A Moment from Today

This happened today:
I was in the kitchen, starting dinner.
Ella was in the living room doing her usual: grocery shopping with her naked baby in one arm, purse and phone (it currently is a medical thermometer that she calls her phone) in the other and only one shoe on and no pants (this is pretty much her favorite activity of all time and she does it each and every single day).
I once again tripped over one of the empty milk/water gallon containers that we have sitting next to the trash can, waiting to go out and I had this brilliant idea of teaching Ella how to bowl, using the empty gallon containers as pins so I called out, "Ella! Do you want to go bowling?"
Immediately she responded, "BOWLING! Bowling! Bowling!"
I was kind of surprised, had someone else taught her how to bowl? 
Why was she so excited about something I didn't think she knew how to do?
Then came Ella, racing from the living room to the kitchen with only her one shoe on and a tupperware bowl clutched in her little hands, "Bowling! Bowling!" 
She stood right next to the fridge with her eager fingers clasping her bowl.
She thought bowling had something to do with kitchen bowls and filling them with food (because what else would you do with bowls?)
I kind of died laughing.
I explained, "No, no, no, this is another kind of bowling with these milk jugs!"
She was not happy to hear that, "No! Bowling!" Once again extending that bowl out to me.
So I filled it with slices of cheese for her and when she was finished eating those we worked on learning the other kind of bowling.
The activity didn't last long, she wasn't much of a fan.
Her purse, baby and phone (the thermometer) and shoe.
She was originally wearing pants, but then she pooped and it didn't end well for the pants.
And that shoe was sent to her from the beautiful Marnaloah, she misplaced it's pair so she just wears the one right now but she loves it because she can put it on all by herself.

But I'll tell you what activity she WAS a fan of.
Yesterday I filled the sink with warm soapy water and threw in some dishes and let her play in it.
Holy cow, best activity ever.
If Ella can be entertained by the same activity for 15 minutes straight, that is a straight up miracle.
This girl played in that water for almost an entire hour, all by herself.
It was incredible.
I didn't even know what to do with myself while she was so self-entertained.
By the end there was water EVERYWHERE, but it resulted in a really clean floor and counters.

6 Week Old Little Man

This picture is from his first week of life when he was confined to the bluebed of torture, I love it but never posted it, so better late than never.

 One-month-old pictures:

 vbbb         yhj       yyb

--words typed by Ella when she was sneakily playing on my computer when I wasn't paying attention, she wanted to contribute to this post, I guess.

Oh my little man, I just adore you!
I could kiss those cheeks and that chin all day long, especially since you've started getting the biggest toothless grin on your sweet face when I do that, my heart pretty much explodes when you smile.
I love your grunts!
You grunt and grunch and snort all day long.
It adds to your overall little old man vibe, with the balding head and the sweet toothlessness.
You have chunked up fast, we keep joking that we feed you ice cream all day with how quickly you've put on weight, I love the chunkiness, so keep it up! 
But oh, Little Man, you are going through a rough time right now. 
Miss Lala went through the same thing at your age, we call it , "The Storm."
It makes for some rough days.
You are either sleeping or awake and grumpy.
But just like with Ella, I'm sure this will pass and we will get to know the real sweet and happy you.
Occasionally you have moments of peaceful contentedness and it gives me a glimpse into your personality.
You sometimes like to lay by yourself in a part of the room that is separate from all the crazy noise and you just lay there and stare at the world around you.
Your favorite places in the house are by windows letting in lots of light.
Your grumpiest time is from 8pm to 2am. 
Very little sleep happens then, mostly just crying and screaming.
And oh my goodness do you have a shrill scream.
The place you love the most and that helps you sleep the best, is strapped to either me or Dada.
The world is a happier place to you from inside that protected place.
You can handle anything from there, even Ella's crazy dance parties that we have on a daily basis.
Thank goodness for that wrap.
But, I've got some good news for you, I think you have narrowly avoided the name "Fifi" following you to high school.
We started calling you "Finn" to encourage Ella to call you that instead of "Fifi" (since Fenton is apparently impossible for her to say), and it has caught on!
She now very sweetly refers to you as "Feen."
The first thing that your sister wants to do in the morning is find out where you are.
The day cannot continue until she has seen your sweet round face.
You are so patient with her rather brutal hugs and face-flattening kisses.
She is crazy about you.
She imitates your noises and giggles over them.

