Gavin is ONE!!! And a Farewell Post

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but I'm seriously considering closing up shop around here at Our Fabulous Life. This space doesn't really feel like "home" to me anymore, and I think I'm ready to move on to something new. I do think I will continue writing, and I'm thinking/hoping that a new space and all new "brand" will be the right move for me. With that said, there's a good chance that this post may be my last real post here on my beloved little blog. Once I know for sure what I decide to do going forward I'll come update things here, but until then, this is probably it.

And that feels incredibly appropriate to me, because this is Gavin's first birthday post! This blog launched as a way to keep family and friends in the loop with all the happenings when A and I first moved to Texas after graduation, and it's basically been an online diary of our engagement, wedding, newlywed years, early parenthood, and in reality, it's turned into one big baby book. I think that is wonderful and I LOVE having so many memories to look back on, but I know that's not what things will be about for me going forward. 

So today, let's talk about my sweet, sweet Gavin! This boy is a delight in every sense of the word, and I couldn't adore him more if I tried. He is an absolute angel, and I'm sure the bragging about him is annoying but I can't help myself. We celebrated his birthday on October 29th, just one day after his first birthday, and it was a great day. All his grandparents, our amazing Guncles, and several close friends came to celebrate with us, and it was such a fun time. 

I won't lie, I started panicking about a week before the big day because I hadn't done much planning. Let's be honest, I had a couple packages of balloons, the invites were sent and the cake was ordered, and I knew the theme. At this point for Grayson's first birthday I had about a million details nailed down, so I got on Amazon the Sunday before his party and ordered a ton of decoration, got on Pinterest and planned the menu, and moaned about how awful I felt for my poor second child. Nevertheless, I pulled it all together at the last minute. 

Our theme was "Gavin is a Party Animal!" because of his wild and crazy personality. He's always reminded me of a little monkey, so a jungle theme seemed appropriate. While the party was pretty low-key, I think it was perfect for Gav. Where Grayson totally relished in the huge party atmosphere and all the attention of his first birthday, Gavin is so happy 24/7 that he would have been just as content with the four of us celebrating as he was with a house full of people. He had a super fun time and got loved on by a lot of special people, and my heart was totally full all day long.

I still can't believe this little guy has been with us for over a year now, but at the same time, I have a hard time remembering life without him. This past year has been wonderful - adjusting to life as a family of four was a smoother transition than I was expecting, and I think sweet Gavin was the absolute perfect addition to our crazy crew. He's so sweet it makes me question my desire for a third baby sometimes, because there's no WAY I'll get one as easy going and happy as this one!

Friends, thank you so much for supporting me here over the years. I have been so, so absent for so long, but so many of you still stay in contact on Instagram on a regular basis. I really cherish the friendships that I've made here, and I hope they'll continue on once I move on to my next venture. I'll be back at some point to let you all know what I'm up to and where to find me, but until then, I'd love for you to follow along on Instagram

12 Months

Sweet little Gavin,

Oh, Gav. I will never get tired of telling you all about how much I love and adore you. This first year of your life has been one of the absolute best of mine. You are pure sweetness with a little dash of crazy thrown in, and the older you get the more I fall head over heels for your silly little personality.

You're entering that magical age where it seems like you're learning or doing something new and exciting every single day. I can see my tiny baby slipping away as you become more and more independent. And independent you most certainly are. You don't want to hold hands in public, you don't want us to cut your food into small pieces, you don't want to be held down for any reason, and you have zero fears that I have discovered. You are constantly wandering off on your own, exploring all the nooks and crannies our home has to offer. You are also attempting to climb just about anything that can be climbed, but thankfully you haven't gone full spider-monkey on me yet.

Now that you are officially a toddler, things have changed a bit. You've added a bit more "spice" to your constant sweetness, and we've had our first foray into tantrum territory with you. I have to say, your brother was the king of tantrums at this age, so yours are kind of just adorable. If you get mad at us and happen to be standing on the tile, you will run as fast as your tiny legs will take you while crying as loudly as you can, then dramatically fling yourself to the floor the second you hit the carpet, where you'll cry as if your heart has been broken in two. While Grayson's tantrums seemed more angry, yours seem to be much more based on heartbreak.

