Sunday, September 29, 2013


Do you know what is worse than eating Cheerios or goldfish or animal crackers off the floor? 

I really wish I didn't know. But I do. 

Eating soggy, previously gummed up Cheerios, goldfish and animal crackers off the floor. Definitely worse. 
Yep. I just did it. Again. Will I ever learn?! Probably not. I mean I am the mom that once ate a partial graham cracker off of my infant son's changing the dark...without being 100% confident that it was in fact a brown cracker. 

[I went to the basement to put some laundry in and returned less than 5 minutes later to find my girls having a snack free for all on the floor - pictured above - with the snacks I had just put up...out of their reach! Or so I thought.]

Friday, September 27, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing...

[Warning: as the title implies I don't have much to share. In fact, I think I have used this title before...which should be a clear indication that I should just stop. But I won't and I didn't. So if you have anything...anything of remote importance to do, well I would suggest you do that instead. Save yourself the torture that is this post...]

Yesterday Charlotte woke up with seemingly hundreds and hundreds of words just needing to get out. This girl didn't stop talking ALL DAY. She pretty much had a non-stop one-sided conversation. And most of it was pretty cute. I wish I could recall more. But while her mind (and mouth) were running at 100 mph mine were NOT. I had stayed up waaaay too late the night before. Don't I always?  

This is what I can remember of the funny snippets from Charlotte:

-She walked 2 miles! (In reference to Hannah taking two of the teensiest baby steps ever. Gotta love her optimism!)
-My feet are grouchy. (First time wearing socks & shoes this season. I guess she didn't like the feeling.)
-This strawberry is too yucky. It is soury. Here mama. You have it. It's good for you. (Self explanatory. Thank you thoughtful child of mine.)
-You have a fat tummy mama. There is a boy baby in there. (She has been saying this one a lot lately. Not a favorite of mine for obvious reasons. She has started adding the statement that her tummy is fat too - which it isn't - so that eases the blow a bit.)

And baby sister? Well...

She is busy with regular one year old shenanigans and mischief. Loving life one mess at a time! Pants...only required in public, right?!

This might get a little wordy, but it had me cracking up. Last week before our trip to Wisconsin the kids and I were driving (somewhere) and talking about our friends we were planning on visiting. From the back of the van Isaiah very seriously informed me that his friends Morgan and Lily look exactly alike!

Me: What?! Morgan and Lily? Are you sure??
I: Yes mom. Morgan and Lily. They look exactly alike. 
Me: ...
I: They have the exact same face. They should be twins!
Me: Really? Morgan and Lily? They look...umm...different, buddy. Morgan has dark brown hair and Lily has blonde hair. Remember?
I: Well yeah. But their faces look like twins. They should be twins! Grant and Cooper look nothing alike. I don't even know why they are twins. Lily and Morgan should be twins NOT Grant and Cooper!
Me: ....

(Grant & Cooper are twins that do look alike. Not identical but like brothers...while Morgan & Lily DON'T!)

Oh kids! They really are funny sometimes. Moving right along...

Joe is many, many wonderful things. However he is not naturally complimentary. Ok is that even a word? Not sure. But what I mean by that is he doesn't dole out compliments. In fact he is a man of few words in general. And he only says things he really really means. 

And yet in the last couple of days he has been saying the sweetest things. Example #1: I overheard him telling his brother on the phone our plans to pack up all our stuff and hit the road as a family next year*, and he ended his explanation by saying, "I won't have much stuff but I will have everything I need with me." And then later that night (completely unprompted) he said to me, "I meant what I said earlier, if I have you and the kids with me then I have everything I need." Umm. Yeah. Pretty sure I will follow him to the moon and back if keeps saying sweet things like that!
Example #2: I recently hung the canvas prints from our family photos. They are displayed as a collage of sorts in the playroom - easily visible from the dining room. Yesterday he sat down to eat and studied the canvases. He then said to me "I really like those. You did a good job."  That right there was one of the best compliments I have ever received from him! Because #1) He prefers our walls bare and simple and #2) the only thing he likes less than taking family pictures is plastering our walls with family pictures!

I suppose that about covers it. Unless of course you want to know why I stayed up too late the other night?! I had a 31 party. Which was fun. But I am NOT a saleswoman so the entire process stressed me!  Like real stress over something so silly...selling bags! I definitely know that I did NOT miss my calling in life. That and I will never ever do one of those parties again. Don't get me wrong. I love 31 products and I love the fact that I "earned" free products by hosting the party. But it just is too much for me...

