February 26, 2013

car wash

when it comes to being a mom, there is nothing so good for your self-esteem as having a one year old boy. you are an absolute rock star in his eyes, his one and only, his true love. it's the best.
but time goes on and one year olds turn into two year olds. even if two happens to be the best age yet (and it is!), mamas aren't quite the center of the universe as they once were. 
because little boys discover that they have dadas. really, really awesome dadas. 
dadas who play every single sport, who wrestle, throw tennis balls against the side of the house, who make up silly games, and are waaaaay better at bath time than the mama. 
everything tovi does cruz wants to do too. and i don't even mind, because aside from having a clean car, tovi is the best dad i could imagine. 

February 21, 2013

how to welcome a little sister

when it comes to welcoming a new baby into our home, i'm not too worried about it. we have an infant car seat (it's totally a boy color, but whatever), someone will set up the pack-n-play, and if need be, we can pick up a pack of newborn-sized diapers on the drive home from the hospital. she will be fine.

but when it comes to welcoming a new baby into our family, i have two major worries. 
ok, three major worries, but one has to do with nursing and simultaneously participating in the sun-up-to-sun-down basketball practice schedule cruz has been insisting on lately. i'm sure we'll work that one out.

no, these two fears are major mama-heart fears, and i know in my head that it will all be fine, so i'm letting you in on them now so that in four months you can say, "i told you so. see, it all worked out."

fear number one: i love cruz with my whole heart. these last two years have been infinitely precious to me. no one on the planet or in the history of humankind knows him better than i do. i mean, that is amazing, isn't it? it is an awesome and overpowering feeling. he is everything to me. that i love him isn't even something i can conceive of or quantitate because he is just part of me. my whole heart for my whole life. etc. how can i possibly bring in another child to this family and ever love them as much as i love cruz?

fear number two: i am crazy about my little girl. when she starts bouncing around in my tummy, it's like the world shifts and i must pay attention. i can't wait to hold her in the new morning light of the hospital and tell her, "you. you. we prayed for you to come and join our family. God turned our mourning into laughter with you." i can't wait to hold her and do tummy time and sweet newborn baths and snuggles... and what if in all that love, i start to love her too much and leave cruz behind?

i know God works a miracle in our mama hearts. i've already had it happen once. but sometimes i can't believe that i get to have this much love in my life. 

February 20, 2013

what {we} wore on wednesday

oh wednesday, wednesday. today started like all the other days of the last few weeks-- with a small child begging to go outside and play basketball.
the fact that he's wearing christmas jams in february really adds a certain something, don't you think? i am not kidding you, these jams were huge on cruz in december. he's growing like a weed!  i guess all that costco oatmeal is really doing it's job.
honestly, i would have kept him in his pjs all day (that's how i was feeling about today), but we had errands to run, and the thought of taking him to trader joe's in christmas pjs was just too much. 
so i got him dressed. but me? oh no. sweatshirt i slept in. filthy yoga pants. unwashed face. as i knew would happen, obviously i ran into a friend, but fortunately it was ashley s who i'm guessing understands pretty well. we need friends that force us to get dressed, and we also need those friends that will embrace you in your mess. 
and cruz looked super cute!
he even figured out how to make the outfit better. 
 here's how the bump and i have been dressing!

 + major haircut! i've had the same haircut for the last ten years and i've been itching for a change. finally my best friend andrea said, "it's just hair. it grows back." she's always doing new and adorable things to her own hair, and it was beyond time to listen to her advice. 
+ sweatpants are really the only option once i'm done for the day. since there are still fifteen weeks to go (these pics go up to 24 weeks, but today is week 25), i think i'll be in a sorry state by the end of this pregnancy.

+ when i was pregnant with cruz, my belly button popped out one day when i sneezed too hard. this one slowly but surely made an appearance. are babies really that desperate for space that they need even our belly button spaces?

on my wishlist for baby girl:
this headband is from little hip squeaks and it makes me want to die from cuteness. 
well, that's all the wednesday i've got left in me.

