Saturday, February 23, 2013

5 ways to be {happier} at home

i have a love/hate relationship with staying at home with my kids. i know it's my calling and what i was designed to do. yet, i struggle with so much of the tediousness of the job. i can on any given day want to just quit. call in the temp. mama is taking a mental health day. but, alas, i can only call grandma so many times. 

don't get me wrong. mothering is the most amazing job i've ever held. the rewards are sevenfold. to see my children growing in front of me is a blessing and something i wouldn't want to miss for the world. but we've all had those days. days filled with explosive poop, whining {every mother's nemesis}, tears on everyone's part, tantrums, puke, and sibling fights that just might go to blows. it happens. sometimes every day, sometimes every now and then. but it's a part of parenting, and a big part of being a mom. how do we choose to face these days? 

i'll admit sometimes i do not face them as gracefully as i should. some days i drag my feet, complain at every corner, watch the clock till nap time, and call my mom. other days i see the beauty in the runny noses, and the sweet tears. to help me make it thru each day i have a list. a list to remind myself how to be happier and live graciously with my role as keeper of the home and mother. 

and, since it's always kind to share...

1. lose your expectations.
 very simple, yet one of the hardest to do. i used to struggle with so much frustration when things wouldn't go the way i wanted. when you have kids, i'll guarantee you it's probably not going to go the way you are imagining it to go most of the time. someone is going to wake up early, not eat their dinner you spent an hour on, and fight you at bed time. just expect that. 
  there may be those unicorns-dancing-on-a-rainbow moments. you'll be surprised to find them more often when you choose to live in grace and lose those expectations you put on yourself and family.
 now! here me on this though. i did not say don't have goals. you should have goals. for your children. for your home. for your marriage. but don't be so reliant on those goals that any deviation from them creates a sense of defeat. and!! i did not say to slack off and just let it all go to pot. you need to communicate to your husband what he expects to see when he gets home. have a humble conversation about realistic goals and then strive to meet those expectations. how do you do this with littles running around? grace and child labor. 

2. stop looking at others.
 blog world, pinterest and facebook are full of beautifully kept homes. filled with pictures of these moms who seem to keep it together, make an amazing dinner, entertain their children and educate them at the same time all while having a very happy husband and a rockin body. one of a few things is going on in these pictures. one, they are fakey faker pants. you don't see that their kitchen is clean because they moved all the crap onto the table behind them. or two, they are in a totally different life stage than you. maybe it's all genuine and their children are older and more self sufficient enabling them to prepare the meal and clean, all while the kids do their own homework and they get to work out in the morning after a full nights sleep. or, maybe they really are super mom. if that's you rock on, you get a gold star. 
 however, i am constantly comparing my home to those of others both in real relationships and the blog ones. i have to stop looking and envying. i have to stop looking and seeing only that they are doing it better. does it mean i stop looking at their blog or photos? no. it means i've learned to look with understanding eyes. and i look to enjoy, not to compare.

3. have a plan.
 this might seem contradictory to #1 up there, but let me explain. children thrive in routine and a predictable day. free time, though it does have a place, can be a major struggle for littles. i find that when i have a plan to our day we have a better day. when i get them up and it's just do what you want and "why can't you just play with your toys?" that's when we struggle. that's when we whine, and fight. when i have thought out the things we will do the next day and have done as much as i can to make it successful then we may just get to see a unicorn. 

4. play music.
  i love music. so do my children. in 10+ years of working with children i've never met one that didn't like music. i've always been one to have music on while cleaning, or working out (when i used to do that.), but now i find it's on all day. it helps change the mood when necessary. and you never know when a spontaneous dance party may break out. those are the best kind. 

5. have fun & laugh often.
  though our job as homemakers have very serious responsibilities tied to it, it is a job where we are free {and encouraged} to be silly, crazy, wacky, and all around fun. what would your kids do if you started to make lunch and only spoke in the swedish chef voice. or wake them up from nap time with balloons and a snack picnic. there are so many moment when we can have fun people. plain old fun. we've forgotten how as adults. we put expectations onto the kind of mom we should be by looking at all these other moms, all while we fail to see the child who looks at us as the best mom just as we are. stop and have fun. 
 my kids (almost 4, 17 months, 5 months) cry at the same time at least once every day. it's normal for me. and i have two choices. i can cry about it. or i can laugh at it. i choose to laugh at it. laugh at the silly. laugh at the stressful. laugh at yourself. i choose to laugh and find joy. i don't always do it well. and sometimes i need to go into the garage and have a mommy moment so i don't sell the kids, but i try so hard to laugh and not loose hope. 

so there it is. my list. i hope it helps encourage you in your everyday as it has me. now you tell me. what are ways you use to help you get thru the tough and mundane days?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

