Tuesday, December 7, 2010


So... I haven't blogged. Life has been a little crazy with sick kids, traveling and most recently, the addition of a dog.
Meet Max:


Cute, isn't he? He's actually a really sweet dog. He's a really good dog. He's a really smart dog.


Still, today we are pondering whether to keep him in our family. We were a bit crazy to get him in the first place. I knew that. He was so cute. We bid on him at the fundraising auction for Ava's school. Our kids love dogs- we couldn't wait to bring him home for them.


They certainly do like him. They love to chase him. They also are a bit too rough with him.


He is smart and was paper trained within a day. Getting him to go potty outside, however, has been incredibly hard. He'll do it, on command, but doesn't fully empty his bladder and will be on his paper pad about 10 minutes after coming inside. Just now he was running outside for 20minutes with the kids and wouldn't pee. Inside for TWO minutes, I see him on the pad peeing. So we are hoping the spring will make that easier. Let's face it- it's cold.


Now pooping- that is a different challenge. If we catch him circling, we take him outside. The problem with his pooping is- as SOON as he poops he turns and tries to eat it. GROSS, GROSS, GROSS and normal puppy behavior. I guess they see their mom do it (she cleans after her puppies) and so they do it too. They apparently out grow it. We were also advised to change his feeding from 3x to 2x a day. Puppies don't digest food fully and "it smells and tastes pretty much the same coming out as it does going in." It he doesn't outgrow this soon, we'll be putting him on pills that change the taste. I mean, really- who would have thought this would ever be something I'd be blogging about.


Anywho- he's a good dog, a great dog even. Why would anyone NOT want to keep him. It isn't really about wanting to keep him, actually. I just am not sure it is the best thing. I am so stressed at the moment. Life was already chaotic, adding Max has pushed me past what I am capable of, I think. I feel like just can't manage the baby and him, especially, and I feel like having to watch him constantly is taking away from mothering my children. Every time I am waiting for him to potty outside, I can hear my baby girl crying inside wondering where I went and why she is left in the exersaucer again. Ava has been asking me all week to sit and read with her (she is learning to read) and I literally haven't had time. I haven't had time to cook or care for my family. I haven't been able to sleep for over a week, nor has my husband (dog crying at night everytime I get up with the baby). It's been tough just energy and time wise.


I am also a little concerned about whether or not my kids are getting how to treat a dog. Phin literally will pick him up a throw him. Phin LOVES him, but he is very harmful to him at times. Literally if I am not watching constantly, I really think the dog could get very hurt. It is adorable to watch the kids chase the dog, but otherwise, they might be a little young for such a small puppy.


We aren't making a decision right away we are giving it to the end of the week or even longer if needed. I need peace either way. Pray for us if you would. I don't know WHY a dog even is necessary or why it feels like a good addition to a family. That is hard to describe. I am trying for now to relax a bit (just letting him be paper trained for now, for example, I mean he isn't having any accidents, so I think we'll go outside when we see him near his pad, but if I don't see him and he goes inside- great, atleast it isn't on my floor) and trying to see if I can stress less and be the mom I need to be. My first priority is to my kids and husband. If they have a mom stressed out of her mind constantly pushing the aside, a dog isn't worth it. Still, time may change all that....so time is what we are taking.. and we are praying for God to really give us wisdom. Perhaps, he blessed us with Max so we could bless an older couple on a fixed income with a great dog or a low income family with a really cool christmas gift. I trust if that is the case- he'll show us that. In the meantime, the blog may continue to be a bit quiet...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a few recent conversations:)

We've been without a computer for over a week, since two Saturdays ago, when i contracted a computer virus looking for a recipe online. During that time we've had a few conversations that made me laugh. Here are some I remember:

1) At our dinner table:
Marc: Ava said something in the car that made me laugh. I wish I could remember what it was. AH! I have got to write these things down.
Phin: More pasta, mommy.
Ava: Knock, Knock, mommy.
Me: Who's there?
Ava: Flammigibbet
Me: Flammigibbet who?
Ava: Flammigibbet with pizza on it.
Me: (fake laughing)
Ava: I am so funny. I really need to write these down.

2) In the car:
Phin: I'ma cow, 'moo'
Me: oh- really? Well, I am a horse, 'neigh'
Phin: I a cow, 'moo'
Me: I'm a pig, 'oink'
Phin: NO! Mommy a horse!
Me: oh, I forgot, 'neigh'
Phin: Chloe sheep 'baa'

3)Phin- recently procrastinating at bedtime ("coincidentally" after I'd already finished songs and prayer)
Phin: Phin go potty now
Me: you have to go potty
Phin: oh yes!
Me: Okay let's try it (note- he just turned two, he has never peed or pood on the potty, but I do try to let him go sit when he asks periodically though he's never before asked at bedtime)

Phin sits on potty giggling that he has to point his penis down.

Phin: I put penee in potty (ha ha ha)
Me: Are you all done?
Phin: Yes, sure
Me: okay, lets go to bed
Phin: Wait, mommy, wait. Phinny wash hands after potty.

Sure...bedtime was delayed but atleast he is learning this good habit young;P

4)Monday after Halloween, I am in kitchen washing dishes...
Phin: Trit or Treat, mommy
Me: what? (while laughing)
Phin: Trit or Treat. candy please mommy

5)In car tonight:

Ava (out of no where): Papa, when is __________ going to die? (I can't list the person here in case they read my blog, cuz she would be extremely offended!)
Papa: uh- I don't know why?
Ava: She's really old.
Papa: well, we want to have her around for a long time still don't, we?
Ava: I'm not sure, Papa, she's getting really old....

6) About a week ago:
Ava comes to me VERY upset: Mommy Phin will NOT quit calling me Ernie and my name is AVA!
Me: Oh honey, he isn't saying Ernie, he is saying 'honey'. He's copying mommy.
Ava: I don't care what he is saying, my name is Ava.

Note- he persists in only calling her honey all week. He uses it all the time in place of her name. "Honey, where are you?" "Honey, let's go down stairs" "thank you, Honey" (hilarious;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can I lock her up like Rapunzel?

I am pretty conservative, but I've never thought of myself as overly conservative. In fact, I would have thought I was barely on the conservative scale. In the past few weeks, however, I am beginning to wonder if I am unreasonably restrictive. My daughter is four. Four years old to me is still very young. I still have her watch Sesame Street with her brother and honestly I think it is extremely age appropriate. She is learning to read and such- sesame street is ALL about this. Most of her friends haven't watched that show in a couple years. Shows I think meant for tweens are now apparently being watched by most of her friends. Take, for example, Hannah Montana. Certainly it isn't a bad show, I just happen to think it isn't appropriate for a four year old.

She's also started to tell me her friends are claiming to have boyfriends. One of these friends from church is the youngest of a very large family. They are a family that home schools. I would have thought they would be MORE conservative than I am, yet their daughter is talking to mine about her boyfriend and going on dates. The other little girl is a friend from school. She told Ava she is "in love" with a boy in their class and wants Ava to ask him to be her boyfriend. Ava didn't want to do this, so she asked me about it. We had a good conversation and I think I handled it fairly well. I told her these girls were funny (not in a demeaning way). We talked about what a boyfriend was and I told her she didn't and shouldn't really have boyfriends until she's ready to get married because the REASON for having a boyfriend is looking for a husband. She laughed and said, "four year olds aren't ready to get married. why do they want boyfriends?"

On one hand, I can tell myself this isn't a huge deal, but I have to admit the larger part of me wants to pull my daughter out of preschool and sunday school and just keep her safe and innocent at home. I just don't love the idea of my young child learning thing from other kids. Shoot- I hate the idea. I appreciate that she so far has come to me when she is wondering about these things, but how long before she doesn't tell me everything?

We live in a crazy, hard world that is very sinful in a lot of ways. I know I cannot protect her from that forever, I was just really hoping to keep her innocent as long as possible. Certainly I get that many people reading this will think I am a little bit of a nut job. I know a boyfriend and Hannah Montana are bad things. No "harm" has come to my child. It isn't about these issues in particular as much as realizing that kids are growing up faster and faster. If they have "boyfriends" at four years old, what will they be interested in at 12 years old?

