laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Well, This Is Fun


So after a busy, very full weekend (Can I say that if Saturday was the only busy, full day? It was really busy and full!)… and we like things to end with a bang around here. Unfortunately, Sunday’s “bang” came in the form of Biggest getting a stomach bug that really got the best of him. I sat in front of the computer screen yesterday, willing myself the energy to type, but when you go to bed at 6am and get up a couple hours later… blech. Biggest seemed much better by afternoon, and by evening we’d thought he really kicked it. Until he marched into our room at 5am to inform us that he really needed to throw up. I, of course, was like, Go, child! Go! He did sleep in until 10 and I’m hoping to do a better job of encouraging him to nap today. He claims he’s all better today, but it still unwilling to eat. He is very thirsty, so that’s a start. Anyone else feel like this last month or so has just been on kid getting sick after another? I feel that way.

And I was totally on a roll and knew *exactly* what I wanted to say today… and then the Jehovah Witness folks rolled up and squashed my momentum. *Sigh*

For those of you parents out there (AND Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Babysitters, Nannies), do you ever struggle with finding projects or things for you kids to do when they’re still sick enough to stay home and out of the public, but not sick enough that they feel like sitting still? C’mon, it can’t just be me! Well, this last weekend my sweet little family, along with some friends, attended The Great Cloth Diaper Change. It was fun! They had an awesome table that was brought by Let’s Talk Kids, who’s byline is Giving you the tools to raise healthy, happy children. They have a variety of ideas for activities, arts & crafts, recipes, and more! And they e-mail you weekly with a new activity/recipes/answers to frequently asked caregiver questions! It’s pretty awesome!

Their activity at the Change? Take a circle of paper, I’d think construction paper would work best (that’s what they used). Put a few drops/glops of different colors of paint all over the circle and….. get this, you stick in a salad spinner! I have a cheap, plastic one (I’m totally going to get more, just for this purpose!) so I am more than fine with it going the way of the kids! And it makes a really fun design out of the paint, after being spun. I, of course, forgot my children’s art pieces, but never fear, we will be doing this again!

I was going to let the kids do this again now, but Biggest is back to putting the basin I carried around in pregnancy to good use. (Sad face) Hopefully he can keep something down today so he doesn’t have to go in for an IV. *big sigh*

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My Eyes! My Ears! They’re Everywhere!


There’s something about this last week that has left me feeling like I have a newborn. Up in the night, crowded bed, awakened by crying… except with a newborn all you have to do is feed them and they’re happy again, and you get to have a teeny-tiny personal all snuggled up to you. These things need specific foods, and it’s never what I’m trying to give them. And where did that stupid box of Kleenexes go? Or the other three of them I just bought? And Littlest pinched Miss. And Miss is trying to shove Biggest out of the rocking chair because she was sitting in it first. Because she was the last to sit in it last night, that counts as first for today. Even though her older brother has been cozied up in it, quietly reading a book for the last half hour. Other than that book he just threw as I walked by- so that I could put it away for him and get him another one.

Suddenly, I find myself wide-eyed, and frustration burning in my ears. They get very quiet and lean as far back as they can, away from me. They know it’s coming. They can hear the kettle’s steam whistle a’whistlin’… I take a very long, deep breath. I close my eyes and I pray outloud. Lord, let me love these crazy, little children. Let me see them the way you see them today. 

They looked back and forth between each other. They looked at me skeptically. Are your eyes not working? I hear a small voice ask. Another one chimes in with, Do you not have eyes everywhere anymore? Followed by a whisper between them, Maybe she won’t be able to see us when we’re playing in my room anymore. C’mon, let’s go.

I don’t even bother suppressing my laugh. I just laugh. And I see them. Finally starting to see some relief from the cold/allergy plague that’s kept them down this past week. Tired from their coughing waking them up at night. Stir crazy from being trapped inside, between the sudden cold snap and their colds. But from amid all of that, they see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mom may have gone crazy enough that she no longer can see us getting into trouble when she’s not there. 

And just like that, I am snapped back to reality. I see kids who are tired of not feeling well. MissE has asked several times in the last few days, What can I do to feel better? or Will this make it so I don’t feel like this anymore? And I have made homemade chicken noodle soup, which then turned into chicken pot pie (apparently adding peas and corn made it the most amazing meal for them!). I have made fruit smoothies and poured countless glasses of orange juice. I  have taken more showers in the last week (while holding a little one) than I normally do in a month. Ok, that may be an embellishment. But honestly, not by much. And finally I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Snot is drying, coughs are abating, and a little bit of sleep was even to be had. So there is the light. I may have to drag them by their shoestrings, or lure them with chocolate… but I’m dragging them to that light.

{Overheard}

(Biggest E:)You need to flap your wings some more.

(MissE:) Like this? Ok, here I come.

(LittlestE: )Turn! Turn! Mine! Fly! Me!

(MissE:) Do you think Littlest should take a turn?

(Biggest:) No, MissE, he’s too little to fly. Oh, I guess he wants to. Ok, let him try.

