All the Sun For You

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


BIG Boy Changes

Bryson has been an amazingly easy kid to put to, and keep in, bed. He tells us when he’s tired, asks for naps and bedtime, and sleeps 10 hours each night and 1.5-2.5 hours each day. Hottie has been suggesting for months that we convert his crib to the toddler bed so that he can get himself out in the mornings and I’ve refused because, “why would we do that? He doesn’t climb out yet.” I said we’d convert the crib once it became a necessity.

It’s become a necessity!

Two mornings in a row, he’s shown up beside my bed asking to, “snuggle buggle in your bed.” I had him show me how he climbs out and he’s quite nimble, but I don’t want him slipping and falling off the rails in the dark (5:45, good god). So… I braced myself for hell and converted his crib.

No hell. No hell at all.

He napped there for 2 hours and went to bed tonight without a problem. At this point, the only problem I foresee is that there is no guard rail because I broke it today while putting it on. So, the floor is covered with pillows in case he rolls out. He stays pretty put at night, so I’m betting 50/50 odds where Matthew would have been 99/1 odds that he’d fall out (the kid has always rolled around all night long)! ūüėĀ

Hoping hoping hoping I’m right!

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Friday Favorites – Fun Week!

When I went to select my favorite photos from the week, I was stunned by how many I had!  Last week, it was hard to find enough for this post, and this week, I found way too many!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

It has been a week of “snuggle buggles!”¬† Both of my boys have been very affectionate this week with both of us, asking for “snuggle buggles” and hugs and kisses all day long.¬† I’ll take as much of this as I can get, because I know that they won’t want me to love on them forever!¬† Bryson wants his snuggles after his daily nap, and Matthew wants them just before bedtime or right after he wakes up in the morning.¬† I caught a couple of these moments, one with each of them.¬† I feel lucky to have these!

Favorite Realization of the Week:


Matthew is so creative, and this week, we found out just how wild his imagination is!¬† We got a huge box from Amazon this week and it is sturdier than normal, so it’s lasted a LOOOOONG time in the house.¬† Matthew works on it daily, making it into an “ice cream robot” and he asked us for paper towel rolls for the arms.¬† Hottie brought a bunch home from work (don’t ask me why they had so many there, I don’t know) and Matthew got to work.¬† I have no tape left in the house¬† ūüėČ

Favorite Meal of the Week:

Whenever I go back to basics, we have a great meal.  I made curry bison burgers tonight, paired with roasted sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes are new РHottie brought them home and I was going to mash them (like always) but he asked that I make them the way I make all of our veggies (tossed in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and put in a hot, hot roasting pan).  They were delicious and they were perfect with the bison burgers.  We were both so happy with dinner that we finished it off with an ice cream bar dessert!

Favorite Purchase of the Week:


I received a coupon code for a free metal photo ornament from Shutt.erfly because of my heavy usage of Bing, so I ordered one for the first time ever.¬† I love it so much – it warms my heart every time my eye catches it.¬† I love it so much that I’m having them made for all of our years with kids so far.

Favorite Project of the Week:

This one is a no brainer – our advent calendar project!¬† I am having so much fun with this and the kids are too.¬† Sure, there are rough moments, but all-in-all, the kids are loving it and every time I say, “let’s do our project!” they come running screaming with glee.¬† It’s actually quite unreal – they’re enjoying it way more than I thought they would!

Favorite Daddy Moments of the Week:

Like I said, these boys have been super affectionate this past week.¬† Matthew has been getting a lot of bloody noses at night and comes into our room in tears, needing help getting cleaned up.¬† Of course we let him climb into bed with us and we all snuggle.¬† Hottie and I don’t get much sleep, but there’s something magical about sleeping next to your child.

And straight from FB:¬† “This is evidence that a 4-year old cannot keep a Christmas present secret. I took Matthew to target today to pick out his gifts for Daddy and Bryson. Before Hottie was in the door, Matthew announced what his present was and, when we gave it to Hottie, Matthew shouted to Bryson, “AND I GOT YOU A HOT WHEELS TRACK WITH GRAVE DIGGER AND A DINOSAUR!!!!!”¬† Matthew is a giver, not a receiver, and he gets so excited about giving gifts to people that he can’t hold his horses.¬† He is¬† He cannot keep a secret (or lie).¬† It was the cutest thing ever and I just melted!¬† All three of my guys got to work on “Daddy’s present that he’ll share with us” and played mini-hoops until dinner!

