Friday, May 31, 2013

Goodbye 20s!

Today is my last day in my 20s. How did that happen?

Tomorrow I will be 30. Obviously:) However I prefer to think of it as my first anniversary of my 29th birthday. Cheesy I know. But I am having kind of a tough time wrapping my mind around the fact that I am going to be in my just seems.....well.....kind of........old....

I know it isn't a big deal. It just feels like it is. 

To celebrate the girls and I are going garage saling in the morning. YAY! Then a friend is taking me out for lunch - which I am beyond excited about! And then the rest of the day will be spent with these lovely people:

Thursday, May 30, 2013


My iPhone is "in the shop" getting fixed. I dropped it a loooooong time ago. Like 9 months ago when it was brand new. Thankfully we had purchased the replacement/repair plan because my husband knows how abusive I am of my electronics. Not on purpose. But when given the option to catch my falling baby/child or falling phone/camera I choose the child EVERYTIME.

One would think that is an obvious choice. But in fact I had to learn that one the hard way. Not with my child thankfully. Way back in 1990 when personal video cameras were a new hot item.  And HUGE.  And expensive. The kind that recorded directly to VHS tapes.  Remember those? I was holding said family video camera and our cat. Both started to fall...I chose the cat. Wrong choice! Lesson definitely learned, albeit a very expensive lesson.  Sorry mom and dad.

Back to the subject at hand. While my phone is away being fixed, I am using my old phone.  This one to be exact:

I hate to admit it but for the first couple of hours with my old phone I felt a little lost. I didn't know what to do with a phone that is just a phone. No checking my e-mail. No facebook app. No pinterest app. No browsing the internet. No blog reading!  Just phone calls and text messages. 
And then it happened. I set the phone down. I cleaned my house. I made meals and wiped messy faces. I washed dishes. I even did some long overdue organizing and clothes mending. I played with my kids and read a few extra books. We played at the playground and I just watched them play. It was beautiful.
The first thing Joe said to me when he saw my phone was, "Hey can you call 2006 and ask what life was like without kids?" Funny guy! One problem buddy. This is a slide phone. Much too advanced for 2006! This one is from 2010 right after Charlotte was born. So if you want to know what life was like with only one mobile talking child....well just check out the background picture on the phone. Life looked pretty good. A lot less hectic. Charlotte was a mere week old and we were hanging out at a McDonald's play area. Clearly life with two kids was a breeze:)
The second thing he said, "Wow! A clean house, happy kids, happy mom and a hot meal on the table! And no iPhone. Is there a connection here?!?".  To which I responded, "I don't know but hand over your iPhone. I need to check a few things...."
And I did. I went on facebook, checked my e-mail and read a few blogs.  And guess what? I hadn't missed a single thing! Oh sure there were new pictures of adorable kids and babies to "like". Plus the usual funny anecdotes from others' day.  But really I hadn't missed anything!
In the end, I liked my day isolated in my house with my three kids. No interruptions. No influence from the outside world. I wasn't bombarded by pictures and status updates. There was no comparisons or wishing to be on the other side of the internet where the grass is always greener and the children are always happy and smiling...

And this morning I made Charlotte some white leggings to wear with her tunic tops this summer.  The kids were playing nicely...ALL THREE OF THEM TOGETHER! Craz-ier things have never happened! So I sat down and turned an old stained {adult sized} tank top into these:

(To learn how to make these super, super easy and cute leggings go HERE! Two pieces of fabric and only 2 seams. They are easy peasy. I promise. It is by far my favorite sewing site. TONS of free tutorials and cute stuff that anyone can do! My kids' Easter outfits were all inspired by her. And clearly my children were thrilled with the matching outfits I made them.)
Not sure what I am going to do once I have my phone back. Definitely less phone time. But how? What apps am I going to allow myself and which ones will be deleted?  I need phone rules. The ironic part? When I got my iPhone I was very deliberate about making sure the phone was NOT a toy for my kids.  I have no kid apps on it! Because I wanted my kids to learn how to entertain themselves without technology. Sure it would have come in handy while waiting....especially our frequent doctor's visits of recent. Instead the kids read books, color and play "I spy"...while mommy plays on her phone! Yikes. Something has to change. Because I like my unconnected world. It is happy and well a whole lot cleaner:) And maybe, just maybe, my grass is green enough!
And don't these kids look happy? This is what they were "playing" while I was sewing. Don't worry Hannah is NOT at the bottom of that pile. And they had almost as much fun taking it all out and putting it away! Win-Win!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Praying with Confidence

Speaking of younger siblings.