You're still happy most of the time, but you are starting to protest and fight back at times. If anyone takes anything away from you that you really want, you will totally freak out and scream and cry. If Grayson won't share a toy, you'll grunt and scream, and you've recently started a baby-version of hitting. You aren't packing much of a punch, but you are definitely getting your point across.

You are SUPER silly, and you literally walk around smiling and laughing most of the day. All we have to do is make eye contact with you and you break into the sweetest little grin. The tiniest ounce of attention seems to fill up your little love tank, then you're back to independent exploring until you need another couple minutes of being loved on. You love to be chased and tickled, so I spend an absurd amount of time doing both. You also have an ornery streak, and you love to take things you know you aren't supposed to have and run run run as fast as you can with them. At the moment the things from my bathroom drawers and the Christmas tree decorations are your favorites to steal. You'll slowly, sneakily take something, all while watching to see if anyone has seen what you're doing, then you'll give the orneriest little smile with a side-eye before you run away. It's hysterical and sometimes totally infuriating.

You are understanding so much of what we are saying, and I've noticed you love to be helpful. You'll load the water bottles into the bottom bin of the fridge after I show you how, or help me put toys up in the baskets around the house, or bring me whatever I ask you to. It seems like just about anything I ask you do to you will do with very little direction. Of course I think you're a beautiful genius baby just like your brother - and I'm pretty sure I'm right ;)

You've started communicating with us a lot more (to be fair, you're over 13 months as I'm writing this). You answer me by nodding very decisively with a grunt for yes, and give a pretty brief head shake for no. You point to whatever you want, and come running and grunting and shaking objects at me anytime you want me to do something for you, like turn on a toy or feed you something you found. There are videos that you watch and dance to on YouTube called Gigglebellies (you're obsessed) and you'll find the remote, run over to me shaking it while going "Ahhh!Ahh!Ahhh!" and point at the TV, then you'll start dancing in a circle until I get it turned on. You definitely know how to get your point across.

You LOVE to dance, and you literally start at it the second you recognize a song or beat of any sort. Even if I sing like three words or tap on the table a few times, you start dancing. You also love to sing, which is just precious. Sometimes you'll sing in your carseat, and you almost always sing to music. You also sing your ABC's with me during diaper changes, which is the only way I can get them done these days. You also have the sweetest little baby voice in the world, so the singing totally melts my mama heart.

You are eating like a champ, which is great because you are a teeny tiny little guy. You were really sick last month, so I'm sure that didn't help anything, but we are currently trying to beef you up a bit before your 15 month doctors appointment. You are several pounds lighter and a bit shorter than Grayson was at this age, so it's kind of strange for me. The good news is you still feel like a baby when I hold you, so it's helping to keep any baby fever at bay ;)

Your favorite foods are grapes, strawberries, broccoli, carrots, soup, and pancakes. You haven't accepted my offerings of cow's milk yet, so all you're drinking is water. You're still nursing several times a day...and a few times a night, as much as I would love for you to not be doing that. However, since you're so little your doc said I need to keep it up as long as you're asking, so looks like mommy just won't be sleeping through the night for awhile. You're also working on your top two molars at the moment, and you handle teething so, so well that we never realize you're getting a tooth until they've broken through. This will bring your grand total to 10.

Your brother is starting to love you more and more, the older you get and the more you start to interact with him. He thinks it's hysterical that you answer us yes and no now, and the other day when I was feeding you and telling you to eat certain things he said "He always does what you tell him to do..." like he was amazed. I told him he should learn from you! Every once in awhile I catch him being really sweet to you, usually when he doesn't know I'm watching or you're being sweet or sleepy. I adore watching the two of you bond, I am so incredibly glad I get to experience the sibling thing through you guys.

You are the sunshine in my life sweet boy, you make me so super happy, and you were just the most perfect addition to our family. I couldn't be more obsessed with you, and you bring so much joy to everyone that knows you. I love you so much baby boy! I can't believe you're one!


Photos by my sweet friend- Shana Pisanich Photography

Gavin - 11 Months

Oh sweet Gav. This past month with you has been so, so much fun. You are just the silliest little thing I've ever seen, and you keep us laughing all the time around here. You are so sweet, so much fun, so very independent, so adorable - I'm a bit obsessed, but in a totally healthy way, swear.