Favorite Workout of the Week:


It’s been a rough week here, some devastating news came our way.¬† I REALLY needed to get out and run OUTSIDE and the day after receiving a tough phone call, the clouds parted and the winds stopped.¬† I went for a 5 mile run by the boys’ school and really didn’t know where I was headed when I took off.¬† I did an out-and-back for 3.1 miles and then wanted another 2 miles, so headed one way from the school for a mile.¬† I was really hurting after 0.6 miles out but for some reason, kept pushing.¬† Just as I was about to turn 1.0 miles, I looked up and realized I was right outside the cemetery where my friend’s nephew was buried in September.¬† I ran into the cemetery, turned off my music, and had a chat with Sam.¬† It was peaceful, it was calming, and my soul felt better.

Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

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THIS Moment in Time (#35) – Special

Someone asked me the other day if I still nap with both boys every day. It’s hit and miss, and Bryson is sleeping longer in his crib now so most days, he’s really ready to be up when he wakes up. This works well for my workout schedule but not so well for my need for snuggles.

Bryson took a nice morning nap and was due at 1:45 for his afternoon nap. He actually laid down on our bedroom floor as I got Matthew in bed. By the time I got to Bryson, he was overtired and punchy. He wouldn’t nurse, he wouldn’t sleep. He screamed bloody murder for me. I went and tried nursing again and that time, he dozed off… But screamed again when I put him in the crib.

He’s in bed with us now. It’s magical and perfect and I know these days are numbered so I’m embracing it!




A Week of Transition

Next week, summer will officially be over in this house.

I’m sort of sad about it.

We had a really great, busy summer – the type of summer I always envisioned with kids.¬† Weekend trips away, full weeks of summer camps, swimming lessons, trips to the parks and zoo, and a bunch of other random things thrown in there.¬† Bryson changed leaps and bounds and turned into a bona fide toddler – walking, more talking, stacking blocks, holding his own with his brother, and turning into quite the comedian.¬† Matthew turned into a big kid overnight – learning to be confident in the water, becoming an excellent talker (you’d never know there was ever a delay there!), mastering how to introduce himself to strangers and soliciting their names in return, and deciding that “I’ll do it myself!” is his preferred way to do EVERYTHING.¬† Hottie and I somehow found our way out of a rather concerning slump and ended the summer completely in love with one another once again.

So yeah – a little sad to see it end.

But with this seasonal change, our routine is changing too and that’s a great thing!¬† Matthew starts school again on Tuesday and will be going three half-days a week this year.¬† I’m going to be his “room mother” – something I’ve wanted to do since we started talking about school but knew it would be too much last year with a new Bryson in the mix.¬† Hottie’s role is changing a bit at work and he’s looking forward to the change, even if it means a loftier quota goal.¬† He’s always up for the biggest challenges, and never fails.¬† We’ll see how this year goes, but I have high hopes for him!¬† I’m full-on back into my own health and fitness and have a lot of goals of my own in that department, as well as goals to not make things all about me, me, me while sticking to my health goals.¬† I am a mother, first and foremost, after all!¬† If I can find time to go to the gym every day, I can find time and ways to keep my kids engaged and soaking up the good stuff that life has to offer!

So this past week has been about transition.

Hottie had to take a work trip to NYC to better engage one of his clients, all while taking part in this fiscal year’s planning meetings remotely.¬† The timing wasn’t great for him or his partner, but they made it work well enough.¬† Kicking off the fiscal year is always a time of stress and extra work for Hottie and all of his coworkers – but it’s also a time of intense energy and optimism!

