Monday, December 29, 2008

Stellan (updated)

Stellan did test positive for RSV, and as of last night was still having severe breathing difficulties. He is in the NICU, and could be there 7 -10 days. I do not know yet if they needed to intubate overnight. I hope you will all join me in praying for this baby boy and his family! You can read more at MckMama's blog - she was able to have someone post an update for her last night. Thanks!

Hey everyone, I just wanted to send out a request for prayers for Stellan, MckMama's little 8-week-old boy. He is very very sick and they are waiting on RSV results at Children's Hospital... He is having some serious troubles with his breathing. Please pray for this little baby, and his doctors, and his family! He is already a true miracle because he was diagnosed with heart failure in the womb which God healed and he was born a perfectly healthy little boy! Still, this is a very scary time for all of them.
You can follow MckMama on twitter to catch all her updates on Stellan. Or visit her blog, as I believe someone is updating it for her as they are able.
Thanks, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me Monday!

It's Not Me Monday time! :) Visit MckMama's to read all about how to join in, and then spend the day reading some funny funny stuff!
This week:
I did not consider taking notes on all the "Not Me"-worthy-moments so I would not forget them when I am frantically trying to type them up quickly on a Monday morning after getting home from work and before my son has to get on the bus.
I have not almost forgotten to wake up my son for school a couple of times because I was busy writing my Not Me's! That would be waaaaay too irresponsible!!
I did not at all regret telling my family that we would all camp out in the living room on Saturday night. I did not want to shred the kids' elephant tent about 374 times that evening because the kids did not knock the thing over on it's side about a dozen times and they did not fight over who got to go in or out, and then of course certainly did not fight about what was or wasn't allowed inside... oh my head still hurts...
I was not at all glad that Friday was a snow day and Ethan got to stay home. And if I were, it would not have been because I had another helper with the girls... no, it would have been because I could spend some more quality time with my son, naturally.
I have not procrastinated on any of the following, no matter what you may hear:
*Christmas baking. Yes, Santa will have cookies. Or at least cookie dough. Or at least a handful of chocolate chips.
*Hanging up the last of the Christmas decorations. This would include the crocheted snowflakes for my tree, some garland that goes who-knows-where, and the Christmas stockings. Of course everything is in it's place and ready for Christmas day!
*Christmas cards. Oh who am I kidding? I never get around to sending them!
*Wrapping gifts.
*Shopping for those last 2 gifts I need to get.
*Laundry. oh wait, that's every week. Cuz I'm always on top of that...
And now, I am certainly not going to eat more fudge, even though I ate nearly a half a pan yesterday by myself. Oh, wait, no, I did not, that's right...
What did you not do this week? ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Mother Letter Project

Okay all you moms out there! I came across the neatest, sweetest thing the other day. I believe it was posted on Angie's blog, Bring the Rain. Or maybe she just twittered about it. But don't be mad at me if I'm wrong. Where I found it doesn't matter - as much as that I did find it and I think this guy is doing an amazing thing for his wife for Christmas this year. Instead of buying presents, he and his wife are making gifts for each other and donating what they would have spent on gifts to help an African village!! Please please please check out this wonderful idea. And then take a few minutes to write a letter. Simple. Beautiful. I love it. (Can you tell?) :)
Please go HERE to read all about The Mother Letter Project. And to submit your own letter. He is hoping for as many letters as possible before Christmas! All contributors can also receive the letters (electronically sent to you) as well! So, take just a few minutes, and write a letter to a fellow mother! Many will be blessed! Thanks, moms!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Hooray for Mondays... well, hooray for Not Me Monday, at least. Read mine, write some of your own, and don't forget to hop over to MckMama's to read everyone else's too! :)

This week I did not contemplate, at least once a day, my sanity for living in the cold cold north. The weather here is lovely and shivering is my specialilty anyway, right?

Speaking of shivering, while we were backing out of our driveway on our way to church yesterday and the temps were hovering around 40, our son did not say, "Hey! I don't even need to shiver!! ...And it's Winter!!"

Of course I did not wake up to sub-zero temps and a wind-chill advisory this morning, either.

Also, I did not skip breakfast before church yesterday morning, because we all woke up with plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast of eggs and pancakes... of course.

So I absolutely did not scarf down 4 (ok, 5) Glazers donuts yesterday afternoon.
Because donuts are bad for you and I am not a hibernating bear... I know I don't need to store up fat for the winter!

I am certainly not contemplating having another donut. That would be selfish... and gluttonous... and I am definitely neither!