I know every mom goes on and on about her kids, but you really are the best. I know this because everyone who meets you adores you, and you basically have your very own fan club. We spend a lot of time at the church, so the ladies in the kid care area know you well. When we show up I hear "It's Gavin! Gavin's here!" from at least four or five different women. I repeatedly hear that they are obsessed with you, that you are the best baby, that you are so sweet, on and on and on - one lady actually stopped me in the hall the other day and told me that you are her favorite. So funny, but I totally understand ;)

When I try and think about the best way to sum your personality up, the words sweet and goofy are the first things that come to mind. You are just the sweetest little baby ever. You have the sweetest little voice - other than when you're screaming, which you do a lot (playfully, but still). You give the sweetest kisses, although you're not super affectionate. I have to ask for kisses, but then you'll give me like 10 so I get my fill for the day. You'll give me one very sweet kiss, and then when I look away you grab both sides of my face and make me kiss you again, and again, and again. Sweetest ever. You also don't give many hugs, or even like to be held a ton. You tend to wander off on your own, play for quite awhile, then wander over to hug my leg or grunt at me until I pick you up and give you some hugs and kisses, then you're ready to wander off on your own again. You're so independent and like to play by yourself for the majority of the day, but you have to check in every 10 minutes or so, just to make sure I'm still there. You also don't mind dark rooms at all, so I'll find you playing in the dark playroom or shut in a room where the door hadn't been shut all the way, totally happy and playing with whatever you've found.

Your goofiness is just the cutest thing. You laugh all the time, about everything, and sometimes you just sit in my lap, looking at me, and we just laugh at each other for awhile. Literally anything makes you laugh. All we have to do is look at you and laugh, and there you go. You aren't talking yet, but you're a pretty good mimic, so we've got Dada, Mama, and Uh-Oh out of you so far. I think Uh-Oh is your favorite to say, and it's so cute how your little mouth curls up to make the Ohhhh sound. You still love clapping, high five-ing, and you really like to take my hands and make me clap or tap your mouth and then mine to make that silly sound you love.

You have totally mastered the walking thing - although you will be one in TWO days, so I'm a bit late here. When you had actually just turned 11 months you were walking but walking a little rickety still at that point. Now, you're practically running. You actually are running, but tripping over your feet and splatting to the ground every so often. You are constantly, constantly banged up and bruised. Since you have zero fear, you just do whatever pops into your head. Climb anything, dive off anything, crawl into anything - you make me nervous, to say the least. You rarely seem to mind if you get hurt, unless you're really, really hurt, and then we have tears.

Another way you're often hurt is that mean ol' big brother of yours. The two of you have a ton of fun together, but he's mad at you about touching his toys approximately 83% of the time. Aside from that you're all wrestling, giggling, dancing best buds. Watching you two together is seriously the cutest, but I'm bracing myself for years of insanity. It's already pretty insane. Ya'll are LOUD and crazy.

You're a pretty good eater, although you still don't eat a ton most days. You're really weaning yourself when it comes to nursing, and we're at about a four hour stretch during the day most days. If I'm not with you I don't leave a bottle and you're totally fine. You love strawberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, black olives, cereal bars, and pizza. I gave you chicken strips and french fries the other day and those were a pretty big hit, and you love veggie straws. You like most things, but then some things, like cheese, you just refuse completely. You eat a lot of those little pouch things, a few a day, but if you see real food you typically prefer that.

You've got eight teeth, and we're thinking another one may be on it's way, judging by the way you've been acting. You're still a teeny tiny guy at close to 28 inches and just 18.5 pounds, but maybe you'll catch up at some point. Or maybe you'll be little and scrappy, you've certainly got the daring personality for that. You're starting to stretch your naps out, and we're down to two most days, sometimes one if your morning nap is super late. You're a pretty good napper, so we usually get one from around 9 to 10:30 or so, and another one around 2 or 3 for at least an hour. You go to bed right about 8, and wake up anywhere from 6:30 to 7:15. A couple weeks ago we had a stretch of waking up before 6 every day for over a week and I didn't think I was going to survive.

