Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love and Life

The other day Jarod got off work a little early, my mom watched the kiddos and we were able to have some alone time, which to parents essentially means running errands (virtually stress-free! :) and grabbing a bite to eat.

We went to Loews to pick out paint and supplies for our new apartment. As you can tell, we absolutely hate the color blue so we tried to steer far away from it by getting three different variations of it haha

We grabbed a bite to eat at a local Pho restaurant and just were able to enjoy some time together. Quite often, our time always seems divided to other aspects of our lives, kids, work, household chores, our extended family and friends, that we hardly get to spent a moment together. We're often heavily weighed down by the responsibilities and stress of life that some days it feels like we're simply going through the motions. But these rare and scared moments are what reminds us of why we have and want the life we do. It is the love we have for one another. The joy of sharing a life together and the beauty of creating life from our love that ground us to one another and to this crazy life of ours.

I got to remember and (actually be able to) focus on why I love this cute guy so much in the first place, why he's my best friend and why I never get tired of his company.

And so does he, as he told me, "I love you. You brighen up my day."

(insert beaming, happy, giddy little heart here)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Much Too Long

Ohh my. It’s been much too long since I’ve posted anything on this little ol’ blog of mine. So my excuse? Well, I, uhh, (looks down and kicks the dirt on the ground) haaave been a little busy. With a husband working long hours at work and me raising three little babies, I’m always super busy.

But weren’t you just as busy a few weeks ago when you wrote a blog every single day!?

Yes, just as busy but back then, I was chugging and downing energy drinks and coffee as often and as much as I could until I was literally sick to my stomach for about three straight days. I was terrified that I caused some irreversibly-damage to the insides of my stomach that I have not even looked at an energy drink since. I still drink coffee on a very rare occasion as in I think I’ve had a cup of coffee once in the last three weeks.

No joke. Those three miserable days changed my life. Basically, they scared the bejesus out of me so I’ve been sleeping more aka I’ve been sleeping what my body actually needs me to be sleeping. Thus, I haven’t blogged and also, just as sad, haven’t worked out in forever. Who do I talk to about getting more hours in a day??

So that’s my excuses as of late but no, I haven’t forgotten about this blog and about you readers. I sincerely miss you and writing. I promise I’ll be back. Actually, I promise in about a week I’ll be back because we’re currently in the process of moving! We’re moving into a bigger apartment (yay!) with almost an extra four-hundred square feet than what we currently have, a cute little fireplace, an amazing fitness center, a huge pantry and a laundry room, not a laundry closet, but a laundry ROOM. SO EXCITED!!

Funny, I told my mom that I was excited that the new apartment had a laundry room and she said that was great because it was right next to the kitchen so I can cook and do laundry at the same time. Ohh, silly mom, I’m excited because now I can hide the clean, washed clothes that are yearning to be put away. Out of sight, out of mind. Less clutter = happy mama. Let’s be honest here: our laundry will still, more than likely, be sitting there for days before even being touched but now it won’t be eyeing me, mocking me and sitting in the middle of the hallway. Now it will just be hidden hehe :)


Aaliyanna Update

Baby Ali is officially crawling. Don’t picture the typical chubby baby on their hands and knees crawling forward but picture a skinny, little thing army crawling, caterpillar booty moving, pulling, scooting, twisting, turning and anything else you can think of to get anywhere her little mind pleases. She still won’t sit unassisted all by herself because she’s literally too busy moving. I know she’s more than capable of doing so but instead, she’ll fling her head back, swing sideways and just, stubbornly decide she, won’t do it. Ever since the day she was born she’s always been flinging around anything she could move: her arms and mostly and almost always, her legs. She’s got a constant energy about her and it’s funny that even at a really young age, it’s really evident.

I’ve just started introducing solids. I was waiting for her to be able to sit unassisted but I know she could if she just waited long enough to let herself so I’m jumping the “bullet” and she’s doing really great. She loves carrots and banana blueberry. I can’t believe how fast she’s growing. I’m happy and proud of her but it’s, also, so bittersweet. Babies grow much too fast and she’s my last baby so it makes it even more bittersweet. She’s such a joy in our lives and quite possibly, the most precious, sweetest baby girl I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

[ source: www (dot) picturesdepot (dot) com ]

I use to get so hurt and feel so rejected when Jarod slowly stopped doing all the romantic gestures he did when our relationship started. I remember how the lack of love notes, gorgeous flowers and sweet, romantic gestures used to be a common source of our arguments. Sure, he would get me flowers, candy, stuffed animals and cards on my birthday and other Hallmark days holidays but I wanted them frequently. I wanted them weekly.

