It is 2:30 a.m. on moving day and I am up. Up and frustrated that there is much more to do, but I can't be packing while the boys are sleeping. While I am thrilled to be moving into a one story house with a much better floor plan for two kidos I am also grieving leaving this house. There are so many memories here and while my head knows they will still exist the thought of leaving this house makes me tear up.

I will always remember that Eric got the keys to this house the day before our first date and I was impressed that he even kept the date. Eric and I watching Narnia on the floor because he had no furniture, picking out paint colors, being on my best detailed behavior as I helped paint; my way of impressing him. Seeing the sky of the backyard filled with hot air balloons and knowing I was "home", coming home from our wedding to a broken heater in January (even though it is Phoenix it still gets cold), how we watch movies and how we each have "our" spot on the couch, Eric cooking dinner for me on our first married Valentines, Eric's bird watching obsession and then there was the grandpa scorpion. Telling Eric I was prego, bringing Renn "home", the rattlesnake found in the backyard when Renn was just a few weeks old, the neighborhood walks, the beautiful sunrises, Renn crawling, pulling up, walking, the way he loves the stairs and how he always shuts the baby gates. Playing hide and go seek in the closet, creating Renn's playroom out of the office, Renn's first birthday party, bike rides, watching Renn learn to open doors and how he always want to visit people in the bathroom. Telling Eric I was prego again! and the realization this sweet sweet house just wasn't going to cut it.

It has been a great first house for us and I will miss it and the incredible dessert view. It provided shelter, comfort, peace, many a great meals and a beautiful place for us to grow as a family. Thank you house - we pray you are blessing to others.


Like Father, Like Son

Believe me I really do think about blogging everyday. The thoughts are there. I truly just get overwhelmed with Renn's development and changes that I can't process them fast enough. With Baby Bailey II on the way I have been reflecting so much on where we have been to where we are now that it is hard to believe that this 16 month old toddler was once completely helpless.

I still sit in awe that he now reasons and rationalizes. That he uses and understands words like baoon (balloon and ball), dawg (dog), uck (duck), ut-oh (also includes a backwards wave), wht's at? (what's that?), lmo (Elmo) and then there is the one we are working on which is always comes out sounding like s@i#. Trying to perfect this one a little better. He has attachment to things. His sheep puppet (thus the need to work on how he asks for it), Elmo doll, stacking toy, multiple books that we must read multiple times in a row and balloons. You can now see him have a range of emotions; frustration (comes with a whine), sadness (comes with a pouty face), happy (the most common), glad (usually when mama or daddy enters the room) and my personal favorite is excited (comes with yeah! and clapping or sometimes you get a ta-da!)

The funniest thing to discover about Renn is that he has so many likeness to his daddy. We begin the list!

1. They both love to car dance. Since I have met Eric he is what a I call an excellent car dancer. The boy has seated moves and they have rubbed off. The two of them can sit in the driveway one in the passenger seat one in the drivers seat grooving to some tunes. Heads moving in sync.

2. Ear scratch. Eric has a unique way he scratches his ear. He flips one finger backwards and then in a very fast motion swipes the inside of his ear. We have noticed that Renn does it the exact same way - finger flip and all.

3. Organizationally obsessed. My hubby loves the tupperware organized just so and the pantry just right and the fridge has to have things perfecto. And thank God he does it! But, now I have a mini him. Renn has taken to the side door. Every time the fridge is open he heads over to remove all that he can from the side door and then quickly rearrange it as needed. I honestly wonder how much of our power bill goes to fridge organization.

4. Laundry guru's. My sweet hubby does the laundry due to the fact that I work the weekends and this is generally when he needs his laundry done. Renn is now an excellent assistant. Handing daddy clothes, putting clothes in the hamper, helping with the folding. Renn also decides what is important to have upstairs and what needs to come down. His favorite thing to do once things come out of the dryer is throw it over the stair banister. Besides laundry Renn also sweeps, puts dishes in the dishwasher, takes them out and the latest is you can ask him to throw something away and he takes it to the trash can, lifts the lid and adds the item to the garbage. So excellent!

5. The Bailey walk. If you know Eric then you know that he has a distinctive walk. Eric's dad also has the same walk. Honestly, the family kinda giggles about it. I wish I could figure out a clever way to describe it. It is head held high short man's kinda strut...that is the best I got. Well, I am going on the record right now as saying that Renn has the walk. Eric doesn't see it, but I promise it is there. Bailey walker III on the way!

