keel over

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We started Warner on solids and that is always a tough thing for a baby. The thought of someone stuffing my mouth with something bland and mushy turns me off too, so naturally Warner wasn't a fan. I'll tell you who was a fan of his grimaces and squinchy faces - oh, his loving sister Evelyn Rae. She loves it when I feed Warner because she thinks his faces are hilarious. I truly believe part of her gets pleasure out of his misfortune. As sad as that might be, it is still pretty funny to see her keel over when Warner shows his displeased face.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rainy days suck. Period. I seriously get super anxious when I see those raindrops on my weather app and think ....... oh f. This is gonna be a mega-long boring day.

The day didn't start off that bad. I went to wake Evelyn up this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was "Ner-Ner hug." She kept asking for him all throughout breakfast until finally I said yes, it was time to wake him up. Those happy little feet were skipping all the way to his crib where she screamed "NER NER!!!" at the top of her lungs, which brought him to massive tears due to the alarming wake up call. And so our chaotic day began.

We went for a run before the showers started. Hallelujah for finding the world's greatest steal on Craigslist last week and now we are the proud owners of a double jogger! After a lovely playdate with friends, I had the rest of the afternoon mapped out. Plan was as follows: 12 - jog home 12:30 - cook mac & cheese for Ev and soup for me 1- put Warner down for a nap. Play monster and pillow fight with Ev to wear her out 1:30 - Ev down for nap 1:30 - 4 ME TIME! So yeah, that would have been nice if my plan worked out just how it went in my head but  come on, that would have been too easy. For starters, I am not a fan of lunch time with a toddler. I usually don't want to invest the time to make one meal for me and one for Ev so I usually end up eating whatever Ev is having because that it just easiest. and usually more delicious than my turkey sandwich. Like today I made her mac&cheese because it is a guaranteed no-battle-to-eat meal. And I ended up scooping myself a bowl and but the soup back in the cupboard. Fail #2 - My efforts to wear her out were not strong enough because 90 min later and the girl was still freaking talking to herself in her crib. Ohhh the agony!!

So at 3pm I said screw it - we're making cookies! Because that is naturally the only thing to do when it's rainy and you have a sleepless gal on your hands. Then we passed the time by changing sheets and jumping off the bed onto the comforter. And Warner was in a super duper tickly mood and cheered this cloudy day right up with that laugh of his. And that was good redemption.

Today was boring. And long. And frustrating at times. Like when Ev decided she was a WWF fighter and kept jumping and headbutting Warner all day. That boy is such a good sport. And Evelyn is such a lover but she is an intense, aggressive lover.  But today was a blessing, this I know. Every day really is a blessing to have these two kids in my life. I loved Jared's sweet text this morning. "Thank you for taking such good care of our children. I've never seen anyone love something or someone as much as you love them!" Best compliment ever.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

She was looking out the window with fixated eyes as we drove out of the city. Her twig legs that had been running in circles with Dad just moments ago were now quietly hanging, weary from all the twirling and skipping that was required of them to keep up with the energy of a two year old heart. One hand was nestled in between her legs while the other was propped up and resting on her sealed lips. Her stillness, along with her intensely focused gaze, prompted me to conclude that she must be pondering about something. Something deep. What world was she lost in at that moment when her sight was on the blurry trees as they passed, but her mind on other untangible things. Do two year olds daydream? Was she wishing for her own pet whale like I did when I was a kid? Perhaps she was wishing she could be on a train at that moment, for she loves trains. Maybe she was thinking about Jared and I as her parents. Was she critiquing us and or was she thinking "hey, my mom and dad are pretty dang cool!"? Maybe she was thinking about cookies and cupcakes. I know I always am :)

I would venture to guess my eyes were locked in wonderment over her for a good three minutes before I decided that yep, this was a moment I wanted imprinted on my mind forever. A moment when I saw my girl daydream for the first time. Was it worth getting the camera out and snapping a quick shot to satisfy my desire to remember, knowing that surely the click of the camera would end her meditation? I sacrified her private reflections for my selfish desire to capture her. And just as I suspected, after one click she was brought back to reality and was her silly self again. I will never know what was going on in that brain of hers, but I bet it was magnificent. These are times to cherish.

