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.

Well...here 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...

Annual Date

Last night, Tyler and I went on our annual December 9th date.
If you have forgotten why we always go on a date on December 9th, let me refresh your memory.

December 9th 2012, I had a nice date planned for Tyler and I. Except the date never happened because I was having terrible back pain that ended up contractions, so we ended up getting Chipotle and spending the evening at home. I'm not saying Chipotle isn't date worthy food, but its not the date I had in mind for us.

So! Every year, on December 9th, we go on a date to make up for the one we didn't go on.

2011 was dinner and the Toledo Zoo Lights.
2012 was dinner and Christmas shopping (this was before I discovered the ease of online shopping on Amazon)

Despite a crazy morning and afternoon.
And regardless of my my suggestion to get a sitter and just going home to sleep instead of going on a date, we had a great time!

Our date started in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Its a fun city and it always reminds me of Pasadena, CA (minus the fact that we have to wear coats).

We ate at a BBQ restaurant which was good, but kind of sub par. I like to think Tyler's cooking is better than any restaurant, but none the less, it was nice eating without sharing our food with a toddler and we actually got to sit at the table at the same time instead of one of us walking around with a fussy baby.

Que awkward family photo...

We had some time before the concert and on the way to the restaurant, I saw a chocolate shop. So of course, we had to make a stop!

Clearly, this place didn't disappoint and we basically spent as much money here as we did on our dinner. But I think it was money well spent!

Like I said, money well spent! 
I've had a lot of carmel apples, but this one was by far the best one I've ever had. 

Onto the concert!

It wasn't a large concert with thousands of people.
For this particular concert, there were probably only about 150-200 people there. 

We saw the band Over The Rhine.

I had never heard of these people until recently.  
I'm content with listening to top 40 (I know, usually terrible music), but Tyler explores different types of music and different artist and styles. Occasionally I like one that he finds and Over The  Rhine happens to be one of those bands. So, when we saw they were having a concert on December 9th we decided we had to go.

There is something different about this band.
The two singers are a husband and a wife and they have quite a unique story.

They wrote one of their most popular songs, "Born" during a really dark, difficult time in their marriage and the songs reflects this season of life. 

I think thats why I can appreciate their music.
They are real people, willing to share raw emotion through their song writing. 

If I've learned anything about marriage after having Landon and now, Toren, I know it is not blissful.
Kid's don't fix marriages or make them easier. 

If we are being honest, having kids adds a whole new element of stress. 

But, regardless of that stress and everything that comes with marriage, I get to watch Tyler be an awesome Papa to our boys, and that is a beautiful thing I get to experience daily.

One of my greatest joys is watching Tyler be with Landon and Toren.

Landon laughs the hardest when Tyler is chasing him through the house and being obnoxious. 
And Toren saves some of his biggest smiles for his Papa.

When I'm frustrated, Tyler is patient and calm.
When I've been up all night with Toren, he wakes up early in the morning with the boys so I can have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
When I just needs some time to myself, he willingly takes the boys to football practice or to church meetings. 

I probably don't tell him enough how much I appreciate him.
Landon and Toren are lucky to have this man as their Papa. 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

An Almost Three Year Old

In just three days, Landon is going to be three.


I can't believe it.
Or maybe I can believe it, but I just don't want to.

I haven't been emotional with any of his birthdays, but three just seems so different.
And so old. And mature. And like he is going to be moving out next week.

I'm sure I'm just being a dramatic mama, but it just seems different this year.

When he turned one and then two, he was still like a baby.
He was still in diapers, he could talk, but only enough for it to be cute. He still needed me for most things and so I still considered him to be a baby.

Now, he is going to be three.
He is potty trained. He talks...all the time (literally) and although it is still cute, along with talking comes negotiating, and its just plain ridiculous sometimes. He still needs me, but his needs are different and I know they will just continue to change.

In the fall, he will be starting preschool and even though its just preschool, I feel like he is going off to college.

Landon is so special and there is just something different about him.
His birth makes him unique, but that doesn't define him.
He just has an intuition unlike any other child I know and I can't quite explain it.
If you spend just a small amount of time with him, I think you would understand.

I wish I could just bottle his sweetness up.

Just three days old.
We sent this picture to so many people as "Thank You" cards when he was born. 
The outpouring of support we received was overwhelming. 
I am still so thankful for you all.

When he turned a year old!
His little cheeks are red...probably from being outside.
We went to the zoo that afternoon and it was freezing, but he loved it.

His Second Birthday
This is my favorite picture of Landon.
His little face just demonstrates his gentleness. 

A few weeks shy of being THREE.

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up - just stay this little...