Today you are two

Today you are 2 Andrew.

Memories, milestones, and so much more has been achieved in the past year.

How do I summarize it all into one post, how do I explain all that you’ve done, all that you’ve accomplished? I don’t think that I can.

Andrew 3

My little baby is quickly turning into a little boy.

Every day he learns something new and changes in a little ways.

Every day his smile and laughter warms my heart.

Andrew 2

He makes everyone laugh, even his sisters who I know adore him greatly.

He’s a little sponge and seem to pick up some of the silliest things from them as well.

He is full of light and love and happiness.

Andrew 1

As we look ahead to the next year what new thing will you learn?

What new things will you teach us?

One thing that I’m sure of is that you are a true joy to us all and we love you more than you know.

Happy Birthday, Andrew.

What’s in a name

When I was pregnant with Andrew my husband and I (and the girls too) went back & forth so many times that I wasn’t sure if we would ever pick a name for him. We just couldn’t decide what to name the baby or I should say that we couldn’t agree on a name.

Before we knew what we were having we had a huge list of boy names and a smaller list of girl names and had to go through a process of elimination which… was very difficult! I seriously thought that once we had the baby that we would never be able to leave the hospital because we just couldn’t agree on a name or worse yet the nurse would have to name the baby. Scary thought, right?

Once we knew what we were having our list was narrowed down a bit. A boy. We were having a boy.

We made it through my entire pregnancy without a name or almost all the way through it. Then one day while at the circus, a mere 2 weeks before he was born,  a decision was made! Yes, you did read that right…. at the circus. No, we weren’t going to name the baby after one of the clowns or anything like that.

At the circus

My husband wanted to name him after himself…. a jr. and I wanted to name him Grayson and we just couldn’t find a happy middle ground. But it was my husbands grandmother who helped us out that day. She suggested that we name him Andrew… after her father. It was such an easy decision at that point! We finally had a name…. Andrew Noel. Andrew from my husbands side and Noel from mine.

andrew

Not Andy. Not Drew. Just Andrew. At least for now it’s just Andrew… maybe in time it will get shortened.

Did you have trouble picking a name for your baby? How did you & your spouse come to an agreement for a baby name?

 

This is a featured post written by me on behalf of Bounty. The opinions and story of naming my son are all mine.

There’s no place like….

I heard something the other day…. there’s no place like… and of course it got me thinking. There’s no place like what? A lot of places came to mind.

Of course the random thoughts came into mind like the Wizard of Oz but the I was back on track after a moment.

So there’s no place like what? What comes to mind first?

Home. Of course there’s no place like home.

Walking into your home after a long day at work or after being away on vacation is comforting. It’s the sight of the pictures of your friends and family welcoming you, the messes you left, or the perfect organization you have. It’s the smell that is unique to your home, again welcoming you in. Your home is special and always a place you can relax, laugh, and play with your family.

pumpking carving

Carving pumpkins at home

There’s no place like…. the beach.

The sun shining down on the sand warming it so when you walk on it your feet are enveloped in the heat or the water glistening with each ray of light that hits it. The beach is a wonderful place to sit back, relax with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. It’s also a great place to spend the day splashing in the surf with the kids, building sand castles, and eating a picnic lunch. The beach can be almost anything you want it to be and what’s even better is that they’re all over… whether it’s the beach at a local lake or the white sandy beaches on a tropical island there really is not place like it.

Kids on the beach

My kids on the beach in Mackinaw City

There’s no place like…. cuddling with a baby.

Cuddles from a baby are amazing. They make you feel safe & warm even though you’re the adult holding the baby. Holding a baby brings a smile to your face and can brighten anyone’s day no matter how bad it’s been. Holding a baby is love… pure and simple and there’s nothing like the joy you feel when holding your baby for the first time.

Newborn

Holding my newborn

There’s nothing like… sleeping in a big bed alone.

I love this! I love being able to make the bed perfectly and then climb in and position myself right in the middle. The comfort of the cool sheets below me and the weight of all the blankets and comforters above me. There’s nothing like being able to spread out in bed… diagonal, across the middle, or however you want. Now this is not to say that sleeping with my husband is a bad thing but every once in a while when he’s gone I look forward to that time where I can hog the entire bed, pillows, and blankets!