February 18, 2013

dear mom on your iphone

"dear mom on your iphone..."

i can't tell you how many preachy blog posts i've seen floating around the internet that start this way. and do you know what? each one makes me so. mad. but i'm trying to do this thing where i don't just get mad and rant about something (even if that rant just stays in my head), but i really wanted to figure out why this made me so mad (and not just defensive) and then speak life into it.


here we go.

these "mom on your iphone" posts give us the impression that we're squandering away our children's precious moments. that our faces are glued to a tiny screen while the kids are delighting in nature, making magical memories, or are generally deprived of our attention. sure, that might be true -- i know i can use the reminder--, but i don't think it's a message that moms alone need to hear. i think all of us can stand to be a little more unplugged. my friend sarah and i recently made a pact to take some of our social networking apps off our phones (me: facebook and twitter), and honestly it's been awesome! my phone feels way less important than it once did (reality check: it's only been like five days, so ask me again in three weeks), and i've gone whole days without checking facebook. it feels like freedom, like i'm back in 2002. like the writers of these posts, i totally get annoyed when i'm with a friend who is constantly checking her phone; it makes me feel unimportant and that our coffee date/shopping trip/conversation after church is a waste of all our time. i know i've been guilty of this too, and i don't want my friends (or my son) to feel this way. so let's unplug a little.

but here's the thing-- sarah is one of my best friends, and when we challenge each other like this, it's in the context of years and years of friendship and honesty. it's not a blanket statement made by someone who knows nothing about my life or your life. it might be time to unplug yourself from your phone or to challenge a friend to do the same, but let's say those things in love and friendship to each other and in the context of our own situations, not the world at large.

next problem: we're seemingly missing our children's childhoods while on our phones at the park. oh, if only more sociologists were mommy bloggers! this upperclass american view of childhood as a precious, precious commodity that must not be missed even for a moment is a relatively new and localized concept. do you think ma ingalls worried about delighting in mary, laura, and baby carrie's every twirl and spin? no! she was churning butter and stuffing her own straw mattresses. the girls were playing with corncobs wrapped in flannel and happy to be doing it. and she was a good mom! we need to relieve ourselves of the pressure that every moment of our children's lives must be perfectly choreographed and attended to. do you know what happens to kids whose every move is paid attention to and greeted with delight? they turn out to be insufferable adults. let's not do that to our kids. i firmly believe that it is so healthy for our children to develop a sense of independence and the ability to entertain themselves (as developmentally appropriate, etc). cruz is regularly sent outside in our backyard to play alone (i'm watching from the kitchen window! don't worry!). he loves it! he's happy, content, safe, and as he gets older, he's going to be able to cope with independence.

do you know what else is healthy? giving yourself a moment. while your kid is happily playing in the sandbox, take a minute. decompress. for the sake of your family and your own sanity, sit still and catch up with a friend (in person or on the phone). motherhood can be exceedingly lonely. we have no coworkers to chat with or commiserate with during the day and i think that facebook has become the stay-at-home mom's water cooler. use it. would you like to check the headlines on your npr app? girlfriend, you go right ahead. feel like an adult for a minute.

and i think that brings me to the crux of why this mom-on-mom judgement bugs me so much. it's not that those blog posts themselves are wrong, but the comments i see afterwards do nothing to make the world a better place. for every blog post calling out the mom on her phone at the park, there are a hundred comments that start with, "it makes me so mad when i see a mom..." or "you wouldn't believe what i saw one mom do..." so here's our opportunity to speak life instead of judgement. when i see a mom doing whatever i don't agree with (unless it's unsafe, abusive, etc), i need to remember that i am only seeing a snapshot of her life. a fleeting moment. who am i to judge that? and who are you? we all do weird stuff that someone else wouldn't agree with. being a mom is hard and complex and crazy enough without adding an additional layer of judgement from each other. let's be kind and gentle. let's reach out. let's speak life.

February 11, 2013

soccer practice

if you hadn't already guessed, we are very serious about soccer around here. very. in the backyard, tovi set up a soccer goal for cruz and a blue "x" on the ground so that he can practice his free kicks (watch him in action here). cruz oh so carefully sets the ball up on the x, winds up with his left foot (always the left foot-- this kid's gonna be a star), and kicks a goal. he's surprisingly accurate, which is lucky for us because he's also a perfectionist. if he doesn't score, the tears come pretty fast and furious. i don't like to fail either, so i understand. but cruz is a better person than me, and he keeps fighting through the tears and the slump and keeps on playing. that's just the meaty stuff of parenting right there-- encouraging him to press on in the face of defeat when all i want to do is make it easier for him. i want to prevent those tears at all costs, and yet, tovi was wise to put the x back far enough that it would be a challenge. i am so glad that we're parenting this kid together. 

