Sometimes I use Facebook and the never-ending "look what I just ate!" pictures to get inspiration for meals. Don't judge my social media stalking, judge my inability to meal plan.

Sometimes I say a little prayer that Lucas won't be called to a strong interest in the bug world. Please, Lord, you know I can't handle that.

Sometimes I try to think of how to make the world go back to horse and buggy but also have someone discover teleportation. Best of both worlds.

Sometimes I wish Lucas would ask why the sky is blue instead of why the car is blue or why the sign is blue or why the cup is blue. I DON'T KNOW THOSE ANSWERS. I do, however, know why the sky is blue.

Sometimes I daydream about the day Jason and I become rich, famous authors. Lucas is always requesting that I draw cats for him. So clearly our books will have to be cat-focused.

this will be our cover art, toddler scribbles and all.
Sometimes I feel Asian.

Sometimes I try to clean up the five different piles of toys strewn about the living room, but I have to do it sneakily and quietly or Lucas will hear me and decide that those five piles are the only toys he's ever wanted to play with in the whole entire world. The kid is a short-attention-span tornado. Once, Lucas came running into the room looking for me and I hid under a blanket on the couch hoping, hoping, hoping that the music ball I had in my hands wouldn't start singing and give me away. I was both ashamed and pleased when he left the room in minor confusion and I was able to hurriedly pick up the last few things before he became sad little I Lost My Mama boy.
sometimes tornado boy turns into contemplative, how-does-this-bell-work boy.
Sometimes a day is rough and I ask Lucas to tell me everything's okay, and he will give me three little reassuring pats on the back. It always does the trick.

Sometimes I really enjoy vacuuming, and I wonder why I only do it every six months.

Sometimes I read a book/series that really, truly engages me, one that I feel compelled to give five stars [though I never do for fear I will set an inaccurate perfection precedent], and one that makes me feel sad but completely satisfied when it ends. Despite the number of books I read, this type of reading experience is a rarity as I have weird/unrealistic expectations of my literature. However, with that said: Two thumbs up to The Knight of Eldaran series by Anna Thayer.

Sometimes you try to brush your toddler's teeth and the toothpaste just falls off the toothbrush onto his tongue and he just eats it.

Sometimes I try to convince Lucas that the picture below does not have a cat on it. It just doesn't. There is nothing that even remotely resembles a cat on this album cover. Lucas adamantly disagrees again and again. I give up.

a few hours of christmas music every day makes the summer heat more bearable.

Sometimes I look Asian.

Sometimes the approaching second birthday of my baby makes me feel like I'm losing my baby. When this happens, there are two options: 1) Recall the above toothpaste incident or 2) snuggle in for a nursing session. Somehow when he's nursing, this nearly 3-foot bundle of energy turns into the squishy, heart-squeezing baby of days long past. So, basically, this kid is going to get breast milk forever. Clearly that's the solution.

Sometimes it's hard to end a list of sometimes.



Well, Summer Break is officially over as Jason headed back to work today. Before leaving this morning, Jason explained to Lucas how he had to go to work again and how he would be back this afternoon and that it would be Mama and Lucas days all over again. He then explained to me how he had to go to work again and how he would be back this afternoon and that it would be Lucas and Mama days all over again. Lucas and I both understood to the best of our abilities and Jason left.

The rest of the morning was spent with Lucas asking for Dado at every chance he could justify it.
-Playing with his cars: Runs over to the front window. "Dada? A car? A car. Dada." Yes, Lucas, Dada went to work in his car. He'll be back sometime after your nap.
-Eating breakfast: Points at Jason's empty chair. "Dada? Dadaaa." Yes, Lucas, that's Dada's chair. He is eating breakfast at work. He'll be back sometime after your nap.
-Playing with his cars: "Dado? A car? Blue? Blue! Dado." Yes, Lucas, Dada's car is blue. He went to work in his car. He'll be back sometime after your nap.
-Reading books before nap time: Pats the reading chair. "Dada? Dada! Book book. Dado." Yes, Lucas, that's where you read books with Dada. You get to read books with me today since Dada's at work. He'll be back sometime after your nap.

grass, mama! GRASS.
As you can see, life with a toddler is full of repetition.

Having said all of this, however, I have no doubt that Lucas will adapt to the working year schedule quicker than I will. The question will be whether he develops another anti-Dado phase due to Jason being gone a lot after being home for so long. He's a funny kid.

