Sunday, October 6, 2013

She let Go.

She Let Go
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go…There’s only one of you.
~Rev Safie Rose

Like a breath of fresh air on a cool fall day.
Peace, friends.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Today, my sweet BBZ, you are five.


I don't think I could even imagine you as a five-year-old when you were born, and here you are.  Five.

While I sometimes miss when you were little, it isn't anywhere close to how much I enjoy watching the new things you learn to do.  You are growing into such a wonderful young man.  Look at all the letters you can write!  I'm such a proud mama.

You watch our for your brother, and have moved into your role as big brother very well..  You stand up for him, and make sure he is taken care of.  It's so fun watching you guys play and interact together.  I sure hope you will always be friends.  Or at least friendly to each other :)

You still love everything Lego.  You eat a variety of foods, you love fruit and cold veggies with dip.  You speak your mind and stand up for yourself.  You love superheroes and like to play Legos downstairs.  You like bath time because you can wear your goggles and pretend to swim.  You like Tae Kwon Do ok, but would prefer to play without anyone telling you what to do.  You are your own person, that's for sure.
You love your computer class and tell us you don't want to go to college.  We ask what you do plan to do, and you're not sure.  You don't miss a thing and ask 100s of questions.  I like it.  It's like a peek into your curious little mind.
I think we might be past the worst of your toddler behavior {knock on wood}.  You still get angry at times, but you are becoming much more skilled at managing your own emotions.  Listening to directions from us is a struggle, but we are working on it.
You now keep your bed dry almost every single night.  We have to go in and get you up after you've been in bed for an hour, but it works.  It's funny because you are often so out of it that you don't remember us getting you up!
You bring so much joy to our lives, sweet BBZ.  You made me a mommy five years ago, and we've been in this together ever since.  We challenge each other and help each other grow.  I know I am learning so much about the person I want to be from you, I can only hope that I am doing the same for you.
I love you, BBZ.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Today, my sweet littlest boy, you are two.

I'm not sure where these two years went, but I do know that I have loved (almost) every minute of it!

When I talk about you, I describe you as a little bundle of blonde sunshine that walks around and lights up every thing around you.  It is truly wonderful to be your mommy.  I cannot believe I get to have that job.

You are so sweet and sensitive.  Your feelings get hurt so easily.  I struggle with finding the balance between helping you learn that the world isn't really the happiest place you believe it is, and wanting to help you hold on to that reality for as long as you possibly can.

One of your teachers called you inspiring.  She said that she isn't sure if she wants children, but being around you makes her want to.  It was such a meaningful compliment she gave you.  You are kind and generous to other kids, and adults.  When you hear someone cry you talk about then feeling sad and ask if they want a hug.  You have such a sweet nature.

One thing that surprised me so much about you is how independent you are when going to bed.  You occasionally let me rock you still, but when you are ready for bed you just wave and say "bye-bye mommy".  That is not what I am used to!  You recently moved into a big boy bed, and it is going so well.  You usually stay in your bed until someone comes in, in the morning.  You'll wake up and lay in your bed and just sing and is such a lovely sound to wake up to.

You do have your moments of unhappiness, but they are very, very rare.  It almost always happens at night. You cry at night sometimes and we just bring you to bed with us.  You tend to sleep horizontally across the top of the bed though, which makes it hard to share our bed with you.  We make it work when we need to though.

Some other things about you:
You love trains.
You love to sing the ABCs.
Your favorite letter is W.
You can count to eleven. 
You repeat absolutely everything. 
You say, "come on, guys!" A lot. And can do "fums up, guys!" while holding two thumbs up.
You have a huge sweet tooth and love "fweezer pops".
You love to talk about papa and meme, as well as gramma di-di and papa z
You say "thank you mommy you're welcome"
On the way home from school today you said "look mommy, I see moon outside my window."
You often say "hmm, lets see" with your hand holding your chin as you make a decision.
You sing in your bed for up to 45 minutes before falling asleep and in the morning when you wake up.  You are so content to just entertain yourself, especially in bed.
You call your brother "I-Zat" and you sure do love him a whole lot.
You love to cause trouble at the dinner table.  Especially since refusing to sit in a high chair.