What did you NOT do this week? ;)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas List

As I was cleaning out the toy room downstairs a few days ago, I started thinking about how cluttered our house has gotten since we moved in a few years ago. So much stuff. Lots of toys. Lots of clutter.
I know we don't need this much stuff. I was semi-gladly stuffing toys in boxes to donate to Salvation Army. What to get rid of, what to keep? Some of it had sentimental value. Some did not. Some my kids still loved to play with. Some, not so much. Decisions, decisions. Why is this so hard?
And then I thought, "Come Christmas morning, there will be more toys, more clutter."
I began to think of what is on my 6-year-old's Christmas list. Or should I say lists? Toys, toys and more toys. I had a talk with him that Mommy is going to be going through all of the toys downstairs and separating toys out to give away to other children. At first he was horrified, but when I explained how some children don't have many toys and he has been blessed with more than he can play with, we should get rid of some, and give to others who will be happy to play with them. And there would be room for new toys, then.
That he understood.
I was thinking this all through as I was sorting toys... And of how if it were my husband doing the sorting that much more would be going in the box to donate.
And it struck me.
Why do we hold onto things that make our lives messy? And then invite even more in? Why is it so hard to just put the toys in the box? I know full well that my children's lives will be filled with other things. That they will not be left without. There will be room for new, wonderful, exciting things.
Oh how my life is the same way...
I hold on to things I need to let go of.
Seriously. We probably all do, no?
So I began making a new Christmas List in my head. And now it's time to write it down and share it. Because writing it down, and sharing it, makes it much more real, you know?
This Christmas list is not of things I want to gain, but of things I want to rid my life of. Because I do not need them, and it is pointless to foolishly hold on to what I do not need. More than that, these things not only clutter my life, they can be harmful. They can block out the good.
This year for Christmas I want to rid myself of things that clutter my life and pull me down. Things that irritate me easily. I want to get rid of my laziness and my complacency. My indifference. I want to get rid of my judgmental attitudes. I want to get rid of my fears, the silly ones and the not-so-silly ones. I want to get rid of all the ugliness I carry around.
Why have I held onto these things? Good question. Why?
I don't know.
But I do know that I can choose to let it go, or I can choose to hold on to it. I can give it to God. I can ask for a fresh start.
And for those things I have a hard time letting go of (because face it, this is no easy task,) I can ask for His help.
And in letting go of the old, ugly parts...
I can be filled again. With hope, with kindness, with patience, with love.
And I won't have to look back with regret over the old...
Because I won't miss it.

What is on your Christmas list this year?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mango Elves!

To read my Not Me Mondays, click here or just scroll down to the next post! :)

I just had to post this! :) Couldn't wait 'til tomorrow!


Not Me Monday!

It's Not Me Monday time! What did you "not" do this week? To play along and read other's Not Me tales, hop over to MckMama's!

This week I did NOT stress out about missing last week's Not Me Monday and did NOT worry about what to write this week. Nope. Because that would be just silly! Because Not Me Monday is a FUN THING! (It really IS!) :) So of course I did NOT spend hours wondering what to be (ahem) totally honest about...

I also did NOT yell at positively discipline my children 893 times for taking the ornaments off the Christmas tree and pulling the strings off them so they cannot be hung on again... Because my children are NOT the type needing so many reminders. They are angels. ALL the time.

I did NOT just this week learn how to do the strike-through feature on my blog... and was NOT thrilled that MckMama gave all of us MckFriends a nice little lesson in it. Because I am NOT technically-challenged and I was certainly able to figure out that on my own. I'm just smart that way. :)

I did NOT punch in late to work every night this past week. This was NOT due to spending time reading blogs and posting on my own blog. I am great at managing my time and would never be late for something as important as my job!

I do NOT spend too much time online reading blogs. I have NOT neglected my housework this week, and there is NOT a ginormous pile of laundry calling to me from downstairs next to the laundry room door. Unsorted. Un-nice-smelling. Un-able-to-wash-itself. Because that would be gross, right?

We did NOT have pizza for dinner about 4 times in the last week because I was too lazy busy to cook a real meal for my family. Because I am always on top of things and healthy meals are so important to my kids.

So there you have it...

What did you "not" do this week? C'mon, join in! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cyber Baby Shower!

My friend Sarah is having a cyber baby shower for her baby due in January! It ends on 12/8, so if you want, please hop over and join in the fun! :) There are some cute games and you can win some neat prizes! Please see her post for more info! Fun stuff! :)

One of the games asks guests to post a pic of the sweetest pic of Daddy and newborn... Here is Seth holding Ruby, our youngest. She was pretty sleepy!

Another game asks us to guess her son Caleb's birth weight... oh boy. I am not good at this. I am going to guess he was 8 lbs 12 oz. (that is how much I weighed at birth!)

And finally, we are supposed to create a Play-doh figure of a baby or pregnant woman, take a picture, and post here. This cracks me up!