This caused a lot of strife early in our relationship because 1) Jarod’s a boy and 2) Jarod’s probably one of the least romantic people that ever existed on this planet. His mind doesn’t think in big sweeping, grand gestures of love. Mine does. His mind thinks in a more linear, deductive, logical, habitual way. And mine doesn’t.

When this last Valentine’s Day rolled around and I didn’t get any flowers, a present or stuffed animal; surprisingly, I was really okay with that. I actually felt the most love this Valentine’s Day than any other. Honestly, I think Valentine’s Day is wonderful and any day in which we are inspired to show and act with love cannot be anything but beautiful to me. So why did I let him off the hook without as much as a card on this much-anticipated romantic day?

Because I know how insane our lives are these days. The hours he works and the craziness of our household take away from small amount of quality time we spend together; instead of going out shopping for me, I would rather cuddle with him in bed or watch his cute butt do the dishes, clean the house or play with our children.

But the biggest reason I don’t need romance as much as I once did is because I feel it daily, often and in little moments unseen from the rest of the world. I feel his love for me each and every time I have a horrible day and even after working a physically hard and long ten-hour day, he graciously tells me that he’ll take care of the kids and to go lock myself in our bedroom. I feel his love when the alarm goes off as the rest of the world is heavily-asleep and the bed slightly shifts as he rises each and every day to provide for his family. I feel his love when I see the apartment of my dreams and he remarks with such ease, “if you want it, we’ll get it,” even though that means we’ll be paying a month and a half’s rent at two separate places and even though that means working incredibly long hours for him.

I no longer get swept up in grand, romantic gestures of love because Jarod’s willingness to do the hard, gritty work of every day necessity moves me more than any Hallmark card ever could. I don’t see his love in a box of chocolate, flowers that will inevitably wilt away or another stuffed animal that will simply add to our already overwhelming array of toys and stuffed animals.

I see his love through his daily actions. I see his love through his dedication and sacrifice of himself and for his family. I see his love in the little moments. Even though I think Valentine’s Day is a beautiful holiday, I’m so thankful that I see the fruits of our love for one another more than once a year. I'm incredibly blessed to see it daily by the kind of love I have always hoped for.

Babe, I love you foreve and for always ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Really Good Ten Minute Cry

There have been a few changes in our household in the last few weeks. Aiden started going to preschool twice a week. Tristen turned two and quite literally, the very second his little booty turned two, we headed straight down that dark, dark road (very correctly) named the terrible twos. Also, little baby Ali has turned into a crying, teething monster.

I’ve gotten more into the rhythm of getting everyone dressed, feed and ready to go in the mornings. I still have to repeatedly beg demand tell remind Aiden to get himself dressed more than a handful of times. I still have to pin Tristen down and kindly tell him to stop kicking me, which is almost immediately followed by the mommy look of, ohh, you better not or else. I must say, though, the mommy look almost always works, which makes me wonder why I even try the kindness approach in the first place.

Ohh, yah, I’m trying to raise kind and well-rounded and adjusted people. Damn.

But the point is I get myself and all three kids out the door on time and even a little bit early most mornings. I’ve learned to mentally and emotionally detach myself from the chaos and stress it takes to get so much done in such a small amount of time with three unwilling unhelpful inconsiderate very young children. I’m proud of how well I’m handling it all, especially when Jarod will remark on the few mornings he’s actually home to help me get the kids ready for the day that he has no idea how I do it and if it was just him, the kids would just be in their pajamas the rest of the day.

Haha. He’s so funny but also, I‘m about 98 percent certain that it really would happen, which is exactly why I’m the stay-at-home parent, not him :)

When we get to the building where Aiden’s preschool is, we all get out of the car. I usually keep Ali in the car seat, which at this point (although she’s a skinny little thing) feels like I’m lugging around 40 pounds. I sign Aiden into class and as we go to leave Tristen turns into a crazy maniac. He starts whining, throwing himself and his little two year old body onto the ground in a very obvious attempt to show his dismay. I sympathize with his tiny heart because I’m sure it pains him to separate himself from his very best friend and I understand that in his little mind he can’t fathom why he has to leave this amazing, colorful room with all the cool, older kids and fun, birght toys. I feel bad for him and I try to explain to him that we have to go, that sometimes he can’t be with Aiden all the time and he’s just not old enough to stay here yet.

