Wednesday, March 21, 2012

tooty, doodoo, and tina.

oh little romy.
did you know out of all the nicknames i've created for you {romes, romedizzle, romester, romanator, and some new ones are tooty, doodoo, and tina -- because i think it's funny to tell you to "eat your ham tina", you know.....from napolean dynamite. oh my. i'm lame} i've never used romy before?!
nope, someone else came up with it :)
your little friend Jairus spotted you in church one sunday, pointed towards you, and in his sweet little voice said "romy!! romy!!"
his momma and i laugh each sunday morning, because as soon as he sees our family, he begins shouting, "romy! romy!"
so now, my most favorite nickname for you is romy :)

oh little romy,
the other day we went to visit momma's friend katie {hi katie!} and her new little puppy, reggie. did you know it was like 80 degrees in march?! that's crazy for our kansas city weather, 70 maybe, but 80 was awesome.
i love the sun. and you love puppies.
we're a great pair :)

happy seventeen months, little dude.
it's sort of ironic, because as much as i love to update your little growing self each month, i also hate it! the months seem to come so fast, one right after the other, and i {like every other momma} i just want time to slow down. though i still look at your face and see my baby, i know time will fly and before you know it i'll be seeing my big boy. no more baby.

{yeah, yeah, insert all of your comments about "you should have another baby then!!!" and to that i say, "not yet, not yet!"}

i wish i could describe how much i love you, roman.
i wish i could describe how much i love your father, knowing how much he loves you.
i wish i could describe all of these mushy gushy feelings.
but words simply cannot, and thus i wish that every girl i know would someday become a momma, because it truly is a miracle ;)
not only does it take your marriage to a whole, new, amazing level, but it makes your heart expand so very, very large.

and, although you are beginning to stretch me thin with figuring how to parent/discipline/train you, my little one, there is never a moment that goes by when i don't know the Lord put you in our family, a perfect match, to raise you and teach you and mold you for his glory.

and, although i've fallen SO hard into a trench of guilt/worry/confusion with how to discipline your wild little {truly, FUN} spirit......i've also found so much peace. knowing each day is fresh, each day we get a new dose of grace, and each day i can come before our Father, to ask for his mercy on me and my ugly parenting struggles :) and THAT makes me want to do cartwheels, with frenchbraided pigtails, and then have a glass of wine. CHEERS to that.

oh rome, your energy is delightful.
we spend most of our mornings outside, running errands, or meeting up to play with friends.
and then we spend most of our afternoons napping, reading books, and then running around the house like crazy people, and we take peekaboo to a whole new level, we do, and then we have snacks until daddy gets home.
oh, and sometimes we try to make dinner. together.
BECAUSE you must be next to me all the time.
i mean, i don't mind, but i can't get a lot done, which is OK, just a season we're in, me 'n you :)

my baby, you are a great eater! {ahhh, thank you, finally}
you like way more different foods than i do already, which makes it hard when you try to feed me things like broccoli and i cringe because i WANT to model that momma eats healthy too! but i HATE broccoli so bad and really want to dry-heave when it comes that close to my mouth. i'd much rather have string cheese. and thank goodness, little boy loves him some string cheese too :)

romy, you've so gracefully slipped into the roll as sidekick/helper. you think you're pretty topdawwwwg when you come alongside of your momma or dadda to help pick up toys, fold laundry, switch the laundry, pick up sticks, unload the dishwasher, and eat ice cream :)

and romes, can i tell you a secret?
along with about 8 other specific things, i'm praying that you would have a passion for music.
your daddy is not really into concert hopping {bummer, because i totally am} and blaring his voice while singing along with tunes. and, well, i need a partner in crime. as of now, you kind of give me a weird look, and say in your half laughing voice, "mommmmaa, hah, mommma" when i'm singing and dancing. but you don't really jump in and join. and if you do, you just drop your butt up and down or spin in a circle.
i would like you to have a good voice, be able to read music and either play the guitar or violin. ok? thanks.
but really, i'll love you all the same if you have the same musical talents as your father ;)
{you just better have his athleticism then....} KIDDING! kind of. not really, yes, i am.