Charlotte has started praying every night at dinner.
First Isaiah rattles off his standard prayer,
"Dear Jesus, Thank you for the food. Bless it to our bodies. Amen."

Then Charlotte's prayer:
"Thank you Jesus for the baby brother you (will) give us. Amen."

Talk about praying with confidence!

Hannah doesn't look too happy about Charlotte's prayer! I think she likes her position as the baby of the family:)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby sister

Most evenings our bedtime routine includes Joe helping the big kids with teeth brushing while I nurse and rock Hannah to sleep in the living room. Before heading to bed the kids give Hannah and I "smoochies and hugs". I love this part of our day. 
The other evening Charlotte came running out of the bathroom at full speed. She could hardly wait to get her hands on her baby sister! And as she hugged her I overheard Charlotte whisper in her ear, "I will like you FOREVER Hannah". 

Sweeter words I have never heard. 
Being the oldest and therefore the most independent child (at the ripe old age of five-nearly-six) Isaiah tends to get the short end of the stick so to speak. When all three kids simultaneously need attention we divide and conquer. Which leaves Isaiah hanging more times then I would like to admit. 

During his bedtime 'smoochie & hug' time, I outright asked him "What would you rather have? More time and attention from mom and dad and no baby sisters OR Baby sisters and less time and attention from mom and dad?"

Without hesitation he chose the latter. My figurative cup runeth over!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

The kids and I are off to enjoy a potluck with friends...

Guess who is at the library studying??? Poor guy misses all the fun! Well and the tantrums too. But I am sure he is more than happy to miss those:)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another update.

This is going to be kind of random and probably boring. Consider yourself warned. But it is the best I can do. Plus some people requested an update...

Joe & I were able to get away for our anniversary. It was fabulously relaxed and low key and CHILD FREE for 21 hours...but whos counting right?!  Due to my mom needing to get a visa for China (which needs to be applied for in NYC, San Franscico or Chicago) the kids and grandparents joined us for the beginning and end of the getaway. We just couldn't get away! When we celebrate our next decade of marriage we are going further away so they can't find us! I am kidding. It was a great time with and without the kids. 

We saw Navy Pier (including a ferris wheel ride & boat tour), walked the Magnificent Mile, enjoyed Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain and attempted to enjoy the Art Institute of Chicago. Apparently it isn't "our thing". We liked watching the people more than the art. Oops! And we may have accidently sat on the ledge of one of the displays wrongly assuming it was a bench...

Joe managed to squeeze in a little study time (which was part of the plan). The Chicago Public Library is AMAZING and beautiful! I snuck off to see the children's area...clearly one day is too long for me to be apart from my kids:)

Alright enough about that. Now on to the real update. Charlotte's bum. Don't worry no pictures for this update. Short version: it is getting better. 

Long version: The packing was being removed slowly. 1 inch. Then 2 inches. Until this morning. It unpacked itself during the night! All 11 inches of packing sitting in her diaper. Oh my! Now we are left with a slightly gaping incision which is still draining...just a little. The redness is almost gone. And her only complaint? The tape that holds on the gauze. She has come to accept the "diaper bandaid" as well as the nasty tasting antibiotic. My biggest complaint? Trying to keep the area clean when she uses the bathroom. I will leave that to your imagination. You are welcome!

The doctor was happy with her progress and didn't want to repack it. So we are just doing the same old same old. Gauze & tape. And waiting. And rechecking in a couple days. Hopefully when it is done draining and she completes the antibiotics (Monday!) we can steri strip it closed so it isn't so gaping...I mean the poor girl is going to want to ride her trike and swim this summer. Neither of which she can do at this point. 

Just legs. No bums. A promise is a promise!

*Completely unrelated...but doesn't that first picture of me and the girls just scream "MOM"?!  How did I become such a mom? And here I thought (when I was planning the outfit) it said "fun tourist in the city". Jokes on me:)

Friday, May 24, 2013

A decade.

10 years. Wow! I can't believe we have been married for an entire decade. That flew by. A lot can happen in a decade...

