Sunday, December 22, 2013

on dancing with my 2 year old

Max and I have this silly “I love you” exchange that we do. As verbal of a child as he is, it was a long time before he ever said “I love you” to me. The first time he said it I was so surprised and happy that he thought it was funny. So now (often) when he says “I love you” I pretend to be shocked and delighted and then I say it right back to him at which time he giggles and yells “I love you” even louder. This can go on forever (including the escalating volume), but is absolutely adorable (at least if you’re his mom;).

I have several unspoken “principles” for myself as a parent. One is to apologize to my son(s) when I know I am wrong or have overreacted even if he won’t understand. Another is to drop everything (if at all possible) and read to him when he asks and another is to answer his questions as honestly and completely as I can for his level (this could lead to interesting conversations in the future:). Also, when he asks to dance, we dance. If you know me well at all, this may be hard to envision, but we have some pretty rockin’ dance parties around here on a semi regular basis.:) They’re good for the soul. Trust me.

Saturday night we were at a wedding reception and as the dance floor opened up I asked Max if he wanted to dance with one of his aunts and he said: “No, I will dance with Mommy.” Public dancing is not my thing (shocker, I know;) so I asked if he was sure and told him we couldn’t dance like we do at home because it was too wild. He was sure. He hopped off my lap and led the way to the dance floor. I picked him up and we danced. He wrapped his arms around my neck and I kissed his cheek and he kissed mine. I whispered: “I love you” in his ear and he whispered it back. When I looked at him in mock surprise he threw back his head with a grin and yelled “I love you!”. When the 2 year old asks you to dance, you dance.

photo credit goes to my sister-in-law, Christy

Monday, May 20, 2013

the way Max sees it

Tonight Max looked up at the half moon in the dusky sky and quite seriously and with a touch of concern yelled: "Oh no! The moon broken!" Apparently he prefers a full moon.:) I love his perspective.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


It passed with little fanfare, but Luke and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on March 9th. Since it was just over a week after Everett's birth, going out wasn't much of an option, but my awesome Mom who had been staying with us fixed Luke and me a lovely dinner in before leaving that evening. We also got a little board gaming in that evening. One of the many reasons I love Luke is that he knows getting me a new board game as an anniversary gift is perfect.:)

As I sat down to dinner, Luke told me I had a sticker on my neck. I laughed, removed the Thomas the Tank Engine sticker and realized how indicative it was of the stage of life we are in right now. What a challenging, wonderful, beautiful six years it has been. I feel extremely blessed to have Luke as my partner in this life and that we get to parent these 2 adorable little boys.

Monday, March 11, 2013

we are now a family of 4!

On Friday, March 1st at 7:51 a.m. we welcomed Everett Archer into our family. What a beautiful, tiny little addition he is!:) He weighed in at just 5 lbs. 13 oz. and was 19.25" long (for those keeping track, that's about a full 3 lbs. less and 2 in. shorter than his brother was:). I ended up having a scheduled c-section. Due to my previous birth experience (something I hope to never repeat) and the fact that I could not be induced again, I opted to have a c-section on the calendar and just try for a vbac if I went into labor before that. I trusted that God knows best, so when the date arrived and there were still minimal signs of him coming naturally, I felt very at peace with our decision. When it turned out that Everett had the cord wrapped twice around his neck and for various other reasons, my doctor and I both felt that we had made the right choice.

 Everett ready to go home (although he wet through this outfit before we made it out the door:)

Recovery has been about a million times easier than last time, which I am very thankful for. Everett is an awesome baby. He eats and sleeps well and although he lost 8 oz. in the hospital, within 3 days of being home he had surpassed his birth weight. So far he is a very chill kiddo.:) Mom stayed with us the first week, cooking and cleaning and helping out some with Max and it was a tremendous blessing! It was great having her around and it made the transition easier since I didn't have to think about staying on top of laundry and dishes etc. Luke is also has 2 weeks off, which I (and Max:) am loving!

We are enjoying getting to know our little guy and it's fun to see Max as an older brother. He loves Everett so much. Subconsciously we can tell that Max feels the difference. He's had a shorter fuse and has acted out a bit more than usual, but overall he is doing well with the change and each day he seems to acclimate even more. He is very cute with Everett and frequently asks to hold him and attempts to share cars and trains with him. They will be good buddies in no time.:) Life is good and I feel so blessed that I get to be the mommy to these 2 little boys!

a recent Max pic:)

Monday, February 25, 2013

One way or the other...

