How Little Boys Play Candyland

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lucas is just recently getting into playing games. He has always loved puzzles and books and, of course, his cars and trains. But he is starting to love board games like Hi-Ho Cherry-O and Candyland and Rummikub. This past weekend, I came into the living room to find him playing Candyland by himself with his army men as the pieces. He wasn't so much playing the game as he was using the board as a battlefield and a stage for his VERY active imagination. Some of the men were camped out in the chocolate swamp waiting to attack the battalion that was moving out of peppermint forest. But to make it even funnier, he was using the jack hammer from a Bob the Builder game as a machine gun and was knocking all the men over with it. When I asked him what was going on, he said "These men are trying to save Queen Snowflake from the evil witch (Mrs. Peanut Brittle) but the witch's men are hiding in the chocolate lake having a snack so they'll have more energy to fight. That is why I have to knock them over with the jack hammer. They are stuck and can't move 'cuz the chocolate is sticky and they ate so much their bellies are too full. So the good guys are gonna come and shoot them with their candy canes." Makes sense, right?!
Candyland... little boy style!

For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

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Fall, Fabulous Fall!!

>> Monday, September 28, 2009

This is one of the few times of year that I LOVE living in Chicagoland and don't ask myself everyday why I don't live at the beach. Fall is so beautiful here. I love the crisp air, the cozy feeling you get when you wear a hoodie or soft sweatshirt, being able to sleep with the window open, the leaves, the pumpkins, ... I love it!!
Here are some recent pics of the beginnings of our fall-fun! Hope you and your fam are enjoying the change of season too.

Apple picking today with our best-est buds! It was a nice fall day but quite blustery!

Lucas picking an apple. He picked a couple and even ate one as he walked through the orchard. So classic! :)

Caden getting into the apple-picking spirit!

A family fall hike at the Morton Arboretum last weekend.

The boys playing on Big Rock (such a creative name, eh?)

Mommy and the boys (BTW- I am wearing one of my newest slings. You gotta check out my new fabrics. They are so fabulous!)

The boys holding hands as we walk through the zoo. This happened totally organically, no prodding from mom. Lucas loves to be with Caden (even if he is a bit rough at times) and I love seeing them bond with each other.

And there is more fun to come...

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Happy Babywearing Week!

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

Hey y'all! It's International Babywearing Week! Hooray!!

To celebrate, I thought I might share some of my most recent babywearing pics. If you are posting something similar, please leave me a comment so I can come over and check out your babywearing cute-ness too!

At the Florida Gator's game last week. Caden was SO exhausted and fell asleep nursing in the sling. He is 13months and 26lbs. and can still nurse cradle-style in the sling on the go. Even at a football game, in the rain, in front of 90,000 people. :)

At the circus a few weeks ago. Caden sat in the sling for most of the second half. I got several comments from people about Caden being so content in the sling for so long. I guess that happens when he has been worn almost every day of his life so far!

At the Illinois Railway Museum for a Day Out with Thomas

My sweet little niece (and my sweet sister-in-law) enjoying their first ever sling cuddles! Hopefully they have many more to come.

Lucas wanted to wear his brother in the sling. We first tried his doll sling but Caden was WAY too big. So Lucas decided to use mine. He had a hard time standing and keeping his balance with Caden strapped to his body. But that didn't stop him. The two boys just sat in the hallway, Lucas wearing Caden in the sling. Talk about making this babywearing-mama's heart swell with pride! :)

This season of my motherhood journey has been all about transition and learning to accept myself and my family for who we are and not who I (or others) think we should be. And through this process, I am realizing more and more how grateful I am for the bond I have with my boys- a bond that has been greatly enhanced through babywearing. Lucas still asks to get in the sling now and then. And I am happy to oblige for as long as he'll let me. I love having them so close, their heads in the perfect postition for me to rest my cheek or give them a sweet kiss. I cherish my babywearing moments with my boys and I won't be giving it up until they don't fit anymore or they go off to college, whichever comes first. :)

Happy Babywearing Week! Cuddle those babies!!

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At the Swamp

>> Saturday, September 12, 2009

Today I am checking something off my life's bucket list - you know, that list of things you must do before you die. Today, my family (minus Hubby) and I are at a Gator game at the Swamp! Not only that, but some alumni friends got us the tickets and are helping us get to the front of the line for the GatorWalk (when the players arrive at the stadium to get ready for the game). I am SO hoping to shake Tebow's hand or have him give Lucas a high-five! Truthfully, I am pretty happy just to be able to see him with my own eyes and watch him play a home game. I have been to the Swamp before but never to a game there. This is truly a once in a lifetime thing for me (or maybe not, hopefully not!). But even if I get back to the Swamp sometime, it wouldn't be with Tebow so this is just so amazing. For you non-football people, sorry to ramble on. I just really love my Gators and really love Tim Tebow! You'll never find a more quality guy than Timmy! And he just so happens to be one of the best college football players ever.

Go Gators!!

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370 days

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

Caden and his new cousin Emilee are exactly 370 days apart. I knew babies changed a lot that first year but these pictures put it all into perspective for me. Look how big he is next to her!! He's walking all over and can say about a dozen words. All that happens in less than 370days. Wow! Pretty surreal. My baby is not so much a baby anymore. But he's still so stinkin' cute!!

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Transitioning to Whatever is Next

>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It has been a big week around here.

