26 December 2013

tis the season

My heart is filled with joy and gratitude this Christmas season. I have been inspired and refreshed as I watch all our family and friends love on LE (and not just with gifts). We have all heard the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child," and I believe this to be true. I am excited to bring another life into our village. And humbled as I realize not all children experience this kind of love.

LE, you are one lucky little girl! (I can hear her correcting me now "Mommy, I'm a big kid!" For anyone who knows LE, she prefers to be called a "big kid"...such a little feminist!)

Some pics from our Christmas season:



Getting in the Christmas spirit...or being a toddler who wants EVERYTHING!



Hanging out with "Elfin' John" under Mammy and Papaw's tree.



Making presents for the Ellinger's.



Loving her presents from the Ellinger's.



Time for Enderle Christmas! And an awkwardly short dress with no leggings or tights...oops.



Family brunch.



Getting comfy while we travel to PA for Oberholzer Christmas.



Cousins galore! (LE is the princess in the front ;-)



Christmas morn with Oma and Opa and our newest addition, Minnie.



Finding the empty paper towel holder more entertaining than her new train whistle. Go figure?!



Christmas night with our three favorite little girls...I mean big kids!

LE, we tried to teach you about Jesus' birthday this Christmas. It's a tough concept for a two year old. I hope you felt the abundant love from this Christmas season and remember that as all the excitement from your gifts fades away. To everyone in our village loving on my kid, thank you! It means the world to me and the Engineer to surround our babies with so many beautiful souls.

Much love and peace to all of you as we enter the new year!!

16 December 2013

my little love





Watching an afternoon cartoon and LE reached down and grabbed my hand. And then I melted with love doveyness.




She can be so sweet sometimes. I'm sure in twenty years these will be the moments I remember. That insane tantrum you threw at 5 am, LE, will certainly fade away with your adorableness.

15 December 2013

round two




10 weeks

It's that time in life again when I get to show off pictures of my uterus!

(And the beautiful life it holds :-)

12 December 2013

mr. mba

Today marks the end of a journey. A journey that we are excited to be past!

You probably don't remember this post almost 4 years ago...

I feel a little bad. The Engineer asked me as he was out the door "Don't you want to take my picture?" I was like "sure?!" And then he reminded me I took one on his first day of class. What do you know, I sure did and even have blog proof. I feel even worse that instead of being excited and arming him with some fabulous treat, I just nagged him to make himself a sandwich before he left. Blah. I've went from peppy, loving housewife to tired, grumpy mama. Maybe someday I'll get a pep back in my step again. I was planning to celebrate the Engineer, seriously, I had a thought in mind... I haven't forgotten you my love, just running on little sleep and energy for the last two years, as you well know.

Hopefully now that grad school is done we can have a little more peace in our home.




You did it! I'm so proud of you for juggling so many roles over the last four years. It seemed as though it would drag on forever, but here we are at the end of the tunnel!




I think we are sufficiently educated now. Lets make a pack no more school, for the adults in our house at least! Love you, Engineer, MBA :-)

09 December 2013

the art of manipulation

Apparently two is the magical age when a certain adorable little girl starts to work her parents.




"Daddy, can I have candy? Mommy says 'yes'."

Me in the background..."No, I didn't!"

So, she hasn't quite learned to manipulate when the other parent is out of earshot :-)

That's the problem with a shoebox house, LE, there's no privacy. Speaking of shoebox house. I'm not sure LE could handle a larger home. If the engineer or I are out of her sight for a second, she immediately is searching for us and scolding us with a distressed "Mommy/Daddy, I no know where you are!"

I guess we are just tiny house people. It feels right, perfectly cozy...until the toys take over. But, I assume that would happen in any size home. We humans tend to expand to fill the size of our environment. So, this is our attempt to simplify.

It just means lots of getting out of the house time for these two crazy loves of mine!











04 December 2013

the cute and quirky

All the things that I've been meaning to write posts about, but can't seem to get out of my rut...

(1) My inlaws came to visit a few weeks ago and their youngest, Lily, was sick. One night while Lily was up crying with a fever, LE shot out of bed and said "I think my pink baby (doll) is crying! I need to go pick her up." What sweetie pie, and now I'm not sure if she's going to make a great big sister some day or if she'll just be up all night with a new baby :-)






Sure wish these crazy cousins lived closer!

(2) The Engineer has, reluctantly, been going to yoga with me some. The other day I looked over at his mat and saw this...



I couldn't stop laughing while doing a down dog...guess he forgot about the pedi his two year old gave him a few days prior!

