My Noticer

My Noticer
There's always time to stop & smell the roses!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Crazy Love

I crazy LOVE this picture!

This post has been on my mind a LOT lately! I have been wanting to write about the joys of little boys for quite some time...I knew I would need some serious time alone writing to capture the vast array of emotions and thoughts on this topic. And even now with all the time in the world I'm still not sure I'll get it exactly right.

Initially I imagined this post would be all about the things little boys are made of. You know....worms, and snails, and puppy dog tails! I thought it would be funny and cute to write about finding alligators in my bathtub.... Don't believe me, see photos below. Thats not all, I have also found a full size duck decoy in my bathtub, also, and maybe the most terrifying was the tarantula like spider I walked in on in the middle of the night when the sleep was still heavy in my eyes.

This squeaky alligator also provides endless bath time fun/torture for our dog Stewie!

This is totally the hazard of being married to an avid duck hunter, this and duck calls! Seriously, they are LOUD!

Okay, I know it totally looks fake in the light, but in the middle of the night when its dark....heart attack!

 Oh, and then there was this really fun time when I had laundry to do and I was carrying the empty basket down to the basement to fold yet another load. Imagine my surprise when I saw a snake next to the washing machine! One scream and a dropped laundry basket later I realized it was the snake he got from my MOM AND DAD for Christmas. What were they thinking!! I secretly think my mom picked it out to get me back for the years of torture she endured when I was a kid. I loved and still do love practical jokes. She was a pretty easy target (sorry mom). I remember so many spider ring pranks! My favorite was to put them in the toilet, under the toilet seat, in the bathtub, etc! I also liked to hide under my brothers bed (he is 4 years younger) and wait for him to get settled before I would scare him. I don't know what I would do now as an adult if I was in my bed and was suddenly grabbed by someone. I was so NOT nice! I could go on about amazing pranks you could play on people (mostly your family b/c they won't kill you) but thats not what this post is about so I'll stop now. See snake below!

Again, the picture does not do this justice...I swear it looked real from a distance!

Before I became a momma like everyone else I had my own set of expectations and ideas about what motherhood would look and feel like. I was right about some of it but I'm so glad I couldn't imagine it all. There is way too much magic and mystery involved for mere words to begin to explain or describe motherhood.  I think motherhood captures every extreme of every human emotion. The day Landon was born and the Dr. handed him to me I am still not sure how the joy that I felt was contained by my body. It was the single most important day of my life. Even now when I try to think about how to describe the way it felt I can't. Its like words aren't adequate for some feelings. Its weird because I can sit here now three years later and only feel a fraction of what I felt that day and I am still reduced to tears... for awhile I was mad at myself for not writing down those feelings that day in the hospital. Even if I did I think I still would have been at a loss for words. I think thats the way its supposed to be. I think some things just can't be explained and thats okay. I think being a parent is one of the ultimate gifts from God. I think the love we feel for our children is a tiny taste of the love He feels for us. Its so humbling to think that I am a child of God  and that the love we feel and experience can't even come close to the love He has for us. Its astonishing, and of course it can't be explained and defined by man made words.

Alas, being a parent isn't all roses. Like I said I have felt every extreme of every emotion. In the early months when I was sleep deprived and adjusting to life as a new mamma I felt alone and helpless. As high as I was on love sometimes I sank that low. I had full blown post partum depression and I understand how it can kill. PPD deserves its own post so I won't go into too many details but it was my reality for 8 long months.

Every parent knows having children can test your patience. I'm not proud but I will be real and admit that I have lost my temper to the point where I have screamed at my child. There have been times where I have had to lock myself in my bedroom and cry. There have been times where I thought knew I was the worst parent out there. I have felt embarrassed and ashamed of my actions. I like so many parents struggle with letting go of the mistakes I make. I'm always so sure my failures will be the thing my child remembers. I realize now it's simply not true. Luckily those moments of weakness are few and far between and I find that as I grow and mature as a parent they are pretty darn rare these days. I came across this poem on another blog I love to read and it has helped me work through the guilt I was holding onto. Its called: Each Time


Each Time
by Annie Flavin

Each time
I put them down to rest,
I kiss them good-night,
I kiss all of my screw-ups good-bye,
and I vow that 
when they awaken,
we will all be new. 

We can begin again. 
We can start fresh. 
Each and every moment. 

If we can ditch 
our own hang-ups and hangings-on of where we’ve failed, 
and give fresh love 
and serious attention, 
they’ll rise right to us. 

