A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this week. My parents were kind enough to watch the kiddos for us so we could go grab a romantic dinner. And by romantic, what I really mean is kidless.
I snapped this photo on the way to dinner with my iPhone. I asked for sexy and go this. Apparently this is what sexy looks like after four years of marriage. Hashtag: Love him.
You can check out other posts in the series here.

The Perfect Ending

You can’t always get what you want, but in the end you get what you need.
I spent the first days after stopping breastfeeding mopping around, declaring myself to be in “a funk”; Unable to enjoy things that normally excited me, unable to be truly present to my children. I’m writing this in past tense because I didn’t feel like writing anything but dark, sad, moppy posts like this just a few weeks ago when all the tears were streaming down my I’m-so-sad-I’m-done-breastfeeding face.
Willy and I had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. We had tickets to see Willie Nelson at the Hollywood Bowl and plans to leave the kids at my parents for the entire night. But I just couldn’t seem to shake the post-breastfeeding-blues.
I can’t tell you when the change occurred but what I can tell you is that Willie Nelson played his Stardust album from front to back and it was beautiful. There really is nothing better for the soul than music, in my opinion. We woke up the next morning and went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market by ourselves and in the absence of the munchkins, we got to dig through buried treasures and stroll leisurely through the aisles. We picked up the kids in the afternoon and went to the Ventura County Fair. We rode rides, pet goats, ate chocolate covered Twinkies. And when we got home and put the kids to bed, Willy and I climbed up on the roof and laid there under the stars to watch the meteor shower.
And, just like that, my funk disappeared. It only took a country phenom, some time with my main squeeze, a ferris wheel, and a sea full of falling stars to shake it. But alas, I shook it.
Then again, it was probably that chocolate covered twinkie because, um, hello they don’t even make Twinkies even more. Hash tag: deadstock. Oh ya, and I didn’t have to worry about breastfeeding. That was nice.
Oh ya, and you see that little San Francisco shirt Hooper has on? It’s something I bought when I lived in SF years ago, before I knew my husband as my husband… when I had only dreams of motherhood. And seeing my first born in it now not only makes me one happy Mama, but also puts things in perspective. Life is good.

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Four Years.

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
-Bob Dylan
Years ago we were just young soon-to-be-lovers TPing a bathroom at a friend’s Christmas Party. We snapped that picture on your flip phone and years later it’s the one we value most; our first photo together. Then, four years ago today, your dad married us on what surely was the hottest day of the year both literally and figuratively. My dear love, you are my everything and my everything is you.
Happy Anniversary.
Wedding photograh by Viera Photographics

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The Double Edge Sword

Motherhood: Making the double edge sword sharper than ever before. Motherhood is funny in that way, isn’t it? I feel like I’ve encountered scenario after scenario since becoming a mom where the conclusion is the same: I can’t win.
Take Breastfeeding, for example. I dedicated myself to a year and I bitched and moaned the majority of the 365 days and you know what happened on Van’s first birthday? I felt guilty for wanting to quit. All along I’ve anxiously awaited my freedom only to be on freedom’s doorstep with a trickle of tears running down my cheeks, mourning the loss of my baby and our bond. I feel far from the celebratory state I imagined I would be in and then that makes me sad too.
Oh you little weaning monster, you really are an emotional jerk, aren’t you? (side note: thank you for all the sweet comments on yesterday’s post. Your words mean more than you’ll ever know)
The other day at work we were using leeches on a patient’s wound. The purpose being that leeches suck blood and increase blood flow. I know, gross, but bear with me while I share my epiphany. One of the leeches wasn’t sucking and the shift prior decided to tape the leech to the wound. The pharmacist laughed when I told him this because he said taping the leech wouldn’t make it suck. I said, “sounds like breastfeeding”.
Toward the end of Hooper and I’s breastfeeding relationship, I wanted to tape him to my breast. He was growing less and less interested and it was becoming such a chore to feed him. Nowadays I want to tape him to his chair to eat, but that’s besides the point. My milk supply diminished because Hooper weaned himself, not because my body failed to produce. And that was my epiphany. I blamed my body for a long time, you see, when in actuality Hooper was getting exactly what he needed and wanted.
I had a moment of clarity today and decided I’m going to stop beating myself up over wanting to wean. It sucks that I have to make the conscious decision to throw myself a bone and pat myself on the back. I hate that it doesn’t come naturally; that I need a moment of clarity in order to feel proud instead of guilty. I’m making a commitment not to feel guilty because commitments don’t come naturally and neither does not feeling guilty. It’s that double edge sword thing. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. But the truth is, I’m ready to quit.
Throwing myself a my-ta-tas-are-my-own-again party doesn’t have the same appeal as it did a few months ago. Nevertheless, I completed my goal of a year of breastfeeding (and then some) and I have a cranky waddler pulling at my clothing to congratulate me. But, as is with all things, this too shall pass. I feel back to my normal self today, just a few days afterI wrote yesterday’s dark and depressed post. Thank goodness.

