Bennett Rippy 11 Months

BR 11 Months

Honestly my boy, there isn’t much to report that is different from 10 months. You are still crawling everywhere, cruising everywhere, but recently you have decided that you can climb ONTO things which tend to be higher than Mama would like. For instance, your brother loves to jump on the couch and you think it’s HILARIOUS to jump on there with him but then slowly make your way over to the end tables and stand there looking at  me proudly like you’ve climbed Everest. Well, you haven’t my son. You’ve just climbed an end table and it’s still not ok.

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You are an excellent eater and no lie- you eat more than Bud. Albeit, Bud eats less than Kate Moss during Fashion Week but still, your appetite is impressive.

You still have 8 teeth and give the best toothy grins. The biggest news for this month is that you have decided that you no longer wish to receive your bottles. You placed a strict order that you want whole milk in your sippy cup throughout the day. I wasn’t quite prepared for this! I had switched you to sippy cups during the day feedings but was still giving you a bottle in the morning and night. But with the subtlety of a rhino, you batted away the bottles and reached for the sippy. So just like with Bud, I took your lead on when you wanted to wean and that time has arrived! You seem like such a big boy drinking out of your cup.

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Since you didn’t want your bottle at night, I tried to do a sweet nighttime routine to make up for our snuggle time in the rocking chair. I sang our song, tried to read you a book and do you know what you did? You batted the book to the ground, pushed my face away and reached for the crib. Um ok? So you are apparently too cool for this nighttime routine nonsense and just want to lay down with your Taggie blanket and be done with me. Sooooo opposite of your brother who draws out bedtime like it is his job.

You are going to be 1 in 10 days which is so fun and I can’t wait to celebrate surviving living a year with you on this planet!

Love you little dude,

Mama

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Written Name

*This post is raw and from my heart. I am resisting the urge to edit it to death and just leave it as it is so that it’s authentic and gives you an accurate picture of my heart hurricane.

I have been working on a children’s book series for two years now and been sending it out to any literary agent and publisher that accepts children’s manuscripts. Clearly, since you won’t find me at your nearest book store rubbing elbows with Pete the Cat or Mo Willems, it is safe to say that I have not, in fact, been picked up by a publisher yet. I know that authors receive a million rejections before getting a contract and I’m fully prepared for that. However, yesterday I was sitting down to send my proposal to a new group of publishers and I was feeling a bit more demoralized than usual as I drafted my “Please pick me, I swear I’m cool, JUST PUBLISH MY EVER LOVING BOOK! P.S. I’ll make you brownies if you say yes.” email.

I shut the computer and said an honest prayer.

Lord, I want these books in print. I want them to be in the hands of families and read in homes. I want these books to help parents and teachers navigate healthy conversations with their kids. And honesty, I want to see my name written in print. I want this thing to come to fruition. 

Silence.

Please. I’m trying not to lose hope. I’m trying to trust Your timing. But if your timing could be like… yesterday… that would be great. P.S. I’ll send you brownies if you say yes.

But this time, no more silence.

Your name is written my dear.  It’s written on my hands. It’s written on my heart.  

Oh. Welp, that should be enough then.

Now, where are my brownies? 

Ok so maybe I didn’t hear that last part. BUT the rest of it, yeah I heard it. I heard it with my heart. My hurricane heart. So here I am, trying to rest in that promise. I am rejoicing that my name is already written on the hands and heart of the greatest Masterpiece. And until my books are put in every hotel room in the country, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say He is probably the better Author. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still chasing down this dream- sorry folks, you aren’t getting rid of me that easily. But I’m chasing the dream with a renewed trust, a renewed fire, and apparently a lot of brownies.

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LeapFrog Review: Get Ready for Kindergarten!

It is no secret how much I love my sponsors over at LeapFrog. You can see my reviews about their products over here, here, here, and here. They recently sent me a new packet and series called, Are You Ready for Kindergarten?”

You can use this series with your LeapPad or LeapReader. It is chocked full of games, writing activities, reading activities, and it even helps you walk through some of the emotional issues that may arise in Kindergarten.