*Maybe I do have something to write about...our crazy traveling circus plans for next year:)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I can't tell you how many times I have said the words "I am done. D.O.N.E!" to Joe as he walks in the door at night. More times than I can count. And my logical side knows just how unfair this is to him (and the kids). After I declare my doneness I typically drop everything and hide in my room for a couple minutes...sometimes...for a couple of hours. Okay a lot of times it is hours not minutes. The poor guy is tired too. And yet I just can't fathom mothering for one more minute so I quit temporarily.  [It is also during these times that my husband not-so-subtly suggests that if I am D.O.N.E. then perhaps I should be DONE having babies! Such a sensible man I married.]

All this end-of-my-rope business has me thinking. Pondering all of the benefits of being the stay-at-home parent. And not just the "I get to see all of my baby's firsts first" moments. Not the "I get to be the one that picks my child up from school and comfort him when he was bullied on the playground" moments. Oh wait. Joe was there for that one. Good thing too because I would have had at least an unkind word or two for that mean big kid. And not just the moments filled with snuggles, kisses and hugs. Yes ALL of those moments are fabulous. And I completely agree they are a HUGE perk of being the stay at home parent. 

But I am talking about the unspoken perks. The ones stay-at-homers enjoy but don't often discuss. Especially with the work-outside-the-home parent:) Like deciding this afternoon to do nothing while my girls napped. 

Sure I could have washed my floors. In fact I should have washed my floors (as I am having a party here tomorrow night)! But alas I did not wash those floors. Instead I did pretty much nothing. I took a hot bath and enjoyed a cold Pepsi. I responded to a few emails. And I blogged. Obviously:) So yeah. Pretty much nothing. 

And there it is, my favorite perk of being a stay-at-home parent. I can do as little or as much as I want (within reason!). As long as everyone is safe, fed and mostly clothed we are doing alright. That is a pretty sweet perk. And it is going to take A LOT of convincing for me to give up my afternoon naps and snacks - even on the days I declare I am done, I am not really done. I just need a break. 

The pay is crumby but the perks are PHENOMENAL!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Kids

We also went to the pumpkin patch this past weekend with our Wisconsin friends. This was our sixth annual trip to our favorite  pumpkin patch & apple orchard with our best  friends. Six years! Sheesh. I can't believe we haven't missed a year. Well Joe has missed a year (or two) but that's a different story. Darn medical school.

This year we lucked out with a beautiful, sunny and warm day to enjoy together. The afternoon was filled to the brim with childhood fun. Feeding farm animals, riding the spinning apple, climbing the hay pyramid, braving the slightly scary haunted house, finding Charlie in the corn maze, tractor rides, picnicking and of course apple picking and tasting. 

Admittedly before the fun could begin we forced the children to take their annual group picture(s) by the pumpkins + family pictures. Bribing may have been involved. Okay for my kids it was definitely used. Cuteness like this just doesn't happen accidentally. 

Well back in 2008 - our first year - the cuteness was purely coincidental. But that's just what happens when you put three cute babies in a field of pumpkins! But since then we have had to up our pumpkin patch game. Older children and more babies make it more challenging but we, the crazy pumpkin patch moms, thrive on this kind of challenge. 

See we don't just  go to the pumpkin patch. No. NO!  That's not our style. First we think about and then plan our kids' pumpkin patch outfits that must coordinate (within the family unit...not the entire group). We call each other about potential outfits and even send each other "trial run" pictures. This process can last days. Or weeks. Okay sometimes even years. See Charlotte's pumpkin tights? I bought those TWO years ago (at a garage sale) for the sole purpose of using them on our annual pumpkin patch outing. And they look darling:)

But I realize this is kind of ridiculous. Okay really ridiculous. But it's just what we do. And the result? Ridiculously cute pictures. Like these:

Yes, we bring photo props. We are just that  crazy. But who cares?! It's totally worth it:) So if you happen to see us and all of our crazy photo sessions going down at the pumpkin patch please don't judge us too harshly. Underneath all that crazy we are just regular old moms. Moms with a little too much time on our hands perhaps:) And when we see you hanging out at the pumpkin patch in your regular old uncoordinated t-shirt and jeans (gasp!) we will try to not judge you  too harshly. Because that is what normal people do, right? Go to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch in their regular what-I-happen-to-be-wearing-today outfits.  I guess we just aren't normal enough. And I am okay with that. 

