-up, no shower, no change of clothes since I rolled out of bed at 6am to answer the call of a certain Mr. Fussypants.  A runny-nosed coughing toddler and a squirmy whiny baby will do that to you I suppose.  Motherhood is not glamorous, that's for certain.  But my oh my if it isn't rewarding... in it's own wearing-my-husband's-old-tshirt-and-yoga-pants kinda way.

PS - One of my little "rewards" turns TWO on Friday.  I'm working on her birthday letter.  And by "working on" I mean that I've thought about it, freaked out for a moment, and then wiped up some spit up or other bodily fluid from one child or the other.  (How much longer can I use having a baby as an excuse to not get much of anything done?  I've got a while, right?  RIGHT?)

Monday, November 7, 2011

semi-extreme makeover: bedroom edition

We moved into our first house when Laine was only about 4 months old.  I spent a lot of time and energy fixing up her room (transferring wall decals tediously from her old room on wax paper then obsessing over where it should go in the new room, turning her curtains into mounted canvas wall art when they didn't fit the windows, organizing her HUGE closet) and painting the rest of the house.  My mom and I matched wall colors to rugs and moved the living room chairs about 87 times and re-purposed the guest room closet into a tiny home office for Joe.  But in all of that, the master bedroom kind of fell to the wayside.  I found a paint color I fell in love with and my mother-in-law did a beautiful job painting the room and the attached bath, but that was about it.  We inherited our bedroom set from my parents when they got new stuff a few years ago (free = awesome) and while I was so happy to not have to scrounge furniture from thrift stores and yard sales, it's not really my style.  Our old bedding went into the guest room since it didn't match the new color scheme so we settled for an uncovered duvet and some new sheets.

 This is a pretty accurate "before" shot, although I did do an artsy project and paint a bunch of different red, black, silver, and white "C"s and hang them over the bed.  The jeans on the floor on Joe's side of the bed are also quite accurate.  There's nothing wrong with the room, it just doesn't do anything for me.  Yawn.

So as part of my Christmas list, I told Joe I wanted to finally do something about the room.  I started looking for inspiration pictures on Pinterest and trying to pin down (HA) exactly what I wanted to change.  But every room I liked had either white or black furniture and I just couldn't envision the room looking much different as long as we had this furniture.  And we can't exactly afford a whole new bedroom set right now.  Soooo...


The transformation is not complete... we still have to paint the huge dresser that sits on the wall across from the bed, I think I'm going to take down the "C"s and put up a collage wall of black and white photos, I want to replace the lamps and the bedspread and my giant ugly alarm clock, move the hampers from the foot of the bed to somewhere that Joe's clothes might actually come in contact with them, put a bookshelf on the wall to the right for added storage options, etc.  BUT it's a great start.  We even managed to get the swirly carved thing off the headboard (and the dresser mirror) before we painted!  I'm really happy with how it changes the look of the room so far and it's definitely motivated me to continue working to make the room somewhere I am proud of and enjoy being in.  Here are a few more "during" photos...

 The nightstands getting primed and ready! (HA... I'm on a roll today, y'all.)

 Joe getting in on the action... and a glimpse of Bag-lady Laine in the background.

 The mirror that attaches over the dresser with the funky swirly thing that we managed to pry off.

My nightstand, painted and dry but still needing a little TLC in the decor department.
And a Fitness magazine.