Can't we just stay focused on letters and princess play a little bit longer?!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life is Groovy

I haven't updated my blog in a few days and after my last post, I hope none of you think I am too destitute. Last week was tough to be sure, but it was also good. I blogged on the hardest day and I feel like God really blessed my honesty with him and my commitment to praise and lean on him. It felt like a test and ,at the risk of sounding proud, which is not my intent, I feel like we passed. It was as if we were pushed to our limit but stood our ground to praise and glorify God despite our circumstances. From that point on it just felt like God poured out blessings. We just felt him smiling upon us. It may sound hokey or weird to some, that is okay. I really felt last week like my Father watched me struggled but endure and then stepped in, put his arm around me and said, "I'll take it from here."

I felt such joy through the exhaustion. My sisters called and just told me they were coming; I suppose they know me better than to ask. They were like a breath of fresh air. I got a break from holding my little one all day and my other two were able to enjoy playing with the aunts they like so much. I just love my sisters (anyone who knows them totally gets that;). Having them around is just a good time. I was able to host our small group on Friday night and have Phin's birthday part on Saturday. All that would have happened, but with their visit it happened with ease.

Marc has been getting better daily. We were even able to drive down to Chicago on Sunday afternoon to attend a costume party with our birthing class (from our pregnancy with AVA!). We prayed about going and really felt like we had peace about it. We have a painless drive BOTH ways with zero traffic and THREE sleeping children! It was like having a date in the car. The sun was shining and we were able to talk and connect uninterrupted. I drove so Marc could lay out. We enjoyed seeing old friends and just marveled at God's graciousness to us in allowing us to go; it was amazingly such a painless trip- both physically for Marc and emotionally for both of us.

We also realize Marc's injury was a bit of a blessing in re. to his job. He's really dealt with a lot of stress lately. Last week he was forced to just let work go- his team pick up what they needed to and he realized that it wasn't something he needed to worry so much over. I think in the long run, the lesson really will be of benefit to all of us!

On the drive home, Marc and I talked about how content we are with where God has us. We love Sheboygan. It just fits with what we want for raising our family. We feel like God led us here and we want to be faithful to serve and glorify him here to the best of our ability! We also just have joy overflowing in re. to our family. God has grown us so much as parents. Sure there are many hard days as a mom; but I can say without a doubt that I know my children INDEED are a blessing and I am SO thankful I get to stay home and raise them. WOW, am I fortunate!! I have an incredible husband to walk through life with and I am so thankful for the leadership and humility with which he leads our family.

Sure we've been pushed near our limits in some ways but sometimes it is so empowering/encouraging to see your hands at the end of your rope and have the priviledge of witnessing how God steps in and picks you up. The older I get, the more confident I am of his provision and faithfulness!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Monday, my dear husband took a little sleep from the bottom few stairs while carrying the baby. He was able to rally and land on his feet, keeping the baby safe, but in the process TORE a muscle in his back. I emphasize the word TEAR because it is not a little pull. He is out of commission. I have a new found respect for single mamas!

On Tuesday, he was only able to crawl on all fours- LITERALLY! He couldn't stand or sit...shoot, the poor guy couldn't lie down comfortably. The doctor game him muscle relaxors and NSAIDS. He is getting better SLOWLY. He can sort of walk hunched over, but needs to use a cane. He still cannot sit, though the MD recommended an exercise ball so we'll try that tonight. He is in pain and completely unable to do much of anything.

Take a moment to feel bad for him and then turn your attention to me- afterall, this is my blog, right. FEEL BAD FOR ME;) I basically have a fourth child. Admittedly, he is a bit easier to care for than a child- he has a thankful heart and patience. But let's take a minute to remember that I am still adjusting to having THREE children. This is HARD.

BUT by God's grace, we are making it. I can't deny that I have gone to bed in tears the last few night, purely from exhaustion. This morning I also cried when I woke up. To top off my plight, my dear baby woke up SEVEN times last night...SEVEN TIMES! When she was up for the dayat 5:45 am, I couldn't help but cry. I am tired- in the purest sense of the words. The past two days I literally barely sat to eat. I haven't seen a TV show or read a book. The only thing I've been able to do is pee and eat...and those haven't opportunities often had to wait longer than my body wanted;) This morning I was straight with God. I flat out told him I was MAD. Couldn't he atleast make my infant sleep. I am so thankful for the Psalms, because I needed the "WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" moment this morning. YET, what is wonderful is coming back to truth! NO! He has not forsaken me. In fact, despite feeling tired, I am doing well. My kids are doing well. I haven't screamed at them or lost it- that is a miracle. Yesterday morning I asked God for Chloe to fall back asleep on her own and she did- that miracle was easy to forget today, but he answered that prayer and so I know he will strengthen me through this time and give me peace and joy.

Things could certainly be worse, right? but sometimes knowing that doesn't make THIS easier. It is hard to take care of three little ones with no respite. It is hard to be exhausted and see your husband sleeping on the couch. No matter how logically you speak to yourself- it is hard to see someone else sleeping when you cannot. I really cannot do this- flat out can't do it, but you know what THANKFULLY I serve a God who promises to bear our burdens, supply our needs, and give us strength. He is good- that never changes. Life changes, but God does not. Praise his name. This trial won't be over overnight- it will be a long while before Marc can hold Chloe or Phin; I am so thankful that God won't leave us or forsake us. I need Him right now, let me tell you. In that sense, I am thankful for this time. When we are forced to our knees and have to CLING to God to make it through, we get the opportunity to see Him at work.

(Let me not forget, also to thank people here in Sheboygan. We have only lived here six months. Before we moved here, we were warned by a few people that Sheboygan isn't known for being welcoming. Thank God we are part of the body of Christ. I had two offers of dinner yesterday and ended up with a lovely lasagne that is enough for three meals. I have had encouraging words, offers of help (unfortunately my kids are still adjusting to baby, so there isn't much anyone else can do), and just over all have felt loved. Thank you guys!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

OUCH!

AVA HAS MASTERED THE MONKEY BARS!!! This is a huge accomplishment and cause for much celebration in our home. She has been diligently working on getting across the monkey bars for two weeks.

First I taught her how to fall off them straight down and then told her it was just a matter of building up her strength in order to get across. She is a true first born and has been diligently going back again and again to master the fete of making it all the way across. Daily we were getting reports on the way home from school. We'd go to the park on the in between days just so she could practice. The problem is she wasn't making it past three or four rungs.

We were visiting some dear friends over the weekend and I realized she isn't letting herself use momentum to propel forward. She doesn't reach on the swing she waits until she's still and tries to reach or drops down. I then explained to her momentum would keep her going and SHE GOT IT! All of us cheered for her and the smile on her face was priceless! She kept going back again and again to get better at it; to make it across more smoothly. When she hopped down she said, "My hands sure do hurt though." I gave them a look. This is what her hands look like.


Proof of much hard work and determination! Perhaps I should have encouraged giving herself a break! She is one tough cookie and is eagerly awaiting her "new skin" to grow so she can show off her skills on the playground at school.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ummm- yes, as a matter of fact, I do feel pretty bad!

so...for the past four nights or so Chloe's stomach has seemed to bother her in the middle of the night. She's slept restlessly after about 3am and has been obviously trying to fart and grimacing, etc. I've been racking my brain trying to think of what I have eaten to cause her discomfort!

Last night, we left her with a sitter. I was shocked that she only drank about an ounce of the bottle for the sitter and disappointed that she then woke at 9:30 hungry. It meant she didn't have a long sleep stretch all night; she was off and tired all day today.

Tonight, she started fussing when Marc tried to give her the bedtime bottle. (Chloe is breastfed, but gets one bottle a day at nighttime with her Papa.) He checked temp of milk, burped her, ect. She would start trying to drink and then cry- obviously frustrated. I read the formula bottle (we've had to buy concentrated similac for the past two weeks because the powder was recalled and unavailable and she's rejected any other formulas). Turns out even though it isn't expired, it says it isn't good past four days in the fridge.