You have a big heart, my sweet Lu-Lu.  Watching you and your brother grow brings your daddy and me such joy.  We just smile along with you and are trying hard to raise you well.  I worry about you and your kind heart, but I know that the world needs more people like you and your brother.  I'm watching the baby years melt off of you as you become more and more the little boy you are destined to become.

My heart is happy, sweet LBZ.  I love you so much.


Monday, August 12, 2013

More than just a weekend away.

It was more like a cleansing for my soul.
A few months ago, my sister invited me to join her on a trip to Chicago.  She wrote a play a few years ago for one of her college classes.  She submitted the script to a theater festival and it was picked up by the theater and was to be showcased in Chicago!  She was so excited.  She lives in the far north and I’m about 5 hours away from Chicago, so we planned to just meet there and make a girl’s weekend out of it.

I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of anxiety about the trip.  Do I drive? Then I have to park and find my way around the city.  Do I fly?  Then I have to ride public transportation.  Like, a real subway.  That’s kind of scary, too.  My fear of this unknown trip almost caused me to not go.  I wanted to see my sister’s play, and I didn’t want her to have to go alone, so I booked the flight and set up things to find my own way around Chi-town.  All alone.

Now I'm no stranger to an unfamiliar city.  N and I have traveled all over the place for concerts and shows, etc.  But, he is the navigator.  He books the room and sets up the trip.  He figures out how we will get there, the safe place to stay, whether we'll have to walk or drive, etc.  He does it all.  I would be all on my own for this one.

We looked around at hotels and they price range was all over the place.  Some of the cheaper places seemed scary, because why were they so cheap?  The expensive places would have blown our whole budget out the window.  We were struggling to find an in-between.

Finally, we came across a hostel.  It was a really fun idea, had great reviews, and was much more affordable than the other places we found.  My sis booked it and we were set!

On Thursday before we left, I finally sat down and started seeing how the heck I was going to get from the airport to the hostel.  The hostel website made it sound incredibly easy.  Follow the signs in the airport to “Chicago Trains” or CTA.  Take the orange line to the Roosevelt exit.  At Roosevelt, take the red line to Fullerton.  From Fullerton walk east, turn left on Orchard, right on Arlington, and the hostel will be on the left.  Sounds perfect to me.

So I printed out various maps and felt ready.  At home I packed and got things ready for the boys, who were going to have a crazy weekend bounced between N, his parents, and his sister’s family because he had a few commitments planned for the weekend, too.
On Friday I dropped the boys off and gave them extra hugs since I wouldn’t see them until Sunday.  BBZ’s teacher asked where I was going and I explained that this was my first trip in years without anyone and all on my own to get around the city.  BBZ overheard me and asked if I was scared.  Playing it cool I said of course not and asked why she thought that.  He said I sounded scared, and I assured him I wasn’t and that I loved him and I would see him on Sunday.
Truth be told, I was scared.  I don’t know how aware I was of that fact, but I was definitely afraid of what could happen to me in the big, bad, unfamiliar city.
After all, these days even if we don’t have direct experience with something, our minds and opinions of it are shaped by television and news.  The news highlights bad things that happen to people on busses or trains, and I overgeneralize that to be the constant truth.  The truth is though, 1000s of people ride those same busses and trains without incident every single day.  Those instances are not news or story worthy though, so they are not the ones people hear.
So I couldn’t help the fear I felt, but I ignored it and tried to focus on the trip.  And it was fabulous.  I found my way fairly easily to the hostel, which was in one of the most beautiful little neighborhoods I have ever seen.  I arrived about 6 hours before my sister would, so I got to know the hostel and wandered around town a bit.
The area felt very much like my old neighborhood, the St. Louis Loop.  It was such a happy and exciting part of town.  I felt a great vibe while there.
As I walked along and shopped and poked around, I continued to feel this sense of needing my phone.  I kept checking it and finally it hit me, that no one in the world needed anything from me.  My boys were away and settled.  N had everything covered.  No one from work would call me.  It was an overwhelming sense of freedom, and peace.  It was just me.  Alone.  I could do whatever I wanted.  It was an amazing sense of understanding when I could turn off my connections to the world.  That it was safe to do so.
I also felt very confident about my ability to navigate my way to the hostel and around the city.  I was facing something that scared me and showing myself it was ok.  That is exactly what builds confidence.  Facing a fear, and surviving it.  I felt really prepared to do some more exploring.
Once my sis got there we really started to explore.  It was so nice to spend some time with her.  We walked on Friday and had some wine and some pizza and a pizza bar.  It was the coolest concept.  I hope they bring the idea to the Lou.