Here is my best attempt in the 15 minutes I had while my kids weren't fighting over toy dishes in the other room... Blue is the only color I had that wasn't all dried out! Also, I see a bit of reddish swirled in. How anyone can keep the colors all separated is beyond me! :) Ethan did help a little bit, but lost interest pretty quickly. (I think he wanted to make something other than a baby or pregnant woman!)

So there is my contribution. Better late than never! :)

Best wishes to you and your family, Sarah!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A New Look, Fun Stuff, Zack Days 4 & 5

I love this new look! What do you think? (I think Danielle rocks!) If you are considering a make-over for your own blog, I highly recommend her! :) Or if you even just want a blog button, check her site out. She does amazing work!

Yesterday I didn't get around to posting because, well, it was Friday and for some reason it just flew by. Maybe it was all the cleaning I did? Before I knew it, it was evening, Seth was coming home, and called to tell me he was bringing home Chinese. (Yey! No cooking again!)
After dinner, I played some games with Ethan. He loves to play games and I always feel that I don't have enough time to spend with my kids individually, so I wanted to take some time to just play with him. It's been a while! We both love games, especially Simply Fun games. If you've never heard of them, check them out! I have two friends that are consultants, and I have quite a few of the games. We just got their game In10sity, so we played that last night. It is a trivia game where every answer is a number between 1 & 10. Even Seth played, which is a rarity. :)
Then we watched some movies and hit the hay. Or tried. Ruby woke up 3 x last night, crying for some unknown reason. So I woke up a little crabby this morning. Ethan came into our room and whispered, "Mom, I can't find Zack!" I waved him out, motioning for him to be quiet so he wouldn't wake Ruby (sleeping finally, in her crib right next to my side of the bed.) He was back a minute later, pointing at the advent / nativity calendar. I shook my head "no" but realized it was useless to expect to get any more sleep.
Ethan found Zack, but it took him a little bit, and a hint from me... First I will show you were he was on Friday, and then I'll post today's hiding spot. :)

I wonder where he will show up tomorrow? Hm, and I just realized that this picture shows just how late I was up last night! :) And maybe explains some of why I've been so tired today!
We are off to go see the Live Nativity Drive-Thru at my alma mater! :D

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Things I Will / Will Not Miss, Zack Day 3

Today I was looking around my house, and I realized that in a few years, my house will look drastically different. I am really looking forward to it. Even if we stay in the same house, I will be able to put stuff down at toddler level because I won't have toddlers anymore! I won't have to stack everything up high, and our Christmas tree(s) will be able to be on the floor again... not on little tables and such.

This led me to start thinking of all the things I will not miss about this time in my life... such as:

*Diapers. Enough said.

*potty-training. This kind goes along with the first...

*sippy cups. I hate washing them, and they don't seem to come clean in the washer. All those little crevices... ugh.

*baby toys all over my living room floor. (Ok, so it will be a few more years before I'll be completely rid of all toys from the floor, but we'll be able to get rid of a lot!)

*separate food for baby. This is already getting better, as Ruby is starting to eat more and more of what we eat...

*door knob covers

*baby gates

*drawer latches

*listening to a scream / cry / whine instead of words.

*our ripped up loveseat that the kids destroyed (although I think this is going bye-bye very soon!)

*booster seats at the table

*booster / car seats

These are just the things I can think of just in the last few minutes.
Of course there are also things I will miss:

*The girls letting me do their hair in cute litte ponytails. (Hopefully I will still have a few more years of this!)

*snuggling time

*tiny toes

*footie jammies

*all those cute little baby sounds (no, not the crying and screaming!)

*first words

*cute little clothes

*the look on their faces everytime they discover something new

*Nap time!

*watching them waddle around on little stubby legs

I'm sure there is lots more... But no matter what I will or will not miss, time isn't going to stop, so I guess I should just enjoy the days we have!

Diapers and all?

Well... maybe not the diapers... but you gotta love this:

and this:

and the ponytails!

And for those of you curious-types... here is Zack on Day 3. I think he is trying to remind me that I need to hang my valance back up! It's only been months since I took it down and washed it! ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Zack, Day 2

Zack picked a great spot today! Perhaps he was trying to be tricky and camoflauge himself in the pointsettias? Ethan found him right away this morning, before he was even fully awake, still rubbing his eyes. It was the very first thing on his mind this morning as he stumbled out of his room. So cute.

Kibby just grinned, pointed, and said, "Lookit! I can't beLIEVE it!" Which made Seth and me laugh out loud. (When she wants to talk, she does!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meet Zack!

Today we had the arrival of a special guest at our house! Meet Zack, one of Santa's scout elves!

He arrived this evening, about 30 minutes ago (just before 9PM!) Ethan found him on top of the speaker! He is going to watch over the kiddos' behavior and report each night to Santa at the North Pole. Then he will be back in the mornings, hiding in a new spot each day! It will be the kids' job to find him! Ethan is so excited! :) Kibby just smiled a shy smile, pointed and said, "Who Dat?"
Ethan found our elf and named him.
Here is Ethan reading the book (all about these scout elves) called The Elf on the Shelf.