{yet another} birth story

i'm forgetting a lot these days. comes with the teritory of motherhood. saggy skin, larger hips, memory loss, etc...all a part of the package. 
but motherhood also brings sweet smooches, "i love you mommy" whispers at bed time, and snuggles galore.

i wanted to write hazel's birth story since i've been forgetting some of the details or mixing up things with the other two stories. so while my house sleeps i shall write.

you may remember me looking like this...
hazel had decided that i was an extended stay america and went into deep hibernation for an extra 8 days. we had multiple appointments all deciding that she was perfectly healthy with plenty of fluid, so we were gonna wait and see. not what this mama wanted to hear, but i know it's best to let them do their thing. if i've learned anything with three babies is that you can't do too many things to get them to come out if they don't want to. 

i ate pounds of pineapple, took supplements, went walking every night, among "other things." contractions for days, and yet no result. so an induction was scheduled for the 24th of september. just eight days from the day her sister joined our world just one year ago. 

i went to the hospital at 7:00 in the morning. donned the lovely gown and got hooked up. my ah-maz-ing nurse amy noticed that i was contracting regularly 3-4 mins apart on my own, which i informed her was my favorite game of late. "contract for a really long time, but don't actually go into labor." she hooked me up to pitocin who i knew would put an end to the game and actually make it the real deal. 

about 10 mins before the pitocin drip the doctor came in and broke my water (i'd been 1-2 cm for about 2 weeks) hoping for big gushes of fluid, and you know what they careful what you wish for.

holy hoover dam. no wonder the kid wasn't making any progress. i was holding in the entire colorado river in my belly. once that was out of the way and the pitocin got going my contractions started to progress to 90 seconds long and only a 30 second break. they weren't crazy painful, but very long and with little break. around 9:00 a.m they decided to turn my pitocin down because it was bringing things on way too quickly and we didn't want anything crazy to happen with her sweet heart. 

i was progressing on my own at a slow and steady pace and didn't want to make any decision about pain management until i couldn't handle it anymore. my ipod was in, the lights were dim, and i thought this would be a super smooth ride, until the back labor started. **now, folks. let me tell you. back labor is strait from the devil. pure and simple.** i had back labor with the last two, and since cora was natural i felt no need to do that to myself again. at 11:30 since i was only a 4, i signed up for a visit from the most popular person in L&D.

while getting my epidural i had even more gushes of fluid and some super crazy hard back to back contractions which ended up making my heart race like crazy. amy had me focus really hard on my breathing and get my heart to slow back down, and when it was done i was able to lay down and rest. within in mins i started to feel better, but then i started to feel a little woozy. amy and the anesthesiologist came back in and saw my blood pressure had dropped immensely and i was all pale. a few adjustments with the dosage and my position in the bed and i was back to normal.

and i rested. 

around 1:30 amy came in to check me and i was a 7!!! woot woot. i told brent to go get some coffee or food since i wasn't complete yet and it'd probably be a few more hours. he used significantly better judgement (remembering that last time i went from an 8 to a 10 in 5 mins) and chose to stay with me. 
now, my epidural was the ideal. i had no pain, but could feel slight pressure on my belly with the really strong contractions. between the time she checked me and about 2:00 i started to notice that the contractions were strong, and with each one i had pressure in all the right places. so when amy came in to say she was going to lunch since she didn't think anything was going to happen, i just mentioned that she might want to check me again with all this pressure going on.

i was fully dilated. and my doctor was at home. that's when things started to get really interesting.

thank the good lord i had the epidural. here's why. while i was waiting for the doctor to arrive they didn't have me get into pushing possition or take the bed apart, because {come to find out after her birth} that every time i was contracting amy and my husband could actually see the top of her little head. every. time. i had no idea. just some pressure that i would "blow off" and not think too much about. my husband would have had to deliver the baby with my nurse for sure. 

once the doctor got there they took the bed down and i told me to push with the next contraction. her head was out. one more, the shoulders and the baby. fastest stinking delivery ever. they do just walk right out at that point.
2:55 p.m. 8 lbs 9 oz. and perfectly squashy.
they put her on me and she was so cute. but a little blue in my opinion and seemed to be struggling. so the peds rt took her over to the warmer while they finished piecing me back together (sorry, tmi? you are reading a birth story.) after they got all the fluid out and finished her check up we got our golden hour time. 

just us. she was such a surprise to us. but the love was even a bigger surprise. 

brother and sister visited the next day. they were instantly in love. 
i love everything about this picture. cora's excitement and laine's brotherly love.

 family of five!!!!!

 i so wish this photo wasn't blurry. but it is still one of my favorite of us two ever.

we had her on monday and went home on wednesday. so happy to be home. and so many were happy to have us home. 
there you have it. maybe my last. who knows.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy love day {printable}

happy valentine's day.

i hope you are enjoying a day full of love. 
whether it's with friends, or a significant other, enjoy and celebrate those that love you.

