and then he was 1.

Hank turned 1 on the 11th. Yes, his birthday is 11/11, which I didn't even realize until days after his birth. We had some family and friends over. His party was laid back and fun, much like him. He's started walking short distances between objects/people. He loves his sister, being outside, and kefir (the only way to get him to sit still is to give him a big cup of kefir, it always buys me 5 minutes). He still feels very much like my baby, I have a feeling when April comes around I will be having a tougher time bumping him up to big brother status than he will. Basically, he is amazing. It's been such a joy to raise him, to see how alike and different he is than his sister. Both of them teach me different lessons daily and overflow my heart with love.


happiness is..

+ these folks. my big love. my smallest loves. 
+ collecting beautiful fall leaves for a project and Penny bringing me a nice, green redbud leaf she picked off a tree. it came with spiders on it. I had to laugh and be thankful I caught that before she shoved it in the bag with all the other leaves (and my car keys).
+ passionberry kombucha on special for half off at a local store. my pregnant body craves the carbonation.
+ an unexpected 5:30 nap from both kids yesterday thanks to daylight savings, which gave Bruce and I some unexpected quiet time together. worth the extremely late bedtime that followed.
+ waking up to the dog laid out across our feet on cold mornings. 
+ honeycrisp apples.
+ tiny kicks from my womb baby. this one made me wait the longest to feel it move.

linked up with november prompt-a-day.



my first. my Penny. her signature grump face isn't fooling me, she is one happy (albeit very serious) kid. I know everyone thinks their child is special (and I wouldn't argue that they aren't), this girl surprises me every day at just how wonderful she is. this prompt for 'first' couldn't of come at a better time, last night Bruce and I were in tears over this girl. a neighbor we hadn't officially met, just seen down the street, had a special halloween bag made up for this girl because she sees us outside a lot and just thinks Penny is so wonderful. (and yes it could of been completely creepy, but it was a sweet lady who reminded me of my mom and her bag was filled with coloring books not homemade, poisoned treats). at another house, a lady answered the door and addressed Penelope by name; I was so confused, until she reminded me that we had met at a coffee shop a few months back. Penny came up to play with her nephew, and we realized we lived a few blocks over from each other. she then told us her friend who was with her at the coffee shop, who was pregnant with a little girl, decided to name her daughter Penelope after our little girl. sometimes it's nice to get that confirmation that your child isn't just special to you, and that her joy is contagious. 

when we got home and she checked out all the candy, she said we should all share. we don't have to ask her to share or be nice or speak her mind, she simply does those things, and she inspires me every day.

(I've decided to join up with the november prompt-a-day)


pumpkin patch.

This is the first year we've gone to a pumpkin patch that wasn't in a parking lot of a church. Not that I didn't want to take Penny and didn't think she would like it, but we do things last minute style around here and the church down was the close. My local cloth diaper group had planned an outing for last night and Penny was obsessed with the idea of seeing farm animals AND pumpkins, so we decided to head on out. It was a 30 minute drive out there which felt like 3 hours to my girl. She is generally pretty patient on car rides but every 5 minutes she wanted to know when we would be there.

I will admit that when we arrived I was irritated. It was busy, I wanted a decent picture of all of us in the beautiful evening light, but Penny wanted to feed the animals until the sun was almost gone. I forget I have to let go of all expectations if I want to have fun with my family. My controlling side can rear it's ugly head and ruin the evening. I was able to realize this part of the way through and chill out. Fudge helped. Maple pecan fudge to be specific. 

Yesterday also marked Hank turning 11 months old. We are on the countdown to 1 now. It feels so surreal. 


(last) october.

These pictures are all from last fall, seeing as we are still waiting on fall to get here. We've had highs in the 80's and the air conditioner has been on more than I can stand. I have to remind myself that the leaves will eventually change colors, the temperature will come down, and the windows will be opened without the husband complaining about it being too hot. In the mean time, I will stare at these pictures and pretend.