We’ve been working really hard with Bud this summer on his numbers and letters. He could recite the alphabet but hasn’t been able to recognize the letters visually. So I’ve been searching for activities that keep his attention to really allow the letters and numbers to become tangible to him and show him the context of each letter and number outside of just reciting them! This series has been awesome for that. He loves tracing the letters and numbers with his LeapReader and Mr. Pencil was already one of his favorite games so he is loving some of the other games in the series that make learning his letters and numbers WAY more fun than Mama making him go through flashcards.

He’s been on a dragon kick lately so he’s loving the Dragon Cafe game the most. It’s been improving his number recognition and so it’s a winner for Mama too. It helps by encouraging number and shape tracing so it’s a really helpful, slow progression for Bud.

LeapFrog has made it really made it easy for Kindergarten prep and have TONS of resources for parents at a site, “Get School Ready” –  here.

I honestly can’t recommend LeapFrog products enough. They’ve been so helpful for me in teaching Bud skills at home. I’m not a professional teacher by any means so I need as much guidance as possible and the resources I’ve found at LeapFrog have been amazing.

If you have a preschooler or kiddo about to head into Kindergarten, check out this new series. I think you’ll love it.

*LeapFrog provided the product but all opinions are my own. 

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Bennett Rippy 10 Months

BR 10 Months

Oh my guy,

You are crawling all over the place. You pull up on EVERYTHING and have even balanced a few times on your own with this look on your face like, “WHATTHECRAPIS HAPPENINGAREYOUSEEINGTHIS?!?!” It’s hilarious. I have no idea if you will walk soon or if you’ll take your sweet time like your brother but for now you love cruising on everything and pushing your walker like an old man.

You have caught some sort of virus which has been making you super feverish and waking up at night, soooo that’s fun. I’m hoping it’ll pass soon because it’s just pitiful seeing you sick again. You have spent about 2 weeks out of month 10 with some sort of sickness. Prayers for health on ya my boy!

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You have 8 teeth now and I’m waiting to see molars any day now.

You all of a sudden have started trying to repeat words we say. When we say “Good Job!” You say with the same inflection, “DooDawwwb“. You point at Roy and say , “Dah“. When you see Daddy come in you say, “Sam Metzler How are ya?!” just kidding, “Dada” is your fav word for him. And we play this game where we hand you different toys and we say “Thank you!” and you say “Dank dooo”. I fully realize that I am probably the only one who understands you and am half making it up that you are actually saying these words, but I swear, you’re a genius. I tried to capture it on video, you said “good job” at the beginning but then decided you weren’t a performing monkey anymore. Great.

You love to point at everything, still laugh at most of what big brother Bud does, LOVE your daddy, and do this amazing thing when we smile at you, you shrug your shoulders up and tilt your head and smile and it is all I can do not to fall out on the floor right there. Whenever Bud and I are being silly, you look at us with these wide eyes and close lipped smile across your face like you’re recording us for blackmail. Your Pops always says, “Bennett just has this look about him, it’s made of gold.” And it’s true, you’re made of gold little one.

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You love to dance, if there’s music on, you’re bopping right along. You and your brother both love to boogie. I finally have company for my dance parties since your daddy just looks at me like he’s going to institutionalize me. Make sure he picks out a nice place will ya?

I’m glad you’ve been in my life for almost a year little man! Time flies! (Except it doesn’t, I just feel like I’m supposed to say that. In reality, this has been a long year.)

Love, Mama

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A little something for your Tuesday

It’s so secret I love Rachel Held Evans. If I could sit down and have coffee with one contemporary author, it’d be her. She posted this thought today and I just had to share.

The alternative to patriarchy is not matriarchy. It’s mutuality, equality. This is what feminism supports. Feminism isn’t about hating men. It’s about advocating for the dignity and equality of women, who continue to face disproportionate violence, discrimination, and marginalization throughout the world due to their gender.

How does this strike y’all? Any thoughts? I love healthy and respectful conversation about this topic! So bring it on if you feel led!