Matthew had his sneak-a-peak at school on Wednesday and was very excited to meet his new teacher (and sad to finally realize that he’s not going to see Mrs. E and Mrs. Y every day – he loved his teachers last year!).¬† He did great meeting Mrs. S and Mrs. M and introduced himself to them like a pro!¬† His new classroom is twice as large as last year’s, and I’m excited for him to have more space to explore.¬† He’s already talking about going to Mrs. S’s “house” next week (everything is a house – the pork house, the chicken house, the yogurt house, Katie’s house (our hair stylist), etc.) and is super excited to play with his new friends!

Bryson is getting more comfortable with his mobility and is making me very aware that parenting him is going to be an entirely different experience than was parenting Matthew.¬† He is so adventurous and always trusts that he’ll land on his feet (I hope he always does, literally and figuratively).¬† He is so hilarious, even though he only has 10 words.¬† He’s going to keep me very entertained when Matthew is in school!¬† Bryson is still needing two naps a day, but sometimes he takes just one.¬† Poor kid – he’s always in the car!¬† This fall is going to be one of big-time effort kicking that one night-time feeding and probably weaning him.¬† I just don’t think he’ll sleep through the night until he’s weaned.¬† He likes to have a visit from mama (and her boobs).

I’ve spent the last week fine-tuning my fitness plan and finally have it worked out to not interfere with school and to maximize my one-on-one time with Bryson while Matthew’s in school.¬† We bought a punching bag for the garage and I started running this week, so I’ll do those things on strength days and then serious cardio 3-4 days a week at the Y.¬† I’ll still be going to the Y probably 6 days a week, but at times that work better for the boys.¬† I’ve also taken a step back from a friendship this week that was becoming a bit toxic.¬† I need to write a post all about that, just to get it out, but it’s worth a mention because I’ve been trying to find a way to step back for months but finally found a way yesterday – during transition week.

Like I mentioned earlier, Hottie and I have really found our ways back to one another.¬†¬†We left the boys overnight for the first time ever last Saturday in preparation for our trip to Colorado without them in two weeks.¬† We plan to leave them again later in the fall for a weekend.¬† We’ve been going out on more dates and have been really making each other a priority – and it feels great!¬† We’re getting back into fitness together – the entire reason we met in the first place – and are working out together whenever we can.¬† When I finished my 10 week fitness program on Saturday, Hottie and I went out for our night without the boys and he had a card for me that was so nice and¬†so thoughtful – that I¬†cried.¬† He texted me last night after the frustrating exchange with my friend and told me that I’m a great mom and “AWESOME wife” – something I’m not sure he’s said much in the last couple of years (man, having young kids is hard on relationships, isn’t it?¬† How do we forget to care properly for one another?).¬† I know I’m riding on a high here, but it feels like a great transition that we desperately needed.

Change is good.¬† Change is necessary.¬† Change is the name of the game.¬† I’m just glad we took a week to really focus on the transition and embrace what the changes mean.¬† So often, things change without us noticing, but I knew back on 8/1 that this week would be one of reflection and transition – and it’s been good!

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THIS Moment in Time – A First

We’re talking about weaning. I dropped the morning wake-up nursing yesterday and it went OK (once there was a yogurt distraction). I dropped it because it wasn’t needed after having fed Bryson just 2 hours earlier, not really because I wanted to start weaning. But it went well so I’m going to try to be consistent.

Tonight, as I was sobbing about Lily, B took Bryson for bedtime books and then decided to rock him. He fell asleep, and is sleeping soundly. If OK with B, I’d like to make this a routine.

Dropping that bedtime feeding last with Matthew hurt my heart. I still cry thinking about the last time I nursed him. The last time I nursed Bryson to sleep may just be last night, when he slept all night with me in a hotel bed, nursing off and on. It was our best hotel night to date with him, and being perfectly honest, I really enjoyed it! If that’s our last nurse-to-sleep at bedtime feeding, then what a sweet memory for me. I’m happy with it. No tears.

Of course tonight may be a fluke and I may be nursing him to sleep again tomorrow. But tonight may be the first of many nights of B putting Bryson to bed, and that’s ok with me. It really is.