 You are doing all kinds of fun stuff these days, but one of my favorites is the dancing. You are such a little dancing machine and it's so, so cute. You are completely obsessed with this Busy Bumblebee song that Nana discovered on Youtube, and we turn it on and you just start dipping and swinging your hips and bouncing up and down and waving your arms around. Absolutely precious.

You're starting to have a bit more of a temper, but usually only when I'm not getting food to you quick enough or I'm not letting you hold your tooth brush. You really hate to have your diaper changed, but it's just because you don't want to hold still. You don't get mad, you just flip over and run away. Makes things rather complicated for those of us changing you. You don't like to be told no. You shake your head no back at us and kind of grunt in disapproval. Aside from those few things, you are a happy camper basically all day, every day.

I absolutely adore this age with you, but I have seriously enjoyed every minute of being your mama so I know I'll never be able to pick a favorite age. You have totally ruined me for any future babies that I may (somehow, maybe, hopefully) talk your daddy into, because it is HIGHLY unlikely I would ever be so lucky to have another baby as good as you. Your crazy, silly little personality is so different than what I was expecting from my mild mannered, laid back tiny baby that I brought home almost a year ago, but oh my goodness I wouldn't trade this for the world. I am loving everything about watching you grow, and watching you and your brother bond, and I am so, so thankful that I get to be your mama. I love you so much my sweet baby!

Abundantly Blessed

Today is my birthday. My 32nd birthday, to be exact. Birthdays are funny. The older I get, the more insignificant they become. It's still nice to have a special day, of course, and it's so lovely to be flooded with texts and calls and Facebook messages from people telling me Happy Birthday all day long - who wouldn't want that?

But I realized something this morning. After I dropped Grayson off at preschool I went to Starbucks to work for a bit. On my drive home, I was praying (as I often do when I'm alone in the car) and I realized that although I of course have so many things I ask God for on a regular basis, more than anything I just wanted to thank him. Over and over again. Because I am wonderfully, abundantly, absurdly blessed.

Of course, life isn't perfect. Nothing ever is, no matter what it may look like through an Instagram filter. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of laundry and feeding kids and cleaning messes and scrubbing floors and folding clothes and wiping noses and changing diapers and disciplining and feeding them again and power struggles and alllll the noise and bedtime routines - it can just be so routine, so mundane, so overwhelming. It's easy to live this life as a mama to little kids and as a wife to a husband who works constantly and just feel a little stuck.

But then. Then I look out the window of my car and see the gorgeous trees and the beautiful homes and the sunshine, and I think - I live in such a truly beautiful place. And then I think about my boys - my sweet, crazy, loud, hilarious, mama's boys - I could not possibly love them more if I tried. And I think about my husband. My husband who drives me crazy and is an insane workaholic, but who truly wants nothing more than to see me happy, who takes me on amazing trips to San Diego and buys me everything I need and supports our family without a single complaint, and I think oh my goodness. I might be the luckiest girl in the world.

I think about the fact that I am getting to chase my dreams, that I have the luxury to do that - how blessed am I? I think about the fact that I live in a safe place, a safe neighborhood, that I don't worry about so many things that so many other people in the world have to worry about. I think about the fact that I have a reliable car, a comfortable home that will always have a fridge full of food, family that loves me, amazing friends. And I think about the fact that God decided I was worthy of all of these things, even when I know I'm not. And I think about the fact that he looked at me in my cushy, comfy life, and he snatched me up and said "It's time." He brought me out of my confused, lost, non-believing but super comfortable life and got right in my face and said "Time to follow me." I didn't do that. No way I would have done that. But He did it. And I am so, so, so beyond grateful. My life has changed, in the most amazing ways, even though it has remained so much the same.

So today, on my birthday, I don't need a single gift. I don't need a single "Happy Birthday." I don't need a special meal or a cake or any recognition. I am exactly where I need to be, I am insanely happy to be here, and I am so incredibly, abundantly blessed.

Gavin - Ten Months

Sweet little baby of mine! Man oh man, you are just a delight. You are seriously just the best little guy in the world. I know, I'm gushing. It's annoying. I can't help it. You are basically everything a person could want in a baby. My only complaint is that you don't sleep all night long in your crib. This is my fault, so really, can't complain too much! Other than that, pure delight, I tell you. 

