Monday, April 14, 2014

...and many more

Birthday gifts + birthday cake + gluten-free birthday cake for Dad + Curious George cake topper = awesome.

10,000 pictures of this yellow cake and chocolate frosting because I made it all from scratch and I'm annoyingly pleased with myself about it
Here's the thing about parenting: sometimes it's really, really disappointing.
Sometimes you plan this perfect day, but you forget to account for the needs of a toddler, who's easily confused and thrown off by slight changes in his schedule.  Sometimes he has the biggest tantrum of his life, and you somehow slam your head in the car door, and you bicker with your husband about really dumb things, and you feel like you're failing your kid on what should be a really special day.

Here's the other thing, though: It's not about you.  Parenting has to be selfless or it doesn't work, and sometimes I'm so focused on what I want that I forget what Joony really needed was a nap on time and understanding when he gets frustrated and confused and a parent who goes with the flow instead of getting upset that the day isn't going exactly as imagined.
As far as checklists go, we had a great day.  We went to a Kid's Fair (with a dog adoption thrown in as a huge bonus!), Joony is obsessed with his new scooter, he loved his birthday cake, we spent a sunny afternoon in the park.  Check, check, check.  There were just a few really unpleasant moments thrown in there to remind me that sometimes life can be real, real messy, and if I don't roll with it, I'm going to be a mess, too.  I really love this baby of mine, and becoming a good parent is a learning curve that barely leaves me with my head above water most days, but I'm excited to be learning. Happiest of birthdays, little buddy. We love you more than words.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

dog days

Okay yes, hi, I'm Brandilyn and I'm weird about animals.  David and I lived in rentals for over 5 years after we got married and I wanted a pet so badly the entire time. I even tried negotiating with different landlords to get a pet in my home/arms, but nothing. Once we bought a house, though, I started getting excited and doing my research.  Adopting a dog isn't a decision we took lightly--they're a big financial and emotional responsibility, and abandoned animals make me sick to my stomach in sadness.  We knew we'd be adding a member to the family and it wouldn't be temporary, so we got serious about finding the right match.
On Joony's birthday we went to a Kids Fair in Idaho Falls...which was noisy and overwhelming and a little too much for all of us.  BUT they had an animal adoption fair with several different animal shelters from all over, which is what brought me there in the first place.
Long story long, we found Carmen!  I was immediately drawn to her sweet face and she was so mellow and kind, I fell in love.  We left to get lunch and talk it over, then came back for our girl.  She has turned out to be just as great as we'd hoped. She barely sheds, she's patient with Joony, and loves to hang out around the house and be doted on.  She's timid, especially around men, but still just a sweet girl all around.
Today I picked up a container of puppy treats which I guess looked like Joony snacks too.  When I gave one to Carmen. Joony asked me politely for one.  I told him they were puppy treats, so he walked over to Carmen, held out his hand, and said, "Peas?" Hilarious. He also shared some of his leftover birthday cake with her...woops.  Needless to say, we're hoping they become great friends.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love

Today is Joony's second birthday!
Joony is simultaneously fiercely independent and very clingy.  He wants me nearby, but not following him around.  He loves buses, trucks, cars, airplanes, and dogs.  All day long he waits for David to walk through the door and take him into the garage for their nightly playtime in the cab of the truck. The only television show he likes watching is Curious George (usually half an episode each day while I make breakfast). He doesn't talk a ton, but knows enough words to communicate when he sees a plane outside or to identify his favorite people.  If he thinks I'm being too serious or sad, he'll wrap his arms around me and gently pat my back or legs or whatever he can reach. When you ask him what his name is, he points to himself and says "Baby!"  And I love that. He is my baby.
In short, Joons is the most hilarious, infuriating, clever, stubborn, sweet, adorable little guy we've ever met.  I have no idea what I'm doing, and I know sometimes I mess up, but being a parent is still the coolest thing I've ever done.
Happy birthday, buddy!
P.S. Joony turns one and Joony's birth day

Thursday, April 10, 2014

If you were a seed, well, I'd be a pod

California...what do I even say about being here that I haven't gushed about in another blog post? I grew up in this house and this town so being back, even with a baby, feels so familiar and comforting.  People kept asking me why I came and I kept shrugging my shoulders you need a reason to come home? I've been homesick and lonely and I wanted time with my family.

My flight was out of Salt Lake, and my Megs surprised me by walking in my door at 2AM the morning before I left to make the 4 hour drive to Salt Lake with Joony. I had been so anxious about that drive, and having an extra set of hands was the biggest relief. I won't ever be able to put into words how much her being there meant to me.
We spent the night with my high school best friend Michelle, which was bittersweet because she's moving to Colorado soon to start a brand new adventure with her husband. I can't wait to go visit, but saying good-bye suck suck sucked. And THEN we spent Monday morning before our flight curled up on my college bestie Brooke's couch, talking so fast our words would all jumble together and laughing and admiring each other's babies.