Some other random odds and ends:
-We have a neighbor named Bill. Bill seems to really love his lawn. Bill mows his lawn much more regularly than we do. Whenever we hear a lawn mower, we like to joke that it is probably Bill. Lucas apparently picked up on these comments. The other day, we heard a lawn mower and we casually wondered aloud, "I wonder who is mowing their lawn?" Lucas immediately exclaimed, "Bill!" We can now add "Bill" to his ever-growing list of words that are of no help in normal conversation.
-We have been able to watch a good bit of Olympics lately, despite the lousy NBC coverage/scheduling of events. More than a few times, I have been struck with downright silly thoughts. "Whoa, how did that gymnast just hop up onto that block so easily?" or "Man, when they're running so fast, how do they manage to stay in their own lane?" I realize that the gymnast hopped up onto that giant block so that he could then do a ridiculous feat of strength and skill on the rings, and I realize that the runner just ran a half mile in well under 2 minutes, but somehow the little things keep sticking out to me as impressive. Other mentionables: How a diver doesn't fall off the springboard when he's standing on his tiptoes. How rider/horse remembers the appropriate squiggly course of jumps. How any athlete performs while wearing jewelry. How coaches/teammates don't cringe when they hug/smack/huddle with sweaty athletes.
-At the aquarium we saw an adorable beaver. A lady next to me told her companion, "Oh look! That's either an otter or a chipmunk!" Um, ok. Moving on.
-On our Tulsa trip, we found the proposal tree. The proposal bench was gone, but you cannot remove the proposal tree. Lucas was more interested in the river.

river > icky parents

Lucas is now waking up from his nap. He is making squirrel sounds. Or maybe chipmunk sounds. I must go retrieve him. He will no doubt be requesting the presence of Dado. Unfortunately, Dado is still at work. I will have to distract him with my awesomeness. Until next time!

beautiful child.



Pep talk time.

Sometimes I worry that Lucas won't feel loved enough by me. I'm sure it's a silly fear, but I have it. I worry that I'm too concerned with rules and schedules and expected behavior and that I'm too impatient, unimaginative, and distant. I know I'm at home with him all day long and we cater to his every need and most of his desires, but I still get hit with waves of feeling like it's not enough, like I'm not enough. I look at my phone too often, I'm too eager to pawn him and his needs and attention on Jason, I'm more concerned with him following his schedule so he doesn't interrupt mine.

I know I'm a good enough mom in that I have no doubts he will reach adulthood without starving or sawing his arm off. But am I a good enough mom that he will know he's loved beyond comprehension? That his very smile is enough to make my heart soar? That his well-being is willingly, eagerly, one of my absolute top priorities every single day? I want to be the mom he deserves. His sweet spirit deserves a selfless, patient, kind, and wise mom. And some days, it's hard to swallow that I'm the only mom he's got. It's ridiculous, I know. I just love him so much on the inside, I want him to see it on the outside.

But here's the thing: I am enough. Feelings aside, I am enough. My head knows this. I am a good enough mom to make him come running with glee when I call him. I am a good enough mom that I know when he needs that nap, that extra squeeze, that change in activity, even if he doesn't. I am a good enough mom that he knows whenever he needs a cuddle, he can come find me - me with soapy dishwater hands, me sitting in the bathroom, me trying to scrounge up dinner. He knows that I am enough for him. This should be enough for me. This is enough for me.

I was chosen to be Lucas's mom and this is a daunting, mind-blowing, and incredibly peace-giving thought. Some days feelings just need to be kicked in the face. Enough is enough. I may not be very good with creative meals or creative playtime activities or creative teaching methods [ha, creativity seems to be my issue...], but I am more than enough for Lucas, a mom hand-chosen by God despite my fears and insecurities and lapses of creative Pinterest-worthy life enhancements.

I wouldn't let anyone else dare to question my love and enough-ness for Lucas; why do I allow myself? Quit it. Pep talk over.

God, guide me. Teach me. Help me to love my little boy like You love me.

Come on, mama, don't be such a silly mama.


beautiful knees

Did you know knees are beautiful? Well, they are. I didn't know until about a month and a half ago.

At the beginning of June, Lucas was outside mowing the sidewalk. He got a little too enthusiastic and his knees bit the concrete. He's a pretty tough little guy though, and he honestly didn't seem to mind that he was bleeding. He just got right up and continued his mowing. The only time he cried was when we had to make him stop playing ["I wasn't done mowing..!] so we could clean him up and band-aid him. But then he went on his merry way. If only the story ended right there, with Lucas mowing off into the sunset. Unfortunately, what followed was six full weeks of band-aid-ed knees.