oh roman.
thank you for loving chocolate, and ice cream.
thank you for letting me spike your hair each morning with daddy's hair stuff.
thank you for loving your bottles and letting me rock you while you drink your milk.
thank you for being so easy to tickle, your laugh is truly contagious.
thank you for looking like your daddy, and THAT i could never get sick of.

next up, eighteen months :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

so there i was, with a 2 course dinner on the table. {and a smile in my heart}

i have this thing, this struggle, this issue: cooking.

yes, i grew up in a home seeing my mother cook, from scratch, on a regular basis.
yes, i grew up enjoying her homemade meals, and arguing about who's turn it was to do the dishes.

but there's a missing link from my mothers talents and abilities in the kitchen to my own.


it's not just my dislike of cooking though, it's my constant failure while cooking, that creates this barrier around the stove, the cute kitchen aid mixer, the rice steamer, and all those other random kitchen appliances. there's a line between me and them, and it's so difficult to cross.

i'm always making dumb mistakes.

i've set pyrex pans on a hot stove top {cue: pyrex shattering}
i've tried to melt the butter in the microwave because the recipe said "softened butter" but i failed to realize i can't melt the butter with the eggs already in the bowl too {cue: scrambled eggs with a side of melted butter}
i've put tablespoons of salt, cumin, or paprika in instead of teaspoons {cue: it doesn't taste good}
i've baked cinnamon rolls in too small of a pan, that each one overflowed into the oven {cue: giant cinnamon rolls stuck to oven}
the list

however, something happens when i make those silly mistakes.
and i know that most of you would say, "me too!" and "that's ok, just keep trying!!!".....
and, typically, i'm quite the fan of laughter, but when i mess up in the kitchen? laughter is not my go-to form of reaction.
i've been known to stomp. and even cry.

i get SO discouraged.

i try to make these meals, from recipe books, online sites, or pinterest, and i get then i just end up not making anything. i'm sort of ALL OR NOTHING.

but then a miracle happened.
kansas city stepped up, and finally got a couple of these suckers:
yeah yeah. i know.
trader joes is so yesterday for most of y'all.

but for me?
i'm just gettin started, baby.

here's why:
first of all, i convince myself its practically like whole foods and everything there is JUST HEALTHIER.
second of all, they have like $5 wine.
and third of all, everything there is yummy.


lately, my discouragement in the kitchen has been raging like a virus trapped in a mcdonalds play area {HA! rethinking lunch plans, mommas?!! sorry....}

but really, each week i'm all like
"mr leif, i'm so going to meal plan like a super kitchen warrior princess, i mean seriously, i've found so many recipes i wanna make"

and then he gives me his lovely use of silence.

and then i reply to his silence by talking again, "so like, on sunday, i'm going to write up a menu and then i was thinking we could all go to the store on sunday together!!!!!!!"

and then and then and then.......

but really, and then i don't do any of it.
so monday rolls around and i scramble around to make a meal.
i try to get to the store, try to cook with my toddler climbing up my leg saying up up up, and try to stay calm and "be an adult" amongst the chaos called momma's makin' dinner.

those are usually all hot mess experiences.
which end in an even bigger hot mess: my finished product.

sometimes it doesn't turn out, sometimes it tastes like yuck, and sometimes it doesn't even get completed because i quit during the middle {that's usually the one that involves my tantrum}.

regardless, mr leif {poor guy} often comes home to a very discouraged wife, and no dinner.

bless his heart. he loves to cook {and he loves to rescue his wife}
so...........................he often times rescues me by cooking. or going to get a frozen pizza.

the other night,
i made the most AMAZING FROZEN PENNE PASTA DINNER from trader joes.
[i can't remember its actual name]

and, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS...................
1. take package out of freezer
2. add a teency bit of water and a smidge of butter
3. stir and put a lid on it.

then i served it with a salad.
wait for it.......
wait for it................

i felt like the BEST HOMEMAKER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seriously though.

