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


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 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 forgot despite the fact that you recieved a reminder email the day before!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


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


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 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


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 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?!;)