All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Monday Snapshot – Holiday Mojo

I love Halloween…. It is by far my favorite holiday! I take both my Halloween and Christmas decorating very seriously, but have sort of sat out the last 3 years because of the kids. They were just too young to understand that they can’t touch everything. And honestly, it was depressing. So today, I threw caution to the wind and got out almost all of the Halloween stuff (I skipped the large wood prop-up cut outs since they’d just be knocked over. Next year, maybe…), including bathroom rugs and towels, dishes and placemats, front door hangers and door mats, and various hand towels. It felt so gooooood, and the kids are loving it!


The Monday Snapshot – I Can’t Quit!

It’s official… I’m hooked on this painting thing. It is so calming and so fun, I feel like I just got out of a great therapy session. I could do this once a week.

Matthew loves all sports and has quickly latched onto the two big Iowa teams. Iowa is his all-time favorite, but Iowa State is right behind the Hawkeyes. I went to Iowa, Hottie went to Iowa State. Because I furnish their rooms, he has a couple of Hawkeye decorations up that are quite bold and noticeable. But being the good Iowa girl that I am, I support all Iowa teams and only cheer against Iowa State when they play the Hawkeyes and honestly, I could care less who actually wins that game every year. So, it was time for some Cyclone power in Matthews room so I went to a painting session tonight to take care of that.

I can’t wait until he sees it in the morning!

(That’s my friend, K, who came with me. She painted hers for her husband for Christmas. Mine was supposed to be for Christmas, but I’m no good at holding surprises!)


The Monday Snapshot – My Sweet Boy

Matthew is 3 now, and everyone says 3 is harder than 2. In some ways, I agree, but in others, I do not.

Matthew certainly knows what he wants and tries very hard to succeed in his endeavors (like his dad), even if he knows he’s, “making Mommy mad” (oh, the way he says MAAAAD is so cute!). But he is also just the sweetest thing I’ve ever met! He’s always been a sweet boy, but today … Today melted my heart.

(Jackson was howling in his bag in the front seat.)

Matthew – “Mommy put cat in car.”
Me – “which cat is that, Matthew?”
Matthew – “Lily.”
Me – “No, buddy, it’s Jack. Do you remember where Lily is?”
(He points up to the sky.)
Matthew – “Up high.”
Me – “In the clouds, huh?”
Matthew – “Uh huh. I want her back, Mommy.”

Then he waves to the clouds and softly says, “Hi, Lily,” with the sweetest smile on his face.

I teared up as we both blew her a kiss from the car.



The Monday Snapshot – The Last First Birthday?

I have two birthdays to plan this year – one day apart. We’re actually doing them a week apart, but back-to-back weekends. If we have a third baby (please, God!), we have vowed to do everything we can to avoid another June birthday. However, the crazy in me says to have another baby in June and just power through that month every year! Ha!

I keep wondering, “is this our last first birthday?” It sort of hurts to think that it could be. I don’t want it to be… But if it is, then we’re going to do it up right!

Our theme is simple – ADVENTURE! Because Bryson Boy is a very adventurous, curious dude. I took his photo today for his invitations. Cuteness!

DSC_0271 redo

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The Monday Snapshot – Tell Me About It (Ha ha! But it’s not Monday! I forgot!)

Matthew loves hanging out with Bryson in his crib after he wakes from his morning nap. If I forget this little ritual, believe me, I hear about it!

Matthew gets a little wound up sometimes, and can topple right out of the crib, so it’s hard to take pics and keep a watchful eye. But on this day, I got a couple of good ones that capture this little nugget of fun in our daily lives! (Matthew is telling Bryson about the light and sound device in the corner of the crib – apparently, it’s hilarious!)


The Monday Snapshot – Need Some Happy

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a generally happy person. I’ve had my years of therapy and antidepressant/anti-anxiety treatments in the past, which let me just say were very much needed, but in general, I’m happy. I say things like, “things are what you make of them,” and, “everything happens for a reason,” because I generally believe it’s true. I don’t say those things to diminish anyone else’ situations and would never say them to someone I know is having a hard time, but I believe those things for myself.

I do.

But holy hell – our household has not been generally happy the past week. Matthew has been unbearably whiny and Bryson has been the sickest he’s ever been, ending with a decent (and our first ever) episode of croup. I couldn’t sleep last night because I thought I needed to get sick as I froze my ass off under several blankets, and this morning was worse. Just when I drifted off for a nap, Bryson woke up after a too-short nap. Then my in laws popped over (which I actually encouraged and enjoyed). By nap time, we were all spent. Bryson, still very much unhappy and sick, slept 2.5 hours in his crib without a peep, and Matthew and I slept in my bed for 2 hours. It was needed. I instantly felt better. We all did.

Poor Bryson is so stoic these recent days, but he got to bathe alone tonight which meant he got the whole tub to himself for the first time! And finally, FINALLY, I got to see my baby boy smile from ear to ear over and over again.

I needed this today. I needed someone else’ happy to take me back to my own happy.

I’m hoping I get a lot more of these smiles this week, but for now, I’ll take what I can get and make the most of it!


The Monday Snapshot – Back to Normal

We spent the weekend sharing two cabins amongst B’s immediate family (MIL, FIL, SIL1, SIL2, BIL, niece, nephew, the four of us). It was, surprisingly, a very fun, comfortable time. The only issue, and I truly mean ONLY issue, was our niece who is very mean, selfish, and manipulative with everyone, but specifically with Matthew. By the end of the weekend, Matthew had started mimicking her nasty behavior (being antagonistic, pushing Bryson over, claiming everything as his) and I was pretty upset. It’s hard when you spend lots of time with people who parent so differently from you, that you need to expend most of your energy running interference between the kids. My SIL does not correct her daughter, and claims that everything she does is “just helping.” Sneakily pulling a chair out from under a two year old is not helping. Running toward him and shoving him backwards off his feet and onto the floor, and then telling us that “he slipped,” is not helping. Calling Matthew over for a hug, and then kicking him in the face telling him not to touch her is not helping. This went on ALL weekend, and her mother stepped in only a few times. Other than that, she’d say, “I know you’re just helping him.”. Gah! So I stepped in, and B stepped in, and called both kids out on their behavior all weekend.

