Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Friday, December 18, 2009

favorite link friday

We're looking for lots of fun things to do around this house lately. Here's a few that have entertained us.

*Edible play dough recipes - we did the peanut butter play dough with the powdered sugar. Delicious!

*Gumdrop garland - haven't attempted this yet, but it looks fun.

*This is the best peanut butter fudge recipe - and we've been making it ALOT. We don't add the pecans and we add a small layer of melted chocolate to the top.

*Glittering fairy ornaments - the girls would LOVE to do this. Too bad their mom has a fear of what could happen with glitter in the hands of little ones.

*I think I'm going to try these

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bowling

What do you do when your husband doesn't have work for 3 weeks? Go bowling!

The girls have bowled on the Wii, but this was time for the real thing.

It was hilarious, especially since we went on a cheap Monday morning which also happened to be Senior morning. Good thing they thought our kids were cute.


My favorite pose of all time. She's looking like she owns the place.

Dave helping Lily throw the ball

Checking out how slow her ball could possibly go.

It was super fun. I highly suggest it to all looking for a fun family activity.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Christmas Sing

Dave and I love it every year when the kids Christmas singing rolls around. It usually means lots of blank faces, off tune singing and tons of parents taking pictures. And we're always hoping that some kid will do something really hilarious, of course, we hope it's not ours.

Eloise had a meltdown first hour and didn't want to go into church. Lily followed suit b/c she saw her sister crying. Dave offered to sit on the stage with them to help ease the fears. Second hour rolled around and they were both fine.

Pictures to document the glorious event:

Waiting to go to church. This is so characteristic of their personalities. Lily isn't shy about much and Eloise is shy about everything, including her mother taking a picture.

Getting ready to sing second hour
Here's the final show! Enjoy.
video

Friday, December 11, 2009

favorite link friday

*chalkboard oilcloth, tablecloth. This looks great for kids!

*Cute wreath idea - let me know if someone attempts this.

*Snowflake Banners - I love hanging snowflakes around the house from the ceiling. Maybe I'll try this outside.

*cute Christmas countdown idea.

*Chocolate dipped marshmallows

*I love the Artisian bread in 5 minutes and this looks like a good alternative to the white bread version.

Monday, December 7, 2009

thoughts and ramblings

I'm hanging out here with this cute guy enjoying Pandora on my new computer that Dave got up at 3am to purchase on Black Friday. I L.O.V.E., love it!!

So I thought I would post few happenings around our house.

First, the family rules. It was a fun project and I spent alot of time just working my way through it. We have yet to go over it with the girls, but it's on the wall.


Christmas is in full swing in our house. I love decorating for this time of year. Here's a few pictures of my favorite ornaments and such.

my snowflakes are hung from the ceiling around the house

This little cute snowbaby was hanging in the sun today, so cute. We have several and the girls now call them snowfairies. (anything to remind them of Tinkerbell)

A pink sledding elephant. Who doesn't need one of these.


The advent calendar from last year is slowly becoming complete. I'd like to finish off the edges and a few other touches, but for the most part, it's done and the girls love it. I used a snowman cut out and put small messages, verses, activities, etc...on each one. Now we just have to tackle the arguing over who gets to pull out the snowman.

Dave is out of work for the month of December. It's just another adjustment in a year of being flexible. It teaches us to be patient and that God has been incredibly faithful many times over. We look forward to celebrating all of this with many friend and family gatherings.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas gifts and giving

We don't usually buy gifts for our kids on Christmas or birthday's. They get so much from grandparents that for us to buy on top of that, we believe, is beyond excess. Plus, our house is tiny and everything new item that comes in the door needs a place, and we are running out of places.

Despite the lack of gifts, I do think that there is a fun, mystery with Christmas and waking up in the morning to gifts. So here's my new plan --stockings only, and they must be filled with items that will eventually go away. Example: bubble bath, gum, toothpaste, toothbrushes (the power kind that don't involve me to help). Coloring books are okay and maybe a craft or two. You get the idea. Things that are useful to daily life and will eventually be thrown out.

So to prepare for the upcoming gifts we decided to clean out their room tonight. For the first time, I let them help and decide what they wanted to keep and give away. I tried to explain that they wouldn't be getting these things back and they seemed to be okay with it and continued to pile items into the bags (Dave had to put his foot down at one point and keep a few things he knew they would miss b/c I was on the train of throwing it all away). I kept telling them about what it meant to be blessed with 'things' and that sometimes out of a our blessing we pass that onto others. If we've been giving alot of books and we aren't reading them, maybe it's time to pass them onto kids that will read them. They seemed to get it.

Eloise followed me into the kitchen and said back to me what she thought I was talking about.

"So if I have pennies in my penny jar and daddy needs some pennies, I can give him some".

"So if I have 7 bananas and you have none, I can give you one".