a very fishy weekend

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I think the best thing about being a parent is getting to surprise your kid. Jared and I planned a trip to Baltimore this last weekend because Evelyn lives and breathes NEMO these days, and we were jittery with excitement to see her face plastered on all the tanks at the National Aquarium. I really can not stress how excited we were for her. This place had everything Nemo - Doris, tu-tee (turtles), jellies, olfeen (dolphin), and best of all - BRUCES {sharks}!! Lots and lots of Bruces. While we walked out thinking the pricetag on the experience was a bit steep, we felt satisfied that as parents we provided our kid an opportunity to explore another world. And there's no pricetag for that :)

Just across the harbor was Fort McHenry, the rampart that Francis Scott Key watched during the War of 1812 which led him to write "The Star Spangled Banner." That was probably one of the most rapturing experiences I have ever experienced in my whole life. And it made Jared want to find the nearest military recruiter and sign his bad boy self up for some bootcamps to defend this country. Actually, Jared has always wanted to be in the military but I'm the sissy, so, yeah...

on the day of love

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines Day morning started off rather grand in our house. Jared got up early and made us all pink pancakes with pink milk to accompany. For some reason when things are colored, it makes them better, no? So festive. The kids and I filled the rest of our day painting valentines for Dad, jumping on the couch and making pillow forts, hanging out in bed because its always fun to be in the crib when you're playing not sleeping, opening up g & g's love package complete with sock-o-wet {chocolate} and bubbles, and Evelyn proudly handing Dad her precious finger painting! Both kids were utter gems the whole day, which was the best gift of love EVER!

Jared did fab this year with gifts. They were small and simple, yet meaningful. Gift #1 - earplugs. Yes! Warner has reverted to newborn status during the night and has been waking up every 3 hours. Our solution is to let him cry it out, but that can sometimes result in 45min of crying 3 times a night. So yes, earplugs were a golden gift this year. Gift #2 - kisstixx. Do you watch sharktank? We occassionally do. One episode these guys were trying to sell their new revolutionary idea of chapstick where a guy and a girl put on these different flavors and when they combine during makeout it's supposed create this awesome mixture. So Jared presented me with "raspberry lemonade" last night. Things got a little tangy :) V-day was the bombdiggity. Man, I am one lucky lady to have had 3 lovely valentines!

Oh, and eshakti giveaway winner announced here!

because baby talk does a soul good

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bright smile. Sparkly sparkly eyes. High pitched chatter. Big dumbo ears. It's all so yummy!

I totally realize that this video is probably a good minute longer than it should be, but come on, like I was really going to cut my son's greatest speech short. The kid had a LOT to say about Pottery Barn Kids, apparently. So continue with your discourse, Mr. Warner! I'm all ears!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I think the hardest thing about being a parent is being patient enough to teach your kid a lesson. The other day Evelyn, in protest of not wanting a portion of her lunch, decided in her fury that she could make it disappear by throwing it over board. I turned around to find her with furrowed brows and plops of yogurt splattered across the floor. The day had already been a long one. We had spent 4 hours that morning in the doctors office awaiting UTI test results {which were negative and left me pulling my hair out and screaming in my head "WTF! What do you mean she has a virus and you have no answer?! Why did I just waste 4 hours here!!" But that's neither here nor there...}, and I understood why she was cranky. However, I could not just let her off the hook for throwing her food. Although I too was at the end of my rope, I took her out and explained to her that we do not throw our food. I handed her a paper towel and she and I cleaned it up together.

Jared and I are huge advocates of delegating responsibility to our kids. It is definitely a hard route in the beginning but we know it will pay off the next time, the next day, the next year, in 10 years, and for the rest of her life. Many times it would be easier for me to pick up her toys for her and clean up her messes, but it would be harder in the long run because she wouldn't know the value of taking responsibility and we'd end up with a ungrateful teenage on our hands... wait, all teenagers are ungrateful and demanding, so I guess that's unavoidable, but you know what i mean. We want her to have strong character. Now, I'm not saying I NEVER pick up after her. Frankly by the time 5pm rolls around she could color on the walls and I'd be overjoyed if she was occupied. But when I see an opportunity to teach her, I try and take advantage of it because I know the type of person she can be. I know I want her to be independent, strong, accountable, confident, and charitable. And how can she be those things if I never teach her?