You are hilarious. Seriously, you have me laughing all day long. Combined with that crazy brother of yours and you guys are really just too much. You get so excited about things and kind of bounce up and down and do a gasp-y, opened mouth happy sound that I adore and seriously hope I can capture on film before you outgrow it. You are always smiling, always laughing, and always doing something a little bit crazy. 

You are totally mama-obsessed right now, and I cannot get enough. You are so tiny that I can just pop you up on my hip and cart you around, but you get pretty bored up there after about two minutes. Even though you want to be around me at all times, it's usually good enough to just know that I'm in the room. If I leave your line of vision, that's another story. You are so great at entertaining yourself, and will just happily play with toys or crawl around exploring (getting into things) for long periods of time. This is CRAZY to me, because I vividly remember the first time your brother actually played by himself - at all - and it was for like five minutes and he was maybe a year and a half old. The fact that you entertain yourself for large portions of time every single day boggles my mind. But THANK YOU. 

You are also food-obsessed right now. Just within the past few days, really. You've been eating maybe three baby food pouches a day for awhile now, but within the last few days you have been positively freaking out over our food. If you see me cooking, or even if I just open the fridge, you immediately start whimpering and whining and fake-crying until you are in your chair with food in your hands. Then you whine/whimper anytime the food on your tray runs out. I'm trying to teach you to say "more", because that would be much more pleasant. You're still nursing several times a day, and usually once or twice in the middle of the night, but I can tell your interest with this is fading already. I know it's more of a comfort thing, because anytime anyone else watches you, they don't even really need to feed you a bottle unless it's an entire day that I'm gone. We'll see how long you keep it up. 

Like I said, you aren't sleeping "through the night", but you go down around 8/8:30, are usually up sometime before midnight, and then again middle of the night, then up for the day around 7/7:30. Some nights you'll sleep in your crib until your last middle of the night feeding, some nights you won't settle at all after your first wake up, so I just bring you in my bed because mama's TOO tired to deal with that. You also just dropped from three naps to two within the last couple of weeks (and yes, you will be 11 months old tomorrow, I'm super late with this again). 
You are SUCH a daredevil that I have pretty much given up at this point. You will climb anything, crawl under anything, touch anything, taste anything, hang off of anything, dive off of anything - you are exhausting, to be honest. Yesterday I caught you literally balancing on the handlebars of your toy train, hanging onto the rim of the plastic basketball hoop, leaning against a window. You were at least two feet off the ground, and it didn't faze you a bit. You have also figured out that you can push Grayson's chairs and little footstool around the house up to anything you want and then climb onto a higher surface. I've caught you on a few tables this way. I am constantly figuring out new ways to baby-proof, but I've pretty much figured out that nothing is really Gavin-proof. 

You have learned several fun new things this month, and it reminds me why I love this age so much! Although, you could slow down a bit - I'm not really to see my baby turn into a big boy yet. But the most exciting thing you've conquered this month is walking! You started taking steps about two weeks ago, and within just the last couple of days we can officially consider you a walker. You still crawl when you need to get somewhere quick, but you are up to probably 15-20 steps at a time, walking across rooms and getting wherever you need to go. You are so proud of yourself, and it's so cute! You also "learned" to wave (you've known how for quite a while but literally would refuse to do it until a few weeks ago), you high five, and you LOVE to clap. You shake your head no A LOT, but sometimes I think you just do it anytime you want to answer me either yes or no. You also love to grab my hands and make me clap constantly, especially if you've done something you think I should be impressed by. You love it when we say "Yaaaayyyy Gavin!" and clap for you, so now you think you can look at literally any human being and clap your hands and they should applaud you. 

You've started babbling in a way that sounds a lot more like sentences than just random babble, and I'm not sure we can say it's official, but you've been saying a lot of "A-dada" when requested, so I'm sure Daddy would like to claim Dada as your first word. I'm not saying it counts quite yet ;) You discovered flipping light switches on and off a few days ago when I was holding you in the bathroom, so now anytime I carry you by a light switch you start kicking your legs and doing your excited, gaspy noise. When I let you turn it on or off, you look at me with a silly grin on your face for awhile while you hold your finger right by the switch, like "Is this really OK?", then when I say it's OK you can do it, you flip the switch and it's SO exciting every time. So dang cute. 