The first two weeks were torture. If a band-aid even showed the tiniest sign of falling off, there were meltdowns and freaked out wailing and panicked tremors and the need for a half an hour of soothing once the band-aid had been fixed/replaced. It was nightmarish. It got to the point where he didn't want to get wet [band-aids and water don't get along], diaper changes were an extremely stressful ordeal [he started equating the removal of his shorts/diaper to seeing his knees] and there had to be band-aids on hand at all times as literally nothing else would calm him down. It was miserable for everyone involved.

After the first two weeks, even though we knew his knees were completely healed up, we decided to stop fighting him. He very clearly "needed" the band-aids for his peace of mind. We had tried the Very Stupid Method of using reason with a panicked toddler and it honestly just made things worse. [Nothing makes you feel like a horrendous mom like having to bodily hold down your screaming kid just to get his diaper on so you can get his shorts back on so that his knees are covered again so that you can attempt to soothe him.] So instead we decided to be okay with this [hopefully] temporary phase and just let him have his knees covered at all times. I knew realistically that he wouldn't turn 12 and still require band-aids on his knees. I knew it, and yet it was still hard to know whether we were doing the "right" thing by allowing him to be afraid of his knees. Logic above all else? Apparently not when you're dealing with a toddler.

The next three weeks had Lucas getting better and better at dealing with his band-aids falling off/being replaced. No more curling up in a ball. No more shrieking. No more body tremors. If a band-aid started to curl up, he'd come running to find one of us and then sit in our lap "being brave" [read: squinching his eyes and looking away] while we fixed his band-aid. As soon as we pronounced him "good good," off he'd go happy as a clam [if indeed clams are happy]. Without us constantly trying to wean him from the band-aids through coaxing, bribery, and even a little trickery, he was able to finally be at ease with his knees again and, more importantly, was willing to trust us with his knees again.

Over time we transitioned him from big band-aids to smaller band-aids to, finally, tiny circle band-aids. He handled each transition well. By this time, it had been over five weeks of constant band-aids. Lucas would dutifully check his knees every morning, before and after each nap, before bedtime, and ten other times during the day. He would pull up his shorts, pat each knee, and declare each one "good good" in turn. Lucas was in a good place mentally, so we initiated Operation Give Your Knees Some Air. We knew that it was much better for him to be aware of a band-aid being taken off rather than him suddenly noticing it had fallen off, so anytime a band-aid started to show signs of falling off we would make a big deal over taking it off, exclaiming wildly about how good his knee looked, and then coax him to give his knee some air for a few minutes. The amount of air he would allow his knee gradually grew and eventually we had an hour or so of a band-aid-less knee. Success! However, he would inevitably remember his bald knee and ask for a new band-aid, and we would oblige.

We seemed to eventually reach a standstill with our weaning progress. He would sometimes go a couple hours without a band-aid, but come nap time or bedtime a "deb-bay" was insisted upon. We figured more time was needed. However, on Day 45, inspiration struck by complete chance. As Jason touched on in his last post, Lucas has a friend named Big Bear. Big Bear does everything with Lucas. His latest activity is sitting on Jason's amp while Lucas strums on the guitar or plucks away at the keyboard. Big Bear makes everything funny. Big Bear convinces Lucas that it's nap time or bedtime or time to go upstairs or downstairs. For whatever funny toddler reason, Big Bear has huge sway in reasoning with Lucas. On a whim, Day 45, Big Bear was astounded by how smooth and good Lucas's knees were while they were "getting air." Big Bear did a thorough examination of each knee, sniffed each one up and down, gave each knee a fluffy pat and "wooooooop!" and... boom. Lucas accepted Big Bear's expert opinion with a squeal of delight and went on with his day fully and completely band-aid-less. Nap time came, bedtime came, one day passed, two days passed. Not one band-aid was needed. The first couple of days Lucas would require another examination by Big Bear and his knees were always pronounced "good good." Lucas would nod in agreement and all was good.

It has now been almost two weeks since Lucas last had his knees covered. His beautiful little knees. The skin no longer has any marks from the initial injury or any rashy patches from constantly having band-aid adhesive on it. It has been over a week since he has had to check his knees for the "good good" confirmation. Big Bear has even been able to retire his Knee Doctor hat. Life has returned to pre-June-8th status. So.much.relief.

It is a bit weird how much pride I feel for Lucas's accomplishment. I'm just so incredibly proud of him. I know this is just Silly Mom-ness talking ["My baby is the best thing since peanut butter and bananas!"], but I can't help it. If you had seen how much fear and panic he experienced those first two weeks, it would be a little easier to understand why I feel so proud of his ability to now run around with his two little brown knees completely band-aid free. He totally conquered his fear and I could not possibly be more thrilled for him. Goodness, I love this kid.