July 30, 2013

the table toph built

Last Christmas we were still playing the waiting game on a job offer (and on Everly but that's another story...) and funds were pretty tight. I told Topher, "No presents for me!" (not to play the martyr, I actually love the idea of scrimping and saving and looking back and being like, "Man we were broke! Remember when we skipped Christmas! But look at us now! Mwahaha!" ::cue a pool full of hundred dollar bills::) but he ended up getting a job riiight before the big day (last year was a year of miracles for us).
Instead of rushing out and buying me something just to check it off the list, he thought about what I really wanted, needed, and what might benefit us as a family.

And then he built a table in 8 hours (for just 50 dollars!!) and I loved it.

We couldn't afford the fanciest supplies and had to borrow tools to make it, but I love how it turned out.
Toph did everything really carefully and paid attention to detail.
That kid, shoot. Sometimes he just gets me.

day in the life

6:30ish: Everly's like, "Feeeed me!" Toph brings her into our room and I nurse her while he gets ready for work. He heads out the door to catch the bus and Ev and I go back to sleep.

8/9ish: Bronson wakes up and joins us for some snugs in the big bed. We hang out, I feed Ev again, we talk about how we slept and the dreams we had the night before. Eventually they ignore me and giggle together while I check twitter, insta, and email on my phone.

9:30/10:00ish: Bronson gets himself dressed, I brush his teeth and get Everly dressed. They play near each other in their room while I get myself ready and make the bed. I run in to check on them every 2 seconds.

10:00-11:00ish: I nurse Ev and then she takes her morning nap. While she's asleep, Bronson and I clean up the house, have breakfast and he gets in some more Lego time.

11:00-12:30ish: Everly makes one little peep and Bronson's running to her side yelling, "Oh Everly I missed you!" I nurse Ev, get B some lunch, and grab something for myself to eat too.

1:00-3:00ish: We head out the door. I try to go on at least one walk a day even if it's just to the tiny park in our complex. More often than not though, we end up walking a few miles and hit Target and "the big Target park" while we're out.

3:00-4:30ish: I nurse Ev and put her down for her afternoon nap. Bronson plays some more Legos, puts a million puzzles together, watches a show, and has a snack. I usually read, internet browse, build a puzzle or two with Bronson, juice, sew, or watch some tv.

5:00ish: Ev wakes up and gets smooched like crazy. She and Bronson play in the living room while I get dinner going.

5:15ish: Toph's home!!!

5:30-8:00ish: We eat dinner and play with the kids. I feed Ev real good and then head out to grocery shop, thrift, see friends, wander Target; whatever my, "I need a tiny break!" heart desires.

8:30-9:30ish: Bedtime for the kids! Baths, stories, more Everly nursing, prayers, tantrums, night lights; the whole shebang. If we did our job right, they end up conked out and peacefully quiet.

9:30-11:00ish: Toph and I hang out!!! We watch a movie, a few episodes of a tv show, eat junk food, talk about the possibility of renting a house someday, go over our budget, plan trips; whatever we want. Then it's bed time. I usually stay up reading til around 1 but Toph goes right to sleep. Something about being alert at work the next day? Whatever.


In summation: I nurse, Ev eats, B Legos, and Toph works. Boom.

July 22, 2013

just thinking some thoughts

Toph took these pics right quick after church yesterday and I really, really like them. :)

Sometimes I get embarrassed to tell people I had my first baby at 21 (very much) on purpose. I mean, if you can do simple math (I never could), duh: Bronson's four and I'm not quite 26. 

When I had Bronson we lived in Utah and it was completely normal to have a baby at 21. But then we moved back to California and somewhere along the road I remembered it's not that everyday to a) be married by 19 and b) have a baby before like 32. But it was my normal so whatever, right? I wish. But I do care what people think sometimes. I feel like I have to throw in backstory every time it comes up,"Yeah I had him at 21 BUT I already had 2 college degrees by then AND we'd been married two years!"

When I'm out with just Everly people usually assume she's my first + only and it's tempting to go with it. (Ohmygosh typing that out made me cringe.) I don't need to get all up in anyone's well meaning face about it, but letting that slide is disregarding part of myself and ignoring Bronson. Having Bronson when I did has shaped who I am today so much.

Being a mom has made me braver. (Yeah right, Meredith! You're scared of everything! Shut it & let me explain!) I have to be an advocate for my kids. I don't often have time to be shy and I like this new side of me! I was theeee shyest kid ever and it was painful. I hated it. I still fight it sometimes but overall, it's a thing of the past. (Or maybe I'm just so desperate for adult conversation I'll talk to anyone?) (BUT I even drive myself all over new places now! Which is kind of a big deal too.) 

