Wednesday, September 30, 2015

09-30-15 Provision

I've mentioned before that I'm not so good with traveling, right?!

Well, this weekend I am signed up to go on the women's retreat with my church. 

As expected I've hit the pre travel stage where I start to freak out about my upcoming trip. The first stage is denial. I've changed my mind! Nope! I'm not going! You can't make me! 

The second stage is the worst case scenario stage. It's that charming stage where my mind runs endlessly through every worse case scenario it can conceive, and trust me, none of them end well! 

The next stage is acceptance. I'm going. I'm choosing to go. I will go

At any moment, I can fluctuate between these stages. 

There are certain things that are trigger points when it comes to traveling. Two of the main ones are how am I feeling physically? And is there going to be bad weather?

Well guess what, I've been feeling sick for the past three days and there is a big fat hurricane heading our way! So there! Let the freakout commence. And that's what I did for most of the day.

But then this evening I got a note from someone and it said exactly everything I needed to hear and a peace washed over me. And someone else stopped me in the hall at church and whispered that they were praying for me. Isn't that one of the greatest responsibilities of the body of Christ? To encourage one another. So thank you to those women that ministered to me this evening in exactly the way I needed to hear. You have blessed me beyond measure. 

Maybe I will be surprised and this weekend will be a breeze. Or maybe it will push me out of my comfort zone in really uncomfortable and unexpected ways, but which ever the case I can say with assurance, God is still good. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

09-29-15 Laws of Parenting

Below you will find a list of parenting laws I have observed to be true during my past five years of eating with savages. This list is by no means comprehensive, and will likely be built upon at a later date. 

1. No one will need a drink until you have a plate of hot food in front of you. 

2. No one will need to use the bathroom until you have a plate of hot food in front of you. 

3. No one will need their bottom wiped until there is a plate of hot food in front of you. 

4. You will never eat hot food again. 

5. If you allow your kids to eat in the car, you will find old food in crevices and corners you never knew existed. 

6. A twenty minute car ride is enough time for a three year old to ask approximately 75 questions. 

7. Your children will repeat you... At the most inappropriate moment. 

8. You will talk about bodily functions... All the time. 

9. You will say ridiculous sentences like, "Please don't lick the bottom of my foot."

10. You will make up answers after the 18th why?? *NOTE*  Make sure they sound legit, because if they don't your children will call you out on it. 

11. There is no torture like a quick trip to Ikea with small children. 

12. There will be meltdowns. A lot of them...They won't all be from the kids.

13. A child's pressing desire to eat something specific is directly proportionate to how much of said item you do not have in your pantry.

14. You will be expected to make lollipops appear out of thin air. No excuses allowed. 

15. Children's voices get exponentially louder when they notice you on the phone... Like "air raid" loud. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

09-28-15 Happy Monday!

C- Why are we talking about that when I don't even know what we're talking about!

Me- Is it hard being three?
Big E- Yeah, it's very hard.
Me- Why?
Big E- Its hard for me to sit in my seat in the car for a long time cause it makes me boring.

I was reading the kids C's new book Splat the cat sings flat. In the book the cat sings very loud and very flat. Thinking this would entertain the kids, I did the first round a little louder and pretty flat. The second time was louder still and more flat. Then the book called for Splat to sing very loud and very flat, so I opened my mouth wide and sang very very loud and very very flat. Well, this totally freaked out Baby E. His face contorted into a look of pure fear and his bottom lip stuck out. Then he started wailing! Poor baby! It took a while to calm him back down! So I guess the next time I will just read the story!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

09-27-15 A Painting Party

A girl from C's ballet class invited her to her birthday party today. When we arrived, C was pretty nervous and clung to me. The ballet friends were very sweet and came up to her and encouraged her to play. C was the youngest in the group and definitely the most timid. After about 45 minutes she finally warmed up and started playing with them and then they were inseparable. It was nice watching her come out of her shell!