(3) Oh and I started a little lactation business! Go check out the beautiful website the Engineer made me! It's the exact same awesome services Holistic Mothering Group provides in DC...I'm just expanding to my new home.



10 November 2013

proud mama post

LE showing off all her big kid skills:



I got this, mama!

YouTube Video

Such a smartie pants, cutie pie!



And even has a little athleticism :-)

03 November 2013

hot chocolate

Our little shoebox house is starting to feel like home. We had a good weekend with both our families together and now have pictures and curtains on the walls and a dinning room table. I'm noticing all the weird noises and quirks of our home less and less. Our project list, and hopefully runs to Lowes, is becoming much shorter. Which all means boring down time on our red couch will become more abundant...the thing the Engineer and I love most.

In between work, we let our families have some fun :-)



Touring Columbus courtesy Brother and his boyfriend, Jeff.



Enjoying some live music at Gallery Hop.

My little family just spent a moment enjoying some homemade non-dairy hot chocolate on our red couch. It felt right.




Happy to be home!

30 October 2013

meet the shoebox house





We haven't upgraded in size (at all), but we do currently only have one stable part-time income. Turns out bankers aren't crazy about that sort of situation. So, shoebox it was! On the plus side our shoebox house comes with a yard, basement, and one more bedroom, which makes our hearts very happy. It's been about two weeks since we closed on our new house and began the moving process.

And we love it! I love how small and cozy our new house is. How little there is to clean. How friendly our neighbors are. I love living closer to work and downtown Columbus. It's just right for our little family.




LE also loves her new "brown" house (she's slowly forgiving us for not adhering to her request for a "pink" house). I think she loves having her family around all the time the even more!

Our move feels so right. We had planned for this for so long that we were afraid we would have romanticized what it may all be like. While it isn't perfect, it certainly is a happy home!

14 October 2013

so high, daddy





She's brave. More brave than I care for on the swings. I usually cringe as the Engineer pushes her tiny little body flying into the sky. Today she fell, as I pushed her "medium" high. Go figure. See Engineer, my mom instinct is right...it's just too high for my baby :-)




Love my adventurous Engineers!

07 October 2013

i'm the map, i'm the map...

I passed my germs onto LE. I always feel extra sad for LE when she's sick and for me because she's going to be extra needy (minus the extra cuddles...I could get used to that)! The first night she was sick she asked the Engineer "What happened to my nose, daddy?" Explaining a stuffy nose to a two year old is more challenging than I realized.




While squeezing in some 'sick cuddle time' tv we saw a commercial of kids going on a Dora inspired map adventure. I asked LE "You have a Dora backpack, where would you want your map to take you?" She actually gave it some thought and responded with a simple "Balloons." I love her little mind, how it explodes with amazement at the littlest things.

So, while the Engineer put our sick girl to bed tonight (which is quite an affair), I made LE her very own map adventure to go on tomorrow.




McDonalds happens to be on the way to balloon store (aka the dollar store), so I figured we might as well add a coffee adventure in for mommy and daddy.




Hope this takes your mind off your malfunctioning nose, my Little Engineer!

06 October 2013

the wooden anniversary





October 4th marked 5 years and I felt too sick to do anything remotely fun.

That's life at the moment. We live with my parents, we're down a car, and we can't get it together to celebrate a milestone.

On the bright side, fingers crossed we will have a new house later this month, we have an insurance check in hand for a new car, and hopefully we will have a belated anniversary celebration.




After five years, we know things will happen when it's the right timing. We aren't in such a rush and we are grateful to have our little family together and happy, more days than not.




Happy Anniversary, my dearest Engineer! You are like a good wine that gets better and better with age. And it doesn't hurt that I'm just plain in love with wine :-)

P.S. Guess our gift may be a wooden shoebox house?! Fingers crossed!

25 September 2013

sweetheart mommy





LE is having a verbal boom! All of a sudden she's saying and asking the most adorable things. I even got asked "But why, mommy?" I know...that one won't be as adorable after the bajillionith time.

The other day I was pulling LE around in a laundry basket...just for kicks...and the handle popped off and hit me right in the eye. I proceeded with the appropriate yelling of "OUCH" followed by wallowing on the ground. You know, I like to keep it real in front of my kid. It's good for her or I'm weak, one or the other. Anyway, LE's response had me feeling better in no time!

"What happened, sweetheart, mommy?"

I'll give you a moment to melt.

She repeated this question about ten times and followed up with plenty of kisses. It's times like this that I feel like an awesome parent. Of course, I felt like a pretty terrible parent when she repeatedly tried to kick her friend at the park, but we'll just those moments slide...chalk them up to a lack of sleep or something.