At least someday when my kids are in therapy because of the torture they endured under the guise of "having fun at the pumpkin patch", I will have all these adorable pictures to enjoy. 

P.S. Only two of the three moms are truly crazy outfit planners. For the sake of protecting my friends I won't tell which one is the most normal of the three:)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lessons Learned

I learned a lot in PA school. I mean A LOT of good practical things! Things like how to suture and how to read x-rays and EKGs. The proper antibiotic dose and course length for strep throat, pneumonia and cellulitis. I learned to recognize different rashes and their appropriate treatments. I learned how to scrub in for surgery and how to maintain a sterile field. I learned to cast broken bones and start IVs. Admittedly neither of those are my strengths. I also learned things like how to manage a house and family while putting in an intense amount of time studying. And studying. And studying. And more studying. I learned to plan and prepare 3-4 months worth of dinners in a day. I learned how to drop a child off at daycare without him or I crying like a baby. I learned to treasure the moments we had together as a family. I even learned how to study while my toddler son was in the same room as me. Any mom can tell you that is no small feat!


This past weekend we traveled back to LaCrosse for my good friend and fellow PA classmate's wedding. 


I know I have said it before, but this girl is AMAZING! Jennilee put herself through college and PA school while raising her young daughter by herself! AND she is the sweetest, most nurturing, thoughtful person I have ever met. And that is no exaggeration. I was absolutely delighted to be there for her wedding day to celebrate with her. 

She was an absolutely stunning bride! This stalkerish phone picture I took doesn't do her justice at all. 

Being back near my alma mater had me reminiscing. I can remember during my first year of PA school one of our course instructors told us that one day we would look back at these training years fondly. I scoffed at that statement then. I was overwhelmed and stressed constantly. I never felt like I was succeeding as a student or as a mom and wife. I quite literally felt like I was just barely holding on and surviving. 

But I made. Largely due to the support of my incredible husband and Jennilee. And you want to know what? I do look back at those years fondly. In fact I often say "those were the BEST years of my life" much to my former self's dismay!

While driving around LaCrosse reminiscing, I told Joe the most important lesson I learned in PA school. And I will warn you he didn't enjoy the story. Not one little bit. Nor did he appreciate it. Maybe it is only truly appreciated by females. 

So without further ado the most important lesson I learned in PA school:

During my second year I was doing a rotation with a dermatologist. Frequently dermatologists perform "full body skin checks" monitoring for potential precancerous and cancerous skin lesions. As the name implies the ENTIRE body is examined. In order for this to occur patients wear only a hospital gown and the dermatologist exposes different parts of their body until all their skin is examined. 

At the end of one such exam on an elderly female, I helped the patient off the exam table and explained to her that we were done. I instructed her to get dressed and that the doctor and I would return in a few minutes to discuss our findings. 

And then it happened. She started to get dressed right then and there with me standing in the room with her. And if that wasn't awkward enough, it was made worse by what I observed next. The patient pulled on her nice dress slacks and then carefully tucked one breast and then the other into the waistband of her pants! She completed dressing herself by buttoning up her blouse and tucked that in right along with her boobs. And I just stood there frozen. Equal parts horrified and traumatized (and slightly fascinated). 

And in that moment I knew I learned something very important. Something I would never forget. No matter what I will always wear a bra. Always. Always. Always. Boobs are not meant to be tucked into pants, even if it seems easier than putting on the bra. Lesson learned. Thank you elderly dermatology patient. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

She toddles.

Finally! She is taking a few steps ALL BY HERSELF. And I for one think it is stinkin' adorable. 

And none too soon either. Because she has been extra whiny and needy this past week. I think her fussiness is due to frustration. Frustration in her lack of efficient mobility. Who really knows. 

Regardless it's a WIN for this girl. If the lack of walking was the cause of the fussiness then problem SOLVED! And if not...well at least I think she is extra cute so I will tolerate her shenanigans a little better. See? Winning. 

And because I am the mom and this is my blog, let me just add that this girl didn't just take a step. Nope she started out with 2-3 solid steps. She was rockin' this walking thing. I wouldn't go so far as to call her an actual walker. But it's a start. A solid one at that. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big girl!

Clearly she is enjoying her promotion to the big kid shopping cart! Best moment of my far:)

Wait. Hold up. This happened tonight. 

