Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

Happy linking!

*I thought these were so cute. I can just picture my girls having a bowl full of them.

*Cutest little cheesecakes ever.

*"Did you know that in 2003 parents of 7-12 year olds spent $1.6 million on thong underwear??!!??"
Read more about it in this article. It makes me want to hide my girls away.

*if we ever get anymore snow, this may make it worth it for me

*My kids love this. I need to make some soon. It keeps them occupied for hours.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

mom of tiny ones

The Lord has laid upon my heart a passion for moms of tiny ones. A passion to extend grace and patience to those in a turbulent roller coaster of baby, toddler, and preschooler life.

This whole phase starts off with such a jolt the moment you hold your firstborn. You are thrust into the unknowns, physical demands, and emotional ups and downs. I think it's a miracle we have more than just one kid. I'm fairly certain it's because somewhere around 15-18 months they are the cutest things on earth and we think, hey, I could do this again. And it still blows my mind that we can somehow fade the memory of birthing that child into the world.

Then there is the pressure from outside sources. I never experienced this in the way of material items I bought for my kids, but I know others have. My pressure came from discipline. It came from this idea that if I didn't do the "right" thing now, I was doomed. That if I couldn't muster up this perfect plan of discipline, my kids would be lazy, unresponsive, and a menace to society.

One day while praying and asking my many questions the Lord gave me peace. A peace to know that this journey is long and hard and He will give me the skills and creativity to parent in a way that is glorifying to Him and supportive of my children. Am I always successful at this? NO! In fact there are many days I lack patience and love. Days where it takes all that I have to give even an inch of grace to a child that is hurting.

Grace and mercy keep arriving at my doorstep each morning. It's grace for me and comfort that His mercies are new every morning. That even though I told Lily to 'come when I say come' a thousand times yesterday, I may only have to say it 100 today. And that because the Lord has extended grace to me, I get to extend it to her and thus teaching her what it means to be filled with grace for others.

I will say here for those that wonder, I do believe in teaching my children to obey. I think it is key in many areas. But when life is chaotic and the pieces aren't falling into place, I need to remember that grace is there and we can stop, take a breath and start over and I'm not going to be less as a result.

If I had the chance to write this on the billboard of life for moms, I would. I want every mom in their tantrum filled, noisy, physically demanding life to know that there will be moments of respite, that it's okay not to have it altogether, and that we are a group of women and families struggling to figure this whole parenting gig out together. And once we feel like we have our footing, our children will hit another phase and we'll be searching around for someone else who knows exactly how we feel.

Monday, January 26, 2009

the whining

Oh the whining. The incessant whining from a 3 yr old. It's like nails on a chalkboard. I feel like all I do all day is correct whining. Will my efforts ever come back fruitful?

I know by watching other friends with girls that are older, that this is a phase. It will not last forever. She will one day be patient and it will click that all this time whining doesn't work and what you want with your whining is even that much further away as a result.

I had a wonderful friend tell me, "never give into whining, EVER". Those words ring loudly in my head when the whining starts and it is the only thing that gets me through the moment when all I want to do is cave so that I no longer have to hear the offending noise.

This morning she woke at 5 a.m. whining about her books. She needed books. I compromised for the sake of the others in the house at not putting her in time out. Time out is DEVASTATING for little miss Eloise. It's as if the world has ended. It works, just not at 5 a.m. when the rest of the house is peacefully sleeping.

When she woke up this morning I asked her if she was having bad dreams. She said she was having a bad dream about whining. Hmmm...that's funny, so was I. We had a talk about books and that mama was no longer going to get books for her b/c she was whining. She was big enough to get out of bed herself and did not need mama. We'll see if that sinks in.

In the meantime, I'll be here fighting the fight to end whining. I'm hoping for a small respite between Eloise and Lily, or that Lily might just watch what happens to her sister. We'll see.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I've heard several opinions about noisemaker's. I love them. Anything that will help my kids sleep, I'll try it. And if they never give them up, that's fine with me, b/c I still sleep with one, my fan.

Last night when the power went out at 12:30 a.m., I could hear everything. It was awful. I lay there for two hours listening to every small crack in the floor and making up stories in my mind about what the other possible sounds could be.

You would think I would have come to the conclusion that the noisemaker's are not good b/c fo situations like this. But my children didn't wake once and I managed to fall back asleep just in time to hear the dull sound of my fan return.

I still have faith in noisemaker's.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

Valentine's Day used to be my least favorite holiday. I'm fairly certain it had something to do with being single. But now, I'm loving it. I want to teach my girls to express love and this year it seems particularly important for Eloise. Some of these activities have helped her join in on the fun.

*I love these cards. I'm really hoping that Target has the little mailboxes.

*We tried to make these this week and have yet to hang them up.

*I've been having a hankering to make bread and I really want to start with this one. I had cinnamon swirl at Great Harvest and I haven't been to shake the craving.

*Our bedroom has become a dumping ground for our clothes throughout the week. The only day free of clutter is Saturday. And it doesn't stay that way long. So this post was inspiring. Maybe this Saturday I can keep it clutter free until Wednesday.