But he still gets so frustrated.

And then he acts so frustrated.

And then I immediately stop feeling bad for him as I attempt to lug 40-pound-Ali with one arm and his crying, kicking, dead-weight two-year-old body to the car.

On top of all that fun, Ali’s strong-willed personality is coming out more and more. My mom even remarked that, “she thought girls were suppose to be easier and (Ali) is nothing like (me as a baby).“ I do suspect Ali’s teething but she’s also suddenly shown an even more apparent dismay to our notion of schedules. I no longer know the “best” time to run errands with the kids. The days are more chaotic with no true set time-intervals in place. I’m sure there are people out there that scuff at these words but I swear by schedules. They make life so much easier and I think it’s obvious how well they worked with the boys as I very willingly wanted and now have three kids aged four and under.

Thus, my days are filled with even more soothing, holding, coaxing, gentle explaining and repetitive disciplining. I’m proud of how I handle my days. I’m making the biggest attempt to keep my voice gentle and evenly-tempered, even when I want to bang my head against the wall repetitively. Since I’ve made it a conscious goal to be the mom I’ve always wanted to be, I’m becoming more of the mom I’ve always wanted to be. The days are a struggle but I make it through.

Well, at least I have been until last night when I went to change one of the babies diapers and suddenly realized that I left the $13 box of wipes I had just purchased from Target that morning in the bottom of the cart as we drove away. I’m well aware of the fact that $13 is not something to shed tears over. It was a mistake and it’s not going to kill us financially.

But something in me snapped. All of the built-in frustrations I’ve held in over the last few weeks while dealing with a four-year-old’s attitude, a two-year-old’s “terribleness” and a seven-month-old’s tears and demands hit me like a concrete boulder. The tears flooded down my cheeks and onto my husband’s shirt who tried soothing me and at first, I’m sure, was thinking, WTF. It was only $13.

The truth is every day is a struggle. I love my children and I love being able to provide them with all of my time and love; yet, this life is constantly forcing me to be better than I am because otherwise, I would simply crumble to my knees. Even when I’m feeling defeated and exhausted, I still have to cook dinner, clean the house, bath the kids and ran all the errands involved in a family of five. Every day I’m forced to push aside myself and my needs to meet the daily demands of the people I love.

But last night I hit my wall. I let myself cry the hardest I’ve cried in a long time for about ten good minutes and then with swollen, puffy eyes I got up, walked back into the kitchen and started cleaning again because this is my life. I willingly signed up for it and these are the people I love.

I must say, though, sometimes ten minutes of a really good cry is good for the soul. But please, please don’t tell the kids I said that - they really need to cut it out :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Our lease ends in two months so Jarod and I spent the day looking at new prospective apartments (we really need more space) and each time we mentioned we have three kids, an eyebrow was raised and an "ohh" was formed at the mouth. One even said, "I would have never guessed you two have kids."

One of my favorite pics of me and Ali girl . . . but seriously, I kind of look like I'm fourteen :/ ha!

And if you told me five years ago that this would be my life, I would have told you, "you are friggin' crazy. No. No way."

But I'm so glad the me-five-years-ago was ohh, so wrong; it's such a beautiful life and I'm blessed it's mine.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Time To Be Theirs

I’ve been in bit of a funk lately. Exhausted. Frustrated by other’s inconsideration. As well incredibly busy with the ever-existing demands of keeping up a household for a family of five. The last past days I’ve wanted to scream. Cuss a LOT. And curl up in a ball and hide myself from inflictions of others.

Because sometimes the world isn’t kind and I already have so much on my plate that sometimes I just want to wish it all away and be able to pity myself. It’s such a struggle attempting to stay focused on the bigger picture, to stay focused on my goals for myself and my family, all the while maintaining a positive, upbeat mentality. I want so earnestly to be happy, positive and instantaneously deflect negative words or actions by others. But my goodness, it’s a struggle.

But the truth is I am exactly where I want to be. I’ve always wanted to be simultaneously married to the love of my life, very best friend and an incredibly good-looking babe. I got all three and the love we have for one another still blows me away. I’m so damn lucky. I have three healthy, beautiful babies and just the ability to say I have a child, someone conceived from my own flesh and blood, a human-being concocted from the purest of love, is a wonder in itself.

