Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Giddy Up Luca!

Luca has the funniest little "hop" to his knees. He isn't crawling yet, but he has mastered the crawling mount. He literally hoists himself up both legs at a time and tucks them in to get to the crawling position. He's so strong!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ella's first slumber partyyyyyy!!!

I...I mean, WE had soooo much fun! Ella's cousin Kenzie came over to stay with us for the weekend for their first slumber party, and boy did we party! This is one of the many reasons I love having a little girl. This was the first of many to come and I plan on planning out and attending every single one until she's a too school for cool teenager ;) (i know that's's a part of a song ella loves to jam out too). I love party planning and all things GIRLY, I love crafts and junk food, and I'm pretty goofy too...not to mention, I was a pretty experienced slumber partier in my slumber parties are right up my ally! It brought out my inner little girl that still lives inside of me and loves to come out and play. So anyway, this weekend was dedicated to the girls. And it was a good one :)

This slumber party was pretty classic...
lots of giggles...
and an inexperienced Daddy wasting way too much time trying to get everyone calm, quiet, and ready for bedtime! HA!
They even slept in the same bed! I took them a while the first night to quit giggling but the second night they were OUT. I loved the reminded me of the good ole days!

Getting ready for Spring and decorating our umbrellas!

The finished product...TA DA!!!

It was a warm beautiful Spring day so we headed off to Tappys for some frozen yogurt.
It tastes as good as it looks! Yum!

I even managed to get both girls and Luca baby down for a nap at the SAME TIME on Saturday! I wasn't expecting that, but that pretty much made me feel like an rockstar mom/hostess :)
Then we went to the park and then to church. Kenzie went back and forth from playing in Ella's room to helping me with the babies in the nursery. Then we went to McDonalds to get happy with some happy meals and then we came home to settle down with our final craft!
We made picture frames and made our own pictures inside with cutouts and contact paper.
So proud!

Then we used colored contact paper to make these fun pictures for the light!
So what did Luca do this weekend? Well, he was busy cutting his FIRST tooth! After weeks of pain and agony, his first tooth FINALLY came in Saturday afternoon. No lie. I checked it Saturday morning and it was almost there. By Saturday night, we had a little tooth. :) Then he did a lot of this...
We got up this morning and went to the park. Then we came home and had a camp out in the living room and watched movies.
Well it's obvious I'm not as young and vivacious as these two little cuties. They were still going strong this Sunday morning and Auntie/Mama was dragging a little :)

Cheers to a fantabulous weekend for the girls!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

turning over a new leaf

At the risk of sounding like a complete whack...I am proceeding with this blog post! Blogging is an outlet for me. It is like my grown up diary. I use it to document the beautiful lives of my 2 lovelies...but this blog post is different. This one is about me and it's not as cute or glorifying :) Many people say, "I'm not sure how you do it Amber!" or "I'm so proud of you, you seem to just have it all together". Well, the truth is, I don't! For as long as I can remember, I have been an organized, particular, on top of everything, and very efficient. That's just me and that's not a bad thing! But my ways and the way I've allowed anxiety to manifest itself into full blown perfectionism, I've slowly come unraveled. Like I said, this post is not as sweet as my usual posts about my pretty little girl and my handsome tiny, but it is therapeutic for me. So read on if wanna or stop if you're bored already. So here it goes...

