mommy + baby


A Little Tune For The Birthday Boy


Happy Birthday To You...

Happy Birthday To You...

Happy Birthday...

Dear Jake...

Happy Birthday...

To You...

You...the one who captivated me before I ever laid eyes on you...the one who four years ago today came from my womb...the one for whom I prayed...

I wish you the happiest of birthdays not only today but always!

Oh! And to answer the question you asked me earlier, "How much do you love me, Mommy?"...I love you to the moon and back...twice!


Lost and Found



Locks of Jake's hair from the first time it was cut...

An invitation (yes, I keep one for sentimental reasons from every single birthday) from his One-year birthday celebration...



All three...

two this week by me when I organized what was my disastrous sewing, scrapbooking and wrapping paper-housing closet in our bedroom...

and one by God's unfailing, wonderful, Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace
how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me...
I once was lost
but now am found
was blind
but now I see.



These two (and all of us as one big family of four for that matter)...

were reunited on Tuesday after spending a three whole days apart.

Our separation started on Saturday when my mom and dad came over to watch Jake take his swimming lesson and show Parker some love before he "outgrows Jake" (as my dad put it). We were all together for that part...and the part where we all went to Cracker Barrel for lunch...but when the grandparents started their trip back home, their backseat was one Jake plus one suitcase full.

While Jake was riding tractors and searching for monsters through my parent's house with his cousin Emily, Jim and I were here with Parker.




Three whole days we had to soak in our newest newborn. We took naps at the same time, ate dinner without realizing he was even in our presence, passed him from chest to chest, snuggled him between us in bed and talked about who he looks like most, and pulled double-duty when he needed a bath. While our normal routine consists of major tag-teaming, for these three days, there were two people with two pairs of hands, two hearts, and two sets of open arms all for one little one. I instantly remembered what this phase of life was like when Jake was this age, and it was Heaven on Earth...


Now, our new Heaven on Earth is the completeness we feel when Jake is here. It's the controlled chaos. It's asking Jake to pick up his toys that he's been playing with all night and seeing him go crazy with excitement when I tell him he can help me get Parker ready for bed. It's reminding him that we pat backs and bottoms, not heads and watching him jump on our bed while he watches TV. It's knowing that Parker isn't as excited about the newest dinosaur that came from the treasure box at school, but pretending that he is just to make his big brother proud. It's hearing over and over, "We love Parker! Don't we, Mommy?" and being comforted in the fact that he still doesn't think he's too big to lay on my lap.

So while we treasured every moment of the precious hours we spent with Parker and can't wait to make both he and Jake feel extra special by spending time with them individually, we treasure even more being back together again.

Yep!  Being reunited definitely feels so good!









What I'm Loving...Going Into This Week


I'm loving...

walks around campus and names spelled in sidewalk chalk...

birth announcements ordered and trips to Michael's for birthday party decor...

heart-shaped candy and strawberry-frosted cupcakes...

a Curious George shower curtain found on sale that's on its way to my doorstep and I love you's...

cards, e-mails, and phone calls to welcome Parker and strawberries dipped in chocolate...

inflatable dinosaurs and breakfast at Cracker Barrel...

handprints and footprints on paper and Secretariat...

sunshine and A Little Book of Love given to me by my mom...

and to wake up another day and feel blessed beyond measure. 

Out For A Stroll


So the wind from sails isn't exactly blowing through my hair.

But when you're small enough

to fit

into one of these,

and it's actually okay with your mom

for your big brother to push you around,

going out for a stroll

is a pretty big deal.


if it's the last thing I do

I will mail the Thank You card that's been sitting on my kitchen counter all week...if it's the last thing I do.

I will tell you What I'm Loving this week and remove the foam Nerf dart that's stuck to our back door...if it's the last thing I do.

I will stop freshening up the load of laundry that's in my dryer and finally fold and put what's in there away...if it's the last thing I do.

I will throw away the sauerkraut in our fridge that's making it almost unbearable to open the door and order Parker's birth announcements...if it's the last thing I do.

I will invite friends and family to Jake's fourth birthday party...if it's the last thing I do.

I will swaddle my sweet-smelling, milk-mustached, full-bellied, babe and place a dozen Goodnight kisses on his head...and it's the last thing I'm going to do.

It's moving day...and I'll cry if i want to


Yesterday, Parker made the move - the one I've known was going to happen but kept putting off. Sigh... What I'm trying to say is, he's no longer a semi-permanent resident in mine and Jim's bedroom. He's in his very own room - in his very own bed - surrounded by his very own belongings.

