Is that a doll?

Why yes, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Why does it matter to you? I know this may sound harsh, but really I don’t need random people giving me their opinions on what my child should be playing with.

H started playing with baby dolls at an ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class we were taking. He would rock the baby and feed the baby. It melted my heart watching him play with the baby dolls. He always knows when a real baby is nearby and makes a point to say hello. He’s a loving and caring child and I will nurture those qualities no matter what.

I was telling my mom how much H wanted a baby doll and kept asking for one. She sent him the one seen in the photo above. He was beyond excited to get HIS BABY. The joy in his little body was so great, he smiled so big when he opened his package.

Since his baby arrived, they go everywhere with us. The baby doesn’t have a name yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. The baby goes to the gym, the grocery store, to school pick up, etc.

I can’t tell you how many people commented on the fact that my son was carrying around a baby doll. A friend said to me when discussing this issue with people inserting their opinions, “Do you think they would have made a negative comment if he were carrying a stuffed dog?” Honestly, I don’t think any comment would have been made or if there was it would have been, “Aw, so cute!”.

I tend to walk away when people make comments at the store, but maybe I need to take the time to explain to them that there is nothing wrong my son playing with a doll. To me, I see a child learning to be nurturing (he changes the baby’s diaper and feeds them too), caring, and pretending to be just like his Mom and Dad.

H is learning and growing. It doesn’t matter what he plays with, he’s using his imagination and developing important life skills. So, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Playing with his baby is no different than him playing and using his imagination with his tools, cars, trucks, superheroes, stuffed animals, etc… It shouldn’t matter to you what he chooses to play with, what should matter is that we are raising loving, caring, and compassionate children who will one day excellent friends, uncles, fathers, partners, and contributing members of society.

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My #momlife

This. This photo. This is how my #momlife looks most of the time. My husband had come in from the other room to see our two children and two dogs basically on top of me. In this position I usually end up covered in slobber (from both the humans and dogs) but I also know I’m covered in so much love. I wish you could hear this moment, there was so much laughter and I’m so thankful Matt snapped this photo. It’s not perfect, it’s not set up photo, this is our real life…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Ok maybe I would make the dogs not shed, but you know what I mean.)

What does your #momlife (or #dadlife) look like?

How to help a loved one going through a miscarriage.

I think this is appropriate to share again today. Today is Miscarriage, Still Birth, and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. You or someone you know may be experiencing loss. Someone might not be ready to talk about their loss, others may be looking for someone to talk to. Let’s break the stigma. Let’s “replace silence with storytelling” (@ihadamiscarriage) Always remember, they are yours and you are theirs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our two Angel Babies, Harper and Ava. I am so thankful for the love and support of our family and friends over the last three years, but I am still grieving and I probably always will be…having the conversations though, that is helping me heal.

I heard many things from many people after experiencing my miscarriages. “At least you know you can get pregnant.” “You already have one.” “You can try again.” “Maybe there is something wrong with you.” “God has a plan.” “Everything happens for a reason.” All of these things were said to be helpful. I truly appreciated all of the love and support and I know the people who said these things were trying to help.

I also found that many people were more sympathetic rather than empathetic. A friend who also experienced a miscarriage and I had a deep discussion about this and she sent me this video. Empathy vs Sympathy

From my own experience, I have found that just lending an ear was helpful. I had friends that told me how I was feeling was ok. I was angry and sad. I was confused. But I felt so much love and compassion from those around me.

Allow your friend or family member to grieve. They lost their baby. Bring them food and just be with them. Be their shoulder. Give them hugs.

Matt and I knew we wanted to do something special for our babies. We wanted to plant a tree for each baby but we were renting a townhouse at the time of both we decided to donate to a local conservatory and our babies names (yes we named our babies) are on The Tree of Life and they will be there forever. We have pictures with the tree as well as our friends who came with us for the dedications and who have gone back to visit our babies. We also adopted Remy after the second miscarriage. I needed a distraction. He needed a family.

Every person will grieve in their own way; and that is ok. The mother will not be the only one grieving. The partner, the grandparents, as well as others who are apart of that babies life will also be grieving. Just be there for them. They just lost a baby.

Potty Training 😱

With H just about 2 he’s starting to show signs he’s getting ready to learn how to use the Big Boy Potty. (I swore I’d never use the word “potty” and I catch myself using it in convos now.)

He’s hiding now, so we know he’s becoming aware of what’s going on when he needs to go.

He wants a front row seat when anyone heads into the bathroom which is super fun.

Honestly, I forget all about potty training! I don’t remember how we started with L. I need tips and tricks!

Thankfully we have a super cute potty on the way thanks to Wildkin!

Send Lysol, Clorox, and wine!

SOS! Clinger Alert!

The photo above is an actual photo of me taken this morning. Ok, it’s the Cynthia doll from Rugrats but I swear this is how I look/feel today.

I have a clinger and I don’t know what to do about it! H is having a seriously hard time with L going back to school and it’s definitely throwing his mornings.

Today (and it’s only 9:45 am) I went to the gym after dropping off L and I tried to get H to stay in the childcare room. He cried for 15 minutes and would not let go. Monday he had a rough time at the gym alone too.

Well today, we left. I have serious guilt about not working out but I think my “mom guilt” would be worse if I left him crying and a mess for the full hour.

I’m just looking for suggestions on what you (any of you..moms, dads, babysitters, teachers, aunts, uncles, anyone who loves/takes care of a child) would do or how to handle my little clinger. He’s my baby and he won’t be a baby much longer. I don’t want him to be so distressed he doesn’t want to go to the gym or any classes alone again.

Please comment your suggestions and then come on by for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Family Photos

We have been having family photos taken starting with our maternity photos when I was pregnant with L.