With all this development going on it is hard not to love it all. But, the thing I LOVE LOVE the most is that I can now say "Renn, give mama a kiss." and he walks over, grabs my face and plants one on me.! Love you Tree Frog!


The Greatest Disappointment

The greatest disappointment in becoming a parent is that I now don't possess some mad Harry Potter skill to stop time. There are multiple moments in a day that I just want everything to freeze so that life can just continue on exactly as is or so that I can run and grab the camera. A few such moments not to be forgotten.

. Getting your first Happy Meal on your 1st Birthday

. "Losing" your stroller on your 1st birthday in Anthem Park

. Watching you have your first bite of cake and ice cream

. Having you reach for and hold my hand

. Our walk and talk from the car to your classroom

. How much you love outside. Please love outside forever.

. Your first time in a baby pool

. Discovering magnets

. Discovering magnets stick to the walls

. Crawling DOWN the stairs for the first time

. Your mad dancing skills

. Your woody woodpecker laugh

. "That?"

. How you enjoy playing with other kids. Thank you preschool.

. Watching you learn to problem solve

. Your love of music

. My excitement when you put banana chunks in your mouth. You would have thought he had just been accepted to Julliard.

. Your smile when we clap for you

. We think your love language is touch or pinching

. Watching you experience dogs for the first time

We enjoy you always little tree frog!



Upon learning I was going to become a mama I was filled with joy but, there were also multiple fears that came to my mind. One of the greatest being could I give "me" up? Despite the fact that I had looked forward to being a mommy since I was young I was truly concerned that I couldn't be the selfless woman I needed to be.

The truth is that I loved my pre-motherhood life. I loved using my day off for journaling, seeing an artsy flick by myself, cleaning out random drawers or just adventuring. I loved spending my birthday in my p.j.'s, eating a pint of Hagan-Daz and watching 5 hours of self-indulgent soap operas. I loved sushi night with the girls, date night with the man and getting to read whenever I wanted. I honestly didn't know how I would feel about my life, as I knew it, drastically changing.

I was surprised how easy it was to make the sacrifice! The day Renn Jackson Bailey entered the world it was an automatic instinct in me that it was ALL ABOUT HIM! Whatever he wanted or needed was my priority. Sleeping, eating and gifts meant nothing to me anymore. I only wanted things to be for and about Renn.

Therefore it was a shock that the week of his 1st birthday I began hearing a voice. A voice that began to whisper to me "What about me?". I tried ignoring it. Then the "What about ME?" voice started getting louder. I actually tried to get angry with it...saying "GO AWAY! You don't belong here anymore!" The voice continued wearing me became a chat: What about ME?, WHAT about me?, What ABOUT me?" And eventually I found myself agreeing with the voice and wondering myself "WHAT ABOUT ME?" As I let the selfish thoughts of days past brew inside of me one of my favorite words came to mind: BALANCE.

I have been in awe of how much parenthood is a reflection of how God's loves us. So as this "voice" took up residence in my head I had to take a look at how God lived while he was on earth. And while Jesus was 100% selfless I was reminded of how often and valuable "time-outs" were to him. Quiet time, reflection time, party time, friend time and family time were all valued.

I realize now that God has no intertest in me loosing myself and identity in motherhood. Besides balance being good for my well being I believe the example of this will be a good witness to my son. Therefore as I enter year two of my life as mama to the Tree Frog I look forward to creating more balance.

I have started by promising myself a manicure once a month. I have to start somewhere, right?


TOADily awesome 1st Birthday Party Log

From a few days after your birth you were given the name "tree frog" so it was only fitting that your 1st birthday party have a frog theme.

Your Invitation: TOADily awesome birthday party! Bright paper, home computer, glue sticks and some googly eyes.

Inside Decor: We filled the living room with frog beach balls from Oriental Trading. Covered the dining room table with green polkadot paper, markers, crayons and some homemade frog coloring sheets

Food and Plating: We did green apples, green grapes & chick-fil-a nuggets. Tried to find green ketchup, but no luck.

The Cake: Cupcakes with frog toppers made by: Clineffs Confections and a cake for you. Bib was a towel found for $2.00 that I turned into a bib.

Outside: Ball pit, bubbles, Fly Bop (Bubbles on clearance for .17 cents and bright green dusters found at the dollar store), frog water squirters (Oriental Trading) and a frog toss (frog bean bags and beach buckets), there was also a bouncy in the driveway for older kids.

