Thursday, May 31, 2012

not her first vacation.

I am so excited for our vacation. Like, so excited I can feel my heart beating faster in my chest every time I think about it. What's funny is that I keep trying to consider this our first family vacation. It's not. Not even close. Last summer we vacationed like it was our job- a week in Martha's Vineyard, a week in Bar Harbor and a week on the Cape. We've also taken trips to Newport, RI, Atlanta and my parents' in Abilene. In her (almost) two years, Meredith has done a fair amount of traveling. 

So why try to make it a first in my mind? I think that the first year especially feels so exciting because it's all a first. Her first stroller walk! Her first time sleeping in her crib! Her first camping trip! Her first time apple picking! Her first time pumpkin picking! Her first Fourth of July! Halloween! Thanksgiving! Christmas! You get it. It's just so amazing. And soon, it's not necessarily her first time, but it's the first time she's not sleeping through it all. 

So our vacation next week, will not be her first family vacation. It will be one of many, but it is still going to be special. I think that's why we mark of all the firsts- to make it special. We want to remember it, have pictures and warm fuzzy feelings every time we think of it. Next week will be no exception. We will take pictures with both cameras and the shutter snap of our eyes, directly connected to our heart and mind. We will sit back and be amazed that we are parents and that she is this person. Not a little blobby baby who sleeps through everything. She is a little girl with opinions and preferences and fears and so much personality. She talks to us and runs with us and eats meals with us and will be filled with wonder, right along with us, as we experience Mickey Mouse and the ocean and those quiet, sunkissed evenings after a perfect summer vacation day. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mickey time.

In less than a week we'll be in Southern California soaking up sun at the beach and hopefully spending some quality time with Mickey Mouse. I cannot wait. I really hope Meredith loves meeting the characters, though I'm preparing myself for her to be scared. We are just so excited for some quality family time, away from home, with no agenda aside from what we feel like doing each day.

So! I also want to ask for any advice you may have. Have you been to Disneyland? Any tips? How about any of the area beaches? We're staying about equidistant from Disneyland and the Newport Beach area. If there is anything we just have to see, please share!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day.

We had a great Memorial Day this year. Chris arrived home after a week in Brazil, my brother Joe was still here and we decided to take Meredith to her first baseball game. We kept it simple with a minor league San Jose Giants game, which was a perfect first game. The sun was sunny and warm. The crowd was entertaining. The popcorn was yummy and kept Meredith occupied. We only stayed for about half the game. Afterwards, we came home played in the yard and enjoyed a cookout once Meredith went to bed early. I loved having both my brother and husband with me. It was a great day and I long for days of living near family again.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Almost two.

My darling, little Meredith,
How is it possible that you are almost two? It really feels like I was just planning your first birthday party, but here we are again, almost to June. And really? When I think about it, a lot has happened since last June. You learned to walk. You grew hair. You started babbling, talking and singing. We moved across the country. I got pregnant with your baby brother. We've missed friends and made friends. You've learned about Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and baby dolls. You've learned to run. You have opinions and ideas and express them.

And speaking of opinions, that's what brought about this letter. You my dear, are a quintessential, almost-two-year-old. This week it was like, BAM! I will scream if I don't get my way, I will look at you and stare and decide if I feel like obeying or not. I will run away if I don't feel like obeying. Baby girl, it doesn't make me mad at you, but it's hard. Mostly it's hard because I question myself every step of the way.

You are simply doing what most two year old's do. You are learning to express yourself. You are learning boundaries. You are testing what happens when you cross those boundaries. And honestly, I guess I'm simply doing what most mothers do. I am learning how to discipline. I am testing out what works. I am trying so hard to be consistent. I am trying so hard to be firm. I am trying so hard to help you be a little girl that others will enjoy being around. A little girl that is respectful and obedient. A little girl who feels the freedom to explore and have adventures, but knows how to do so within safety and reason.

I want to be the best mama I can for you, but these last few days have left me feeling like I am falling very short. I find myself grasping at straws, feeling like I am feeling my way through the darkness. Your Mimi assures me that this is what being a mother to a toddler is like. That we all want to do right by our babies, but you don't come with instruction manuals. So we try with all our might to figure it out as we go. Baby, please just know your mama is trying and I will keep on trying forever.

