There are so many layers to our days, most of which get discarded like tear sheets floating to the floor in the room that holds the master drawing board. Moments that I should be enjoying and building upon end up crumpled and pitched into the corner where the waste bin lies.

Beau has been so difficult lately. My hands cover my ears, my eyes, holding my head until the yelling stops and the throbbing calms.

What starts as a really nice day, activity, adventure, moment, ends in complete and utter ridiculousness. He is elated, excited, bounding with energy and the next moment angry, sad and confused. He doesn’t know what he wants, or what he needs. I’m going to the ends of the earth or the corners of my heart, the end of my rope,

to listen
to hold him
to love him
to figure out how to fill this void that he’s feeling.

He’s two and he’s adjusting, but it’s been a strain on our family. The weeks have been long and arduous but peppered with beautiful moments, laughs, and tender conversations.


This weekend was all about family. We locked it down and spent most of Saturday and even a good part of Sunday indoors despite the sunny 73 degree weather. It’s taken me at least a year to not feel completely pressured by the perfect weather to be outside enjoying it at max capacity every single day, but I think we’re there. Living on the East Coast will do that to a person.


Jack is already at the age that he’d rather be hanging out with friends than his family, not that I can blame him given the crazy that has been happening at home lately. He’d gone to the patch with a buddy earlier that day, so we put on our tee-shirts and sundresses, piled five out of six of us plus Theo into the Suburban and headed to the pumpkin patch to feign fall and it’s festivities.


We danced amongst the pumpkins, breathed in the therapeutic, salty ocean air and then made it home a completely filthy dirty exasperated mess. But it was wonderful and awesome and restorative.


…And every day is a step in the right direction. For all of us.


Join the Conversation


  • I love your honesty… Some days are just hard but there is usually a little light in every dark day. I hope things get easier soon!

    Summer Ann

  • I am sure you have zero time for reading these days, but the new book How Toddlers Thrive was super helpful for me in navigating the turbulent waters of my two year old’s moods.

  • Hang in there! You are doing everything right, it just takes time. Beau has had a lot of changes and at his age, he feels those changes the most. Your and your hubby are amazing parents raising amazing children!

  • Ahhh … my kids are much older and we STILL have those days, when there is yelling and everyone’s crabby and I just want to crawl out of my skin. Often, getting outside is the tonic we all need. These pictures remind me of that. xox

  • I love reading your posts. There is a parallel between our lives and I’m elated to know that I’m not the only mom who is treading the intese (sometimes ridiculous) and crazy days of parenthood. I remind myself, daily, that things will get easier and less intense and less emotional (for me). It’s a struggle but for those seemingly fleeting moments of joy, it is worth every challenging minute. Stay strong and hang in there.

  • I just started following your blog and find it refreshing and very familiar. My son just turned four and we have a five month baby girl, and have struggled with the tantrums, outbursts, and feeling defeated daily. It’s hard to spread your love to the littles and take on daily life as well. Thank you for your beautiful honesty and inspiring posts. Your blog is a treat!

  • I totally understand what you’re going through. I have a now 4 month old and a 3 year old. When the baby was born, my poor sweet older son would throw tantrums for no reason and cry at the drop of a hat. I felt immeasurable guilt that I couldn’t hold him enough to make him feel better, and at the time I thought it would never end. But now, only 4 months in, we’re getting back to normal, albeit a new normal and my older son is doing just fine and is back to his happy silly self. It feels like forever when you’re in it, but everything will be better so soon!

  • Such a wonderful complex big personality in such a darling little blonde haired boy. Sort of seems about right that of all the little Shyba’s Beau would express his feelings in such a big way, and without words…. This mothering of preschoolers takes every bit of your emotional, mental and spiritual strength! You are such a good momma…. this will soon pass. (thought I’d split a gut laughing at his interaction with baby Evvie… and then pointing out the booger!!! such a boy!)

  • Sending you hugs….that is all….

  • Sending hugs and happy thoughts to your family too. So glad you had a great weekend. Looks like Theo had fun too!!

  • This too shall pass. Let the beautiful moments replenish and the difficult ones wash over you. You are an amazing person, an amazing mum – be good to you. Sending love and laughter.

  • I’m really curious about the kind of camera you use, Jessica – and whether or not you manipulate any of your images in Lightroom or anything?

  • You are doing such a good job and your honest words are educating and inspiring us all! Hang in there and keep doing what your doing Momma! 🙂

  • Ohh gee , hope he turns the corner I’ve 3boys my baby is nearly 3and we’ve one on the way I’m worried how he will cope !

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