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It’s so hard to say goodbye.
This is the last post in my breastfeeding series and I’m writing it in tears, which is a far cry from the jumping up and down excitement I envisioned. Maybe the tears are from the thought of this being the last time I ever breastfeed, maybe they’re from the hormones associated with the transition, or maybe they’re from the unnatural ending.
It’s because of the latter that I feel this impending feeling of guilt. As much as I’d love to lie and tell y’all that both Van and I were ready, this is not the truth. In fact, I’ve been dealing with an incredibly clingy and cranky baby for the last few weeks of what has been a weaning process and as I admit that, another tear streams down my face. I was ready, he was not.
I had no experience with weaning. Hooper naturally weaned himself and our breastfeeding relationship ended very naturally. With Van, I cut our 8 feedings in half for a week, then in half again the following week. I fed him first thing in the morning and last thing at night for the past few weeks and when my supply diminished and my nighttime feed no longer put him to sleep, I stopped that one too. And just like that, Aunt Flo came back into my life despite me having referred to her as the weird, smelly Aunt; she never seems to hold grudges even though I wish she would.
And so we stuck to one feed a day, first thing in the morning. And each morning, I’d look down at that little sweet face and reassure myself that indeed today would not be the last day, but instead tomorrow. And the truth is, I couldn’t handle feeding him knowing it would be my last time.
It’s like knowing your best friend is going to die tomorrow. How do you say goodbye? And I realized, I couldn’t… I couldn’t feed him knowing that I wouldn’t feed him ever again.
So, I fed him on a Wednesday. Then I went to work on Thursday and pumped one single ounce. CombinedOne ounce, people. On Friday I had a meeting and I decided not to pump at all. And just like that, our breastfeeding journey has come to an end. I didn’t have it in me to say a formal goodbye.
And now, I’m in tears.
How was the weaning process for you? Did you experience depression after weaning? If so, you may want to read this post (I found it comforting).

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This photo is not my favorite, but it’s so reminiscent of life right now: Hooper standing, with his blanket, in his pull ups, surveying his brother’s every move… making sure he’s okay with whatever toy he’s playing with. Toys strewn about. A container of sunscreen on the floor, serving as evidence of the triple digit heat. A sofa cushion leaning up against the window, air drying after Hooper pissed on it (luckily we had an extra one in the garage). Van always on his 4-wheeler. And a lonely shoe, halfway down the hallway, endlessly searching for it’s partner.
What does a snapshot of your life look like today?
Side note: Many congrats to Ash for winning the Little Flourishes giveaway and to Noelle C. for winning the LookNook giveaway!

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A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
Yup, that’s

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right… no portrait this week, but better yet, a video. This was at a dear friends wedding. He threw up not long after and the next day he complained of a pulled hamstring. Nevertheless, leg kicks are his thing and if you invite him to your wedding, I promise he’ll deliver.