I am not a graceful person. In any aspect of my life. Especially this parenting gig. I find myself stumbling a lot as they get older. Their needs are constantly changing and it's a job in itself to keep up with it all. Sometimes the tension builds up. My voice is not always calm and I am not always understanding, despite wanting to be so badly. It can end ugly. Tears from everyone and just a sour mood. Or, I can let it go. I can simply let it be and take it for what it is: a learning process. It's much easier said than done, but once I let everything go, it really feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I hope I remember this next time we have an off day.

I woke up before the kids so I could go through pictures from recently and now I can't stop smiling. These small moments are worth every ounce of pain. The third one down, of Hank and our dog, that was a frustrating moment. I was trying to take pictures of Hank since he was 9 months old and Bear kept playing with him. Then Hank kept crawling away. I finally gave up trying to get him to sit how I wanted him too, and the moments that followed were beautiful. A boy enjoying his dog is a wonderful thing. 


here we go again.

top: Penelope and I right after she was born
bottom: Hank and I right after his birth

I have two amazing children. They had equally amazing births, both at home but both as unique as them. Penelope took her time, days in fact, and quietly entered this world to stare up at me first thing. She is my slow one who takes her time in everything she does. She is careful. I've never worried about her shoving something in her mouth that she wasn't supposed to. We didn't bother covering up the electrical sockets, because she stayed far away from them. She didn't talk much at all until she was 2, then she started as if she had been doing it her whole life. I think she was waiting until she knew she had it perfected. She is my careful, calculating one.

Hank on the other hand is so different. He is my all or nothing guy. He's happy, but then he is not, and he is vocal about it. He came into this world much faster than his sister. The pain during my entire labor was much, much more intense. It only took a handful of pushes to get him out. He was crying before he completely left my body. He didn't want to nurse at first, then when he wanted to he was on there for a good 45 minutes. I had to pull him off so I could get up to use the restroom. It's true he is the happiest baby I have ever seen. He smiles at anyone and everything. But if he is tired or, heaven forbid, I leave the room, he lets you know about it. There is no middle ground. He is much more fearless than his sister too. Everything goes to his mouth and he pulls up on the most unstable things (on it has wheels? let's stand up there!). 

I love them both to pieces. I love seeing how different they are, trying to figure out their own individual needs. I feel like I'm just now getting the hang of it. I thought that these two might be it for me. I wanted more, but Bruce didn't want to try for another. He always said "if it's meant to be, it'll just happen". I thought that was just a bunch of bull. I guess not, because it did just happen.

A third and (presumably) finale sibling will be here in the spring. I am so excited to be able to add another person to our family and learn all of their quirks and personality traits. I am excited to go through the birthing process all over again. I am happy Penny and Hank will have another best friend. 

But I will admit I am scared. We got pregnant back in July 2011, and lost that baby at 11.5 weeks. The fact that this baby and that one have the same due date has me slightly freaked out. Part of me thinks I am doomed, while the other part thinks maybe this is just another way to help me heal. I will finally get my spring baby (as long as nothing goes wrong this time either, but everything seems to be just fine). We were also not planning on having another one so soon. I had to laugh at all the people who said "oh I didn't know you were trying for another!". There was no trying involved, just one night of not really caring and my extremely fertile uterus. My first reaction to seeing those 2 lines was "but I already have a baby!". Bruce's reaction was "how did that happen?!" (needless to say it clicked for him quickly, we didn't have to have the birds and the bees conversation). 

The fact is our kids will be close. I will not have to unpack my cloth diapers and nursing bras, because they're still in use. I will not have to mourn the loss of sleep since Hank still wakes up multiple times a night. I will get a chance to tandem nurse. We will have another baby to share our love with. We will have another son or daughter- and that is the most exciting thing in the world.


life gives you want you need.

(I really do believe that statement. Even when things are terrible and never seem like they're going to get better, the experience leaves you with a wealth of knowledge. I might be one of those people who needs to believe it, and that's okay with me too).

