Tuesday, July 30, 2013


A "friend" on Facebook asked for encouraging quotes. Something to help her get through the long difficult days. And boy did she get quite the response! I liked so many of them that I decided to share them. Mostly I am recording them so I can read and re-read them when I need encouragement on my long and difficult days! Because well I have those days...once in a while:)

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

The struggle is part of the story.

Expectation is the root of all disappointment.

Let go and let God!

Today, we will live in the moment, unless its unpleasant, then me will eat a cookie. -The Cookie Monster

Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon.

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

It doesn't matter whether the glass is half full or half empty. Be grateful you have a glass, and there is something in it. 

Do what you can, with what you have, and where you are. -Theodore Roosevelt 

Fake it til you make it!

Comparison is the the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt

Expect the worst and you'll always be pleasantly surprised!

And my personal favorite mantra that I repeat to myself a lot...

This too shall pass!

But looking at all these pictures of my smiling cute kids makes me wonder "Why would I want this to pass?" And then I get hit smack in the face with a big dose of poopy-diaper-whiny-kids-never-ending-bickering dose of reality and I remember exactly why I want it to pass! Then I start counting down the seemingly endless hours until their father returns home and I can relax a little bit and enjoy this moment and not just wish it away! 

Late night shenanigans

A certain blonde child of mine just couldn't fall asleep last night. She would stay in her bed as long as daddy was in her room. But eventually daddy wanted to go to sleep! And she was still wide AWAKE. Once daddy left, she popped right out of her bed and joined us in ours:( After A LOT of tossing, turning and limb flailing I decided she needed to be removed from our bed if my poor sweet and very tired husband was going to get any sleep. So what were we to do?!


While the rest of the family slept we played beauty salon! And I actually came up with a couple different hair dos for her wispy baby fine hair. Oh and the bandaid on her forehead?! That is there because I finally "exfoliated" her scar. Win. Win!

Eventually she did go to bed and stayed put! That is when I discovered these guys doing this...
Synchronized sleeping!!! 

It melted my heart just a little bit. That and it guaranteed some non-restful sleep for us. Nothing a little extra caffeine this morning can't fix though:)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Soldiering on

Last week after a particularly tiring playdate at the park I strapped my 3 + an extra into their carseats, turned on the A/C and some kid music. Then I sat there in the peace and relative quiet. I cracked open my Pepsi and responded to a few emails on my phone. Ten minutes later I was feeling amazingly refreshed and ready to go. The kids were a little perplexed by our pause in the parking lot. But for me it was glorious. And so needed. 

I felt a little funny about my little mid-day "break". And even a little guilty. So I texted my friend - one of the moms that had been at the playdate - confessing what I had done. 

Her response: "Lololol that does sound fantastic. All us moms need are random 10 min breaks in the day and then we can soldier on. The kids had you running!!!! You sweet thing :)"

So true!

So this afternoon while the girls were napping, I popped in a DVD for Isaiah and took a quick soak in the tub. After which I still had time to polish my sad, sad piggies:)

Thank you public library for the free entertainment so this mom can soldier on... and thank you dear friend for the gift of nail polish for Charlotte:) So this mom can soldier on while feeling pretty!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Birthday Girl(s)

Today we celebrated ONE YEAR of life for a certain little miss. Even if she isn't quite there yet:) The grandparents are in town so party we must! 
Of course we will honor her again on her actual BIRTHday. Cupcakes again? If we have too:)
This birthday girl enjoyed her WACKY CUPCAKE - even if it doesn't look like it. She took her time and ate it carefully and fairly neatly as well. 
She might have enjoyed opening her gifts if her siblings would have allowed her the experience! She did enjoy playing with her new toys after her siblings checked them out first! It's tough being the baby of the family:) I know. 

This gift she did NOT share. She gave her infamous deafening shriek and little swat to anyone who even attempted to take away her camelbak! Quite the opinionated, tough little cookie we are raising:)

Then in the evening we went out to dinner to celebrate Grandma's birthday...I won't share how many years of life we were honoring for her;) All in all it was a pretty wonderful day. Even if it means my baby isn't a baby anymore. Well almost!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A little conversation

This morning Charlotte was lying on the floor when her sister crawled up to her and pulled not one but TWO handfuls of hair from her head.

Understandably the girl was instantly a puddle of tears. That hurts! Between tears she declared, "I don't like BABIES!" I don't like hair pulling babies either sweet girl:(

After hugging and comforting her, I placed Charlotte on the couch out of her sister's reach. I did my best to explain to her that Hannah wasn't trying to be mean. It was an accident. She is just a baby and we need to teach her how to be gentle. Charlotte seemed receptive. 