Zack should be a lot of fun for the kids this month! I'm looking forward to seeing where he shows up each morning! :)
Here are a few more recent pics...
I love this one!
Here is Ruby playing with the Christmas tree bulbs. She was actually waving her arms in excitement and squealing and laughing. Later, she discovered she could take the bulbs off and walk around with them. (Much to her sister's anxiety, which only made it more fun for Ruby!!)
I'll continue to post about Zack's appearances from time to time, especially if he happens to hide in a really creative spot. ;)

MckMama's "Rebel for a Cause"!

Allow me to stray from postings about my kids for a minute here, to tell you that MckMama has a great idea. She is having a raffle with the proceeds going towards 3 different charities. The charities? String of Pearls, No Hands But Ours, and The Elison Project. Please click on the links to learn more about these charities, or visit MckMama's blog post to read all about them and the raffle in more detail! (You can also click on the button on my sidebar at any time to get more info!) The prize is a brand new Cannon digital camera (Rebel) package, including many extras! Ends December 14th! Check it out, and thanks for reading!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving, Christmas Tree Decorating!

We had a nice Thanksgiving, complete with guests, and we ate turkey with all the trimmings. The kids didn't eat much except the marshmallows off their sweet potatoes, some cranberry sauce, and olives. They didn't even want pie, because I served a "Southern Pecan" pie. Not sure how truly southern it was, since it was just a SaraLee:) But it was good! Of course I didn't have any until this morning for breakfast (healthy, huh?) because I stuffed myself so completely last night that I couldn't even eat pie before bed... you know, midnight snack?

Today was more low-key... Seth went to work, and for the first time in a few years, neither one of us went shopping at all today! We just didn't see any deals that we couldn't live without, I guess. Oh, wait, that's not entirely true... I did order a couple of gifts online tonight before we trimmed the tree. :)
Ethan was antsy all day to get the tree up. He has really been looking forward to it this year! He had been upset when I had told him last week that we were going to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations.
So while we waited for Seth to get home, I brought up a few things to put up... a small, white pre-lit tree that I got on Target clearance last year, a pointsettia wreath, and a little snowman. I found the big box of decorations for the "big" tree but wanted to wait till Seth got home to put up the tree. I didn't know where to put it this year... With Ruby being 13 months... well, let's just say I knew THIS would happen! :)

Everyone helped out, and even Seth seemed to have fun. Must be because there were no mishaps with the lights for a change! :) Here are some more shots of the tree trimming process! I love how every year it seems the lower part of the tree receives the bulk of the bulbs!

Good helpers!

Ethan helped for a while, and then let the girls keep on "perfecting" the tree (and by perfecting I mean Ruby taking the bulbs off, shrieking with happiness, and Kibby screaming and frantically grabbing them to put them back on.)
Ethan decided to ignore the girls and build a couple of towers instead. Smart boy. ;)

As for the tree, the end result looks pretty good (thanks to some sneaky re-dispersing by Seth!)
Here is just a peek:
Tomorrow I hope to post a few more pictures. I only took 184 tonight! :) One in particular I found really sweet and want to share, but I have reached the maximum for this post... So I guess you'll all have to wait. And considering it is nearly 1AM and some of you no doubt were up at the crack of dawn or earlier to shop... you are most likely sleeping and won't even read this until the other post is up anyway!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shoes, Mishaps, and Kiddos

Some of you already know about "Soles for Souls", especially if you are a follower of Angie Smith's blog, Bring the Rain. I have added their button to my blog - you can find it along the right side. Their goal is to raise 50,000 shoes in 50 days for those in need! $5 buys 2 pairs of shoes! To get all the details, just click on the button, or read Angie's blog post. :)
Alright. That said, on to other stuff.
I fell down the stairs last week. I'm thankful it was the carpeted ones and not the laminate ones! I slipped on the 2nd step from the top and landed (on my bottom, mostly?) on the 2nd to the last step. Ouch. Took me a minute or two to figure out if I was still in one piece. I'm so glad I wasn't holding one of the kids when it happened!! Aside from a sore foot and tailbone, I'm fine! Although I did seem to re-injure my tailbone yesterday - somehow - by simply getting up (quickly, I'll admit) off the couch. Don't ask me how I manage these things! Guess I should have just spent the day on the couch! Ok, maybe not.
To top off my week, I got home from work this morning and realized I am getting not one, not two, but three cold sores! UGHHHHHH! I hate cold sores. I've gotten them my whole life (thanks Mom and Dad!) I don't think I've EVER had 3 at once though. I just had one, too, and it had just healed. It used to be I'd only get one or two in a whole year. Maybe I have more stress in my life, now?? At least I can use Abreva now, since Ruby is weaned!
(Does it matter that the Abreva expired in May of '06?)
Ok, on to cheerier things...
I think it's amazing how long you can entertain a 13-month-old with just a little cup half-filled with Cheerios. Wow. Ruby has been sitting at the play table for about 20 minutes now! Of course, most of the Cheerios are all over my floor now, but I'm okay with that. I'm actually considering refilling the cups. Anything for a few minutes of quiet (and happy play for the girls!)