I've been in a funk the last couple weeks. I haven't felt completely like myself or motivated at all. Plans we've made are so vague right now. Bruce has been in the processes to get onto the fire department, but we learned if he makes it through his final interview the academy doesn't start until next fall. That's a lot of waiting for two impatient people. Money is tight too, which just exacerbates any situation. I had another babysitting gig lined up, something I felt I needed to do since I quit last year when Hank was born. A few days ago I found out that wasn't happening. It was hurtful in the way I found out, since the person didn't bother to call me at all yet told a mutual friend, and I dwelled on it for days. It did me no good. The realization finally hit me last night that I should just pursue what I've always wanted to do, which is photography. I have to get over my socially awkwardness to talk to people, though, and quit doubting myself. Two very big things for me. It makes me anxious and want to shut down just thinking about it, but I know it's what I need to do. That realization came after some other big news that made me completely snap out of my rut, but I'll share that at a later date. I'm not quite ready yet.

These pictures are from Sunday night. I was hesitant to leave the house the other night, it was getting late and the kids were tired, yet Bruce insisted we go down to the river to see some friends. I was sure I would be annoyed and want to leave immediately. Turns out, it was just what I needed. I was able to relax, enjoy being outside (without getting eaten alive by mosquitos), and the kids were fantastic. Funny how that happens.


before the storm.

The pictures for this post would of had a different title, except it stormed last night and ripped my poor yard apart. We went outside the other night after dinner and fought through the heat and mosquitos to really enjoy the evening. I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, so I took my camera out and snapped away. It felt so good. I miss it.

(I didn't realize the slide was so close to the trash can. Oops. At least it was mostly empty).

Hank was there too, just hiding behind mama.

These pictures make me happy. It was a good evening. But that trash can that snuck into the picture and those tall, beautiful sunflowers? Knocked over. The corn Penny planted in the front yard was leveled too. The slide? Slammed into my new car. Yes, a new car! (A Mazda 5 that I really love. Enough room to grow it but still feels like a car and not a dreaded mini van).

Luckily the slide didn't do any damage to the car. It just looks really messy outside. My garden in the back might be a goner. A piece of siding fell off the house on to my herb but they're fine. The corn/lettuce/squash is just flattened. I'm hoping my zucchini will bounce back, it looks the best of all, but the corn is just broken. I don't remember it ever storming that bad in the summer. I'm the only one of my friends/family with power that I know of, and for that I am so thankful. I will take pictures of the aftermath today to compare. 

Now I'm off to finish sewing the blanket I started for Hank awhile ago. I can never finish these kinds of projects before my kids are born. Yet, they do get done eventually. 


welcome, summer.

I'm just now realizing this blog has been collecting dust since April. What in the world happened? It doesn't feel like it's been that long.

We are now deep into summer here in Oklahoma. Hot days with thick, humid air. It's not pretty. I took the kids to my grandparents house yesterday and we arrived as a big, sweaty mess. And yes, my car does have air conditioning. And the drive was only 2.5 miles. But the heat is so oppressive, you just can't escape it. It cools down some in the evening, but the mosquitos come out in droves. It's cruel.

We've still been having fun this summer. My mom bought a swing set for her yard and had Bruce and his dad put it together. That was almost a disaster, but it finally got put together and someone is pretty happy about it. (Note to everyone: don't try to put together a swing set in 100 degree heat or have your father-in-law help if he is anti-instructions. It's ugly). We've been to the aquarium, on movie dates, and spent plenty of time exploring on the slightly cooler days. 

We've also been dreaming a lot. When a dream hits me, it sucks out all of my energy until I feed it. We're making changes to plan for the future we want, we've had multiple nights of staying up until 4am talking it out. I can't explain the feeling of your spouse supporting your dreams, and you theirs, but it really is an incredible feeling. I hope the next few months unfold how we are hoping (and working oh so hard to make possible).