Not to mention, all of my basic needs are met and exceeded; I am so fortunate that I have the luxury and misfortune to take it for granted. Every. Single. Day.

However, I think the thing I need to realize and make a daily mental note on is that the world will be whatever they want to be, assholes, jerks, etc. but I can’t control that. I need to let go and give my anger to God. I need to remember we’re each on our own journey of discovery and growth, all at different paces, all unique. Some people choose the path to happiness and enlightenment and others go down Jerkface Road and with that said, I need to let go and let God.

Second of all and just as important, I need to realize, really realize, that this exhausting, overwhelming life of mine is mine. The kids incessantly are in need of my time, energy, love and everything I have to offer. They will never again need me this much in their lives. Never ever again. This is not a time for grimace, anger or frustration but instead, love, gentleness and guidance. My family needs me to build the very foundation of our family. My children need me to build the very foundation of who they will become as men and as a woman. I need to lay down the building blocks, which is so very important in the bigger grand scheme of things.

I owe it to them, to me and to the world that they become better. Better than me. Better than their father. Just better people, in general.

I've realized this is my time, my time to be theirs.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Look

“I love you,” he says with that look in his eye. The look that gently releases the walls we’re learnt to shield ourselves behind as we’ve aged, the walls that have grown accustomed to all the pain and disappointment of life. The look that wholeheartedly surrenders itself to love. The look that makes me feel like a silly, schoolgirl twirling in a pretty dress, blushing and grinning from ear-to-ear.

He looks at me with that look that has been hidden in the moments we’ve lost us, hidden in the pain and fights we’ve caused each other over the years. The look that has weathered the years but always comes back, just as shiny but better than new. He looks at me with that look that graced his face in the very beginning when we vowed forever to each other.

Today. He remembers. Today. I remember. We marvel in our love. We know exactly why we are here. Together. Husband and wife. Holding hands and holding hearts.

And then he says, “You're my favorite person,” and my soul smiles. I feel happiness resonate inside the core of my being and my heart rejoices that this is my life and he is my husband. In that moment, I cannot believe how lucky I am.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Best Friends

"Mommy, me and Trissy are best friends." ~Aiden

Truly Living

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” ~Henry Drummond

This picture is happiness.
I’ve recently decided to make the conscious effort to let go of what I cannot control. I used to get so annoyed and pissed off at Jarod about not moving fast enough, not getting things done as quickly as I wanted them to be done because we had places to go and the kids were on a strict schedule. It was frustrating to myself, to my husband and I’m positively sure the kids were also negatively affected by the tenseness of our household.

Thus, this weekend, the weekend of our Trissy’s birthday I practiced this new perspective in action and Oh My, can I just say what an amazing difference it was! Jarod worked a few hours of Saturday but otherwise, it was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. I stopped letting the clock and my incessant need to have everything play out according to plan dictate our lives.

We left our house on Saturday a bit later than I hoped, spent over two hours at Chuck E Cheese and a half hour past the kids bed time, we arrived at a diner for dinner. Aiden spilled his drink all over the floor, Tristen slobbered the majority of his food on his shirt and I ate with speed and efficiency rather than my beloved slow and savoring-each-and-every-last-bite way. The old me would have had a panic attack and grumbled at how impossible it is to enjoy my food with kids around but this time, I didn’t. Rather than savoring my food, I savored the moment with my family, rather than stressing about spilled food and drinks, I accepted my children’s youthful faults and rather than being a crazy, stress-case, I enjoyed and embraced the moment.


It’s amazing how making a conscious decision to relax and go more freely with the flow can transform everything.

This, this is how I want to live my life <3

If you have a second, do you mind taking a moment and voting for this blog please? Thanks!! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Aiden: We're Sorry

“Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is.

“ ~Emily Rapp

Dear Aiden,

We took you to your second basketball game and given the success of your last practice, we were pretty excited and hopeful that you would enjoy yourself. You had a great time for about the first five minutes and then you mopped around, told us you were tired and your dad and I even dragged you to each side of the court during the minutes you “played.”

It was exhausting and frustrating for us and I’m sure, even more so for you. We went home and your father and I talked for the next half an hour to hour about what to do with you. The truth is raising you is such a challenge sometimes because you are our first child and this whole parenting business seems to be a daily minute-by-minute evolution of immense joy and happiness coupled with never-ending struggles, frustration and confusion.

