That Boy

I love him more than I ever thought was possible. Thank you, Lord, for the awesome honor of being his mama.


Where's My Cape?

It has been four years since I heard the teacher say that I would soon distinguish my baby's cries. She meant that not only would I distinguish my baby's cries from other baby's, but I would also begin to distinguish from among my own baby's different cries.

I was skeptical. I mean all baby cries sounded the same to me.

Of course, it wasn't long after Ann was born that I realized that the teacher had been serious. All babies did sound different. Not only that, but newborns were actually beautiful and not just shriveled and red. Who knew?

However, that teacher failed to warn me that these superpowers don't just stop with distinguishing cries. Oh no, not at all.

Soon parents learn to tell what annoying toy is still making noises though the children have all gone to bed. Or, they may all be playing, but one toy can be heard above all others and it must. be. stopped. NOW! (As a side note, it should be recorded that approximately 99.9% of these noisy toys come from grandparents.)

I can identify the pesky little yellow car from a mile, or a room away, whatever. The point is it now resides on top of our refrigerator so that no other toy can bump it and make it play its demolition sounds. And, if Chris fails to notice it is missing in another day or two, it will be forever gone to some unsuspecting mother who stumbles upon it at the thrift store. But, I digress.

I realize that these powers are likely universal to mothers.

Just the other day, I was talking with my friend while our children played in her house. Suddenly, she stopped talking and cocked her head while wearing a look of concentration. Within seconds, she said, "Would someone please turn off the Nemo Bubble Maker?" She was dead on! A child turned it off and peace reigned for a moment.

I'm guessing her children's grandparents gave them that toy.

How about you,? Have you been surprised by the, um, new skills you've acquired since becoming a mama?


Please? Please? PLEASE!?!

As a child, my mom would always remind me to use the "magic word".

The magic word was, of course, "please".

I'm not sure how she came up with that. Perhaps my grandma said the same thing.

We haven't continued that tradition, but that doesn't keep my two-year-old, Chris, from thinking that "please" is a word with superpowers.

Yes indeed, he thinks that any requests made, using "please," will cause Mommy and Daddy to have a complete lapse in judgment and let him continue on his merry way.

Now, I admit, he looks and sounds extremely cute when he uses his manners. However, we have limits. I am not going to let him repeatedly bang on the kitchen table with a can of mandarin oranges no matter how sweetly he asks.

He also isn't going to get to jump off of the furniture, pick up his baby sister, eat candy for breakfast, and, well, you get the point.

Of course, he isn't deterred by how many times I say "no." So, I suppose it is only a matter of time before I do have that complete lapse in judgment.

Such is the sweet life with a two-year-old.


A Change in Plans

Okay, I've posted a time or two about the old to-do list. Really, I'm getting better about letting it go. In fact, I only really use them on Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, reality sets in and I toss it out the window. Well, really I just let it get buried under other things sitting on the kitchen counter, but whatever.

So, this morning I was both plugging away at the list and focusing on the kiddos. That wasn't too tough since they were playing well together. Anyways, I actually vacuumed and did a few other things I won't bore you with.

We loaded up the van and headed to our MOP Steering Team Meeting. I distinctly remember sort of reviewing the day in my head as I sang songs with the kiddos. (By sang songs, I mean danced around like a complete fool not caring who was watching.)

My day was so neat orderly in my head. It was a pretty little to-do list with a few things already scratched off.

Once at church, I unloaded Baby Jane and grabbed for the diaper bag. As I went to hang it on the stroller, I noticed that Jane was spitting up. Well, at least she started out spitting up, but then she progressed to vomiting. You can probably guess the rest of the story.

So, it's bye-bye to my little list. I'll see you next Monday. I have a little feeling that I won't miss you much.


Two Words

It has been...

7 years,

5 moves,

1 apartment,

1 town home,

3 houses,

Countless road trips,

1 dog,

3 amazing children,

A few trials,

Plus too many blessings to list,

And, I still say "I do."

Happy Anniversary, Tony. I'm so glad I said those words seven years ago today.


Easy Chore Time

Well, that was no big deal. It really took me no time at all to get the last week's laundry put away and all of the bed linens changed.

Oh, did I forget to mention my wonderful husband took the day off? He may or may not have taken the "big kids" to the gym to go swimming. I won't tell.

And lest you think I'm one of those who overuse quotation marks, (and I probably do) I always use quotes when I write big kids, because I really don't know that ages 3 and 2 qualify as being big kids. However, they don't require my body in order to eat, so that makes them big around here.