Yes! She get's it. It was such a cool parenting moment. I looked at her for the first time and it hit me like a ton of bricks that I am her mama and responsible for teaching her and raising her up. That she is such a precious and unique girl who will one day grow up to be a caring, kind and compassionate young woman. My sweet, little, sensitive Eloise, how I love to learn through her all over again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

favorite link friday

I missed last week and didn't even think about it. Probably all the Thanksgiving turkey.

Christmas is upon us. That means craft time and baking time. Here's some links for ideas.

*Wintery mobile from the $ tree - I'm doing this one for sure

*I love how cute this Christmas countdown is. So creative.

*Cute cookie labels for all those Christmas cookies.

*Bento boxes are all the rage. If only I had enough spare time to whip this up.

*If you are adventurous to make your own gingerbread house - go for it ladies!

*I'm a sucker for all foods Asian. This looks great. I think I'll have to try it with peanut sauce.

Enjoy the weekend! Maybe some will get snow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2nd Annual Wreath Making

Last year my life-long girlfriends got together to make wreath's at my parents farm. We all grew up in Puyallup (just south of Seattle) and our parents still live in town. Seems to be that Thanksgiving is the time we can all rally together for a day or two.

This year we had even more fun with more kids. There were treats, tractor rides, feeding the cows, pumpkin tossing, and a big warm fire.



The beautiful mountain in the background makes this day even better

Monday, November 30, 2009

then and now

When Dave and I had our first Christmas I was all about making our house look picture perfect. My parents brought us a beautiful tree. In fact, it was so beautiful, you couldn't even touch it. It was a Colorado Blue Spruce. Great color. VERY prickly needles. My hands were near bleeding by the time I finished putting the lights on.

The colors had to be matching and everything had to have just the right balance. My mom joked often about how it looked like a department store tree.

This year, 7 years later, the tree doesn't look as picture perfect. I had 4 tiny hands help me decorate and I was less worried about the look and more worried about my ornaments making it from the box to the tree without breaking.

But it's beautiful. I love the ornaments we have collected over the years. The blueberry fairy, the snowbabies that the girls now call snow fairies. The white polar bears and the crystal snowflakes. I picture many more ornaments to come, some homemade and some bought.

I don't miss my perfectly matched tree one bit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thankfulness

The last week or so I've been giving thanks each to the Lord for all he has provided for our family. Here's my top 5:

1. 30 little fingers and 30 toes with smiles and giggles and kisses and hugs

2. For a roof over our head and warm room to sit, when the rain outside is pouring down

3. A husband that loves and a seeks to serve me and love me the way God designed it to be.

4. A mother and father who are helpful, loving, and able to help in any way possible

5. For plenty to share with those that have less. For full cupboards and tanks of gas.

God is so good and I'm thankful that I am saved by His grace.

Happy Thanksgiving to so many of you who make my life sweeter and richer just by being my friend. Many blessings to you all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

recipe time

I've been cooking more these days. Planning has been the key to my sanity. And I've also started cooking again for the family I was cooking for previously. So I need to make sure the meals work with both families. This is one I've made a few times and the kids tend to like too. It's a good one dish, quick meal. It's from Healthy Cooking by Taste of Home (my favorite mag).



Nacho Beef Bake

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean) - We use ground Turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces baked nacho tortilla chips (about 2 cups), crushed
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the beans, water and taco seasoning; mash slightly. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until heated through; set aside.
  • Unroll crescent dough and press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray; seal seams and perforations. Spoon beef mixture over dough. Spread sour cream over beef mixture; sprinkle with cheese and chips.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.
Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

These are the things I'm searching for this week:

*fellow moms who experience the same thing, including bribery.

*cute Christmas crafts - that I may or may not do.

*helpful to-do lists

*honey beer bread - easy and delicious.

*chocolate banana bread - this looks delicious too

have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

princess thoughts

Being the mom of two girls, it's hard to avoid the princess stuff. At first, when I just had Eloise, I almost insisted that she avoid princess anything. Why such the aversion? Two reasons:

1. Pink. It's alot of pink. Guess what color my girls love--pink and purple. Eloise takes pink, Lily takes purple. I just didn't like pink. Now my life is filled, overflowing, in fact, with pink.

2. the story line of most princess movies. I have a strong reaction to the 'follow your heart for the one true love' story line. When this involves disobeying your parents, I'm definitely not down with that. But I just don't want my girls to grow up thinking that finding that 'one true love' is the be all, end all. I love my husband very much, but he's not number one to me, the Lord is.

With the two above reasons, I threw out a bit of the baby with the bathwater. One thing that little girls love is character's that have a special abilities. It's the fascination with things we can't do. Fly, swim underwater as a human, and twirl with a big dress in a beautiful castle (mama is the princess on the wall in our house in my wedding dress).