We have been looking for a photographer since we moved to Minnesota but life got busy and I haven’t had the time. When my SIL and her family were visiting, she and my MIL set up a photo shoot for the family that was here and we had a lovely afternoon.

Now let’s be real, you NEVER know how the photos will turn out when children are involved. H was being so silly and running and crawling away. L got to the point where we was done and just wanted to go look at Lake Minnetonka and watch the boats. At one point L became sad and was pouty, I told him to smile and here was the result…

Big thanks to my sister for the zoomed in photos! This kid is cracking us up!!! Every time I see this photo I can’t help but laugh! When I showed him the photo he also just giggles!

Now our photographer was amazing and really did get some amazing shots of everyone (I’ll share some more once I have time to decide on favorites!) and we will totally use her again. She was great with the children and even let L take a few photos with her camera! He’s a little photographer in the making.

I hope this photo brought a smile or a giggle to you. And if you should have a rough day, come back and take a look again!

Sorry About The Small Hiatus

Hey there! It’s me! I know I haven’t blogged a while (it seems like forever), but life has been crazy! Big things coming! Stay tuned as I know I’ll need lots of ideas and input!

Minnesota has been treating us well! We have made some awesome friends and have done some fun things! There is still so much exploring to do and we are excited about it!

I’ve been going to the gym a lot, 4-5 days a week but I sometimes get that “MOM GUILT” in thinking I’m taking away time from the boys and doing fun activities with them, but an hour during the week is ok for me to workout, right?!?! Ooo, I’ve been trying out the Pilates Reformer too and I think I’m in LOVE! I have one more private reformer session lined up but I might just have to add some more before I’m ready to dive right in to a class.

I am also looking for activities to do for the school year. L will be in school each day, but half days. H and I will be looking for toddler friendly activities during that time for sure! (PLEASE tell me they have rock climbing or skydiving for an 19 month old…because I feel these are things he craves.) As for L, he wants to play soccer for sure in the Fall! He also really seems interested into Hockey, but that’s a world I know nothing about and it scares me!

Well, both kiddos are awake and my coffee is lukewarm! Time to get this day started!

Love to you all! Thanks for reading and always coming back!

Living in the moment

This statement stopped me in my tracks. While my 4 year old has an incredible memory (which blows my mind) and also is a planner (just like his mama) I couldn’t help but think about how true this is. Children truly live in the moment.

As adults, we can get stuck with things going through our heads, overthinking and rethinking, looking far into the future, and so busy on our phones. I know I’m guilty of all of those things.

I know it’s hard to give each child your full attention all of the time because there is always something else going on.

I know that I always love having something fun to look forward to, but having plans can be a totally different thing… Fran once said to me, “When we plan, God Laughs.” And that has been with me ever since and I think about that saying regularly! Honestly, because having two young children (and a husband) it’s so true!

Life the past few years had been rough with not knowing where we were going to end up, and I had grand plans, and all of those ideas that I had, had to change. This really tested my Type A Personality and thinking back I really need to start living in the moment, just like my children; The Brotherhood.

I’m going to do my best to live in each moment. I’m going to try to put my phone down and focus on just being. (Although I’m obsessed with taking pictures, but I know sometimes that means I’m not fully living in that moment.) I am going to do my best to go with the flow. I now know it’s so true that the days may be long, but the years are short.

Here’s to living in the moment.

1 on 1 and 2 on 1

Once H was born I knew we had to make sure to take time to spend 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 time with L. (And now H too since he’s older!)

I know that the younger one does need more attention at this point in his life and L is a wonderful big brother. At times I can see him looking for some more attention and sometimes that comes out in acting out.

I was doing good taking L out to do special things before the move, but the move and house hunting has been a huge thing and I know I’ve not done my best lately getting each boy their own time with me.

This week I was able to take L for froyo which he loved! Today Matt and I are taking him to see a children’s theater production and I think he will love that!

I’m hoping in the upcoming weeks when it’s nice I can walk to get L from school and we can walk to lunch! (Living in a walkable city is a whole new adventure and we are LOVING IT!)

I know I’m far from perfect. I just am doing my best to raise two gentleman and I want to make sure they both know how loved they are, and they are loved by so many.

What are some things you do with your kids that are 1 on 1 or 2 on 1?

How to help a loved one going through a miscarriage.

I think this is a good follow up to my previous post.

I heard many things from many people after experiencing my miscarriages. “At least you know you can get pregnant.” “You already have one.” “You can try again.” “Maybe there is something wrong with you.” “God has a plan.” “Everything happens for a reason.” All of these things were said to be helpful. I truly appreciated all of the love and support and I know the people who said these things were trying to help.

I also found that many people were more sympathetic rather than empathetic. A friend who also experienced a miscarriage and I had a deep discussion about this and she sent me this video. Empathy vs Sympathy

From my own experience, I have found that just lending an ear was helpful. I had friends that told me how I was feeling was ok. I was angry and sad. I was confused. But I felt so much love and compassion from those around me.

Allow your friend or family member to grieve. They lost their baby. Bring them food and just be with them. Be their shoulder. Give them hugs.

Matt and I knew we wanted to do something special for our babies. We wanted to plant a tree for each baby but we were renting a townhouse at the time of both we decided to donate to a local conservatory and our babies names (yes we named our babies) are on The Tree of Life and they will be there forever. We have pictures with the tree as well as our friends who came with us for the dedications and who have gone back to visit our babies. We also adopted Remy after the second miscarriage. I needed a distraction. He needed a family.

Every person will grieve in their own way; and that is ok. The mother will not be the only one grieving. The partner, the grandparents, as well as others who are apart of that babies life will also be grieving. Just be there for them. They just lost a baby.