Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One More I Love You...

As Ed and I back ourselves out of Brian's bedroom at night, we hear him saying over and over, "Good night! I love you! Sleep well! See you in the morning! Good night! I love you! Sleep well! See you in the morning..." until we are in the hallway. It's not about stalling... or one more story... or I need a drink... or can I have a snack. It's just about love. This boy is filled with love.

When I go in to check on him before I go to sleep, I half expect one eye to open so he can make one last declaration of love and good night wishes. Part of me wishes to wake him - just so I can hug him again.

Is that kind of... strange? I don't know. But it's just how we are. It's how we've always been. This house is filled with love.

I will often put Hope to bed first so I can linger with Brian a little later and read a book or talk. He makes such a fuss over his little sister and does NOT like to miss saying good night to her. The other night the two of them kissed and hugged goodnight and then I began to head up the stairs with Hope. Halfway up I heard, "Wait! Wait for me! I need just one more kiss and hug from Hopi!" 

As the two of them met on the landing, I stood back on the steps and just watched through my camera. I didn't speak. I didn't suggest a pose or an idea. I listened as his voice went up an octave and his words softened.

And I just watched....

"Hopi! I came up to give you one more kiss! Can I have a kiss and a hug?" he asked.

"no!" she replied with a sweet voice. "I want a kiss."
"Hope, that's what I said, silly! I want a kiss! Maybe we'll dance. Want to dance first?" he suggested.
"yes." in her softest voice.
"Good night, Hopi. I hope you sleep well. I'll see you in the morning. I love you, sweetie pie," he said.
"love you, brian." she replied.

And with that, they had one more kiss and hug. And one more I love you.

Children are so pure and vulnerable and easygoing with their love. It's not until you get older that things can get in the way. Pettiness, resentments, boredom, laziness. I mean, honestly... when was the last time you ran after someone important to you for just one more I love you. One more I appreciate you. One more hug. What's keeping you from going that one extra step? It's easy to get complacent when there are chores to do or children to raise or calendars to keep. But as I watched the faces of my children light up as they danced like I wasn't watching... and loved each other without a care in the world... it convicted me. 

Everyone deserves one more I love you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Puddle Jumping at JBF!!...

I get so excited this time of year when it's time for my favorite consignment sale!! Just Between Friends! If you've been reading even for just the last year, you probably know that I'm rather obsessed with it. I sell - I shop - I make money selling things - I give it back buying things - and the Spring sale is a marker to me that SUMMER IS NEAR!!!!!! Thank God that Summer is near.

Thanks to Ed, I was able to escape the sick ward of our home and sneak over to shop for a little while. I did so, so well. Want to get an idea of how much I love this sale? No one asked me or is paying me or suggested that I write these blog posts. I just love sharing the great bargains (and adorable things). I'm always telling people - even strangers - about the sale near me. It's like a family there. I've been shopping this particular sale since Gavin was a toddler. One of the very first things I purchased was a baby walker for him, hoping it would encourage him to start taking steps. It worked... and he did!! I've been hooked ever since.

Anyway, here are just some of the steals I picked up. 

I couldn't resist getting Hope some dresses - I love her in dresses and thought these were exceptionally cute. Especially the Hanna Andersson on the far left and the Ralph Lauren navy and white at the top. All of these dresses were $20.00. All - as in... all! Crazy, right?
After laying these clothes (that didn't come together like you see) out in little outfits, I can assure you that Hope is already WAY more stylish than her Mommy. And probably always will be. One thing I really love about this sale is finding unique clothes that I would have to shop and shop in all different stores to find... something I don't have the time or the patience for. Hope is going to look so adorable this Spring and Summer! All you see pictured here cost me $50.00. That's like paying $3.00 per item. You seriously can not beat that.
I love looking for shoes at the sale. Many of them are brand new, never worn which is a bonus! Especially when you get up to Brian's age when kids are much harder on their shoes. Here are the shoes I got for him. I spent $20.00 total for all. Only one pair looked slightly worn!

Brian didn't need a lot of clothes this season as he still fits in a lot from last year, but I couldn't resist these things. Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Gap - lots of great brands and two were brand new, with tags. All for $27.00. That's like paying a little over $5.00 per piece! Not bad, eh?
I loved shoe shopping for Hope. She really just needed fun, summery shoes. Three of these pairs were brand new. The whole lot was $20.00.
Hope will be thrilled to ride this bike in the driveway. It barely looked used a day! I stole it for $10.00.
One of my favorite finds were these rain boots. (Hope's ladybug boots came with a matching umbrella!) Brian and Hope LOVE LOVE LOVE to play in water. (Sound familiar? Gavin's favorite thing in life was to play in, near, with water) Last Summer I would fill up a bucket in the driveway and it would entertain the two of them for a couple hours. So I was on a mission to buy them rain boots and I found them right away! Brian's fireman boots were $4.00 - and Hope's ladybug boot and umbrella combo was $10.00. Well worth it already. I knew they would be excited. Brian told me he can't wait to jump in puddles after the next rain. When I told him that I bought those "puddle jumpers" specifically so they could jump in puddles and go crazy he laughed and said, "Seriously?" Umm.... seriously. Is that weird? Ha!