You can check out other posts in the series here.

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Van, you scoot a lot faster when Hooper’s bottle is within sight. Hooper, you know your brother is fond of your cup. I watched the other day as you moved your cup close enough for Van to reach, waited for him to put his hands on it, at-which-point you grabbed the cup and ran away.
You were both playing with door. Van, you put your hand down on the ground and, Hooper, you proceeded to close the door over Van’s hand on purpose.
Van, you love grabbing Hooper’s hair. We’ve found a screaming toddler only to look down and discover a fistful of blond locks in your grimmy hand. You can be kinda aggressive.
Van, you love to make your way to Hooper’s room every night as Papa gets Hooper ready for bed. Hooper, each night as you put on your pajamas and brush your teeth, your brother is sitting in the doorway, watching. He idolizes your world.
Hooper, we played airplane the other day and with your chest resting on the bottoms of my feet high up in the air, you waved to your brother who was below, “Hi brodher”.
In general, you two are quite fond of each other and play well together most of the time.
You two are my world,
Side note: I’ll be announcing the winner to the Little Flourishes giveaway on Monday!

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They come in all shapes and sizes.

Hooper’s first birthday

Van’s first birthday
We took Van to the pediatrician the other week for his one year check-up and the fact that kids come in all shapes and sizes rung true all over again. Van is the same size Hooper was when Hooper was 18 months old and it blows my mind.
I don’t give advice because I know no two situations are the same but if I could go back in time and give advice to the neurotic lets-take-inventory-of-every-bite-eaten-and-every-ounce-drunk self, I’d tell her not to worry and not to obsess.
Maybe then I wouldn’t have a toddler who pockets watermelon and a baby who – through baby led weaning – is more independent at the table than his older brother.
In other news, apparently my sister is in charge of getting the cupcake

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into my kids’ faces and Sarah, well, she’s my sister’s “assistant”.

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Mama's Corner

Just got back from Palm Springs and I have loads of pictures to upload that I can’t wait to share. Girl time is always the best, isn’t it?
Willy and I watched the Bombay Beach documentary the other week and it was so interesting. Have you seen it?
Listened to this song on the way to work and on the way home and I promise that if you rolled up next to me you would have been wishing you were my co-pilot.
Sweet Threads opened it’s brick and mortar in Long Beach and it does not disappoint. I mean check out these photosSeriously? Sheila did such a great job designing the space. I love how she used the old chairs as clothing racks, as well as the old door frame. That store is almost edible and is filled with tons of one-of-a-kind treasures. And mad props to Sheila for following her passion and doing what she loves. It’s hard to make major changes in life and as I embark on starting my own photography business, you better believe I’m channeling Sheila’s determination and dedication. Homegirl is an inspiration.
What was then Hooper’s nursery was featured over on Baby Space. Such a cute blog. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. Bron had my heart when she opened this post by saying the following: “In some ways I think having a newborn is like going on a much-anticipated family holiday. It’s hectic and confusing with long stretches of nothing broken up by periods of high drama and pure bliss”. She nailed it.
I just about peed my pants when LookNook contacted me about wanting to work together. Haven’t heard of LookNook? LookNook is a team of interior designers that work with you one-on-one to design the interior of your dreams. Best part yet is that you don’t have to leave your computer chair, it’s all down online and is super easy. I have nothing but fantastic things to say about this company. You can enter the giveaway to work one-on-one with one of their designers by clicking here.
Also joining the sponsor gang is Little Flourishes. Little Flourishes makes beautifully designed baby wraps and blanket and their quality is superb. You can enter to win a feather blanket and wrap by clicking here.
Welcome new sponsor Broken Tricycle, who carries some of the cutest organic clothing around. How cute is this sweatshirt?
My mother-in-law sent me this video from KTVU morning news. There’s nothing funnier than watching pranks played on news anchors. News anchors are funny aren’t they? So much plastic surgery and ridiculousness. We have a no news policy in our house because we can’t stand it. Will Ferrell should make a comedy about… oh wait… nevermind.
On the same note, I heard another news story (it was on in the break room at work) about how drinking water out of plastic water bottles can make you age faster. The report went on to say drinking from the plastic bottle can cause mouth creases around your upper lip and to prevent this, we should try to relax our upper lip when drinking. No joke. What’s wrong with our society that we need to be paying attention to relaxing our facial muscles while hydrating? It’s in moments like these I shake my head and wonder how we can undo all that has been done.
I’m kinda obsessed with the little boy in the glasses next to the gold fish shot from Week 28 of You Are My Wild. I’m having so much fun following along with this photo project. Such stunning images each week.
I shared some photos from our wedding along with a short story I may have told here once before and some tidbits on marriage over on Abigail’s blog. You can check out the post by clicking here.
And I had to share this video because linking to it just doesn’t seem appropriate when it’s this fantastic. Willie Nelson is really something, isn’t he? Willy and I just saw him at the Hollywood Bowl (we see him every time he’s in town). He’s 80 years old and he sounds like a million bucks. Anyway, this video is incredibly well done. Every scene is like a beautiful photograph. Do yourself a favor and hit that play button.

