Saturday, July 26, 2014

Speaker!

I'm so excited!  I've been asked to be a speaker at the MOMS group I attend. For the third year in a row!  I won't kid myself - I know I'm not somebody amazing, but I feel really honored that they keep asking me to come back and speak.  The past two years I've spoken on homemade gifts for the holidays (and you can look back here and find all sorts of posts with info on some of the ideas I've shared!).

This year I've been asked to speak on preparing for the holidays with children.  I'm super excited to share some of the things we choose to do at our house to celebrate.

Like our Thankfulness Calendar

And our Christmas Advent Calendar

And the tree for the kids to decorate.  Yep, you heard me right.  All their own.

Want to hear more?  Join me November 4th in person, or watch for more info probably around that time right here. :)


Until later...

Friday, July 25, 2014

DMV with a baby

Just spent my morning at the DMV. With Gracie girl in tow.



So to everyone else who was filling up the waiting room, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you had to listen to a screaming baby, but I will let you in on a secret.

As she flailed in my arms, exhausted since she got up at some point prior to 6am, I was just as frustrated as you. I didn't want to be at the DMV. Especially not with a cranky, tired baby. I didn't want people to look at me and wonder why I had brought her along. In some alternate universe, she would have napped in the Tula.  Or at least silently watched the world go by. Or maybe, just maybe, I would have gone to the DMV ALL. BY. MYSELF. But really, if I had a babysitter, I wouldn't want to squander that precious time at the DMV. And quite frankly, I got to go with only one child, which is right up there on the luxury list next to drinking a cup of hot tea without reheating it. Really.

So to the mama there with her twin boys who were getting their driver's licences, thanks for smiling at my kiddo and for telling your teenage boys that I am the picture of parenthood.  Bouncing a baby, easily swinging her from a front carry to back carry in the Tula all while taking the eye exam and paying for my license.  You got my kiddo to stop crying for a little bit, and hopefully you inspired your own children to think before making a choice that could result in becoming a teenage dad.  I appreciate you.

And to the understanding person administering the eye exam, thank you for being patient with me.  For repeating the instructions when my kiddo was screaming too loud in the ear for me to hear the first time.  Trust me, I was as eager to get out of your building as you were for me to leave.  But your smile made it easier.

And to anyone who judged me and wished I would just take my screaming baby and leave, I wish upon you a morning such as mine was this morning.  It will give you quite a bit of perspective. :)


Until next time~

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Currently

I think some of my favorite posts on the blog I read most often are the ones titled, "Currently."  Just a snapshot of what that blogging mama is up to and what she's into at the moment.  So here's my attempt at one of those posts:

Currently...

- Loving Handy Manny.  Well, my kiddos are.  And so am I.  I love that they are picking up some Spanish words here and there.
- Wearing my hair up.  All. The. Time.  Because it's fast and easy.  Stick it in a pony that's flipped under and run out the door.
- Loving Amazon.com for the convenience factor.  You just can't beat getting some birthday shopping done after the kids are in bed.
- Picking up at least 20 washcloths at a time from the bathroom floor.  They all live in the bottom drawer in my bathroom and letting Gracie empty the drawer is about the only way I can get any makeup on. So washcloths everywhere it is!
- Drooling over these...  Too bad they were limited edition and seem to be sold out.


-Planning...little Gracie girl is almost ONE!  Where did the time go?  Party plans are under way!
-Wondering what a good way to end posts would be?  Some mamas have such cool ways of signing off...

As for me, it's time to do another load of laundry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't let me forget....

I feel like I have one of the most challenging jobs around. Not at all a rare one... In fact most people share this job. the job of raising children well. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It's tough. There are days when I want to throw in the towel. There are days when I can't wait for bedtime.

But there are days when I am amazed. Amazed at how at the park, Honeygirl can help Sweet Pea up onto the swing and push her. Amazed that God has blessed me with the sweet little girl who comes to hug me and tell me she loves me, and will still love me "even when I get died."  Amazed that I get to parent the little one that says "thank you mama," in her sleep as I cover back up in the night. That I get to snuggle my baby as she peacefully falls asleep in my arms.

These are the things I want to remember when the day are long and difficult.  And again when they have grown.  Because as challenging as the days can be, they will be gone before I blink.  I know experienced moms say it all the time, and even though I'm only 5 years in, I know it to be true.  The days are long, but the years are short.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Intentional summer update

Well, for anyone who reads this blog, let it be known that although there isn't much evidence of it here, I've been continuing on with our "intentional summer." Here are some snap-shots from some of our adventures.

 We have explored new parks 
Gracie loves swinging with Mama!
 We have shared Pazookie

We have picked strawberries
(And lest someone think this is cruel child labor - let it be known that the girls have been asking when we can go again!  Next year, girlies.  Next year.)

 We have played with cousins like Winston

 We took another cousin to the zoo for her first ever visit!