My name is Amber Reading and I am a compulsive list maker. I have had a running to do list in my kitchen drawer for 2 years now along with multiple mini lists in my purse, on the fridge, and in my bedside table about many other things "to do". The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem right? Well, I have a problem...a big one. I live compulsively by lists to the point that I'm never (by my own standards) ahead enough or feel accomplished enough. Once I accomplish one list, I look even farther to the future to see what I can prepare for or do. I'm always doing...not really resting and not just sitting and resting and enjoying today, the here and now. Um, stressful and unfulfilling much! And I'm pretty sure it is unbiblical :) I struggle with anxiety. Not all the time...just certain seasons of my life. Each time it gets worse and the most recent time I finally gave it to the fact that there are things that I am doing and/or not owning up to that I can fight to make a change and give up control (control that I never really had). I am 27 years old and here is what I have finally learned about myself through a recent bought of anxiety...
-I am not perfect, but I am a perfectionist.
-I am not the one in control, but I am a control freak.
-I thrive on organization, but organization should not be a hobby!
-I am driven, but I have a lot on my plate and it's ok if I don't meet my self proclaimed timeline.
-I am a homemaker at heart, but in reality, I am a full time working mommy and it's ok if I
get behind on laundry, if I have a speck of dust on my furniture, If there is a kool-aid stain
on my kitchen counter, or if I don't cook fancy dinners at night after work because choose to spend what's left of the day with my babies.
-I thrive on structure and routine, but I have a toddler and a baby. ha!
-And as I recall, I do not recall anyone even suggesting that I try to be superhuman...
totally self-imposed...and crazy I might add.
-I have had a revelation that has rocked my world. As it turns out, I am in fact NOT super woman/mom/wife/friend/teacher/daughter/homemaker/sister in law/daughter in law/aunt/granddaughter/niece/etc...shocking, I know ;)

Some of my closest friends and family already know this about me. Mike knows more about it than anyone and has been encouraging and calling me out for quite some time now. Me, my aunt, my mom, and Mike are all survivors of the wedding planning days. I remember in high school, my mom calling me out for having "make a to-do list about school" on my to-do list. It was on my night stand. She probably doesn't even remember this, but she said, "you have a to-do list to make a to-do list?" and she just gave a little chuckle. It was the first time I kind of realized how compulsive my lists were/are. The past 7ish months, I've been humoring the thought of living more freely and throwing away every single to do list that I have and just making a huge step to live with a more healthy mindset and fight back on some of my natural urges to "do". To be honest, it is very frightening, uncomfortable, challenging, emotional, and down right uncomfortable. This is the way I've functioned for years. Today, after a panic attack ON the medicine that is supposed to help me not have those and just having a very overwhelming stressful day, I decided I have had enough and that was the last bit of courage I needed to move forward. I was ready to tell Mike. And of course, he took that as the go ahead and the "intervention" began! And I did it...I handed over every list which was almost like giving him a portion of my brain! I'll never remember all of that! But it already feels better. And please don't get me wrong, I am SO incredibly happy...and I do have fun. But I should be breathing a little more deeply when I'm having fun. And I shouldn't be crossing fun dates off my to do list...get me?

I mean really, has anyone ever had everything in their house clean, every dish washed, every piece of laundry folded, every project done, groceries completely stocked in pantry, each car cleaned, every closet organized, each child bathed, bills paid, checkbook balanced, made time for family and children, accomplished everything at work, ALL at the same time? Well, I have. It's exhausting. It's really no way to live. It's not fun or freeing at all. And although I am a perfectionist and a little compulsive about some things, it's really not about having all of these things done. If I get these things done, I'll make a list of movies that I haven't seen yet that I want to catch up on. So even the fun things become "to dos". It's about anxiety. It's about looking for a way to accomplish something to bring a sense calmness, control, and security. After living like this (in defeat I might add) I have officially given up! What does it all mean anyway? It means nothing to me. It is just a way I have been foolishly feeding my anxiety to "feel better" and get some relief...however, I am not relieved haha. I have been coping thinking I'll eventually conquer all my lists and have it all together. Now I am accepting the fact that I will NEVER have it all together and I have so much more to live for so as hard as it may be, I am choosing to be ok with that. I admire all of my friends that let silly things slip their minds and can laugh at themselves or can leave a pile of dishes in the sink after a dinner date to just sit and visit.