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Awkwardly Confident

It’s no secret that motherhood is full of lessons. It is wonderful for bringing to light a kind of love that you never knew existed in your heart. It allows you to live gleefully through your kiddo’s imagination as you dress up as pirates and walk the plank across the baby pool. And you fully enjoy the empowering task of raising up men/women of character. But what they don’t warn you about is that motherhood can place a giant magnifying glass onto the worst parts of your soul. Sounds awesome right? (insert someone remembering to take birth control pill here….)

But in all seriousness, I feel like I’ve been going through this messy journey of self exploration for over 3 years now. I have learned about patience by trying to explain to my son through gritted teeth that “YOU NEED TO BE MORE PATIENT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!”. I have learned that I needed to be kinder to strangers when I realize that my son watches my every move and if I want him to be a kind man, he needs to see kindness in action. I have learned that if I want my son to share, I’m going to have to start sharing my candy…. but that one is still under construction.

My latest lesson? I have learned that I have a really hard time vocalizing when my heart is hurting. If I’ve been wounded in some way, I’m the first one to make a joke to cover it up or just shrug and say, “I’m totes fine. No worries man.” Because nothing says “I’m totally fine” when speaking like a hybrid mix of Valley-girl and Rastafarian. As my brother kindly pointed out to me the other day in so many grace-filled words “You’re being an idiot and if I hear ‘I’m ok, it’s fine.’ one more time come out of your mouth I’m going to feed you to the seagulls.” And he means it. He sent me a play by play of a seagull attacking a pigeon at Granville Island.

I had a situation with Bud the other day that made me realize I needed to start resolving this issue. Bud’s feelings were hurt at the playground. A kid didn’t want to play with him, blah blah, normal stuff. But my kiddo is a sensitive fella who does not understand why the entire world doesn’t want to proudly wear the other half of his BFF necklace. So he was sad. He walked up to me with his pitiful, defeated face with his lip hung so far out I thought it would get caught under his dirtied up sneakers and said, “Mama, he huwt my feewings” and he looked at me with this look. Moms, you know the look. The look that screams, “Fix this. PWEASE FIX THIS FOR ME!” And while I was tempted to jump up and grab this kid by the popped collar and explain to him that my son was delicious and precious and that kid would be LUCKY to wear his BFF necklace and while we were at it, he should probably just tattoo Bud’s name on his arm because Bud is THAT cool. But I didn’t. Because you know, I try to keep my crazy to minimum in public.

Instead, I looked at Bud and told him that he should calmly walk up to Bane Junior and let him know that he hurt his feelings but it was ok, he forgave him.

And here is how the rest of the conversation went down:

Why?

Well son, because even if its awkward, it is important to be confident in how your heart is feeling. If it’s hurt, let that person know it’s hurt. And even if they don’t apologize, you’ve shown that you are confident in yourself and your voice has been heard. And then we always forgive people because anger is exhausting. Do you understand?

I unduhsand. Did you see that squirrel over der Mama?

The lesson may have not been life altering for Bud, but it was for me. I kept thinking about that little conversation we had on the playground and I realized I had been holding in a hurt that hadn’t been voiced. So I came home and wrote an awkward and uncomfortable email to a friend that I had felt hurt by. Immediately I felt like I had done everything I could, even if I never hear from her again. My hurt had been brought into light. I had to learn that to be confident in myself, I have to be confident in my voice and in my emotions…even if it means sending an awkward email.

If you are holding anything back or trying to shove down whatever your heart is feeling, sweet friends, please stop. Your heart was designed to FEEL. Even if it is messy, irrational, or if you haven’t finished processing. Start feeling out loud! Be confident in your awkwardness, in your mess, in your pain. By bringing it to light, darkness doesn’t have power over it anymore. So start talkin’…..

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Fourth of July

For the second year in a row, we had a 4th of July party with our friends. These two families are so important to us. We love each other’s kids like they are our own and it’s so special to me that they’ve been with us since the beginning of “kid-life.” So they essentially have witnessed the demise and destruction of my sanity and love me anyway.

We watched the parade and headed to the park where the town puts on a big to-do with a Bounce House (aka a Hepatitis House) and music. Then we head back and do our own party after naps. Bud actually got to stay awake this year for fireworks (10pm…. and no meltdowns. It was like a Christmas miracle) and he was in awe. He’s still talking about it.