You love music and love to dance, and Daddy plays a lot of music when he gets home from work. As soon as he turns a song on, you head to the middle of the living room like it's a dance floor and start moving your little booty up and down. Now that you're walking, you bounce up and down, and just like your brother, you've got perfect rhythm. You also have started doing your weird little bear crawl in a big circle, which I just figured out tonight is some hilarious dance you've created. The second the music came on tonight you crawled to the center of the room, then started crawling in circles. You are seriously hysterical. 

There isn't much that makes you upset. Me leaving is probably the major one, followed closely by bath time, which is crazy because you've always loved it! But right now you scream hysterically the entire time you're taking one. You don't mind diaper changes, but you refuse to lay still for more than two seconds, so I personally hate them. You also are impossible to dress. I end up crawling around the room trying to shove arms and legs inside clothes. I'm always sweating at the end of a diaper/clothing change. You protest maybe half the time, sometimes with tears, when I put you in your car seat, but are usually fine within like thirty seconds. And you sometimes cry when I try to put you to sleep. Other than that, happy as can be! 

You and your brother are growing closer all the time, and he's starting to talk to you more like you're a friend. He tells you to come play, encourages you, tells you you're annoying, yells at you to get away from his toys, tells you he loves you, tells you he does NOT love you, begs for you to take a bath with him, gives you big hugs, then pushes you on the ground or picks you up rather violently. Brotherly love is a crazy thing to watch develop. Maybe my favorite thing the two of you do is "walk" together. Since you've been up and trying to walk, he's started grabbing both of your hands while you face each other, and he'll walk backwards while you walk toward him. It's so cute and sweet and almost always ends with a little too much force for my liking, but he gets so excited that he's helping! He's having so much fun watching you learn how to walk and he jumps up and down and says "He's walking! He's walking!" almost every time. I'm sure that excitement is about to wear off. 

I can see your Daddy falling in love with you more and more every day. The baby phase isn't his favorite (although he obviously loves his babies as babies), but now that you are funny and wild and crazy, he is SO into it. You are clearly going to be the one he can do all the crazy stuff with that Grayson has always been too cautious to try, and I can see a little sparkle in his eye when he watches you do something ornery. He loves to toss you around and hang you upside down because you just squeal and eat it up. I may have to watch you two. 

I am having a blast watching you develop into the little guy you are going to be. It's so fun to try and guess your personality based on who you are as a baby. My guess at this point would be laid-back and chill, but with an ornery, adventurous streak. Super decisive, and maybe a little impatient (join the club with the rest of us in the house on that one). Sweet as can be, but not super into cuddling and physical affection (I'll have to keep getting this from big brother I think). Overall I think you are just going to be content and happy, because that's how you've been since day one.

Clearly, CLEARLY, I am super obsessed with you, and I adore you more than is reasonable. You and your brother and that Daddy of yours make me so happy I could explode, even when you're all driving me nuts. I love you so much, sweet boy, you make every single day so much better just by being a part of it.
FYI, I'm super bummed about the bad cellphone pics this month, but my camera died and I didn't have time to retake them :( :( :( 

Let's Be Real

I don't struggle with comparison. That just isn't something I have a major issue with. Now insecurity, that is absolutely the great struggle of my life. But for the most part, I can look at others and admire their strengths or be happy for their blessings rather than begin to compare myself. So that's not what this post is about. It's more about my bewilderment at the capability of other people. Namely, other moms. Moms that I see on Instagram, to be completely specific.

How. How on earth do these mamas do it? I know everything is prettier cropped and behind a beautiful Instagram filter, but still - there has to be a little reality behind it. What made me think of this is my fingernails. Random, I know. But I posted a picture of me and the boys, and my hands are showing, and you can see my short, stubby nails with no polish. I am a nail biter, and no matter how many times I break the habit I go back to it. Nail biting is my drug. (I really need that crying laughing emoji here to appropriately express my feelings behind that statement).