Happy Friday! Oh, and thanks Tony! You now will no longer have to dig through piles of clean clothes to find what you need. Well, at least for a day or two.


Talking on the Phone

Lately, Tony has been working long hours. We all miss him.

Due to these longer hours, the kiddos have spent a bit more time chatting on the phone with him. I really appreciate that he takes time out of his busy day to show Ann and Chris that they are important to him.

Today, Ann had a turn to talk to Daddy.

I wondered what she would share about her morning.

Would she tell him about the devotion we shared at breakfast?

Would she tell him that she was learning what it means to show proper respect?

Maybe she would tell him about tracing the number zero and even how she wrote it on her own a few times.

Or, maybe she would simply tell him she was excited to show him the collage she created using scissors, construction paper, and a glue stick.

Let's face it. We rarely do even one of these things on any given morning and this morning we had done all four of these things. I was eager to hear her retell the morning's events. I figured I'd learn what had been her favorite part since I'd yet to ask her.


Ann excitedly took the phone and practically screamed, "Hi Daddy!"

Then, she proceeded to describe how Chris had pooped in his pants and stuck his hand in it. She made sure to let him know that he wiped a bit of it on me as well as on her blanket.

How can I compete with that?


A New Olympic Sport

Bathing Young Children Bonus points can be earned by successfully taking a modest picture of the same small children.
Do you think Michael Phelps could manage either of those?

In other news, my little break is officially over. I knew it was time to be back when I started blogging in my head as I went about my day today. I hadn't done that for a week.

Happy Monday!

A Full Plate

Dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate is typically my dessert of choice. I could happily munch on chocolate chips all day long. Yet, the fact remains, I can do without dessert. Yes indeed, I can still make it through the day if I've run out of my secret stash of chocolate in the pantry.

Blogging is similar to my dessert. I really like it. I don't want to do without it. However, at those meals where I fill my plate, I'm much less likely to reach for something sweet afterwards. Such is also the case when my life is like a full plate.

Until now, the adjustment to caring for three children has been a bit tough, but completely manageable. Jane has the sweetest disposition and is extremely flexible. But, I think you and I both know that no matter how easygoing a baby may be, once they are mobile things change.

Jane is on the brink of crawling. In the meantime she is rolling wherever she needs to go. Yikes.

In addition to her new found mobility, Jane has also begun to eat solids. She isn't sure about them, but we are doing our best to offer them at least once a day. It is fun to add her to our family mealtime and she loves sitting in the high chair and playing with a sippy cup. However, as fun as this is, it is also an adjustment to go from simply nursing her to also feeding with a spoon. Our day is certainly more full.

Also, Ann and Chris are nonstop bundles of energy. They have the best time together.
Just the other night they were both hopping around the yard on balls. As I went out to take pictures of them, Ann said, "Look Mom! I can jump over the dog poop!"

Nice. Let's just say I was a tad behind on poop patrol. It isn't a job anyone wants to do when temperatures sore above 100 degrees. But, it still needs to be done along with many other things that I keep letting slide.

Unfortunately, it isn't always the chores that I let slide. Sometimes it is the quality time with my kiddos that I seem to let pass me by until I've done what I want to do.

As anyone knows, life lived eating dessert first is fun for a while, but then things start to get a little out of sorts. That is where I'm at now. So, I'm cutting back on my dessert for a while. No, not the literal kind, I'm not that crazy. You will still find chocolate in my pantry. I'm simply going to put my blogging on hold for a bit.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be visiting some of you every now and then. You all are too interesting for me to stay away.
I hope to be back in a week or so. I hope you'll be back too.


Photo Shoot

Not long ago, I asked Ann if she'd like to take a real picture. That meant I let her use my camera which isn't pink and covered in princess stickers. My camera also doesn't say something like "you look as pretty as a princess" after each shot.

After a bit of maneuvering on my part, she finally got a picture. However, I don't think we'll be turning over the job of family photographer to her any time soon.

First try:
Giving it another shot:

And, finally, she gets both of our heads.


A Summer Letter

My Dearest Summer,

I do not like you. Please go away.

You may take the chiggers, mosquitoes, and humidity with you.

The ice cream stays.



P.S. (I reserve the right to change my mind about you when my children are old enough for me to take them to the pool by myself. Until then, stay away.)


Not the Only One

I think I've alluded to the fact that I'm a fan of a neat and tidy house. I've also made mention once, twice, or hundreds of times that I have three small children. That makes one mommy and three little ones. You do the math. The equation doesn't end in an always neat and orderly house.