If Fenton could talk, I'm fairly positive this is what he would say

This is an important note to all my friends up there in Heaven who haven't come down here to earth yet.
Before you come down here, you'll be told about this lady who gives you milk when you're hungry and this guy who is really good at bouncing you when you are sad.
They're pretty decent people most of the time, so it's nice to have them around.
But what they don't tell you is that there is a crazed girl down here too.
You'll just be sitting on your comfy couch (well more like lounging between the two cushions since sitting won't be one of your skills until later on) and out of nowhere there will be this amazingly high pitched screeching and hollering that goes like this,  "BEEEEBEEEEE!!!!!"
And that is a siren that warns you when the crazed girl is making an entrance.
Before that siren has even finished it's horrendous screeching you will feel sharp claws attacking your whole body.
And there will be the crazed girl, perched next to you, most likely with some innocent toy clasped in her claws that she is sure to introduce to you.
Sometimes she attacks you for the sole purpose of pointing out all of your body parts (especially your knee) to the milk lady who will ridiculously applaud her for something she's already done fifty two times this week.
This last time she attacked she had all of her "cooking utensils" in her hands and she proceeded to make some disgusting make-believe oatmeal for me and force feed it down my throat.
It was the worst oatmeal I've ever had.
I tried to make her stop by making some very obvious signals, but did that stop her? 
No it did not.
In fact, it made it worse, she thought I was in need of a drink to wash down her wretched oatmeal and so she pretended to pour milk into my mouth.
So I started to cry so that the milk lady would come and rescue me but she just sat there and laughed and recorded the awful moment with her horrible flashing black box.
And to make it even worse, the bouncing guy came home and the milk lady laughed and smiled while she told him what the crazed girl had done to me.
I caught her saying the word, "cute" multiple times.
Milk Lady, if this treatment is considered cute then the time I threw up all over the two of us was positively adorable.
So beware, friends, of the crazed girl.
For some of you it will be a crazed boy rather than a girl and for some of you there will be more than one. 
I pity you already, good luck surviving that.

Love, Fenton

 //Ella on the other hand would have a different story//

My mom got me this new toy named Fifi and he is by far the best toy I have ever had!
He has a knee.
And sometimes I make him my yummy oatmeal and he eats it and he tells me how good it is.
When he cries like this, that means he loves it!
I love him!
 Love, Ella

One to Two

I'm not very good at talking about hard things, it's much easier to say, I love this and I love that, because there is so much to love and it's fun to talk about stuff that you find joy in.
But at the same time, I have a friend who did a blog post on her feelings about becoming a mom of two and how hard it was and that was so comforting to me to hear that it's okay to have a hard time with something that you love so much at the same time.
And I want to remember what it was like right now and how hard it was so that I can one day see how much I've grown and how it was so worth going through this hard time to get to the times ahead.

So here goes, these past few weeks of being the mom of these two beautiful children has been really hard.

And I expected it to be that way, so it wasn't a surprise, but just because I expected it doesn't mean it was any easier.
And I think the most frustrating thing about it has been that I am not the mom I want to be right now, which means my kids aren't getting the mom that they deserve.