And I keep asking myself why I'm having such a hard time with this. Is it because he's my second born? And my last? Is it because I'm just overly emotional? And is that because I've had my tubes tied? Is it because I know a chapter in his little life has already closed? And because I know now more than ever after watching Jake grow up to be almost four in just a couple of weeks, that time truly does fly by? I'm still pondering...

And I really didn't intend for it to be M-Day. But yesterday morning I woke up in a down-to-the-nitty-gritty cleaning mode (I guess that's what happens when I haven't actually been the one to clean my house since December when I went on bed rest. My amazing husband - whom I have no idea what I would do without and appreciate in a thousand plus ways - has been doing it all. And I can't leave out my mom, either. She's been a relief and a huge help not only to me, but to him too with keeping it tidy around here over the past five weeks). And had this happened any time before January, I would have sworn it was just me nesting. Or maybe this was the nesting I never did. Hmmm... Anyway, this sort of cleaning "spree" I was on had me moving furniture out to vacuum behind it (including the baseboards)...even getting behind the washer and dryer in our laundry room. And when I moved Parker's pack-n-play out of our bedroom into his, it just sort of stayed there.

I fought the urge to move it back in the place it's been for more than four weeks. I kept telling myself it might be easier to just do it - to just get it over with. Jim said, "There's no rush" (Yes, even he realizes how fleeting these moments are). But even then, I felt as if I didn't face it yesterday, it would have to be one day and no less easy.

So I stuck with my decision, I stuck Parker in his crib, and I stuck it out. He slept like the baby that he is, and actually so did I - other than the one time that I'll admit to getting out of bed unnecessarily to take a peek at him.

Now if I can just get used to the feeling that our room doesn't have a lick of furniture in it, I think I'll be okay.




How do you know what's causing your five week old to have acne on his face? All of a sudden...out of nowhere?

How many times can they possibly show advertisements for Justin Bieber's movie that's coming out this weekend?

How can we go from having snow on the ground just two days ago to sixty-nine degree weather by this coming Thursday?

How do I let go of Parker sleeping soundly in his pack-n-play in the corner of our bedroom? Hearing his grunts? And newborn squeaks?

How many episodes of this season's Bachelor will Brad Womack's therapist appear on?

How is one house a gazillion times more dusty in the Winter time than the Summer time?

How angelic is this snow angel?


Don't answer that...

Even though he really does look super cute in this picture (in his mommy's unconditionally loving opinion).



No, Spanish is not a second language for me.

But I just so happened to notice Dora the Explorer was on when I scrolled through the guide on my television a while ago, and ever since then, the few words of the Spanish language that I know have been stuck in my brain. So instead of a good 'ole English language "Thank you", you get a good 'ole "Gracias" instead.

Anyway, what I really want to say is a huge, heart-felt "Thank you" to my girls at U of A who (when I'm at work full-time), I spend more waking hours with each week than I do my family. The ones who laugh with me and make me laugh, watch the same TV shows I do each week, listen when I need to vent, shop in the same places for kids' clothes, get ecstatic over planning birthday parties for the ones they birthed, and love their families more than life itself just as I do mine. They are truly picking up my slack, pulling my weight, filling in my gap, and making it possible for me to enjoy another seven weeks of pure newborn, bonding bliss and think of nothing else.

They are on my mind tonight, and I just wanted to say to them... Thank You! Or Gracias! Or any and every other word in every other language that means "Thanks for everything!"

Just to Get It Off of My Chest


Right at this very moment, I feel completely I'm living in complete chaos. I feel like there aren't enough hours in any day of the week. I look at my clock, and it always seems to say 11 am. What happens to the hours between 6 am and 11 am, I have no idea. They literally disappear from my eyes, I could almost swear. By this time, Parker has had his brunch (probably around 9 or 9:30 am - I wouldn't know exactly because once again, I never see my clock before it says 11), and has turned out his lights. I think this may be the part where I try to get some of those things done that I think need to be and definitely the ones that have to be. It's 12:30 by now, and Parker asks to be fed his lunch. I realize I haven't even eaten mine, and I look around and wonder what in tarnation I've done with all of the hours in my morning.

And today this seems to be even more exaggerated than usual. There's snow on the ground outside (which is melting, by the way), so I decided to let Jake stay at home with Parker and I. And I love every second of him being here, but picking up the pieces that belong to his Lightning McQueen puzzle, his hat, gloves, and shoes from going out into the snow twice this morning, and telling him, "No, let's put that away because that's not a toy, and, "Let's not blow bubbles in Parker's face, Sweetie.", have made me feel even more like this day has blown completely by me.