I am so grateful for her strong personality. It can be beastly many times, but she is such a loving and cheerful soul. And at times when it seems tough and I stop and think is all of this really worth it? All of this discipline and direction? I think back to this scripture:

"wherefore, be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."

It's the small things that are going to make her strong and great.

To my Ner-Ner

Thursday, February 7, 2013

oh my heavens, I can't even begin to express how many times a day I have to stop and say a prayer of gratitude in my heart for this little boy. If you happen to know me well, then you will probably remember that the first 6 weeks I had a really hard time connecting to Warner. It wasn't postpartum or anything, I just didn't feel that same bond that I felt with Evelyn right away. Fast-forward 4 months later and I could not dream of how incredibly crucial he is to my daily happiness. I mean, look at that face! It's my hourly soma! The other night I was kissing those cheeks so much, I pulled away and he had a little love bite mark. Yikes, a bit smothery, aren't I, Warner?

It's interesting that at such a young age, I can already see his personality radiating so strongly. Warner is so different from Evelyn in so many ways. He is patient, complacent, a cuddle-bug, peaceful, and just so tender. I know what you're thinking - he's a baby! Of course he's all of those things! Yes, yes, but Evelyn was never as passive as he is. The kid doesn't take a pacifier but heck, he doesn't need it! He hardly ever needs to be soothed.

It always boggles my mind that this baby boy of mine is going to grow up to be a full-blown man. A  hard-working, married, father of his own children, MAN! And I get to raise him to be a gentle one. The other day when I was thinking about how gentle Warner is and what a unique characteristic that is to find in a male, I quickly realized how many tender men there are on my life. Of course there's Jared, who is such a wonderful and giving father. Beyond that, every man just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. My dad and father-in-law, my brothers and brothers-in-law. And I just thought "Men are awesome! Boys are awesome!" I had no idea I would love having a boy so much. And we're just getting started :) We love you, Ner-Ner! (i know, that is the worst nickname. it sounds like he's getting teased neener-neener! But it's what Ev calls him, soo... you do as the two year old does).

burgeoning with a new name

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I've had this pesky devil sitting on my shoulder the past couple of weeks. He's awfully mean, making me feel like I'm not doing the best at life. After muling over how to get rid of him, I decided that the only logical solution, besides praying extra fervently, would be to change my blog name. Ludicrous - right?! I'm even laughing at myself as I'm typing this. It sounds so idiotic that this teeny space on the internet could cause my soul to thrash around so terribly at night, but truth be told, sometimes the blog is a heartbreaker.

So many times I have thought to myself "hey you! you've got yourself figured out, dontcha? well, that's mighty fine!" and I walk along confident until the next thing comes around. I thought once I got out of high school I would leave the awkward and ever-doubtful me behind because high school is the time of great self-discovery right? then college came along and I re-defined myself. It was a better self. Then marriage. Surely, if there is ever a time to truly emerge into your own it is when you merge yourself together with another person and discover that you+him = you. You are forged together in unity and it is tough but it is beautiful. Then the two of you decide "hey, doesnt you+me+baby+baby = neverending happiness?! Let's dooo itttt!!" and before you know it you're like "hey, where'd I go in all this?" Does any of that make sense? For the past 3 weeks I have just felt like I've lost myself. I've felt defeated in many ways and can't quite figure out where to find me. I've felt very inadequate and spread thin on so many levels, and my little family has suffered for it.

This past week Evelyn has come up to me multiple times with arms outstretched and said "hug, hug." I'll pick her up and she'll rest her head on my shoulder and I'll rock her back and forth, stroking her hair, thinking how odd this whole thing is that she wants to cuddle. She has never been a cuddler, so after her doing this day after day I began to re-evaluate where this might be coming from. My priorities were a bit jumbled.

