Friday, October 30, 2015

Weekend Links 10/30/15 . . . And the two year sleep regression

So apparently I only get around to posting other people's blog posts these days. Anyone else notice this? I have several posts floating in my head and draft folder, just no will power to sit down and flesh it all out. I am pretty sure we have hit the two year sleep regression (two months early! yay!) and thus the entire house is awake, every day, at the unbearable hour of 3am, or sometimes earlier. My adorable youngest child who has been sleeping peacefully night after night is now waking and loosing her sweet mind. Lots of crying screaming and throwing everything out of her crib and demanding we go into the living room to play and watch a show. Um no. Shows do not start at 3am, dear one. All that to say, there have been many tears shed and many cups of coffee poured. At what age is sleep regression like, no longer a thing?

Maybe don't answer that.

On a positive note, some insightful articles to kick off your Halloween weekend . . .

The Gate Is Open
What Taylor Swift Taught Me About Writing
Halloween With A Toddler: Fact vs. Fiction - Hahaha!! Prepping myself for this.exact.thing. 

Everything Doesn't Happen For A Reason
The Loneliness of Suffering 
7 Things I've Learned Since the Loss of My Child

Throwback to Halloween 2014. . . cutest little ladybugs you ever did see!

Hope your weekend is filled with lots of family focused fun and lots of sleep!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekend Links 10/23/15

It's been several weeks since I posted any links for weekend reading, but I have been saving many of them for when I had the time I remembered to actually post so . . .

Lots of great options for reading when you get a chance!

StopWaiting and Be All In
Let your passions help you with your chores, or an ode to podcasts
How my obsession with clean kitchen closure was ruining my evenings - Love. This.
Managing the social media time suck (and noise)
When Feeling Sorry For Yourself Makes You Destined to Fail - interesting perspective
Ask these 3 questions when you're decluttering toys

Special Needs
Because Cake
There reason why your friend with a child with "needs" hasn't been in contact recently 

There Is No, "At Least . . . "
The dirty secret of grief 

The girls have been battling the typical fall cold/virus junk for a few days, but I think we are now on the mend. So. Much. Snot. We have several fun outings planned for this weekend so hoping we kiss this snot and congestion goodbye and welcome all things October!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

From the mouth of babes

We all know and agree that children say the funniest things. I love reading blog or Facebook posts from parents documenting the hilarious thoughts and sentences coming from the minds and mouths of their children. Creative pieces such as the one below are also pretty awesome.

(Dear Mom of this report card, I can empathize with you. N/A would most likely definitely be listed under the category of cooking dinner if my children were scoring.)

Yet along with the hilarious, children also say the sweetest, dearest things. They are so much wiser than we give them credit for, and their minds are always thinking, remembering, and even drawing hope from tragedy.

Over the past few months several friends have shared conversations they have had with their children about our son, Chance, and how he is now in heaven. These stories, these conversations, bring us so much joy and indescribable hope, friends.

Please don't ever stop sharing them with us.

Last week as I was hoping in the car to take Clara to school, I received the following text from my longtime childhood friend, Emily. She described a conversation she had the night before with her son, Conner.

Emily: I would call you . . . but I can't without crying. So I'm sorry! But I wanted you to know that last night when we were praying, Conner started crying after. Like major. He said he was scared to go to heaven without anyone he knew. All of a sudden he says "Wait!! We will know someone in heaven! We will know Riley and your friends baby boy!" He then recounted every detail of the service for Chance. Thank you for sharing that day with us."

Me: Oh my goodness! That is the best. It's stories like this that bring me such joy and peace and hope!! So thank you for sharing. Squeeze Conner for me!

Several weeks after Chance's funeral, my friend Lindsey texted me with the most beautiful picture that her daughter, Ava, painted as she processed the service.

Ava led the prayer at their dinner table that particular evening and after her usual words, she said this: "And God, we don't know why Ms. Brittnie's baby had to die. Please help us. We are sad."

Oh to have faith like a child.

There are so many other stories such as these that I could share. Stories of children processing death while also gaining the understanding that while death is sad and seems scary, they do not have to fear. They do not have to fear because they now know a child that went on to heaven before them. Heaven becoming real and big and beautiful in the minds of little babes.

If this isn't beauty from ashes, I'm not sure what is.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Annual CT Vacation 2015

We spent six days recently in the beautiful land of Connecticut and I am still, like every year, dreaming of the picture perfect weather, colorful leaves, and lack of humidity. If you've been reading for a while, you know we do this vacation once per year, always in the fall. It is the highlight of my year. My aunt, uncle, and cousins live there and it is such a joy to be with them. My respite from the day to day crazy. I savor the moments, just sitting and being and enjoying and taking a break from most social media and mindless distractions and worries. It is not fancy but it is my ideal. So thankful we have kept this tradition up since welcoming little children into our lives.

(Ok. Let's be real. In full disclosure, I am not so thankful for the plane ride that must be taken in order to arrive at said destination. I won't name names but my darling, youngest child temporarily lost her sweet mind. It is as if we loaded the plane and all sense of rational was left at the gate. I can't even. We were those people. I was that mom that had a screaming (not whining or crying loudly, actual screaming) child for 2.5 hours of a 3.5 hours flight. Think "I WAAANT DOOOWN," over and over and over. This was so special. I had every trick in the book and not one of them was working. Except for the trick where I thought I packed two small containers of play dough, yet when I opened them mid air, after building it up to toddler as "PLAY DOUGH IS SO FUN! WANT TO PLAY WITH PLAY DOUGH???" I opened and realized I did not in fact pack play dough, but grabbed the finger paint instead. Which I promptly closed and put back in the backpack. You can imagine how that went down. I am sure the flight attendants, and the people sitting in rows 10-15 are still having nightmares.)

But we made it!!

We took over 600 photos from our time away and there are so many that I treasure. I will pair them down for sake of time and limited blogger space. Here are some of my favorites. . .

We took lots of wagon rides. . .

We enjoyed lots of trips to the park. . . 

The girls loved sitting and watching the pellet stove my aunt and uncle keep in their sun room. . . 

More time at the park. . .

On Sunday of our trip we took the girls to visit Bushnell Park, located in downtown Hartford. The park has an indoor carousel, which of course was just begging for the girls to ride. Since it is inclosed, the sound was a bit much for Clara, but after a few minutes she warmed up and was enjoying the ride. Camille kept saying "More please! More please!" after each ride. . .

The girls warmed up to the pets in no time. . .

And Camille was so kind to share her drink with Lily, the dog. . .

My aunt's drive way is suuuuper steep. Once or twice Clara started down without us noticing and man, she was flying! I have no idea how she didn't fall and tumble all the way down.

We attempted some family pictures at a local pumpkin patch. Yeah. . . that one didn't go over so well with Camille. We got a few cute shots, but soon after the meltdowns began and we decided to call it a day and try for more pictures at home after nap time, lest mommy have her own meltdown.

Back at home, crunching on apples . . .

Post nap time picture attempt #2 . . . We went for the more candid approach this time. . .

We love you, CT, and will see you next year!

Oh, and fellow airlines passengers, let's all join hands and start praying for a better experience in 2016.

CT vacation from years past:
2014 part one
2014 part two
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