Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye. Hello.

Well, we've done it.
We've survived another year.
Another year where it felt everything was upside down most of the time. Our year was expected to be stressful, adding a baby to an already overwhelming situation can do that. As our favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan says, "Imagine you're drowning and someone hands you a baby." It is so true. So. True.

 We spent a lot of time by the water this year. Not enough in my opinion, but as often as a family of four kids under five can do with only one adult supervising most of the time.

We kept it weird. 
Dress up, barefoot, pj wearing, park going crazy people are my life.

We've had some highs and lows.
 Mostly Hazel had lows, but that's to be expected when you are two and no one does what you say. 

We had some really big moments. DUDE went to kindergarten. 'Bout killed me. 
The girls survived another year. 
We celebrated our 9 year anniversary (15 years together!!!) and still kinda like each other so that's good. 
So, Goodbye 2014. 

It was a crazy year. I am completely fine with saying goodbye to you and hello to 2015. I am so happy to say goodbye to a year that had daddy working day and night for six months and we almost never saw him. I am happy to say hello to another year to grow together as a couple and family. We will be entering a new phase as the baby turns 1 and walk away from the baby stage forever. (I really hesitate saying that because the last time I did I was already pregnant with Anne.) It may feel weird for a little to not have new babies every year, but I am so ready for sleep people. SO. READY!
I am really wanting to finish decorating the house. That's a practical goal for me. A tangible one I can do with the daddy when he has a day off. I'm really good at being bossy, so telling him where to put stuff is one of my favorite games to play! 

I am excited about our desire to foster and cultivate community again. We are leaving a stage where we always needed help and seem to find ourselves able to tackle small outings and handle it. Which means we are finally getting closer to being able to help others. We miss having friendships, plain and simple. We have been so busy trying to keep it together we haven't really entertained families in our home. We are excited to try to build relationships and maintain relationships. Especially with our kids. I want to be taking advantage of one on one time opportunities. I want to spend time with just Cora for a few hours. She would talk to me all day if I gave her the chance. I want to give her the chance. 

I am desperate for some growth in my soul. I want to change a lot of bad habits. I know that new year's resolutions are lame, that's not what I'm saying. I just want to work towards growth. I want shed off the things that weigh me down with guilt. I want to embrace who I am but move forward with who I am becoming. I want to work on the concept of a quiet and gentle spirit, and slow to anger. I want to read books again. So many good ones on my amazon wish list I'm craving to read. 

 I have every intention of implementing the following in our home:
  - a gratitude jar for every time we are ungrateful. 
  - a complaining jar for every time we have a problem with negative talk.
  - a screen free day every week. 
  - date night for the hubs and I twice a month. MANDATORY! NO EXCEPTIONS!

For myself, I am going hands free. Its a huge commitment. I have to put my mother flipping phone down! I am going to put it away and on do not disturb. I can not have distractions. These kids need me and my face not the top of my head looking at them. It's something I've been convicted by for a long long time. So, if you text me, call me, or email me...I may not respond right away. {Gasp!} It's cool. I still love you. But, I love my kids more. It's time I started acting like it.  
These are my people. This is my opus, my life's work, my masterpiece. These are my one and only responsibility. To love them. To teach them. To show them the redemptive power of our loving and gracious heavenly father. To show them that grace. To show them how to say hello to new and exciting things, even if it seems heavy and burdensome. Even if we are scared by the change or work before us. Saying hello to 2015 is going to be very big.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall {or year round} Wreath

 I had a crafting break through the other day. I was invited to a craft night at mutual friends house. I thought about not going because it had been so long, and I didn't really have time to go to the store to buy stuff for a new project. Even though I have 29 projects ready to be made or finished in the house already I didn't want to do them.

I searched pinterest and found the one. The one that would get me out of my funk and would bring be back to the land of the living crafters.  It was a beautiful stick wreath with amazing wrapped fabric flowers. I can make this I thought. Not needing to go the store was the selling point. My kids are not allowed in crafting stores. Ever. Ever. Ever.

My inspiration.

I gathered the kids and we went on a stick hunt. I used a cardboard box as she did with hers. I didn't have enough fabric for the flowers, and I didn't want to make it exactly the same. I wanted to put my spin on it.
I used some fabric I had to do my signature ruffled fabric and rosettes I used to make for my onesies and headbands. It felt so nice to create something again. I went to the craft  night and for the first hour tried desperately to socialize like a normal person but all I could think about was my glue gun calling my name. I watched the clock till I heard someone else mention they were going to start and I practically ran for the table.  

 It was glorious. I felt so good. I promise dear glue gun not to forget you for so long ever again.

{In fact it was such a nice feeling that I made yet another amazing craft for a baby shower. Which I would go into, but my baby is calling for me and it will need to wait for another day.}

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I did it again. I let it boil and heat up inside me. Then like a volcano I explode. This time the littlest took the brunt of the impact. She's a screamer at the end of the day. The kind of scream that makes you think bad thoughts. The kind of scream that pushes even the calmest of moms to a point they never thought possible.

The others want popcorn. And why not? I did offer it to them. But now. After this. I want nothing to do with Saturday evening fun. Snuggles. Bedtime. None. I want them in bed and I want to take a glass of wine into the shower and scream. 