Anyway, back to the point. I was looking at my nails, and I started thinking how all the super fun, trendy, pretty mamas on Instagram always seem to have their nails done. But hooooowwww? This is my question. When are you doing this? When are you finding time in your day to slip away to get your nails done on a regular basis? Do you get a babysitter? Does your husband watch them? Are you some type of magician and you can do them yourself and make them look like that? I just don't understand.

And it's not just nails. It's all the pretty pretty hair. I am so not a hair person. My hair looks the exact same basically every day of my life. It's either freshly washed and has been put up in hot rollers so it's kind of wavy, or it's super greasy and caked with baby powder and has THEN been put up in hot rollers, so it's kind of like matted and sorta kinda wavy. I so badly wish I was the girl who woke up and spent 30 minutes making those beautiful beach waves that everyone has, but I. Just. Can't. I can't. I've tried. I hate it. But man, those moms who do it look so put together!
Check out this realness. No lipgloss, frizzy hair, fading spray tan, baby not looking - but Grayson wanted a family photo before preschool, so he got his family photo! Shoulda thrown an Instagram filter on this bad boy and no one would have ever known ;) 

So, I think the struggle isn't necessarily that I'm comparing myself and I feel inadequate or wish I was more like this person or that person, but I think the struggle is just that I don't understand how these things are being done. If I had an extra probably six hours a day I think I could look pretty fab, I would work out, my house would be clean, my dishes and laundry would be done, I might even cook occasionally. But with the 24 hours a day that I get, I just really can't. I'm basically just trying to keep us all alive and relatively clean, if we're being honest.

So my vote is, let's all just be real. Does a mother of two (or one or three or five or twelve) really have time to do it alllllllll? Some of it, sure. I find time to work on my shop (Haven Gray Kids, if you're curious). I find time to blog (oh so rarely). I find time to read my bible and pray and play with my kids and keep my house picked up and somewhat clean and to spray tan and have my hair highlighted every couple of months because, hello, priorities. The things I feel like I must do for my sanity, I get done. But I don't fix my hair every day, or paint my nails, or work out, or take beautiful staged photos or flip houses or own a boutique, or, or, or, or.

I guess the moral of my story is, just do you. Am I allowed to use that phrase? It felt kind of wrong. But I like the sentiment. Do what makes you feel good, what helps keep your kids alive, what you must do each day to be sane and happy and healthy. You simply can't do it all. Not now. Maybe not ever. But you can do the very most important things, and if you're honest with yourself, you know what those things are. Focus on those, and let the rest go. For now. You can always conquer the world after your kids are in school. That's my plan, at least.

What Grayson Wore - February & March

My goodness gracious I am TERRIBLE at posting these. This child has already gone back to school for a new year and I'm still posting from February and March! My bad guys, my bad. I guess the only upside is that this could possibly be some good inspiration for the upcoming fall season? I mean, let's look on the bright side.

Sweater - H&M
T-Shirt - Gap Kids
Jeans - Osh Kosh

Button Down Shirt (undershirt) - Hand Me Down From Cousin Haik!
Jeans - Osh Kosh
Boots - Old Navy

Button Down Shirt - Another Hand Me Down :)
Jeans - Osh Kosh

Sweater - Gap Kids
Boots - Old Navy

Shirt - Christmas gift, no idea where it was from 
Jeans - Osh Kosh 
Shoes - Old Navy

Shirt - Target
Jeans - H&M

Shirt - Gap 
Jeans - H&M

Gavin - Nine Months

Well, my sweet little love, you might start tipping the scale over from sweetest baby ever to craziest baby ever! This ninth month with you has been quite an entertaining little adventure, let me tell you. You sir, have no fear, no hesitation, and if you see it, you go for it. Where your brother has always been super thoughtful and cautious before trying anything out, you have an idea and are moving on it before I even realize what's happening. You're keeping me on my toes 24/7, that's for sure.

You are still incredibly sweet, but you are so super silly that it's becoming your dominating trait I think! You are a fake laugher, and it is hilarious. If you want someone's attention, you stare at them and fake laugh until they notice you. You get so excited about things, and if I'm holding you you always grab onto my shoulder and squeeze and then slide your hands around all frantically while laughing and squealing anytime anything exciting happens. You've starting "teasing" people, looking at them and then when they look at you, you look away and laugh, then look back real quick. So cute.