Yes sirree, we've been feeding our kid sour milk for a few days. Last night it must have gotten to taste funny enough that she didn't want it- today she was beyond ticked about it. ARGH! I thought I learned to read directions in elementary school. I suppose the upside is that she probably won't be fussy and miserable at 3am tonight with obvious stomach discomfort. I sure do feel like a rotten mother though...who feeds their infant spoiled milk!?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Perhaps it's the Indian Summer we are experiencing that has me in a super duper mood, but I am lovin' life right now- stressors and all. I'm just gushing on my kiddos. Here are a few of my favorite things at the moment:


-Ava currently asking me to "skin her carrot". I corrected her once, but have since decided to just let her call it skinning instead of peeling for the time being; sure it may be technically incorrect, but who cares-it makes me laugh inside;)

-Phin's "Oh, Man!" when I take away his lollipop (that he steals from my candy drawer) or tell him he can't do something.

-Phin's "No, Thanks!" when he doesn't want something offered...manners before 2 are SOOO cute;)

-Ava's super helpful nature...she thinks she's a mini-mommy. Certainly, this causes problems sometims but it is also super cute that a 4 year old thinks she is SOO grown up!

-My husbands help with housework. Is anything more romantic, really?

-Ava and Phin's budding relationship. They love playing with each other and it is priceless to witness!

-Chloe's squeals of delight and pure joy at the mere sight of mommy.

-Ava's art projects. Everyday she makes about 20 different projects, they differ but atleast once a day she makes paper dolls and writes me a "letter".

-Ava working hard to master the monkey bars. She is making it farther across every day and seeing her determined to complete a task and working hard to get there is awesome.

-Phin's laugh...it is hard not to tickle him all day long.

-The excitment my kids express over ice cream...we go far to often cuz it is just so fun for them!

-Watching Phin's budding imagination- Woody is currently rescuing Jesse from various situations on a daily basis. Sometimes Buzz get's to help.

-Dancing with my kids.

-Chloe's beginning to take a long morning nap on an almost daily basis...the sleep schedule is emerging- yay!

-Being able to dress Chloe however I want;)

-Seeing Phin's delight EVERY time he gets to wear his Super Grover T-shirt.

-Ava's outfit combinations.

I'll stop there...I think I could go on forever right now- MY CUP RUNNETH OVER!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chloe totally has me figured out...at only 3 months;)


I realized yesterday that my little Chloe totally has me wrapped around her little finger. Perhaps it's knowing she may be my last natural born child or something. Either way, I am finding it harder and harder to ignore her cries of protest...say like when I dare to set her down for a minute to go pee or something;) She's my third, it is supposed to get easier- but instead I find myself just melting.


I also have begun to notice that someone looking in on our situation would often times just laugh at me. She never naps very long- perhaps ONE nap longer than an hour all day, but still I act as if I haven't seen her in ages. It is something about the smile she gives me; it totally turns me into a mushy gushy. It is as if her smiles communicates "HELLO! I have missed you SOOO much and I am SOOOO glad you came." I even find myself saying back to such a smile, "Hi! Baby girl, I missed you!" In truth, I didn't even have time to miss her- I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get a thing or two done before she woke again, but in that moment, I mean it.


I am captivated by this little one...truth by known it's probably true about all my kids. I thought I would be a tough, strict mama. It is so much harder than I thought it would be. One grin and I find it terribly hard not to give in;)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

OKay...maybe overnights aren't SOO bad

I was going to come home tonight and gripe on here about my dear first born. She spent the night at her friends house on Friday. While she did surprisingly well (I expected to have to drive down to Kenosha and pick her up at bedtime)and had an excellent time, she came home tired. The past two days have been a bit difficult to say the least. She is whiny and grumpy and quite frankly I have wished we could just give her to someone else to deal with until she catches back up on sleep!

Tonight, she came out of her room three times with different excuses as to what she needed from us. Keeping my tone kind while firm, was tough. I admit, I wanted to scream at her to "PLEASE STAY IN YOUR ROOM AND SLEEP...SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP". By God's grace, I didn't... we all know how ineffective that would have been. I can only imagine the meltdown it the meltdown it would have caused in her over-sensitive state!

Anywho- the final time she exited her room was to request that we turn her space heater off, because she felt her room was warm enough. I went back up to check the temperature and adjust the settings (her room is VERY cold in winter and tonight it is supposed to get to below freezing here). As I was leaving her room, she said, "Now I think I will spend some time with God and ask him to help me to a better job of doing the right things tomorrow." She stated this so matter of fact, but I melted. How proud I am that my little girl is learning where is the source of help! I told her I thought that was the best thing she could do and that God always helps me when I ask him.

I never know what Ava totally does or doesn't understand, but she's gotten this and I am SO SO happy. If she learns to turn to God for help when she's four- I can only imagine the awesome things he can do in her and through her! She knows she can't do it on her own...I pray she never forgets that!! If it took an overnight and being overtired, for her to turn to God- she can go every Friday night;)

Friday, October 1, 2010

For Memories Sake...

Blogging in general is pretty self-indulgent. I love to read other people's blogs, but I also LOVE knowing people read mine. It's a great place to vent but also to brag about things, like your kids, in a way that is somehow socially acceptable. It's also a great way to file away this time in my life. I plan to print it all out and bind it. People always say they forget these years...some days I'm looking forward to being that far out the the trenches, but most of the time I am smart enough to know I want to remember as much as possible. Here is what I'd like to remember today:

Chloe found her voice yesterday! Before then it would take her obvious effort to coo and communicate with us (except crying, of course) but all of a sudden she figured it out and she is talking up a storm. She talks to her mobile and bouncer and us, of course. It is just adorable. She is quite an animated little one and her sounds are just melting my heart!

Phin is obsessed with two things at the moment Veggie Tales and Lollipops. The VeggieTales thing is pretty cute. If you ask him what his name is, often he will reply "Bob/Larry". He constantly asks to "watch a Bob/Larry show" and when I say, "no, not now, buddy", he acts as if I must not understand him and very slowly says, "Watch Bob/Larry MOVIE, mommy." Because he asks so often, the answer is almost always "no" so he's taken to asking EVERYONE and ANYONE, including the cashier at Target, in hopes someone will give in to his cuteness.

The lollipops are a litte more of a problem. I have a candy drawer which he has discovered. It now needs to move because everytime we turn around the kid has gotten a lollipop. I have taken away countless lollipops and still find them randomly all over my house. Today I found him with two in his mouth. (notice the candy drawer is still open behind him- such a stinker!)




Ava is coming into her own little person. She is adorable one moment and maddening the next. She can be very helpful but she also sometimes thinks she knows it all;0). She is so sweet with her younger siblings. She loves to get Phin out of his room in the morning and has started to help him make his bed and put away his books. She really is getting so big. Yesterday she made me laugh so hard when she said, "Mom I feel like I am 9! I can brush my hair so well and tie my shoes all by myself. I didn't think I'd be doing this stuff until I was like 9!" So here is my darling with 9 fingers up, proud as can be of herself;)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My sister called yesterday. She didn't know I was blogging again and thanked me for making her laugh. She said, "Reading your blog is like an escape for me. I read it and I laugh. I also, no offense, think "today might be bad, but at least I don't have Cream of Wheat on my floor." I had to laugh. Really, Cream of Wheat all over the kitchen floor isn't that big of a deal, nor is a ketchup covered kid or a screaming baby. In stressful moment, they feel overwhelming, but they all end.

I am glad I can make my sister laugh. In truth, I blog because I often laugh at myself at the end of the day. These days with three little ones can feel completely out of control sometimes, but in my rare moments of solitude, I smile. These kids are nuts, but they are mine and I love them. I really will miss these days; even know I have enough sense to know that to be true.

Someday, Ava won't want to talk my ear off. Phin will prefer throwing a football with his friends over throwing food to entertain me. Chloe will certainly develop her own mind, likes, and tastes and won't want me to hold her for five minutes let alone an entire day. The fingerprints on my windows and walls will one day be wiped clean and not instantly replaced. Yes, I blog to vent, but also to keep a record and remember- these are precious times, both the good moments and the bad, because they are MY times with MY beautiful kiddos. I wouldn't trade them for the world!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Foiled Again

Today after picking up Ava from school, I decided to pick up lunch at McDonalds. It seemed like a great idea.

We are having people over tonight for Monday night football. Getting ready to have 20 people arrive at 6:30pm when you have three children is in itself on the level of insanity. I figured I would help myself out by buying lunch- no mess.

Being the "sneaky" mom that I am, I didn't offer them ketchup. They were eating McDonalds fries- they are a treat on their own. They don't need ketchup, right?