I sit here thinking just find it in there to turn it around. It's not done yet. Today is still here. They don't know I lost it. Curious George has been their babysitter while the baby and I work things out. They will be so sad when I hurry them to bed and yell about their attitudes. 

I must turn this around. I am not a failure. Just weak. And tired. And frustrated. It doesn't matter to them that I am tired. They want fun and I must dig deep to say no to defeat and yes to popcorn and snuggles. Even if it is all a mess. Or my feet hurt. Or I feel stretched so thin. Motherhood is a process of stretching. Our skin at first. Our hearts with our first sight of them. Our souls. Our emotions. All stretched for these little people. All so that they have the chance to grow to be big people who don't make the same mistakes I do. Who don't become so overwhelmed with anger. Who don't make sweet cheeks hot with tears because mom was mean. 

I must go make popcorn. I must do it to show myself I can. CAN turn this around. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Self-Control Spot

We don't do timeouts in our house. We do the "self control spot."

If a child of mine for some bizzare reason sees fit to "loose it" they are escorted to the self control spot. Here they have as much time as they need to calm down, find their self control and actually communicate whatever their grievance was in plain english rather than screaming in tongues. Such as, "Mom, I would like more ketchup not ranch please."

If said child struggles with finding their self-control they are moved to their room and allowed more time to calm down on their bed.

Somedays every one of the four is in the self control spot. Okay,  I don't actually put the baby there, but I think about it. She's teething, aka, she has lost any resemblance to my sweet girl and has become a bi-polar hot mess. Every now and then they can calm down in the moment and not need to go to the spot. That's the best. That's the ideal reaction turn around time. That is also extremely unrealistic.

The thing is the only person that had to go to self control today was me.

Yes. Me. I put myself in mommy self control spot. I was getting mean. Angry. Unkind. Frustrated. etc... My poor children were becoming casualties of a war that was not theirs to fight. I was instantly frustrated with them when we were walking to school and my daughter no longer wanted to wear her sweater in the 65 degree morning we were having. Some days I'd be like whatever about it, but not today. I'd felt too many eyes already. Heard to many comments about the quantity of small people I was directing. Too much pressure to perform or respond or exist. I snapped and threatened and instantly was pissed. We got home, baby went down for a nap, breakfast was served to the girls, and I microwaved my coffee for the 7th time that morning.

Then I tried to get stuff done. Worst mistake ever. I had actual business to do, phone calls (hugely bad idea with small children around), papers to sign, emails etc. When the baby woke up we headed out to run errands. Cue stop at drive thru starbucks conveniently located by the office I needed to stop at. Praise Jesus for assistants that will walk out to your car so you can sign documents without taking the hot mess girl, the homeless child and the sweet baby out. Accidentally mention we have time to go feed the ducks. It's like I have no filter on my mouth. I thought it and it came out. Then I realize the girls had no shoes on. How? I don't even pretend to know. Oh, and Hazel spilled her entire cup of "special water" (aka water in a cup) from starbucks on her pajamas. Yes, she is still in pajamas. Was anyone else? Nope. Just her. She doesn't care, so I don't care. 

I decide we will go feed the ducks. They have a blast without shoes on and there are plenty of on lookers. They are cute so whatevs. 

At that point it was perfect timing to go get Laine from school. CRAP!!! I have no stroller, which means serious damage control. I have a strong feeling I'm the laughing stock of the Kindergarten parents. Or at least I feel that way. I feel the stares and the watching. The look on their faces are priceless. At one point today Cora had walked half way down the paseo for kicks and I didn't even know it because I was trying to get Hazel away from this old lady's grandkid who she's obsessed with. I have that annoying kid who loves other little kids and wants to put their paci's in their mouths. Turn around and I have no clue where Cora is, play it cool but notice the other parents  like, "Look at her. She doesn't even know where her kids are." Okay, they didn't say that but their faces did. The girls get put in time out and Laine gets out. PTL! Time for lunch. Hopefully that will help everyone refuel and get back to being normal. Wrong. 

While microwaving those chicken nuggets from costco I hear, "MOM!!!! Hazel PUKED!!!" Fantastic. It's her new thing. Once a day she pukes. Not a ton, but just enough. And usually all over herself. At this point she was naked. Why? No reason need if you are a toddler, especially if you are Hazel. I get her in her room and realize the baby wipes are in the baby's room. And she's sleeping. Even better!! Sneak in and back out without waking the baby. Winning! Get Hazel cleaned up, feed the kids and they start to whine about what we are having for lunch. 

At that point all the small moments of frustration mix together with my low self esteem from the day and I literally loose my mind. Harsh words. That's my thing. Over whelming Anger. Also my thing. I'm good at both. So a mommy time out it is. I just sit in my room. Listening to them talk to each other. Giggle. Discuss nonsense. Basic kids stuff. Nothing about mommy. That's good. 

I let myself go out and continue on with our day. Naps, homework, nursing the baby, etc. Reflecting on the path that gets me to the place of utter melt down status. It's the feeling of judgement. The feeling of others judging that lead me to believe the lies I tell myself. I'm not good enough. This will never get better. This is too hard. I just can't anymore. Obviously I don't know what I'm doing. We all tell ourselves these lies one way or another. For me, and many other moms out there these feelings of defeat can lead to depression. Which for me manifests itself with anger that turns to rage. It sucks. But it is where I'm at some days. The honest truth is that some of the things I tell myself can be true, and that's where Jesus comes in. If it wasn't hard I wouldn't need His help. If I didn't know what I was doing I wouldn't need guidance from the Bible. If I it didn't feel like it will never change I wouldn't need to put my HOPE in HIM! 