 I've written a couple posts about the good and bad of blogging. After holding Evelyn, I realized that I was most likely devoting too much time to posting about life rather than living life. I do feel like I have always been an honest blogger. I could probably write a happy and frustrated post every day, although most would probably be more on the aggravating end to tell ya the truth. Being a mom is hard. Much harder than I thought. My kids aren't hard, it physically isn't hard, but I am a very emotionally invested person and I think sometimes I take motherhood even way too seriously than it should be taken :) I feel guilt in an instant and I let it consume me. I could never forgive myself if I spent Evelyn and Warner's childhood infront of a computer screen rather than infront of their beautiful faces. Hence, I'm changing gears here on the blog.

 Whew, let's bring this full circle now, shall we? Starting off talking about changing my blog name to insecurities and self-discovery to motherhood brings me back to the change of blog name. While I hold true to why I chose little almanac in the first place as a blog name, life is getting serious now :) I'm taking this blog more seriously and a cutesy-tootsy name just isn't quite what I'm going for these days. I am on an honest road to re-defining myself, forging new paths, conquering anxieties, opening up vulnerabilities, testing my limits, growing patience, discovering my strengths and strengthening my weaknesses. I'm growing into a darn strong woman. It is probably blogger suicide to change your blog name so late in the game, but I truly feel this will be the best for me.  

So what does this mean for me as a blogger? Does it mean I'll be posting less? Could be. If I have nothing to say I'm not going to post just to say something to keep daily stats up. If Evelyn wants to play tickle monster, then I do that rather than worry about posting. Same goes if Warner needs some cheering on during his roll over practice. But this also means I'm changing what I will post. This space will now be me documenting my "coming of age," if you will. And that story, my friends, requires a lot, and i mean A LOT, of written words. When Jared read this post before I hit publish, his only comment back to me was "wow, your brain sure thinks a lot." Haha, yes! I have so many thoughts bottled up each day and I am wanting to turn this space into more of my therapy board. I think this will help my posts be more heartfelt, more personal, more funny at times even. Pretty pictures will still adorn this space as I absolutely love the beauty of photography and still have every intention of documenting my growing family. This space is for me to blossom into my own and document my discovery of who I am as a woman, wife, and mother. And what better title to own this burgeoning blog than my own name?

So what does this mean for you as a reader? I have truly been amazed by the kindness I have felt in this blogging world. I am so grateful for each one of you who have encouraged me in so many ways by your wonderful remarks. Each comment left on this blog is seriously good for my soul. And while I appreciate each comment with all my heart, I am not going to commit to reply to each one. Again, not because they are not appreciated, but because I am going to try and minimize the amount of time I am infront of the computer or with my phone in my hand. If you do email me personally or leave a question in the comments I will 100% reply. You can count on it!!

I am so grateful for the therapy this space provides for me. I have a sweet obession with this space as it is my creative outlet. I have a love affair with words, as the pages of my journal will tell you, and I hope to bring more of that here. If this place wasn't already enough of a mommy blog, it will surely be so now because that is the stage I am at right now. It is where realm in which I am having the most triumphs and also the biggest struggles.

I know I will probably lose some readers in this switch, and that's ok. But my hope is that I can be more open about how I am feeling and maybe someone else will find solace in my words because I know I could use some honesty in this blogging world instead of flowery images sometimes. I'm planning on changing my domain name to .com in light of this name switch, so be on the lookout to update your readers and bookmarks in the coming days if you want to stick around :)

 Hi. I'm Kendra May Oakden and I am a crazy person. But somehow this blog is killing me and saving me at the same time.  

Monday Giveaway! (closed)

Monday, February 4, 2013

I am so excited about today's giveaway from eShakti! eShakti is an international fashion design company, catering to custom designed clothing for women in all shapes and sizes. This unique boutique offers a variety of dresses, tops, skirts, and other attire that are all customizable to be tailored to your personal body shape by supplying your exact measurements. The result is a beautiful ensemble designed to perfectly fit YOU and YOU only. I was ecstatic when my skirt arrived! The workmanship is impeccable and I love that I have a unique item designed just for me. Sounds wonderful, right?! Today eShakti is offering one lucky reader an item of choice! To enter, leave a comment below for each of the following {3 entries possible}

1. follow eshakti on pinterest
2. follow eshakti on twitter
3. follow eshakti on facebook

WINNER! Congrats Ann!