But the one thing we know is we want to parent you with love. Loving you in the present. In the now. However, the difficult part of that is there always seems to be an undistinguished line of love, individual to each child, individual to each parent, on the agreement of the perfect concoction of tough love and gentle guidance.
Sweet boy, where do we draw the line?

The unfortunate truth (to your basketball-loving parents) is that you hate basketball. You are more of the sensitive, introspective and artistic type. You don’t like the spotlight, the pressure, chaos and group involvement of basketball. Your dad and I know that. Actually, we’ve always known that. So why are we forcing you to be someone we know you’re not? It makes absolutely no sense.

You don’t defy authority. You listen to us quite respectfully (for your age) and there have been many people who have complimented your demeanor, politeness and behavior. You make me so proud to be your mama over and over again. But you don’t listen to us or anyone at basketball because you hate it and the reality is basketball is simply not worth the struggle or fight. It’s just a game. There will be many things your father and I will be strongly stubborn on in regards to you but this will not be one of them. This is not a battle that needs to be fought.

We’re sorry for forcing you to be and do something you never desired in the first place. We’re sorry for trying to mold you into something you aren’t. Although, your father and I have agreed that you should finish and complete the season, we will never force you in a sports team again.

We love you and we desire so strongly to simply just love you as the person you are. We’re human and we’re imperfect; thus, to love you as perfectly as we want often falls short of our ideals. It is a given that you will grow and change vastly over the years but we vow to love you more in the present and accept you for who you are today. For who you are now. And that, I hope equates to the kind of childhood and the kind of parents you will remember with sweet fondness in the years to come.

With the Greatest of Love,

Your Mommy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dear Aaliyanna: Sweet Devilish Ways

Dear Aaliyanna,

You crack me up with your sweet devilish ways. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I just put you back down to sleep in your crib. You woke your little booty up in the wee hours of the morning. I made you a bottle, which you happily ate while gracing me with your sweet smiles, two hours before you were “suppose” to wake.

I have had the experience of raising and loving two babies before you, your older brothers, and both of them gladly accepted your daddy and my notion that babies should be on a schedule. I even knew the time of day it was based on if and when your brothers would get a bit fussy as bottles and nap times were on two-hour intervals. This little scheme worked wonderfully for us and is the very reason your father agreed to having all of you children so close together.

However, you, my sweet little dove, do not like these so-called schedules. You drum to your own beat. You scoff at our ideals of what goes when and where. Although, it can be a bit frustrating at times; secretly, you make us laugh.

It seems a logical assumption to believe that since our boys are loud and destructive, we would be promised a quieter child with the birth of a baby girl; but yet, you seem to be the loudest child we have. I’m positively sure our neighbors regret the day we brought you home because their once-quiet homes are sometimes filled with your screams cries.

It’s not as if you do it simply for attention, either. There seems to be a deep pain in your voice and in the etchings in your face as if the pain of a hundred years has weathered your soul when you feel a wrong. Your grandma, whom you will know as “mama,” has remarked that when you cry it’s impossible to hear your sad voice and not feel the urging need to immediately scoop you into one’s arms and soothe those sad, sad tears away. This same grandma is the very one who instructed me not to pick up a crying baby the very second a single tear falls but yet, with you, the rules have suddenly changed.

I think it’s hilarious how little and sweet you look but you carry such a loud, boisterous voice. Even when I was pregnant with you, twice our doctor measured you smaller than expected and each time with concern, we were scheduled an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay. Both times you were of healthy size but yet, you deceivingly seemed so little. It seems to have become your signature: a deceptive assumption of “tiny” by first glance but given the time, one will see you are a baby of convictions and the courage to demand them.

I would never classify you as an “easy” baby but I’m certain that you will make one hell of a woman. But until then, it is early morning feedings and the many struggles and many a fights I’m sure we will have as mother and daughter over the years. To the madness that will consume us, I cannot help but smile. These struggles that we will encounter together and against one another are natural progressions in life. You will strive for independence as you age and I will continue my motherly instinct to protect every single hair on your smart, beautiful, wonderful head. I so look forward to knowing you as a sweet baby, a silly toddler, a precocious girl, an evolving teenager and a wonderful woman. You are only six months old but you already make me so damn proud to be your mother. I love you, sweet baby girl.