My first mistake. Not enough coffee. Absolutely no Jesus this morning. All of the situations today were laughable. They were normal and nothing out of the ordinary. The only difference was my attitude. I am the only one to blame. I am the one to own it and change it. This space has helped immensely and I'm hoping it's helped others who were too afraid to admit the honest truth of their days. Or their attitude regarding their days. I hope to encourage and remind others that we are not alone. 

I am actually hoping to do a completely out of the ordinary crafting post soon!!!! I know I have very few followers and most of them were because I made something crafty a few years ago. I miss it too people. I really want to get back to doing something that is an outlet for my soul. I promise that it will become a priority. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chick fights

I was standing at the sink. Washing dishes, really when I shouldn't have been. I've found I need to do the house work when they are sleeping. But, as I washed I could hear one of the best sounds. Giggles. 

Not just any giggles. Brother induced giggles. The girls save the best ones for when he's being silly and making them laugh. Then there was running. All three little people were running and shooting each other with fake Lego guns. Lots of chasing. Lots of laughing. I loved it. 

Then I heard it. The phrase uttered all the time. "Don't let Hazel get you Cora! Come on let's run away from her." They run and she chases. This is the core of every game. Sometimes it ends well, other times in hot tears down Hazel's sweet cheeks. It's no surprise that laine and Cora have a great time playing together. She understands his rules and mostly chooses to play by them thus granting her access to the 'Mecca' of our home.

His room. This is holy and sacred ground to the girls. No one knows what all goes on in there, just that they may only enter when invited and welcomed. Hazel is never invited. Never welcome. 

I keep explaining to him to give grace. She's only two. She doesn't understand the reason nor the importance of his "rules." (Join the club Hazel 'cause mama doesn't either.) Plus, I'm pretty sure if she did understand she wouldn't give a crap. She's a free spirit.  A wild heart. Completely crazy, quirky and full of vigor. But that translates to a liability for Laine. The "what if" scenarios run rampant in his imagination forcing him to push her out of his room. 

I once observed her fighting to get in. My points were on her for success and much to my surprise Laine went all Gandolf the Grey on shall not pass... the Balrog sat defeated in the hallway. Again. 

I don't necessarily interfere here. Many may say I'm a bad mom for that. That's cool. To each his own. Here why. Every moment from the day laine got his first sister he has had to share, take turns, love others more than himself, etc. The one place he's allowed to be ruler supreme is his room. He knows the rule of the house is anything outside of his room is fair game. If you don't want them to play with it, don't bring it out. Especially not into the playroom. So, when it comes to him trusting Cora to play in his room and share those special toys with her I welcome his decision. 

It's hard on Hazel to be the third in line. She gets so sad they don't include her. I monopolize on it and get extra cuddles and one on one play time with her. I try to make her feel special. I realize too that in a few short months, maybe a year, Cora and Hazel will be much better at playing together and Laine will be on the outs. Yet for now, being the third is a hard road for her. 

She is quick to learn the game of survival though. She knows to eat fast, especially if it's a shared desert. She knows to fight for what she wants and not let anyone bully her. This makes it a little hard for only children to play with my third child. Sorry about that mamas. Yours will learn when they get siblings. It's every man for himself somedays. Other days it might be "one for all and all for one," but it's rare. 

Hazel may be hands down my favorite toddler I've had yet. She does have some scrappy qualities that I'm sure her siblings would appreciate she grow out of. Case in point the following scene happened on Friday....

I'm sitting at the table finally having lunch. This means the kids are all fed and have been sanctioned to baby jail. Also known as the room with all their toys, that apparently they hate. Aka the playroom. The gate has been closed to ensure that I am guaranteed 4 mins to consume my microwaved burrito hot. Cold burritos are no bueno {gag}.  Laine has been called out front by his dad and the following plays out before me...

Cora is standing a few steps from the gate crying that I won't let her out. {I hear nothing just white noise, but I watch.} Directly behind her is Hazel. She's got that crazy eyed look and without saying a word she reaches over Cora's head and pulls her to the ground by her forehead. Yes, she's that strong. 

Cora turns over on the floor on hands and knees screaming and in slight shock. {I just observe. Maybe Hazel will feel bad and oh look she's going over to her.} Hazel crouches down and says, "get up!" and tries to pull her up by her clothes. Clearly this is a second act of war to Cora and she begins to scream at her and pulls her down on the ground. 

{This is starting to get good. Continue consumption of burrito.} They are now totally chick fighting. waving of the hands in a frantic manor hoping to make contact with the other, but not really able to because they have their eyes closed. Because of course. 

Then Cora goes in for a bite, misses. She has underestimated Hazels swift retaliation which looks like one of the best MMA moves I've ever seen. In one move Hazel grabs two handfuls of Cora's hair on either side of her head and simultaneously put her left foot on Cora's collarbone. She then pulls and pushes at the same time, rendering Cora in a pure panic. {I stand up. Debate getting my phone out for video, but decide I should probably do something.} 

I walk in break it up. Tears, hugs, "sorry's" are said and we move on. That happened in three mins tops. It was amazing. I'm not gonna lie one of the funniest parts of my day is the way those girls go at it. Okay, I admit it's probably not the best thing to let them do. Fighting is super frowned upon. I get it. However, I have zero intentions of raising girls who can't defend themselves. My girls will know how to throw a punch. My girls will not be only sweet and mild mannered. They will be able to say no and mean it. Heaven forbid a boy ever messes with Hazel. I only hope that she stays true to her passionate spirit and has such a love others that she is moved to be a defender of the weak. I can see her being involved in humanitarian work.