There’s no place like….what? Well, it’s your turn so tell me!

 

Mom Fail?

Lately conversations with my oldest have been strained…. tense… or whatever you want to call it. But today I feel like today was a total mom fail (again).

Cait

My beautiful Cait

My oldest, Caitlin, is an incredibly smart, talented, and beautiful child. And I’m not just saying this because I am her mom… it’s proven by the grades she gets (her current GPA is a 4.50), the awards she has gotten for band & choir competitions, and through conversations with teachers. She’s well behaved, doesn’t get into trouble at home or at school and does what she’s supposed to. Almost sounds like the perfect child, right?

This is what’s bothering me. She is very focused, very driven, and wants to excel academically. That’s good. But it seems to come at the expense of everything else. And by everything I mean that she doesn’t go out with her friends ever, she doesn’t go to school events (like the homecoming dance), she doesn’t take part in all the fun things that make high school a little more enjoyable and make it more than just education.

I feel that one day she is going to look back at her time in high school and regret not having enjoyed the time she had. The time when responsibility was next to nothing, the time when you can just have fun with friends.

Then I learned something. Something that shouldn’t really shock me since it happened when I was in school. Drinking… lots and lots of underage drinking.

She told me that all kids do is go out and party and drink. They’ve come to band camp practices still drunk or hung over this summer. Really? Is this all there is to do around here? What the hell!

I’ve been trying to push her to do things with her friends but she pushes back and doesn’t do anything with them. I get the normal excuses… there’s nothing to do, what are we supposed to do, and so on.

I thought about it for a minute and there isn’t a lot to do around here where I live for teens but you can still make your own fun. Go to the movies, rent a movie, hang out at each others houses, or go to the park and play (Yes, teens can play at the park too!). All of these ideas were scoffed at.

She’ll go to the movies with her boyfriend or watch movies at his house or ours. But other than that she is at home with us.

She’s to grown up. Having fun & being silly doesn’t seem to be part of who she is anymore.

This is where the mom fail part comes in. Is this my fault? Did I push to hard for her to do well in school when she was younger? Did I not give her enough opportunity to have fun, play, and do things with friends?

The answer is I simply don’t know.

What I do know is that I feel bad for pushing her to do things with friends. I want her to know that I love her and want the best for her but also that she needs to have fun, enjoy life, enjoy school, enjoy friends, and everything that goes along with that. I want her to do well in school and life after school. But most of all I don’t want her to look back with any sort of regret. I don’t want her to miss out on anything.

Do I let it go or do I try to get her to do things with her friends? I don’t know anymore.

Things I like about ME!

Today I am linking up with C.Mom and we’re all talking about ourselves. Yes, ourselves! And for a change all the things that we LIKE about us.

More often than not we as women tend to look at ourselves and find fault in so many things whether they are visible to others or not. I know that I am terrible with this as well as being worried about what others think of me.

I’ve always had the issue where I am concerned about what others think of me… am I to heavy, my hair isn’t perfect, my clothes aren’t the latest trends, and the list goes on. Honestly, I know that I shouldn’t care, right?

So what do I like about me? Let’s make a list because that’s easiest.

Blue eyes – I have blue eyes, dark hair, and as the summer progresses my skin turns a nice golden brown which accentuates the blue color of my eyes. Sometimes I feel that it sets me apart… kinda like the person who has dark brown eyes and silky blond hair. It’s just different. My guess is that the dark hair & skin came from my mom’s side (Italian) and the blue eyes came from my dads (Scottish).

My hair – it’s not straight that’s for sure! It’s really thick and wavy/curly and that makes it pretty easy at times to wash and go! There are times that I wish I had that smooth straight hair that everyone seems to have lately, but I can always straighten it or go curly and make it look great.

My ability to let things go – I don’t let things get to me or bother me because I’ve learned that holding on and being upset doesn’t help me or the situation at all. I realize that there are times that this just isn’t possible but for the most part if we all just relaxed and let things go we’d all have a lot less stress and upset in our lives.

I think that we can all take a look at ourselves and say that we’re pretty good people and that it’s just the small things that bug us. We let those things get to us and if we focus on the good things we could be happier.

We are who we are….let’s embrace us.

a rare photo of me

It's me!