| thirty-six // fifty-two |

Because we went to the zoo…again…but we have found that this really is our family’s happy place since moving. Saturday took a turn that left Daddy’s head spinning between a nasty DMV visit and ended with a crashed iPhone, we needed a day to turn things around!

Going back to work has been great, I am definitely a mom that loves working and being a mother, but I won’t lie that I miss having each of my days dedicated to this little jumping bean. Unfortunately Daddy is getting stuck with the toddler tantrums and keeping the dog and baby separated…any advice on that is more than welcomed! Dad goes back to work in two weeks and then we will begin daycare for the first time. I am excited and nervous about what will happen to our independent, yet delicate, little girl after she attends. I know how tough other little kids can be, but know it’s time to start. Sigh, parenthood man.

// happiest moment //

Harper looked at me while we were lying in bed together, wrapped her hands around my neck, stroked the back of my head and said “I love you mommy.” 

I would be lying if I said there was not a surge of emotions, a stream of tears and then giggles from my confused daughter who said, “mommy’ funny!” This was a moment I will treasure forever and ever.

// most embarrassed mamma moment //

It didn’t happen in public but it still was not a proud mama moment nonetheless. Harper was sitting on the potty, upset I would not give her another 12 jelly beans, when she grabbed both sides of my head shaking and screamed red-faced “MORE JELLYBEAAAANNNSSSS!” 

And there is that terrible two year old. If the two moment above didn’t describe the balance of toddlerhood I am not sure what does!

| thirty // twenty-nine |

Because this week is all about getting ready for doe and fawn to head (mid)West. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind between rushing to get all the big packing done during naps, ending work, and having the air go out in my car. This little girl has been a trooper through all the change, and the reality of leaving her for five, yes count them FIVE, days while we finish our final transition from Philadelphia to Ohio. 

This portrait seemed appropriate considering the fact that it I can barely even reach for a camera or phone without a level-3 meltdown. Somehow during this little trip to Home Depot, when I learned why these little carts are little magic made in heaven, she asked to see the plants and allowed me to snap this picture. It also was great foreshadowing of our week ahead. 

Did I mentioned that I am needing to prepare for a 7 hour trip with this little one? Advice is encouraged…and needed!

// biggest “aww..” moment //

Harper went to give my husband his nightly hug, leaned in and said “I love you Daddy.” The tears came, we all hugged and she had no idea how much that melted each of our hearts.

// death defying trick //

Her favorite thing to make my heart drop into my stomach is to ask to “walkies hands” then to “touch the window” which means that she wants to stand in our two story window but not have mommy hold her. So yeah, that doesn’t at all scare the crap out of me.

| twenty // fifty-two |

Because we are officially announcing our move back to Ohio. Since the birth of Harper I have felt a strong desire to head back home and be closer to family, and in two months it’s finally happening. I am excited to have Harper closer to her grandparents, her cousin is due to arrive Labor Day weekend and it’s the perfect place to grow our family and business! Really not much to do with this portrait, but it feels really real! 

Harper is representing my alma mater and I am over the moon with her little pigtails! I mean how is it that she no longer looks like a baby and is looking like a little girl!! Phew, this mama is having all the feels…

// favorite conversation //

Right now Harper is all about the recap. When you go into her room after a nap she tells you about what happened after you left. When you come home for the day she rattles off a list of activities she did that day. I love how each day we are starting to communicate more and more.

//  least favorite “torture” //

Having her picture taken on our bed. If you scroll through my Instagram you see our bedroom as a popular place for photos. The past two weeks if I even suggest taking a picture there are screams, tears and waving arms. Go outside the house, she will gladly struck a pose. Toddlers, what a treat!

| eighteen // fifty-two |

Because it’s getting harder and harder to wrangle this little one, it’s like trying to hold onto 100 bunnies in a pillowcase! Each day unlocks new quirks and new adventures. Today she wanted to push every button she saw, which made snapping a portrait near impossible. Even if I gave Harp her own special button she wanted the one mama was using. It’s amazing to see her little mind work through it all though, and while tiresome it’s amazing to be getting to a place where we can better communicate with each other.

This week we started the whole Montessori idea of setting up limitations by avoiding using “no” and using a positive language to create guidelines. So far the results are pretty positive, although the word has not completely disappeared from ourvocabulary. I hadn’t realized how often I was telling her no until I was trying not to say it, and it’s amazing how much more receptive she has been! Things like “no out of the dishwasher” we’re met with mischievous smiles and giggles, now she steps out of the dishwasher and closes it! Success!

// favorite activity //

Did I mention pushing buttons? Both figurative and literal of course!

// favorite toy //

She now requires a little baby doll to go to sleep. She gives her a hug, strokes her back and tucks her in to sleep. It’s so sweet how caring she is for this doll, but so far it’s just limited to naps and bed time. She wants nothing to do with it during the day. Anyone ever had that? 

| sixteen // fifty-two |

Because today was Mother’s Day and I felt so loved! Motherhood is the strangest journey I have gone on and it’s one that although I might contemplate it, I would never trade in. It’s wild to think how my live has changed and what I have gained, and lost from motherhood. 

Today my husband let me sleep-in, took me to our favorite tavern for a delicious beer and tots, and showered me with presents and love. The day ended with chalk drawings, Frozen and a key lime tart. Today was a good day, after a very long week it was just what I craved.

Each day I work so hard to be a positive light, patient parent, and encouraging force for our daughter. I hope that she knows how much I have loved becoming her mother and developing our bond.

// favorite joke //

We are potty training, very casually since she is young, and are going the jelly bean route. She loves to take the jelly bean and reach it out like she might let you have it, and then quickly snatch it back. Oh how it makes me laugh, and crave jelly beans.

// least favorite drink //

Chocolate milk may as well be laced with dish soap and peppermint. The grimace I get when I try to give it to her. Guess our Nestle budget will be pretty low!

Wishing every mother their vision of the best Mother’s Day!

| two // fifty-two |

Our first snow day was a success!! This was really Harper’s first time experience a real snow fall and I was so excited to take her out. We were at about 12-13″ when we headed out with our little bear and it was the perfect depth for her to stretch her feet into the snow, take a seat and watch mom and dad throw snow balls at each other. She loved every minute of it! I felt so unprepared with snow gear though, did anyone else give up on the idea of a white winter?!

// favorite memory //

Sliding down the snow bank on the top of a trash can, until snow got on her face…things got serious real fast.

// favorite conversation //

Mama: Harper don’t drop your food on the floor

*food drops

Harper: Oh no!

Mama: did you drop that on purpose?

Harper: (mischievous smile) yeah!