You love to chase and be chased, and "I'm gonna get Gavin!" always gets you crawling your crazy crawl as fast as you can while laughing your little head off. You LOVE wrestling with your brother, and if he's laying on the ground you will crawl all over him, bite him, scratch him, all while laughing hysterically. Poor guy can't fight back too much because you're still so small (and man, are you small!), so you just get to attack him and he has to take it for the most part - although he holds his own, don't get me wrong. I see so, so much wrestling, and so many injuries in our future. You both love it.

You love to dance to music, and you shake your little hips right in rhythm whenever you hear any kind of beat. You also are a big bouncer, meaning you bounce up and down whenever you are excited, which is A LOT of the time. You've injured your poor lips and chin this way I don't know how many times, because you're always holding on to a table when the bouncing begins. You are a climber, and nothing is too high or too challenging for you. I think it's time to nail every single thing in our home to the walls. You can't be stopped.

Even though you're wild and crazy, you're still a deep thinker when you allow yourself to be still. You get a super serious look on your face and take things in, and I just wish I knew what you were thinking. I know you're understanding a lot of what we say these days - especially no, because you hear it all the time and always hesitate, and sometimes stop what you're doing.

We have a lot of "nicknames" for you I guess you could say. Most of the time I call you Gav or Gav-Gav, but you get a lot of Monkey and Munchkin from your dad, and I call you my little spider monkey a lot because of that crazy bear crawl that you do. That is by far your most notable trait, and everyone that sees you crawl comments on how hilarious it is. I also call you my little puppy somewhat frequently, because you crawl around carrying things in your mouth like a dog a lot. Water bottles, socks, toys - basically anything that you find on the floor.

You are the world's fastest crawler I'm quite sure, and you've started standing up enough that I would assume walking is not too far away. You started standing up directly from a sitting position just a few days after you turned nine months, and you can stand for several seconds at this point before you slowly lower yourself down. You haven't attempted any steps at all, and to be honest I'm totally fine if we hold off on the walking thing for a bit...I feel like once you're walking you will be GONE. I already lose you several times around the house on a daily basis, pretty sure walking will only make that worse.

You are happy almost all the time. The only time you aren't is if I'm gone (I hear you aren't a perfect angel baby for everyone else, you had me fooled), if you're getting your diaper changed, or if you're being put to sleep. You don't even get angry if you're hungry, you just get clingy to me and won't let me put you down until I figure out what you're wanting. Speaking of that, you're still nursing every three or four hours throughout the day, and usually twice at night, although I think you're about to get MORE teeth (you have six already!), so you have been waking up nonstop to comfort nurse I guess. Exhausting for mommy, but that's what I'm here for. You're eating mainly jarred baby food, but you do like bites of our food whenever we're eating something you can have.

You are napping in your crib for all naps (unless we're out and about) and you go down in your crib at bedtime every night. Some nights you'll sleep in there all night, with me coming in two or three times to nurse you and rock you back to sleep which I do not exactly love, and some nights I end up bringing you in to our room somewhere between one and three if you just won't settle back to sleep. I can't do cry it out, I just don't have it in me, but we are LIGHTYEARS ahead of where we were with your brother at this age. He had literally never slept in his crib even once at night at this point, so I'll take this for sure.

Overall, the main thing I want to remember about you at this age is your happiness. You are full of joy, full of giggles, full of fun, and I ADORE you. You make me laugh all day long, and even your brother always talks about how cute you are (when he isn't mad at you for taking his toys and being "the worst!"). Watching your personality develop is so fun and hysterical, because I did not expect you to be quite so goofy. I feel like you are going to be a bit of a prankster, because you are ornery and love to make us laugh already. I just can't wait to see who you become and to watch you and your brother develop more of a bond. I feel like you may be the one always encouraging him to get into trouble - so far, he is all too happy to jump in and do whatever crazy thing he sees you doing.

Sweet Gavin, I couldn't love you more if I tried. You bring me so much joy every single day, and your sweet little voice and precious little laugh just melt me. I always sing you "You are my sunshine", and you truly are. I was so nervous about having two boys and having a special relationship with both of you, but it's amazing how natural it has been. You boys are night and day, and I love the unique love that I share with each of you. I'm so blessed to be your mama!