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A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
Didn’t think I was gonna squeak a portrait of Willy out this weekend, but lo-and-behold, a photo from the Ventura County Fair for the win. That handsome man right there, he’s my favorite.
Hoping to get to the rest of our fair pics when I get back from my best-friend-cation.
You can check out other posts in the series here.

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See ya soon

Be back in a few days. The bestie is in town so you better believe I’ll be soakin’ up every minute. I’m sure I’ll be grammin’ if you want to stop by and say hello (@thestorkandthebeanstalk).
Hoping I can get my *ish together to post a portrait of Willy this week, but if not, I’ll double up next week.
*Click on each photo above to be taken to it’s place of origin

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Breastfeeding in public

photo source
…Because the zoo, that wedding you were invited to, the beach, the park, that doctor’s appointment you have to be at, and the dinner reservations you made won’t come to you…
I’ve never had a problem breastfeeding in public. I lean more toward the side of hippie feminist who feels it’s my god damn right. If someone has a problem with it, which truthfully I’ve never encountered, I assume it to be their problem as opposed to my own.
When I knew I’d be breastfeeding Hooper, I always made sure I had a hooter hider and dressed with feeding him in mind. I’d get apprehensive before going wherever we were going; an inner anxiety would fester over where I would feed him and how it would all work out. In any event, it always worked out.
The second time around, I’ve thrown caution to the wind. The apprehension and anxiety, while still there, have diminished significantly. I’m no longer shy about where I am or how frequently he eats or if my nipple is visible for the 2 seconds it takes before he engulfs it in his mouth. I breastfeed him wherever and whenever he’s hungry. If someone has a problem with this, I write it off as their problem and their problem alone.
We used to take Hooper to the Rose Bowl Flea market when he was an infant. I remember breastfeeding him in a vendor’s van. When we went the other month with Van, I breastfed him while sitting on the curb. When you have more than one, you don’t have the luxury of finding the perfect spot. As it is with much of life, the more you do something the more confident you become at doing it.
I rarely use the hooter hider anymore. It’s most always buried somewhere in my car in case I need it, but more times than not I free ball. Van gets too distracted with the hider anyway and instead of hiding my ta-tas from people that aren’t looking anyway, it looks as though I’m putting on a puppet show and all the characters are getting ready to come out as they dance behind the curtain.
The other day, I fed Van on a bench at the zoo. A dad walked by with his little girl and the little girl would not stop starring. The dad looked in my direction to see what was keeping her from walking in a straight line and instantly he grew noticeably uncomfortable. My heart, however, did not skip a beat. His discomfort is his own problem. I wouldn’t be feeding my child in public if I weren’t comfortable with it and I try to own that as much as I can.
Things I keep in mind when nursing in public:
-I try to keep a low profile. If we’re sitting in a restaurant, for example, I may switch seats with Willy if the direction he is facing is more private.
-I make eye contact with people around me. People are less likely to stare, I feel, if they catch your eye the moment they glance over. If you’re looking down at your baby, creepy creeperton may try to sneak a peek. That’s what I tell myself, anyways.
-Think about what you’re wearing. Tops that pull up, down and over, or button down all work for breastfeeding, but tops that you can lift up provide more cleavage cover. With your baby covering your abdomen and your top covering the base of the mountains, the only thing left to show is nipple which is down your kids throat anyway.
How do you feel about nursing in public? Any tips worth sharing? Any funny experiences?
Minus the ad for Luvs, a cute video and oh-so-true.
You can read my other posts on breastfeeding by clicking here.