I'm meeting my youngest son this week! I'm excited to meet the little buster; he's been doing some serious acrobatics these last several weeks and at this point I'd prefer this be happening on the outside than the inside.:) Can't wait to see his little face!

Friday, February 15, 2013

another Max anecdote

I don't want to forget these funny little moments and this seems like a good way to help remember them.:)
The other day Max and I were getting ready to go run an errand and I told him that we needed to put some letters in the mail box on our way out. He promptly ran over to the refrigerator and began removing his letter magnets from the fridge to take out to the mail box.:)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

he is his father's son

The other morning after Max got up I asked him whether he wanted cereal or eggs for breakfast. He said: "Sausage. Please?" I couldn't help but indulge him. He had sausage with a side of eggs.:)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Life as we know it...

Things are about to change drastically around here. Baby boy #2 is just weeks away from his arrival. I'll admit to being both incredibly excited and somewhat anxious.:) I'm loving the stage that Max is at and feel like life has rhythm and somewhat of a routine. I'm prepared for routine to go out the window and to spend some time creating a new normal.

Max is rapidly closing in on 2 years old and I can hardly remember life without him!:) The boy talks pretty much constantly. We have actual conversations these days and there are no more quiet car trips. It's funny to listen to him in the other room playing as he talks to his cars and trains and keeps me apprised of what is happening. He is currently running his car down a ramp and declaring "nice!" when it reaches then end. He has taken a keen interest in his colors, which naturally makes my artist heart happy.:) Most of his toy cars are now prefaced and referred to with a color attached to them and bedtime is usually accompanied by a request for "green car" and "red car" to sleep with him. He also loves coloring with crayons-- although we have had a few incidents including writing on the wall, table and floor...:) He is fascinated by animals of all kinds and has nailed down most of their sounds. It cracks me up to see him develop opinions about things; he now has favorite shows on netflix. Some of which are more bearable than others.:) He loves "Thomas the Tank Engine" and somehow knows the names to at least 5 or 6 of the engines without having seen all that much of it. As a parent I have to say the most enjoyable kids show out there is "Shaun the Sheep". If you have young kids and need something that won't make you go crazy, you should check it out. That's my parenting tip for you.:)

Max recently met his cousin Emmi (my sister and brother-in-law just adopted her from China) who is just a couple months older than he is. He is pretty excited about her and most days tells me that he hugged and kissed Emmi.:) He seems to be somewhat in denial about the impending arrival of his baby brother. We talk to him about it and he has friends who have baby siblings that he is interested in, but if we ask if he's ready for baby brother we typically get an emphatic "no!". Hopefully he will acclimate quickly.:) He is so much fun and I love seeing how quickly he learns things and how much he loves life. Here are a couple recent-ish pics (I promise he does wear things besides pajamas!:):

 As far as the rest of life goes, we enjoyed a nice Christmas and New Year with family. This has been quite the year. Lots of great things mixed in with some sadness. As I mentioned in my previous post, the year started off with the death of my maternal grandparents, the year also brought the suspected diagnosis of Parkinson's in my Dad. My sister and brother-in-law's move to Colorado is also sad for me, although I am happy for the opportunity for them! We are thankful that amidst the challenges, God also blessed us greatly this year. We have a house, another little boy on the way and I was able to leave my job over the summer in order to be home with Max and to focus more on my art. We also had the privilege of being able to help fund raise and prepare for my niece to come home from China! Had I been working, I would not have been able to participate in the same way.

We are slowly getting things in order around the house and trying to finish up preparations. I found out I was pregnant very shortly after our move, so there was a lot that just didn't get accomplished. I'm thankful for the nesting instinct that comes in the third trimester.:) I finally got some of the motivation and energy I needed to get things done! Luke has a had a few holidays too, which has helped. We both do so much better working on big projects together and it has been rewarding to get some things under control. We love having a house of our own. It's not without its challenges and frustrations, but we are really happy with our home and our location.

We also finally decided on a baby name. That's big news around here as it obviously took some time. It is of course subject to change, but we are 98% sure we know his name.:) Life as we know it is definitely about to change, but we are excited about meeting little buster and being a family of 4!