here's our last printable for valentines day...

download the 8x10 {here}

i like this one the most. and if you are like me you are totally reading it in the voice of the priest from 'princess bride.'

i truly hope these printables have brought a smile to your faces. i know that i've enjoyed making them. 
have a wonderful day everyone! lots of love!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Instafriday {and a printable}

hello fellow instagrammers...
i'm linking up with jeanette again.
this last weekend we went up to oakhurst by bass lake and yosemite.
borrowed a jumpsuit snow suit and kinda want her to wear it every day.

loosing it on the drive up. she was sooooooooo over being in the car.

first morning there requires cinnamon rolls.

on the drive back.
i love him. he is weird. and i wouldn't have him any other way.
{so, i find him like this all the time. blankets and sheets over his head at night. can't be good for him. and kinda weird when i literally can't find him in his bed.}

after coming home we had some amazing california weather, which of course required getting a healthy does of vitamin D. unfortunately it also ended up with mud.

made (and shared) a cute fabric scrap garland during nap the other day. i {heart} it big time.

and these two.
he loves her.
he tells me everyday how much he loves her.
"look mom, we're cuddling. take our picture."

hey look! it's friday, i'm home and i remembered your sweet valentine pressent!
here's your third printable. {did you miss one and two?}
download the 8x10 here. and enjoy!!

we are looking forward to some rainy weather here. yes, i said "looking forward to." i like rain. it means i can make comfort food. {yum!!} and that means soup and whatnot. 

i hope you enjoyed a great week, and have a wonderful weekend. any plans?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

mini fabric scraps garland {tutorial}

i've been wanting to sew really badly.
so i whipped up this sweet little guy...
i have plenty to do around the house, but have really wanted a decoration to have up year round.
this garland has been in my head for months. just never had the time to do it.
it took me less than 45 mins, so i know you can find the time.
i also used all scraps. so, if you are a semi-hoarder, like myself you'll have plenty to work from and not spend a penny! {yay!}

wanna make one? here's how...
gather your scraps and iron them flat.

 i eyeballed my cut to a width and length i personally liked.  i wanted them to be small and sorta whimsy. 
but to be kind to the choleric personalities out there i measured for you, each scrap is approx 3"x2"
i also chose to sort them into a pattern. you can do whatever you want with that. pattern no pattern. 

 to sew them i set my machine to a strait stitch and did not change stitch length or width. 
i again eyeballed the placement. i waited till the end of the last scrap was in the middle of the pressure foot before feeding the next scrap in allowing just a little bit of space in between. 

then i giggled at it's cuteness and hung it up to enjoy!!

i hope you love yours as much as i love mine!! 
i'm linking up here:

52 Mantels
Craft Junkie Too

One Artsy Mama
Feature-Yourself-Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge

Love of Family and Home

Monday, February 4, 2013


There's a sweet sleeping babe on my lap.
She breathes deeply while off in dreamland.
Her late night snack is done. She's finished drinking deeply the life giving milk and she sleeps.
I can't help but pull her close to my skin and inhale that intoxicating scent.
Fresh from heaven.
Her sister still has that smell. Just barely, but when I gobble her up into my arms and she gives way into me for just a moment I can smell it. Heaven.
Their brother smells like a boy. Dirty and wonderful and stinky all at the same time. I remember it like it were yesterday though. He was the one melting into my skin. Wrapped like baby bunting and breathing deeply. I need to hold him still but he is so busy. I cling to the moments when we hug and snuggle. When he wants to stop and choose me to be his safe place.

These babies are gifts. I admit that often I don't see them as that. But they are. The most beautiful. The most exhausting. The most fantastically wonderful of gifts. I am unworthy of such a gift. Like grace, I am so unworthy.

My prayer is to be worthy. To be there and present for the moments. To see them for the gifts they are. And treasure them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

i completely forgot {printable}

We did a little family trip this past few days up to Yosemite. My husbands family has a few cabins/houses in Oakhurst so we decided to get out of town and take four days away.

In our mind it always works out so much better with three children under the age of four in a car for four plus hours.

At one point I was fairly certain that Cora may have been possessed. Hazel did fairly well, and Laine was a trooper. 

We were hoping for snow, but didn't end up going down into Yosemite. There's always next time though. 

All that being said, I totally forgot to set up a post for your valentine printable on Friday. 
Sorry guys!

Here it is. This weeks is for you Downton Abbey lovers. (I am hooked. I got the disks, somewhat begrudgingly, from my folks and ended up finishing season one and two in less than a week.)
And while we are on the subject, can we please talk about last weeks episode! WHAT HAPPENED?!?! I just about died. I sat on the couch in stunned silence for at least 10 mins after the show ended. I felt like one of my own family members died. {tear.}

Well, this one is a Mary quote and I hope you enjoy it!! I want to put it up in my room.

to download click here

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