Saturday we went out early and walked and walked and walked.  We walked to the lake, which looks like the ocean.  We did some shopping and explored the neighborhood.  In the afternoon we went to another part of town at the theater.  We watched some music and some shows and watched them perform her show.  It was so cool!  The show was great, but the best part is that it was HER show.  They were performing HER show!  That she wrote!  It was awesome.
Her name was on the website, and the phone app, and the program…it was so cool.  I am so happy for her!  She is thinking of expanding the show to a full play, so we talked a bit about what that could be like.  It’s just a one-act play now.
We noticed as we started to explore that part of toen looking for a dinner spot that it had a very different vibe.  We weren’t scared, but we both had the same sense and decided to go back to where the hostel was.  We knew of some dinner places around there we wanted to try.
After dinner we went along with a group from the hostel that was doing a pub crawl.  It was a great way to see some of the smaller parts of the neighborhood that were off the beaten path.  We went to 2 bars with the group and gave up after that and headed back.  We were so tired from our busy day!  We did meet a mailman from Sweden and a research biologist from France, who was originally from Austria. 
The best thing about our trip was probably where we chose to stay. We met so many young people who were explorers and adventurers.  So many of them were visiting from other countries, and here to get an idea of what life is like outside of their country.
Sunday was just a day of travel.  I felt like a mastered the L train and knew just where to go and what to expect as I made my way back to the airport.
As our plane began to lift off from the city, I realized something that I only see when I fly.  Exactly how small I really am.  I spent the hour-long trip home realizing this.  It was a beautiful clear day, so I saw fields of emptiness sprinkled with towns and cities.  I daydreamed about how communities were build way back when and how people stay in the little town , or big city, that they know and understand.  I got a bird’s eye view of what the world really looks like.
As we began our decent to land, we circled around my hometown, which isn’t far from where I live now.  I saw how tiny homes make one big community. I saw our plane get closer, and closer until we were on the ground again, and I saw my world grow to the huge place I sense it is, but with the understanding of how small we really are. It was an amazing sensation.  It felt as though the world made sense.  Stresses began to lift off of me.  I exhaled and felt a relief.  I don’t think I understood how much I was holding in until it all seemed to be breathed away.
I don’t know if I can accurately explain this.  All I know is that I hope it stays with me for a while.  I have had this realization before after plane rides.  I see where I and my family and my little life fit into the big world and the big picture, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day business.  To think that no one knows how hard it is to work full-time and juggle kids and keep the house clean and exercise and eat well and teach my boys about the world and keep it all afloat.
But the truth is it will all be fine.  All of it.  Every single bit of it.  No matter what is to be, it will be.  And what is happening with me in my little life right now, while not exactly the same, is also happening to families in all of those little towns between here and Chicago, as well as in Sweden and France and Austria.  People just living our lives.  Hoping for the best of the future.  Learning and growing as human beings.  Existing in this world together.   
I feel so cleansed.  I feel open and free.  I feel a new sense of what I want in this life of mine and what I hope to teach my boys about the world.  I feel awakened and with a new understanding.  I just hope it stays with me for a while.  I also know that I need to plan trips like this on a regular basis to help me keep this perception.  Maybe my next trip will be out of the country, which is something I have also felt quite a bit of anxiety about.  The man from France I spoke to told me that until I go to a country where people don’t speak my language and I can’t just fit right in, it doesn’t really count.  I don't think I'd do that without my N, though.  If I feel this amazing after a trip only 300 miles away, imagine how far my mind and soul would reach if I really stretch outside of my comfort zone.  Only more soul cleansing and understanding, I am sure. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm going to regret this.

And I don't mean this actual post. I'm not about to say something I'm going to regret.

What the title means is that I am going to regret this time that I am not blogging. 

These boys are growing up right in front of me. And while I really have been focusing on just being present with them rather than recording Every. Single. Thing. that we do, I am thinking about how much I love reading back to BBZ's youngest years, and I don't want to forget these sweet times that are so incredibly precious to me. 