I realize that's ages away and fighting with her sisters is not something I should encourage. We strive to teach the right way to communicate our feelings, frustrations, and that injustices done to us by others should be worked out peaceably if possible. However, the reality is that there are four people here in this home with four agendas, and their own set of priorities. So, I try as I may but the fights are going to happen. Sometimes I let them, sometimes I stop them, sometimes I'm not even around to see them and I am only witness to the aftermath. Either way we are working it out. Learning to play. Learning to serve each other. Learning not to bite Cora on the booby. {Oh yes. That actually happened.} 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My mom has cancer.

Everyone is sleeping. {silent party!!} I should be sleeping, but I'm not. Haven't been feeling well the last week and it's taken it's tole on everyone. Definitely not a nice sick person. Not that I know too many who are. Instead of sleeping I am googling and etsy-ing 'chemo hats.' Which is nothing I ever expected to do, yet, here I am. Looking at pictures thinking which one would my mom like most. Which one would make her feel beautiful when she is sick and not feeling very beautiful.

My mom has cancer. {crazy hard words to type.} I've been avoiding talking about it. Because when you talk about it it's real. And, I don't want it to be real. Not for me. Not for my mom. I want to read other people's blogs about their moms having cancer. NOT MY MOM. Not the woman who's given 30 years caring for a child with special needs. Not the woman who has spent 32 years caring for me, and we all know I am a piece of work. Not the woman who would give all her time and energy to her grandkids even when she is sick. NOT the woman who just 10 years ago buried her mother because she lost her own battle with cancer. NOT MY MOM.

We've know for a few months and at first we were told it's very simple easy lumpectomy and minimal to no radiation. She did the procedure and the doctor was very optimistic. But, there's always a but, when the final pathology came out there was a different type of cancer mixed in that can be a beast of a different kind. Rather than the basic and super normal (odd thing to say, but true) breast cancer this is an invasive estrogen based cancer that like so spread to other places. So, they recommended chemo for 3 months, and then a year of drug therapy every 3 weeks.

The prognosis is still positive and they feel the chemo will reduce her chances of relapsing down to 5%, which is very good. She is not dying. That is a huge blessing. None the less she will have little to no contact with us for the next three months. Chemo means no germs. My kids are large germ magnets. So, chemo means no kids. How am I going to explain why we can't go have waffles on Sundays at grandmas anymore? Or why we can only talk to her on the phone. How am I going to explain why grandma is so weak and has no hair when we finally see her at Christmas time?

I know we will figure it out but it's so stressful. My overwhelming world is always a little bit easier to handle when I know I'm going to my moms that day. "Just make it to grandmas." That option is no longer available. And, yes, I am aware it's just a season. No need to remind me of that. And yes, I know she is still alive and I need to have good perspective. I am all about that. And, lots of people who already know have said, "Well, we'll be here to help you." Thank you. But the honest honest truth is that a lot of people say that and almost no one will really help. We all love a good emergency, but it's staying the coarse and being consistent and purposeful that I myself and all of society are really bad at.

And, in the midst of all of this my best friend moved away. Which super super sucked. My husband is in school as well as working. So he is studying or working or at school or working or working. Which really really sucks.

My mom has cancer. I am going to need help. I am going to need people to volunteer to help take my kids. I have gotten a lot better at asking people if I can come over (Brooke) or asking for someone to watch my girls so I can go help my mom pick out her wig (Stacy), but it gets hard and tiring being the one asking for help. So if you think, I wonder if Amy needs a break? Or I wonder if Brent and Amy would like a date? Or I wonder if Amy and the kids are lonely tonight? The answer is probably YES!

Please pray for our family to be strong. Please pray for me to be strong and patient and full of peace. Please pray it will all work out for God's glory.

Monday, September 15, 2014

chicken nuggets and good parenting

There I was standing in the frozen food section staring at the chicken nuggets. A reality that I face daily about our kids and life stage and chaos that sometimes still shocks me is our food consumption. It's unreal some days. I find myself buying more in bulk than I've ever before, and it's so much sooner than I had imagined. Everyone says, when they're teenagers you'll go through food like crazy. Not so. When they are alive and breathing and eating you'll go through food like crazy. Thus, I go to Costco more for food than paper products like I used to.

However, Costco is my nemesis. I can not go without someone helping me, which makes us look like a side show at the circus. Juggling not balls, but children literally. Someone doesn't like the seat they are in. Someone might have gotten a little too amped up about the free samples and needs the cart to restrain them. Someone might be pulling her sister's hair and starting one of the 100 little girl cat fights that happen on a daily basis. Someone might be squashy in the ergo happily puking down my shirt.

But I was alone with the baby, staring at these chicken nuggets when I had an interesting dialog with myself. Something along these lines...