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A Sponsored Giveaway, from LookNook

Enter to win the opportunity to work one-on-one with one of LookNook’s amazing interior designers to create a custom design board for one room in your home.
I have a problem when it comes to decorating our home: I buy whatever I like. Well, not whatever I like. If that were truly the case, I’d own a thousand things I couldn’t afford; Like this pot or this rug that have had my heart since the moment I laid eyes on them. What I mean is that I buy things because I like them but they don’t always go together. Like our fantastic vintage arm chair with 1970’s bright orange flowers. It’s a statement chair and it belongs in a room designed around it. But our room isn’t designed it and, as a result, it sticks out like a sore thumb (in my mind anyway). The problem is I like a little of everything: a little midcentury, a little modern, a little vintage, a little desert, a little rustic. I also like milkshakes and scrambled eggs, but not scrambled eggs in my milkshake if you catch my drift. The thing with food, or clothing for that matter, is that you can change it daily… even multiple times a day, if you wish. But your home? You can’t change it daily. And thus, I’ve become paralyzed by my own indecisiveness.
Enter LookNook.
I received an email from the sweet ladies of LookNook and couldn’t wait to hear more. LookNook was started by award-winning interior designer Rachel Guest who believes that great interior design has the power to transform not just living spaces but also the quality of lives. I couldn’t agree more. Willy and I have spent a lot of time working on our home and even though there is plenty we’d still like to change, we take great pride in the space we’ve created.
Many of us cannot afford to hire an interior designer. Not only is hiring an interior designer expensive, but it’s also time consuming. We live in a fast paced world and now, as a mother, time is more valuable to me than ever. LookNook is not only an affordable alternative, but designing your space can happen without ever leaving your computer chair.
My experience with LookNook exceeded my expectations. Here’s a step-by-step recap of what my experience was like:
-I received an email from interior desginer Holly Hargrove with a questionairre attached. The questionairre asked questions about my style, links to products I love, links to my pinterest boards, budget, etc.
-I sent Holly photographs of our family room.
-By the end of the week, Holly sent me a PDF that included all of the following:
  • A style board of things that inspired me (things she pulled from links I provided her with).
  • Visual space planning: graphic visual of how furniture and accessories are laid out in the room.
  • Storage ideas: love that Holly took the boys’ toys into consideration. She recommended a fabulous woven ottoman that doubles as a side table.
  • Fireplace: not only did Holly suggest painting it, but she also recommended a specific paint color. Painting the fireplace is something we’ve talked about doing and it’s nice to already have a starting place as far as finding the right color is concerned.
  • Accessories: tons of suggestions and where to find them.
  • Art installation: a hand sketch of how the art should appear on the wall. Love that she used art we already have but simply moved it’s location and added a few things to make it pop.
  • Additional info: tons of tips and suggestions specific to our family room and our requests. Love her suggestion to check out a “RF remote”, which allows you to control your cable box through a closed door (which means we’d be able to put the door back on our credenza).
  • LookList: an itemized list of what everything would cost, including furniture, accessories, artwork, and where to find it.   
What impressed me the most was how personal the experience was. Holly took everything I said into consideration and all of the suggestions were based on things I stated had bothered me about the space. I also love that they provide you with an itemized list. We’re not able to pour a lot of money into redecorating at the moment, but seeing everything on an itemized form helps prioritize the things we do want to do in time so that we can do what we can afford now and save the bigger stuff for later.
Want to use LookNook yourself? Here’s how it works:
1. Explore: LookNooks expert designers have curated hundreds of ‘ready to purchase’ design boards for you to explore. You can search by “look” (style) or “nook” (room).
2. Discover your style: As you come across things you like, you can add them to your wishlist.
3. Buy a LookList: Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, buy the looklist for the look you love the most. You get all the shopping instructions and product resources that cost a minimum of $1,500 when using a traditional designer.
4. Let LookNook help you to make it yours: Their designers are readily available via phone or email. Get help in chosing the right size or color. This one-on-one individual help is offered at no additional fee. What’s more is that if you purchase items through LookNook’s design team, you can receive their discounted rates. They’ll oversee the entire order. I’m telling you, these guys are genius.
5. Sit back and relax: The LookNook design team is fast at work while you wait for the items to arrive on your doorstep. Enjoy knowing you’re getting the expertise of a professional designer at a mere fraction of the traditional cost.
Today is your lucky day. LookNook is offering the opportunity for one winner to work one-on-one with one of their amazing interior designers to create a custom design board for one room in your home (Actual Retail Price $199). This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Entering is easy. You can enter any of the following ways, but please leave a seperate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be announced here in two weeks and will be contacted via email, so make sure your email address is valid.
Here’s how to enter:
1. Visit LookNook and tell me which design board is your favorite
2. Follow LookNook on Facebook
3. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Facebook
4. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin’
5. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Instagram and/or Pinterest
Good luck!
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A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
They sure do look alike in this picture, don’t they?
Willy and I sat down at dinner last night with our calendars. The next two weeks are packed and I’m feeling exhaused thinking about getting done all that needs to get done. With that said, we have lots of fun things planned and I’m looking forward to