Eloise and Lily love Tinkerbell and have mentioned a time or two wanting to watch the movie. We have yet to delve into full length movies, besides Jonah, and I was a little hesitant. I'd never seen Tinkerbell and didnt' know much about the story line. Finally, after much deliberation we decided to rent the first Tinkerbell. And the weird part is, I felt a bit guilty. But I felt guilty b/c I had other people's standards running through my head and had yet to figure out my own.

(cheesy mom moment here) I can honestly say that it was the cutest thing ever to watch the two girls see Tinkerbell for the first time. It was like they were seeing magic come to life right before their eyes. It was heartwarming a bit to see the excitement in their eyes. To see a little bit of their imagination come to life (see I told you, it was cheesy).

So I know there are many varying opinions on watching movies, especially amongst Christian culture, but I've got to tell you, it was super fun and I'm really trying to put aside other people's standards on this one. Each family chooses what is right for them.

Do I love pink? Not really. Do I love princess culture? Not so much. But for my girls, they love the beauty and mystery of it all and if that is all there is to it for them, then I love it. I'll evaluate each movie as it comes.

I'm pretty sure if I had boys first I'd be talking about swords and guns, but since I have girls first, Sam is stuck with the pink. He sure looks entertained here. (not the best pic - something's going on with my camera)


Monday, November 16, 2009

the ledge connecting our living room and kitchen is lined with:

tissues

2 inhalers

air chamber for inhaler

ibuprofen

Tylenol

and a medicine dropper

guess what that means?

Sickness has descended upon our household.

Plan canceled and videos ready. Let's see how long it takes us to go stir-crazy. I'm betting 2 days. Any ideas to keep kids happy at home while sick?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

*it's the month of thankfulness. I found this blog post and was really encouraged to do this in our family. Or at least talk about it.

*I like this blog - Impress your kids

*Super-duper cute Turkey's

*Good Christmas idea for those who like Cooking Light - only $5. I love this mag.

*100 calorie desserts - I need this to get me through the holiday's. (thanks, Casey!)

*Easy DIY - Wall Art. I've been meaning to do this too. Now I have instructions.

Monday, November 9, 2009

fairness

Today was a fantastic day. And there were several events that could have turned it sour quickly. Like buying a pink/purple leap pad on e-bay and having it arrive in the mail and not knowing what to do. I only had one. ONE people. I have two girls who love pink and purple. Eloise's leap pad that she got from Nana on her birthday is orange (the only one they had).

I stared at the box, while Dave laughed hysterically b/c he was about to leave for work. Immediately I called Angela. I asked, "you know what happens when you only have one sword, or one Thomas the train around the house?" She said, "Oh yea, I run out and immediately buy another one".

So I told her of my predicament. She concurred with Dave and laughed too. "Don't give it to them yet and order another one immediately", she says.

Now I know what some of you are thinking here. Time to teach those kids about life not being fair. But I've got to be honest here, now's not the time. There are plenty of other times I plan on teaching that lesson.

I fought with myself to what to do. I was really excited to give this to them, really it's for Lily, but let's be honest, Eloise is going to hijack that thing faster than I can get it out of the box.

I open the box, it came with a princess game. Bingo! I'll give the leap pad to Eloise and the game to Lily.

They wake up from their naps (another unfortunate dilemma considering they are both awake still and it's 9:40) and I decide to jump in with both feet. Dave is practically running out the door to work to avoid the disaster that is about to unfold.

I give Lily the game first and she is so excited. The I pull out the coveted pink/purple leap pad and Eloise grabs it immediately, hugs it to her chest and says, "thank you mama, thank you so much for my pink and purple leap pad". It was SO cute.

Lily is too engrossed in the princess game with the orange leap pad to notice. 30 seconds later her head whips up and she's begging for a turn.

Let the timer setting begin. 10 minutes for you and then 10 minutes for you.

Ebay here I come.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

thoughts - warning - long one!

I've thought alot about my post last week and what was triggering those feelings and thoughts. So many ideas came to mind, but I'll just share a few.

But first, remember this as you read, not just this post but all posts I write. I feel honored and blessed to be the mother of my children. I believe wholeheartedly they were handpicked and designed by God for me to be their mother. I love them dearly.

These thoughts are not directed at any one person. Just thoughts I have milling about.

Thought #1: I often hear the line, 'be thankful for what you have'. I love this line, no kidding, it's true and I need to remember it. I am thankful, without a doubt, but there are moments that I long for something else. Moments, not constant time, moments. It's like when I hear someone say they wouldn't trade being a mother for anything, I stop and think, would I? NO WAY! But maybe I would trade some moments for a week in Mexico laying at the beach with a Pina Coloada in my hand. Does it mean I love my children less? Nope. Just means that as a mom I need a moment to take a deep breath and get my bearings.

