Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So I've been home with the new babe now for 5 months. I was really nervous taking this much time off knowing it was entirely possible that I might not be able to do it but also knowing this was my only chance to try.

Before I had her, I made a list of goals. I mean they were just in my head because I am not a list maker but they were goals nonetheless. The simplest being to just keep up with Vivi's baby album and to start one for Brody (um, he's six). I was going to become a great cook & a baker. Try new things. Impress my family. I wanted my home to smell like freshly baked cookies by 3pm. I was going to take sewing classes (again, hmph.) so I could make sweet little dolls for Vivi instead of buying them. I wanted to make new mommy friends and do the things that mommy friends do. I wanted to join a gym and get my body back to where it was when I MET my husband (ha!). I wanted to go for lots of walks with our stupidly expensive celebrity-like stroller that I insisted on buying. I wanted to get up early and cook breakfast for Brody before our walks to school. I wanted to buy a juicer. To stop drinking coffee. To volunteer at church. To have weekly lunches and dinners with my friends. To take quick road trips to see my family. To keep up with the laundry and not have dirty dishes in the sink. To keep up with this little blog.

Have you seen that Target commercial for their Threshold line? -- Our House is a Very Very Very Fine  House -- basically that is what I wanted our home to be like. Professionally decorated, lovely aromas, butterflies randomly flying from room to room, bubbles overflowing out of the tub, clean and perfectly behaved kids, rainbows in the front yard and unicorns for pets. This didn't happen.

My house has been in a constant state of disaster. I didn't become a great baker or cook because somehow dinnertime always came before I could get to the grocery store. I never signed up for sewing classes because it was just one more thing to worry about. I didn't join a gym because I told myself that I would do pilates at home instead. I did it twice and told my husband that I didn't have the energy and it was his fault because he hadn't bought me a juicer yet. I did try going for walks with the babe in our celebrity-like stroller but I quickly realized it was really made for looking but not for walking. I made breakfast for Brody a couple of times but he looked at me like I was a crazy woman and asked for cereal. I didn't even try to kick my coffee addiction and IF I left the house, it was for Starbucks. Not only did I never volunteer at church but each Sunday I have given my husband a reason why we needed to stay home. I've been home to see my family only twice. And where did all this laundry come from?

But you know, it has been the best five months. I had put all these unrealistic expectations on myself because I thought I needed to justify not working for six months. Justify it to myself, I suppose. I knew in my heart though that I was taking the time off to simply love this baby. To hold her. To squeeze her. To kiss her little cheeks. To nibble on her little fingers. To rock her to sleep. To cuddle with her on the couch in her jammies and in my jammies for hours and not care. I KNEW this but I wouldn't admit it. "I am going to do all these things", I said. No, I wasn't. And no, I didn't.

The thing is we are so hard on ourselves. We are even harder on each other. Mommies, that is. Why are we so hard on each other? Cruel to each other, even.

You are a terrible Mom if you don't deliver naturally. If you don't feel the excruciating pain. If you tap out and beg for an epidural. If you end up having a c-section. If you can't breastfeed. If you complain that you are tired. If you want an hour alone. If you use your cell phone in front of your kids. If you put your baby in it's crib too soon. If you go back to work too soon. If you stay home too long. If you believe in Santa. If you don't believe in Santa. If your kids go to public school. If they go to private school. If you give vaccinations. If you don't give vaccinations.

I could go on. The point is, let's stop being so hard on each other and have this conversation instead.

You are a GREAT Mom because you welcomed your little blessing into this world. It doesn't matter if you delivered naturally, had an epidural, adopted, had a c-section, delivered at home, delivered at the hospital...what matters is that you did it. And when someone tells you that you did it wrong, it's ok to punch that person in the face. You have boobs and they might not work but who cares, boobs are good and your baby will be just fine. And if your husband says "but I want you to breastfeed!", then you tell him that when he grows a vagina and pushes out 9 pound baby himself then he gets to have an opinion. If you need some extra sleep that just means you have been rocking your beautiful baby at all hours of the night. If you find yourself crying in a fetal position on your bedroom floor, it's simply because you have discovered that you are no longer in control and you are GOING to cry. If you need an hour alone that just means you have dedicated the other 23 hours to your family. You are using your cell phone in front of your kids because you are looking up directions for the next park to go to, you are looking up their doctor's phone number, you're proudly posting a pic of them that you just took, you are texting their Grandma to tell her the funny things they just said, you are asking other parents to meet up to play, you are double checking what time soccer practice is (and baseball and football and ballet and that birthday party you forgot about), you are juggling a million things at once because you are a Mom and that's what we do. If someone says to you "but you just missed your daughter's first cartwheel"...politely let them know that it was actually her 101st cartwheel just that morning. (Trust us, we didn't miss it.) You are great because you have a baby and that in itself is a miracle.