All My Love,


Broken Record of Exhaustion

I’m exhausted by life. I feel like I’m a broken record these days. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. Blah. Blah. Blah. I hate the negativity that exudes from my mind but yet, I can’t deny the truth. Having three children under the age of four is tiresome. The simple act of going to the store overwhelms me and although, I know that it is a necessity, a much-needed must that the four of us (whom are usually copped up in this home) need to get out, some days the thoughts and the what-ifs overwhelm me. Two of the three babes stride a new independence of their own, complete with their assertions and temper tantrums. Just the other day when I dropped Aiden off at preschool, Tristen in sheer defiance threw himself on the floor more than four times on our way back to the car. My favorite was his ability to instantaneously turn himself into a gulp of putty puddled onto the pavement in the middle of the road.

None of our children were accidents nor the product of a whimsical night of too much bubbly wine (although that sounds fun :) Each one was careful thought for and planned well-before their existence and although, I stand by the reasons for their being here in the order in which they came, I am tired. I envy the ease a parent has of having only one child. The simplicity of only having to accommodate and attend to just one little’s ones needs and whims. It sounds so easy in comparison to having three babes to myself the vast majority of the day. I wish that I could take them out to enjoy the crisp breeze of the beach and scavenge the earth of it’s natural treasures on a walk in the wilderness. I wish for the ease of simplicity. But then the restraints of time, their dependence on schedules and my inability to account for each one of them at every second of every minute, safe from harm, safe from horrible people who snatch young children away fill and overwhelm my thoughts. Sometimes I feel unfit for all this responsibility.

It’s sweet and uplifting when people tell me that I’m doing a great job with our kids. I can see the truth in their kind words when my children laugh without reserve, when they want to smother me with kisses, embrace my neck with their tiny arms and when I see total trust reflected in their beautiful brown eyes. These small reminders help me get through the day but sometimes, some days I am overcome with this job’s overwhelming necessities and I crumble to my knees. I wish I could do more. I wish I could be better at this. But alas, I am all they have. I am all they want. I will try to be the best that they deserve because these kids, my sweet Aidy, Trissy and Aaliyanna, deserve more. They deserve more than this whole wide world could ever offer.

Note: After writing these thoughts, I decided to not let my thoughts of any existing or non-existing inability to care for my children the way I see fit to dictate our lives. I pledge to do more with my children. We will see more of the world, even if that simply means the park in our neighborhood (for now). I cannot control the rest of the world but nor should I let it control me.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dear Tristen: Happy Birthday

Dear Trissy,

I vividly remember taking the pregnancy test that told me you would be in our arms in a few short months. I remember telling your daddy it was positive and since it took months of trying to conceive you, all he seemed to muster out of his mouth was, “really?” It was a shock because after month upon month, a negative test always etched back at us. I even started believing that maybe we weren’t suppose to have another, maybe your Kuya Aiden would be it.

But I see now that it just wasn’t your time yet. We wanted a baby the minute we ached for one but you forced us to learn some of the best things are truly worth the wait.

Your father and I eagerly anticipated the 20-week ultrasound in which they revealed your gender. The ultrasound technician asked us if we had an idea of your sex and with much disappointment (of which I cringe at now) I replied, “it’s a boy, isn’t it?” to which she, who wisely knew the second you would be placed in our arms, your gender would no longer be any concern, smiled and simply confirmed our suspicions. And she was right. The very second, the very millisecond of your life, nothing (your gender, the puffiness in your face, your disgruntled look), nothing except your health and happiness mattered.

You’ve brought so much joy to our lives since the day that you were born. It is unconceivable to think of you any other way and you, once-again, taught us that sometimes we don’t know what is best for us and some things are out of our control and should be graciously handed over to God.

Before you, your father and I would scoff at unnerved parents that didn’t have control over their own child. With the naivety only young and inexperienced parents can possess, we thought we had it all figured out until you came out so very much the opposite of your brother that common sense could only be immediately slapped upon our faces. We realized that each child is different, no one has all the answers and we must strive forward in life with the humility of these truths.

I’m sure at the ripe old age of two you have no idea of the affect you have had on us but you have changed us in so many ways. You have made us more patient, more accepting, more humble and you have graced us with the lesson that God knows best. The simplicity of your breath and your very being have changed us into better people, better versions of who we once were, a better us.

There seems to be common trend of which children grow up and they realize the sacrifices their parents have made and then, more often than not, they become utterly grateful. Yet, it is us that are grateful for you. We’re grateful that you have come into our lives. Grateful that you throw out that silly notion that one can only love their first-child most. Grateful that you taught us that love knows no limits and the heart expands to accommodate.

