What’s Your Number?

You know what number I am talking about, that allusive number you have to go through before you find the “one.” Mine is currently set at 26.

No, no, no, no, no we are not talking about guys here (I have the ” one” remember?), I am talking houses. We started back in June looking for houses if you recall (and if you can’t here are the links here and here), and officially called it finito about a month ago. Calling it finito did not result in finding our dream house and buying it (I wish it was that easy!) Instead it means we have stopped looking.

I don’t know about all of your house hunting experiences but ours was starting to read like a Dr. Seuss book: too quirky, too new, too smelly (oh ya we had a couple of those nightmares!), too small, too wobbly, too crooked, too far (from everything), too weird, too much money, too many repairs, too much asbestos; I think you get the idea all that is missing is the box and the fox with socks trying to get us to eat green eggs and ham.

It is hard to believe that we set foot in that many strangers houses in just a couple months. And now that I think about it my house hunting number is definitely larger than my husband hunting number (aka number of boyfriends). Is finding a house that much harder than finding your soul mate?!?!? I am beginning to think so.

The hubster has been an absolute trooper through this whole process, always the optimist he is. Me, on the other hand am not ashamed to admit I cried a few times and felt extremely nauseous from the stress of it all.  On the positive note, the hubster and I got a lot of coffee dates in and most of the time we only had to deal with Little Miss since Padawan abandoned us for his grandparents houses for most of the summer; guess we don’t spoil him enough over here. And we did find our zombie apocalypse vehicle.

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The thing was awesome and British which makes it all the more awesome.  And we did see some absolute gems in the muck that is our speed dating/housing disaster.

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It was an ordeal but it made us think about what really mattered to us. Did we want to buy a house just to buy a house? Or do we want a house were we can grow and settle into our life as a family? We decided on the latter. Neither one of us wanted to jump into a huge commitment like buying a house just because, we want OUR house, OUR home and that is something worth waiting for.  Cause who doesn’t want to give this cutie a beautiful home to grow up in? Our kids deserve more than a house, they deserve a home; a home with a front porch to play on while it rains, a yard to run through sprinklers in, a home with a history that they can create their own history within.

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So we are keeping our “must have” lists (I am not giving up on my dining room and front porch and the hubster is adamant about his basement) and we are holding out for that warm tingly feeling we have heard so much about when you finally find the one. How about all of you? How many prospects did you have to weed through before you found the “one?” What was or is on your “must have” list? What would you be willing to overlook on that list?

Three Is A Magic Number

“Ya it is, it’s a magic number.” And it is also the number of years the hubster and I have been married. Today marks the third anniversary of us becoming a family, a family of three (see the song is right it is a magic number).  Hard to believe that only 5 years ago we were on a crazy journey all on our own until that one fateful day that the hubster decided to be late for class.

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It is hard to believe that I had given up on finding someone out there that was exactly what I needed (which is so much better than having what you want). I am ever increasingly thankful I did not throw in towel.

Everyday I am thankful and darn right lucky to spend it with my best friend.  Someone who has been through thick and really thin with me (our first 6 months of marriage felt like 60 years it was so full of potholes) and who never once said “I give up” but instead grabs my hand, holds it tight, and some how manages to navigate us out of the storm.

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Everyday I am shown that love is an action not a feeling when he comes home takes the kiddos, does the dinner, and helps me check things off my to-do list so when the kiddos are in bed we can enjoy each others company or just the house being quiet for a change.  He reminds me not to take myself too seriously and that life is no good if you can’t enjoy it, and have a good laugh.

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My darling hubster, thank you for three wonderful years together. I love you more and more each day and can’t wait to see what the next 50+ years hold for us!

**All photos were taken by Jasmine Photography of Portland, Oregon**

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Back to School

We are taking a break from catching you all up on our great Disneyland adventure (Part 1 and Part 2) but don’t worry we will soon get back to all the summer fun in the most magical place on earth tomorrow. Today we have to cry celebrate a little bit with the fact that my baby, Padawan is all grown up now.

It was the first day of school around our parts and I know someone of you started school a while ago, but that does not make it any easier to see our little man all ready to go and start the third grade….third grade that does not even seem possible. It only feels like yesterday he was starting preschool.

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And then he had to grow up and start kindergarten, that was a hard day but that was basically because we forgot that kindergarteners start a week later and then had to figure out wedding logistics as well as first day of big kid school as well.