THIS Moment in Time (#32)

We’re all in my bed, finishing up naps. Bryson slept 1.75 hours in his crib before fussing and coming in to snuggle with us. I’m nursing him and he’s out cold again, which I just love!

Matthew stirs a lot in his sleep and will reach over and flutter his fingers, clearly reaching for something. Every time Bryson’s here with us and Matthew’s fingers touch his head, he then puts his whole hand on Bryson’s head, pats it a bit, and settles down with his hand on his brother’s head. He never opens his eyes. This just melts my heart every.single.time.

It just happened a minute ago:


THIS Moment in Time (#?) – I Spy

B put a new camera in Matthew’s room so that we can try to get rid of one of the monitors on my nightstand. The picture is perfectly clear, letting us see exactly what is going on. Poor kid… He’s going to have a hard time getting away with anything now. Ha ha!

And here’s our poor little guy with croup. He looks like he always does in these photos, but I really appreciate being able to see his chest movements tonight with the video streamed to my phone. The minute he wakes up, he’s coming into our room to sleep in the pack and play. I hate not having him with us when he’s so sick, but I wanted him to fall asleep in his familiar space.


THIS Moment in Time (#30)

Bryson is doing really well lately at sleeping. I’ve been way more relaxed sleep training him than when I trained Matthew because, well, we’re doing it 3.5 months sooner this time which means I’m not nearly as sleep deprived as I was with Matthew. With Matthew, I was so tired of being tired that it felt like brute force to get him trained (even though it really wasn’t). This time around has taken longer, with a vacation break in the middle, and is just more relaxed.

And last night, as I got ready for bed, I thought, “please, god, let tonight be the night.”. I then laughed at myself because I know it doesn’t work that way.

But last night was the night, and I credit these little 5:30-6:00 cat naps for it. We’ve been doing this 3 days in a row, and things have progressively gotten better. Bryson slept from 8:30-7:00 last night with just one 9-minute sleep transition at 3:09 (which did not require my assistance).

I know that we’re not fully ‘there’ yet, but it’s a start.

And thanks to these little cat naps, I’m getting the snuggles I’m giving up each night (which was hurting my heart a bit). Everybody wins when we snuggle!


Wrapping up the Holidays

Here we are, it’s 2014, and I haven’t visited my own blog in ages. So sad… so very sad.

Things have been busy with the holidays.¬† My parents planned a family trip to Colorado starting on Christmas Eve, lasting until the 27th, and that trip put a wrench in everything holidays-related.¬† We were scrambling to buy gifts in time to ship them to the hotel, get things for the flight (stroller, accessories, car seat bag), and pack all four of us¬†up for a four-day trip.¬† The trip preparations put a damper on everything else, including decorating the house and getting the lights up outside (which never happened).¬† Needless to say, I was a total Scrooge this year.¬† It just didn’t feel like Christmas.¬† I felt robbed – and I still do – in a way.

The trip was great – well – great in an “adult trip” sort of way.¬† The resort was fantastic (a very special place to my family and a resort that B and I have travelled to many times because it’s special to us too!), the room was spacious (my father insists we call it a suite, which is sooooo not me!), seeing my sisters and their kids was unforgettable, and the food was great.¬† But my goodness – B and I spent so much time in the room suite with napping/sleeping kids that¬†I felt like I wasn’t able to do the things we were there to do (spend time with my parents, sisters, and their families) and that made me very grumpy.¬† I wasn’t upset with the kids – they nap (and well) and go to bed early (thank God!) – I was upset that we took our kids away from home ON Christmas to spend it in an unfamiliar place.¬† The times we spent with my family WERE great and super fun, but I just felt so disconnected from the whole thing, including Christmas in general.¬† I have nicely told my dad that we will not be doing that again while we have small kids – and he gets it.¬† I think he knows it was hard for my younger sister and me (she has 3 young kids who nap and go to bed early as well).

(I do want to make a note here that both Matthew and Bryson were complete angels on both flights.  Matthew sat in the big seat without his car seat, and he sat still and was a good boy both ways (and slept the entire return flight).  Bryson nursed and slept on the way up for both flights and flirted with everyone once we reached our cruising altitudes.  The descent on the return flight got to his ears and he cried, but no one can be upset about that.  Poor baby.  We are going to fly again this spring and are super calm about it now knowing how well the boys did for this trip.)