"I can't believe I'm buying chicken nuggets in bulk. I have so many kids. What kind do I get? Mickey mouse or dinosaurs? None of these are organic. Who cares! They are chicken nuggets. It's not like I'm buying them filet minion. But, what if people see me buying non organic processed food to feed all my babies with? I'm a good mom. Sometimes. Chicken nuggets is the least of my bad mom problems. But seriously. Are people looking at me judging? Screw it, they are microwavable and sometimes 30 seconds makes the difference between meltdown #157 of the day and peace and quiet."  {and in my cart they go}

I was actually surprised at my own thought process. The fact that the type of food I serve my family seems to completely reflect my parenting is amazing. Shouldn't we just be worrying about feeding our kids?

Please do not send me emails about how we are being poisoned. I totally agree. If I could I would take my family and go live with the Waltons. No joke. I would have a farm and a relationship with the butcher and know the people who I bought our milk from. I would live the way we were meant to live. None the less our HOA doesn't allow chickens. So there is that. BUT thats not my point.

My point is that social media and everyone seeing and being in everyone else's business is killing me. Seeing what everyone else does with their kids and how awesome they are kills me. I have a friend who has two older kids and then two twins. She home schools, does crazy cool projects, sews, serves at her church and it an all around rock star. I hate her and I love her. (kisses to you lady if you read this!) I can't do that. And I kick myself for not doing that or even being in the position to do that. i couldn't even if I wanted to. And I so want to.

Today is Cora's birthday. And I am feeling like a terrible mom. I lost my temper in the worst way.

You guys. Everyone is out there pinning all their projects and recipes. I'm over here trying to figure out what to microwave for dinner and googling, "why am I so angry?" Thats the God's honest truth. I want to feed my kids good food and I want them to have good memories of their mom. But if my ability to parent and raise my kids is based on tbe food I put infront of them then I am a failure. If my parenting is based on my projects and craft than I am a huge failure. {Even if I am a crafter at heart.} If my level of good parenting is about the parties I throw or the experiences I create then I am a failure. 

Thankfully I know that's not all it's about. I know that my parenting will never be enough. I know that  there are going to be great days and there are going to be depths of despair days. Today was a depths of despair. I want to choose joy, I want to find hope and grace and Jesus. But today felt so dark and hard and terrible. I sat with my family half laughing at the chaos over dinner and half fighting back tears because I couldn't help thinking this is my forever and this is hard. hard. hard. hard. hard. hard.

But this life is grace driven. And if my children will be good at anything it will be giving grace and forgiveness. Especially with a chicken nugget in their hand. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

What's it like?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who asked what it's like having four kids within five years. It's not more different than mothering at its core. The ages and stages play their own part, but the same components are all there.

So, What's it like? Being a mom? 

It's the weight of 18 lbs dreaming away on your chest at 12 a.m. 
It's the sing songy voice of a toddler sweet talking her way to another chocolate chip.
It's arms around your knees taking you by surprise.
It's the warmth you feel when you watch your first singing to your fourth.
It's chubby fingers and tiny nails painted with purple nail polish and you kind of love them a little more because of it.
It's listening to your son soak in music that you remember feeling and hearing for the first time and knowing he loves it because, well, who doesn't love Newsies and he's got "Open the gates" on repeat each morning.
It's that baby smell that has you so obsessed you find yourself on the hard days debating if you should just go get high off the baby and sniff her head or go eat chocolate. Or in my case do both.
It's not always a Johnson and Johnson commercial...
It's hot tears down your cheek.
It's loosing your temper at someone who just lost theirs at someone.
It's irony.
It's chaos.
It's utter exhaustion and frustration and heavy heavy love all at the same time.
It's counting to 157 because counting to five isn't helping you calm down at all.
It's lonely, hard work that some days you think means absolutely nothing.
It's fights, and tantrums. Screaming and fits. 
It's messy, noisy, emotional and real raw emotions. They say boys are noise with dirt on it. Well, little girls are big emotions with nail polish. 
It's not owning a single shirt that doesn't have a spit up stain on it.
It's stretch marks and saggy boobs. 
But, it's creating and sustaining life.
It's so much grace.
It's more love than can ever be explained.
It's humility and growth.
It's trying so hard to do it right and yet knowing that you are totally screwing them up in the process.
It's hoping they understand you were doing the best you could. And that sometimes looks nothing like you thought it would. 
It's enthusiastic and rediculously adorable lisps like "clocklate kip," and "yook mommy, yook!" 

It's being pretty much obsessed and madly in love with these tiny humans who at the same time make you loose your mind. 
It's motherhood and there is no other job in the world like it. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Whispers in the night

I whisper in her ear. My cheek rubbing softly on her fresh sweet skin. My words are quiet and slow. I'm sorry. 

She sleeps and barely stirs as I pour out appology after appology. I'm sorry I got mad. 

She smells like heaven but I didn't treat her like precious treasure.  I shouldn't have done thatI'm sorry I reacted that way. 

Whispers and tears. Mama is so sorry for her temper today. 

I am good at apologies. They are frequent words in this house. I'm sorry I was not patient when I ask you to be always. I'm sorry I was not kind, when that is what's most important. I'm sorry my words were harsh and my heart was hard. 

She needed me and I felt bothered. I complained and belittled my job of mothering today quite a bit. I was frustrated and I was harsh, mean, and everything a mama should not be. I'm sorry. 