There were too many times these past couple of weeks where Fenton was crying and Ella was getting into trouble (because the poor girl just wants her Momma's attention for one minute) and I would use a harsh voice to tell her, "No! No! No! Ella! Why would you do that?!"
And a few minutes later I'd hear her repeat "No! No! No!" in imitation of my harsh voice towards her and oh my gosh, my heart would break!
She shouldn't be getting that from her mom.
And there are too many times when I am trying to help Ella finish up her lunch and get cleaned up and poor little Fenton is over on the couch crying and crying and screaming because the poor little boy is starving and has been waiting for so long for his mom to come feed him and finally he just couldn't take it anymore and broke into upset tears.
I spend the entire day trying to make sure that both kids are taken care of and fed and changed and getting attention and learning and yet it seems like there is always at least one of them that's upset, no matter how hard I've tried.
And then there's poor Adam who must wonder where the girl he married has disappeared to (although he never once complains, only praises and is endlessly understanding, which almost makes it worse because that boy deserves so much more than a crazed girl who gets impatient with his children and speaks to them harshly).

I have messed up so much recently, I feel so frazzled with trying to juggle both kids it's spread out to the rest of my life and everything I do.

We were 40 minutes late to church this last week, and I wasn't the least bit surprised because that pretty much sums up how frazzled I feel in the rest of my life.
Last week I had gone 4 days without a shower, and I felt so gross but there was no way I was going to get a shower on my own.
It was on that day that a beautiful and wonderful friend of mine came knocking on my door and told me that she was there to hold my baby while I went upstairs and took a shower.
Friends like that are golden.
To just come when you didn't even call but they know you probably need help (and are just too proud to ask for it) and to not even care that your house is a chaotic mess.
And I think part of the problem is that I wake up each morning (after far too few hours of sleep due to a certain little sweet newborn) and look at the day as a challenge rather than an adventure.
A challenge is a problem or a difficulty and it is your goal to just get through it by whatever means possible and to stand triumphant on the other side.
Just get through this day with two kids to have it over with so that it is one less day of having two kids under the age of two.
Clearly, that approach is a problem.
An adventure is more about the process than the destination.
It's about enjoying things as you go along, laughing at the spilled milk and the dirty hand prints (that are bound to cover your entire home by the end of the day) and finding opportunities to enjoy every moment with these two sweet kiddos because you are never going to have these days again.


I wrote everything above about a week ago but was too scared to post it because it's hard to admit that I was failing. 
But since that week I've been trying to live everyday as if it's an adventure instead of a challenge and it's made all the difference in the world.
I think the moment that made me realize how much my mindset had changed was this morning when Ella came into my room where I was getting dressed and she said, "Nanny" (nasty), which is how she refers to dirty diapers and pointed down the hall. 
I followed her to where she was leading me and found at the bottom of the stairs a poopy diaper that she had opened up and dug into (not the most pleasant image, sorry for the visual!).
I looked at her hands and sure enough she was guilty.
But I didn't feel super upset, I just felt calm as I washed her hands and kind of laughed inside because I think it must be a rite of passage for a toddler to play in poop at least once, right?
I went down and cleaned the diaper and Ella brought me a couple of things that she had smeared poop on and we cleaned them up and that was that and it wasn't until later that I realized that if that had happened the week before I would have been using that harsh voice again and felt really upset and that probably would have ruined the whole day, but it didn't this time.
I was laughing about it instead and I was so glad that my daughter wasn't afraid to tell me when she got into a bit of a mess and would show me where she had spread the mess.
That's kind of a gross example, sorry! 
But it really opened my eyes to the progress we've made in one week.
To laugh at the hard things instead of get upset about them makes all the difference.
And I am trying to remember that as we embark on a new adventure everyday.
I am still completely not on top of things, we are late to everything and I never respond to texts or emails in a timely manner and I am always behind and the house looks insane but that's okay because I'm becoming more of the mom I want to be and that's all that matters right now.
And in case you were wondering, having two kids is amazing!
It takes much more work and it certainly is harder, but the best things always take the most sacrifice.
I can't even put into words why it's all worth it, but it is.
Seeing how much Ella loves her brother and having two little people with their own unique personalities and sweet spirits, I seriously look at them and am in awe that I get to be these two kiddos' mom.
Adam and I sometimes get to talking about the two of them and just break into tears because we just love them so much it's crazy.
So here's to countless adventures ahead!