I then gave Charlotte a small dish of trail mix with the instructions to keep it away from her baby sister. 

C: Why mama? Why can't Hannah have it mama?
Me: Because she could choke.
C: Why mama?
Me: Because the pieces are too small for babies to eat. 
C: She could choke mama?
Me: Yes Charlotte. 
C: Choke and die, mama???

I promptly moved Hannah far, far away from her snacking sister!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My secret.

Want to know my little secret?

I have started running. Wait. Hold up. That is giving myself FAR too much credit. I have started jogging. Jogging intermixed with walking. 

Which in my book is CRAZY! Because for years I have lived by the motto "I don't run unless I am being chased...by a wild animal! And even then I am not sure I would run."

So how did this new fitness kick start? By accident. Really it was an accident. One evening the kids and I were walking on the path along Lake Michigan when Isaiah asked me to race him. I obliged. Mostly because I wanted to get home quicker. And I didn't die like I thought I would:)

I had been wanting to start some sort of exercise routine since Hannah's birth...nearly a year ago! I had done a workout video a few times. But nothing else really. And I just couldn't figure out a way to fit it into the routine of our day. And honestly, I don't like exercising and since I had already lost the baby weight my motivation was minimal. 

But now, now that I know I can survive my jogs AND I have a running partner, I  am exercising on a regular, almost daily basis. And I hate to admit it but I like the way I feel after exercising. You were right husband it does feel good. That isn't to say it hasn't hurt. Because OH MY GOODNESS I have never felt my muscles burn like that before! But it is a good burn. 

A new family tradition has been birthed. Family exercise time. After dinner I strap the girls into the jogging stroller(s), lace up my shape ups and set off with my running partner (sometime partners when Joe is home). We jog-walk an embarrassingly short 0.85 miles, sweat like crazy and breath harder than I would like to admit. But we do it. And it is working for us. And every day I am amazed that I am actually exercising! I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks:)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Some days

Honestly some days I wish I were still in my other profession. The one I got paid for. The one where I was respected and my opinion mattered. People actually listened to me. They did what I said. The first time without having to count to 3:) And I had breaks...paid breaks! And most importantly I felt like I was making a difference in people's lives. Oh those were the days.

Because some days when just getting out the door to walk to the park with my 3 kids has me teetering on the brink of insanity, I wonder what I am doing in this profession. The job of raising loving, respectful, kind, God honoring small human beings. It is so daunting. And never ending. 

For my other profession I studied and trained for 6 years. 6 years!!! And even then I had moments of feeling incompetent in my job. So the handful of parenting books I have read and the mere hours I have spent listening to parenting experts (via radio, MOPS, etc) is just laughable.  No wonder I feel so ill prepared!

[^ me on graduation day ~ hugely pregnant with baby #2]

So back to the park. Or more accurately trying to get the park! First I unearthed the stroller from amongst the mountain of kid toys in the garage. In that place where a car should be parked but never will due to an over abundance of strollers, trikes, ride on toys, kiddie pools and the like. This was followed by multiple trips in and out of the house getting the stroller prepped and ready to go. Sun hats. Water bottles. Diapers. Wipes. Sunscreen. Big kid snacks. Baby snack. Mommy snack. Sand toys. 

Stroller loaded and I was adequately glowing from my full body layer of sweat. Awesome. The kids however were NOT ready. Despite my multiple instructions to "Get your shoes on. GET your shoes ON. GET YOUR SHOES ON!" They were all still shoe-less! Not to mention the fact that no one had used the potty like I had strongly suggested. And of course the baby needed a diaper change. Go figure!

Soooo many tantrums, tears and stern words later we were finally shoed up and out the door. To GO TO THE PARK! I mean this is supposed to be fun, right?! By the kids lack of cooperation you would have thought we were going to the doctor's office...to get shots! Nope. Just out to play. 

We didn't even make it to the end of the driveway before Charlotte threw as many fits as candles were on her last birthday (cup)cake! Conveniently the neighbor directly across the street was also in her driveway strapping her crew into a stroller to presumably go on a walk. This child laden neighbor moved in recently. I haven't met her yet. But somehow in the middle of the nonsense that is trying to reason with a raging 3 year old that she can NOT walk down the middle of the street that is FULL of construction vehicles and equipment, well that just didn't seem like the time for friendly introductions. I mean I was also kind of busy trying to convince my son that it is OK to ride his bike over the bumps in the road. That is what training wheels are for, right? Needless to say I lost both of those battles. An unreasonable 3 year old was strapped into the stroller. And the 6 year walked his bike until we got to the sidewalk! I kept my head down and plowed ahead avoiding all eye contact and counted my blessings, namely the fact that the baby was not screeching like a banchee at the moment! She was too busy chewing her sandal. Tasty:)

Eventually we DID make it to the park and the kids had a great time playing. Together!  However I was physically and emotionally exhausted by that point. And all we did was WALK to the park! Which gets me thinking that I am not prepared to be a mother. This mother to these three children. And more importantly, as clearly exhibited by my lack of skill at peacefully and efficiently accomplishing such a mundane activity with my kids, I am not doing a very good job at raising these little people. 