You have taught us so much just by being alive and we will be forever grateful. There are no words that equate this enormous love I have within my soul, my heart and in my being, for you. I wish I had better words to say how much you mean to me because the words that fill my vocabulary seem obsolete. I love you with the depths of my being and the fabrics of my soul. You are such a joy in our lives and I’m so deliriously happy that you are you, in your exactness. I promise I will spend my whole life attempting to make you feel this love.

Sweet baby boy, I love you more than you will ever know. I cannot believe another year has come and gone. Happy second birthday, Trissy.

With All the Love in the World,

Your Mommy

A video of his first year of life:

Birthday Morning

it's tristen's 2nd birthday!!

this is my meager attempt for him to wake to this array of streamers and balloons and feels a smidge of the magic he has brought into our lives by being alive.

love you, trissy <3

Friday, February 3, 2012

Basketball! My Favorite!

"Ohh, basketball!! My favorite!" exclaimed Aiden at the store today.

Given his effort and enthusiam at his last practice, I felt like we're finally turning over a new leaf with that kid and Jarod's and my beloved sport.

But then a few minutes later, this was uttered out of his mouth, "Ohh, vacuums!! Mommy, your favorite!!"

Hmm. Maybe not.


Aiden: "Somedays I’m going to be bigger and I’m going to build a house."

Me: "Ohh, are you going to have a wife?"

Aiden: "No."

Me: "Are you going to have kids?"

Aiden: "No."

Me: "Are you going to have a dog?"

Aiden: "No."

Me: "Are you going to have a cat?"

Aiden: "Yes! I have a cat."

Me: "When you're older, are you going to have kids?" Can you tell I really want grandbabies??

Aiden: "No, I going to have a cat!"

Me: "You can have a cat and kids at the same time." Come on, kid! Give me grandbabies (in the very, very far future but still), give me grandbabies!!

Aiden: "No, I want new kids."

Haha, apparently he doesn't want Tristen and Ali - he'd prefer his own kids :) And heck yah, I'm going to be a grandma, little ol' Aiden already (kinda) told me so ;)

Life Seems Harder These Days

Life these days seems harder and harder. Recently, Jarod and I both have succumbed to energy drinks and cup after cup of coffee just to get by. It got to the point that I was drinking up to two to three energy drinks a day to get by until I started feeling really sick. It felt like my stomach was eating itself from the inside out. My stomach had an insatiable hunger-like appetite that could not be appeased. I even forced myself to eat in an attempt to ease my poor stomach’s pain and immediately after, I felt like throwing up but knew that would only make matters worse. The minute I started feeling like that, I vowed that I would never drink an energy drink again.

Thus, my body has been recovering from all the caffeine that has been pumped into my body the last few weeks and it’s been aching for rest. Jarod’s body has been feeling the same way after working ten plus hour days over and over again. We’re both a mess. We want so desperately to have the leisure of taking an afternoon nap, a “nothingness” day or even better, a vacation. Personally, I’d like to take all three but we have these three wonderful little people that need us. They’re whole well-being, care and happiness depend on us. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly but more than just a responsibility, it’s a blessing to raise and love these babies. Yet, at the same time, we’re truly, utterly exhausted.

Today as I was emptying the dishwasher, which was just about to be refilled with dirty dishes in the ever-overflowing sink, stressed by the endless amass of mess that always fills our home, Jarod stumbles behind me, wraps his arms around my waist and says, “We’re in this together. I’m never going to leave you.”

We kissed, I lovingly promised the same and he then followed with, “But the kids, I can’t make any promises.”

Ha, he's a funny guy - like he could ever leave this:


But seriously, we could definitely leave these cuties for a day or two, any takers!? :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Basketball Update

Yesterday was the night of Aiden’s weekly basketball practice. I explained to him that we would be going to the gym.

“Yay! The gym is like fun!!” he exclaimed, excited to play in the child watch area.

“And then you have basketball practice,” I cringed knowing exactly what was to come.

“Noooo!! I don’t like basketball.”

“Aiden, you have do things you don’t like sometimes. I know it’s hard but if you keep trying then you’ll get better. Mommy and Daddy do things that are hard so we can get better at them,” I explained to him. My biggest fear is this self-defeated, “let’s give up” attitude starts now and perpetuates it’s little butt into school.

I waited for some kind of resort back but nothing was said.

Hmm. Okay, I’ll just go with it.