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Hard to believe that this was nearly 2 years ago, why do they have to grow up so fast?!?!?

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And if you remember this time last year we thought we would try our hand at homeschooling, only to make it halfway through the school year to figure out it was not the proper fit for mom or Padawan. Thankfully he took to his new school like a champ and this mama didn’t screw him up too bad and he actually came out ahead of the rest of his class (WOOHOO!).

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This year he was ready to start school, especially since he wanted to ask if they have a chess club (him and the hubster play every day) so he and his friends at school can play together. It makes my mama heart glad that he is excited for school and that he wants to learn things that he can share with his dad (this mama is a lost cause when it comes to chess, now checkers I can rock that game).

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A little part of me was sad to see him start a new grade and thus grow up a bit. But it also made me so proud of the person he is becoming and how eager he is to learn and make new friends. Little Miss on the other hand was not as happy.

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It will definatley take some getting use to around here to a new routine now that the lazy days of summer are over and we are back to the early mornings. Not to mention it will be just Little Miss and I for most of the day so now I have to figure out how to schedule a toddler into the fold of stay-at-home mommy duties and other things I keep myself busy with.

Did any of you have a first day of school today too? Were your kids (and you) calm and collected and ready to go? Or were you like me and trying to keep a brave face but dying inside cause your baby should not be this old yet?? Any advice on how to entertain a toddler now that her main source of entertainment (her big brother) is gone for the day??

Raise Your Glass

And get to the nitty gritty! Wait, what that’s not how that song goes? Oh well, it goes that way in my head so that’s how I will keep on singing it.

In honor of the looming holiday this Sunday, Mother’s Day (consider this a reminder men, its only 2 days away!), I thought I would write up a little post just for all you underdogs moms out there. Now before I begin is it just me or is it a little unnerving that mom’s only get one day a year while administrative assistants get a whole week? I think we should form some sort of protest, anyone with me on a laundry strike?

Back to business then. As moms we work hard to prepare ourselves for that glorious day when we get to meet the little peanut that has been playing soccer with our spleen for the last 9 months. We read books, scour the web, take advice from perfect strangers (solicited or not), research EVERYTHING from what diapers to use, food to feed them, whether to breastfeed or not, even what wipes will touch our precious peanut’s tushy is not overlooked. But some how in the midst of all the research and all that advice there are some things that people, even other moms, fail to mention to us, and in my case, forget between babies. I don’t blame them at all for failing to warn me about some of this stuff, heck I try to forget some of it myself and if I had been told about it before hand I may have reconsidered kids altogether (not really, I just added that for dramatization). What are these scary facts no one tells us moms? The cold, dirty, nitty gritty details even the lamaze teachers sugar coat and our  own mothers keep to themselves all the while thinking “If I can endure it, she can so there is no need to warn her.”

The Nitty-Gritty

1. I am sure you all have/will prepare yourselves for the pain of child birth, and have heard just how much fun those contractions can be. But what everybody fails to tell you, to warn you about is what happens after the you have that cute little bundle of fresh baby in your arms and all that water they made you drink has to come out: cue the pee from hell. There is no gentle way to sugar coat this, that first pee will hurt like no other. And if you are lucky like me, your nurse will stand in the bathroom while you attempt to relieve yourself while you try to keep your lady bits from feel like they are being washed in acid. As if they did not get a good enough look earlier, they now watch you fight throw the pain (and wouldn’t you know it the pain meds have worn off just in time for this experience). My advice: use the dang water bottle they give you!!

2. Breastfeeding your little ones is amazing. Not only is it super beneficial for them and a great way to bond, it is good for us mamas too. But what no breastfeeding book tells you (maybe I read all the wrong ones) and the La Leache League fails to state is that you will smell like sour milk more frequently than you want to. Everyone loves that new baby smell (yum, baby) and in my honest opinion it evolved to hide the smell of leaked milk and sweat (cause you sweat so much those first couple weeks) of the mama holding onto that sweet smellin’ baby. Ya, now you know why new moms are so reluctant to let people hold their baby.