He has so much to say. And I have little desire to listen. These smallish things will some day be bigger things and I will lose my chance to be an influencer in his world. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you more today. I'm sorry I complained about you and your needs today when you weren't around. 

Whispers in the night. Words of humility and love. Proof of the reality that I am learning, changing, growing and still stumbling, but never giving up. 

I'm sorry my loves. Mama loves you so. I am going to try harder tomorrow. Mama loves you so. Sleep and dream. Tomorrow is new and I will try again. 

Monday, July 14, 2014


So yesterday we celebrated a birthday. Mine to be exact. I've never really made a big deal about birthdays. I don't put a lot of weight on them as a special day, at least for myself. My kids are one thing. Birthdays should be special and memorable. I know my parents worked hard to make my days special and big because of they were always at the hospital with my sister and away from me. 

I appreciate all their efforts, but some where along this journey of my life I started to harden up and act like they didn't matter. It's a defense mechanism we have. We pretend.

 I pretend it's not a big deal that it's my one special day. I just act like it doesn't matter because then if no one remembers, like they did one time in high school, my feelings won't be hurt because it doesn't really matter to me. 

It's amazing how much of our lives we pretend things don't matter so we can seem like we won't be hurt. Why don't we just say I've always been afraid that I didn't matter enough to people for them to remember my birthday. Or I'm afraid no one will see me or notice me or that I will cease to exist outside of the jobs I do everyday. And that makes me more of a robotic tool than a person who is turning 32. 

This years birthday started with tears and ended with tears. I cry a lot these days and yesterday was no different. The expectations or hopes I put into the day stole my joy of it. My baby still puked on me, my toddler still screamed at me, my almost three year old still had attitude and my five year old still questioned every single decision I made. I'm not sure why I thought it would be different. 

It ended nicely though. My husband sent me off to a movie with my sister in law and we laughed a lot about life. The movie was cute but I enjoyed our time surrounding it more. I had some nice moments and enjoyed all the well wishes from friends and family. Cora would run up to me at various intervals and say in her sweet and melodic sing song voice, "happy birthday mama!! {hug} it's my birthday in two months!!"

As will every step in my journey there is learning going on. I know I secretly put hopes and importance on days and moments. I need to communicate that. I need to be more honest with myself and not in a defeated honesty but a realistic honesty. My world is crazy chaos with the volume up to ten and it will be that way for a long time. Some day, maybe even next year, I will get my day away. Or maybe an over night. But for now I am needed. Truly needed at home, and that my dear friends is were I shall strive to grow in contentment to be. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

insta friday {two weeks worth}

another post to our week. the simple passing of days and hours periodically captured in a photo that isn't blurry.

i'm linking up with jeanett at life rearranged.  i'm akneisler  on instagram if you want to follow me.

life rearranged
the first two were instagram photos i just don't know where the actual ig photo went, so you get the original. and a little peak at some of the parts of my house. i want to do a house tour so badly, but it's still in progress. having a baby a month after moving in can make it difficult to finish.

we, being my other other half molly and i, got a wall in the baby's room done and i'm in love. so much more to do, but i am happy with the small things i'm getting done.

my built ins. {swoon} i love them. i love them for their organization and storage powers. 

i said to my son how great it is that he'll have a spot just for homework now (starting k in the fall) and ever since he's been so excited to do homework i've had to start giving him work to do. doubtful he'll feel that way in 6 weeks.

love this girl. we are working on potty training and it's going well. 

when i say we, i mainly mean my mother in law is doing it. ain't nobody got time for that!

lol. this kid. this was the day we put them outside with their clothes on and then surprised them with the sprinklers. naturally the clothes came off and they were being so silly and having such fun. until someone pooped on the patio. it's all fun and games till someone poops on the patio. three inches from the grass i might add. we don't even have a dog, but they knew to aim for the grass. 

reading and baby safety are a real priority to laine.

i can't do it all. its one or the other. kids or housework. so one day a week these two "big girls" as we call them come over and take over mama duties so i can clean, do laundry, pick up and have some down time around the house. its ah-MAZ-ing! they are there for four hours and i don't interact with the kids unless they need food. diapers done, girls dressed, kids played with= happy mommy!!

this third child of mine is the loudest and definitely strongest. 
though she be little she is mighty. 

swim lesson anxiety to the max. he dreads it. he wants to talk it out for two to three hours leading up to the actual 15 min ordeal. i can't even right now. i'm so emotionally tapped out from this kid whine/talking at me. i love him,i validate him, i encourage him, i tell him it's okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to let it control him. yesterday he actually understood and by the end enjoyed swim lessons. he even said, and i quote, "if i do this a few more days i might even like it."

 it's a christmas in july miracle. but you know what wasn't magical and amazing? two days ago. it was daddy's one day home and they were terrible.  swim lessons were an all around disaster. everyone was angry, screaming and just plain ole awful.  the hubby and i couldn't handle any more so after we got home we took advantage of another adult in the house and we went out for drinks. 
ahhhhh. that's better. 

our week has had some serious roller coaster moments. including chubby baby turning four months and rolling over back to tummy. AND sleeping all night! that's like the biggest moment in my life right now and i totally forgot to mention it. i am sleeping at least 7 hours a night! game changer for sure. 

i hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and i will hopefully blog more next week!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


The hubby and I have been walking down memory lane quite a bit lately. This season of sacrifice has us remembering the "old days." I'd say "good old days" but I think some people would be disapointed we don't think each of our days are "good." We were laughing and maybe crying inside at how much our lives have changed since having all these kiddos.

