we went to a waterpark

and surprise, elsie was not a fan.
she did love all the arms she was passed around in (and so did I)

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Luke had a blast going down all the water slides and playing in the wave pool with grandpop
but you guys, upstate NY is cold.

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antique fair

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so there's this ginormous antique fair every year in upstate NY. My mom has gone for a few years and scored awesome stuff. I'd be lying if I said we didn't plan the dates of this trip around the fair. My brother was kind enough to watch my kids all day so we could party. I love doing this kind of stuff with my mom. It's just so fun looking around together. Of course, all the vendors thought we were sisters, which always makes me laugh.

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I scored two beautiful vintage nightgowns for Elsie. The kind with pretty hand done lace and they're so old you can read through the fabric. But they were cheap enough and have no sentimental value so she can wear them without worry. I felt even better about buying them later, when we went to another vendor and this lady tried to tell us that these nightgowns were from the 1880's, and you could obviously tell they were brand new- the whitest of white and thick fabric.
  I also found some of those little people, you know, the old small ones we all played with and miraculously didn't choke on? And I sent a picture to travis of this old buffalo head and told him I bought it and would be shipping it home. (there was so much taxidermy! An entire lion! every animal you could imagine!). I thought he would freak out, but he actually believed me and took it pretty well. He was actually sort of excited and when I finally told him I didn't buy it he tried to convince me to go back and get it. ha.


a fake trip to the dentist

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while we were at my parents', I took Luke into my mom's office. I need to get him in to see the dentist soon, but I also know that the chances of him letting a stranger peek inside his mouth is literally zero. So Grandma gave him a ride in her chair, let him see what she looked like wearing her specs and face mask, and introduced him to Mr. Thirsty and Mr. Tickles. He probably still won't let the dentist in his mouth, but it's a start!



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I have VERY strong opinions about preschool, you know, being a teacher and everything, but I was still sad to send my boy off. He's going 2x a week, which isn't even that much, but it felt like the end of an era. The time when we have no schedule, and no where to be. We've been able to run off to the zoo or the park or stay in our jams until 11 and cuddle on the couch, just because we want to. And of course, we still have 3 days a week we can do all that, but he just seems so big!
I want Luke to stay my sweet baby boy forever and always kiss my lips and hold my hand and snuggle close. hashtag motherboy.

anyway, he started and I didn't even cry.
He did though. All of a sudden he has entered this super clingy phase which is weird because he has never ever cared if I was around or not. So we're working on it. 

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We celebrated the night before with one of his favorite meals, sparkling cider (my special juice mama!), cake, and a back to school banner in the dining room.
He really loved his backpack (he slept with it the night before), and wore it all morning.
When he came home, I had his Schultuete ready for him. This is a tradition I've been waiting to pass on since I was little. It's a cone filled with chocolates, usually accompanied by a small toy (I remember getting a barbie one year, and a polly pocket pet shop the next). It's intended to sweeten the taste of education for the child, and is given on the first day of school. My family did this for preschool and kindergarted, although in Germany, I think it is fairly common to get one every year? Anyway. He thought that was pretty rad.


five fact friday

1. Let's talk about the gap. Right now I'm a little bit in love with the gap. a few weeks ago I stocked up on the kids' clothes for next summer, and shirts were 2.99. I went again with my sister in laws for girls night and YOU GUYS. I got a pair of jeans for 3.99, gold leather loafers for 3, shorts and a shirt for 5. A moment of reverence for buying gap jeans for four dollars. probably the greatest deal of my life. Thank you.

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2. We've been running ourselves ragged this month. I'm exhausted. We have crammed so much summer fun into July and it's not over yet.

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3. Elsie has gotten verrrry good at standing. She can even stay strong while brother jumps next to her on the bed. She'll be walking soon! Guess that means I need to buy the girl some shoes.

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4. We also visited a water park last week. Luke's version of heaven is Elsie's idea of hell.

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5. I flew solo with both kids on Wednesday. Nobody died but nobody slept either.


park day

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we visited a petting zoo last week with all our cousins. Luke got to practice milking a cow and pet some goats and pigs and even Elsie got brave and pet a sheep and didn't cry. Took a train ride (twice, luke's dream come true...he had fun telling the conductor "that's the whistle, and that's the bell. And there's the tender!") and had a picnic lunch and then the big kids got to wade in a river while elsie stayed happily in her stroller (or Mimi's arms).

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on motherhood

I'd heard her say it many times throughout my childhood, but as my firstborn son nestled in my arms, my ears heard my mother with new clarity.

"A mother's job is to advocate for her child"

I knew it then, that I would, as my mother before me and hers before that, that I would fight for my babies. That I'd be their voice when they couldn't speak. I've blogged about this before, but what I didn't realize is that it doesn't get easier.

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A few weeks ago, I took Elsie in for her regular 15 month appointment at the office we've been visiting for the past eight months. I won't get too much into the details of what happened, but something I feel very strongly about as my children's mother was absolutely violated in an extremely harsh and unprofessional way. A nurse yanked on my daughter's legs to try to remove her from my arms. She pulled hard. I felt like those two women in the Judgement of Solomon, fighting over a baby, because clearly there was no kindness or love coming from this woman.
 Timid Elsie is frightened of almost everything (the garage door opening unexpectedly, brother growling in her face, and oh! strangers!), so take a moment to imagine her absolute terror in an unfamiliar environment while a strange woman harshly tries to remove her from her mother's arms. over protocol.
I don't think I have been filled with that much fury, um, ever. I left shaking and sobbing with anger over the treatment of my baby, and after I'd cried to my mother and my husband and my sister in law (and calmed down an appropriate amount), I called the doctor and told him what I needed remedied or we'd be leaving his practice. I was emotionally drained for the better part of a week after this incident.

 But my point is this:
That's my job. It is a hard one and it goes against every bit of my natural disposition but it is absolutely my job to argue and defend what I know is best for my children. It is what I signed up for. I know them intimately. I know their needs, their fears, and how to best comfort them. They have no voice but mine, and I will never fail to raise it in their honor.

Because I am their advocate.
And I know that Christ suffered, and bled and died so that He could Advocate my cause to the Father. And whether you believe in that or not, the only thing I know that emulates that on a smaller scale is motherhood. Mothers suffer and bleed and skirt by death during childbirth and what a powerful, incredible thing that is. We suffer and bleed and a fierce protectiveness is born in our hearts as our children exit our wombs. It becomes our sacred duty to raise and nurture, to clothe and feed, and to be their advocate because who else will? No earthly being knows my children as I do and the responsibility of that rests squarely on my shoulders. I am their mother and I am their advocate, forever and ever.