So. Let us hold each other to a higher standard. A standard of grace. Not a standard of perfection. I promise to do this too. To you and to myself.

Friday, January 11, 2013

have i told you guys lately how much we love this baby?

vivi is the sweetest little thing. sometimes when i kiss her cheeks, i honestly think i am going to take a bite out of her. her daddy says "i know you love her but please don't eat my baby girl".

her birth certificate says her name is vivi. but that's only bc her real name didn't fit on it.
it's really Little Babooshka-Bow Wow Boomer, according to her brother that is.
but she usually just goes by sissy. to keep it simple and all.

i love this baby sling. they didn't have these things when i had brody. if she fusses, i can just stick her in this thing and she's all like "oh thank goodness, i'm back in the belly". i wish they came in bigger sizes though bc i need to stick the six year old in it too.

"i'm gonna just sleep all day and there is nothing you can do about it".

on this day, i tried to wake her up by talking to her. she slept through it. stripped her clothes off. slept through that. put her in her bathtub. IN the bathtub! in WATER! still slept.

so i gave up and just put her naked baby butt in her crib where sleeping babies belong. poor little thing. she just has it so rough.

so little babooshka bow wow is showing all the personality traits of her daddy. she is the calmest little baby. nothing upsets her. nothing makes her mad. she stares at everything like she is in a deep thought. if she does cry, it lasts 5 seconds and then she's happy again.

she doesn't even cry for food, she just frantically eats herself until we hear the sucking sound and make her a bottle. her dad does that too but luckily he just frantically eats candy until i make him some food.

and she is always curling her cute little toes just like her dad. genetics are crazy. i mean, which strand of her DNA says "you will curl your toes just like your father". 

yes, she is still sleeping. surprised? no?

and these bows!! i mean, seriously, they are ridiculous! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

my friends, you are so good.
this sweet boy needed you. and you were there. with no hesitation.
you have sent boxes full of supplies for him. 
we asked you for help and he started receiving packages the NEXT DAY.
you sent so many supplies that we had to delete items from his wish list and add new things.
and in just a few short days, his fundraiser has gone up to $1,200.

this sweet child is fighting pain everyday but today he feels your love. 

but we aren't done. 
we need to get his fundraiser to $5,000 in order to pay for his genetic testing.
to get there, we need you to SHARE his story.
for every person that has shared his story, at least ONE friend has donated.
and it adds up.
and if you personally cannot donate, it's ok!!! but share his story bc you know someone who can.


wal-mart wish list:

amazon wish list:
(when checking out, choose below shipping address)
Teresa Spicer
**for some, Amazon is really being a stinker. in case you need the address or zip code, it's below**
Teresa Spicer
252 Taylors Lane
Carrollton, GA 30117

gas cards:
*you can also help by sending gas cards! this will help mommy & daddy get eli to his doctor appointments.
mail to -
Teresa Spicer
252 Taylors Lane
Carrollton, GA 30117

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

brody started kindergarten this year.

something happened on the day he started kindergarten. like the school nurse lined them up and said "come here, kindergartners, take your kindergarten pill. you will be a completely different child by 3pm today
some of the symptoms have been -- do not let your mom know that you love her, do not let your mom kiss you, do not sit on your mom's lap anymore unless you are alone, do not tell your mom to hold you tighter unless you are in a dark room and no one can hear you, do not let your mom's hair get anywhere near your food, your plate or even your skin, start taking showers instead of baths and insist on being alone but also insist that mom not actually leave the bathroom, ask for a snack 50 gazillion times a day, start telling jokes about butts and farts or rather just say the word butt or fart and then laugh hysterically, be super strong and not afraid of anything but only between the hours of 7am and 8pm, start running around the house naked screaming "naked boy!, naked boy!", and insist that every argument can be settled with a sword battle.

brody is my honest kid. not that i have any others to compare him to since poor sissy can't even talk. but he really is painfully honest. he asked for a popsicle the other day. many many many times. and every time he had a carefully thought out reason about why he needed a popsicle.