Like our spontaneity. We used to say to each other, "wanna go to The beach today?" And we would just go. Simple as that. Spontaneous moments only happen in the form of Cora's interpretive dancing these days. It takes at least 30 to 45 mins to get out the door. And that's if we can find both shoes for all the little feet, already have a properly stocked diaper bag and the baby was just fed. And every child seems to know to poop right after you've closed and locked the front door. Like magic. Black magic. 

The other day we showed up to a church gathering and hazel had on two left shoes one in each girls size. When Dropping laine off at vbs, Cora had no shoes on and was wearing an owl costume. At this point whatever gets us out the door I don't even care anymore. 

One of my favorites was the shopping sprees. My man knows how to spoil me. If it was a special occasion he would take me to a store and say, "buy whatever you want." Those were the days I fit in clothes that didn't have built in belly panels. Yesterday when doing the laundry I realized I have four pairs of underware and my non-potty trained daughter has 20. So much is wrong with that. Not okay at all. {And, yes mom I have since bought myself more underware just in case you had a panic attack and felt the need to take me to buy some like I was in fifth grade again needing to buy a bra. Which, that trip was a fun experience with the kids. The entire time we were in the unmentionables department my two oldest made them mentionables by yelling "booby holders" everytime we passed a bra. At least I didn't catch laine feeling up a mannequin this time.} 

We used to go on vacation and order room service. I love love love the luxury of room service. It's my favorite thing. I am now room service. I don't leave chocolates on their pillows though. I know better than to give them chocolate before bed time. 
And yet. With all the changes, they are the best thing to ever happen to me. If we are speaking about the life that was all about me or all about Brent and I, then they were the worst thing to ever happen to me. And that's the paradox of parenting. They will be the death of me and yet they have enriched my life. I would walk through fire for them and periodically debate setting them on fire. I love them with all of my heart yet I completely want to run away. Most of the time. 
The rest of the time I am crazy in love with these kids. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Her big toe.

My big girls share a room. They've never not shared a room so it was natural for them to do so at the new house. I think it helped with the transition. It's a smaller space and we had to add a closet so we can't have them on opposite sides of the room from each other like we did in the last house. We have changed the layout of the room six times since moving here. 


Neither of them does well by the window because the blinds are way too fun to play with. Hazel just wants to break them and Cora likes it because she can be nosy rosey and see who is coming and going from the house. But someone has to be by the window so Cora it is. 

Up until yesterday Hazel's bed was up against the end of Cora's and the changing table, which is my old childhood dresser, was at the end of the crib. {Imagine an 'L' shape mirror image facing the door.} Unfortunately my third child has discovered that indeed those bars can't hold her in forever and she can in fact escape. She would be the one to finally realize "you mean I can get out of this thing?" She is the bendiest child I've ever met. She stands at the edge, does the splits on one foot like in ice skating and gets her big toe on the top of the railing. Then crazy strong baby hulk strength kicks in and she pulls herself up with one arm and her big toe. Her big toe will be the death of me. She then climbs into her sisters bed and shenanigans ensue. 

I know. Some of you might suggest just letting them share a bed could be the solution. This is not a good idea. Trust me I wish it was. I have dreams of them sharing a bed like Marianne and Elinor Dashwood talking about boys and life together till late in the night. However it is less like Jane Austin and a lot more like WWF fighting. Drama to the max. I know this because a few weeks ago when we had the crazy idea to take all the kids camping we had a laps in judgement and thought the girls could share the top bunk since we only brought one pack n play. 

Never. Again. 

One of two things happened. Pure giggles. Beautiful laughter of the best kind. The kind that makes you remember they are sweet and that you love them and don't want to burry them in the sand. Or screams of terror. Hair pulling, biting, paci stealing chaos. Most of the time they bounced back and forth like a pendulum of emotions. I can see my future with these girls is going to be intense. 

Thus our conundrum. Rather than move one of them to the babies room we thought putting the changing table between them made more sense. Until today. I walked in and caught her right in the act. In motion, one foot going onto Cora's bed the rest of her cute body on the changing table. It was like catching an opossum walking on the wall at night. Scared the day lights out of me because if any child of mine will fall off the furniture and break something it's going to be her.  Then my favorite part. She froze and acted like she was supposed to be sleeping there. "Oh! Hey mom. You forgot to put me in the bed so I'm just chilling here on the changing table pad."

This child is amazing. 
And crazy smart. And I love her in all of her insanity and qwerkiness. And not gonna lie, she is awesome. 

Climbing out of the crib. Not so much. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


i'm actually posting a friday thing on friday?! say what?? it's like a christmas miracle. 

linking up with jeanette to show our crazy kids in our crazy week with our phone photos. 

life rearranged

being a fire fighter family means striping away the traditional definition of the holidays. we do easter on monday some times, we've spent every thanksgiving since laine was 18 months old at the fire station. this year we visited daddy at the station for father's day. we love him and wanted to be with him and if that meant going to work and getting to climb on cool fire trucks and eating ice cream  before dinner than i guess we'll take one for the team. 
still hard to believe we have four kids. please 
note cora is fully accessorized and hazel looks like a crazy ragamuffin.

this guy is my everything. i'm so grateful for him and he's been my rock these last crazy pregnancy and baby filled years. 

stamping. thought it'd be a good distraction while i made dinner. 
it was. just not the way i was hoping. {sigh.}

we did our first thing on our summer fun list. pjs and ice cream.

the rest is just everyday fun. playing. waiting. watching. building. crashing or "booming." 
living and growing. 