The party was a painting party and was really a cute idea. The kids were given canvases on easels and they got to paint them. C has been begging to paint things lately so when I told her what they were going to do she got very excited! She picked out a kitty to paint. She spent a long time choosing each color she was going to use and tried her best to stay within the lines. She was very proud of the finished product! 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

09-26-15 Birthday Girl

Today we went to a birthday party for our sweet niece, Emma, who turns seven. Emma was the first niece born after Tim and I were married and I remember thinking I was really not ready for parenthood. It seemed like every time I held her for the first year of her life she threw up on me! 

Less than two years later we were holding our own baby. 

It's been fun watching all the kids grow up together. Since Emma is the oldest of that group they all look to her to lead, and she takes that roll on pretty gracefully. She is a sweet girl with a beautiful smile and a kind heart.

Happy Birthday, Emma!

C was excited to buy her cousin a birthday present with her own money that she earned this past week by helping more around the house. I am proud of her for using her money so selflessly. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

09-25-15 Lucky Charms and Thai Food

With Tim working late most nights, our dinners have become a bit less conventional. With no one to entertain the kids while I am cooking, and everyone being to the point of exhaustion, I've definitely been taking some shortcuts. It doesn't seem worth it to cook a big meal when my kids won't really touch it. The freezer meals have been great, but sometimes dinner consists of scrambled eggs and toast or waffles. Sometimes it's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich... Tonight was an embarrassing combination of frozen pizza, spaghetti o's, and lucky charms for the big kids and left over Thai food for me and Baby E. (Btw- apparently he loves pad see ew, which is awesome cause so do I.) 

Just so you don't think we are complete savages, we did have tacos one night this week, and spaghetti another night! 

Be honest, what's the most "embarrassing" dinner you guys have scarfed down at night?

Baby E got a huge grin on his face when I first snuck him a sliver of a pad see ew noodle! Then he started gobbling down the pieces as fast as I could break them apart and set them on his tray.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

09-24-15 The woman with the boys...

About a year ago we ran into a store to grab a last minute birthday present. The kids and I were headed to a party, and needed a gift. They were particularly cranky that day and weren't listening to a thing I said. As I pushed them in the cart around the store, I threatened that we were just going to skip the party and head home. I didn't really mean it, so I shouldn't have said it, but it got them in line. After we picked out a toy we headed towards the gift wrap aisle to get a gift bag to drop it in.

In that aisle was a woman pushing a cart with two boys. The older boy looked about eight. He seemed nonverbal and slightly aggressive. He kept hitting his mom. The younger was probably around four and was sitting in the seat up front. He was talking a little bit and looking around. She was looking at wrapping paper, but kept getting distracted by the older boy. Finally she said, "Maybe we should skip the party and just go home." 

I could tell that the mom was overwhelmed. There have definitely been moments when I'm so overwhelmed with my kids in public that I feel like all eyes are on me, judging my every parenting move. So I smiled and said, "we were just having that same conversation!" Without missing a beat she turned to me, anger and resentment flashing in her eyes and said, "well I bet both of yours aren't autistic, are they?" I stood there, shocked. My attempt at connecting with her had the exact opposite effect I was going for. And what could I say? Before I could form a coherent thought she turned and walked away pushing her cart, scolding her one boy for hitting her. 

We finished our shopping and as I was loading everything in the van, I saw her walk by, still yelling at her kids as she made her way to her car. 

I think about her every time I go into that store. I wonder how she is. I wonder if I caught her on a bad day, or if her version of motherhood looks like that daily. I often think about what I would have said differently if I could go back. I would have told her that I know her journey is difficult, much more so than mine. I would have asked her about her sons, praised them for their beautiful eyes and smiles. I might have offered to buy her a coffee and listened to her stories. 

Sometimes the trenches of motherhood are a lonely place to be. I feel it at times with my own children, and if you have your own, you probably do too.  It can be so easy to judge someone by the quick moments we see of them. But instead we should be encouraging each other, be it with a smile, a gentle word or a knowing nod. 