I'm saying all this so I remember someday how rejuvenating it was for my heart to have 24 hours packed with girlfriend time--with people who know my story and laugh at the jokes that make strangers think I'm a terrible person (Michelle and I said that, when meeting new people who don't get our jokes, were tempted to yell, "I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT IN SOME CIRCLES I AM CONSIDERED A RIOT!"). It was so refreshing to not wonder where I stood with them or hope I wasn't offending them or feel weird walking right into their house and curling up on their couch. I didn't realize how desperately I needed that relating until I was in the middle of it, feeling so healed.

Ok and...I meant this post to cover my whole week in the Bay Area, but I've been waxing poetic about girlfriends and just the one day I spent traveling to Salt Lake for so long that maybe I'll call it quits here and post about actually being home another day (so hang in there, I know you'll be ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT waiting for vacation posts! haha).

Friday, March 28, 2014


 Flats/Chambray: Target; Pants: Old Navy; Headband: Handmade; Bag: Nena & Co.

Joony in my outfit pictures?! Yep, I did it. He thought it was so funny so walk around in front of the camera, and funnier still when I started dancing (see second picture). I taught him how to raise the roof and now he does it whenever music plays.

OK these are the Old Navy Pixie Pants and I'm ob.sessed. Did I buy them because of the hilarious commercial with Amy Poehler? Yes. Duh. I'm a die hard fan of the Poehler/Fey/Kaling/Dunham gang of hilarious feminists. Here's the thing, though--I've maybe been a little too critical of my body lately.  I know, I know, empowerment and "I carried a baby!" and all that, I've been feeling chubby. These pants make me feel good, though, and I love their stretchy booty-hugging ways. I want them in every color! GIVE ME ALL THE PIXIE PANTS!

And then also, have I shouted from the blogging rooftops yet that I got a Nena & Co. bag for Christmas? Because I did and I love it and I only use it on the most special of occasions (like, uh, a trip to the nature park with my family). It's soft and colorful and matches everything.

Joony, so adventurous/accident-prone these days, smashed his baby fingers in our bedrom door the morning before we went on this little excursion. He held his finger and was so sad all morning.  We could tell it wasn't broken, but obviously bothering him, so we got him a special new bus (he L O V E S busses right now) and went to the nature park to throw food at the ducks and run around. It was chilly, gloomy weather--my favorite--and it seemed to distract him and cheer him up again, huzzah.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the funnest mom

Joony & Brandilyn's Afternoon of Fun:
Or, I Wrote Out a List of Amazing Things To Make Joony The Happiest Kid Alive During His Naptime, And Then I Tried To Execute Them All Once He Woke Up

+ I had a 25% off coupon for our local book store, so I took him to pick out any book he wanted.  Naturally, he chose a board book about trucks and tractors...almost identical to the 6 others we have at home.  Whatever, I'm a fun mom, let's keep the afternoon going.

+ At the park, he didn't want to set the book down, but he was frustrated that he couldn't climb around the play structure with a bulky board book in hand.  He also got angry because he wanted to set his book down on the end lip of the slide to read it, but other kids wanted to slide and, you know, play. I need to add in here that this was actually a really proud moment for me...I actually used to sit on the benches and read my Sweet Valley High during recess. My teachers called my mom once about it because they were worried I was a loser (I was, but it was cool with my mom, so I continued reading at recess).

+ So I get him a $.50 cookie at McDonalds because I needed to stop at the grocery store and I am not above bribery in the name of Joony and Brandilyn's Afternoon of Fun.  He pounded the cookie before I'd pulled my list out and then hollered, "No! Mom, no! Please! No!" while I did my shopping.

+ The fun continues! I take him to another park! Except this one has a steering wheel feature, which blows Joony's mind, he just loves it so much. Whenever I suggested he try a slide or swing, he'd scream, "No! Beep beep!" I figure he's going to be glued to that steering wheel for a while, so I go sit on a bench 20 feet away and try to make some small talk with the other moms.  This is when he takes one step, trips, and tumbles off the playground, landing square on his head.  This is also when I screamed a foul word as I sprinted towards him and horrified the other families playing peacefully at the park.

...and thus ended our afternoon of fun.
The moral of the blog post is this: don't ever expect things to go as planned when there's a 2 year old involved.  We have the most fun on the days where I'm like, "Oh hey! The playground isn't that crowded, let's go for a few minutes!" and, apparently, the days full of planned fun fall apart.  Such is life.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

lil mama so dope

1. Morning Joony working on a smoothie and an episode of Curious George.
2. Late morning Blogilates workout. There was an arm one that didn't make me sore at all (maybe I need heavier weights? #sobuff), and a Muffintop Massacre (seriously) that made it hard to walk for like 3 days.
3. On a particularly naughty morning I locked Joon out of my room and banished him to his room/the hallway so I could do laundry and make the bed without him terrorizing. I found him forlornly playing with his cars and then I felt like the meanest mom ever.
4. I really take glamorous to a new level with my house cleaning wear, amiright?
5. Framed my favorite hymn for the hallway and I'm real happy with how it turned out.