Party Favors: Frog puppets I made from felt I just happen to have and for the older kids candy bags. Tags were made on my home computer and printer. Frog basket made by: ladesigns2


Dear Stories of a Tree Frog Blog:

I apologize for my absence, I have truly missed you and I think of you often. But, I have simply been too busy experiencing Renn to make time to write about him (oh yea, and I may have gotten distracted by joining Facebook and learning imovie). Since Renn began crawling I feel like this whole new world opened up - he became such a BIG boy. There are too many things I simply don't want to forget about this time:

Rolling Daddy across the floor

Pushing me from behind like I am a walker

Laying his head on our shoulder when we hug

Putting his hands over his mouth when I offer him meat

Spitting out the milk that comes in a sippy cup

Trying to decide if he likes grass or not

Crawling down the step from the house to the garage

His first steps (we are up to 8 in a row as of today)

Learning to feed himself Cherrios

His baby dedication, special! and the diaper incident that came with it.

How he loves to say Da or Da Da

His laugh

His smile

His crocodile tears

The way his clicks his tongue after we blow him kisses

How much he loves balls and music

The way he builds towers with socks and wipe boxes (why do we even bother with toys?)

The way he shakes his little body when music comes on

The way he heads straight to the fridge when it opens. (Does this mean he will eat me out of house and home one day?)

What an incredible sharer he is. (He did not get this from his mama!)

The amount of inspiration he causes me

The continual realization of HOW MUCH I love this child and would do anything for him.

Looking forward to your 1st birthday Tree Frog!


Renn on the Move!

This was shot last night with my tiny Olympus - thus the poor quality - but I wanted all the grandparents to see him crawling. It began January 11th and he hasn't stopped! Toys interest him no longer. He only desires to get to a destination in which he can stand. Fun stuff! Getting plug covers today.

P.S. - I have no idea how to really edit the music and all that stuff on the video program. I will teach myself one day.


Christmas with the littlest Bailey

What a joy the last two weeks have been. Eric and I have been off together. I can't tell you how nice it was/is to make things happen as a team.

Christmas Eve was wonderful. We had an amazing service at church. I felt a bit guilty sitting with Eric and Renn during the second service since it was over capacity...but it is a memory I will cherish. Despite Renn only having a 25 minute nap that day he did amazing. We headed to Grandma and Grandpa Graca's after for THE BEST lasagna in the ENTIRE world. We opened a hand full of gifts and headed home for some zzzzzz's.

Renn woke up around 7ish on Christmas Day. I had wrapped all his presents in one big box. So we let him just sit with the box for awhile and play with the paper. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer and took to tearing at it so that we could get to the good stuff. I think I expected more excitement from him than I got. I now realize the poor child was on overload. We eventually put a few things away and only take out one or two at a time. I now get to see the smiles and glee as the toys come out and he gets to play. We hosted breakfast (my all time favorite meal) around mid morning. Renn got more toys from family! The kid scored! We just hung out the rest of the day - playing - eating - napping. It was just great!

Christmas and our anniversary go hand in hand.... So the evening of the 29th the Graca Gang came over while Eric and I had a lovely dinner at Lon's. This was where we had our luncheon following the wedding. Most of the time it is hard for me to believe we are only celebrating our second anniversary. In a good way it feels like we have been together for a lifetime. It was a nice evening filled with great memories!

We headed to Flagstaff on New Year's Eve and let Renn touch the snow. He wasn't overly impressed. And let's be honest - it was really just an opportunity for a photo shoot so that we could show him when he is older that he "played" in the snow.

The rest of the days were filled with catching up on movies, hanging/eating with friends and simpling tackling a few "to-do's" around the house.

We don't know if it is simply because we have been with him 24/7 the last two weeks, but he seems to have changed tremendously in front of our eyes. He can now take himself from his tummy to a full seated position. He is constantly rocking on his knees...learning how to make those crawling motions. You can leave him in one spot and come back to find him half way across the room. Here come the plug covers! It is truly amazing. I wonder if we still change that much everyday and just don't realize it?

As we read the Christmas story to him on Christmas morning - it hit me in a all new way. I guess realizing the amount of work Mary and Joseph had in front of them. Even with the mega amount of support I have, lets face it, raising a baby has a few challenges along the way - I can't even imagine how it challenged Mary. All the things Jesus was going to go through and learn prior to starting his public ministry. Just thinking about how much he spent those first years needing to depend on others to care for him is kinda odd. I mean it's Jesus! It just made me all the more thankful knowing how much He truly "gets" us and our daily walk on earth. What an awesome miracle.