I mean seriously, look at this picture. Can't you just imagine these young boys as teenagers on some camping trip? Posting this exact photo to their own page? It is simply a few short years away, and I will surely blink and see these boys off to college. 

Oh how I love them so. They are beginning to play together. Like, really play together. BBZ sets the scene and little bro follows right along. Some of the things BBZ says has us laughing for days.

He told N the other day that his head hurt not because he was sick (which he was) but rather because he was smart. He said that his brain thinks too hard and hurts itself. He went on to say that he better get used to his head hurting because he is going to be smart for eighty hundred years. Man, I sure do love that boy. 

LBZ speaks in 3-4 word sentences, loves pretending to sneeze, likes tv more than I would have guessed, ends up in our bed at 3am every other night, loves to draw, loves to swim, and doesn't take a bottle at all anymore. 

While I haven't been blogging much, we have been busy. Working, living our lives, loving our boys, watching them grow, teaching them about the world, and basically spending our days doing our best to love each other as well as we can. 

Life is great. I hope reading this in 5 years is a good enough reminder if how things are/were. They are pretty fantastic :)

Monday, June 17, 2013


I believe I have mentioned before the long road we've been on with BBZ and swimming.  He began his relationship with the pool completely terrified.

It was not all his fault, however.  I am sure that my worry about his certain death by drowning was communicated to him through my mannerisms, even though I tried to keep a cool head.  I am a worrier, after all.

So when he was 3 years old, he began participating in swimming class once/week at preschool.  His teacher was a swim instructor and really encouraged us to enroll him in 1:1 swimming classes so she could work closely with him.

It was really expensive, but worth every penny.  She knew him well since she was one of his main teachers, so she knew exactly how to gently push him without him withdrawing.  She said that he is such a charmer, he would charm the pants off of anyone working with him and get out of having to do anything he didn't want to do.  Man, she had him figured out!

He sure has come a long way though.  As part of our Father's Day weekend, we went to the pool this past Saturday and he had a blast.  He swims every day now in the pool at his school during summer camp, so he knows what areas he can go into and where he can touch.  He was so confident.  I am a proud mama.

Now, let's talk about LBZ.  This boy.  He radiates confidence in the water.  I think he is probably also reflecting what I give off, and since I am a much more confident mama (I know he will not only survive swimming, but he WILL feel comfortable in the water before age three) he rises to my level of expectation.

He saw this slide, and wouldn't stop until he reached the top.  He saw those stairs, and begged to climb them "up and down, up and down, mommy".
I didn't think I was allowed to go with him, so I sent his brother.  BBZ got bored with that and ran off to play with a friend.  I ended up going up the stairs to the top with him, but he slid down on his own.  Over and over and over, he circled around the other side of this play area, back up the stairs, and slid again.
At times, he slid down like he owned it.  Other times, he sat at the top and just looked around.  It appeared at first that he was scared, but I don't think he was.  I think he was just watching the world.  Perhaps contemplating it from atop this high place.  I like to think that he was just enjoying the quiet peacefulness of the place, much like we do on top of a mountain.  It was kind of surreal.
These boys just continue to amaze me.  I love watching them grow, and contrast them against each other not in some sort of competitive way, but instead to celebrate their differences and better learn who they are.  
Each of them are their own unique person, developing right before my eyes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Is he STILL taking a bottle?

I was thinking the other day about when I should take away LBZ's night time bottle.  Yes, he is 21 months old.  Today, actually.

No one actually asked me this question, but the whole thing got me thinking about when I wrote this post about BBZ still nursing...and I started to recognize the similarities.

No one really knows he still drinks a bottle at night.  He won't even really take one if he isn't at home.  And even when N puts him to bed when I'm not there he isn't really that into it.  It is definitely our thing.  And selfishly, I really like it.

He is independent in 1000 ways.  His independence is so incredibly different than his brother's.  BBZ is independent too, but snuggling at night, not letting go of nursing, wanting us to help with dressing and shoes, etc, those are things that have been and are a part of BBZ's life.

LBZ on the other hand, wants to do everything himself.  He wants to be put to bed awake and have some time to himself before he falls asleep.  He shows us numerous times throughout the day that he is capable of doing so much for himself.  So this little bit of his baby self hanging on is alright with me.