Thought #2: I grieve for those who are infertile or have difficulty getting pregnant. And I recognize that comments about struggling with my children fall hard on those trying to get pregnant. I have dear friends who struggle with it and it breaks my heart to see them in pain. Recognize though that being fertile doesn't mean I automatically feel blessed by my children b/c I have them. My fertile surprises are just that, surprises, and they cause me serious struggles with the Lord over loss of control and their timing. Being pregnant with Lily left me bitter and angry for over a year and took serious repentance to move into a place of loving her fully.

Thought #3: Blogs. Oh, blogs. They are a curse and a blessing. I love to read the successes of other women. Their creative projects, their perfect muffins, and beautiful pictures of their kids. But I've realized that this breeds something, envy. Why can't I do that? How do they have time for that? If I only had a better camera. Reality is lost in pictures and recipes of perfect dinners. There are rare, sobering pictures of laundry piles, burnt dinners and crumbs under the table. I'm all for hanging my hat on something I've done successfully and sharing it with the world, but I want people to know that I'm real and that's why I shared the post last week. I know some might see it as whining or that I'm just filled with complaint. I don't want to be and I'm reminding myself all the time that compliant is evidence of doubting God's goodness to me. And He is good! But I feel the need to share with others b/c I need to know I'm not the only one who is having hard time working through this.

I know that God has created us all different as mother's. For some, mothering is as natural as eating. For others, it's like we have the wrong shoe on all day, nothing seems to fit right and we question all we do. For the rest, we fall somewhere in the middle.

I want to be an encouragment to all women, especially mothers. I want to have an open, non-judgmental ear to listen. Even when some need to say, "I'm ready to sell them on craigslist". I know they aren't serious, just incredibly overwhelmed, need 20 minutes to think and not hear me respond with judgement. I know that they love their children deeply and madly and would crumble at the thought of anything horrible happening to them. I cherish my friends that I can do this with b/c I feel at complete peace knowing that they get me and I don't have to explain a thing.

I air all these thoughts because I need to. Because these are the roots of being overwhelmed --judgement, envy, failure, and disappointment. I want freedom from all of these and I'm working to release them one at a time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

SO.....after that crazy last post on my overwhelming day, thought i'd just bring a few links I noticed this week.

*I made this pumpkin dessert this week - great! I'm making it for Thanksgiving.

*I'm going to try this chicken in a crock pot recipe.

*Thinking of getting this cute wooden kitchen for the girls. They love cooking and dress up so I'm setting up areas in their room that help them have been access to those two things and quick clean up at the end of the night. Dress up is another one to tackle soon.

*Cute idea here.

*Deliciously Organic homemade vanilla. I think I may try this. I love vanilla and have tried to make it before, but I don't think I used enough vanilla.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

all consuming

success is escaping me

my jeans are too tight

dust is draping all over my house

there are crumbs under the table

a dishwasher that needs unloaded

children that are whining and complaining at an alarming rate

a child begging to be schooled and I don't have the mind to do it

princess dresses littering the house

a bathroom that needs cleaning

clothes on the floor

a child who won't sleep more than 35 minutes during the day

3 hours of sleep last night

and after all of this I cannot muster up the strength to find any type of success in my day so far and it's on 11:30 a.m. It feels as if everywhere I look I see failure, something I'm not doing right. It's as if I've missed the formula that everyone else has.

I'm not training my kids right, I'm not teaching them to their max potential, they probably watch too much TV and consume too much white sugar. I cannot shake this. I just need mercy and grace and i can't seem to find it.

This is the stage I loathe. This is the point postpartum that takes me down. This is the phase I must power through and I hate that I have to do that. I know it will even out, but it's just so overwhelming at times.

sorry to be such a downer, I'm normally not, but my thoughts of others having it altogether is consuming me today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

did you know...

...that I forgot my camera on Halloween. Yep, I do things like that often and then wonder later why I don't have pictures of significant events. I'm hoping my memory holds ups. Pretty sure it won't. Hopefully I'll get a sweet camera before then. Here's few my friend Melinda took.

(there is always someone looking away from the camera)

...I love brussel sprouts, but only on Thanksgiving with gravy and mashed potatoes.

...I look for patterns constantly. Ways to organize, structure my day, how things work in patterns, etc... My dad does it too. We'll both catch ourselves looking at something and comment about how the pattern goes. Strange, I know. But it really does come in handy when you want to organize. But not when you have an baby who is not quite ready to fall into a pattern. That's when it drives me nuts.

...Speaking of driving, when Dave and I go anywhere together, I always drive. It saves our marriage. A lot less of me trying to control the situation, him getting angry at other drivers and me becoming anxious b/c I hate conflict.

...our house is 1200 sq ft and we only have 1 bathroom. Yep. It's superfun now that Lily uses the bathroom. Let's just say that Dave is really glad there is another boy in the house that will someday understand how long it takes for girls to use the bathroom and that they have to go in pairs.

...My feet grew 1/2 size bigger when I was pregnant with Eloise and then again when I was pregnant with Sam. I was a 7.5 when we got married, now I'm an 8.5 with alot of extra shoes that don't fit.

