Tuesday, August 31, 2010

goodbye summer, hello autumn

Today was chaotic.

Today was Eloise's first day of soccer practice.

Today it rained in the late afternoon/evening.

Today is the last day of August.

Tomorrow is the first day of September.

In 13 days I'll have a 5 yr old.

In 21 days it will be the first day of Autumn.

Now it is time for baking, playing outside in the crisp fall air, organizing already organized closets, buying new pants to replace last years outgrown pairs, drinking up pumpkin spice americano's, baking anything and everything pumpkin, and filling my house with red, orange, and deep red. It is a giant deep breath of fresh air for me.


Friday, August 27, 2010



And this is why.

He is into EVERYTHING. And he's not walking!

There's no longer a need for me to do the Shred. I'm chasing this kid all over in between trying to manage a house and other kids. Take that Jillian. All you need is a 1 yr. Cardio: Sprinting to make sure he doesn't fall. Weight lifting: Pulling him from said shelf, couch, bed or bag of oats in the closet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

public toilets

Let's talk toilets for a minute.

First, taking 3 children to the potty in a public place is chaos. (I tried to think of a great way to describe it, but words are failing me). It's just plain difficult. If you're lucky enough to be in a place where the stall is big enough to hold 4 people and a huge stroller you have your first hurdle jumped.

Then we move onto examining what type of flushing mechanism the toilet is equipped with. If it's your typical handle, no fear. If it's the IKEA type that's green with the up or down options, we've got questions. If it's the type with a button to push on the wall, it's cool. If it's automatic, we've got screaming. TREMBLING AND SCREAMING! They know. If there's no type of handle or gigantic button, we've got serious trouble.

I can see it in there minds. The two of them standing there debating if they really have to pee or will they take their chances and forgo this unpredictable bowl that could flush on them at any moment..

With the patience of my husband (which is none) I plop them down on the toilet, hands clutching onto my shoulders, and their heads looking back at the toilet with rapid fervency just waiting for this monster to blow. They finally pee out as much as their trembling body can possibly muster up. And then before I know it, they've climbed off the seat, huddled into the corner with their pants still down, and their ears covered as if waiting for a bomb to go off.

It's flushed, we can all breathe again.

Oh wait, there's one more and Sam is now trying to climb out of the stroller.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


There are so many things I want to write down and catch up on, but I also want to sleep. Decisions, decisions.

Sam is on the move, not walking, but crawling like a monster everywhere and into EVERYTHING. I refuse to put door locks on my cupboards b/c I don't want to have to deal with it (I'm stubborn) and the girls only went through a short phase of getting into things, but with the 3rd kid there are other distractions. Today he managed to find the cooking cupboard and for some reason the vanilla cap was loose and he dumped some out on himself and the floor. At least he smelled like cookies!

I took the girls to their first wedding yesterday. The could not stop talking about how white and sparkly the brides dress was. To them, she was a princess. Seeing the wedding through their eyes brought back the fantasy part of it all that is lost when you've already had your own. It was a joy.

I've been following this fantastic party planning blog, TomKat. Eloise is turning 5 in a month and she is having her first friend party. She wants a garden fairy party and when I googled some ideas this one came up. Let's just say that drool was all over my computer. I love planning parties and cakes for my kids and I'm so pumped for this one. We've already made tutu's, ordered wings, and gathered ideas (homemade fondant) for the cake. I hope it's a nice day b/c all my ideas will work best outside.

Speaking of parties, sometimes people look at me a little crazy that I'm planning for a 5 yr old's party. I know she's only 5 and may or may not remember it, but I love doing this for her and planning it with her. I know other moms don't and that's great. Each mama has something they love and enjoy doing for their kiddos. This is my thing.

This little video was taken after we came home from somewhere. It's actually happened alot lately. I used to not be one for kids sleeping in the car but the girls are at the age where they can go without a nap easily and actually having a nap will make bedtime that much longer and more painful. I took this to remind myself of how peaceful they all are when their sleeping and that these are the moments (when I'm driving) where I need to remember to gather myself together, pray, focus and gear up for the rest of the day.

time to sleep

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the sweet gift of dresses

Our girls received some fun mail a few weeks ago and I've been trying to carve out time to share with you the cool story. Between Great Wolf Lodge and Sam's birthday I feel like I've had a hard time even thinking.

Anyhoo....the dresses.

Ashley Nash
has been reading my blog for a while. I popped over to check her's out and noticed these adorable dresses. When I inquired about sewing and if she sells them, she graciously offered to make my girls some of their very own. I couldn't wait for them to arrive.

The girls tore open the package and put them on right away. I should have known to take a picture then b/c they have been worn and washed since. Here's Lily displaying her dress today (Eloise's dress is exactly the same). She really loves to act it up for the camera. Pardon my lack of great photo skills, Ashley's really are much better.

I don't know why she looks so sad here.

Now she's happy

Ashley is a working mom who would love to stay at home. She loves to sew and sees this as a great opportunity to open that door to being a SAHM. She just recently opened an Etsy shop called Monkey Style Boutique and is hoping to spread the word. The least I could do for her wonderful gift, was help spread the word here on my blog. So head on over and check out her cute girl digs. I LOVE the twirly skirts!

Forgot to mention, she didn't forget Sam. She made him a cute little tie shirt just like this one. Again, I should remember to take pictures in the moment. But her pictures are so much better.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sam is 1

Our sweet little Sam is 1 yr old! I can hardly believe it. It feels like these pictures were just taken yesterday. The year has been fast and slow all at the same time. It feels perfect. Not bittersweet in the least bit. In fact, I'm breathing a deep sigh of relief. We made it! I couldn't be more excited for the upcoming year. It's my absolute favorite.
So what is our little Sam up to.

