Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Six Month Old

Dear Toren Asher,

There was a point in time, during my pregnancy with you, that I really didn't know what your future held. 

Was I going to be able to keep you safe, inside my womb long enough for you to be born healthy and fully capable of surviving on the outside? 

When we found out there was a placenta abruption, I didn't allow myself to feel any sort of excitement for your arrival. It's not that I didn't want to be excited to see your sweet face and to hold you and to watch Landon with you for the first time, but I couldn't be certain that any of those things were going to happen. 

It was terrifying. 

And then, we finally made it.

30 weeks. 32 weeks. 35 weeks. 

It was finally safe for you to make your appreance. 

And you did.

Full of life.

And you were loved.

My sweet boy.

You are already six months old! Can you believe it? 
Some days I think to myself - he is ONLY six months old? I'm ready for him to be running around and talking and playing with Landon.

But then, we have moments like this...

And I want to freeze time and keep you just as you are - sweet, innocent, little. 

You have been my greatest joy and my greatest challenge and you can range from one or the other in record timing. 

Your persistent crying won you a pacifier addiction. Something I swore I would never give in to. 

And your sweet smile and excitement for everyone who looks at you makes me melt. 

Your lack sleeping has caused tears (for both of us) and frustration. It has kept me awake at night, questioning if I'm doing anything right.
On the other hand, some of my favorite moments with you are when the lights are out, everyone in the house is asleep, and we sit in our rocking chair and rock back and forth. Sometimes, only for a few minutes because I desperately want to get back into my bed, and other times, probably longer than I should. 
Looking at your sleeping face reminds me that even when it doesn't feel like it - I have to be doing something right, because the love I have for you trumps any doubts.

There are so many people who have fallen in love with you in just a short amount of time. 
However, nobody loves you like your big brother, Landon. He loves you so much and just by seeing the way you look at him and how you respond to him, I know the feeling is mutual. 

I know he said, "I think he wants to go bye bye" when we brought you home from the hospital, but he has had such a deep love and connection for you since you entered into this world.

"Sometimes, Toren just needs me, Mama." is enough for me to know that the bond between the two of you is something that doesn't compare to anything else. 

You are only six months, but I know you are going to do great things.
I can see it. 

I see the way you observe everything around you. You take it all in.
I see how you respond when people speak to you.
I see your strength in how quickly you seem to be reaching new milestones .

You have a great purpose.

At only six months, it's hard to tell what you will become, but I know, whatever you decide to do, it is going to change this world. For the better. 

I just get the privilege to watch you, this amazing human being, as your Mama.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Stand Off

Remember when I said it's important to show those beautiful imperfections that happen in our life. 

And remember when I said our kids are not always perfect and sweet and cuddly - and it's ok to admit that. it goes. 

My children are not perfect either and sometimes, they terrorize things. 

Like their rooms. During "nap time." 

Legos dumped.
Cars all over the room.
Bed spread, sheets, AND fitted sheet are on the floor. 
Almost all the stuffed animals are stuffed into his pillow case.

I'm currently sitting on the floor, waiting for him to start cleaning up because I refuse take him downstairs until he picks everything up. 

Does he care? 


Not one bit.

It's going on 45 minutes now.

Just sitting here. Waiting. 
I'm just waiting while he jumps on his bed reciting Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. 

I can do this all night, Land....

Those of you who said three is worse than two - I was sure we would be spared.
I was wrong.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Best Day Of Life

Last night, we celebrated Landon's third birthday!

We decided to take him to Splash Universe and for at least a month, we have been hyping up this day!
I made the mistake of showing him the commercial they use to advertise the water park and we literally watched it everyday on YouTube.

We also made a countdown for him where he removed one number a day!

So when he woke up that morning, we gave him a special surprise to tell him that today was FINALLY the day we have been counting down for!


Brand new swimming trunks!
The perfect surprise for a water park birthday party!

Then, we had to make cupcakes.
Whats a birthday party without cupcakes?!

I was planning on being really ambitious by making a cake and icing a Curious George face on it, but I thought that was just asking for a disaster, so we settled for cupcakes in a cone.

And despite wanting to get them done quickly, I let Landon help and he did a great job. And when I say, "great job" I mean he was a really good taste tester.

I think they turned out pretty well - if I do say so myself!

After nap time, it was time to go!
He was so excited that he could barely sit still in his carseat and he rambled about anything and everything all the way there! (Something about how Santa has dogs in cages and helps them when they get hurt? No, we did not tell him that.)