A honeymoon.
A year in the Dominican Republic.
Return to the USA.
Get a puppy.
Move to Moorhead.
Graduate from college (both of us).
Have a baby!
Get a first "real" job (him).
Buy an ugly house.
Move to Wisconsin.
Go to graduate school (me).
Give back puppy. 
Have a baby!
Quit work and stay home with kids (him).
Get a real jobs #1 and #2 (me).
Sell a beautiful renovated house.
Move to Illinois.
Start medical school (him).
Have a baby!

This life of ours has been quite an adventure. And this list really doesn't do it justice:) I am so glad I get to do it all with you by my side Joseph! I love you...more today than I did on our wedding day (which I didn't think was possible then). God knew what he was doing when he put us together. 

Look at us. We were just a couple of kids! Sorry for the low quality picture. This was a pre-digital photo.  Funny thing.  Our photographer offered to take digital pictures.  And we declined.  Digital whats that?!  Even funnier.  Our friend made us a video slide show for our reception.  She offered to have it burned on a DVD.  We declined.  Yep it is on VHS:)  Come to think of it so is our video of our wedding ceremony! Might be time to dust those off for a viewing...

*Charlotte just looked at this picture of me and asked, "Is that you mommy? Because it looks like me. A princess."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Little update:

Clinic appointment went well. Better than expected because the doctor decided against unpacking and re-packing the incision. (I don't blame her:). Instead the plan is to pull 1 centimeter of packing out every day until it is empty/healed. Fortunately I can do this at home. Unfortunately the ER doctor did not document the length of packing he used so we don't know how long this process is going to take. One day at a time I guess. We will be going into the clinic every 2-3 days for rechecks.

Speaking of which, I was able to schedule her next appointment for Saturday after Joe and I return from our mini 10th anniversary getaway...the one I didn't purchase trip insurance for. Therefore we can't reschedule it. Therefore we are still going (with the pediatrician's blessing) despite Charlotte's current health issues and feeling like crappy parents! But she will be in Grandma and Grandpa's capable hands AND we will be less than an hour's drive away. Hopefully the mommy guilt won't weigh on me for our entire 24 hours away...

And now for some unrelated pictures. Enjoying the botanic garden yesterday. See Charlotte looks great!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I will just cut to the chase with this one. Yesterday was spent in the ER with Charlotte. She had an abscess on her little bum that had to be 'incisized and drained'. Basically it was cut open. The puss was removed. Then the hole was filled with gauze and left open so it can heal from the inside. She was sedated for the procedure so she felt NONE of it thankfully. Although seeing your 2 year old sedated is not easy.

That was our curve ball. Sorry for those that have queasy stomachs. We don't mince words around here...especially medical words. 

So where does that leave us now? Charlotte is doing amazingly well. She is on antibiotics. And besides the large bandage and diaper on her bum you would never know she endured such an ordeal yesterday. Oh yes she does sit a little funny as would be expected:) And she isn't so fond of the diaper but she is otherwise her energetic, happy self!

But tomorrow is the day I am dreading. Tomorrow we go to the clinic to have her wound unpacked and then re-packed...without sedation.  I am imagining the worst and praying for the best. This re-packing process will be repeated every couple days until it has healed. Yesterday was just the beginning of a long process to get our Charlotte healed. 

So if you think of it tomorrow at 3:15 we would greatly appreciate your prayers for minimum pain and a whole heap of comfort for Charlotte. Poor thing has no clue what is going to happen as she doesn't even realize she has an extra hole in her bottom;)

Monday, May 20, 2013


And life with the GRANDparents is GRAND! Cheesy? Yes. But true:)

It is so nice to have a couple extra helping hands around. The kids always have someone to play with, snuggle or read a book together. I have someone to chat with while doing all my regular housework. And I do love a good chat:) Not to mention my mom does all the dishes when she visits. What's not to love?!

Plus this guy can sneak away to get extra study time in without me even noticing (or complaining). Only 3 weeks until the BIG test! Am I a broken record or what?!?

Isaiah and Grandpa are like two peas in a pod. They would spend all day at the beach collecting rocks if we would let them. 

Yep life is grand! Even if life did throw us a little curve ball yesterday. More on that later. Right now we are going to focus on the good things...sun, sand, ice cream and time with the grandparents!