Just a bit of mess...
Also - speaking of playing nice...
Aw, sisterly love!
And just so you don't think we've gotten rid of Ethan:
Here he is! With his sisters, of course. This picture took a lot of patience to get, as well as a not-so-great version of "Twinkle Twinkle" that I croaked out to get their attention. Yeah - be glad there is no audio! ;)
Ethan loves his sisters!
Until next time...
And it won't be long. I intend to post pics of Thanksgiving Day! Turkey is thawing! yum...

Not Me Monday!

Woo hoo, it's Monday again! Time to post and read lots of other "Not Me Monday" posts. Hop over to MckMama's blog to read more, and enjoy the free therapy! :)
Ok, this past week I did NOT try various recipes in my Crock Pot, and upon preparing NOT to cook a whole chicken, did NOT freak out because while NOT skinning it (gross, glad I decided NOT to do this) I did NOT have a sick, nauseated moment where I did NOT think the little chicken body looked like a tiny, headless human. I almost could NOT put the thing in the pot and turn in on to cook.
So glad I did NOT do that, because who thinks that stuff, anyway? There would have to be something wrong with me if I actually DID think that and DID do that!!!
The chicken was NOT delicious.
And the whole incident did NOT remind me of this post! Ha ha...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heyyyyyyy yoooooooou guyyyyyyyys!

Yeah, so I don't really know how to spell that the way it sounds...

Just wanted to grab your attention a little to tell you about a great blog I have been following for a couple of months now. Hm, since August, I think?

Her blogger name is MckMama, and she has 4 children, ages 3 and under. As if that isn't amazing enough, she has an amazing blog with an amazing, miraculous story about her youngest MckBaby, Stellan! Click here to read about her / Stellan's story, and be blessed! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I love my Crock Pot

Ok, so I started following this wonderful blog that I'm sure some of you have heard about - A Year of Crockpotting. Some of you probably even follow it too! :) It's great! I love to use my Crock Pot because you can usually just throw in the ingredients and forget it until dinnertime. Then, even if your husband comes home late (which mine of course never does) dinner is hot and ready whenever!

So, I have been using my Crock Pot a little more than usual lately. I do tend to use it more in the colder months anyway, but I am finding some cool recipes for the warmer months, too. You know, for those hot & humid days when you really don't want to use your oven! Before, I thought of it as mainly a stew / soup / roast cooker. But not anymore!

Last week I made some wild rice and lentil soup, my own concoction. It wasn't bad, but got very thick by the next day for leftovers, so I needed to add water. And the rice split, puffed and curled to the point where it looked like miniature snails. Not the most appealing... I also made a chicken stew. Today I am cooking a whole chicken. However, I am looking forward to trying some of her breakfast recipes and her recipe for granola. Yum.

My son is begging me to stop writing so I can make him some hot chocolate. Because he "is starving". Right. I'd better go make it. Would hate for his body to waste away from hot chocolate deprivation! ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Present from Auntie...

We went to Wisconsin this past weekend and my sister was nice enough to give the kids a little table, bench and two chairs. I believe my kids are the third set of children to have them, but they are in great shape yet and my kids love them! It has been nice for me, too, that they sit there and color or play with stickers, or just sit there, staring at the TV...
Um, yeah, I know... one of the reasons I wanted a little table and chairs set was to have a spot to keep the girls occupied during the day so I wouldn't end up turning on the TV to entertain them. But... well, the first thing out of Kibby's mouth in the morning is always, "Can I wanna wanna wanna wanna watch ______?" (Sometimes she says a certain movie, sometimes not.) I don't always give in, but a lot of times I do, especially if Ruby is still sleeping and I want Kibby quiet for a while.

So... I will have to keep working on it. Maybe I can slowly wean her off the movies. :) One a day, maybe? I need to find some more activities that the 2 girls can do simultaneously, if not together. Coloring is fine for Kibby, but not for Ruby yet (she likes to eat the crayons.) Playdough, same thing. Well, most things are that way. Now that winter is coming, I need to get on the ball. Maybe even wipe down their little slide and bring it in, down to the family room. Then they can spend a couple of hours down there (no TV hooked up down there!) running around. Hm...
Anyway, here are a few pics I took today of the kiddos enjoying the "new" table. :)

A Bit of Construction! :)

I'm considering a blog "makeover"... bear with me if my blog might look different for a bit! Thanks! :)
Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter! You'll notice updates on the right!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me Monday

It's NOT ME MONDAY! :) Head over to MckMama's to read more!