I left Ava and Phin with their cheeseburgers and french fries, sitting neatly at the kitchen table and went upstairs to feed Chloe. I returned 15 minutes later to find Phin COVERED in ketchup. I forget how capable Ava is. He asked for Ketchup, she provided...and boy, did she provide PLENTY.
Not only did she give him some on his wrapper for his fries, she made a ketchup "burger" for him on his bun because he had eaten his cheeseburger by itself and she felt he needed something to replace it in his bun. NICE.

My plans for a no mess lunch seemed so logical...I forgot kids usually don't cooperate with "great plans".

Friday, September 24, 2010

OOPS!

Forgot Ava had show and tell today...her favorite day of the week. 'Nuff said;P

Stretched and Strained

Being a mommy of three is still taking some getting used to. Some days are really hard and chaotic and other days are a breeze. This morning was one of the really hard, chaotic ones.

I remembered going to bed last night that Ava has picture day today at school. There wasn't much I could do about it then, other than to realize I had to get right up and going this morning. Some poor planning had parents' night last night at school, which involved the kids. Ava and Marc got home after her bedtime, so I doubt we would have bathed her anyway, but still, the lack of clean hair meant I had to wash and dry her hair this morning.

Chloe is still pretty sick and we had a rough night. Morning came far too early today! But sleep deprived or not, I was determined to make Ava's picture day special. I fed Chloe and then I quickly picked an outift for Ava while She ate breakfast. Then she got in the shower to wash up and finally we dried her hair. Her hair is to the small of her back, so drying it took a bit longer than I anticipated. Having curls was really important to her. I knew time was limited but I also wanted to make sure she felt good on picture day.

She has straight hair- really straight and really long. Curling her hair took FOR-EVER. About halfway through the process, Chloe began to cry. I tried putting her in the bouncer where she could see Ava and I but she didn't calm. I felt so torn as a mom. My oldest child wanted her hair curled for the one picture day of the year at school- it was half way done. My youngest child is sick and wanted to be held. My husband was in the shower so he could take Ava to school for me. What should I do?!

I chose to finish Ava's hair. I knew Chloe was safe, etc. but standing 5 feet from her with her looking at me and wailing was heartbreaking. I consciously had to chose one child over the other for that time period. I was trying to do the right thing, but still it felt wrong. AHH!

These are the moments that make motherhood difficult. I don't want my oldest to feel jipped because she is the most self sufficient of my children. I want her to know her mommy is there for her. I didn't want her leaving for school feeling like she got discarded the moment her sister started wailing. I hope I made the right decision, but it was all the harder because Chloe is sick. I am one person and yet have three (four including Marc) people that really need me. So many people tell me to make sure I am also taking care of myself...on days like today that seems laughable. I cannot do it all, so often I have to put myself last because these little children have real needs that cannot wait. These are the hard days, the really hard ones.

This morning as I nursed Chloe to sleep (after the hair was completed) I found myself daydreaming. I was thinking about how wonderful it would be if Marc came home from work tonight and said, "I know things have been really hard on you. I hired a lady to help you every morning. She'll be starting on Monday. She'll cook, clean, or watch the kids, whatever you need." I had to take those thoughts CAPTIVE! I can't be disappointed at 5pm because I started to let my mind wander down an absurd path;) I was looking for someone to save me and forgetting I already have Savior. He has promised to be my strength when I am weak; he promised to provide for all my needs; he asks me to cast my cares upon him and let him carry me. He may not be coming at 9am on Monday morning to take away all my responsibilities, but he's here right now and always to give me wisdom in how to raise my children and prioritize and to fill me with strength that can only come from his hand.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confirmation comes at the strangest times...

This morning started off with a bang. Chloe woke up wheezing (she's had a cold all week); Phin woke up extra cranky; Ava woke up crying that Phin got to have the Toy Story toys in his room last night (maybe that is why he woke up cranky, actually!). I must admit, part of me wanted to "fix" it all, but the other part wanted to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head! The kids have been sick all week, the baby hasn't been sleeping well and I am tired!

Thankfully, Marc was able to rearrange his schedule and stay home with Phin and Ava so I could take Chloe to the doctor. (Anyone with multiple children KNOWS what a help this was!) I was just getting the kids breakfast while he showered quickly and as I turned to start cleaning up, I heard the sound of Phin's bowl hitting the floor. I didn't really want to turn around a look! See, I made Cream of Wheat for breakfast this morning. Ooey Gooey Cream of wheat....it isn't really this kind of thing you want through all over your floor!

Sure enough, my mischievious kid was sitting there with a huge grin on his face. Cream of Wheat is dripping off the side of his chair and his bowl is overturned on the floor! Once again the "climb back in bed and pull the covers over your head" thought crossed my mind. It was one of those messes that make you wish someone else was the mommy! I HALF jokingly said, "OH Phin! Why did you do that?! I don't like you very much right now." Ava jumped in and said, "That isn't true, mommy!" I replied, "Oh yeah, how do you know?" She answered quickly and firmly, "Because you always love us no matter what we do!"

I hugged both my kiddos, even my cream of wheaty son!

There are times as a parent when you question whether or not your kids are "getting" what you say to them. I sometimes wonder if I am doing a decent job; if they are learning anything. Today on a crazy morning, I got a little confirmation that I may be doing a pretty good job after all. My daughter knows without a doubt that I love her no matter what she does and if the grin on Phin's face was any indication, he does too. I pray they never question or forget that! Above all, I pray they are so confident in Marc and my love for them, that they easily understand God's unconditional love.

Monday, September 20, 2010

You know you are sleep deprived when....

(Hope some of you can have a good laugh at my expense...and others will just realize they are normal;)

1) You run down to the basement to move the clothes from the washer to dryer (a task you intended to do hours before) only to find the washer never started because you left the cover open.

2) You run around the house looking for your car keys, when all the while they were in your hand.

3) You hit the cleaning ladies car that is parked in your driveway while backing out of the garage.

4) You are making a quick run to Walmart and fifteen minutes into the drive realize you missed the turn 13 minutes ago and are driving steadily to nowhere.

5) You forget to call your small group to tell them you won't be coming until 30 minutes after you were supposed to be there...and they were waiting for you to begin!

6) The timer goes off and you open your oven to remove your chicken dinner, only to be shocked by an empty oven. A look around finds your unbaked chicken still sitting on the counter.

7)You burn a sheet of cookies...three times in a row!

8)Your daughters preschool calls to see if she is sick and you realize you completely forgot she was supposed to be at school.

9)You find yourself standing in the middle of the basement with a blank stare on your face as you try desperately to remember why the heck you went down there!

10) You daughters school calls because you have a bunch of frozen food waiting to be picked up for Marketday...you forgot despite the fact that you recieved a reminder email the day before!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Contentment....

I love to read. It is one of my passions that has been able to carry easily into mommyhood. It's my escape from reality on hard days. It is my source of intellectual stimulation. It is my resource for parenting answers.

I read books of all types, but one of my favorites is historical fiction. I love books that take place in the old west or in colonial times. I often wonder if I was born in the wrong era. Frontier life sounds exciting and I love running away to those time periods through a good book.

Today, however, I was reminded just how fortunate I am to be living TODAY! My husband helps me...a lot. There is no pretense of male domination in our home. I love to serve my husband and children, but am so thankful that my service is not expected or unappreciated. In fact, my husband strives just as hard to serve me!

We had house guests this weekend, whom I love. They are great. I realized though how much Marc really does for himself. He doesn't need me to make him a sandwich or suggest what he should eat for breakfast. He doesn't need me to tell him what to wear- in fact, if I dared lay out his clothes, I bet he'd put them back away and find his own outfit;) I am glad he considers the children his responsiblity, as well as mine. We take care of one another, but we also take care of ourselves. I am so glad.

I know this is partly cultural and partly generational. But whatever the reason- thank GOD for the culture of our home and for the generation we were born in! I think I would be one grumpy wife if I had to do every little thing for my husband.