I love you,

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Camping was perfect. Well, we cut it a night short because we froze our tushies off the first night and I was having major pregnancy aches, but minus that, it was perfect :)

We loved our campground. Meredith was thrilled to be outdoors all day. I loved the feeling of no nagging chores. And it just felt really good to break routine and spend time as a family. Chris and I got to just talk and laugh. We got to share camping traditions that are special to us with Meredith. We took a walk among Redwoods with no time frame or lofty goal. We ate s'mores and cheetos and breakfast burritos. We watched a crackling fire and tried to keep a certain toddler from burning herself. It was perfect. Just as a family weekend should be.

Also? It felt really good to fall asleep in our own bed on Saturday night.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Under the starry skies.

This weekend we are going camping. I've been itching to go and I can think of no better way to celebrate Mother's Day than lots of quality time with my little family. This will be Meredith's third camping trip, but only our first as just the three of us. It will be our first trip in California. I am so excited. And while we will certainly be missing our faithful camping friends back in Boston, we will also enjoy making new memories as a family.

blurry, but i love it still

Sunday, May 6, 2012

oh, hi.

you may (or may not) have noticed my absence around here. enough people have asked that i just wanted to say hi! i am alive! and mostly doing well!

To start with, I will share some photos of our lately:
 playing in the yard // being a puppy // i went to boston! for my dear friend's wedding! // new baby mickey 
attitude at the park // in love with sheepies // thinking she's about 10 years older than she is
 again with the 'tude // coldplay! !! !!! // concert date night
beach day // it was cold so she wore a pair of my basketball shorts // she's a heels kind of girl
 helping daddy with the garbage barrels // helping mama at the plant nursery // our little garden that i might've already killed
falling back asleep with mama // my first try at pho // 22 weeks pregnant

And now, for some things that may not surprise you:

-having an almost two year old is tiring. we read books, watch TV, play outside, go to the park, run errands, have playdates, nap and somehow, i blink and a week is gone. having a toddler is messy business. while i used to clean as she played and feel like i could keep the house in order, it seems near impossible now. my mom helps me remember how unimportant these things are, but naturally, i have a physical, stress reaction to the clutter and mess and dust bunnies and scattered dried up rice. i just have to let it go. i am amazed at how many days i open the computer once meredith is in bed, only to realize the last time i opened it was the night before. this used to never happen to me. sure, i can check my phone, but time to actually write down thoughts longer than 140 characters? less common now than ever before.

-being pregnant is tiring. mostly, i feel good. i am starting to feel our little man kicking more regularly which is the best part of pregnancy. but by the afternoon i am achy and find myself hobbling around the house or park. i am so grateful for this pregnancy. i am so grateful for our little boy. i am so grateful for both of health. BUT! (you knew it was coming) this pregnancy has been harder. maybe because our support system is drastically different than two years ago, maybe it's because i have a toddler, maybe it's because this is the second time around, but it's just harder. i don't feel radiant like last time. i don't relish in the rounding and swelling of my belly, but instead just find it gets in the way and makes breathing like a normal person tough. also, i think more than last time, i'm just ready for him to be here so that we can begin our life as a family of four.

-moving across the country is no joke. we've been here six months now. to me, six months sounds like long enough to be settled, but we're not. i still feels new. i'm still getting to know the area. we are still working on our routine and finding our spots. we have some friends, but it's slow going. in the big scheme of things, six months is so short, but in the middle of it, it feels long. it feels long enough to be drained from the all the giving and denying of myself and putting myself in uncomfortable situations. for some people saying hi at the park, or calling a new friend, or joining a group of chatty women is no big deal. for me? it is so hard. i feel awkward and dorky and unwanted- kind of like i'm in middle school all over again. so, i'm tired from that too. i long for easy conversation and spontaneous playdates with comfortable friends. the potential is there. i know that. but we're just not quite there yet.

so hopefully that gives you a picture of where i am at and why things are quiet here. in general, things are good. this weekend was so perfect that more than once i stopped and thought how grateful i am to live in such a beautiful place. i have this perfect little girl and a husband who is also my best friend.