1. This week, prior to our trip to my parent's house (in the next state over) I did NOT put off packing for myself, husband and three children until 2 hours before we were supposed to leave.

2. We did NOT forget to pack the baby's bottle, so I did NOT have to go to the grocery store and buy one at an outrageous price, because that was the only store open at that time of night in their little town.

3. My children were NOT fighting, NOT crabby and whiney, not at all! After all, it is ONLY a 3 and a half hour drive, and they are old enough and mature enough (at 6, 2, and 1 years of age) to keep themselves entertained with NO toys, books or movies for the entire trip (see #1), and since it was dark, NO pretty views out the windows.

4. My 2-year-old daughter did NOT wake up the entire household Saturday night for one whole hour by crying and crying to go home. This was in NO WAY connected to what I wrote about in last week's Not Me Monday post. Nope, not a bit.

5. My same daughter did NOT smear #2 all over herself and her new princess potty seat that I bought specially to use at Nana's house, so she did NOT require a bath, and I did NOT have to spend an hour cleaning Nana's bathroom.

6. I was NOT at all happy to arrive home last night.

7. And I certainly did NOT question my sanity about 742 times over the weekend.
Because, I AM one of those mom's that always has it all together.

Or... NOT?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lots of stuff...

Bear with me if this post seems to be all over the place. (I'm sure it will!) I have many things on my mind today.

First, I had MOPS this morning. I like MOPS a lot, however, today's talk was on etiquette. Well, anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a pretty low-maintenance kinda gal. (I even had to look up how to spell the word - it's just not part of my normal vocab, ya know?)

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with practicing proper etiquette, but as a mom of 3... well... I'm sorry, but I am not going to bring out the fine china (oh wait, I don't even own fine china - unless Corelle counts?:) and make my children dress up for Sunday dinner. I think I'm doing swell if I can get my kids to say thank you! (Which they tell us a lot, just not to strangers very well, which makes it look like my kids aren't grateful for anything... but that's another issue for another time.)

So, do I really care if my children know to place their napkin on their lap? No, I'm just glad they use napkins. Or how to cut their meat? No, I'm happy if they eat it! Or if they know how to properly introduce someone? Not really. I'm happy if they include others and show kindness to each other. I think I value manners and respect more than etiquette. They probably go hand in hand, I know... Just not in our house. Does that make me a bad mom? Or just a typical Northerner? :)

Incidentally, throughout the whole presentation on etiquette, my 2-year-old was sitting on my lap, kicking her Tinkerbell shoes into the nice lady next to me (so sorry Amy), grabbing grapes off my paper plate and spilling my water. I had no lap left to put my paper napkin. I'm sure the speaker was cringing inside. She could have used me as a "what not to do" example. :)

However, I was convicted on one thing.

Thank you cards.

Yikes. I am horrible about this! HORRIBLE! For all of you out there that have sent me a wedding gift, or graduation gift, or baby gift, and you never once received a thank you card... I'm truly sorry. Please know I was grateful, however I am so terrible about mailing things. It's really no excuse, I know. Every year I buy a birthday card for my grandma, whose birthday is in July, and every year she ends up getting it in November, when we go to her house to celebrate another holiday or birthday. Like I said, I'm horrible. I did find out that I am not alone in this, though. I was surprised to find out that it is more common in my generation than I thought. Not really something to be proud of...
(Did I mention I'm horrible?)

Secondly... Kibby.

She was the one on my lap this morning. She seems to have developed an aversion to her classroom at church. Or to men and boys. I'm not sure which one it is. Maybe it's both. She cries and screams and will not stay in the room. So, today she sat with me. For the second time. I tried to get her to go in the room. Her little hands gripped the door frame as she screamed, "Noooooo!!!" But I still made her go. Well, I tried. I told the girl, "Just give her a few minutes, she'll probably calm down and start playing." Then I walked down the hall (feeling like a horrible Mom) to Kibby screaming, "MOMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!" over and over.
Seriously, I hope this is just a phase. A short phase.
Fifteen minutes later the girl brought her to me, apologizing... Kibby just was not calming down. So I took her, shuddery breaths and all, and wiped her tears and let her sit on my lap and eat grapes off my plate. Sigh. What else could I do?