(Me:)  No more jumping off the top bunk, and for the hundredth time, do not teach your brother to fly!

(Biggest:) Do you think all her eyes are working again?

(MissE:) Yeah. [whispers] Least she doesn’t have ears everywhere so can’t hear us being naughty.

(Me:) Yes, I do. And I heard that.

(All): Scream.

Biggest: We’re never going to have any fun!

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Most Important Of All


A friend of mine recently shared this post, and wants it framed for her son’s room. She said it’s her favorite post of mine. And actually, the post I wrote yesterday already had me thinking about the things I want to teach and show and model for my children, which led me to think of those posts (there was one for my daughter too). So I’ve decided to repost them, and I hope you’ll forgive me. But sometimes, in life, you just need reminders. And today I’m wanting a refresher on all the things I want to teach my children, and really, things I want to (re)teach myself as well.

My Sons, I Want For You…

  • Be respectful. To everyone. Everywhere. People have hurts that sometimes aren’t visible, treat them accordingly.
  • Talk to others in a way that wouldn’t leave you embarrassed if you found out your mama was listening.
  • Learn to listen (for most men this is an acquired skill, I’m pretty sure). Really listen, not just hear someone making sounds, but the words that they’re saying.
  • Treat all women in the manner you should treat your mother: polite, respectful, helpful.
  • Be courteous- even if you think it’s not appreciated or deserved. Maybe especially then.
  • Be honest.
  • Violence (against anyone) is never really the answer.
  • Never look down on someone for the way they dress, how they look, or what they believe.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Never treat people as disposable. They’re not. Even if you date her for a week and find out she’s suuuuper annoying (even if I agree)… you will still treat her as an individual with feelings. Just not an individual you’ll marry.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you won’t be embarrassed to recount to your wife. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Never make fun of tears. No matter if they’re from a girl or a boy. Pain is pain. (Compassion, my sons!)
  • A strong man is someone who knows and accepts his weaknesses (or tries to strengthen himself in those areas).
  • Feelings are not a weakness in a man. Embrace them.
  • Don’t be run by emotions (or hormones), think things through.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Don’t let anyone push you around. Be your own man.
  • Learn to take charge and to be responsible for things. It’s ok to know what you want- and to go for it.
  • Don’t just follow ANYONE just for the sake of a) trying to look cool or fit in, or b) not having to make an actual decision yourself. Neither reason will suit you in the long run.
  • Know that you were made to be EXACTLY who you are.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you.
  • Reach out a helping hand, whenever you possibly can.
  • A man of faith is a lot stronger than a man with no beliefs.
  • You’ll stand a lot taller, the more time you spend on your knees.
  • Family is a blessing. (Whether you like it or not!)
  • Dream dreams, wish wishes, and love your loves. No matter what others may say or think. (Except for your mother, of course.)
  • Be secure in who you are, because you will always have people that will support you.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who your friends are, what your job is, how much money you make, or where you live… remember that your mama loves you. And please always live nearby.
***
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Yes, some of these are similar to things I want to tell her brothers, because let’s face it, the basis of how we live and treat people (or the ways we should), don’t change depending on which gender you are.

My Daughter, I Want You To Know…

  • The most beautiful people in the world are not movie or rock stars, but the people that are true to who they are and the things they believe.
  • While you are a beautiful girl, you should not look for validation through your looks. You will never find it, and it will leave you unfulfilled.
  • It is more important that you attain inner beauty than outer.
  • The way you treat people is much more important than the way you look. (Yes, I know these first ones are all similar, but in today’s society everyone comments on how cute or pretty or well dressed little girls are, instead of focusing on how polite or well-mannered they are.)
  • All that said, I hope you always know how beautiful you are, inside and out.
  • You cannot find validation through others. That is between you and God.
  • Never talk to anyone like you are better than they are (no matter what their circumstances are)- because you are not.
  • Talk to people in a way that shows that you are listening and that their thoughts are worth hearing.
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone, consider their side.
  • Treat men the way you would treat a child. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Treat men the way you would your father- with honesty, respect, and a little bit of fear. (ha!)
  • Don’t let anyone (man or woman) tell you that you are not good enough. You are. Always.
  • Don’t let someone treat you as though you are disposable. If they do, dispose of them. And quickly.
  • Embrace your feelings and emotions- but don’t let them run/control you.
  • Be a take charge person! Don’t follow anyone else who’s path does not lead to yourdesired destination.
  • Be responsible! And take responsibility for your words and your actions.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you wouldn’t be embarrassed/ashamed to recount to your future husband. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Think twice before you speak. Think three times before you act. And then go ahead and run it by your mother first.
  • Know that you are EXACTLY who you were made to be- and be proud of that.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you, don’t expect others to act like it is.
  • A woman of faith is a lot stronger than a woman with no beliefs.
  • Family is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Where else will you find people who will love and support you, no matter how crazy your ideas are?! (you are your father’s child)
  • You will never regret reaching out a helping hand, whenever you can.
  • Be secure in who you are and be the best YOU you can be because I will always support you. Maybe not without voicing my opinions, but I will still support you in your journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream your dreams (and follow them), wish your wishes (and turn them into reality), and love your loves (with your whole heart). No matter what anyone else says or thinks. Except for maybe your mother.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who you know, how much money you make or have, or even where you live… remember that your mommy loves you. And I’d really prefer if you lived close by.