Today, Marc stayed home with the sick kids so I could get to church. He let me then take a good nap since I'd been up most of the night with the baby. Sure he's tired, but instead of complaining, he said, "days like today give me so much appreciation for what you do all week." Yes sirree- I am thankful for this man and for the way we go through life as a team. The wild west and different cultures are exciting to read about, but a little snap shot of a different family, made me realize I've got all I need and want in life right where I am.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday's After-school Conversation

(names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Ava came home from school today and was quite excited to have had the job of "removing the name tags of the absent children". She reported sharing this job with another little girl in her class- let's call her, "Sue".

I've been curious about what type of child "Sue" is. She was in Ava's 3K class as well. I originally thought her parents were actually her grandparents. From apprearances, I've wondered if sending their child to this private preschool is a huge sacrifice for them. They look like perhaps they really don't have a lot of money. I would like Ava to be friends with this girl because I want her to learn that there are different types of people, that looks don't matter, and that money doesn't matter.

I asked Ava, "Is 'Sue' a nice girl? Do you every play with her?"

She replied, "She is a pretty nice girl. I do try to play with her, but I always smell her butt."

I said, "What?! What do you mean you smell her butt?"

Ava said, "I don't mean I really SMELL it, I mean she smells like her butt. I think maybe she needs potty wipes (we use Kandoo wipes at our house) after she poops."

Seriously folks, what does a parent say to this!!! First, I feel terrible for this little "Sue". I just told Ava, "You never say that to her, do you?" She said, "oh no, I'd never tell her that, that might make her embarrassed."

We talked about how Jesus wants us to love people whether they smell like perfume or poop. I hope she grows to really live that out. I want her to love the unloveable; will she or will she join in when someone else makes fun of "Sue" 'cuz unfortunately, they will.

I just wasn't prepared for this to start being an issue at 4! Just two years or so ago she'd sit happily in her own stinky poop. Times they are a changin' and I'm not quite sure I'm ready!

Snot, Snot...and did I mention, Snot?

Phin is sick. Chloe is sick. I am sick. Bummer.

I have to admit I don't even remember what it is like to be able to lay on the couch or in bed when you are sick. Is that a nice feeling? Could someone remind me what that is like?

Being sick as a mom is the equivalent of having to go through the day with a vice grip on your head. A locked vice grip. And some stranger has run off with the key.

My two youngest are sick. They both need mommy. Yesterday I was feeling decent and it was tough; today is a bit more difficult. My arms and legs work and they give pretty good cuddles, my head is kind of the problem. It's hard to focus. Crying is a bit annoying. My nose is dripping profusely and it becomes rather inconvenient when it drips while I am trying to nurse my snotty baby.

On top of this, we have company- house guests. They are family and we love them. Thankfully, I was organized ahead of time as to what I was serving for breakfast and we have dinner reservations tonight. I just kind of feel like the opposite of "the hostest with the mostest". I might as well be saying, "Would you like a generous helping of germs with your eggs?"

Good times. Good times.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

C-R-A-P!

That is one of the cleanest things that crossed my mind at about 10:00am today!

My cleaning service started today. I was so excited I couldn't sleep last night. I've been kind of drowning in all my "to do"s of late. We have a beautiful home, but it is very large and hard to maintain when you get one hour to yourself a day. I end up staying up far too late trying to "do it all". This week is the first time I feel like I may be able to get it all done.

I was trying to keep Phin out of her way this morning while Chloe was finishing napping. Trying to keep Phin doing anything is a challenge. He'd make a mess, I'd be picking it up and before I knew it another room was made a disaster by my "Master of Disaster", Mr. Phineas Sinclair.

When Chloe woke up, I quickly fed her and did my best to pick up and get the two of them in the van so we could get out of the house. Chloe has a MAJOR problem with car seats. (She cries in the car non-stop. We are on our third car seat and she still screams.) I, admittedly frazzled by her screaming, closed the van door, opened the garage door, started the car, and was backing up routinely while looking down at the radio to find the Elmo song Phin was requesting. I was startled into reality by a huge crunch that stopped my car. At first I thought I somehow hit a tree. I had to get out of my car so see the cleaning ladies little Honda parked behind my car. She was parked perpendicular to my van and I SMASHED her two doors. AHHHH! CRAPOLA!

I went into tell her and she immediately said, "Oh it's fine;it's an old car." I had to explain to her it wasn't a small hit and it wasn't okay. Luckily she can open the car doors, but I am pretty sure this little cleaning job is about to get really expensive. :P The day wasn't quite as wonderful or stress-free as I imagined....but the house IS pretty clean.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This morning I was able to get my rear in gear and get out of bed and dressed early enough to get in a power walk before Marc left for work. It was GREAT! I only had about 30 minutes because I didn't want to make him late at all, but it was 30 blissful minutes.

I am not a huge fan of working out in general. I wish I were, but I am just not. The gym tends to get a little claustrophobic for me after a while and treadmills make me nauseous. Workout videos get old quickly and although I am embarrassed to admit it, I don't go to fitness classes because I get really self conscious seeing myself in the mirrored wall. I spend the whole time terrified the instructor will say something about how wrong I am doing a move. It is one area I can't seem to shake off my fear of men.

The only exercise I truly enjoy is being in the outdoors and moving. I don't care if it is walking, running, hiking, or biking. I find it rejuvinating to get my blood pumping and breath in fresh air. This morning was lovely. The air was crisp and the sky was blue. I was able to listen to worship music and pray as I walked. WHAT AN AMAZING WAY TO START A DAY! I am so thankful for it. I was so energized I really attacked the day head on. I felt better at everything...a little positive perspective goes a long way! From creative ideas for activities to staying super calm while disciplinging- today I feel like a success and I am cherishing the feeling!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OH Well...

Tonight at dinner Phin ate strawberries and then he ate more strawberries...and then some more. I just didn't feel like arguing with him this evening. Marc quickly pointed out, "It's either argue now or deal with his diarrhea in the morning." Soon our conversation turned from strawberries to diarrhea, as my four year old loudly exclaimed, "Did you just say DIARRHEA!?" She began laughing hysterically.

I was going to embark on a conversation about potty talk and appropriate behavior for young ladies, but instead said, "Laugh away, Sweet Pea, I would have thought that was funny when I was four, too." In truth, I still often find poop funny. How can I expect her to have self-restraint when I've been known to bust a gut a time or two about the same topic.

The only problem is now I've given her permission to laugh and boy did she run with it. She wanted to know how strawberries cause diarrhea and what other fruits cause diarrhea. I tried to keep it scientific and then once again "blew it" by laughing myself when she stated, "well, bananas make you have rabbit poop." Where she heard this I have no clue, but once again I fear I have failed to achieve supermom status. I am raising a girl who will talk less than lady like and while I was distracted by the conversation my son finished off the bowl of strawberries. Oh well....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A four year old's view point

Ava is attending Awana at church on Wednesday night. They are currently learning about Jesus and salvation. As Marc was putting her to bed tonight, this is what she said:

"Jesus is a hero because he came and died on the cross for us."

After a brief pause she added, "We are heros too because we pick up trash on the earth."

I have no clue how she makes her associations, but atleast somehow we know she's learning about Jesus and has gotten our lessons about litter being disrespectful to the earth God made;)

Lovely Labor Day Weekend

We just returned from a lovely trip to Duluth, MN. I left on Friday excited for the opportunity to visit some of my extended family that we haven't seen in a while, but I was prepared to return home very tired. Instead, I return home rejuvinated. I have an amazing family period. They are very godly and very fun...what more could I ask in a weekend. It would probably be a bit boring to describe the weekend in detail, but here are the highlights:


1) Duluth itself. It is a beautiful city. There are breathtaking views no matter the weather. Nature soothes the soul like nothing else!
2) My mom watched all three of my kids two nights in a row. I felt young, and free, and alive again. AMAZING!

3) On one of said nights we visited Gordy's...a featured diner from one of our fave shows "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." YUMMO!


4) Katie's birthday celebration Bowling Outing- just girls;)



(Jordan, ME, Katie, Lynda, Leah, and Jana)
4a) Katie's purchase of footy pajamas on said outing. She was so excited about them, I wished I could join in the comfort...unfortunately I still look about 4 months pregnant and don't want to sit around feeling like a teletubby even in my own home;)

(Katie in her footy PJ's, rainbow leopard print, no less!)
4b) Jordan trying to "Kick" her bowling ball down the lane. She weighs about 50 lbs. soaking wet- the ball didn't get very far, but she sure made me laugh at her attempt;)


(My cutie patootie niece, Jordan)

5) Lots of others held my baby for extended period of times...my arms are rested and my heart is full.

