Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All the Small Things

There's so many little things that happen each day. Things that seem so ordinary. Yet some of my favorite things to read about in my old journals is just that, the ordinary every day things. The big fun vacations and outings are obviously fun to remember as well, but those things easily have a place in my long-term memory. It's the ordinary things that I forget and once I forget them, they're gone. I want to remember those everyday things more.

Like waking up next to these two.

Like late night game nights with the Meldrums where the kids get some ipad time together before bed.

Like that phase after Belén was born where Shae always wanted to be held everywhere, just like his sister.  Where he would climb into her car seat and act like a baby because the poor kid was starving for some extra attention of his own.

Like Belén eating Shae's head.

Like late night poopy diaper changes (or nap time) for this little kiddo who just couldn't muster up the courage to get it out in the potty before bed. (Although in the past two weeks he's almost got it down! Bribing him with otter pops has really done the trick).

Like Shae reading stories to me while I nurse Belén. 
(Or climbing all over me, that one was harder to get a picture of).

Like sleepy baby smiles in the middle of church.

Like how lucky these kids are to have Aunt Anna around (actually this one is really for me to remember how lucky I am to have her around. She has been such a big help).

Like Shae wanting to lay down wherever Belén is, or have her put down next to him wherever he is.

Like watermelons and hot outdoors water activities.

Like living in such a great historic place where we can take an afternoon stroll and see Minute Men coming down the street playing their drums. 

Like how going to the grocery store with Shae used to be a nightmare, but now going with him is so sweet. (Because going with one kid is SO much better than two and because he likes to tap his chin and say, "We neeeeeeeeddd...salt!  We neeeeeeddd...apples!" while I shop.

Like that one time we went to the beach and I didn't bring Shae any clothes to change into so he rode home in his birthday suit.

Like that one time Shae was cranky and sick (or teething?) and woke up super early and wouldn't go back to sleep but then I came downstairs to this.

Sometimes the little things can be so hard to appreciate. The hot and tired son who won't get in his car seat because he wants to sit in his sisters. The not fully potty trained but almost potty trained stage. The baby that takes over my bed in the morning. The feeling like an unprepared mama when everyone has clothes for their kids to change in to so they don't ride home wet...or naked. The early wake up call...that later turns in to precious cuddle time with daddy. But those are the things that the good life is made up of. Those every day moments and decisions that we make that turn life into such an awesome experience. 

There's so many little things. It's impossible to remember them all, but I hope to be able to record at least a few of them every so often because these small itty bitty seemingly meaningless moments will some day turn into precious memories for me.

Monday, June 29, 2015


 Belén went swimming for the first time last week. It was so fun to squeeze (6-9 month suit that was on the small side) her into her cute little ruffly pink swim suit. I'm kind of enjoying all these cute girly things. 

The water was the perfect temperature for her. She loved it. She got passed around the friend circle. We all waded around in the pool with her and she just ate it up.

Shae absolutely loves Ty-Kyler (Tyler, but Shae just can't seem to figure it out).

My attempt to get a picture of Flavia and Shae swimming together did not turn out as well as hoped.

We went swimming while up in PA with my family a few weeks back as well. The water was freezing so we didn't put Belén in. After about 20-30 minutes we had to pull Shae out because his lips were turning purple. He was not too happy that we made him get out. He had such a good time in the water. I really hope that we can get him in swimming lessons in the next year or so. I think he would really enjoy it.

This was about the point we decided he should come out.

This is summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I'd say that we are still pretty amateur parents, after all, it's only been 2.5 years since we put on our "parent" hats. Every day (and night) is kind of a new little adventure for us. We kind of don't really know what we're doing most days.  We're just trying our best to love them, teach them, and help them enjoy this beautiful world that we get to share together. More than anything we want our children to trust in God and Christ. I love how important this last goal is to Darin. I see him striving each day to be a better person, a better father, and above all a better son to his Heavenly Father. He knows that in doing so his example will do more for our children than anything else.

So glad that we get to figure out this crazy world of parenting as a team! Wouldn't want to do it with anyone else.

Insert sweet Father's Day picture of Darin and Shae here.

(Or just imagine Shae booking it the second I took that first picture to play in the bushes outside of the church building with no plan of coming back for his daddy/son picture).

I'm also so grateful for the loving, righteous example that my dad has shown me throughout my life time. He puts the Lord first. He always has and no doubt always will. He taught me to serve and love those around me. He taught me to work hard, even when its hard. He shows unwavering love for my mother which has taught me so many things about what I deserve as a wife and mother. He's a pretty special dad and I am so glad that he is mine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Four Month Sleep Regression

It's real.

Our sweet darling perfect sleeper of a daughter is turning on us. We had the pleasure of witnessing every hour on the clock last night.  We saw the 12, then the 1, then the 2, you get the idea. It was a long night.  The two previous nights were only slightly better.  I blame rolling, breaking out of the swaddle, and the four month mental boom.