So to the mom with the two boys in the cart, your children are just as beautiful, unique, and intrinsically valuable as my own, and I pray you have strength for the hard days, and that you find joy in their smiles and embraces... And if we meet again... The coffee's on me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


It's been a long time coming, but Baby E is finally crawling! I set him down in the hallway this evening while I was getting the other two ready for bed and I turned around and he was gone!! He was taking off down the hall! Way to go, Baby E!!!

C- Big E, will you come over here?
Big E- Mommy! she just called me Piggy!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

09-22-15 Two for one deal

So last week C had that "who knows what it was but it may or may not have been pink eye." She finished her meds a couple of days ago and has been pretty good. She had a cough that was keeping her up at night, but it was a dry cough and only really bothersome at night. A couple of nights ago, E started with the dry cough too. I attributed it to the constant change in temperature this past week. When I picked him up from the sitter this evening his voice was definitely hoarse and he seemed a bit warm. (Not hot, just a little warm.)  I decided to take him to the walk in hours at his pedatrician. C was on a date with Ms. Rebecca so it was just me and the boys. 

Turns out Big E has croup. A mild case. Nothing wrong with his ears or throat. The doctor isn't concerned, but prescribed a steroid if it worsens. 

Baby E's nose was a bit crusty so I asked the doctor to check his ears real quick just to make sure he was doing fine. He looked in one ear and said it looked slightly infected. Then he checked the other and said it looked pretty bad. So there... Double ear infection for the baby. Awesome. 

Now that little stinker has given me absolutely no indication of being sick besides that little bit of gunk in his eye last Monday and his crusty nose today. He always pulls on his ears when he is tired, but I didn't notice any additional ear tugging. No fussing when I lay him down. Definitely no problems eating. No coughing or hoarse voice. The doctor wrote a prescription to fill in the morning, telling me to just give him pain killers tonight, but I didn't even have to do that because I set him in his crib and he went right to sleep! Crazy little baby!

Here's hoping we are getting this all out of the way now! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

09-21-15 Open house night

Dear Sweet One, 

Twenty eight days ago we held your hand as you timidly walked the halls of your new school. You clung to our sides, eyes darting around, taking everything in. You were so scared. 

But this evening it was you that guided me through your school. You who took me to your classroom, showed me where you sat, explained which bathrooms were the best (based on how loudly the toilets flush), pointed out your assignments on the walls, and greeted your friends by name. 

As I sat in your little tiny chair your eyes pleaded with me to let you sit with your friends on the floor. As the teacher spoke you played with the hair of the girl next to you. You certainly weren't scared anymore! 

At the end I asked your teacher how you were doing. She said she was impressed with all the things you know, especially considering you are the youngest in your class. Yes, a proud mommy moment! I am grateful you transitioned so smoothly into school and that you enjoy it! 


The other night C had a dream about a boy being stung by a bee. When I opened her writing journal at school I saw this picture. (I love how she even included the fan that sits at the foot of her bed and the picture of the family she has on the wall.)

And this is her playing basketball with the neighbor boy yesterday. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

09-20-15 Strange Bed Fellow

It took two hours to get my girl to sleep last night. She kept dozing off and then coughing and waking herself up. When she was finally out I thought I was in the clear. But no sooner had I come downstairs to relax when Big E start screaming for me. Worried he would wake up his big sister, we ran in and grabbed him. To keep the peace I decided to let him sleep with me. 

Believe it or not this was the first time Big E spent the night in my bed. When he was little I used to try to get him to sleep with me when he didn't feel well, or during a nap, but he always wanted his bed and would fuss until I put him there, so I really didn't know what to expect when I laid him down beside me. 

Apparently when he is sleeping, Big E never stops moving. Seriously, this kid tosses and turns all night long. He also talks in his sleep... A lot. And giggles. He giggles in his sleep. Which is really kind of creepy! I mean, I'm just minding my business being fast asleep when all of a sudden there is some quiet cackling beside me. Gah!! Also... He falls out of the bed. 