as usual, mr leif called me on his way home, and so i knew exactly the time frame i was working with. and when he walked in the door, i was able to serve a pretty rad pasta, and salad. TWO courses.

and the best part, i felt happy. i was proud of myself.

and then i said to my mr, "this was SUCH a positive experience, i actually had FUN, and felt competent, and excited to serve dinner!!!!!!!!!!!"

he totally gave me his approval to make trader joes dinners :)
{and thank goodness, he's never really requested/expected dinner on the table anyways...}

i know i'm totally not doing the cool thing these days which also happens to be the healthiest thing, but making some sort of parsley-flaxseed pesto pasta just isn't in the cards for me right now. and I AM OK WITH THAT!


do i want to make these half premade dinners forever???
do i want to own that kitchen??
but, it's gonna take time.

a dear friend of mine told me the other day to start watching cooking shows.
not to follow their recipes, but to watch them cook!
to pick up on some chopping, mixing, and other random techniques.
i love it.

thank goodness we have cable now.
i mean, it's practically in my job description now.


well, it's almost saturday folks, and momma's off to tJoes in the mornin, to get her some supplies.

now, in theme with my pinterest post from earlier,
here's a happy little collage i put together, to keep things happy round here :)
i should totally pin this under the category, "things i've made"

things like this always get out of control


so just as there's all types of facebookers. there's all types of pinners.

i'm typically the pinterester that pins things i see on random websites, but i don't actually browse the actual pinterest site much.

this week, i started intentionally browsing pinterest for pictures of open floor plans.
you see, i've almost got mr leif talked into bustin down a few walls in our house.

and then,
it happened.
i was looking AT ALL OF THE THINGS.

i started stumbling upon weird things.

i mean, to each their own, but for the love of all things diy..........
do we really need tutorials on how to tie our hair into a bow?
and why are there all these random animal pictures????
now its got me wanting to start collecting all sorts of weird pinterest pins.
just to freak people out.
or maybe i'll attract a diverse group of followers?
regardless, i gotta go, while romes is preoccupied with a backhoe, i might as well practice my hair"bow".

Thursday, March 8, 2012

i'm all like, wow, that's a sweet dress.

and then i'm all like, "why the heck do things gotta be so spensive."

come on. knock this sucker down a few dollars?

does it really gotta be $370

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

a toddler and his bottle? {and a bit about the blog}

roman is almost 17 months old.
and, i still give him his milk before naptimes and bedtime in a bottle.
i know, i know.
what about all of those things people say that make it wrong for a toddler to still be drinking from a bottle?
i don't know, what about them.

i can't help it.

what do you see when you look at this picture?

i don't know about you, but i see a baby.
and yes, i AM trying to keep him a baby for as long as i can. {wink!}

but really, motherhood is such a phenomenal experience.
and when i'm rocking him while he drinks his milkies, i typically find myself reflecting on the crazy amount of love i feel for him. and i'm in awe at how it continues to grow every single day.

with children, come sleepless nights, sick babies, stretch marks, bad hair days, complete and utter selflessness, the difficulties of parenting, guilt, tantrums, missed events, worry, and crumbs on the floor.

then there is this most amazing rush of warm tingly lovely feelings that encompasses your entire body, every. single. day.
there's this feeling of love you can't explain, you can't put into words.
it's knowing you'd give your life for this little person.
it's that extra snuggle that makes you happier than an empty closet with $10,000 from jcrew to fill it. seriously.
there's all these little moments.......
i'm brought to tears of joy, DAILY.
i catch myself just watching him play, for minutes upon minutes.
i could watch him sleep for hours.
my heart wells up the size of kim kardashian's you know what when i see him interact with his daddy.
it's nights that we stay home, and put our jammies on early, and do family snuggles.
it's mornings, that we wake up before romy, and sneak in and watch him slowly wake up.
it's afternoons, that i find him in his crib after his nap and he's making the loudest truck noises he possibly can, followed by laughter.
it's amaze.
with that said,
i've been thinking about the purpose of this blog.
i've been trying to nail down a specific intent in writing this blog, probably since i began writing it almost 3 years ago.

but i realize it now.

