Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Favorite Family Moments

Since my memory seems to be at full capacity most days, I thought it necessary to write down my favorite family memories at this stage in the game. I feel so blessed to have as much love and laughter in my life as I do, and I never want to forget the little moments that help to create a happy and loving environment for our family. I try to be present and fully embrace each moment spent with the tot but, unfortunately, that's not always the case. Life gets in the way and I often feel like I spend more time telling her what to do and how to do it rather than just letting her be. Our family of three may be little, but it is absolutely everything to me and I never want to forget even the smallest aspects that make it so special. I know that one day far in the future when Taylor is a teenager and I want to strangle her for being a teenager, I will look back on this post and remember how sweet and loving my baby girl used to be (and deep down always will be).

Shortly after Taylor was born, we realized we would never sleep in again. The tot is up around 7:00 a.m. no matter what day of the week it is, so in order to get a little extra R&R on the weekends we bring her into our room. She lays next to me, her warm little body tucked under the covers and her head on my pillow, while drinking her morning milk, but as soon as that cup is empty she's full of energy and using our bodies as her own personal jungle gym. On the rare occasion that she's tired or sick, we turn on Curious George and snack on Cheerios until we have enough energy to get out of bed, but most mornings we play, sing songs, and tickle the tot into hysteria. She bounces back and forth between the two of us giving smooches and offering us half-eaten Cheerios. It's my absolute favorite part of the weekend and something I look forward to all week!

Since our remodel last spring, the kitchen has become the hub of our home where we spend the majority of our time. Meals in our house are usually pretty quick (nothing too time or labor intensive here), but on the weekends cooking breakfast always turns into a family affair. Saturday mornings mean waffles topped with whipped cream & fresh fruit (and lots of coffee for Mommy & Daddy). Since my husband is a better cook (and I have no problem admitting it), he does the bulk of the work while the tot and I act as sous chefs & clean up crew. Taylor helps stir, throw things away, dump ingredients from measuring cups (followed with "all gone"), and sneak handfuls of blueberries while I cut up fruit. The daunting task of cooking has turned into something that we actually enjoy, and it allows us to spend quality time together as family. Plus, we get to watch this one smear whipped cream all over her face which is always entertaining.

I have tried for years to get my husband to engage in outdoor physical activity with me and he has always refused, but now that Taylor is in the mix and of capable of running and playing he is all about it. I no longer have to beg him to go on a walk with me (as long as the tot is in tow). These days, he's quick to suggest a family walk around the neighborhood where we take turns pulling Tay in her wagon and pushing her on her tricycle, both of which almost always results in one of us chasing her down the sidewalk after she's ditched her ride about halfway around the block. She's a curious little thing, eager to climb every step we pass and eat every flower we see. When the weather is cooperative, we spend our weekends at the park enjoying picnic lunches, pushing Tay on the swings, and watching her squeal with delight as she wiggles down the slides. Who knew that something so simple could be so much fun?

Week day mornings in our house are crazy and hectic just like everyone else's. No matter how early I wake up, I feel like it's a race to get out the door on time for work. Mornings are complete chaos, struggling to get ready while entertaining the tot, but for a brief few minutes it's just me and my girl sharing a bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries (her favorite). She sits on my lap facing forward, kicking her legs and bopping her head back and forth as I alternate giving bites to each of us. We make silly faces at each other while we eat and when we're finished she gives me the biggest smooches, a sweet reward after giving away half of my breakfast. No matter how busy our mornings are, I always make time for breakfast with my girl because I know it won't be long before she'll be too big to even fit on my lap. Breakfast with her is definitely the best way to start any work day!

And last, but certainly not least, I want to remember the bond that Taylor has with her father. There are moments when she's sick or hurt where she prefers me over him (because no one can soothe a bellyache like Momma), but she is definitely a daddy's girl. He can make her laugh with a single look, and when he walks into a room she's the first to notice. Jake is a typical hard ass at work and a definite man's man when he's with the boys, but when it comes to Taylor he's putty in her hands. She is the heart and soul of his world, and I'm certain there are things he would do for her that he wouldn't even do for me. Their bond is something I will never understand, but I appreciate it whole-heartedly nonetheless. They are my everything, and I am oh so thankful.