Unrelated: sorry about all the blurry pictures. I updated my blogger app and now the pictures I upload are blurry. And I just don't have the time or motivation to solve this mystery!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Parents' Vow

This morning we had this sweet baby girl dedicated to the Lord during our Sunday morning church service.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there." ~Matthew 19:14-15

We didn't dedicate her because we have to. This dedication isn't a saving act neither is it a Biblical command. Instead it is something we have chosen to do as parents. The ceremony is actually more for us, the parents. We dedicate ourselves to raising Hannah in the way of the Lord. We acknowledge that while she is our daughter, she isn't ours. She is God's child and He has entrusted her to us for a time. Even more so we acknowledge God's right to deal with her according to His sovereign and loving plan. 

That is the part that is scary and hard for me as a parent. I easily and excitidly proclaim my desire to raise her in the church. But acknowledging that I give God complete control over my baby girl. That's hard. I want to believe that I can protect her and keep all harm from her. I want to control her future.  But the truth is I can't. And that scares me. 

Thankfully God's love for her is immensely greater than mine. He will love her and protect her in His perfect wisdom. And that is a truth I cling to. 

For the actual ceremony our family and the pastor went on the stage in front of the congregation. Joe and I took the following vow:

Believing that this child is a gift from God, and that He will hold you accountable for this child, do you publicly confess that it is your purpose to dedicate her to the Lord and to His service? Will you pray with her and for her, instruct her faithfully in the doctrines of the Christian faith, teach her to read the Word of God, to pray, and to lead a holy life? Will you teach this child to fellowship regularly with God's people and do all that lies within you to bring her to a personal knowledge of Jesus as Savior and Lord? If so say, "We will."

Then the congregation repeated their vow:

Because God has brought us together as a local community of faith, and because we take seriously our calling to live the shared life, we join our hearts today in support of these parents and their child. Lord, may we be faithful to love, pray for, encourage, instruct, and nurture this family. May we model what it means to be authentic and faithful followers of Jesus, and may we do all we can to lead parents and children alike to a personal knowledge of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. AMEN. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Charlotte's window angel

Alternate Title: Our Latest Family Photo. A real framer:) Can you find all five of us?

Just a lovely lazy Saturday morning around here. Joe is at Bible study (followed by studying). The big kids are zoned out in front of cartoons. Vortex!!! And the baby and I are snuggling in bed together. A perfect morning. 

And the grandparents are coming for a week long visit! Yippee. It's going to be a good week. 

Update/reality check: less than 5 minutes later I was no longer in bed because one child had used half a tube of Chapstick on her lips and the other had smeared the ENTIRE couch with snot because he is unable (unwilling?) to blow his nose...

Study time please end soon. Grandparents hurry on over. Your slimy, snotty grandchildren are waiting. And their tired mom just wants a shower!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Beach

I didn't get my shower or change into my big girl pants during naptime yesterday. Because a certain Little Miss decided to boycott nap + it was a no school day for Isaiah {which I discovered after loading all 3 kids into the van and drove them to the school and unloaded them all at the school!} Oops. But Charlotte napped. Yay! Because when that girl doesn't sleep she gets slap happy. Which sounds delightful BUT a laughing literally slapping 2 year old isn't actually that fun to be around!

Back to the subject at hand. Despite my lack of personal hygiene I did manage to turn my bad attitude around (which was the real problem yesterday). And the kids and I had a delightful time at the beach. Lunchables and all:)

As for the evening? Well some stories are best left untold. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Today has been one of those days.  A day in which I have been jumped on, swatted at and purposely ignored. I have heard my name...MOM...whined, yelled and cried too many times to count. The baby was crying, the toddler was crying and the 5 year old was yelling...simultaneously...multiple times. And it wasn't yet 10 am.

I woke up with a headache. Just a small dull pain. I have two painful canker sores. And my back hurts from throwing a fit. (Yes I threw a fit! Yesterday I decided to show my 5 year old how ridiculous he looks when he throws a fit...I wouldn't recommend it.) My hair is greasy and pulled back into a pony tail. I have cheese smeared on my skirt and banana smashed into my tank top. 

I don't really know where this is going. These days of ground hog-ish repetitiveness of motherhood are wearing me down right now. I know that one day I will look back at them and think those were the best days!  But not today. 