I helped Isaiah with his spelling homework. It was pretty great. I LOVED spelling lists as a child. Yes I was just that cool! So getting to do them with my child...pretty fabulous. Especially because he enjoyed it too. So now it is a toss up as to my best moment of my day. Do I have to pick just one? Because in all honesty I cuddled a newborn this morning and that was pretty fabulous too...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It is moments like these that I am very thankful that we live in a small house with a teeny tiny kitchen. 

Because the mess the girls can make is minimal. Two cupboards worth. That's it. [This picture truly captures 90% of the kitchen floor.] So while the mess making bought me 15 minutes of cooking in {relative} peace and quiet, it only took me 60 seconds to put away. Totally worth it!

That wasn't my only victory today. No. My biggest victory was finally washing enough dishes to empty one side of the sink so that I could dump a soggy bowl of cereal down the garbage disposal. Charlotte ditched the partially eaten bowl at 7:30 this morning. At 5:30 tonight I cleared it of its contents. A mere 10 hours later! I know I set the bar pretty high around here. Suzy homemaker of the year!

And now I am ditching the dinner clean up in order to spend a few minutes around the fire in the backyard with these fine folks. 

Dirty dishes will keep, little kids and babies will not. Amiright?!?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday FUNday!

What did I do today?

Well thank you for asking. I am itching to share. Like always:)

This morning was spent trying to find the source of the distinctly vomitous odor that was emanating from the general vicinity of the bathroom/the girls' room. I mean I was on my hands and knees searching. And all I found were some dust bunnies. Correction: an entire herd of full grown rapidly reproducing dust rabbits and a trail of stale Cheerios. Do rabbits even group together in herds?! I don't know. But what I do know is, I was appalled by the filth that was the girls floor! [Random side note: after sharing a room for a year now Charlotte still refers to their room as "Sarwit's room". Oh and according to her Hannah sleeps in "Sarwit's crib". Sharing is clearly her strong suit.]

My girls seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, so being ignored while I attempted a vomit search and rescue mission was not their idea of a good time. And they let me know by whining, fussing and even a bit of screaming for good measure. And when morning snack didn't resolve the case of the crabbies we had going on, I decided it was time to pull out the big guns. Lunch. Macaroni and cheese at 10:45 AM. Followed shortly by stories and afternoon nap. Although can it still be called afternoon nap if it starts in the morning?! I don't know and I don't really care. We needed it. 

I too wanted to nap. But I resisted the urge (thank you my faithful friend, Pepsi) and instead started unearthing my living room floor. It took the entire nap time but I finally managed to sort through and organize both my girls' fall wardrobes in peace and quiet. It was actually kind of fun. Looking at all the cute jeans, leggings, skirts, shirts and dresses. Remembering when Charlotte wore this or that outfit and marveling over the fact that Hannah is already big enough for said outfits! I know. I know. Thrilling stuff here. 

Moving right along. After nap we were headed to the library. But first I just had to search one more time for the Hero Factory DVD that had gone MIA somewhere in our house. While I searched the girls did this:

Much happier to be ignored post-nap!

And look at the masterpiece Charlotte created!

It's our family. Can you tell who everyone is? I will give you a hint: Charlotte labeled herself with a "C". I love it! I kind of want to frame it. 

That is pretty much where the excitement ended. Oh wait it never was exciting? Sorry. But not that sorry. 

So in recap:
1. I never found the source of the vomit odor. I wouldn't recommend stopping by for a visit anytime soon. Or if you do come over just stay in the living room. It smells normal enough in there. 
2. Two of my three children now have seasonally appropriate wardrobes. Unfortunately the child still wearing shorts and t-shirts is the one out in public where people can see how badly his mom is failing him! So while I enjoyed seeing my living floor for a few short hours today, it is gone once again. Covered in all things boy apparel. Which has me thinking about #1...since my living room is trashed and I have a weird vomit smelling bathroom/girls' room maybe I should declare my home a 'No Visitors Zone' until further notice. That seems reasonable. 
3. I did NOT find the DVD. I even asked Charlotte for help. She suggested under the couch. So I looked there for the 11 billionth time. No dice. I thought this was going to turn into the lost library book saga that my friend experienced recently. (If she allows I will share that story. Because unlike this saga that one is actually funny!) And then tonight while I was bathing the girls (...completely irrelevant detail...) Joe found the lost DVD. In the DVD player!!! And the case? In Charlotte's back pack! Tricky. Tricky. 

So there you have it. My Monday FUNday. Oh the fun. It just never ends.