We celebrated with B’s family the weekend before Christmas and it was nice!¬† There were some annoying things like our 4 year-old niece being nasty to Matthew and our nephew constantly referring to Matthew as, “that kid,” but I put a stop to both of those situations immediately so that we could move on with merriment.¬† HA!¬† Matthew still is not into opening presents and I had to give him a time-out to get him to come sit with us to open his gifts.¬† After doing that, I read that that was the entirely WRONG thing to do so relaxed a great deal about his lack of interest in his gifts both in Colorado and then at our house on the 29th.¬† I’m learning… I’m learning¬† ūüėČ

We got home from Colorado on the 27th and no gifts were wrapped, so we didn’t celebrate on the 28th.¬† On the morning of the 28th, we felt a strong need to see B’s parents and let the kids have some good interaction with grandparents who are into them (my parents are not into any of the kids – they just aren’t).¬† That was good for my soul – it was great to be with B’s parents who are so happy to see us whenever we can¬†make it work¬†(every other week or so) and it was nice to just be still with them.¬† I’m not sure that makes sense – but that’s how it felt.¬† I always leave them feeling relaxed, which was not always the case.¬† B’s mom and I have come a¬† very long way in our relationship and respect for one another.¬† It feels good!

We finally did our Christmas on the 29th.¬† The best part about it was wrapping presents the night before.¬† B and I setup shop in the basement and I put the art easel together as he wrapped, wrapped, wrapped!¬† He bought a bunch of fun little toys for the boys, things I hadn’t seen yet, and he wanted to keep it that way so that I was surprised when the boys opened their gifts as well.¬† That was fun!¬† I picked out the discovery tower (for the kitchen) and the easel and put them both together since they were my ideas and because I like putting things together.¬† It worked out great!¬† I got a little tipsy with my favorite beer – hooray!¬† The next morning, Matthew took forever opening his gifts which was A-OK with me.¬† He got some super fun stuff from B and it was fun to see his reaction to things.¬† B is an AWESOME gift giver for the kids!¬† And this year – he NAILED it with his gift for me.¬† It made me cry a bit.

I got a wild hair on (our) Christmas morning and asked B if he wanted me to make a big prime rib dinner if I¬†could find a roast (being after Christmas and all).¬† Of course he said yes (he loves my prime rib… and I will say that it is pretty good thank-you-Williams-So.noma!) so I got to work and spent almost 7 hours in the kitchen cooking, cooking, cooking.¬† Oh my god, it was like the best gift to myself!¬† Cooking big dinners relaxes me a great deal – prepping food calms my nerves.¬† I made cheese fondue (gruyere cheese, Emmentaler cheese, dry white wine, salt, pepper) as our appetizer, endive salads with blue cheese and bacon, prime rib and roasted asparagus, and chocolate fondue for dessert.¬† It was awesome – so fun to sit down to a multi-course meal together as a family!¬† We invited B’s brother who is always a fun addition to the evening!

So our holidays ended much better than they started.  They ended with loving grandparents, a happy family unit, well-rested kids (finally!), perfect gifts, and a fantastic (if I do say so myself) dinner.  Finally Рfinally Рit felt like Christmas 4 days after the fact.

Our tree is undecorated and ready for the wood chipper.¬† The kids are back to their normal sleeping routines (Bryson is sleeping almost through the night with an early morning feeding sometime between 3:45 and 5:45 before sleeping again until 7:00-8:00 each morning).¬† Our laundry from the trip (and afterwards) is almost all caught up.¬† All of the new toys have homes within our home.¬† NYE was celebrated¬†in an unconventional way by letting Matthew stay up to watch The Po.lar Exp.ress in our bed and then sleep all night with us (oh the joy!).¬† And we’re now looking forward to a 2014 full of travel (starting Jan 9th to KC) and better fitness… and much-needed (and deserved) sleep.

As my Aunt Linda loves to say – HUZZAH!