Lucas started school. Yes, my baby is now in school. I haven't had to drop-and-go yet... that starts tomorrow. But Tuesday was the first actual session of preschool. The parents got to stay the first day, to help the transition for the moms the kids. We had a fun morning of checking out all the fun stuff preschool has to offer. Lucas didn't want to leave at the end so hopefully that bodes well for his first solo-day tomorrow.
I am truthfully not looking forward to leaving him. I am sure he will do fine. I, on the other hand, will be obsessively watching the clock 'til time to go pick him up. I will eventually adjust too, it just may take a couple drop-offs. :)
My most emotional moment on Tuesday came when we all went outside for some playtime. Lucas saw a pinwheel in the toy basket. He immediately went over and picked it up and stuck it in the ground. "This is what we do at the cemetery, Mommy. So this pinwheel is for my brother Micah." I had to turn away for a second so Lucas and all the other moms/kids wouldn't see me wipe the tears away. It was an emotional moment for me. Lucas growing up before my eyes, thinking about Micah and see how the remembering has become a part of Lucas' life just as it is a part of mine.

The other big event of this week- Caden is no longer co-sleeping and is mostly sleeping through the night. He has slept all the way through only once but even if he wakes up, Hubby or I go in and lay him back down (not ever picking him up) and pat him 'til he is calm. Then, we turn and walk out. He cries for a few minutes (last night it was 3min) and then falls back asleep. No night-nursies, no hours of dramatic crying- much more sleep for everyone! It is pretty amazing that the transition was this easy. It really only took one sleepless night for Hubby (and Caden and me too) over Labor Day weekend and we have all been sleeping better since. The boys are even sleeping in the same room now! I think I am still a bit in disbelief that this will continue. But so far, so good. I am getting more sleep than I have in years. Literally. Which can only be a good thing. I do miss my little night-time cuddler, but I still bring him in bed with me in the morning when he wakes up for some good cuddles and nursies. Even Lucas has been sleeping longer. We all generally get up around 6 or 6:30 now which is a vast improvement from the 5am (or earlier) wake-up call Lucas has been known to give me.

So... my one child is starting preschool and the other is sleeping in his own crib all night. Wow, life is sure changing. Next time I blink, both boys will be in school and then life will really start to look different. Right after Caden was born when life was really draining, I daily reminded myself that life wouldn't always look that way. Those days feel long, still do sometimes, but every phase transitions into something new with a new challenge. I am getting more sleep and the boys are growing more independent by the day. The challenges of having an infant are mostly behind me. The next challenge? Maybe starting the letting go. Maybe. :)

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>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

It is a beautiful night tonight. The air is crisp, we had a fun dinner out with some friends, Hubby is off tomorrow, I am on track to finish sewing my slings for my final French Market this Saturday, and I'M WATCHING COLLEGE FOOTBALL!! Oh, how I miss college football! My Gators play on Saturday after the Market and I am so pumped! I actually get to go to TWO Gator games this year and I literally can't wait. I love the beginning of the season when hopes are high and dreams of a National Championship are on everyone's mind. So great! Too bad my Gators are gonna whoop everybody and dash their hopes... :) Go Gators!!

But tonight is the beginning of more than the college football season. It is potentially the beginning of a happier, more well-rested mama in this house. Since my Hubby has a four-day weekend, he has graciously volunteered to take Caden-duty all weekend (aka-teach Caden to sleep through the night without waking up to nurse). I am feeling a bit conflicted about this, truthfully, wanting more sleep but not wanting to give up the precious nightime cuddles with my little guy. But, at his age he should be able to go all night without nursing. He is just accustomed to it since that is all he has known. Until now. I wouldn't have done this any earlier, but he is old enough to sleep through the night by himself and I am in need of some sleep. So, if you think about it, say a little prayer for Hubby and Caden that the next few nights would go smoothly and everyone would get some rest. And pray for mama too that I wouldn't feel too much guilt about it and actually sleep instead of worrying about what is happening downstairs. I am gonna miss my little snuggler. It is for the best though... right?

Wish us luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

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Choosing the Moment

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today was heavy on the errands. For most of the day, my boys and I trucked around town trying to check things off my list of things to-do. So at the end of the day, once most of the errands were done, I took the boys to a park nearby for a little un-scripted playtime. The weather was peculiarly fall-ish- sunny, with a slight breeze and probably around 70degrees. Perfect. We climbed on the jungle-gym, went down the slide, had an impromptu game of pirates and dragons. Lucas loved to slide down the slide and then stand at the bottom to catch his brother to Caden's utter delight. It was like time was standing still. Perfect weather, time with my boys, laughs all around. No phone calls, no e-mail, no list... just playtime with my two favorite people in the whole world. Perfect.
So perfect, in fact, that I looked at the time and realized we had been there for over an hour. It was after 5pm and I had thawed chicken at home waiting to become some sort of culinary masterpiece (hear the sarcasm). A quick assessment of things brought me to a point of decision- leave the park now and rush home to throw dinner together and still probably not be eating until after 6. OR stay at the park, in this gorgeous sunshine, with my boys having a blast on the slide and in the sand and me feeling so very content and just pick up take out on the way home....
My decision? The chicken will wait. I chose the moment. This moment when I was enjoying my boys and watching them in their pure-little-boy glory.
I wished life could freeze in that moment- all three of us perfectly content. But since it can't, I am grateful for the memory and the satisfaction that I made the right choice. Next time, I won't even think twice.

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