February 8, 2013

the things we're into lately

it's almost the weekend, which means that it's time for laying around the house, cleaning the house, seeing friends, planning the next week, and all the other good things that weekends are for. i hope your's is lovely. here's what we've been into lately:

+ something kind of unnecessary that i want for the house: fridge coasters. so cute, right?

+ something i want to make this weekend: DIY chalkboard (dreaming big, i know)

+ something we're really into reading: frog and toad are friends. tovi thinks these books are boring, but i think they're clever and sweet. cruz loves them. so i win.

+ a post that made me say, "eschet chayil!": I Am Damaged Goods. i love sarah bessey's writing, and this piece was beautiful and brave. i loved the take-away of it-- there is nothing about us that God cannot redeem.

+ a video that made me cry: jj heller - who you are. one of my favorite authors and future best friends (right??) shauna niequist posted this video and i instantly became a fan.

+ something really delicious: creamy maple dressing. the first time i made this dressing, tovi paused and asked that we have a moment of silence for its goodness. we're kind of obsessed.

+ the etsy shop i'm ordering our baby bedding from: iviebaby. and you would too, right? so sweet and modern.

+ what's putting me on my high horse these days: hating on the "mom on your iphone." i've read several blog posts with this theme, and they make me mad every time. there's a post about it brewing in my mind, but it's not that grace-filled yet, so i'm not ready to write it. maybe next week?

+ what cruz prays for every night: "thank you God for bowling." that's the good stuff right there.

February 6, 2013

what he wore on wednesday

good morning, cruz-man! is it a little early for pictures?
it was so sunny and warm(er) today that at one point we just ran out of the house for a quick walk around the neighborhood. it wasn't planned and we didn't really have time for it, but suddenly there we were, outside. sometimes you just have to obey the spirit and go.
 cruz was rocking his tool shirt and red shoes today. 
 and this was the moment that cruz spotted the garbage truck. joy, pure joy. 
 so we stopped awhile to watch them work. meet cruz, your friendly neighborhood supervisor. 
cruz has been growing like a weed lately. clothes that he received as christmas presents that were supposed to last all year fit him perfectly. doesn't he look like a real big kid here? i know when the baby comes he'll look so grown up.
speaking of baby...
... my cousin thais sent us this precious outfit. she's the mom of two girls, so she knows her way around dresses and bows. honestly, that cardigan is the size of my hand. who remembered that babies start so small? (and yes, for those of you keeping score at home, this means that 100% of baby girl's outfits are blue-and-white striped. we're going to keep it that way, right?)
here's how i'm dressing the bump these days:

 a few notes on maternity dressing this week:
+ i am getting very tired of my clothes and am also resisting the urge to buy too much more
+ when i was pregnant with cruz, i feel like my non-maternity shirts took me much further into my pregnancy, but these days they aren't really cutting it
+ good thing i have three pairs of tory burch flats because apparently i wear them everyday. worth. every. penny. 
+ we are officially in "outie" zone!

happy wednesday!

February 3, 2013

simplify saturday

on friday morning, cruz and i both woke up cranky and feeling yucky. our moods didn't improve as the day went on, and i was really feeling the burden of tovi leaving on friday night for a weekend conference. 

we needed a reset, quick, before our weekend alone turned into a disaster.

as he was leaving, tovi pulled me into a hug and gave me this incredibly needed reminder:
you are pregnant. you are growing a baby right now. your body is spending all of its energy and brainpower growing our girl, and if you're not at the top of your game right now, you need to accept that. 

hard to hear, but so true. 
i cancelled all of our weekend plans and decided that my job as mama of this family was to slow us down and only make choices that would {speak life} to us, even if it was just for one day.

we cleaned to the sounds of brazilian jazz. we played in the backyard for hours. we sat on the neighbor's front lawn to watch some construction. baths were given midday. so many cupcakes were eaten.

and at the end of it, i felt rested and well. i felt ready for the week ahead. slowing down and taking a sabbath and giving God glory in the midst of it was downright worshipful. so i just went with it. after all, God has given me this home as a sphere of influence. i can be the queen, the ceo, the captain of the ship, the shepherd. and on saturday, me and my little sheep needed a rest. 
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