...This June it will be 15 years ago that I graduated from high school and 10 years since the last time I was in Europe. Italy, it was a beautiful trip. Am I really that old?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

*I am in super clean and organize mode. And I SO wish I had a little extra closet space to pull this off.

*If I was going to get into pumpkin carving, I would do this

*The Jellyfish costume is one I think I could attempt to make

*So cute - Halloween petit fours

*At our Thursday night dinner club, our friends made Hash Brown Quiche. They used sausage and it was delicious. My girls even ate a piece each. It's Paula Deen so I'm going to experiment with a lighter version.

*These little cupcakes are about the cutest things ever.

Have a great Halloween and remember to turn your clocks back.


Monday, October 26, 2009

'I want to do it myself!'

We've all heard that phrase before. It usually comes from the mouth of a 2 yr old. Maybe even earlier, but that's the age it usually starts.

Lily has been potty trained for 2 weeks which is fantastic. I was so resistant to this knowing that it would require much more of me once she decided it was time to give up diapers. And that's just what she did, decided one day she was done being a little girl. Only a few accidents later and no more diapers.

Another one of her big decisions happened today. She decided that she didn't want my help. In fact, she told me multiple times to go out of the bathroom while she goes. My first response was, hey, you don't tell me what to do. The second was, well, she has to go sometime and this means she doesn't need my help.

We did great until 4 o'clock when I heard her scream, I need to go potty and run as fast as her little legs would take her. Then I heard blood curdling screams. I thought she of course fell in the toilet. Nope, she peed her pants. She was mortified.

'Change me! Change me!", she yells at the tops of her lungs in between screams. She only had her panties on so there wasn't too much to change. She then proceed to yell, "change me" as if she wanted me to remove the skin on her legs to free her from the wetness. I was trying hard not to laugh at her response to this normal, albeit, uncomfortable experience. Really, she was this bothered by peeing her pants? I guess this is good thing.

Once off the potty she told me that she no longer wanted to be a big girl. "I'm a little girl mama, put my diaper on". No way, kiddo. You are in this for the long haul.

Now if I could just figure out how to teach my 4 year old not to pee at night. This one is going to take some time. And the solution cannot include a load of dirty sheets everyday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

*Last night I got to attend my first birth ever. It was so cool. My friend, Angela, who has this blog, gave birth to her 4th little one, a boy. She didn't know the sex of the baby so I was super excited and hoping it was a girl. Wrong! I was so shocked. Anyway, just giving a big CONGRATULATIONS to her and thanks for letting me sneak into her birth.

*Hand print candles. What a cool and easy idea. I may try this this weekend or give the gift to my mom.

*I love the subtitle on this blog, it's hilarious. And I LOVE this simple table. I can just envision my kids destroying it the moment I finished it.

*I love projects like this. I would love to do this for my garage and for the girls dress up clothes.

*Oven Ham Sammies - delicious. I did these for a shower this last weekend and everyone wanted the recipe. I just made them with whole wheat rolls this week and they turned out
great.

*Candy Corn Cookies - cute and easy.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkins

I love pumpkin for baking, but I do not love it for carving. Slimy mess, stinky guts, and all those seeds you feel obligated to roast. I know, it's like not loving trees at Christmas. But I just can't handle the mess. So this is how we did pumpkins this year.

We found all the spare Mr. Potato Head supplies we could find

Dad drilled a hole

Presto! Pumpkin created

Aren't they adorable. I'm fairly certain they are going to get stolen by the high school students in our neighborhood, but for now, the look cute.

Then.....we went the pumpkin patch.
The first pumpkin's were from my brother's garden which Eloise calls her own pumpkin patch.

Here's this cute little pumpkin at 10 weeks old.

goats, goats, goats

the big slide that she went down 5 times

my kiddos

Friday, October 16, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

*I'm a huge fan of the Cheesecake Factory's Thai Lettuce Wraps. So I decided to google it and see what I could come up with. Voila! Here you go. Delicious.

*I'm thinking about making these for a baby shower this weekend.

*I think this is the cutest necklace. I really want Dave to buy this for me for Mother's Day - just in case he ever reads.

*I'm planning on putting this little craft together. I love the idea of family rules posted in the house.

*Tank Top Totes - I think my friend T could use this...she has over 56 tank tops!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

wow

My friend Cutzi has 3 little kids, all within 3 months of my little ones. She just adopted her 3rd tiny baby, Xochi just a few month before I had Sam. (her stories of their adoptions are so inspiring and Spirit led. Definitly worst a read).

When I was reading her blog a few months back, she wrote this. I thought, oh man, I'm in for it.

Today I had that day. That day where I'm so exhausted at the end of the day that I can barely hold my head let alone clean the kitchen.