Plus, it still feels like our own special thing we do, like nursing was with BBZ.  I didn't get that as long with LBZ, so I am soaking it up.

I did decide last night to start reading to him before bed, with the hopes that when he transitions into his toddler bed he will be bottle free.  He won't need to be rocked then, and we will be able to snuggle in bed and read books together as we do with BBZ, if that's what LBZ wants.

I am slowly talking myself into just going for it.  He would probably be fine drinking his warm milk from a sippy cup, but what's the difference then?  It might as well be a bottle until we're done having anything at bedtime in my opinion.

I am slowly, but surely, getting close to being ready to let go of this.  Clearly, this is a lot about me.  I'm not afraid to admit that.  This night time bottle is what allowed me to be ok with ending nursing.  This bottle is how I continued to bond with my littlest boy when I didn't think there would be a way for me to do so.  This bottle is more than just a bottle.

But like all good things, it will come to an end.  He will move into his toddler bed and a new routine will begin.  I'm looking forward to it, while also cherishing this baby-ness of his that will very soon be a distant past.

So yes, he is still taking a bottle.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mommy's Squishy Belly

For as long as I can remember, I have been self conscious of my tummy area.  I remember once in high school wearing a shortish shirt and running back inside to grab a jacket to cover myself up because I felt too bare.  Considering I was 16, about 90 pounds, and hadn't had children yet, I'd kill for that belly back.

When I was pregnant it was awesome.  Having a belly pooch is swooned over during pregnancy.  Even when I was nursing after I had the boys I felt pretty great.  I was about 5-7 pounds less than usual, which isn't a lot, but I carry every ounce in my belly, so it really did show back up after I stopped pumping for LBZ.
I'm working on a new outlook, and there have been a few contributing factors to my new outlook on this body that I have.

Looking back at my high school self got me thinking...I sure wish I had felt better in that top when my belly actually was thin.  Fast forward to now, I want to love the body I have right now, because even with some serious exercising, it's likely that this belly ain't goin' nowhere, so I'd better just get used to it.  And as I age, my body will keep changing, and perhaps not always the way I want it to.

I found a website recently that talks about the physical changes our bodies go through and how we as women should embrace this.  In addition to having a pretty dynamic pooch, I also have really stretched out skin.  Not stretch marks, but just stretched out skin from 41 weeks with BBZ and 41 weeks and 3 days with LBZ.  Check out the Facebook page if you have a moment.  It also contributed to a new sense of physical self I am developing.

The other thing that has me embracing my tummy is BBZ's love for it.  He tells me on almost a daily basis how much he loves my "squishy belly".

Now at first this bothered me.  It made me cringe and want to suck it in or deny to myself that it even existed.  But not anymore.

The boy loves it.  When we snuggle at night he will purposefully lay on my belly and talk about how comfortable it is and how happy he is that my belly isn't flat and hard.  Oh, the irony.

I read this post yesterday, which mentions a quote by Kate Winslet:

"As a child, I never heard one woman say to me: ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said: ‘I am so proud of my body.’ So, I make sure I say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start from a very early age.”
Now I realize that I don't have girls, but my boys are watching me and they care about how I feel about myself.  I want to be confident in who I am.  And I want to show them if they don't like something, then they should make it a priority to change it, not just sit around and complain about it.

And if they are doing all they feel they can to change it, it is time to accept it, and move along. 

I also saw these photos of Alanis Morissette wearing a bikini over her not-so-perfect post-baby body.  The message is clear.  I need to love my body right now.

I am changing my perspective on me and my squishy belly.  I'm embracing it.  I am exercising, but the truth is, I may never live up to my own expectations of myself, so I might as well enjoy who I am and what I look like right this moment.

Honestly, even with its imperfections, I do love my body. I love the size I wear. I love the way my husband loves the way I look. I love that I can be comfortable in my own skin. 

That's a lot more fun and freeing anyway :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

The apple doesn't fall far.