"mom, i really think i need a popsicle because i think i hit my head on the wall when i was running and it will make me feel better."
"mom, can i please go get a popsicle because i have to pee really bad but i don't want to go pee."
"mom, can i get a popsicle because the last one i had was red and i really wanted a purple one but i forgot."
"mom, can i get a popsicle because i was watching scooby doo and i got a little bit afraid and now i need a popsicle."

it's just painful to watch. i really wish someone would just teach the poor kid to lie. i mean, why doesn't he just sneak into the kitchen, quietly sneak out a popsicle and eat it under the dining room table where i can't see him? i thought he would learn these techniques by now. i think i am going to have to teach him.

brody's friend, jack, sends us home with notes everyday. they are delicately ripped and then folded into teeeeeeny tiny super secretive notes hidden in brody's coat pockets. his number must begin with "913" although the first few times, i thought he was inviting us over for pie. brody and jack must discuss the notes at school bc although i have no idea what they say, brody can always explain. so far he has been invited to jack's house to run from girls, to chase girls and most recently, to go swimming on christmas eve. most of the time, however, he simply sends his phone number which is really long and usually both upside down and backwards. i guess jack got tired of brody never showing up though bc a couple weeks ago, i got a note that simply said "brody mom call jack mom". yesterday, i finally got a real note from his real mom and they are finally getting to have their real play date so they can chase girls, run from girls and go swimming even though jack doesn't really have a pool and it's the middle of winter.

brody is such a loyal friend to his entire class. that's one of the things that i love most about him. it gets him in trouble though bc he spends a lot of time talking during class. this morning on the way to school, i reminded him to listen to his teacher and not to talk to his friends if she is talking.

“but Mom, i don’t just talk about lord of the rings...i live the principles of friendship. i don’t even know why I get in trouble for being a chatterbox about friendship.”

so next time he gets sent to the safe seat, i guess he is just living out his principles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a new little lady

we are preparing for a new little lady around here. we thought she was coming this weekend as we spent 5 hours in the hospital going through the early stages of contractions -- and by that i mean somewhat painful -- but not anything like what is about to come. i didn't dilate past a 2 on my own and since she was only 38 weeks, they weren't going to intervene and put her under distress. they gave me a pain & sleeping med and sent me home to sleep through the contractions. since then they come and go -- sometimes they are painful and only minutes apart...sometimes i go hours without any. we have accepted that no matter how much she tries to trick us, she will come when she is ready.

amidst all the"is she coming? is she not coming?" we have been living in a state of chaos around here -- remodeling, deconstruction of old, new construction, tools in every room on every table, nails everywhere we step, construction workers here at 7:30am every morning. the mess that is our home combined with my maternal but ridiculous need to nest do not mix well. most of the time i am thankful we are able to remodel. sometimes i cry. sometimes i just ignore it and refuse to clean. either way, we have spent the past few days frantically trying to prepare brody's room & vivi's room the best we can before she arrives -- if you visit, however, don't mind the king size mattress on the nursery floor -- james & i have no where else to sleep for a few more weeks, deep sigh.

i wish i could show you pics of a finished nursery with a newborn sleeping in it...instead you get a teaser of my favorite things.

big brother tested out her crib for us. it worked perfectly until around 3am. seems about right.

i got this vintage frame down at west bottoms in kc for $3. repainted it with annie sloan paint then scuffed it up a bit. the cute fabric is leftover from her quilt.

i don't really know what he is. i think a teether? either way, he's sweet.

this frame is also from west bottoms. i painted with annie sloan chalk paint then waxed it. the print was the first thing we bought when we decided on her name.

vivi is named after my beautiful sister that was killed in a car accident -- karen eileen. karen just knew she would grow up to be a horse...i am not sure if that is possible but if it is, i hope vivi will grow up and do it for her.

my sweet friend stalked the colors of the nursery and picked out the fabric & stitching for this little elephant. he was made with love just for vivi and i couldn't love him more.

every baby girl needs some vintage friends.

this quilt is my very favorite thing. it took the girl about 2 months to make it but she let me pick out each piece of fabric myself so i couldn't complain...and thankfully the quilt arrived before the baby.

all set for her first trip to utah.

this giraffe just makes me laugh.

we started looking for a dresser this summer. we finally settled on an old vintage one at restoration emporium in west bottoms. thankfully i love it because my husband said we weren't leaving the store until i found one.

i didn't want her room to be pink but big brother did. pink it is.

another vintage frame. and more leftover fabric from her quilt.

hopefully soon i can update this blog with pictures of our little lady. and a complete nursery. and a family of four with no construction workers in the background.