Last year:

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This year:

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John and Sam are the pyros who get the fireworks going while we make sure the kids don’t blow their faces off and blare firework theme music. Our job as DJs is pretty crucial.
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Bud is clearly unimpressed. But he loved getting to have his own sparkler this year. It’s ok, he only lit half of his hair on fire. I kid, I kid.

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Bud says…

“We never ever ever say shut up.”

“That’s right baby, never.”

“Except trees. Trees can say it.”

 

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Bud is Three!

Oh man, my Bud is 3.  Three. Three. I still can’t believe it. We had a pirate themed party this year and it was so much fun. Our little dude was celebrated so well by his friends.

His check up went GREAT and we are beyond grateful he’s healthy.

Stats:

Weight: 30.5 lbs

Height: 38 inches

You are still our skinny guy who likes to eat the bare minimum, you run and scream all day and I swear I can actually see rockets of happiness shooting out of you, you love your baby brother, you still flap your arms when you get excited, you have a habit of holding food in the side of your mouth when you don’t want to eat anymore and it turns into a stand-off until you finally spit it out, you are learning how to really work us over and negotiate “treeeee more minutes mama”, you put your head under water for the first time in the pool in NC, you love your grandparents something fierce, you have wonderful manners, you are so joyful and have the greatest laugh, you love love love your daddy and as soon as his truck pulls in you dance and run to him yelling “DADDY HOME! DADDYS HOME!!!!!!”, you still ride Lightening McQueen every day, you count like a champ and we are slowly but surely learning your letters and numbers by sight. You can throw and kick like a boss, love to catch, and you are your daddy’s pride and joy when you successfully hit a golf ball of the tee.  All in all, we think you are kind of amazing Budman.

Such a blast of joy

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I’m not sure what I’m doing with my body in this picture….

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EVERYBODY BE HAPPY. NOW!

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Close enough.

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My sweet friend Audrey made this shirt for Bud, so thoughtful! We would ask him how old he was turning and he’d concentrate SO hard on getting three fingers up and yell, “TREEEE!”

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Found these awesome burlap little baggies online and filled them with chocolate gold coins, Ring Pops, and pirate crayons.

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And then this happened. Y’all- Sam made this and then I married him all over again.

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Happy 3rd little man, love you to the moon.

Mama

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Bennet Rippy 8 & 9 Months

BR 8 months BR 9 monthsBennett Rippy,

You are growing so fast and I’m moving so slowly that I’m having to combine your 8 and 9 month updates! And don’t worry, in case you need something to talk to your therapist about, you’ve already turned 10 months so I’m on top of things. But you should know that just because I’m a little slow on the uptake with your monthly updates, I am still relishing in all of your milestones and growth every day!

Here are your stats:

Weight: 20.5 pounds and in the 40%. Although I’m convinced you’re more. You’re such a fat, happy baby, I love it!

Height: 29.4 inches and in the 76%

You still have a huge dome piece, in the 96%! I apparently breed large headed children. I think it is because you and your brother have huge brains.

You now have 6 teeth with one on the top making its way down.

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You CRAWLED! A few weeks ago you just up and started crawling! And now you’re unstoppable. You love sneaking into the laundry room and splashing in dog’s water bowl. You pull up to standing on about anything. And you’ve even taken a few steps with your push toy… who knows, you might walk before your brother did!

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We had a big trip to NC to visit family and you did great. However, you have decided that somewhere in the 5:20-5:45 hour is your new wake up time. No son. Just no. But it’s been a month now and you’re still doing it. And honestly- what’s with the crappy naps huh?

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You still smile at everything and everyone. You do this adorable coy little grin and nuzzle yourself into my neck when someone says hello or if you catch yourself in the mirror. And you’re starting blow kisses at mama, which pretty much makes me feel like I’m running through a field of unicorns and puppy kisses.

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You flap your arms in delight just like your brother did/does. You chew on everything. You love the sound of your voice and just holler when you need us to pay a little more attention to you. I can’t get over how sweet you are and despite the early mornings and crappy naps, I breathe in every adorable ounce of you and can’t wait to see the little boy you become.

Mama loves you little man.

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