Being a mom has made me healthier. After having Bronson I freaked and was all, "I'm NEVER going to lose all this weight!!" So I tried Slimfast and not eating and overexercising and tons of smarts like that. But then I realized what actually works is eating well and when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full and exercising in normal amounts (wha??). I would LOVE to be one of those women who can pop out a baby and be back to a size whatevs immediately (and have no stretch marks, extra skin, etc.) but because I'm not (not even at 21!) I've learned a lot about nutrition and what's healthy for me.

Being a mom has made me more patient. In general/most of the time.

Being a mom has solidified my interests. When I was in college I thought about going to law school, teaching, writing, midwifery, becoming a dental hygienist, quitting and moving home forever, editing; lots of things. Like a lot of students, I had no definite plan. Anyway, now I'm extremely interested in becoming a doula. People are probably really sick of hearing me wax poetic about labor and delivery BUT I just feel really strongly that women should feel empowered (or at least happy) with their labor experience! I know the outcome we're looking for is a healthy baby and that can be achieved many ways, but I also know that labor is such a pivotal life experience and when a woman is pressured or made to feel like she's not a part of the birthing equation: Hells no. I'm not advocating for everyone to go natural! No no no. I'd just love to help women have a better birthing experience in whatever way they prefer. Stopping there. (I could go on for days.)

Being a mom has made me more empathetic. Almost to a fault. I watch the news and just cry my eyes out over cruelty. I want to hold all the babies from those, "Just 50 cents day!" commercials. I feel like I look outside of myself more.

So maybe this comes off as a list of  Look at all the ways I'm awesome! Or maybe it's eye roll inducing, "Meredith, you don't have to be a mom to become all of this. It happens just by growing up." Maybe. I obviously don't know. People say your 20's are for "finding yourself" and I have. Motherhood helped me get here and I didn't go in knowing, hoping or expecting it would, but I'm really grateful that it did.

Currently (especially where we live) I feel like there's a giant push towards kids equaling a waste of time. Why have a child when you could REALLY BE LIVING LIFE?! I obviously think you should be ready if you decide to go for it kidwise (as in: there are no take backs, kids are usually for keeps), but I also know that when we had Bronson was the right (right right right!) time for us.

Sidenote: Whenever I hear "22" I want to sing, "I don't know about you, but when I was 22 it felt like the perfect night to stay up nursing!" for whatever that's worth. #nothing

July 14, 2013

so he's four?! and that's crazy but it happened

Bronson turned four. Being the non specific, super vague that he is, he requested a Lego Hulk/Avengers party with sprinklers and masks and his cousins. Annnd I delivered. I really like making masks, it turns out.

Some thoughts on Bronson being four:
I keep trying to get caught up in emotions over this one but you know, after the big 2 to 3 switch last year it's cool. I will forever miss him being 2 (that tiny voice! the way he ran! his sports obsession!) but really, he just gets better and better.
He's such a good kid. He loves his sister, he's so loyal to his family, and he's just so stinking smart.
I'm proud of the choices he makes (most of the time) and I can't wait to see him grow and find even more interests this year.
Btw, I'm thrilled that he's into Legos! We took him to The Lego Store and it was an organizers dream come true. I loved it. Bronson was all set to move in so that was cool too ... But seriously, all those organized bins!!!

July 8, 2013

Provo on the 4th is my fave.

 I love visiting Provo because FOOD. 
I also love the freepiles, dollar theaters, city pools, family time, fabric shopping, and cooler than CA weather. We had a blast this past week and I have the grainy cell pics to prove it:

 The Provo rec center was incredible. 
I wish, I wish with all my heart it had been there when we lived just up the street.

The Provo parade is over rated. There. I said it. But we had fun!

We visited the green dupe!!!! So cool to see it again. 

Everly sat in a high chair for the first time! 
Mostly exciting because we were at Magleby's when she did it. 
Location, location, location. #yuuum

We visited campus! These three in their matching shirts, shoot. So cute.

The fireworks were bomb. HAHAHAHA. 
But for reals, there were great displays all over the neighborhoods and we didn't have to get stuck in traffic!


Not pictured but very important:
 The THREE banana/strawberry swirled froyo cones I downed from Macey's.

July 2, 2013

She's been around for a while, six months to be exact.

Everly, Everly, Everly ... 
HOW have you been here for 6 months when it feels like minutes and years all at once? 

You're the sweetest.