I wish I could say that I made it through the day patient and kind, but around 6 p.m. those attributes flew out the window. I felt overwhelmed and on sensory overload. At one point I thought locking myself in the bathroom sounded like a great idea. I'm fairly certain that one of my children will need counseling.

I'm thankful tomorrow is a new day. I'm thankful that Lily is potty trained and it took little effort on my part. I'm thankful that I'm learning how to parent Eloise (with her emotions and all) and love her as my first born daughter. I'm thankful for a husband that partners with me on all of this. And most of all I'm thankful that God gives me grace and mercy in small ways throughout the day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

I made it to Friday without any other small objects entering nasal passages. I consider that to be a successful week. Now onto some fun stuff.

*I discovered this cute cupcake site tonight as I was looking for baby shower ideas. Super cute! I love cupcakes and think they can be done in so many creative ways. I especially love the pink ones.

*I'm not joking when I tell you that this is the BEST chocolate chip cookie. Seriously. My friend, Aimee passed this onto me and taught me how to make them. The trick, refrigerate the dough before baking. I roll the dough into small logs wrapped in plastic wrap and then cut 1/2 in. slices before baking. Delish. I don't add the salt on the top and they are still FAB.

*I have baking on the brain. These English Toffee Bars look great and only have 5 ingredients.

*I don't plan on homeschooling but I thought this list was pretty funny and interesting. I understand the position well when you are on the outside of mainstream ideas. Giving birth at home gives people alot of freedom to tell me what they think of my decision. Sounds like it's pretty similar with homeschooling. I have respect for their decision.

*I wonder if all this good eats will stick to my hips just looking at it. It looks scrumptious.

Enjoy the weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

the life of a mother

It's only 1 p.m. and today has already been so eventful.

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed. Sam has been sleeping from 8 or 9 to about 4 or 5. I'll take it, definitely. But now that I just noted his sleeping pattern, he's going to be up 7 times tonight, for sure.

Today was going to be cleaning day. Clean up the yard, move clothes, watch videos and BAKE! (my favorite thing these days).

Just as I'm finishing my shower, Eloise comes in, I'm dripping wet and says this:

E: "Mama, I'm sorry. I put the Ariel shoe in my mouth."

me: "Did you swallow it?" (which would have been good knowing what was about to happen)

E: "No. I shoved it up my nose"

me: "YOUR NOSE!"

Still dripping, my mind frantically tries to figure out what to do.

Tweezers. No, I could cause alot of damage.
Bulb syringe for babies. Nope. Can't find it. I think I may have thrown it out b/c they were sticking it up their noses. Go figure.

I called the doctor and she gave me a list of things to try. If they didn't work then I would have to come in.

At this point Sam is crying and Eloise is completely freaked out by the tiny shoe in her nose. I'm starting to curse my mother because she is the one who bought this minuscule, scantily clad mermaid who happened to come with shoes. She's a MERMAID, for the love.

After a few tries to get this thing out we decide it's time to go to the doctor.

I called my super great friend Jenny to come watch Lily and we were off. The entire time I'm praying that she won't freak out the moment they get some gigantic, awful looking instrument out to extract the tiny pink shoe from her nose. Oh, and also hoping they don't think I'm the worst parent in the world b/c she also has a bruise on her face from falling yesterday. I can hear CPS being called as I drive.

This super great doctor came in b/c ours was off duty. Says to me. "Well, she not only has it up there far, but it's facing the wrong way. So if we can't get it out, we'll send her down to the ENT (Ear Nose and Throat doctor)." Sweet. This sounds like the way I wanted to spend my day.

Let's stop for a moment to reflect on the fact that I'm trying as hard as I can not to scold or make her feel like an idiot. I'm trying to find the balance before I starting ranting and asking her what in the THE WORLD possessed her to stick a shoe up her nose. Wasn't this supposed to be Sam's job?

Back to the office. She lays out on the table all the tools she's planning on using. Eloise is oblivious at this point. The doctor asks if I've had her blow her nose. Um...I've had her blow all morning. The last thing I want to do is be here. So the doctor tries one more time, apparently a special doctor way that if mama tried it would bring on blood curdling screams heard by the neighbors. After 3 blows, out comes the shoe. Hallelujah!

The doctor made her promise not to stick anything up her nose again. Or her brother's nose. Little does she know that Eloise has a little sister too. We're hoping that we don't find another shoe in Lily's nose.

For now, Ariel, you are bound to be a fish forever b/c those shoes, they are headed for the garbage. There's no way you are going to be part of our world now.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite Link Friday - the Fall edition

Here's to Autumn! Celebrate the season by doing a few of these and eating a few of those...

*12 Days of Thanksgiving calendar. (don't think I'll ever do it, but it may inspire something else to help my kids celebrate)

*This is my idea of decorating pumpkins. Now knives, nasty smell, or seeds I feel obligated to roast.

*Recreate the pumpkin spice latte at home.