(My Aunt Lynda, holding a blissfully sleeping Chloe.)



6) All three of kids have gotten to meet and spend time with my amazing grandparents. I don't know how much time we'll have with them, but I am so thankful for each moment and their health thusfar!
(My dad and I with kiddos and my grandparents)
7)Marc was changing the baby's diaper in the car while I ran into target. It was one of her head- to-toe poops and so he had to change her clothing too. He put her clothes in one plastic bag and the diaper in another. Threw away the diaper and put the bag of clothes in the diaper bag. Only later did we discover he mixed up the bag and threw away her clothes. May seem less than funny- but when you have mommy brain it is absolutely wonderful when it is your spouse, and not you, to do something stupid;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm ready for a Dr. Phil visit...

Packing for a family of five is exhausting. It is actually downright overwhelming- so much so that I am taking a break to blog, because I couldn't keep everything straight. Okay- that isn't true- I just didn't WANT to keep it all straight;P

I forget how much junk I pack for baby. I suppose I could simplify but I am all about making our time on a trip as easy as possible. (ie. I don't want to carry her around all the time, so I am bringing a bouncer and floor gym.) We also need the pack-n-play, diapers, sound machine...and enough changes of clothes to cope with her current stage- "pooping from neck to ankle".

I actually am a little embarrassed by how full our van will be for just four days away. It is a bit ridiculous. I used to make fun of my older sister cuz she always packs like EVERYTHING she owns for a trip, no matter the length; forbid that the mood would ever strike for an outfit and she not have it with her! I think she has that hoarding disease when it comes to clothes. Looking around at all our stuff, I'm thinkin' I might have that disease too- only in some weird form related to children's items. Imagine if I forgot anything and would actually have to take a trip to Target and BUY something! I mean I can't seem to stop spending money there in my normal life, why am I so concerned about avoiding it on vacation?

I need therapy....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

AHHHHHH!

I'd like to think I am a pretty positive person, but this week has really tested my reserves;P Having three kids under four is just hard- it is. Someone from church recently said to me, "enjoy this stage, it's the easiest one you'll experience." Let me tell you, even in church, I struggled with biting my tongue and a whole bunch of pretty nasty thoughts about her persisted in my head through out the day. Now, I know life is never easy, and I know there will be challenges with every stage of my children's life, (I know, for example, they will annoy me in junior high)but I sure appreciate the people who give me credit for the life stage I am in and say things like, "it goes by before you know it."

It's hard, and yes, I do "have my hands very full." I am reminded of that on a daily basis, almost, by strangers in target or the grocery store. I usually laugh...but this week I wanted to grab hold of someone and say, "YES, I do. HELP ME!"

I was feeling so overwhelmed I even looked up the signs of postpartum depression and was DISAPPOINTED that I didn't even come close to the criteria;) CRAZY, huh? (Maybe I should have looked up the symptoms for postpartum psychosis?:) I guess I knew I wasn't really depressed, but I suppose part of me was hoping maybe I'd qualify for a pill or something to make life easier.

Life just isn't easy. I have to push through. I have an amazing husband and really my kids are pretty cute and I adore them much of the time. It's usually about now- between 4 and 6pm when they become a little...or a lot...annoying.

I feel a little claustrophobic at the moment, I guess and that is probably contributing to my angst. I feel like I need to get away to get some rejuvination; it just isn't an option for a few months! :P I have a baby who nurses every 2 hrs. Even if I leave her, I'd have to pump that often to keep my milk up...that doesn't feel very rejuvinating! I have to admit, I also don't think Marc could handle all three quite yet. He's a very capable and amazing guy- don't get me wrong, he just isn't used to doing this. He can be a little stress ball, as it is, I might return to find he'd had a coronary!

Family? Is that an option? Sure, I suppose, but they have their own lives. They are so helpful, but it feels incredible unfair to ask them to take all three at THIS stage...so we just have to wait and push through.

I am in the trenches folks. The only way out is to keep digging. Today I just needed to take a minute to look out and scream. "AHHHHHHHHHH!"

There, venting completed. Now, I'll put on my big girl panties and do the right thing- Pray. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS can sure be challenging sometimes?!;)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Key To His Heart....

They say "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Today I found the way to a BOYS heart is giving him a Super Grover T-shirt.

My son is OBSESSED with Sesame street. We have little plastic sesame street characters with a house and bus that he plays with EVERY day without fail. He carries around Super Grover and Oscar the Grouch, one in each hand, almost every where we go. We have spares because if they are lost, we are in trouble. He goes to sleep with them in hand and wakes up the same. They are very special to the little guy.

Due to his bleach debacle, his favorite shirt (Elmo) was ruined. I couldn't find a replacement at stores here in Sheboygan so I went on-line to order one. Instead of Elmo, I bought Super Grover and Oscar shirts instead. I've never seen such a happy little lad as when I showed them to him from the mail today. He is DE-lighted. I cannot describe how stinkin' adorable it is that right now he is running around in his shirt with right arm extended, fist clenched and jumping saying, "Super Bober a da repue." (Translation- Super Grover to the Rescue). I did not tell him to say this or teach him to say this, nor did Marc- it's all his love for HIS hero;)
"Super Bober..."

"...a da repue"
(for some reason he didn't clench his fist for this staged picture;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Finally Friends

Anyone who knows Ava well, knows she developped an intense fear of flies two years ago. She was swarmed (no exaggeration) by hundreds walking to the car from the ice cream stand. It was gross and a little overwhelming to Marc and I; to a two year old it was down right terrifying. We've been working with her ever since to overcome her fear. Apparently, this is one area of our parenting in which we've been successful.

Yesterday, she did NOT want Marc to get the fly in her room. Below is the conversation:

Ava: You don't have to get him, Papa, we're friends.
Me (with a smile): Oh really, what do you say to each other?
Ava (very matter of fact): We don't say anything, Mom, but we sure are friends. I've been watching him fly around.

Sometimes it is little sweet, simple conversations that are the highlight of my day. I almost melted when she said, "we sure are friends." She is talking so grown up now;)

Death Wish?

My son is cute, really cute and full of more mischief than I ever could have imagined!! His antics seems to ebb and flow. I am thankful that we get little breaks here and there, but lately he's been on a rampage;)

Last week, we were in Ava's room playing nicely. I turned my back on him to teach Ava how to make hospital corners with her top sheet on her bed. I finish and see than little man is chewing something. I promptly say, "Phin, what's in your mouth?" To which he just replied, "GOOD!" I reach to try and get whatever it is out and there is nothing left. It is at that point I see the open and spilled bottle of my Mother-in-Laws Zicam (they were visiting and her suitcasewas on the floor). ARGH! I counted the tablets as I put them back in the bottle. 17 tablets. The bottle said it originally contained 25 and they were "rapid melt tabs". There was no false marketing on that one, let me tell you! A quick call to poison control ensured they were nontoxic (which I was pretty sure of as there was no child proof cap and they are basically just zince, but always play it safe around here.)

Not twenty minutes later, I was washing dishes with Phin at my feet playing his tupperware drum. He opened the cabinet underneath me (those child-proof locks don't even slow this one down!). I am careful not to keep anything too dangerous down there, because this is, of course, not the first time he foiled our efforts to keep the cabinet "locked". I just took a couple seconds to finish the plate I was on and when i looked down to close the cabinet, He was spraying himself....with CLOROX! AHHH! Unfortunatley, having guest in your home sometimes means they put things where they don't go;P Luckily, he only ruined his favorite Elmo shirt and managed to avoid his face and eyes. It was too close a call for my comfort on that one!
Finally, he wanted to ensure we didn't thing we could get off that easy and then next day ran out to the grill to say "HI!" to his papa. He reached for the grill faster than Marc could react and this time escaped no danger. He now knows firsthand what "HOT!" really means. He feels quite sorry for his little self and keep showing me his "owie". (Thankfully Marc DID react fast enough so he only got a second degree burn on his ring and pink fingers.)

Here is his pitiful "look at my owie" face:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Got It!!