Friday, July 6, 2012 many reasons to love him

brody beamed with pride the whole time...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

i neglect my poor little blog from time to time. a couple of different reasons, i suppose. but here goes some updated ramblings...

as we were sitting in our car last night waiting on our post-baseball game ice cream from sonic, james & i were talking about how annoying facebook has become. he then tells me that he has hidden all the crazy people (which, sadly, is more than 1/2 of them). an unconcerned brody instructed me to cover my ears and for james to whisper in his ear where he hid all the people. instead of explaining to brody something that he would never understand at this young age, he opted to tell him that he hid all the people in a cave in the mountains. (what??) now i am a little concerned that brody thought this was if it is normal for his step-dad to hide people in mountain caves. but instead of worrying about my criminal family, i am instead loving that brody protected my innocent ears from their crimes.

this was our 2nd week of baseball and not only does our lil guy love it but he's awesome. "this is my most favorite thing mom, my most favorite'ist in the world". watching you whack that ball is my most favorite thing in the world too, little buddy.

i should probably update you that we are having an itty bitty baby girl. brody prayed really hard for a sister that is 1/2 raccoon and 1/2 alien baby with three eyeballs...the sonogram lady, however, confirmed that she is indeed human. this was a relief to me as i was imagining that delivering a raccoon/alien baby might be more difficult than a human baby.

so a little girl was a shock to me. i am very nervous to be a momma to a girl because let's face it, you can really mess that up. while being confident, strong, smart, passionate, athletic and funny come very naturally to my boy...i anticipate having to teach these things to my little girl. how do you teach a little girl to have dignity? to have self worth? to really know who SHE is without the need for someone else to fulfill that for her? the value of an education? the importance of her independence? that although there is no doubt she will be beautiful that her intelligence is more powerful? at the age of 5, brody already knows these things...but will my girl? i hate the color pink. it's true. but that isn't why i didn't want a girl. the truth is i am scared that i won't know how to teach her these things.

this story was on the news last week. afterwards, i saw a post on facebook from a girl that lives in kc in complete shock that this would happen in her city. um, really? this happens every single day in our city. at operation breakthrough alone, they serve over 500 kids that live below poverty guidelines. 25% of these kids are homeless. 25% of them are in foster care. the other 50% are being raised by single moms that cannot escape the poverty they were born into. many of these kids come to school hungry and in filthy clothes. some of them  have visible marks of abuse and almost all of them have invisible marks of abuse. the waiting list has hundreds more kids on it, kids that will never get in and will instead continue the cycle of poverty and abuse. furthermore, did you know that "your perfect city" is one of the top cities in this country for child sex-slave trafficking? right here. in your city. still shocked?

step out of your happy bubble. God put you in this world to experience it, to help those that cannot help themselves, to open your eyes, to build your character. the world is not about being comfortable. spending hours and hours in the same church listening to the same message from the same pastors. it's about getting uncomfortable. stretching. changing. growing.

...bc while you were enjoying your comforts, a helpless 10 year old girl was locked in a closet in your city.

and i am happy to help you get uncomfortable, you can, here, or here...or check with your church to see where they donate their time and money. and if they don', you might question that.

so as i was saying earlier, facebook is driving me insane. like james, i have chosen to hide many people...the legal way, not in the mountain caves. as i stumble my way into Christianity with the help from my husband, my friends jodi & kim, our new church and my 5 year old Jesus lovin' boy...i am also finding that i have to protect my heart. i read things all the time that disagree with my own common sense and they were starting to make me question if Christianity is really a good fit for me. and while everyone has a reason why they post their religious beliefs and/or judgment out in the open for the world to see - for the unchurched, like myself, it makes us stumble back. so this is weighing heavy on my heart right now and my sweet husband is helping me work through it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

mom, my teachers said it's ok if if love dad & james more than you. and also God and Jesus.

ok, buddy. so i'm like 5th?

no actually you are like 10th bc i love josh & blake more too.

oh wow. ok.

and also evan. and grant. and hayden. and my soccer team but minus the girl.

alrighty then.