In fact, 
most of the time,
they’re waiting for me 
in that fresh, new space. 

I just have to join them.

Enough about the ugly parts of my momma experience, they are a reality but not worth too much of my time and focus. I find that the more I focus on the good things the more good I see. Kind of like happiness and love and joy beget more happiness, love, and joy. Ever notice how you seem to find what you are looking for (literally and figuratively)?? So, if you are looking for drama and reasons to complain thats exactly what you find. If you look for the beauty and good in people than thats what you find. We may not get to choose all of our circumstances but we get to choose how we view them. This thinking is sort of new to me. I always sort of prided myself on being what I called a realist NOT a pessimist as my husband would describe me. I sort of thought people who always saw the glass as half full were naive. People who were too happy or positive annoyed me. I guess maybe I thought all my angst and sarcasm made me better off in the world. I was blinded by my cynicism and skepticism. I thought I saw the world more clearly than all those other positive "dreamers"....What a waste! It's actually a lot harder to keep a positive outlook, it takes a lot more effort and work. BUT, the more you do it the easier it is. This is another lovely lesson I learned through motherhood. Motherhood is softening all of my hard exterior edges. I tried to fight it for awhile but kids are like that...they rip you open, expose all your truths and love you anyway. They completely steal your heart and before you know it you are a changed person. The sooner you embrace it the better! Kids make us the best versions of ourselves, they are like tiny ninja sensei's! Is it weird that I automatically imagine Splinter from Ninja Turtles? Side note: If I was a ninja turtle I would so be Michelangelo!

Hmmm...not as cute as I remembered!

Lately I have been finding that I am realizing Landy isn't a baby any more. I haven't decided how I feel about this. I mean it's happening regardless of my feelings about it so I just have to deal with it. This age is really sort of bittersweet. I think I'm in what I might describe as the "sweetspot". He is almost 3.5 so he's like the best blend of baby/boy. He can hold conversations and is just so fun to hang out with. He can make me laugh like I never imagined. One of the best parts of being a parent is you basically live with a comedian. Thank God we are past the terrible twos, he rarely throws fits. Although, a two year old toddler fit is pretty hilarious. He still loves to snuggle, he can go to the bathroom alone HALLELUJAH, he's like a tiny cute adult sort of... I think if I could I would keep him this age just a little longer. I want to go live in Neverland with him for a few years. Then, when I am ready we can come back to the real world where little baby/boys  become boys, and then teenagers, and then young men..... I am trying to soak up this delicious stage while it lasts. 

Right now I am the queen of his sweet little heart. Some day I won't be... and I may even will see his heart broken by some other girl. I'll be there to help mend it and for a short time maybe even regain my throne. But some day the right girl will come along and she will become the forever queen. And I will be happy. For now I am going to revel in my reign. Also, he recently asked me to marry him and I couldn't be more honored! 

Right now he tells me I'm beautiful on a daily basis and usually multiple times and he means it. These days I'm feeling pretty confident! 
Landy: "Mommy, I like you. You're beautiful! Okay?"
Like I said kids are heart stealers, it may be what they do best!

Right now my little boy runs around in either his Disney Cars themed underwear or his Thomas the Train unmentionables. Deciding what underwear is deserving of being worn at any given time is the toughest decision he has to make these days. How long does this last...when do I have to retire the character underwear?? Oh the day we bench his VIP's is going to break my heart! Poor Mater....

Right now I am his best friend. I am like the coolest person ever, right now I would say I am his favorite person...when will I stop being cool? When will I be replaced? 

Right now he asks me to sing to him every night before bed. Right now I have to give him a "giant" hug, an eskimo kiss, AND a regular kiss before bed. Right now we have to snuggle for at least 5 minutes every night before bed. I wonder, when he asks me for the last time will I know its the last time?? Will it just go by unnoticed and one night I'll realize that I can't remember the last time I sang to him...

Thinking about all of this could bring me to my knees. A full out crying session in my room under the covers could easily be arranged. I could dwell on all of this with sadness but then I would miss this beautiful place we are in. And, even more tragic I might miss out on the next stage that I'm sure holds new adventures and memories to be made. I know there are more motherhood treasures awaiting me. It would be silly to think that we have peaked in these three short years. These are the things I remind myself when I am tired at the end of the night and want to skip the song, some night will be the last night he asks me to sing. This is what I think about when he asks me to play but I want to watch Dr. Phil, because some day he won't ask me to play. These are all the things I think about when I think I miss working outside the home, or when I am tired and cranky, or when I think I'm tired of being a mom...I try to remind myself to live in the moment every day. I am a better mom because of this. Living in the moment helps me to avoid taking things for granted. Living in the moment is teaching me the importance of every day. Again, my little sensei is teaching me so much about this life. 