Shae was such an awful sleeper from the start that I always welcomed each new phase, praying that it would make him a better sleeper. I couldn't wait for him to "get older" month to month because surely that would mean that he would sleep better (little did I know). With Belén I've kind of dreaded her "getting older" because she has been so enjoyable (and easy!)

We started with baby-sleeping-perfection. Swaddled up with a light blanket on top.

She quickly moved to the side lie.

And before we knew it (like, within a day) she was on the belly.

She was already breaking out of her swaddle--because she's just big and buff like her daddy--so we knew we needed to start the "unswaddle" process anyways. A few days ago we started leaving one arm out.

Just today we started leaving both arms out.

She doesn't roll back to her back yet, so once she rolls over, she's stuck.  And the thing is, she immediately rolls onto her belly when we lay her down. IMMEDIATELY. She doesn't seem to put much thought into it. She wakes up every two hours or so...who knows why, but she didn't do it before so I blame the belly. Here's to hoping that having her arms free will make things more comfortable. Please? Pretty please?

She sometimes just ends up in bed with us because that is the only way she will stay asleep. As much as I love having this view when the sun comes up, sleeping on the very edge of the bed is not the most comfortable thing.

 She wouldn't be a baby if she didn't keep her parents up all night and show no sign of damage to herself the next day. Oh this girl. 

Monday, June 15, 2015


We went up to New York last weekend to look for housing. It was quite possibly one of the most depressing things I have ever done in my life time. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a little, really, just a very little. I had done my research, made the phone calls, returned the emails. Our two days were booked with different places to see. I was so confident that one of those places would be our first home in New York. Then we started looking at places. The first place we looked at had dead bugs covering the stairs to get to the apartment and smelled absolutely horrific. I should have taken this as an indication of how our day was going to go. One of the apartments we didn't even go in. We drove up to it, took one look at it (and the neighborhood) and left. Apparently our goal of staying as close to $1,000 as possible in rent = ghetto living in upstate New York.  Or we just looked at all the wrong places...

After looking at the twenty places I had lined up and feeling only semi-confident in one of them, Darin mentions, "Let's try this place that I found last night." Right before we headed out on Friday we swung by the apartment complex and are now in the process of signing a contract. It's smaller than I had hoped, but newer and nicer than any other place we saw. There are playgrounds all over the neighborhood. There is a beautiful view of the lake and Cornell across the way up on its very own massive hill. I'm happy with it. 

Needless to say, nothing was really picture worthy on our short trip other than Ithaca Falls.

Ithaca appears to be a really beautiful place. Very hilly which kind of makes me glad we don't have a stick shift car any more. I think we'll like it.  

On Friday we drove back down to my parents house in PA. Shae had stayed with them for the two days we were in Ithaca (thank goodness). Before leaving church my dad said he wanted to snap a few pictures with the kids.

Well, at least they smile when they take pictures with their grandparents...

Shae had a blast hanging out with his uncles for two days.


I think we are far enough past our anniversary now to stop using it to justify everything we do.  "It's our anniversary next week, let's go to Atlanta" "It's our anniversary next week, let's buy dessert with this dinner too" "It was our anniversary last week, let's continue our Chinese-anniversary tradition and go and get some." "It was our anniversary last week, let's stay in a hotel." (These last two were while we were in Ithaca last week. We probably would have stayed in a hotel and bought food anyways, but it just felt more justified with the anniversary giving us permission).

Anna ended up having to work the day of our anniversary, so the Saturday before she stayed with the kids for a couple of hours so that we could go out. We even dared to leave our daughter who only wants to drink her milk from the source. We left a bottle and Anna said she actually managed to drink quite a bit of it (yay!). We stayed close by just in case she couldn't handle the bottle, plus Anna had to work later in the afternoon so we kept it quick. 

We went and played min-golf at the Pirates Cove. I have wanted to go here ever since we moved here. It looked like a really fun min-golf course, and it was! 


I beat Darin, just for the record.  After golf, we went to Chick-fil-A and used our two "Free Chicken Sandwich" coupons that we got in the mail, big spenders right there (well, considering we had spent so much money on the rest of our "anniversary" we figured it was time to be a bit more responsible). I'm slightly dying inside because there is no Chick-fil-A in Ithaca, in fact, there is only one Chick-fil-A in the entire state of New York. What and Why?

I can't believe that it has ONLY been four years since our wedding day.  Which means that it's only been five years since Darin and I met. I feel like we've always known each other. I can't imagine life without this crazy by my side.

Our actual anniversary fell on a Tuesday. It was spent being parents, aka, putting the kids to bed then chowing down on new flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream while watching more of Gran Hotel (only five more episodes! What will I do without this show in my life?)