Our bed is unmade and somewhere hidden underneath the covers lies six Scooby-Doo Silly Bands, Spaghetti-O's are still on the table from lunch and are probably nearly dried on forever by now, a blob of cornstarch powder is laying in Parker's pack-n-play (it fell over during his last diaper change...oh, and that's what I'm supposed to be using to clear up the rash on his tushy per Dr. B. by the way), the dishwasher has a sign on it visible only to me that says "Unload Me", our fish gave me the stare down when I passed by his bowl a short while ago, and Jake just informed me that he drank some of the bubbles he was blowing in Parker's face earlier this morning. I could also keep going and tell you taking a bath in my own tub would do me no good because it's still full of hair that's now stuck to the sides from me shaving my legs several nights ago, and at one point this afternoon, Jake was warming his toilet seat and taking care of his business while Parker was doing his as I held him in my arms. Projects keep piling up, yet go undone, and I won't allow myself make a "To Do" list because I'm just down right afraid of what it will actually look like.  (Taking deep breaths, counting 1, 2, 3, taking deep breaths, counting 1, 2 3...).

Whew!  I'm glad I just got that off of my chest.

And now I feel ten times better, so I'm off to see if I can clean that hair I mentioned out of my tub and take the bath I haven't had since yesterday at lunch time.

And then maybe I'll come up with that "To Do" list I've been so afraid of making.


Where Shall We Wander Today?

If you guessed Jake and Parker's pediatrician's office, then you guessed right (unfortunately there's no prize for that, though). Because there's no way we can go a whole week with out seeing Dr. B. It just wouldn't be a week in The Landers' Life (which is going to be the title of my blog when it's all customized, by the way, some time in April) if we didn't. And yes, I'm wiping my brow as I type that sentence because today it was for Parker's one month routine visit.

We discussed a small rash and raw skin that he has on his little tushy and found out that he now weighs eight pounds and eleven and a half ounces and is twenty-one and a half inches long. He got a clean bill of health, his Hepatitis B booster, and the Reddest-Face-of-the-Day award (bless his heart). Oh!...and a consolation prize of the Tasmanian Devil band aid he's still wearing on his left thigh (which Jake thinks is pretty cool, of course).

And now he sits perched on my chest having just finished his (almost) midnight snack while I blog.

There's snow on the ground outside, and it's still coming down...which means we'll be wandering no where tomorrow.

And that's more than okay with me.

But only now that we've met our quota of doctor's visits for the week, of course.

One Month


He is one

month old today

and he's made it

one of the best months of our lives!

Parker, I love you unconditionally and indescribably!  What you mean to us can't be written even in an entire novel.  You cause us to give praise to our Lord for the gift of you each and every day and to love more than we ever thought was possible.  Happy One Month Birthday, Punkin'!  And I wish you many, many, more!

Our Week in Review


Hmmm...I could actually probably sum this up in one short paragraph with several key phrases like mucus, vomit, and laundry, but I figured that wouldn't be any fun. And it might sound like last week was a total downer (which is wasn't) if I did that, so I'll ellaborate instead.

Thinking back, I can't believe a week ago today, we had been home from Dr. B's office for just about an hour. Parker was one snotty, coughing, vomiting, pitiful punkin', and I was pitiful right along with him. The one thing worse than being sick myself is for one of my babes to be sick, and I was just too miserable for words for him. But thankfully, his RSV test came back negative, his oxygen level was great (97 percent), and Dr. B couldn't hear anything in his lungs when he listened to his tiny chest. I felt better when we left his office, but not by much. We came home to keep "doing what you've been doing" and get our newest babe well.

On Tuesday, it was "P" day - Punishment Day and Pajama Day. Before I took Jake to school (where he got to wear pajamas - Scoody Doo ones - in honor of their studies of the letter "P), he lost his cool and I lost it with him when he called me a "stupid mommy". Not good, Buddy. Not good at all. (This is where the Punishment part comes in). And all because I wouldn't let him have another gallon ziploc bag to put some of his toys in to take to school with him (point a) I had given him two the night before, and point b) he's not supposed to take toys to school anyway.). Seriously? I keep telling myself over and over, his days of being the age of three are nearly down to single digits and wondering if the day he turns four this will all disappear. Probably not, but a momma can dream right?