Right now is perfect and exactly how it should be. I'll deal with each stage and milestone as they come and I will be okay! 

My life in it's current stage.....Worms, and snails, and puppy dog tails....and then some.

Camping in Land's bedroom

Yes, that is a camp fire...and yes, I will take credit for this...proud mama moment!

Bears entered our camp so we had to shoot them...boys will be boys!


Okay, these next pictures are from September when we took Landy to Disney Land. He couldnt wait to meet the princesses. The Anna and Elsa line was like 5 hours long so we opted to meet Cinderella and Rapunzel. My boy likes the classics! He was enamored with Cinderella...he was shy and kept fidgeting with his ears..it was like a sneak peek into the future when girls will be the only thing on his mind. I actually teared up...then he told Rapunzel he was going to shoot Elsa! I thought we would get kicked out of Disney. Rapunzel just laughed and told Landy he was her new favorite! See, they are comedians who know their audience and can deliver a punch line like none other!

He has died and gone to heaven!


His first kiss and from a princess no less...I'm still the queen though!

He's like "Yeah, I'm a Prince..no big deal"


I might be weird but I LOVE that there is evidence of Landy throughout our home. It doesn't bother me when his snail collection takes over my living room, or that his cars/airplanes take up half the couch. I love it when his obsession with stickers takes over my bedspread. Seriously, one day I found him in my room putting Cars stickers all over our bed sheets. I left them there for a few days and just dealt with random stickers in my hair and on my clothes when I woke up. Since Landy is my favorite person I think I just like being surrounded by his favorite things. His favorite things become my favorite things.

His airplane collection on the couch..couches are not for sitting!
The epic snail race!



The rest of the photos are just some of my favorites for obvious reasons!


Cowboy Landy!

 Davy Crockett Landy!

Devilish Landy!

He thinks he is so strong...I mean he is lifting a tree...


 Peeky Boo!


My heart is happy!

 Muscles Landy!

My two favorite people! Boys will be boys.


 Contrary to popular belief these are not ordinary mushrooms...these are Cinderella mushrooms!


 Landy was obsessed with this caterpillar!


I get to read my magazine and Landy reads his!


These last two...extra special to me. He captures my heart and this stage perfectly!



My Peter Pan is fascinated with his shadow!

Just a boy on the cusp of adventure! Glad I'm along for the ride! Oh the places you'll go!


Right now I love being this boy's mamma. It is the best and most important thing I will ever do.
The lyrics "Old Mr. Webster could never define, whats being said between your heart and mine" pretty much sums up this post. You can't define this crazy love!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snack Attack



My new love affair is mozzarella  cheese. I am sort of obsessed with it. I think its a texture thing because mozzarella really doesn't have a lot of flavor. Its just creamy deliciousness! In my quest to lose a few pounds and be a healthier me I have been eating lots of salads (topped with mozzarella). I have traded in Cheetos for cucumbers, tomatoes, AND mozzarella. Cutting out bread has been huge too. It's pretty rare that I eat it now. However, I do have a carb weakness and its in the form of onion bagels! Mmmm! I decided I should marry two of my favorite foods and make a portion controlled pizza of sorts. So, if you want a delicious snack that won't leave you feeling too guilty give this a try.

Ingredients:
1/2 a bagel












Fresh basil leaves










Tomatoes (2 worked perfectly)











Mozzarella cheese
Note: the kind I get is marinated in olive oil & herbs
Here is the brand





Directions:
Preheat oven to 375


  • Slice tomatoes and mozzarella ( I used three pieces and just sliced them in half)
  • Lay the basil across the bagel, Spread the tomatoes evenly, and top with the mozzarella
  • Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the cheese is the right melty-ness (don't know if thats a word) NOTE: I just used foil and made a little makeshift baking container. Why dirty a pan? 


Next time I plan on broiling this heavenly creation so it gets a little toastier, I like a little crunch!

Assembled and ready to go!

I love foil! No muss-No fuss!

Ahh, the finished melty product! My mouth is watering!