*Too cute Autumn wreath.

*Pumpkin pie bites - cute and delicious! (now if I could only find canned pumpkin...)

*Oh my word - these look fabulous! (too bad I started Weight Watchers Monday)

Enjoy the first weekend in October.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This too shall pass.

Eloise is afraid to go into any room alone, insisting that her sister or myself go to the bathroom with her each and everytime. This is in addition to her non-stop arguing on every point. Yes, apparently 4 year old girls object to each and every thing their mother attempts to do, not limited to the drive-thru at the bank. Yep, she vehemently objected to my decision to use the most fantastic and perfect invention for mother's -- the drive-thru. What in the world could she possibly object to about the bank?

Lily is biting her sister when she's frustrated. Today Eloise took one to the forehead. Add to this fun, spitting. She enjoys gargling her water and spitting it out on whatever piece of furniture is within reach. This also has included the floor and her brother.

Sam, well, he's just easy. He lets me know when he's hungry and when he's tired. Falls asleep when it works for mom and looks just as cute as can be hanging out underneath his mobile.

It's been a crazy ride these past couple of weeks but we are remembering that His mercies are new every morning (and this doesn't just apply to me) and that I am being molded and shaped right along with my children. As I wonder when they will get it, I'm sure God is wondering the same thing about me sometimes. So I'm taking one day at a time, listening/reading His Word and trying my best to show them that I love them. And to remember, as many a seasoned mom has told me, this phase is so short in the grand scheme of it all, enjoy it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

pictures


Our sweet photographer friend, Becky, came and took the kid's pictures last weekend. I was so excited to get this years pics because of Sam's arrival. The girls had so much fun and the pictures of Sam alone are so precious. Have a look here for some sampling.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn

It's officially my favorite time of year. Now if we could just drop below the 90's it would really feel like fall.

What do I love so dearly about Fall?

*the leaves turning from green to yellow to red. October is the most beautiful month and it just happens to be my birthday on the 1st.

*the air turning crisp in the morning and a sweet warmth in the afternoon

*the decorations, like these.

*the excitement of new clothes. Like this cute dress. It's the one on the right that I should have ordered yesterday when it was in stock :(

*Pumpkin Spice Americano's (yum)

*that it means it's time to start curling up on the couch and getting cozy.

*it's time to cook soup and make bread and use the oven without heating the house up to 85 degrees like I did tonight.

*all the school kids walking through the neighborhood every morning and afternoon.

I simply love everything about this time of year. I haven't met an Autumn I didn't like.

Ahhh....it even smells like Fall.

photo by Sandi Saunders

Friday, September 18, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

I love linking. Hope you do to!

*It's almost Fall. My favorite time of year. To me, it's like a deep breath. And with that deep breath comes baking. Baking all things pumpkin. If you love Starbucks pumpkin scones, here you go. You can thank me while your drinking your morning coffee with these delicious and easy babies. They are super easy to make.

*Cute idea for a child's name using Ikea frames. Love Ikea!

*It's been a while since I've checked out Simple Mom. I forgot how much I love all of their ideas.

*For my friends who don't want summer to end. Here's a S'more Popsicle idea. Looks good.

*This little mobile was given to me by my dear friend Willow when I had Eloise. It is baby cr@ck. It is awesome and is saving my life. It doesn't match any of the cute nursery decor but for any first time mom, you need to get yourself one of these. It will guarantee you an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning. (now that I just said that, it won't)

Have a great last weekend of Summer! Autumn here we come!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dodgey Bloggy

I'm not much of a blogger these days except for noteworthy occasions and Favorite Link Friday (which I love b/c it gives me an excuse to be online when Dave really wants the computer - thanks for loving it ladies).

We've started a new normal around here. Not just baby, but Dave has a job. Yay! He's doing some construction for a friend. But with that new job comes a new schedule that none of us are used to.

Dave's old job allowed him to be home all day and leave for work at 4 p.m. and home at 1 a.m. He wasn't a huge fan of this b/c he rarely got to see his friends and had to look forward to working instead of coming home and staying home for the evening. But me, I LOVED it. I had him all day and the girls did too. I had the best of him. No tired husband and daddy. And when he got home from work he was able to decompress on his own. Now, not so much.

This has been a big change for all of us. I'm actually a real stay at home mom now. Before I was kinda one. I liked to call myself a "fake" stay at home mom. I could go to coffee with friends, make appointments during the day without having to think about babysitting, run to the store or shop without kids. Oh man, it was the life. And I knew it was. I knew I had a good thing going and I knew all those other moms out there with husbands gone during the day had it MUCH tougher than me and I had huge respect for them.

So all this to say, blogging is going to be a bit sparse these days as I adjust to managing the 3 little ones. I realized just how much work the girls were when my mom had them for the last 3 days. It was so quiet around here and it gave me the chance to take a deep breath and prepare for the crazy, fun times as a stay at home mom. I'm sure this experience is going to teach me more about myself and the grace of God. I look forward to it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Four

At 1:30 a.m. this morning my youngest will wake for a feed. (He's pretty predictable these days.)