On Wednesday, our spare bedroom was occupied once again. My mom got here that morning, and she was hoping she came bearing magical powers to heal Parker. Just kidding. But for real, she is way worse than me when it comes to managing the stress of sickness, so she came to offer moral support if nothing else. She cooked, she baked, she helped me make lists for things I need to make Jake's 4th birthday one to remember, we went shopping (several times...for scrapbook paper, party favors, formula, groceries...exciting stuff like that), we watched a Hallmark movie, she did our taxes, and yes, she offered major moral support. She was here all the way through Saturday - and to see Parker pull through his cold completely and Jake do his weekly laps around the pool...okay, so he's not there quite yet.

Yesterday morning, Jim and Jake went to church while Parker and I camped out on our couch and watched Dr. Stanley on TV. We all tooks naps in the afternoon and had our own little Super Bowl party here at home (complete with hot wings, sub sandwiches, and nacho cheese dip). We settled in and waited to see which commercials we would love best (or at least that's why I watched it anyway).

And then, I decided Jake was due for a three-day weekend, I was due for the best company only a three year old can give (because love erases things like being called a stupid mommy a week ago today), and Parker was due for some bonding time with the best big brother he could ever wish for. We played with dinosaurs, I wrote this blog post off and on all throughout the day, I missed Paula's Best Dishes at 11am because Little Bear was on, I hashed out what's happening on The Bachelor via text messaging, and I kissed this (and the other one, of course)...

dozens and dozens of time.


This week was definitely not a total downer.

What I'm Loving Thursday


I'm loving the extra opportunities I have to spend time with God. And all I have to do is look a few inches from my face into Parker's, and I know He's right there, spending time with me too.

I'm loving the fact that I can say Parker has kicked his cold about ninety percent to the curb, and he finally has his eating mojo back. He's back to putting his meals away like they're trying to get away from him, and that makes me one happy momma!

I'm loving having my mom back in town for a few days, and that she admits she just can't stay away.

I'm loving it that one of my favorite places to shop in town opened back up yesterday after being closed for several weeks for remodeling. And what's even more to love is the fact that Jim watched both boys so my mom and I could go and shop until our hearts were content.

I'm loving the smell of homemade chicken pan pie coming from my kitchen.

I'm loving this idea for Jake's fourth birthday bash...and yes, I'm about to use it, and I can't wait. Oh! And neither can Jake.

And last but not least, I'm loving this quote I read today...Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~Ruth Ann Schubacker

Rainy Days and Mondays


These two things don't have me down (even though it has been raining here off and on since Sunday).

But my little punkin' having a cold definitely does. And if he could say, "Thanks, Mommy! I appreciate it!", I'm sure he would. I have no idea where I got it from, but he definitely got it from me. And I absolutely hate it.

Well, wait. I probably got it from making multiple trips to Jake and Parker's pediatrician's office over the past three weeks. I swear, I have been to take one of them at one time or another to see Dr. B. a whole four times (including the trip we made yesterday - Monday - for him to listen to Parker's chest and lungs, check his oxygen level, look into his nasal passages and ears, and test for RSV - which was negative by the way - Thank you, Lord!).

The great news is, Parker seems to be on the mend, and so am I. But in the mean time, he is eating less and spitting some of his meals back up when he coughs so hard during feeding time, he's almost accustomed to having his nose suctioned out by the big green bulb, and he's had more time in the shower than I have because letting him breathe in the steam from it seems to help.

My poor baby! Did I mention I hate this? Sniff...sniff...

Another thing that doesn't have me down is thinking about what an awesome time Jake had at his first swim lesson.  He was all over it!

Yep!  My first born is a real fish in a human body.  I have no idea when I've seen him this ecstatic over something (well, except for maybe when he got Bullseye - the horse from Toy Story 3 - right after Parker was born as his gift "Big Brother" gift).

He kicked, he splashed, he nearly refused to give back the diving stick, he floated on his back (but not in the most relaxed way - we'll have to work on that one), he went completely under water...several times, he was scolded for not wanting to give back the diving stick, he blew bubbles, he jumped from the side of the pool, and he cried - not for being scolded, but because we had to leave. 

So it goes without saying that he's asking us almost every day when he'll get to go swimming again, and I couldn't be happier that he's loving every minute of it.
And speaking of loving every minute of it, I have some lovin' to give my littlest squeaker (because this cold has nearly taken all of his voice) - right after I give him another few squeezes of that big green bulb and another few ounces of the only thing on his diet, Similac Sensitive.