My nephew is a young man who has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of Autism.  My mom has worked with the government in her state to change laws to expand services to people with Autism.  The link below is to an article that talks about the work she, my nephew, and others in the state have been doing to get these services part of the law.
I definitely feel like I was taught to be an advocate by my parents.  They always taught me to stand up for myself and for what I believe in.  So when I found out recently that the city government wanted to do some construction in my city, I became involved.
The project would be completed through a federally funded grant and would cost the city nothing.  It would bring 2.5 miles of roadway and sidewalks to width and length requirements as outlined in the best practices of the ADA.  Some residents who live on the street where the project would take place felt that the city was imposing in their property.  Many residents don't want to project at all, but some others want the project but don't want to follow the specific requirements as outlined in the American's with Disabilities Act.
This is where I come in.  As a resident of this community, I felt like I had to share my feelings about this and any other future project that will occur in my city.  I attended the city council meeting and said the following information during my 3 minutes of the public hearing:
I’m here to talk with the council about universal design, accessibility and the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990.  And while I don’t have a disability or need mobility modifications, I have dedicated over 15 years of my life to working toward a better world for people with disabilities.
UD is designed to even the playing field so to speak.  If the world is accessible for all people, disabilities will cease to exist.
I envision a world without disabilities.  Not because we find a cure for Spinal Cord Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury, but because we start to build a world that is designed for all people.  We can only do that by following the manual that the ADA provides to us as a standard practice as we consider any new construction in our neighborhoods and in our city.
These standards benefit all people.  I live behind the community center and walk 1-2 times a day in the neighborhood.  My family and I are not able to walk next to each other because the sidewalks are not wide enough.  We either walk single file on the sidewalks or move into the street so we can walk and talk together as a family.  Luckily we live on a block where walking in the street is a somewhat safe option.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to know that if something happens to me, that I will continue to be able to access all areas of my neighborhood, even if my mobility needs change.  There is a woman named Marca Bristo, who runs a very successful disability resource agency in Chicago, who described to me her experience when she returned home from rehab after she sustained a SCI as a result of a diving accident.
She wanted to have some friends over as a welcome home party.  She headed out to the store to purchase groceries for the party and rolled to the end of her street.  There was no curb cut, and she was unable to get down from the curb.  She turned around, and rolled her chair to the opposite intersection, which also did not have a curb cut.  She followed her whole block around and there was no way for her to independently cross the street because of a lack of accessibility.  In the matter of one accident, her world shrunk to the one block radius where her house was.
I challenge each of you to look at your street and curbs when you get home, and ask yourself how you might be able to access the places you do, should your mobility needs change.
Because the fact is, every single one of us in this room, as well as our children and our parents, is one car accident, one diagnosis, or one wrong place at the wrong time moment away from our world shrinking to that which is accessible under these ADA best practice standards.
Thank you for your time.
The 3 minutes flew by, and I actually had to skip some of what I wanted to say, which included some statistics about people with disabilities in our area, but I think my message was effectively sent.  I also thought of more to add as I listened to the other residents speak.  One of the biggest arguments is the preservation of the trees that line the street that is to be redone.  There are many trees on the street, and most of them will be preserved with the plan, but some will have to be removed.
This was a hard one for me, because I am also a self-proclaimed tree-hugging hippie, so to advocate for the removal of trees goes against some of my own personal beliefs.  But as I heard these folks speak I came to a very important conclusion.
What good is preserving a tree of not all people in the world are able to enjoy it's beauty?  Or it's smell.  Or the sounds of its leaves blowing in the breeze.  A beautiful place is only beautiful if it is not isolated.  Especially if it is in a place that is open to and for the public.
The specifications laid out in the ADA and in laws following it are there for a reason.  Many people poured their hearts into writing them.  Spend days and nights measuring, testing, capturing, and ultimately ensuring that those specifications are what is needed and what is best for all people, regardless of ability or mode of mobility.  They cannot and should not be dismissed.
So I had my 3 minutes, and felt an unbelievable sense of pride in having the opportunity to address my city's council.  And I am more prepared for the next issue that might arise.  I plan to attend more of the meetings to stay up on the current happening in my city.
Because I can't complain about the problem if I am not willing to be part of the solution.  Or something wise like that.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A good ol' fashioned update.

I have not felt like blogging at all lately.  Totally uninspired.  Totally busy living life with my family.  Kissing my husband.  Loving on my boys.  Struggling with what the future of my career holds.  Just living.  You know, l.i.v.i.n.g.