At 1:30 a.m., 4 years ago, my water broke starting labor for my oldest. I was a week overdue, had PUPP rash (which is awful) and the heat was unbearable (similar to this summer). I was ready to meet this new little baby and find out what the sex of my first born would be.

It was an intense labor. I was already a 4 by the time my water broke. I progressed fast and without a break in between contractions. I counted to 100 for every contraction, at times missing a few numbers.

When it came time to push it was incredibly difficult. As a first time mom I didn't really know how to do it or what to feel. After 3 hours of INTENSE pain and pushing a baby arrived.

"What is it? What is it?", I yelled.

"It's a girl!" everyone said in unison.

"What's her name?" Ellie said. "It's Eloise Caroline", I stated proudly.


Our tiny little 7lb 13oz girl has become a beautiful little 4 year old. She is full of life, helpful and extremely loving. She is gracious, sensitive, and has a zeal for life that is unmatchable. She talks a mile a minute and non-stop. She is eager to learn and soaks up all knowledge. She loves order (like her mama) and has to make sure that every task is complete and finished. And she makes sure that all cabinet and hallway doors are completely closed, there is no half way with this girl.


I am so blessed to be her mama. We thank God for the little first-born girl He gave to us. We look forward to many more years to come.



Friday, September 11, 2009

it's friday!

Oh my word, I almost forgot. I don't have much this week except a few things I've read along the way and sites I thought were great.

*I love Rocks in my Dryer. I was privileged enough to post about home birth on her site. I regularly keep up with her and love that she is one stage ahead of me in parenting. It helps keep perspective. This post was very encouraging and humorous.

*The organization in this art studio makes my heart skip a beat. Please let me one day have something that organized and cute.

*I actually thought this week about if I could make homemade gummies. Look what we have here - You can!

That's it! Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Big girl!

My super big girl Eloise decided it was time to cut her hair. After all, she is turning 4 next week!

She took forever to actually grow hair so her mama was a little reluctant. But after watching Sam get drenched in her long locks and pulling it a few times, I decided we were going to head on down to the salon.

Our trip to the salon was a family affair. Dave wanted to go b/c he always takes the girls with him on his cuts and Eloise wanted her sister there to watch. Sam, of course, just hung out. I'm sure he'll be sitting through a few more of these in his lifetime.

Here's before, cheesy grin

waiting like big girls (good thing she can't read Teen Vogue yet)
Cloudy, the cat next to Eloise, came along for a hair cut too

waiting for the gum treat at the end

almost finished

done! She loves it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Small Edition of Favorite Link Friday

So I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I really want to post about an exciting event we had today in the family but I need to get a final picture before the reveal. Until then, here's a few posts I've enjoyed.

*Love this 7 quick takes and her comments about Bare minimum mode in their family. That's where we are at and I appreciate that someone else is there too.

*Looking for a nursing cover - here's a great deal for a gift or for yourself.

*Great site for parties - particularly this lemon party

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

post pregnancy clothes

There are those few women who fit into their regular clothes 15 minutes after they give birth. You know them. We love them, because they are our friends, but secretly, we're a tad jealous.

Well, no need to be jealous here. Still in sweat pants and still looking for T-shirts that fit properly. Somehow all the shirts I wore before and during pregnancy have magically turned into crop tops. I swear someone came through my closet and cut and hemmed them all. How on earth did they get so short?

Today I went to the mall to try and find any top that would make me look remotely cute for my first day of church. The only ones that make me look good are all priced above $70. Why is that? And then Old Navy is only stocking solids and stripes. Not a good look for the jelly belly around the middle. Then there is the milk producing jugs that need to find a place. Thankfully I found a great nursing bra for $12.99. A success to be noted, for sure.

So what is a girl to do in transition. I'm thinking I'm going to have to suck it up and wait a few months until some deflation has occurred. Until then, it's sweat pants and crop tops. Cute!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

we'll keep him

I've said that the newborn stage is not my favorite. It still isn't, but knowing that this is our last baby, I'm enjoying the small things a bit more. It makes those moments in the middle of the night just a bit more tolerable and I'm savoring the snuggling knowing that they grow up so quickly.

Our family is enjoying this new little guy, especially the girls. They are absolutely smitten with their brother and can't wait for him to grow up and play. Poor guy is going to have 3 mama's.

Here's some of my favorite moments of the last two weeks.

Our last family of four picture. The night before we had Sam. We were at Multnomah Falls

The morning after I had Sam. The first snuggle of the day.

I love this shot. It's like she's saying, "get your hands off my baby!"

Oldest and Youngest

the relaxed look

Big sister love

peacefully sleeping

this is one of my favorites