14 September 2013

on outdoor toddler skills

LE has a strangely impressive ability to pee outside, for a little girl. I'm not sure how you keep your kid from taking a pee behind a bush or tree when there isn't a bathroom nearby.

For me, it started early on when LE first potty trained and all the parks we went to had no bathrooms. Oddly enough, I had to convince my 2 year old that it was ok to pee outside...she wasn't so sure it was good idea. Now she asks me all the time "Mommy, pee on grass?" She has even figured out her own technique to keep any pee from splashing in her legs or feet. She stands with her legs far apart, bends her knees a little, and tilts her bottom forward. Pretty genius, for a two year old.

My family is concerned she will be peeing on the playground when she goes to school. I'm sure she'll have a better understanding of social appropriateness by then (fingers crossed).

I've always prided myself in my ability to pee outside on camping trips (I use the "hug a tree" method). So, I'm a wee bit proud (pun intended) of my girl's skills. You can imagine the Engineer is quite pleased with his two leading ladies' hidden talent. He certainly wouldn't rank being less needy over the ability to relieve ones self outdoors :-)

On a hike in her fanciest dress.




Her outdoor peeing skills came in handy twice on this hike. She conveniently wasn't wearing any undies (not sure how that one keeps happening...) and just held up her dress and went like it was no big deal. Oh how we love our very girlie, adventurous Little Engineer!




01 September 2013

august 14, 2013

(I write this post not to flaunt or judge or be judged, but to share my journey with you. I hope it is encouraging to know that my breastfeeding experience has not always been perfect in my eyes, as yours probably hasn't always been for you either. We are all doing the best we can and all our stories are beautiful in their own way.)




2 years, 2 months, and some change.

This is how long my sweet LE and I breastfed. It is bittersweet as we end this chapter. I'm excited to have my body back, to not have sore nipples from her marathon nursing sessions, but sad to let go of yet another thing that identified her as my baby, our one stable, constant good thing.

I wish I could say I did 100% baby led weaning and LE just became less and less interested in nursing until one day I couldn't even remember when we last nursed, but this is not our story. It was mama led weaning, following baby's cues. I weaned her gently, over a long period of time.

LE naturally wanted to nurse every 30 minutes to 2 hours. She rarely slept long stretches and was hard for anyone other than me to keep for more than a hour or two. (Not that I think this was abnormal, rather just part of our journey). Around 17 months I began a slow, 6 month process of "night weaning" and having the Engineer take over night time wake ups. Next, I began to only nurse every two hours during the day, then after a few months it was 5 times a day, and then 3 times, and most recently 1-2 times. Each time giving LE a few months between each change, because she was reluctant and would ask for weeks to nurse at her old times. Over time I had less and less milk, by the end there were drops, if anything, but LE didn't mind. I'm convinced she would have continued forever :-)




Finally, once LE seemed well adjusted to our move to Ohio and me going back to work a few days a week, I decided it was time.




We celebrated with a "big girl" day and ran around a splash park like crazy people yelling "It's BIG GIRL day!!!! Woohoo!", ate candy and the icing off a cupcake, and played at the park with Uncle Alex. It was for me more than LE, because she certainly didn't care about "big girl" day when she woke up the next morning and there was no milk...but with lots of explanation and lovin' she seems to be getting there.




I love that LE never attached to a blanket or stuff animal, but that I was always her "lovie". I can still fill this role with lots of hugs, holding hands, and cuddles, but it will never quite be the same.

A chapter has ended. Two years is a great gift, to both of us. I can't imagine a more perfect way to have begun our journey together!




30 August 2013

camping

We spent a weekend camping with the in laws and had a surprisingly great time "roughing" it! The most interesting part of the weekend was LE's love for snakes.




To say I get squeamish around snakes is a bit of understatement. These are the kind of creatures that haunt me in my sleep, but not LE. LE sees a friend in the snakes. So, I did my best to look unfreaked and cheer on my big girl, from a safe distance.

She definitely didn't get any of her mama in the animal department. The girl has been going around trying to hug birds and pick up random dogs and cats since she was a wee little thing. She has such a loving spirit.

Speaking of loving spirit...LE's poor little cousin Lily. LE must have asked Lily for a hug, kiss, or to pick her up about 20 times a minute all day every day. Lily was the least bit interested in all this love, making LE more desperate for a hug from her. (Although, she did give in and let LE hug and kiss her before saying our goodbyes!).

Here are a few pics from our fun filled weekend...way back in July:













Thanks for the visit, dearest PA family!! We can't wait for our next one!