Chloe is cute, really cute. There is just one problem, she is not photogenic. It has been nearly impossible to capture her cuteness on camera! I want to remember her at this stage, as she is, and yet when we snap pictures, they don't look like our happy, charming baby girl.

Illustration #1: Completely happy baby becomes deer in the headlights at mere sight of the big black camera.


The other day, I thought I finally was fast enough and squealed with delight. I finally captured a smile. The only problem was, I was SO excited I cut off half her face:P

But TODAY, TODAY was the day. She finally adjusted to the large foreign object in her face and gave me a smile. AND I GOT IT!!

I was so happy I guess she caught on and gave me her all out cheesiest grin.

When one sees this pictures, they don't have to wonder why I am in love with this little one. Just imagine, every time I nurse her she gives me these adorable smiles when she catches my eye. Her name means "verdant, vibrant" and I think she's going to live up to it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rainbow Brite

Does anyone remember Rainbow Bright? I remember watching it with my sisters and coveting my neighbors doll;) It was magical and colorful and fun.

I have apparently given birth to Rainbow Bright herself! (How I wish it were still around! I'll have to check the library for old videos.)
I had a hard time laughing when she came out of her room today, skipping no less! I said, through a smile, "Well, aren't we colorful today!" To which she replied, "I woke up feeling like a rainbow this morning." I'm guessing that means she got up on the RIGHT side of the bed;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"MOMMY!...."

I remember being so anxious for Ava to call me "mommy" for the first time. When she actually said it, I thought my heart would jump through my chest. It was confirmation that she KNEW me, that she "got" the special bond we shared. Hearing "mommy" for the first time from Phin was equally exciting. Before then, you know they like you and you realize that you are the one they look to to be soothed, comforted, etc, but something about hearing them call you their mom is just amazing.


Why is it then, that four short years later, I would give anything NOT to hear "mommy" for just one day. What was once a long awaited word, is now said in my house thousands of times a day. They no longer wait for me to respond before repeating it; in fact sometimes I think they say it when they are trying to fill dead space- "mommy, mommy, mommy". I lay in bed at night and in the stillness their calling still echos in my mind. AH!


I love my kids, I do. I am thankful that they love me and like me to boot, but really do they need to call me for EVERYTHING? Do they need to tell me EVERY thought that goes through their little heads?


I am trying hard to listen despite my annoyance. Someday they won't want to talk to me, I am told, so I am trying hard to set the stage now to let them now I want to listen to them...hope they don't see through what is some days (today, for example) a complete act.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Officially a Mom of Three

I am officially a mom of three. Chloe is already two months and any mom with a couple kids can understand why I haven't updated my blog until now- except of course the supermoms, but remember I affectionately call myself a wannabe...it takes me two months.

Chloe is adorable. Let's start with what is most important- she's sleeping well. (In my world, if one can sleep a bit a night, life is doable.) She is cuddly and cute and eats like a champ. She is pretty laid back on one hand, but let me tell you if she has a desire to eat, she goes from 0 to "LOST MY TEMPER" in 2 seconds flat. I am guessing this temper will continue to manifest itself in various ways throughout her life:) It's kind of cute now...but I can see the novelty wearing off when words start accompanying the crying.

The other kids are doing remarkably well! Phin is still pretty much a baby himself, so he is a little needier than he used to be now that my attention is divided, but he hasn't been aggressive or angry at the baby. He adores her, constantly telling us she's cute and making sure EVERYONE knows the minute she starts to cry. He loves to hug and kiss her...he just hasn't gotten gentleness down quite yet, so he sucks her face (I wish I had a picture of this though it would totally gross them out when they get older!) and lays on top of her to give full body hugs. We definitely cannot leave her unattended on the floor;)

Ava is a big helper- most days:) She's definitely had some adjustment too. She started coming to sleep in our room at night and was doing a bit of sleep walking and complaining of belly aches now and then. With a little more "special time" set aside and bribes, she's staying in her room, has started sleeping better and seems over the belly aches. You may criticize the bribing, but let me tell you when you baby is sleeping and your 4 year old wakes you up...you struggle with anger during the middle of the night! I put a mason jar on the counter and cotton balls in a bag. Every night she stays in her room, she gets to put in three cotton balls; when the jar is full we'll take her to the water park. Thank God, the jar is almost full and mommy is much happier!

I do have to admit that the TV is on a bit more than it used to be. If it weren't, there would be many times that I'd be bouncing baby while having two others hanging on me and while I AM adjusting well, I do have my limits. I tend to get easily annoyed, say when I am nursing the baby and two other little heads are also an inch from my bare boob. There are just a few moments when I need a bit of space...so for this season we are using the TV and certain distracting toys. This too shall pass...and hopefully their brain cells will survive.

Monday, June 28, 2010

6/28/10

Chloe Roberta Aneed was born on June 15, 2010. She is beautiful...really a darling little thing. I adore her already, as does every other member of our family.
Phin is constantly concerned about WHERE she is and what she is doing and the concern heightens the level RED if she starts to cry. He runs around like a crazy little chicken saying, "BABY CYING, BABY CYING!" He loves to hug her and though we've had moments that have tested the old wives tale that if you squeeze someone too tightly their head will pop off (I am glad to report this is untrue), he is finally learning to be a bit more gentle with his love.
Ava is a very proud big sister. She is very good at holding and rocking Chloe. She's becoming quite adept at the burping baby thing and she comes up with cute litte made up lullabies that seem to do a great job at soothing our little newbie.

Marc has been amazing both at supporting me and taking care of this kids. He has an especially good SSSSHHHing technique that is like magic with the baby. There have been a few times when he has soothed her so quickly and efficiently that I have wondered if maybe I should start working and have him stay home;)


I am adjusting. Postpartumness has been hard. I had TERRIBLE water retention before birth, as pictured. I was warned it would get worse afterwards, but nothing could have prepared me for the severe case of elephantitis look edema. WOAH! I was SOOO uncomfortable, had some trouble with back pain and breathing, etc. In the end when it started flushing out- lots of water drinking, resting, and tight compression stockings- I lost about 30 lbs. in 4 or 5 days. I felt like I was on Biggest Loser. What a night and day difference in how I felt!!! I got a little life back in my blood! I still struggle with some postpartum blues though I am not crying everytime someone asks me how I am doing anymore;) I also struggle with nights, but they are getting better every day. Chloe is still waking up more frequently than would be ideal, but she is finally not super alert durign the night. She'll go back to sleep relatively quickly and we've gotten a few 3 or 4 hour stretches of sleep.


God has definitely been answering prayers. Change is always kind of hard for me. New babies could not be cuter and there is nothing like hold a teeny one against your chest, but this stage is always a challenge for me. I am a control freak and there is no way to completely predict how a day or night will go since she is not even 2 weeks yet. I find that hard. I guess I kind of feel like I am in a constant free fall...and I have never been one to dream about sky diving! God has been gracious. My in-laws are here until 7/6 and each day gets a little better...so hopefully next Tuesday I won't have a complete meltdown when I am home alone;)


I kind of know that the chances anyone still reads this blog are slim to none:) I've been terrible about blogging since being pregnant and who knows what will happen as we adjust to life with three, but as I remain a supermom wannabe to my very core...blogging will continue to fall down the priority list cuz really...what kind of mom puts blogging over caring for her kiddos and hubby;)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ready or not, she WILL come;)


Tomorrow is officially the due date for our third child. I remember being pregnant with Ava and being overly anxious for her to arrive. What a different experience this is;) We are heading out in about 1/2 to drive 2 1/2 hours down to Chicago. Tomorrow is Ava's first dance recital. I am just praying the baby stays put;)
Everywhere I go I hear two things: 1) that I am about to have my hands full (if only they knew how full they are already;) and 2) various advice about how to make labor happen sooner. Am I having sex nightly? Eating pinapple? taking long walks? washing my floors? "bearing down"? putting rose hip oil in my vag.? and of course the old syrup of ipecac trick. I just smile and say, "oh at the longest this baby will be in another week or so- we'll make it. I must look incredible uncomfortable for all this unsolicited advice. Sometime is surprises me how forward strangers are? I mean really how often does someone you barely know ask you if you are having sex nightly or even better telling you to put something in your vagina. I have had to really fight not to bust out laughing. I've never been one to mind people touching my stomach- though I understand why people do. It's just something about pregnancy that makes people kind of lose normal social inhibitions!