But I really want to want to blog.  I have 2 somewhat serious posts started in my drafts, but I just cannot seem to finish them.  But I want to.  I want to have my words written for my boys as they grow.  I want to have information about what they were like as I look back on their early years, which are flying by faster than I would have ever imagined.  And we are loving these two boys of our.  So much.

The weekend kind of started on Wednesday.  I sat down with the boys and made their end-of-the-year teachers gifts.  I was going to but something, but then I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and figured we would stick to home made.  BBZ wrote letters on the back of his to his teachers, and LBZ drew some pictures on the back of his.  They were fun to make and turned out pretty cute!

Thursday night we went to a MLS game at Busch Stadium.  It was absolutely awesome.  I love soccer anyway, and the energy in this place was incredible.  We planned to have N's sister watch the boys, but my parents decided to come in town, so they stayed with the boys.  It was a great time, but Friday was rough for me :)

Friday we had a quiet night at home.  We brought in pizza, played video games and spent time with my parents.  It was a great Friday.

We also walked to the playground on Friday.  It's so nice to have one so close to our house.  LBZ and his Papa sure have a special relationship.  He wanted his Papa all weekend!  When he woke up this morning, he actually asked for Papa to come in and get him.  It was actually quite nice, since it was 5:45am.  Luckily, my dad wakes up really early!

Saturday morning after breakfast, my parents went to visit my grandma, so N and the boys and I took off to the garden.  Lu has the best little smile right now, where his eyes are squinted and his teeth are all's the cutest.  This is my attempt to catch it, but instead he just said "cheese!"

This one likes me to think he's as sweet as can be, but I know better :)

I caught it!  I can't get over the cuteness of this super-duper smile.

The obligatory photo on the carriage outside of the children's garden.  Spiderman style.

LBZ loves water.  Anything about water or swimming or splashing has his name all over it.  I really had to explain to him that he couldn't go into this water.  He was so disappointed.

So when we got to the fountain, which was on even thought it was quite cold, I had to let him play.  Of all the days I forgot a change of clothes, it had to be today.  So I had to strip him down to his diaper and save his clothes for after.  He started shivering and still did not want to leave. 

On Friday, N and the boys took my parents to see the new Lego store.  BBZ was so excited to show off the new store to my parents.  When I got home from work, there was this cute sign that says "a gift for mama because she is so pretty" with a treasure map on the back.  Hidden in BBZ's closet was this Lego, which I have wanted for years.

I was so excited!  But I also knew that it would probably take a while, so I didn't start building it until LBZ's nap on Saturday.  Then I opened it and realized that it didn't have the numbered bags like thy usually do.  1300 pieces and no rhyme or reason to the way it was organized.  It was tough, but I figured out a system.

I got a ways through it, but I couldn't work on it all day and I couldn't leave it out on the table since we had to eat dinner, so I stacked the bowls up and put the bigger pieces in a bag until later.  Then I was up until about 11:30pm and decided I really didn't want to stay up all night, so I saved the rest for Sunday morning.

So I finally got the whole thing done!  This guy loved it, but I guarantee it will not be downstairs with the other Lego's for him to play with.  This one is going on a shelf.

I finished it in time to get everything ready for our Memorial Day BBQ.  Most of our friends were out of town and others bailed, but we had fun anyway.  N set up the hammock he got for Christmas and BBZ had a blast.

We all did, actually.  It was a nice and relaxing place to swing and to snuggle.  Even if he didn't cooperate with the self portrait attempts.

These boys.

They played hide and seek with our friend, Ben, and LBZ didn't quite get the memo of how to play.  He kept yelling BBZ's name and telling Ben where he went.  It was pretty cute.

BBZ needs to work on his hiding skills, for real.

This is Janelle's surprised face.  LBZ took this one.

Everyone is snoozing.

Today we decided to go to the Gypsy Caravan, which was awesome even though it was a little hot.  I bought this cool necklace.
Then I did a little shopping and got everything ready for school tomorrow.  The boys rough-housed with N and we had BBQ leftovers for dinner.  Then we decided to have some family time and games.  And wine.

This cutie won.  He is currently cheering for himself.  "Yay!!!"