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the excitement that’s sure to preceed the exhaustion.

Some of my favorites from last week: Lamb Loves Fox (always one of my favorites), Diapers & Skinny Jeans (gotta love breastfeeding photos and this one is a definite winner), and The Land Of Quinne (cuz’ I’m pretty sure my husband would get along with her husband).
You can check out other posts in the series here.

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A Sponsored Giveaway, from Little Flourishes

Today we have a special giveaway from Little Flourishes. Little Flourishes is run by Olivia Merideth who has been around the design world for years and it shows in her beautifully designed high-quality wraps and blankets. Based in Australia, Little Flourishes designs are all of native flora or birds and designed to not be gender specific so that that they would be suitable for boys or girls. I was so pleased when Olivia sent me the Black Neck Stork blanket. It’s so well made; thick enough to throw on the ground at the park, soft enough to cuddle with on the sofa. 
Little Flourishes is offering one lucky winner a small feather blanket and feather wrap (pictured below). There’s more than one way to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be announced here in two weeks and will be contacted via email, so make sure the email you’re using is valid. This giveaway is open worldwide (wahoo!).
Here’s how to enter:
1. Visit Little Flourishes and tell me what your favorite design is.
2. Share this giveaway on facebook and leave a link in your comment entry.
3. Share this giveaway on twitter and leave a link in your comment entry.
4. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Facebook
5. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin’
6. Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Instagram and/or Pinterest
Interested in making a purchase? Use coupon code StorkFreeShip for free shipping!
Live in Tokyo? Little Flourishes will have a stand at the Playtime Expo in Tokyo on the 26-29th of August. 