We’re home now, and we’re sort of “reprogramming” Matthew into the nice boy we took on vacation with us. We’ve heard fewer, “mine’s” out of him today, and he’s only pushed Bryson down once. We’re getting there.

And everyone is napping and sleeping in their rightful places again!

(Please don’t think that I think Matthew is perfect. He’s not. Just ask the neighbor boy he bit (first time for that – GAH!) last week and his preschool teachers who keep teaching him to NOT TAKE TOYS FROM HIS FRIENDS! Ha!)


The Monday Snapshot – Pack ’em Up!

I packed up all of Bryson’s 6-12 month clothes today – 95% of which were never worn. Matthew was built true to size, so lived in jeans (you all know how much I love to dress my boys in jeans EVERY DAY) and sweaters but Bryson is just too husky for jeans. What this means is that he has not gotten any use out of Matthew’s monstrous wardrobe (6-12 months is my largest collection so far) – and hanging them all up in his closet was a true waste of time. 🙂 I was so hopeful that these clothes would get a second round of usage but no. Oh well.

What this has also meant is that Bryson has gotten all new clothes and has a style all his own, which is fun! He has spent the winter so far in super cozy sweater one pieces and everywhere we go, people say that he looks so cuddly and comfortable… Two words that actually describe him well!

I went through our 12-18 month supply and it’s mostly summer stuff, so I need to buy some long sleeved t-shirts and sweaters. The 12-18 month jeans are working for now, so I will be taking full advantage of that… Even if I have to roll up the legs quite a bit!

Here’s to hoping that maybe these clothes will get another chance if we have a third (boy desired!). If not, someone at the consignment stores will be hitting the jackpot in a couple of years!

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The Monday Snapshot – It’s Going

Sleep training is in full effect (or is it affect? I don’t know, and I’m banging this out on my phone so I’m not looking it up) over here. Night one was ROUGH with 5 wakings, which was better than the night before, so it’s a win in my book. Night two, last night, was rough in its own special way but looking back on it, was better than night number 1.

We decided to try to eliminate all night feedings during this little exercise so that I don’t have to do it twice. I’m no idiot. So I added that little tid bit to my plan/spreadsheet. I love the Ferber book for making this so easy to figure out. Anyway, here’s our night:

Bryson went 4 hours between feedings on night 1, so our goal was 4.5 hours last night. He went from 8:45 – 3:26 so 6 hours and 45 minutes. WIN

Bryson did wake up before I fed him – a couple of times. Once at 11:00 with a very quick resolution and no checks from me (was asleep before the 5 minute interval was up). The second waking started at 11:40 or so, and went on and on until 12:56. I only went in once because of the timing interval, but he would fall back asleep and up again within 5-10 minutes. This happened several times but he was never up for even 5 minutes after that first waking. I count that cluster of wakings as one since he never really settled in between whimpers.

When Bryson fell back asleep at 12:56, it hadn’t yet been 4.5 hours from his last feeding, so I waited for the next waking to feed him. He didn’t even stir until 3:26.

I did fall asleep nursing Bryson (oops) for an hour. SHIT! But it was nice! I put him back to bed at 4:35 and he woke up then for the day at 6:00.

I forced him back to sleep with me in bed until 7:00.

All in all, Bryson got 9.5 hours of sleep, which I’ll take. A win since he got just over 9 hours on night one. Three wakings are better than 5. Another win!

Naps are rough – he has always cried when putting hm down, but never longer than 14 minutes. That is still the case now. He does fuss and cry mid-nap a lot, but never longer than a couple of minutes before he’s back asleep. I just got him out of his crib from a 1.5 hour nap (with interruptions) and he’s now nursing and sleeping beside me.

So I think it’s going well. Better than it did with Matthew (I think… Because I lost his spreadsheet somehow). This age is much easier so far than 9.5 months was!!


The Monday Snapshot – Two Peas in a Pod

These boys – I tell you – they are such great buddies! Matthew didn’t really have a rough time adjusting to his new brother, but there were moments where he’d get frustrated and act out. I can count on less than two whole hands how often Matthew’s shown any type of anger towards Bryson. We are used to hugs, kisses, and requests to hold Bryson. We’re used to lots of love being shown in both directions between our two boys.

Lately, though, Matthew has sort of ignored Bryson altogether. Matthew is Bryson’s entire world, his favorite person of all time. Bryson spends much of his day gazing at his big brother, trying desperately to get his attention. For the most part, Matthew rarely looks over during those moments, and it’s a little heartbreaking, even though we know he means nothing at all by it.

The last few days have shown a marked difference in how Matthew views his brother, though. He seeks Bryson out, kisses him FIRST every morning, entertains him in the bath tub, kisses his boo boos, requests to hold him, and tends to him when he’s crying. If Matthew gets in the tub before his brother, he requests we get him right away. We are so tickled that he’s doting on his baby brother again, and giving him the attention he so desperately craves from Matthew.

Bryson can’t play in his gym without Matthew coming to play too. There are moments of taking toys away, but for the most part, they play together. Yesterday, I caught Matthew watching Bryson to see what he’d do with a toy. Of course it went straight into Bryson’s mouth, and Matthew followed his lead by putting the toy he had in his mouth too… And he was so pleased to be like his baby brother.

They melt my heart!