I have no idea how this child gets any rest at all.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

09-19-15 In the dark

I'm sitting here on the edge of a bed of a little girl that whimpers every time I make a move for the door. I'm pretty sure she has allergies and they have been keeping her up at night. We went through this in the spring time, and now that the temps have been changing and the allergens are picking up, she's having a hard time falling asleep.

We painted our toenails tonight... A special mommy/daughter treat. She's been begging to get her hair cut "just like Mommy's" and I have to admit it makes me kinda sad.... But it's just hair, right?!? Tim keeps telling me "it will grow back!" And of course he is right! She's never had a haircut so that's probably part of why it seems like such a big deal. It would certainly cut down on our daily arguments about brushing her hair. There would be less screaming, for sure. (On both sides! Ha!) I wanted to have her hair long for picture day at school, but that was this past Monday, when she was sick and missed it! And the make up day isn't until the end of October. 

I know, I know... This is a silly thing to obsess about! But here I am sitting in the dark, listening to little ones snore, and I just can't decide! (Btw- little kids snoring is adorable.) 

I know one day I won't be able to sit in their room and listen to them sleep. They will be grown, and it probably won't be all that adorable! But right now they are small, with small hands and small feet pulled up close to their bodies. Their backs lifting and relaxing with each breath. If it didn't threaten to wake them, I would crawl in bed with them and pull them close. For now, I'm just doing my best to memorize this moment, right down to the rhythmic snoring coming from Big E! 

She seems to have finally settled, which means I might make it to the door. I need to remember to oil the hinges, though because the door squeaks, here's hoping I can get out undetected! Cause downstairs my best friend is sitting on the couch waiting to hang out and watch tv. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

09-18-15 Outside Dinner and Big E's first crush

I'll admit it...I'm having one of those days, make that one of those weeks, that I want to just curl up on the couch with my mom and dad, drink hot tea, and watch television. I'm grateful that they live less than two hours away, but I don't get to see them as often as I would like, and this evening it kinda hit me. 

The kids are in bed and the house is quiet. I have a pile of dishes to do and bathrooms to scrub. Housework, the never ending chore! 

We were supposed to go out this evening with Tim's siblings, but things never fell into place for that to happen, so it was me and the kids tonight. I cooked one of my freezer meals (remember those from a few weeks back) and promised the kids we could eat dinner outside. Can't really beat this weather, right?!? They ate on the front stoop and then spent time riding their bikes. It was a nice peaceful evening! 

There is a little girl, about nine years old, that lives a few doors down. The kids adore her. She was out this evening with her friends, so my children quickly lost interest in their bikes and just wanted to watch her and follow her around. I'm trying to teach Big E that it isn't polite to scream after girls, as he is prone to do when she walks by so that he can get her attention. He starts acting very silly when she is around. I think she is his first crush. I wonder if he will remember her when he grows up! 

Big E- What are we having for dinner?
Me- Pasta.
Big E- If there are any yucky meatballs in my puhsketti then I am going to knock them on the ground and let the animals eat them. 

The other night I wasn't feeling well...
Big E- Can you read us a story?
Me- No, honey. Mommy has to throw up. 
Big E- Can you go throw up and then come back and read us a story??
(Thanks for the compassion kid!)

Leaning over to hug me good bye this morning...

Big E- What is that AMAZING smell?!? Oh, it's just you.

Since he often uses the phrase "amazing smell" to talk about trash cans, bathrooms, and gas stations, I was a bit concerned. 

Me- Is it a good smell or a bad smell?
Big E- A good smell. 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

09-17-15 First Homework

This evening, C got to work on her first homework assignment! I can say that with an exclamation point because it is her first... I'm well are that the novelty will wear off soon! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

09-15-15 Probably not pink eye

As I mentioned before, last night was MOPS. One of the many great things about MOPS is that they provide free childcare for when you are in the meeting. So if leaving the kids at home just isn't an option, then you can bring them along and there is separate programming for them. Usually I leave the kids with Tim but he is on his new schedule which meant he wouldn't be home during that time, so I had planned to take them. But when C came down with pink eye, that was no longer an option. My dear friend, Rebecca offered to watch the kids for me. 