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Conquering the day

I know I’ve said it before, but some days are so hard to get out of the house. So hard to break routine. Hard to interrupt or bypass naps. Hard to pack up everything I’ll need for the kids. Hard to get myself ready. Hard to get the kiddos ready. Hard to get everyone fed. By the time we get out of the house and close the door, sometimes I feel like turning right around and walking back through the front door; Sometimes merely crossing that threshold feels like a feat all on its own.
I wonder if other moms feel this way too. Part of me thinks that’s a dumb question because I know, logically, that I cannot be alone in feeling this way. And yet, I peek in on other’s lives, cyber-stalking through the blogsphere or instagram or what-have-you and see normal people, just like me, with small children doing things e v e r y d a y.
I know it’s dangerous to compare. And being a “blogger” myself, I know that one beautiful picture does not share the whole story. Sometimes pictures are a down-right lie.
I had a slew of days off in a row from work. Working as an RN part-time has some nice perks like that. I’ve had nice chunks off like this in the past and sometimes I walk out of work thinking, “holy shit, I have ten days off” only to walk back in those doors ten days later saying to myself, “My ten days are up already?”. And I replay the last ten days in my head over and over and my conclusion is always the same: I wish we would have done more.
Ten days off makes the possibilities seem so endless; I daydream of all the places we can go, all the things we can do. And then life gets in the way. Clothes pile up. Dishes pile up. The food in the fridge disappears. And I find that entire days are spent getting the house back in order, getting things restocked.
Trying to feel accomplished after finishing only a few things on a long ever-growing to-do list has been one of the biggest adjustments, for me, in becoming a mom.
What I have found is this: It’s always better to get out… to let the mess pile up and worry about it later.
I took the kids to the zoo the other day. The zoo is usually off-limits over summer because the heat will make you want to peel off your own skin and sit under a shaded tree a pile of bones. Really, it’s debilitating. But it was oddly overcast and even rained the night before so I woke up determined to make it to the zoo.
I put both boys’ down for their morning naps. I played whack-a-mole with Hooper who lately has decided that he doesn’t want to nap at all or goes down for a nap but wakes up thirty minutes later with poop in his pull-up or goes down and wakes up three and a half hours later. It’s so random and so hit or miss. This day was a miss.
One hurdle after another; Some days it feels like I’m playing hop-scotch blind-folded through fire, wind, and rain.
It seemed fitting that in my rush to get everyone out of the door, my phone rang. It was my doctor’s office who called to see if I had any questions following my appointment (Oh ya, I have to have back surgery in the Fall). The woman on the other end proceeded to tell me that for the first few weeks I should expect to feel like I have been run over by a truck. And if that wasn’t enough, she went on to say that the same truck reverses and runs over me again. She was telling me all this while my phone sat precariously cushioned between my shoulder and ear, Van sat on his four wheeler at my feet honking his little pretend horn, Hooper was running around in circles, and I was trying to put their lunch in a tupperware container so we could actually cross that aforementioned threshold.
We got out the door, I strapped the kids in their seats, and as I pulled out the driveway all I could think about was being run over by a truck… twice.
We got to the zoo two hours before they closed and despite the cloudy skies, I was sweating. I immediately regretted the decision to wear pants and felt a bit guilty as I pulled Hoop out of his car seat in his long pants and sweaty hair. It was humid and sticky, by California standards anyway. And in the back of my mind, I kept thinking of that truck reversing over me.
And you know what turned it all around for me? Watching my boys enjoy themselves; watching their excitement and genuine awe, their enthusiasm, the sense of wonder that spread across their little faces. And the kettle corn. If freshly popped kettle corn can’t take your mind off a dirty house and the impact of being run over by a truck, then I don’t know what can. And even with the hassle of getting out the door, I drove into the driveway thinking that was well worth it. All for their enjoyment.
And that’s the beauty of being a mom… Seeing the world how you once saw it, long ago, through the eyes of your child. It’s a beautiful thing and it takes all the hassle and all the pain away.
More to come on my surgery at a later time.
And check back tomorrow for a giveaway from Little Flourishes.

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Portraits of my children

“the child must

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know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him” – pablo casals

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