Monday, January 30, 2012

oh to see the world through his eyes...

mom, did you know poop is just leftover food that your body doesn't want? when my butt hurts that is how i know i am getting ready to poop a chicken out.

i think God made us out of play-dough. i am confused though because i've been trying to break myself and i won't break. so maybe i am made out of moon dough. it's harder than play-dough.

also, can i have a golden tooth? please? a golden one.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

dear 5 year old kaylen,

some day all the pieces will come together. you will have a perfect five year old boy that makes you laugh, makes you anxiously await his silly imaginative stories, makes you cry because you love him so much, makes you scared because you can't imagine what life would be like if he ever got hurt and turns you into the person you were meant to be, a mom.

you will be happily married. to a man that loves your son just as much as you do. when you are up late at night stressing about getting everything finished, he will help you. when you are juggling a stressful job, day care drop off and pick up, cooking dinner, doing laundry, giving baths, reading books and cleaning the house, he will stop what he is doing to say "what can I help you with?". he will respect you. love you. listen to you. cry with you. laugh with you. you will be in your 30's before you meet him. but don't change anything, ok? because everything you will learn leading up to him is what will make him so worth it.

you know that boy that lives out on the country road in a run-down house? the one that never has clean clothes, a coat or lunch money? don't let other kids tease him. say hi to him every single day. you are going to grow up and find out that his parents beat him, he's hungry and he has no friends. you have a loud enough voice to protect him. have the courage to.

in high-school, you will mistake boredom for inability. you will have a couple of great teachers but mostly not-so-great teachers. this will hurt you for many years but know you are very bright. don't let small-town teachers treat you otherwise. in college, you will prove to be a great student and go on to finish your master's degree with straight A's.

you will meet your life long friends in college. spend every second you can with them. these four years will never happen again. you will watch each other get married. have babies. hold each other up through divorces, financial struggles, sick babies, miscarriages, deaths. they will be there. every single time you need them.

in junior high, you will get into SO much trouble for sneaking out of a sleep over, driving a 4-wheeler down a gravel road to sneak into an all-boy-bon-fire-party. just go ahead and do it. you might think your world is over when your mom picks you up at midnight and doesn't speak to you all the way home...but the truth is that she thought it was funny.

you are going to be an awesome basketball player. your coach is going to really hurt you though and stubborn you will make him pay by quitting. don't. he didn't mean to hurt you. he's human. he made a mistake. forgive him instead.

your sister is going to be killed by a drunk driver. there isn't anything that you can do to change this but you can love her with all that you have until then. afterwards, you will carry a heavy & broken heart for many years. in your 30's you will finally have the clarity & maturity you need to grieve for her, honor her and love her.

don't give your mom a hard time. you think that she should be perfect but the truth is that she is a single mom of four children. she doesn't have time to be perfect. and let's be honest, you are a handful.

you know that teacher that opens all of the windows in the middle of the winter? she's stupid.

you have an amazing childhood. your only job right now is to be a kid. play basketball with the minor twins for hours at a time. climb on the roof of jennifer's house and giggle until your tummy hurts as her mom screams at you to climb back down. spend the night at april's house as many nights as possible. play kick-the-can with the neighborhood crowd until your parents force you home. build as many forts as possible on mr. pee wee's property -- even though you think he is going to shoot you, he doesn't really have a gun.

kristen is going to hate you for wearing her clothes all of the time and for never cleaning the bedroom you share. it's ok. the truth is she likes cleaning so she might as well do it. and her clothes? well, eventually she gets over it. when you are 15 you will visit her at mizzou and she will lose you. twice. no worries though, she finds you the next day. both times. the two of you will become so close that you can hardly separate yourselves from one another. she will become your best friend. the person you will share thousands of memories with. the person that listens. the person that is there. always.

you will fight christianity for a very long time. it's ok to not blindly believe. it's ok to push back. to ask questions. eventually though, your husband will be the one person that will help you understand. just wait for him.

read. all the time.
wear crooked pig tails.
always ask questions.
fight your mom on bedtime.
never trust anyone or anything unless it agrees with your own common sense.

most importantly, be a kid. you have a happy, wonderful life ahead of you.

(inspiration from my favorite blog - )