I'm really not making fun of myself..I'm just being honest and open because I feel like if I own this, I'll have a better chance of breaking free from this life of panic attacks, anxiety, and getting back to just being me and enjoying the good life. I really am a light hearted and carefree person...but I gotta keep myself in check. I keep thinking that once I get everything checked off my list, I can officially relax. Ok it's been about 10 years now and I've learned my lesson...very slowly :) I want to be able to "roll with the punches"...I have friends that do that and it seems to be much more fun :)

So to sum it all up...I am working on the real me, lighthearted and carefree. I am giving up control and fighting my anxiety, perfectionism, and compulsiveness head on! I'm making different choices because what I'm doing now...
is is healthy? no
is it realistic? BIG FAT NO
have I let being a working mom with 2 small children stop me from trying? no
have i been successful? no
am I in a good place? no
do i give up? YES!

So this is me :) I'm pretty much an open book. And if you think mama's a little "coo coo" after reading this, just remember I made those 2 little lovelies you read about on this blog ;) And I will always be looking for ways I can be better for them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

my girl

I've got sunshine, on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May.
Well, I guess you'd say,
what can make me feel this way?
My girl, my girl my girl,
talkin bout my girl...
My girl!
I've got so much honey, yeah, the bees envy me.
I've got a sweeter song, than the birds up in the trees.
Well, I'd guess you'd say,
what can make me feel this way?
My girl, my girl my girl,
talkin bout my girl...
My girl!
I don't need no money, fortune or fame,
I've got all the riches baby, one man can claim.
Well, I'd guess you'd say,
what can make me feel this way?
My girl, my girl my girl,
talkin bout my girl...MY girl!
Wooooo hooooo!

my littlest lovely- 7 months

Oh, Luca my love, I just thought I was in love 7 months ago when I brought you into this world...turbo style ;) And don't get me wrong...I was! But to say I love you more every day is an understatement. My heart almost hurts sometimes I love you so much. I say this like it is something I've never felt, but it's not. Falling in love with sissy lu was the same way. And I love her so much that I was afraid that nothing could compare to it. But it is just amazing how God gives you enough love in your heart for all your babies. I love you to pieces...everything about you is absolutely perfect to me. Even your stinky baby feet :)

7 month highlights:
-You said Mama for the first time ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!
- You can officially sit up by yourself
-You can get into the crawling position and scoot backwards!
- You have finally figured out how to drink efficiently from a bottle. Not a big fan of baby food.
- We recently weened. It was TOUGH for mommy. You still try to go for it sometimes, and that's ok! We nurse every now and then.
-I know you got a large start to this life, but believe it or not, sissy lu was bigger than you at this age!
- You have 2 little bottom teeth that are about to come through! I think by next month we will be able to document your first tooth!

And here you are at your adorable, precious, happy, lovely 7th month of life...

gosh. the pout. gets me every time.
I love this pic because you look like the baby version of ME!
I see this chunky baby booty view a lot these days as you are trying your best to go places.
This picture captures 3 of my favorite things about you: your smile, your eyelashes, and your crazy hair!
love. i am so happy.

Have I mentioned how much your sissy looooooves to love and mother you? Good thing you love your mommy because you have 2!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

luca's 6 month pics

Click HERE to see little dude's 6 month pictures! Then, click on "clients" at the top and enter the password at the bottom. The password is Luca (with a capital L).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Greetings from Thai!

When hearing "chang chang" the Thai phrase for greetings/hello, Mr. Luca has learned the hand movements/signing that goes along with it! It's so cute. He really only does it for Nit, Terry (her hubby) or Ella. They recorded it for me and sent it to me while I was at work one day and it made my day. So greetings from Luca...Thai style!

(just click play)

Most of you know or have heard of Nit...the amazing, most wonderful, loving, caring, nurturing, baby whisperer...I mean, baby sitter! She takes such good care of my babies during the day while I'm at work. I'm SO blessed to have her. She and her husband are from naturally their first language was Thai. I love that they teach cute little phrases and songs to my babies.

When Ella was a baby, they taught her the baby bumble bee song in Thai along with the signing that goes with it. It was so cute! I can't wait for Luca to learn it...maybe Ella can help teach him :)