Don't you just love the 'A Beautiful Mess' app?  It's pretty fun.  So tomorrow is a new day.  The boys are each starting in their new classrooms.  BBZ is worried.  LBZ is clueless.  And I'm worried too.  I know they will both be fine, but none of us handle change as well as I wish we would, but we do our best.
LBZ is counting.  Well, he has 1-2, 1-2 completely down, then he will skip to 7-8-9, which is so sweet to hear.  He loves elmo and "mon-ter" and has been going to sleep at nap time without rocking.  He loves being outside and is beginning to hit, even though we are trying to prevent it.  He is a handful, and we love every minute of him.
BBZ is doing so well.  He is curious and smart and is figuring out this world more and more each day.  N told me the other day that he is able to figure out the challenges that the video games present to them faster than N can figure them out.  It makes me happy that he is using his mind during those games and not just playing a game for no reason.  He is pickier than he used to be, but will still eat fruit all day long if we let him.  He is stubborn and a little dramatic, and we are loving watching him grow.
Overall, things are amazing.  We are just living our lives and watching our wonderful boys grow.  I do have some deep thoughts I would love to share, but for whatever reason, my dedication to blogging is taking aback seat.  I am confident that it will return though.  Especially because of how much I enjoyed typing this.
Have a great week, friends!

Friday, April 26, 2013

4 and a Half. (and about a month)

About a month or so ago, my sweet BBZ turned 4 and a half.  Where has the time gone?  You are growing into such a lively little boy.  The toddler days of you are a distant memory as I watch you grow more and more into a little boy.

You say some of the funniest things!  One night at dinner, a kind (but a little creepy) waitress passed by LBZ and teased him and said "I'm gonna get you and take you home with me!". As she walked away you said "If she grabs him I'm going to elbow strike her!"  It was so funny. You just love your little brother.  Watching over him seems to come naturally to you.

You also said this while playing with some friends, "Guys, I'm just looking for a little excitement. And maybe even some danger. I am Batman, you know".

Everything is superheros.  Everything is larger than life and fantasy and the dreams of a little boy.  I just love it so very much, being your mama and watching you grow.  It is food for my soul.

One day while visiting Meme and Papa, you and your daddy were playing superheros.  You and he were superman and wonder woman and were married.  You were both running around and I think your daddy wanted to stop playing, so he said "that's it, I want a divorce!"  To which you responded by getting on the floor on your hands and knees and said... "ok, I will be de' horse".  It too had your daddy and me giggling for days.

You are certainly your own person, that's for sure.  These past 6 months have been full of extracurricular activities.  Tae Kwon Do and soccer to be exact.  You aren't in love with either, but you will at least participate in Tae Kwon Do.  You passed your first belt and this is your certificate.  You are so proud, even if it is upside down.

As far as soccer goes, you are not into it.  Last night, after you basically refused to practice, you finally told me that you don't want people to tell you what to do or how to play.  You just want to play.  When I asked you what you do want to do, you said you really want to take the computer class at school.  So that's the next plan for an extra activity.

So for now, it seems that sports might not be your thing, which is fine!  I just want you to find something that you love, whatever that might be.

You are still a serious snuggler.  You will fall asleep in your bed if I stay with you, but you still manage to crawl in bed with us occasionally.  But so does your brother.  I was in this bed with all of you boys just seconds before I snapped this photo.  How did I fit in there!?!

You took it upon yourself to crawl down and get to know your new baby niece.  You sure do love babies.  And baby girls especially.

You do have a new love of drawing and writing. It wasn't long ago that you didn't want to color. I think you had a hard time dealing with the picture you were drawing not looking on the paper the same way it did in your mind. You are able to draw more pictures now, so you seem to enjoy it more. And your brother is always close by you, wanting to be just like his big brother.

And reading.  Oh, how you love reading!  You are beginning to recognize some words, but more than anything, you love to be read to.  You will look at the pictures and imagine what the story is.  We read together every single night before bed.  I caught you "reading" by yourself one night and snapped the photo.  I love the way the light shines on your face.  Oh, how I love you so.

You and your brother and your daddy mean so much to me.  You are so much fun and such a challenge at the same time.  You teach me something every single day, and I am so happy to learn and grow from what you teach.  I can only hope that I am teaching you some things too.

I love you, sweet BBZ.  Happy (month after your) half birthday.