Five minutes before Aiden’s practice (which was located in the same building), Jarod and I stopped our workouts and went to pick him up from the child watch center.

“We need to get Trissy and Ali,” a confused Aiden remarked as we left without our other two babes.

“We’re going to basketball practice,” I stated simply, trying to negate any kind of emotion. I thought that if I acted like it wasn’t a big deal then it would somehow appease the situation.

Again, nothing was said back.

Really?? Okay.

We arrived at practice a little early, a few kids were already shooting around so Jarod and I encouraged Aiden to shoot as well. His little face beamed with pride as his ball kept going in one after another. I smiled to myself. I just couldn’t understand how he didn’t think this was fun to begin with and now, finally, he was enjoying it.

The coach called everyone to sit around him to have their pre-practice chat and that’s when happy Aiden quickly disappeared. The coach and I tried coaxing him to sit down with the other boys and girls. Eventually, we came to a compromise; he sat down on my lap as I joined the Purple Bears little circle. He relaxed in my arms, turned his head into me and cuddled his body against mine.

For the next thirty minutes, I stayed right next to his side, involved in all the activities, practicing dribbling, running from one side of the court to the other and doing silly dances in between. He grumbled at the fact he hadn’t mastered all of these skills and asked me to help him. I patiently showed him how to do each exercise and he responded immensely; it was as if we had a brand-new kid on our hands. He was laughing, smiling and actually enjoying himself.

I slowly inched myself away as often and as much as I could; supporting him when I needed to and departing from him as much as I could. Eventually, Jarod and I watched from the sidelines with pride as the kid (and I’m not saying this just because he’s my kid, I promise :) has some natural-born ability.

“He’s really good,” I said to Jarod.

“Well, yah, I mean, he’s got our genes,” Jarod proudly stated as if it were just a simple truth in life.

I giggled at his response and smiled at his fatherly pride.

This basketball practice was a huge success. Not only did Aiden finally involve himself with his teammates and actually had fun, we hope this solidifies his growth as a “team player” (God, that sounds so damn cheesy but you know what I mean) and he learns to work well with others and just as importantly, involves physical fitness into his daily life, even long after he’s no longer under our careful eye.

But just as important was my realization that parenting isn’t about perfection, defying one’s authorities in life isn’t the end all in a child’s life and no matter what’s happening in our lives, do everything with the people I love with love and patience. Aiden’s willingness to finally play was a direct response to my choice to lead him with patience and love rather than begging, pleading and the often last resort (and failed resort of) bribery.

We happily left the court together. Aiden remembered our attempts to bribe him at his last game, smiled at us and earnestly asked, “Can I have ice cream now?”

Beautiful Baby Girl

you are the most beautiful baby girl i have ever seen.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Daddy and Aaliyanna

i love you two together.



I walked out of our bedroom, into the hallway and was stopped by my son.

“Here, mommy,” Aiden said as he stepped outside of the bathroom handing me a plastic green and yellow screwdriver.

I unquestioningly took the toy screwdriver in my hand, “why is this wet??”

“Because I put it in the toilet,” he happily answered as I noticed his underwear and pants wrapped around his ankles.

Uggghh. WTF.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is my life. Ta-Da!! :)

Dear Baby Aiden

Dear Baby Aiden,

Aiden's first day of preschool.

I took you to your first preschool class today and it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. You see, this was the first time I’ve ever left you with someone I knew didn’t love you at least half as much as I do.

We arrived and immediately you took notice of the toy cars and ran that direction. I said good-bye, the first of many before actually gaining the courage to leave, and you repeated my words without as much as a glance back. You’ve never been one to linger but rather, you’ve always been a child that loves to explore. When you first learned how to crawl, you immediately crawled forward, apart from us, your parents, and out into the world to explore. Thus, I should have known that this time would be no different.

You’re growing up so fast and though I know four years is small in comparison to the rest of your life, I can’t help but be a little upset at the swiftness of time. You were my first-born, my first tiny itty-bitty miracle and my first God-given gift of unconditional love. And today was the first time in my life that I felt my heart part from my soul. I grudgingly pulled myself away, held back the tears and kissed you good-bye. I love you more than you will ever know and I promise no matter how hard it is for me, I will always do what’s best for you and sometimes, sometimes I know, that will simply mean walking away. (tears. tears. tears.)


Your Mom

Could you please, pretty please, click on the link below? Thanks!! :)