I have been thinking more again about getting her evaluated. Maybe screened for an autism-spectrum disorder. At times her behavior reminds me so much of an autistic little girl I used to know. This girl must be a teenager now, perhaps 18, but I knew her when she was 8. And she showed the same emotional response to movies that Kibby does. She would role-play the "damsel in distress", screaming role of characters in movies she saw... she would act the scenes out. She did not initiate conversation or answer questions. Much like my Kibby. However, Kibby is 2, nearly 3. And Kibby is more verbal than this other girl, and makes better eye contact. Well, when she wants to. But not as much as other children. The problem is that I do not know what exactly is "normal" for her age. I do know that people do not always fit neatly into a certain diagnosis, but since I am not qualified to diagnose her, I don't feel I should. I just want to understand my daughter. I want to know why she is the way she is, and if there is anything I can do to help her.
Here is an example, a conversation I had with her this afternoon:

Kibby wanted to watch a movie.

She came up to me and said (in a sad, traumatized voice)
"Can I wanna watch? Can I wanna watch? Can I wanna watch? Can I wanna watch?"

I said, "What do you want to watch? A movie?"

She repeated, "Can I wanna watch?" (getting more emotional)

I said, "Which movie do you want to watch?"

Kibby said, "Can I wanna watch? Can I wanna watch?"

I said, "Which movie?"

Kibby said, "CAN I WANNA WATCH? CAN I WANNA WATCH?" (now in tears.)

I said, "Kibby, do you want to watch Tinkerbell? Or Snow White? Or Tomato" (she calls Veggie Tales "Tomato".)

Kibby said, "CAN I WANNA WATCH?! CAN I WANNA WATCH?!" At this point her face is inches from mine, and her tears are dripping on my lap...

I get up, and she crumples on the floor, screaming. Heartbroken and frustrated.

I ask her to come to me, over by the DVD player and the movies. I show her Tinkerbell. I show her Snow White... I ask which one. She repeats, "Wanna watch which one!"


I ask, "Do you want to watch Tinkerbell?"

She repeats, "Wanna watch Tinkerbell."

So I put in Tinkerbell, and she is satisfied. For now.

Do you see how this may get tiring? I keep thinking, I want her to TELL me, I don't want to just pick for her, or just guess. This happens SO much.

Other times, she appears to be doing fine. She will come up to me and say, "I'm thirsty, Mommy. Where's my drink?"

And she has been saying, "Thank you" to everything lately.

Well - least she is learning her manners.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Ok, this is my very first Not Me Monday post! I've been following MckMama's blog for a while now, but never thought I had anything to add until today. I thought, why NOT give it a try! Here goes!

Today I did NOT paint the nasty thumb-sucking-preventer polish on my 2-year-old's thumb and remain silent when she said, "Ooh, pretty pink nails!" (thinking it was just nail polish.)

Then I absolutely did NOT laugh (discretely) when she exclaimed a few minutes later, "OWWWWWIEEEEEEE!!" while looking completely shocked, staring at her thumb.

I then did NOT feel bad at all as I told her, "Oh yeah, I should tell you NOT to put your thumb in your mouth, Kibby."

Then I certainly did NOT take her picture for my blog!

Because, as my sister does NOT tell me:


Friday, November 7, 2008


It's late, and I'm tired. However, it's my night off and the house is quiet, so I decided now might be a good time to write a post uninterrupted for a change. Perhaps I can get some things written down and off my mind so I will sleep better.

I've had trouble falling asleep for about as long as I can remember. It isn't always bad; the severity seems to come and go. But I've never been one to hit the pillow and conk out. When I was little, it was because I was afraid that the house would start on fire and I wouldn't be able to escape. Now that I'm older, I'm afraid of things like our house starting on fire and my kids not being able to escape. Seriously. At times it is nearly a paralyzing fear... either I fight to stay awake and listen to every sound, or I am afraid enough to lie there wide awake, staring at the door.

These fears (among others, but I won't go into them all, lest y'all think I'm entirely looney) are a big part of what prompted me to begin this blog in the first place. And so far, I've been pretty hush about it. Even my family - okay, even my husband - isn't that aware of it. Because I mostly keep it to myself.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a great post on Angie Smith's blog (Bring the Rain). Those of you who read her blog know that she has a rare gift for writing from her heart and truly reaching out to her readers. (Those of you not already reading her blog - I strongly recommend it! You will be blessed!)

I have spent a lot of time thinking about that post. And about fear. And how fear binds us. It keeps us from living a fulfilling life, a life of purpose. It becomes a big ugly excuse to not do things we feel prompted to do. We often justify not doing them because we are afraid. Or is it just me?

I doubt it. True, I may be a fearful person. I may even have some irrational fears (such as those little superstitious nagging thoughts about the decorative, colored prints on my daughters' diapers that my sister laughs at me about!:) However, I know I am not alone in this. (Well, I very well may be alone in the diaper-color fear!)