The truth is- I am VERY swollen. Marc says he has a hard time taking me seriously if he happens to glance at my legs while I am talking and my mother called me yesterday and said, "how's my fat baby, doing?" I assumed she was talking about my son- she wasn't. She started laughing and clarified that she was referring to ME;) (She'd never call me fat normally- by the way, she was just being silly; She's a great mom- no need too get all concerned;) I kind of forget what my feet and legs normally look like. I KNOW I have chicken legs, i just don't remember them. I'll gladly take them back in a week or two, though. (I did have Marc take a picture of my "elephantitis" as he calls it. I think it will be great birth control in the future- in fact, if anyone knows high school sex ed teachers- I'd be happy to pass it along as a "THIS could happen to you." As soon as he downloads his flip camera- I'll post it.)
Aside from the swelling, I am not doing to badly. Oh- I have a bit of trouble sleeping and my back hurts by the end of the day and if I have to carry Phin too much my lower abdomen gets sore, but I am okay. I just look awful, apparently;)

Mentally, I am not quite ready for baby. I have all my stuff in order and my nesting projects are done, but with the recital looming- it would be a bit surreal for the baby to come now. I am praying she comes afterwards. I AM looking forward to her arrival and surprisingly, I am looking forward to going through labor again. This might be our last natural child and I am so looking forward to experiencing the miracle of birth again. With both my other children I had great fear and anxiety; this time I just keep thinking about that moment when you hear that cry and see those teeny fingers and toes. Such hard work pays off in an unforgettable instant- I cannot wait.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gardening Dummies

We have 2 acres of property at our new home. One of our priciest purchases thusfar is this mega riding mower that Marc has to pull out weekly to keep our lawn under control. We've never had much "lawn and garden" experience so our learning curve has been a bit steep. Poor Marc has wacked his head trying to mow around the Evergreens (no permanent damage, but scratch on the head that lead to more blood than one would think necessary), slipped around in the ditches, mowed down the dogwood trees we planted, and most recently broke the blade on the mower (we've had it less than 2 months;). We've struggled to somehow keep on top of things, but fear we are certainly "those" neighbors with the unkempt lawn. We have more dandelions than one could possible imagine- even after paying through the nose for a landscaping company to come and spray. In the process we learned that it sometimes takes 6 applications to "take care" of the problem....meanwhile everyone around us has golf course lookin' grass. Our other "issue" is the "flower beds"; we have two that were obviously well landscaped at one time. The problem is we had NO idea what was in them until things started to pop up. We've had so much rain, however, that nothing just popped up. Before we knew it everything has begun to run into each other and it is a mess. Was it in pristine condition last year? Or has it been neglected for a while? We don't even know what everything is! (To be honest, we hardly know what ANYTHING IS;)

Today we began to tackle the problem. One thing we DO know for sure- neither of us really enjoys this whole gardening thing. Poor Marc has the majority of the work to do; I am doing what I can but I am 38 weeks pregnant with ankles the size of an elephant. I feel like crap and therefore am pretty useless- though I did my best to help out. I have a little gardening book and after reading NOW know we were suppose to trim back stuff as soon as it made an appearance...or in the fall (which we can't help since we didn't even conceive living here;). We are digging and pulling weeds and trimming back stuff galore and we didn't even finish one of the beds today. Sure- we did make a little progress and I am HAPPY that we have found two gorgeous peonies amongst the mess- but one does have to wonder when and if we'll finish. We have to- we do, but it is a task and a half and next year I am thinking we pay a landscaper to dig it all up and put in sod. Or just pay a landscaping service to take over....

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to look out and see our huge lawn and the nature that surrounds us, but boy OH boy are we learning how much work it takes to maintain or gain that beauty. We now know both of us hate this work...not sure what we can do about that, but next summer I won't have the pregnancy excuse, so I have a feeling we'll be doing a whole lot of rock, paper, scissoring to see whose turn it is to weed and mow....or maybe we'll just compromise some convictions and play the lottery- hoping to win enough to hire a gardner. Either way- we need the three day weekend to finish this "project" and then are just keeping our fingers cross that we don't mess up anything to badly. Thank goodness Marc's step dad will be here after the baby and can help direct us further. We're pretty pitiful....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally...

Marc was finally able to get some pictures uploaded on the computer. We don't have as many as we'd like to about our adventures over the past month; our precious little boy grabbed the camera recently and tried to run away with it. Marc went after him and Phin threw it- all the while thinking it was a hilarious game!! The lenses shattered. Lovely! The silver lining is the little warranty from Best Buy that we always purchase. For the second time in our marriage- one of these warranties has MORE than paid for itself. PHEW!

Anywho- here are a few pic's of my adorable children.


Phineas is obsessed with the light in the fridge and thusfar has foiled any lock we've tried...He is so cute, but what a booger!
Happily, disobedient....hopefully not a foreshadowing of a lifelong habit.


Our family on Easter.

Ava and Phin on Easter with Marc's mom and step-dad. (We could NOT NOT NOT have done this move without them!)

Our "new" basement ready for the Easter egg hunt..(this part of the house still is quite barren as it is the bottom of our priority list;)


And their off...


Phin thinks this is GREAT and he doesn't even know there is CANDY inside, yet;)

Notice the tool in Phin's hand- he SOO wanted to help Papa assemble the playset.

This has already provided hours of joy and fun.
We have some issues with our new yard. After a good rain, we awoke to "fields of gold". We have been waiting for a landscape company to come spray. In the mean time- every one around us has yard that look like golf courses and we are the neighbors with dandelions EVERYWHERE- Ava is delighted, however;)




















Here are a few photos since our move:






















Friday, April 16, 2010

Ava's Fourth Birthday Party

I LOVE to plan parties. I am told I will tire of it eventually, but at the moment that idea seems proposterous. I love being creative and making a memorable day for my kiddo. This year, Ava decided she wanted a princess party. Every little girl, it seems, wants one at some point and she is about as girly as they come- her request came as no surprise. I was surprise, however, when a couple weeks into planning, she came to me and said, "I think I'll just have a Dora party again." I asked her why and she said, "cuz that was a really great party and I want a special day like that again." I assured her I was also going to make this princess party special. Immediately I knew I had set the bar a little high when she responded in excitement and awe, "Are you going to get me a pumpking carriage." AYE!



I come from a family of 4 girls. All of us are girly girls and I am the lowest maintenance one in the bunch. Perhaps I am the laziest one in the bunch is more accurate, as my problem has more to do with the fact that if I am going to spend an hour on myself, I'd prefer to crawl in bed with a good book;) Anywho- my sisters are all great and they all love my kids to death, so who better to put to work at a princess party?




The little girls arrived in dress, but had been told ahead of time that their hair and makeup would be done for "the ball" when the arrived. My sister's Kristin and Katie did hair, Karla did nails, and my neice, Jordan, helped the girls put on lip gloss and blush. I had purchased crowns and wands and plenty of sparkly hair glitter. While the girls were awaiting their turns at each station they could color a princess picture or play with playdough. I had made pink and white playdough and added glitter and provided them with good princessy cutters, like glass slippers, crowns, etc. When the girls were ready, I told them before they could go to the ball, they had to pass the princess test. I read them the book "The Princess and the Pea" and then put a pea under a pillow and had each girl sit on it and see if they could feel the pea. They were amazed that they could (what they didn't know is I had taped a small bouncy ball to the underside of pillow inside the case;).
Because the all passed the test, they got to ride in.....the carriage to the ball! My beloved mother and father took Ava's wagon and transformed it into a beautiful carriage. Ava had no idea and all the girls loved it. Because it was raining, the ride was short, but they got out and entered the ballroom through pink curtains. We had decorated our family room like a ball room.



After a bit of dancing, the girls got to eat pizza we'd cut into crown or glass slippers, "safe" apples courtesy of snow white, cheese courtesy of Cinderella's mice, jewel shaped finger jello, and pink lemonade.

They all went home looking lovely and with gift bags with "make-you-own" candy necklaces, rings, nail polish, lipgloss, stickers, and priness fruit snacks.
My beautiful little girl loved her party and must have thanked us a hundred times. Making her feel as special as she is, only made me look forward to her next birthday! My hope is that she grows to know that God's love for her is even more extravagent!