This is all I have this week. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the mall....arghhh!

I would like to go to the mall and avoid these three questions:

1. Are you satisfied with your cell service?

2. Can I ask you a question?

3. Would you like to try this hand lotion or body massager?

The mall has become and obstacle course of questions for those tiny little selling kiosk's. I feel like I have to be a cold-hearted woman just to get through the mall without inquiries into every area of my life, including my hair!

And now there is that crazy guy smoking a fake cigarette. Have you all seen him? It looks like a real cigarette and even blows some type of smoke or steam. I'll give him props, he's trying to get people to quit smoking, but it's just another distraction in an already unpredictable trip for a mom.

Here's my responses to the questions:

1. I am satisfied. But if you're willing to give me a free phone and the exact same service for $20 less a month, I'll take it.

2. No you cannot ask me a question. I know you want to know why I don't straighten my curly hair, but really, is it not okay to have curly hair? I just didn't want to take the extra time today to do it and can't you see it's raining outside, every curly haired woman's arch nemesis. And don't act like you want to have a conversation with me. Can you see I have children? And they have a lollipop in their mouth. I only have until this thing is done and them I'm done. Stop distracting me from my mission.

3. If I wanted to buy your body product, I would just walk up to you and buy it. And if it was really good, I would see it in Sephora or some other beauty store. Face it, the product might not be that good if you are slumming for people in the mall.

I love the Tupperware lady. She sits and reads and knows she has a reliable, long standing product that will sell itself. She smiles and will offer to kindly move off her stool if you are actually interested in buying the product. That's the way the mall should be.

Will someone please pass on the memo to these people that you do not talk to moms with small children in a stroller or small children within a 15 ft radius of them. They don't have time. They are streamlined, efficient and ready to get on with it and these sales people are just slowing them down.

Monday, January 19, 2009

7 year itch?

Not for this couple.

Today Dave and I celebrate 7 years. I cannot believe it's been that long. I feel like we got married a 2 years ago, not 7.

I love this photo, it was an introduction to guests on our special day.
I thought to commemorate this day I should tell the story of how we met. It's filled with lies (by others) and deception (again, by others) but it ends well, obviously.

In September of 2000 I was working for the INN University Ministries. I was in charge of retreats and had chosen the Firs Conference Center for our location of the leadership retreat. This just so happened to be the place Dave was interning for the year and one of his duties was to be a retreat host.

When I arrived there, I had to meet with Dave. We realized that we had a few friends in common, Will and Angela. Later that evening at dinner he sat with my friend Molly and I where Molly proceeded to work her magic to make a connection. Dave and I were clueless.

When the weekend was over, I called my friend Angela in Portland and mentioned that I had met their friend Dave. My words were, "Hey I met your friend Dave. He's cute and really nice". That's it. Remember those words b/c they will be grossly distorted before this whole thing is over.

This small comment peaked Angela's interest and so she went to work. Her husband Will, one of Dave's BFF's called him and asked, "Was there anyone at the retreat you would want to ask out?" To which Dave responded, "It's a college retreat with lots of girls, of course". Will was still trying to beat around the bush without success. Later that day, their friend Jace, who lived with Dave, took Will's words to another level and told Dave, "Hey Kate thinks your cute and totally wants you to ask her out". those words sound like mine? No.

Over the next few weeks Dave showed up at a few random college events, which he 'just so happened' to come to for food or b/c his friends were there. He even took a big swallow of pride and came to a Freshman 80's dance. He was successful. We ended up talking for 3 hours.

We were able to hang out a few more times before Dave moved back to Portland for 4 months. During our time apart we talked every night for at least 2 hours (I don't think that would happen now) and traveled every other weekend to visit.

A year later he proposed on a very large, ugly boat on the middle of Lake Whatcom. Despite the ugly boat it was a beautiful proposal and we were married 3 1/2 months later.

Happy Anniversary Dave! Love you!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

I've discovered some new blogs and some new ideas. Hope you enjoy the fun!

*Eloise loves to play 'I spy'. I think we may try making our own I Spy bottle. This might also be a fun game to take in the car.

*This looks like a fun new site for kid food. I just tried the honey-vanilla waffles this morning and they are great! My kids ate the waffles without anything on them and Lily is begging for more.

*Beautiful artwork that could be inspiring? Or bought if you have the money.

*A good guide for those with toys abounding after Christmas

*I assumed potty training Lily would come quickly b/c of Eloise. She loves the potty and has pooped twice. But I'm just not motivated to work at it. Maybe this will motivate me.

*Church bulletin signs always crack me up, and sometimes make me really angry. But these are funny.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The site of a turtleneck makes me want to break out in hives.

I see pictures in catalogs and quickly turn the page before I can start the rapid breathing. How can anyone wear someone that feels like a sweatband around their neck? Does it really make you that much warmer? Does the 4 inches of material create some super heater that I've never been privy too?

I'm getting nervous just looking at this
I do have to admit that some people look really great wearing them. And coupled with a puffy vest, very cute and apparently very warm.