[^Just like that one is shoe less once again! At least the baby is no longer eating her sandals.]

And then there are these unexpected moments. Little rays of hope. Hinting at the fact that I must be doing an alright job in this whole parenting business. That I haven't completely failed my children. That this profession is the right profession for me at this time in this stage of life for our family. 

Moments like yesterday, while cooking dinner I overhear Charlotte singing, "God is my best friend. God is my best friend. God is my best friend!" while playing independently. 

Or Isaiah pointing towards heaven when I asked him who he loves the most in our family. Smart kid. Even if secretly I was hoping he would pick me. 

Or Hannah sleeping through the night every night. While that may seem trivial it always makes me feel like I am doing something right as a mom. Sleep. It really is a beautiful thing. Especially when it is uninterrupted. 

Like a wise friend of mine once said, "Since becoming a mother, each day is a mixture of my worst nightmare and all my dreams come true." I agree completely. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

PSA for moms

This stuff....
...is amazing!!!! Seriously, how did I survive 6 years of motherhood without it?!? And why did no one tell me about it sooner?!? It is basically a SHOWER in a BOTTLE for your hair. You know minus the actual showering part:) Which is great  because I rarely manage to find 10-15 minutes in my day to actually shower! Basic hygiene has become my nemesis as a stay at home mom. Sad, but true. I had resigned myself to a lifetime of limp, greasy hair. Or at least until my children were...older!

Things are looking up now thanks to my *fancy shmancy dry shampoo. Just a little spray to my roots. A little playing with my hair and I am a whole new girl! Or at least a less greasy one:)

Want to see?
This was me this morning pre-dry shampoo. Fresh out of bed. Monday morning hair that was last washed Saturday night! Yikes. 

And this is me 2 minutes later post-dry shampoo!! Amazing. Full disclosure: I did use my curling iron...for a mere 60 seconds. Fresh as a daisy and ready to rock the storytime scene at the public library!

My 6 year old told me I smelled pretty. I asked him how my hair looked. His response, "still funky". Hey, I will take what I can get. Funky and pretty smelling is better than funky and stinky any day. 

Two minutes! That is all it took. Like I said before...A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Even if my girls did manage to get into mischief during those two short minutes. Supervised mischief but mischief none the less!

*I realize there are many fancier dry shampoos on the market, but the $3.19 price tag was just what our no income budget could handle:)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting crafty.

Crafty and thrifty! Two of my favorite things. It's like a little slice of heaven on earth for me. I made our very ugly front window a little bit prettier this weekend and all it cost me was $0.39 for the dowel (which was actually left over from an old project). So all in all practically FREE! The foam scraps were a "treasure" I found on dump day. The fabric is from my mom's never ending fabric stash. And well the duct tape was just lying around:)

My creation:
Voila! A valance!

Unimpressed? Distracted by our dirty stained carpet? Yeah, me too! Gross. Sorry, but not too sorry. I mean we live here with three small children:)

So not exactly the fanciest valance ever. But it definitely helped dress up (disguise?!) our ugly 1970s style rental home window treatment. 

My intentions were to wait until morning to take the 'AFTER' picture. Open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Really dress it up. Like a true and dramatic before & after. Instead I quickly snapped the picture tonight because I am not convinced that my valance will still be hanging in the morning. The reason? Welllllll...the construction of the valance is kind of a hot mess! A lot like it's maker:). Perfect example: I may or may not have accused my children of either a) eating or b) destroying + hiding a foam piece when the "missing" piece was SMACK DAB in front of me! Like I said, a hot mess. The valance is held together with duct tape and some very minimal hand stitching. It is attached to the original valance with small plastic clips and Velcro. 

And it just fell down!!!! So that lasted less than an hour...it was pretty while it lasted. 

Off to bed for me. I will try again tomorrow. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happenings and musings

How low can I stoop in my lazy mom methods? Lower than I thought possible. See exhibit A:

Because apparently opening two separate jars to make my kids' lunch is just too much work! Seriously though. I think the sandwiches look disgusting when made with this stuff but the kids love them. Direct quote from Isaiah while eating his goober sandwich, "Mom you make THE BEST peanut butter and jelly!"  Thanks buddy. I try. Or not really:)

Originally I purchased this as a gift for my dad for his next visit. Because 1) his nickname was 'Goober' and 2) he loves PB&J. But the kids found it and wanted to try it. Sorry dad. 