And Hope? Well - she didn't take them off all day. I'm fairly confident she would have slept with them on if I had let her. (I'm so mean)
(p.s. - Hope is feeling much better! But she still only ate one cookie out of that container so she's still not 100% - obviously. Ha!)

If you live in my area (outside of Philadelphia/Main Line Area) - you can come to the sale!! Here are all the details:

The sale opens to the public tomorrow, March 17th at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA in Hall C.
Thursday and Friday they are open from 9am-8pm.
Saturday the hours are 8am-5pm.
Sunday is half price day where many of the items are marked half off. Those hours are 8am-3pm.
You can head to the website HERE for more information and directions.

Happy Shopping! Maybe I'll see you there!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bye, Bye, Crib...

Recently we reached a very exciting - and bittersweet - milestone. We said goodbye to Hope's crib. It's a weird feeling for me to know that I'm done with cribs forever. It went so fast! It also came much sooner than her brothers transitions. Gavin was four when he moved from a crib to his bed (the one Brian currently sleeps in!). That is really a long time to stay in a crib, but that is where Gavin was safest so there was no real reason to move him out. He had no concept of danger and would have fallen right out or gotten himself hurt in a regular bed, which is why we bought him the Courtney Bed. It was a safe bed with a zipped up enclosure. Brian wasn't ready to move out of his crib until he was three! He climbed out once and that was that. He moved to a full size bed with long side rails and stayed in one spot from bedtime until we woke him up in the morning. He's still that way!

Hope also climbed out of her crib - once. And only once. She was too scared (which says a lot for a little girl who seems fearless!!) to try it ever again. I was really nervous to move her to a bed. For one, she is fearless and I would never sleep wondering what she was doing or where she was. Two, there is a bathroom in her bedroom and with my luck she'd figure out how to open the door even if it were locked. I stalled and stalled until finally it hit me! Gavin had a SECOND bed that would be perfect for his little sister!! We got him a "Nickel Bed Tent" from Ready, Set, Bloom, Inc. for times that we travelled and needed to ensure Gavin's safety. I remember the day that it came. Gavin and Brian played in it for a long time and had so much fun. It was an instant hit. (Check out those sweet dimples on Gavin. sigh.)
 We used it on our last trip with him when we paid a visit to a specialist at Washington National Medical Center in D.C. Gavin LOVED his bed tent and giggled all night in our hotel room after we zipped him in with his light up "Twilight Turtle." It's not just for travel. Many families buy this bed for home use - especially if they are concerned about child who may wander during the night.
I felt a need to hold onto this tent after Gavin died - and didn't really know why. We gave nearly all of his things like this away so other kids could use them. But now I understand. It was like it was meant for Hope. Ed and I agreed that we'd give it a try. If she was scared of it or didn't like it - we'd just put her in a bed with side rails and pray. A lot. I was a little nervous when we said goodbye to the crib and she threw a little fit. But it turns out that was just about being two - and I said one word when she wanted to say another - or some other very critical mistake I'm sure I made. You know, "two stuff."
She helped me set it up in the same spot where her crib was and was very excited with the whole process.
We loaded up the bed with all of her "guys" and favorite blanket and she climbed right in to explore.
After lining up all of her "friends" the way she like them...
...it was time for the first test. Nap time! She slept all afternoon - a much longer nap than usual. I was constantly watching the video monitor for signs of unhappiness, but heard no complaints! She woke up happy and couldn't wait for Brian to get home so she could show off her big girl bed. "Show Brian?" was her mantra for an hour before he came home.
Brian won the "best brother" award for the fuss he made over Hope's exciting news. His voice went up an octave as he sweetly asked her, "Hopi, want to show me your big girl bed? I can't wait to see it!" They rushed up the stairs together and jumped right in so she could give him the tour.
As I sat and watched them play in Gavin's bed, it was hard to contain my emotions.
Who would have ever thought that I would have two children sleeping in two of Gavin's beds after his death? Surely not me. It feels so special. So right. 
And they are both happy and think they have the coolest beds ever... so that's a bonus.
I feel very lucky that Hope was so laid back about this big transition. She never looked back from that first nap! I took a video of her just waking up after her first night's sleep in the bed. As you can see, she's pretty "chill" about the whole thing. Like she's been sleeping in a "tent bed" for her whole life.
Hope is changing and growing so quickly. It's all going MUCH faster than I remember with the boys! She does so much more and it always takes me by surprise. She is busy and fun and sweet and happy. She is now singing songs and voicing stronger opinions and gives the best hugs and kisses. I won't lie to you - having a very active toddler at my age is a special kind of exhausting. Especially with Rheumatoid Arthritis on top of all of it. But even with those challenges - I still wish that I could slow it all down. I love this little girl that took us all by great surprise... and I don't want to miss a second of her exciting life. I hope I can always keep up.

Every day is an adventure with my sweet Hope. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...