3. Do you remember how everything made you cry while you were pregnant? Those TV commercials, your son’s cartoons, walking around Target aimlessly cause you forgot why you went there to begin with. Ya, you thought that was said and done with now that you are no longer sporting that belly. Think again, think again. In all the doctors visits and post-partum discussion it seems they always highlight post-partum depression (which they should) but they seem to forget to say that you will cry at everything every once in a while and that is normal. After all hormones were playing Yahtzee with your body for 9 months, and they don’t exactly want to end that barrel of fun. But don’t worry you will return to your normal self soon, just be sure to keep some tissues handy….cloth diapers work in a pinch too.

4. You will never worry about another human being’s bodily functions as much as you will your babies. There will be whole conversations with just about everyone, not just your pediatrician, about the contents, the color, the frequency, the smell, and all the awful gory details you would have been sickened by only a few months prior. And there will be days were you are covered in those pesky functions you make charts and diagrams about; I am talking about blowouts of epic mythological proportions will occur and no one will be safe from them. Not even your children’s future spouses will be safe cause those are sometimes the best stories to tell (Padawan has a pretty good one).

5.Remember the first thing we talked about and how you get a nurse to witness the pee from hell, I swear they document it on a secret blog somewhere and have a good laugh about it. Well that was preparing you for the this point: YOU WILL NEVER PEE ALONE AGAIN! I am dead serious. The only time I get to use a restroom by myself is when we are all out as a family and I can sneak off to the public restrooms (which is rare cause I hate using them). Sometimes I stay a little longer than necessary just to remind myself what it is like to not have someone banging on the door or sitting on the bathroom rug watching me; it helps my sanity in some weird way.  Then your kids grow up and think its funny to find you in the bathroom, “Mom, what are you doing in there?” and it is then the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with you “So I was wondering…”  Even my cat no longer leaves me alone.

Nothing can prepare you for becoming a mom. Not all the advice in the world or the shared experiences from other moms will give you the grand picture of motherhood. It’s like Ripley’s Believe It or Not, you have to see it to believe it. Maybe that is why no one fills you in on the scary little details, they know you will never believe it till it happens to you. You won’t believe for a second despite peeing in gut clenching pain, smelling like milk, being covered in poop, pee and everything in between, and not being able to even sit on the toilet without an audience that you will love that little peanut and how your life has changed because of them; changed for the better.

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So we raise our glass and wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in my life, thanks for sharing your experiences with me and keeping me sane. And Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there who have earned you battle scars and badges, and all you moms-to-be out there who are joining these hallowed ranks.

Cowlick King

If you have been paying attention to the last few posts, you can tell that Padawan is in dire need of a haircut. I admire the moms of young boys who can upkeep their kids locks and keep them looking like well groomed gentlemen, sadly that is a mom skill I am still lacking. When Padawan was younger he had the cutest set of curls in his hair, now they are just waves and at least 5 cowlicks.

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Aw, cute baby Padawan. Doesn’t Little Miss look like her big brother? She has a lot darker hair than he ever did and she has the exact same curls now that I hope last longer than Padawan’s (I am NOT cutting them off anytime soon in an effort to keep them around longer).

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When Padawan does get a haircut, he looks pretty polished up. For a while there he had to have his hair in a “hohawk” as he called them. He made all the girls’ hearts melts. Then he grew up and he no longer wanted his hair in a “hohawk.” I am still grieving over this and am secretly hoping he brings them back.

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Our family photos two years ago was the last time the “hohawk” made an appearance, and I practically had to beg him to let me style his hair that way. I luckily won out because I am the “boss” and “am in charge of how everyone looks on picture day” according to the hubster; not like I don’t dress the family the rest of the year as well.

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We did try to route of keeping his hair groomed by doing it at home. To be truthful, we attempted this once and it was an epic fail. Padawan’s hair is thick which is an understatement; his hair does not get longer it gets TALLER. Not to mention those 5 cowlicks we previously mentioned. Combine that all together with an old hair trimmer of the hubsters that quite working after only half of Padawan’s hair being trimmed mowed and the end result is this:

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Poor kiddo had to wear a hat the rest of the day while we waited for the trimmer to charge. Lesson learned: we will leave his hair taming to the professionals like his Papa. Good thing we have a trip to visit our favorite barber this weekend cause pretty soon Padawan’s hair will grow to crazy proportions!

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Any moms out there have some tips to keep a boys hair from going all sorts of tortilla helmet crazy? Or would you just let it all grow out to avoid the bi-weekly haircuts? Doesn’t Padawan resemble the villain off of “Wreck It Ralph” (our current family favorite movie to watch)?