...has 8 teeth and is working on 2 molars

...is still nursing

...loves to give hugs and "pat pats"

...chases Lily around the house screaming after her

...is, I think, almost 20 lbs and tall like his sister's but still looks tiny (which is amazing b/c he was almost 10 lbs at birth). We'll know next Wednesday

...loves smoothies

...pretty much just sits around and looks cute.
After I had Lily, my mind was set on only having two, but my heart knew otherwise. When I would say that I was done, a still small voice would remind me not to speak too soon.

One day, while sitting at coffee with a friend who has 3 kids, she was talking about her son. After leaving that coffee date, I knew I would have a 3rd and he would be a boy. That following Fall, I got pregnant with Sam.

I can't say that i was super excited to give birth again or have another newborn, but I knew that our family wasn't finished. The thought of 3 teenagers in the house fit perfectly. Two just didn't quite fit the picture in my head.

We are thankful and we are joyful that our sweet Sam is here. I can hardly believe that one year ago we were recovering from a CRAZY birth and staring at our BIG baby. (these pictures are not my favorite, but I'm not one to take beautiful pics post-birth). We are blessed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My 500th post

Wow! Number 500. I started this blog just a bit after Lily was born and it's been a great place to de-brief all this parenting, life stuff. I appreciate all who have read and followed along. I'm glad I've got some interesting things to write every once in a while.

here's some favorite things:

*everyday chocolate cake - I'm making this some day. I'm really trying to lose 10 lbs and having this in the house doesn't help get rid of the extra lbs.

*We love to make bread here. I picture us doing it for the long haul. I REALLY want this bread machine. I love the true loaf rather than the regular bread machine loaf. It's a little pricey so I'm going to have to do some exploring for a deal.

*We're planning Eloise's 5th birthday in a month and she really wants a Rosetta Fairy party. It's her first friend party where she gets to invite 5 friends. We're super-duper excited. She loves this cake. I don't know if this mama can pull it off.

*We got to church with family that has two autistic boys. I loved this post from a mom about what/how to be around autistic children.

*i would like to make these delicious bars

*gorgeous bathroom. gorgeous.

Happy 500th post!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

parenting book

When Eloise was 9-10 months old I had a very distinct conversation with the Lord. I was in deep questioning over whether or not I should read a specific parenting book. It had me in knots. In a very distinct moment, the Lord told me that He would give me the wisdom I needed to parent and that I had enough creativity in my self to do the job. He would lead me. A complete sense of peace washed over me.

Since then, I have avoided parenting books like the plague. Dave helps with that b/c he won't pick up one even if someone paid him. So in our family, we pray for wisdom and often times hope for the best. Lately though, for me, it's been alot of shooting from the hip.

When I read Amanda's review about Have a New Kid by Friday, it caught my attention. After reading some of previous posts struggling with her 4 yr old girl, it sounded like this book had given her some good tips.

So I checked it out from the library.

After reading a few chapters I was encouraged by his very simple approach to parenting. These points have resonated with me:

*Respond, don't react - this is huge for me
*Wait 10 seconds - think about how to deal with this before getting angry
*Say it once, don't give warnings
*ALWAYS follow through on what you say you will do, even if it means YOU lose out on something. (this is so hard for me)
*Be consistent 100% of the time
*Never get angry. If you do, apologize quickly
*Don't do things for you children that they can do for themselves. Allowing them to figure things out gives them the opportunity to learn success or failure without your help. It boosts their confidence.

So back to that part where God told me that I had all I needed to parent and He would lead me. I struggled with that for a couple of days. Was I lacking trust in His leading? I was also contemplating the idea of not giving warnings and saying it only once. In that moment, I looked down at Eloise's Sunday school lesson on the table. It was about King Balthazaar (sp?) in Daniel. There was writing on the wall during a party (of sorts) and they asked Daniel to interpret. The writing said that because this king wasn't worshiping God and obeying Him, if he didn't repent and begin to obey, he would no longer be king. The king chose not to repent and the next day, the king was replaced with a new king. It was such an encouragement reading this simple story. The Lord gave me an excellent example of his discipline. He wasn't angry, He said it once, and He followed through on what He said He was going to do.

I appreciate the calmness that has been restored in my life as I parent my kids. I find that i communicate more with them instead of snapping. I feel a confidence in my parenting that I haven't felt before and I attribute that not only to the book but to the great word that the Lord gave me to that morning.

While I think the title is a bit funny, this book really is a great, easy read. It's very middle of the road, honest, funny and encouraging. It has great tips for parenting that will last well into their high school years. The end of the book is filled with "Ask Dr. Leman" which is his opinion on parenting issues that come up.

There you have it, my second review of the week.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the half-tee

First, I'm the most inconsistent blogger as of late. Sorry to the 30 or so people that read my blog and thank you for reading it. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with the direction but for now it's just a mish-mash of life.

On another note, I saw these online and just HAD to comment. This picture alone makes me want to start squirming. Not as badly as turtlenecks, but it really does make me squirm.

I love to layer. I layer almost everything. The one thing I want to create another layer for is my stomach. I want things a little longer than the top shirt I'm wearing, not the opposite. I just think it would feel odd, but maybe I'm wrong.

Now, i understand that there are those people who would love this. Me, not so much.

So there is my unsolicited review of the half-tee. Am I alone in my thinking?