When I got over there and started unloading everyone I looked down at Baby E just in time to see a clump of goopiness in his eye. Uh oh!!! Now I was frustrated!  Pink eye strikes again! Rebecca was awesome and still offered to keep my now oozing children. After leaving them I called the pediatrician and got an appointment for the morning.

After the meeting I picked them up and Baby E's eyes were a little red and moist looking. I got everyone home and to bed. 

This morning we got up and got C ready for school and on the bus. She had been on the antibiotic for over 36 hours so she was good to go. I headed for work and Tim took the boys to the doctor. Upon examination the doctor couldn't find any sign of pinkeye in Baby E and he suspects that isn't what C had either. He thinks it's an infection, but not pink eye. (And not necessarily an eye infection.) The meds that C is on (amoxicillin and the eye drops) should work to clear it all up, though he would have probably given her something a bit stronger. So, we will be continuing with the traumatic eye treatments for the rest of the week, however Tim was able to administer a round this evening on his own, so her will might be breaking on that front. 

Hopefully in a few days we will all be back to normal!

Monday, September 14, 2015

09-14-15 Mops- A Fierce Flourishing

Tonight was our first MOPS meeting of the season and this year our theme is A Fierce Flourishing. I always look forward to our MOPS meetings because it is a chance to connect with other moms and build friendships on a common interest... Motherhood. It is great to have a group of women to turn to that are going through a lot of the same struggles, challenges, and experiences that I am. Over the years I have gotten to know more and more women through this group and they have all been such a blessing to me. I am excited to see how this year unfolds and I am looking forward to deepening existing friendships and building new ones! 

And here's a few random pics from the past few days... Just because! 

I asked Big E to look cool and this is what I get! 

The love of sweet tea starts early in this family!

09-14-15 Pink Eye

Here is a list of things easier than giving eye drops to a five year old...

1- Scrubbing a pan that has three day old food encrusted on every surface.
2- Changing a lightbulb in a twelve foot ceiling.
3- Giving a pill to a cat.
4- Defrosting a freezer.
5- Changing a tire. 
6- Threading a sewing machine.
7- Cleaning your gutters.
8- Calling Comcast with a question about your bill. 

And that's just off the top of my head! 

C got diagnosed with pink eye yesterday, which was awesome because pink is her favorite color. Before we even pulled out of the parking lot after getting her prescription she got her first dose of eye drops and it has been a two person job ever since. One person's job is to pin her down, arms tight against her body, and if possible hold her head straight. The other one must pry open her eyelids and squeeze in the medicine before she has the chance to slam them shut again. This might be the day that all future therapy sessions are traced back to.

The alternative to the medicine is, of course, more discomfort, pain, itching, and not being able to go to school for a long time. But have you tried reasoning with a five year old lately? Hint- it doesn't work! Also, bribery didn't work on this one. You can have cookies. No! You can watch as much TV as you want. No! For the love of all things holy I will buy you a car on your sixteenth birthday, just sit still and let me do this!!!... No!

Thankfully she has been on the antibiotic for over 24 hours now, so she is no longer contagious. Of all the nasty illnesses she can (and probably will) bring home from school, pink eye is one of the most sedate, so I can't complain. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

09-12-15 A Mommy dilemma

We just got home late from doing some shopping in Annapolis and now I have a mommy dilemma. Baby E is passed out in his car seat, but I know he will be hungry when he wakes up. So do I wake him up and feed him and then stay up with him until he is tired enough to fall back asleep, or do I let him sleep and risk him waking up just as I lay down for bed? 

Friday, September 11, 2015

09-11-15 Moms Morning Out

Big E started his first day of preschool at our church's moms morning out program. Last year he was in the two's class, with his big sister right down the hallway. But with C in kindergarten, he is there on his own. He had a great day making friends and having fun! 

This evening they played outside with their cousins. Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures, but they had a ton of fun!