Moving right along. More lazy mom madness. After playing in the "sprinkler" yesterday, I changed Hannah into a cotton dress. Which then evolved into her nightgown. And is now her outfit once again. Charlotte has asked several times, "Hannah is that your jammies? Or your dress?" She seems genuinely confused. 

See this?

This kid managed to make the whole world by himself all before the baby and I managed to drag ourselves out of bed this morning! I was impressed. 

I went out to get the clean laundry off the line. Hhhm...not sure 'clean' was a necessary adjective there?! Anyway. Upon stepping back into the house I found Charlotte with a mouth full of something and a proud grin on her face. I asked her what she was eating. She said "BREAD" and pointed to the cupcakes. I tried to argue with her that cupcakes aren't "bread". To which she responded, "I KNOW!" Sure enough she was eating the slice of bread I had put in the cupcake container to keep them fresh. 

I immediately thought "Wow if that is the worst she did while I was out we are doing good". And sat and folded laundry completely blissfully unaware of the fact that she was really doing THIS:

Her explanation. She was "collecting things". 

In order to avoid pondering the fact that I still had 8+ hours before my husband returned home and therefore a 0% chance of face-to-face adult interaction in my immediate future, I quickly fed the children an early lunch and herded my crew outside to play. Laundry folding was deserted for this:

Much better:)

And lastly, a glimpse at my new romper for my sister. It is comfortable but definitely not out in public appropriate on this 30 year old body. The shorts get realllll short....

Sorry my taking self portraits in the mirror skills are quite pathetic. 

And now because I am putting even myself to sleep I will quit. You are welcome.

**By 'sprinkler' I meant the hose with the garden sprayer attached. I couldn't get it off so I improvised. I sprayed the kids. They liked it AND it was fun for me. Just more proof for my lazy mom pudding:) As you can plainly see my husband is not as lazy as I, so he attached a proper sprinkler for the kids. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


At first I was waiting for Joe to take his test. Then I was waiting for his score. He took it and he passed!  (Just like I knew he would). The waiting is over. And yet I still feel like I am waiting. Waiting for what I am not exactly sure. 

I am waiting for Joe to get home every night. I am waiting for this 8 weeks to be over and his next rotation to start. I am waiting for him to finish his third year and take Step 2. Waiting for all the studying to be done. Ha! Waiting for the residency application process to start. Waiting to match. 

On a much smaller scale I am waiting for 10 am so I can enjoy my daily soda.  Waiting for lunch time because then it is almost nap time. Waiting for dinner time so I can just sit down and hopefully enjoy my family's company. Waiting for bedtime. Waiting for the kids to fall asleep so I can enjoy some quiet down time. 

Waiting for church on Sunday, storytime on Monday and playdate on Wednesday and all the other fun plans in between. 

Waiting for the baby to finally pop out a tooth or two. Waiting for Charlotte to stay dry all night every night. Waiting for Isaiah to be brave enough to ride his bike without training wheels. Waiting for my hair to grow (so I can put in a pony tail once again).  Waiting for someone to wash my dirty dishes, do my laundry and clean my...I kid! A girl can dream, right?!

Truly I don't know what I am waiting for. Or why. What I do know is this waiting is no good. I need to live in the present for the present. Waiting for future isn't getting me anywhere. That seems obvious, right? And yet I wait. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sugar and spice and everything nice.

That is what little girls are made of.

See all those pretty little hair bows pictured all the way to the right. The really girly ones on the pretty personalized ribbon display. The day has finally arrived that the owner of these hair clippies actually can and needs to use them. We thought this day would never come! They are so dainty and feminine AND they keep her hair out of her eyes! Yay. We call them her "princess clippies" in an effort to convince her to leave them in. 

Just a little background information to clarify the significance of this seemingly unimportant milestone. Charlotte was gifted these hair bows and display when she was a mere 3 {very bald} months old by her aunt and grandma. A year ago at age 2 her baby sister was born with {seemingly} more and thicker hair than a still very bald and blonde Charlotte. For 3 years those bows have hung on her wall just begging to be worn and displayed properly on a little girl's head. I was convinced Hannah would need them first. But alas at the ripe old age of 3 years Charlotte finally has enough...barely but still enough...golden locks to necessitate these pretty little clippies!

As far as the sugar and spice and everything nice. Well that everything might just be a slight exaggeration. She is definitely a 3 year old girl. Lots of spice to go along with that sugar. Enough said, right?  But she sure looks sweet:)