After some pizza, it was finally time to get to the water park.
Before I took Landon out of his car seat he said, "I'm not going to get in the water, Mama. I think I'm just going to watch my friends." But as soon as we stepped inside, he didn't think twice.

I don't know that I've ever seen Landon so excited in his whole three years of life.

He was running around, screaming, jumping up and down, clapping, rolling on the ground. I wish I could re-live that moment everyday.


If you know Landon, you know he is a little timid.
He isn't a risk taker and usually steers away from anything that could be potentially dangerous.
However, fear did not stop him yesterday.

He conquered a small slide, all by himself!


And this bigger slide with his Papa which he probably went down fifty more times by the end of the night.

Toren even had a great time and had I known he would have loved it so much, I would have been more prepared, but he didn't seem to mind that he didn't get brand new swimming trunks and had to swim in his diaper.

Toren and Kase basically ruled the baby pool.

There is nothing greater than seeing your child bursting with happiness and excitement and thats exactly what we got to experience with Landon.
I'm not one to get emotional, but his joy brought tears to my eyes.

I loved hearing him squeal and giggle every time he went down the slide and at one point he said to me, "I'm having fun with you, Mama. This is the best day of life!"

Of course, along with swimming, there was opening presents, cupcake eating, and singing. 

He even got a gift from Pasadena, CA! 

I still can't believe he is three. 


Last night was so much fun and the total exhaustion was well worth it!
I was really hoping Toren would sleep all night, but if you've been following our no sleep saga, it won't be surprising to you that he didn't...

The celebration has run over into today! Today is a "yes!" day. Basically, we say "yes" to everything. So far he has had a donut for breakfast, apple jacks and puppy chow for lunch, and before he fell asleep for his nap, he asked me if he could have Goldfish when he woke up. We will probably regret this later, but! You only turn three once!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

If You Like Pictures of A Sweet Landon Shae

Tomorrow, my sweet, 6lb 12oz baby turns THREE! I've already told you how I'm a little sad and I feel like he is going to be moving out within the next week.

So, I decided to do some personal reflecting on the past three years by looking at some of my favorite pictures.

I take thousands of pictures of Landon and Toren and I don't regret that.
I love having their little lives documents in pictures and they are so special and important to me.
I love capturing moments and being able to "freeze" time...even if only for a second.

Here are some of (lets be real...A TON because I couldn't just pick a few) of my favorite pictures of Landon over the past three years.

Brace yourselves...there are many.
I'm doing this more for myself, but feel free to enjoy the cuteness with me!

This was taken during one of his very
 first hikes. Tyler and I were just commenting on how Landon got to do so many fun things his first few months of life. We have some catching up to do with Toren. Although, Ohio is not quite as exciting as California so we will have to get creative.

This one makes me laugh. Its hilarious for so may reasons. 
1. He is sitting in a milk crate
2. His legs are swaddled so he can't really move, but he doesn't seem to mind.
3. His arm is resting on a jar of peanut.
4. He is happy as can be to be sitting in such an awkward setting.

I love this picture because his smile reminds me of my Gram. 
Toren smiles like this too and its the same way she used to smile! 
Any glimpse of her I can get, is a sweet reminder of how great she was.

Look at his little scrunched up nose! 

His first Easter Egg hunt and I thought the Superman shirt with the cape was appropriate. 

I love this little hat! And I was really excited when I found it in the attic for Toren to wear. This picture also reminds of me Landon's obsession with socks. He used to carry them all over the place and he never left the house without one in his hand. 

This picture was taken during our trip to Texas. We had been at a water park all day and Landon conquered water slides and putting his face in the water. 
I love his little tan lines and his crazy hair!

No explanation needed for this picture. 

He has so much joy and excitement for life.
This picture encompasses that so well. 

This was a special trip.
This is when we decided we were ready for another baby.
This also reminds me of his Sock Monkey obsession. 
He took those little things everywhere with him and he still occasionally throws them around the house.

He is always my favorite photography subject! 
Its easy to get great shots of him because he is so adorable.

I always said those big eyes of his would get him in trouble. 
Except now I think they keep him out of trouble.
How could you ever stay mad at that face for very long,
Those eyes look into your soul.

See those scissors? They made it into most of our family pictures because he refused to put them down. He also colored the palms of his hands purple that morning. 
Oh well, it makes it more realistic.

My sweet (almost) three year old...