Today I just want a long uninterrupted shower. Or a bubble bath - that would be even better! I want peace and quiet. I dream of not being constantly touched... pulled and pushed by little needy hands. I want to wear a crisp clean outfit and enjoy a meal I didn't prepare myself. Although the prospect of any meal coming from my barren fridge is slim to none. I want to be past this letting her cry it out phase so we can go back to getting full nights of sleep. Or maybe her first tooth would just pop out and that would help?!?

Okay. This ends my 'woe is me' rant. Because deep down I know that my life is good. My kids love me and need me. I am blessed to be able to be at home with them. And I have a husband who loves me deeply and at the end of every day he comes home and jumps right in to this crazy mess. Even when he is mentally exhausted {which he will be today after his 4.5 hour test}, he doesn't complain he just plays with the kids and helps with the household chores. I know all these things even if I am not feeling them. Right now these trenches feel deep. 

On days like these a "real" job and daycare sound like a good idea. It's a good thing my computer is broken so I can't spend naptime searching for job listings. How's that for glass half full? Instead I am going to shower and change into my big girl pants...which also happen to be my yoga pants:) I am going to plan a fun outing for the kids and I for the afternoon. And then I will top it all off with a gourmet meal of leftover lunchables or maybe more pb&j. Because mama said there would be days like this...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sick days

That little vomit inducing illness that scared away our company last week has been like the gift that keeps on giving here in our little one bathroom abode. Fortunately our company was able to avoid it. Unfortunately we have NOT.

The nitty gritty rundown (that no one really wants to know but I am sharing anyways):
Day 1: Charlotte
Day 3: Isaiah (or so we thought)
Day 4: Hannah
Day 5: Me & Joe

Yep. We the caregivers got sick THE SAME DAY. Take a moment and let that sink in. Basically our parenting was AWFUL for a full 24 hours. I mean so bad I swore we were DONE having babies. And anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE having babies. Ok well not the actual having them part but I digress...

Thankfully we had laundry baskets and Popsicle sticks to occupy the children! I kid you not these two played for an entire evening with these two items. I watched it with my own eyes and could hardly believe it. I mean we have an entire house FULL of toys and they played with laundry baskets and Popsicle sticks?!? It is like the old "the box is better than the gift conundrum" I guess. This sick mama wasn't about to question their logic. Play on children. Play on and please do not kill each other. Thank you.

So yesterday when we were invited to a playdate at the park I immediately and happily accepted. An opportunity to get out. And have fun. And be a better parent! The kids played happily for HOURS! Three hours to be exact. It was glorious.

And bedtime went great. Without a hitch. The kids fell right asleep. All that fresh air, sunshine and fun had done them well. Then during my final check on the sleeping kids before I went to bed, I found Isaiah moaning. Uh oh. Day # forever and ever without end in sight. He was in a puddle of his own vomit...sound asleep Yuck. And poor guy:(

So now we are properly quarantined at home with no end in sight. And to those NINE little friends (plus their mamas) that we played with yesterday at the park...SORRY. I sure hope we did not pass on the gift that keeps on giving. And if we did I promise to come over armed with bleach wipes, saltines and 7up. Unless of course you don't want me in your house. And for that I would completely understand!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Me {according to my mothers day card}

Our mom...

the cleaner of throw up crusted floors, lover of booger-faced kids, wiper of urine-streaked toilet seats, maker of nutritious meals, rummager of all rummagers, deal finder of all deal finders, blogger to the masses, queen of the house, traveler of miles, diaper genie, laundry master...

This description is shockingly accurate and brought tears to my eyes. Tears of laughter. And tears of happiness. Happiness that he seems to get "it". It being the thankless, tiring job that is motherhood.

Other facts about me according to my children. The verbal ones that is!

I am either 29 or 7 years old. If I were a crayon I would be purple. If I were a toy I would be a princess or a troll. My favorite thing to do is play with my kids. If I were an animal I would be a beautiful flamingo...or a lion! If I were the weather I would be a lightning storm or a sunny day...

And lastly the things my kids say they do for me:

Charlotte: vacuum, pick up floor, put it in the garbage of it goes in the garbage, play with Hannah, go outside, eat popcorn.
Isaiah: vacuum floor, clean up messes, when she tells me to do something I do it!

Again impressively accurate!

(We have a dust buster the kids use...just for clarification:)

Lastly, how loooooong can I drag on this Mother's Day thing? Forever, I think:)