i write to remember.
i write to share.
i write to laugh.
i write to ask for help.
i write to spread the light. HIS light.
i write as an outlet.
i write for so many different reasons, and i love each one of them.

i hope to remember our day to days as our family continues to grow.
i hope to help other mommas feel like they aren't the only ones feeling {you fill in the blank}
i hope to be transparent, showing that life isn't perfect, but that's where JESUS comes in.

i hope to honor the Lord with my words, whether they're silly, serious, happy, or sad.
i'm being real, and i'm enjoying it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

i compared, shame on me.

for some reason, when toddlers start toddling around, it's like they all of the sudden develop this sense of entitlement at the same time.
little romes feels entitled to everything in the house.
every door, it must be opened.
every drawer, it must be played in.
every bottle of lotion, moroccan oil, dry shampoo, ketchup, and lime juice, he must hide them in his domain: under his slide.
if i don't open those doors, and drawers, and allow him to pump that moroccan oil all over the floor?
he retaliates.

i set a limit, set a boundary, and don't let him have his way?
he gives me the tears, oh...those tears, and currently his tantrum is to clinch his body and let out a "NO!"

what??? wait,
no, no, no, not myyyyyyy kid.
i mean, i'm going parent him so intentionally, he'll comply with my requests, i just know it!! right?!
and, HA!

there would be no need for Jesus and his SAVING grace, if we could orchestrate things {especially parenting} to work out "just right".

last night, some dear friends of ours invited us over for dinner.
mr leif was working late, so romy and i trekked over together.
our sweet friends have a little girl who is about one year older than romy.
and while we had our "girl/momma time"....chatting, laughing, sitting criss cross on the living room floor, their little girl sat right with us in our circle, occasionally getting a toy to play with.
but romes?
it's like he envisioned their house as a race track.
he bounced around, running from corner to corner.
pull all the books out!
dump all the puzzles!
throw the puzzle pieces!

i asked him multiple times, i picked him up and carried him over multiple times, but he would only sit for a moment, and back up, running from room to room, causing "damage" to their shelves :)

and while i know, this is "boy behavior"
i can't help but do the biggest no-no out there, compare.

i sat there, comparing our children.
why can't mine sit nicely?
why can't mine calm down just a tad?
why can't mine......

shame on me.

i knew as soon as the thoughts began, i was going down the wrong path.

how dare i compare my little romy, when he was so "fearfully and wonderfully made."
how dare i compare my little romy, when he was "knit together" so perfectly.

about 95% of the time, i'm so happy that my little romes is bouncing off the walls with so much energy. we chase each other, we hide, we run around at the park and through the house. it's fun. we soak it up. i don't mind it. exhausted? yes, but it's just fun. and it truly doesn't bother me.

but the other 5% of me.....tends to let my mind wonder....and, the educator in me always jumps far too ahead,
"will he ever be able to sit in a desk?"
"will his teachers be annoyed?"

i saw those things happen, and it's not fair to children.

i know, you probably think i'm crazy.
and, well, i am.

but i wanted to share this because even though i'm exhausted at the end of the day, roman has this zest for life, when he plays with his trucks and his animals? it makes my heart so happy. and i know that there are so many other mommas there that struggle with the comparison game, just as i. we know we shouldn't do it, but sometimes it just happens. we're human.

it's time to start dismissing those thoughts.
our children are beautiful gifts. while they're just as sinful as we are, and while it's just in their nature to have those tantrums or noncompliance - especially when you're visiting another home , it's my job to mold him, to pray for him, and to give him grace, as he gets his energy out :)


last night, i lay in bed, and said to mr leif, "i'm just exhausted. sometimes taking roman to a friend's house for dinner is more work than it is enjoyable."

and then it was silent.
he does that,
mr leif, he kills me with silence sometimes.

but good things always come from the quiet.

and then, it hit me, so i started rambling again......."i'm just so grateful for new mercies each morning, even though i can barely keep my eyelids open right now, i KNOW i'll be ready to go in the morning! rested and ready to jump into the day"

God is so good.
and those mercies came.

today is a new day :)