Another area of my life where I have been fearful is my faith. I tend to mainly keep it to myself. I have friends who would be surprised to hear that I love Jesus. (Especially if I were the one saying it, perhaps?) I know this comes partly from a fear of conflict, and a fear of others treating me differently because they think I will judge them or think I am better than them. It is truly sad that Christians have this reputation. And it is because of people like me... people who are afraid to be themselves. Afraid to speak. Afraid to act. Afraid to reach out in love. Afraid to be criticized. Afraid to appear "intolerant". Afraid to ruffle feathers. Afraid to be who they were meant to be. Afraid to be like Christ. (After all, look how He was treated.)

In the recent hype with the elections, I have read many Facebook status updates, many blog posts and emails of people not afraid to speak their mind on whichever candidate they find (or don't find) most capable. People not afraid to stand up for their beliefs, no matter if they are conservative or liberal.

And me? Aside from a couple of discussions with my immediate family members, I kept fairly quiet. It's not that I don't have strong opinions (a few of you who know me well will say, hey wait a minute... she knows how to speak her mind!) but I do hate conflict. (This is not to say I never get into conflict! I do! Just ask my husband!:)

Lately I have been pondering my purpose in life. And with that, my roles as a wife, mother, co-worker, etc... What career path should I take once my children are all in school? Should I wait until they are all in school? What other activities should I get my kids involved in? How should I balance my time between my family, myself, and God?

What does the future have in store? What does God have in store for me? For my family?

Most days I'm afraid to think about it.

But I'm working on it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Birthday Party!

Yesterday we celebrated Ruby's birthday with her first birthday party. Nana and Bumpa, Auntie Bobbie and cousin Isaiah came from Wisconsin, and Auntie Christina and Uncle Prany and cousins Jordan and Autumn were here as well. We ate yummy Bilotti's Pizza, and I made MckMama's Corn and Bean Salad, and of course spinach artichoke dip! I think Ruby liked the cake the best, though!

She also had fun opening some presents:

Happy Birthday, Ruby sweetie!

Costumes and Candy

Friday night was probably the warmest Halloween that my kids have ever experienced. Wow. They didn't need 2 sets of sweatpants, leggings, snowpants, sweaters, jeans, scarves... well you get the picture. They were able to go in their costumes with just regular clothes on underneath!

Seth took the kids around the neighborhood and they were back in about 45 minutes, with baskets full. Ethan really wanted to be Indiana Jones, but he settled for Darth Vader. Kibby was thrilled to be a fairy princess, and wanted to sleep with her wings on. We are still finding little pink feathers here and there from the dress.

And Ethan's little jack-o-lantern kept various members of my family company as they sat out in front of the garage and handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins and Lies

Last night Seth picked the one surviving pumpkin from our garden and scooped out the insides so that Ethan could draw a face on it and Seth could help cut it out. This was Ethan's first year to do this! Every year we mean to, but something else comes up and then we never do. Last year we were going to, but the poor little pumpkin (from our neighbors) sat outside at the edge of our flower bed all season, and then through the next two seasons... Well, you get the picture. It was never carved, just left there all neglected. (Not like I wasn't busy with a newborn and two other - very active - kids... in my defense!) :)
In early Summer, I noticed that a new pumpkin plant was sprouting in my flower bed! I transplanted it to our garden area in the backyard and it produced two pumpkins. One was way too small to carve, really, but the other one now looks like this:

It's not the prettiest jack-o-lantern, but it's Ethan's first! Don't be surprised if it shows up, glowing, in some more pics tonight after trick-or-treating. :)

On to the other subject... Lies.


Last night Seth saw that Ethan was playing with 2 small magnets. He asked where Ethan got them. Ethan told us that his teacher gave them to him to "practice math" with. Something about the way he said it made me question him. I asked him more about it, and he replied some more about it, and then I said, "I'm going to email your teacher and ask her." Ethan shrugged and said, "Go ahead, Mom, but she already knows all about it." However... he looked a teeny bit apprehensive when I looked him straight in the eye. I figured something was up. So I wrote the email. And this morning I got the reply I didn't want. His teacher did NOT send them home for him to practice with.


Let me just say that starting this school year, Ethan has picked up (no pun intended) this bad habit of pocketing small items that he finds interesting. Usually this is just rocks, or pieces of leather or concrete or junk that he finds on the playground or sidewalk. Annoying, yes. Bad for my washing machine, yes. Morally wrong? Well, no...

However, this is at least the third time that he has brought home objects that are NOT rocks, are NOT from outside, and are certainly NOT his. Beyond annoying? YES!!

So we are going to have another serious discussion tonight when he arrives home from school. Which will be so much fun, since his cousin, aunt, and grandma and grandpa will all be here, AND it's Halloween...

There are days when I wonder where my sweet little boy went, and if I'll ever get him back! :(

But then, he still is a sweetie. Here's proof. :)