{these two. ah!!! i die. they are only 20 days apart and they kill me with their cuteness!}

these kids. i tell ya, they make me insane, but they are a part of me. and i love them deeply.

i was praying last night that i would see them through Christ's eyes. i struggle with the job, i've made no qualms about that, and i think there is nothing wrong with saying this job is hard and feeling the burden of it.  my husband is gone all the time. he is a wonderful provider, but none the less the job requires his absence for a minimum of 24 hours at a time. thus i must stand alone and pull the slack. i chose this life as well and though it was modeled to me i never understood the depth of sacrifice my mother or her mother before her faced. i don't know if my particular struggle is one that other people face, i assume it is. my anger boils over, my stress levels rise to new heights, and i am completely overwhelmed some days. okay everyday at least once. especially when i am alone.

 knowing my husband is going to be gone for four days is like watching a tornado head your way and not having a storm shelter to run into. i know it's gonna be chaos and some moments pretty scary, but this time around i'm reaching out and spending time with others. keeping the kids busy and playing with friends. i have faith and hope in the knowledge that my feet will not fail in the swirly storm. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

number 110

this boy "graduated" from preschool. i'm certain the requirements to "graduate" are more of a suggestion since if we ask him the days of the week he leaves out thursday every single time. he can do math in his head so that's saying something.

i can't believe he's changed so much.

he get's the jokes in the movies. which, his favorite is the lego movie. everything is awesome, everything is cool when you're part of a team. i think the lego movie is our boy version of frozen. catchy tune in my head all day long. good message. catchy tune in my head all day long. everything is awesome, when you're living the dream.. 

he himself is super funny. he says things to sound big, but end up making zero sense. like, "mom i'm so hot i need to come inside to warm up." nope. that's not right dude.

he insisted at dinner after his little ceremony at school that everyone wish him 'happy anniversary.' i didn't have the heart to tell him that's the wrong phrase because we tell him he's saying things wrong all the time. finally after he made the whole table say it (which made him smile ear to ear) the hubby explained it to him. he's now referring to in as his celebration day. kid kills me.

he is so independent. and yet knows to stay close and let us know when he's going anywhere. read that as he tells us every time he has to go to the bathroom or is going to head to the bathroom. which brings me to my favorite moment from our camping trip.

this is the scene:
we've just successfully hooked up the trailer to go home, on only our third attempt which is saying something for the hubby and i. the kids are all in the car and everyone around us is watching. it's what they do. lots of pressure.

 the following happens:

(from inside the car)
laine-"mmmmoooooommmm? i need to go potty"
me (outside)- "okay! get out and i will take you when we are done."

he gets out.
me- "i need to help daddy make sure he doesn't hit this trailer so i will take you to the bathroom in 2 mins. stand right here on this number 110 (the spot across from us) and don't move so you don't get run over."

he steps on the 110 and i walk around the back of the trailer to the other side. within 1 min of getting to the other side he come sauntering over to me.

me-"buddy! what are you doing? i will take you in a min."
laine-"i already went."

now i'm looking at his pants thinking he's clearly peed them and i'm a horrible mother for making him wait. but they are dry. and my worst nightmares are realized...

me-"laine?! where did you go potty??!??!!!!!"
laine- (very innocently and matter of fact) "on the number 110." and he gets in the car like it's no big deal.

palm to forehead.
all our neighbors just watched my kid pee on the 110 spot. could we look more white trash? oh my word. utter embarrassment. i rush and apologize to anyone who might have been flashed by my five year old. and they would have been flashed because he fully drops his drawers every time. thankfully the only LADIES (really laine?! really?!) that saw laughed and said their boys used to do that when they were little. so mortified and so thankful for their graciousness.

needless to say we had a talk about listening a little better and not peeing in front of strangers. something else i'd not thought i would need to explain but now we know. no peeing on the number 110.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Instafriday at the beach

we survived.
at one point i almost gave up and said lets go home, but i didn't. instead i tried to enjoy the moments in this little memory making trip of ours.

favorite moments:
 our early morning walks on the beach
 the big boy making friends and saying 'hi' to every person who passed on a bike
 the big girl dancing on the shore every day and saying, 'i just want to go in the water'
 crazy toddler girl's wavy hair went curly on me and i swooned every time i saw them
 an amazing water show curtesy of wild dolphins for 45 mins our first night
 sharing that moment with the big boy
 the amazing weather
 having our neighbor tell us how proud they were of our family making memories and doing such a good job even though it must be hard (seriously, wasn't expecting that)

i'll let the photos speak of all the fun...

it went just as i figured it would. sand was everywhere. and they loved it. i hated it.
all our campfire/dutch oven meals were amazing. and i'm so glad i planned and made all my meals ahead of time. just grabbed the bag and handed it to the hubby. 

the girls ares till sleeping at 10:00 a.m. and that's proof of all the fun and little sleep they got. 
we will be back in october for more sand consumption and memory making. 

linking up with jeanette at life re-arranged. enjoying the community that shares their moments thru their phone photos.
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