I confess that the desire to have the "perfect" house can bring out the worst in me. I thought I was the only one, or at least one of the few. Yet, today, after a talking with some other mamas, I learned that I may actually be the norm. As we visited, we all admitted that we all struggle to maintain balance when it comes to our desires for a tidy house.

That brings me to these words forwarded to me by a dear friend. I hope they encourage you like they encouraged me.

So... it's Monday and my to-do list seems to be growing by the minute... laundry, ironing, cleaning closets, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, errands, paying bills, work in the office, etc, etc. feeling totally overwhelmed I decided it was time to be still and have my quiet time- not my normal thing- I normally push it off in order to keep checking things off on my to-do list. Long story short- God is so good...

This is what I read about in the book I am going thru (Tender Mercy~ for a Mother's Soul~ by Angela Thomas~ highly recommend it). It talks about fighting the urge to be a SuperMom and looking at creating a home where grace lives~ she says the following:

All the neighborhood kids want to hang out at the house where grace lives. There is more dirt to be swept, there are more snacks to be made, and the grass doesn't grow outside the back door or under the swing. But kids show up, hang out and get loved where grace lives.

The dust may be a little thicker on top of the TV, and the closets a bit cluttered, but hearts have been tended where grace lives.

Family management has become the tool insted of the goal. Schedules matter, but souls matter more.

There is always enough for one more where grace lives... one more for dinner... one more to sleep over... one more hug... one more kiss.The lights are on late where grace lives. Grace stays up to listen, hug in the dark, and wipe away tears of disappointment and pain.

You can see people dancing where grace lives, b/c moms hang up the phone, turn up the music, and dance over the victories of their children. Sometimes the children just watch from behind their cereal and 'catch' the grace of a silly mom.

You can hear things like 'Please forgive me, I was wrong... I'm disappointed, but I love you... You are my treasure... You are my blessing... Let me pray for you.'

The eyes of the children where grace lives shine w/ joy and anticipation. They have not been wounded by impossible expectations. They have not been distanced by rejection. They have been embraced and accepted and loved.

The moms at the house where grace lives are just regular, everyday moms, but God lives inside them. By His power, they are becoming holy and righteous and good. They stumble but recover quickly. They make mistakes but say 'I'm sorry.' They get blown by the winds of heartache and adversity, but their hearts remain tender towards God.

I don't know about you, but I think I just might need to read that book.

Happy Monday. May it be full of grace.


Six Months

My Sweet Baby Jane,

Baby girl, you have grown so much. Six months! The time has gone so quickly. I believe I write that every month. But, adults have saying that says, "time flies when you are having fun." Sweet girl, it is no wonder that these months are going so quickly. Being your mommy is pure delight.

Each morning you wake up cooing and smiling. Your grin takes over your face as soon as I walk in the room. I love that!

You and I have been spending a bit more one-on-one time together as Daddy frequently takes your sister and brother swimming. I treasure my time with you. Often, if I'm not alone with you, your brother and sister insist that I put you down on the floor so that they can play with you. It seems that no one can get enough of you.

This month you've gotten closer to sitting upright. You like to prop yourself up on your little hands. You aren't crawling yet, but you still get where you'd like to go by rolling. I have to keep a pretty close eye on you or you manage to roll right under furniture. I try to put blankets on the floor for you to play on, but you roll right off of them, and before I know it, your brother, sister, and the dog are sitting on your blanket.

Jane, you fill our days with all that is good. I thank God for all that you've brought to this little family of ours. I pray that your sweetness would be something that forever blesses others for Jesus.

We love you.


How to Bring Out the Worst in Your Children

If for some strange reason you desire for your children to behave poorly, simply follow these steps.

  1. Go to the grocery store over the dinner hour.
  2. Take all of your children with you.
  3. Be sure your children are hungry.
  4. Get one of the carts that is in the shape of a bus or a firetruck.
  5. It's always fun if the seat belt straps don't work.
  6. Don't let that stop you from using the said cart.
  7. Strap the preschoolers in the seats knowing full well they can still get out.
  8. Place the baby's car seat in the cart basket.
  9. Look at your grocery list and locate the items on it.
  10. Instruct preschoolers to please not climb on top of the "bus".
  11. Repeat #10 approximately 307 times.
  12. Realize this isn't a battle worth fighting as you know better than to ever, ever, ever run errands over the dinner hour.
  13. Drive home while glancing at the clock that reads 5:12 p.m. and wonder, "What was I thinking?"
  14. Realize that the answer to that question is that you weren't actually thinking, at least not about strategic grocery shopping.
  15. Take a deep breath, smile, and realize you can't win 'em all.