In order to avoid the anxiety attacks all t-necks bring me, I've opted for the v-neck. It's not always the best choice when you are prone to cleavage, but what would you rather choose, anxiety Kate or cleavage Kate. Okay don't answer that, I'm working on the exposure part. But in the meantime, I'm looking for some great shirts that are not constricting around the neck, long in length and able to accommodate a growing, but not yet prego belly.

I'm wondering if this is what I need.
I'm loving Down East Basics, but I'm too nervous to order. The picture on the opening page of their site is what I really want. Maybe I'll take the plunge this week. In the meantime I'll be doing my best to avoid ALL turtlenecks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

'lub dub'

Today we were able to hear the heartbeat of the baby. It was a sigh of relief.

It's always nerve-wracking for me to wait this long to hear the heartbeat. I found out with my first that I miscarried at this stage. My stomach felt in knots this morning as I was getting the girls ready. I was planning on taking them b/c Dave had other plans.

My midwife's office is very family friendly and I knew they would have toys to play with. I was a little worried about how they would react to everything. When they took me in to take my blood pressure and do all the necessary tests, Eloise sat quiet on the couch. As some of you know, sitting is a rare thing for her. I could tell she was trying to process. Lily was a little more worried and sat in my lap. Then when I laid back so they could have a listen she sat beside me.

It was a taking a while to find the heartbeat. Lily crawled down and onto Eloise's lap. I knew it was a bit early to hear with the Doppler so I focused on that and hoped that by some miracle we could hear it.

After several tries the rapid beating came about. Phew! I knew there was a reason my belly was expanding daily.

When I asked the girls what the baby sounded like, Eloise said, "lub-dub, lub-dub". Back to the toys they went, mama's baby really isn't that fun yet.

I should mention here that Eloise is convinced it's a baby sister. And she is going to call her, Ella.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

I'm so glad it's Friday. And it's sunny outside! Looks like it's going to be a great day.

Here's some fun links for you to enjoy

*Free beautiful 2009 printable calendar.

*These are beautiful nursing covers. Why can't you buy this fabric at your local fabric store?

*Great recipe and idea with bubbles.

*I really want to get into Valentine's Day with the girls. This looks like a ton of fun to make. But I might be a little to obsessed about making it cute.

*It's often a joke between a friend of mine about the 'blog perfect' life. It's the way we make our lives sound on our blog to make people perceive it as perfection. I love this post . I appreciate her perspective of the blog-o-sphere.

*My favorite banana muffin recipe.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm on fire

The organization bug is back. Tis' the season. I guess this is what everyone does in January. That's why plastic storage bins are on sale at every store you walk into.

So I took to it all. I organized our craft box. I put all the markers, supplies, crayons, etc. into plastic bags and loaded them into one bin. Then it makes for easier searching and a simplier clean up.

here's what I did:

Ah, bliss...

And today, we did a caterpillar craft. I've seen these before, but I went rogue style and created my own. Just take any egg crate, cut off the top, then cut in half. I would use a kitchen knife to cut in half, works much better.

We then punched holes in the egg crates and fished through pipe cleaners. They did have eyes, but Lily quickly figured out she could pull them off, so they are just legs.

They had so much fun. We built homes, walked around the house with them, and Lily even created a bed for her caterpillar. It's amazing what you can do with pipe cleaners and an egg carton.

Eloise took a picture of her caterpillar

Lily created a slide

Monday, January 5, 2009

back on my game

I am managing to dig myself out day by day. It's truly amazing how much pregnancy can knock you down and then take you 5 weeks to get back up. But tonight I made a comeback. I made dinner AND we did an activity. AMAZING.

The dinner part was the biggest. The other night I told Dave, "I'm sorry this dinner is so..." "Lame", he said. Yes, that would describe the last month of meals in our house. A veggie has not passed our lips and it's been filled with lots of dairy, eating out, and carbs. So my kids are loving it.

Our activity: Pudding paint

After dinner, for dessert, I put a small amount of pudding with whip cream on a 'big person' plate. I gave them a few tools and let them go to town. The hand proved to be the best tool. I knew we were having a bath afterwards so I just sat and watched the fun unfold. It felt good to sit and watch them play without feeling tired or nauseated.

Here's some proof of the fun.

who wouldn't love to do this?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Favorite Link Friday

FLF is back and it feels great to be back in the groove of normal life. Here are some fun ones for the weekend.

*If you haven't already recycled them, here is a good use for those empty wrapping paper rolls.

*I used to be a knitter, but since kids came, time doesn't allow it (or rather my patience doesn't). But this no-knit scarf might be fun to try.

*This is really cool. I'm super impressed with this guy and it has my favorite movie of all time, Hoosiers.

*This was a fascinating article.
I particularly like this quote:

"To me it's the most ironic kind of blind spot that we've ever had as parents," she says, including herself in the overpraising demographic. "A whole generation of parents did something all at once. We shifted the viewpoint of parenting from raising a citizen and a member of a family to being overly focused on the self."

*Fun snack idea. My kids love this with olive, hummus, crackers and cheese.

Have a great weekend!