 Gracie got to go swimming at the pool for the first time

 Unplanned and not fun, but still part of our summer... Honeygirl's first visit to the ER. 
Suspected appendicitis turned out to be a nasty virus that went away after some IV fluids, zofran and morphine.

 Friends came to stay over 4th of July.  Who knew 5 girls could fit in the playhouse outside?!

We have made very good use of our slip-n-slide, both at our house, and at a friend's house
4th of July was a perfect day of such activities, plus our bon-fire for s'mores before watching the fireworks.

 We have explored more parks

Gracie tried her first grilled cheese sandwich

 Sweet Pea, Gracie, and I checked out a local museum

 Honeygirl and Sweet Pea attended a week of Princess Ballet Camp.  

 Daddy went boating with Sweet Pea and Honeygirl for the first time!

 Another zoo adventure - this time with Grammie and a visit to the birdies

 Bike riding practice on her new bike, which she will proudly tell you Daddy bought on Craigslist!

Homemade pancakes during our girls' weekend while Daddy ran his first relay with coworkers.

In addition, the girls are in the midst of their second week of VBS this summer.  Honeygirl go to play "camp nurse" with Grandma for a couple days.  And we have had lots of impromptu parties hosted by the girls.  We are staying busy and having fun.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's be real

Too often the posts on Facebook lead me to believe others live some perfect little life. Because Facebook lets us do that. It lets us post perfect photos of our houses, our kids, us. We can show off our amazing vacation pics and leave status updates about all the amazing things our kids are doing. 

Well, here's an update from a mama that's just keepin' it real:  I just pulled a shoe out of the baby's mouth. I finished the fourth load of laundry prior to leaving the house at 9:15 (because 2 kids had accidents last night and I've been up since the second one at 5:25). By the way, the accidents did not happen at the same time. Nope, we woke up twice. The middle child decided to scream at the top of her lungs on our first stop of the day, so we lasted a whopping 5 minutes in that store. So much for shopping for jeans in person! At least we have online shopping these days. The baby had a 10 minute nap, which I will count as slightly better than no nap. But because she didn't nurse as long as usual and I had my back-up nursing pads on that just don't cut it, my shirt was soaked through. Real attractive. And by now, I have recounted the events leading up to 10am. Oi. 

So next time you feel alone, like you are the only one who doesn't have it together, remember that it's probably a facade.  Because I for sure don't have it all together. You are not alone. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Week one of our intentional summer

Okay, so here we go.  It's Thursday and I'm almost at the end of the second week of this intentional summer. I've been slowly writing about week one. I'm going to TWU to document as much as I can. We will see how I do!

Monday was a busy day of running errands, but I'm happy to say that I took a quick break in the afternoon to paint the girls nails.  They each got to pick a color for toes, and for fingers.  Five minutes later, everyone was brightly colored and happy.  They plopped on the couch for a little Strawberry Shortcake show while their nails dried, and I got to make dinner in peace.  It was lovely!

Tuesday.  Well, to be honest, I can't even remember what we did that day!  Ooops.

Wednesday I worked.  But I rocked and nursed Gracie from 7:30-9pm when I got home.  Now that's some solid reconnection time.  I know she won't remember that as she grows, but I'm trying to cherish these times.  They slip by so quickly.  She's already 10 months old!  And for whatever reason, seeing the newborns at work had really made me feel nostalgic that day.  Slow down, sweet girl!  Don't grow so fast!

Thursday was a great day!  Honeygirl got to go to her very first stage play!  Some friends invited her to go along to "Grimm Fairytales" and she was thrilled!  Sounds like she had a great time and behaved herself (phew!).  While she was off with friends and Gracie napped, Sweet Pea and I baked.  



I am horrible about cooking with the kiddos, but today we made muffins together and then enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  We had a great time! After Gracie woke up, we headed to the library to stock up on new stories and sign up for the summer reading program.
By afternoon, Sweet Pea had worn herself right out and actually fell asleep during rest time.  That provided a little bit of time for Honeygirl and I to hang out while both her sisters were sleeping.  She loves those kinds of moments.  She asked if we could look through my jewelry box together.  Normally, I would come up with an excuse and say no, but today I took the bait.  She had a ball looking at what is in there.  And for me, it totally brought me back to my childhood when I used to do the same thing with my grandma.  We would stand at her dresser and I would look at all her "pretties." Grandma's ears were not pierced, but she wore earrings every day.  And some of her clip-ons were rather glamorous.  When she passed away, I requested a few of her earrings.  Trying them on with Honeygirl today was priceless.


Friday.  I took the girls to a consignment sale and a couple garage sales. They love checking out the goods just like I do. A win for everyone! They were super excited about the consignment sale and even got to play with a friend there while I looked around. Plus I scored some Toms for me that were new in the box for $15! Whoop!



They were disappointed they didn't find any amazing treasures in our shopping, though. And were also bummed that we didn't get to go to more garage sales. I hear ya, girlies! Maybe next Friday. :)