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A Direct Hit


Do you ever have one of those days where you want to just turn around, turn the lights back off, and get back into bed? Never? Ok, that’s it. We’re officially not friends. For those of you who know what I’m talking about… here’s to another round of coffee!

Saturday was such a day for me.

I needed to pick up a few things from the grocery store. Not a ton, just a few. The kids weren’t yet dripping, but were sniffling, and I wanted to make them my homemade chicken noodle soup. So I needed some more Organic Chicken Broth, an MSG-free version of Chicken Bullion Cubes, and a few other odds and ends that we were out of/running low on. Not more than a basket-full worth of groceries. When I pulled into the parking lot I was in shock. I’d NEVER seen our little grocery store that busy. The parking lot was full. I might as well have walked there because I think it took me longer to find parking than it would have to walk the just under .5 mile. I finally park, and go inside. There are exactly 2 carts left in the store. This is all shocking because while Saturday’s are typically busy, they’re not so busy that they ever have more than 3 cashiers. (I’m not kidding.) I’m pretty sure it was busier than Christmas Eve. I’m already annoyed at this point, because c’mon people, you’ve known about Easter all year long and yet here you are, frantically scurrying around like the world will end if you do not try every new recipe you found on Pinterest, and trying to take my cart out of my hands and the onion from within my reach.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel for you, and I know what it’s like when you’re not as prepared as you perhaps, should have been. But I’ve got sick kids, and a day of fun cancelled. So my sympathy is a little short-lived.

I finally make it to the soup aisle, trying to gather the last of my soup ingredients. I find the broth right away, but the bullion is being elusive. I stand there, scanning the rows over and over. Knowing full-well it had to be there and I was just missing it.  The aisle was full of people, and I was doing my best to stay out of everyone’s way. There was one lady in particular that seemed to be looking for things in the area I was standing. Three times I smiled and moved so that she could get through or in between myself and the shelves. Not once did she apologize, say excuse me, or even smile in return. She seemed exasperated that I was continuously in her way. I apologized saying (more to the store worker who frequently visits with the kids and I on our many walks to the store), My kids aren’t feeling well and I’m trying to make them some homemade soup and I just can’t seem to see what I need, even though I know it’s here. Store worker asks what I’m looking for and I tell him, and he starts to scan the shelves for my ultra-elusive MSG free, gluten free, natural chicken bullion. And I kid you not, while he was looking, the lady had the audacity to half say to me, half mutter to herself, Maybe if you’d have waited till you were an appropriate age to have children, you’d be old enough to know how to cook and where to find things. I froze completely. I look at her wide-eyed and disbelieving. I had to rerun it in my mind to make sure that actually happened.

I stood there a few moments, just staring at her in shock, before finding my voice. I was a little surprised to hear myself saying, I am thirty years old! And I am glad my children weren’t here with me, to be experience your rudeness! (I’m not actually 30… but I’m in the latest of my 20’s, which is close enough.) At this point, the worker realized he may have a cat fight on his hands, interjected with, Her children are some of the most well-mannered ones that come through our store. She rolled her eyes! And then acted all offended and walked away muttering about how if I was really thirty, I would have more manners. I stood there for a moment, just taking it all in. And then I grabbed the bullion from the poor man’s hand and ran to the checkout and got the heck outta there. I knew if I did anything else one of two things would happen. Either I’d find her and deck her, or I’d burst into tears. So I fled. And had a cry in the truck before heading home. Not because my feelings were hurt, but because I was SO angry. I mean, who talks that way to a stranger, let alone anyone! Livid would not begin to explain my emotions.

Looking back on it made me think about when THIS happened, or when I wrote The Muddy Mommy. After my cry (and a few days to calm down) I realized that it wasn’t just that I was embarrassed at the whole scenario or that I was angered by her words. I was angered by the way I was treated by another woman, possibly by another mother. Maybe she is a young grandma projecting her feelings onto me. Maybe she is not a mother, projecting those feelings onto me. Maybe she is just one cranky lady. I don’t know the feelings, or thoughts behind her words. And with most of our daily interactions, we don’t know what is going on in the people we encounter. But I do know that now that I can be rational about this scenario, that I will be more intentional about my interactions with strangers. I’ve had strangers make my day seem worthwhile, and I’ve had strangers make my day infinitely worse.  That’s the thing about choosing to live with intention, and wanting to model that for my children… I need to be intentional about the way I interact with others, whether they’re people I interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly, one once in a lifetime. I can be passing out smiles and warm-feelings, or I can aim and fire to make sure of a direct hit, like the one I received. Either way I can choose. You can choose. Life is hard enough, why would we want to add to that? Besides, if you’re so busy aiming at me, you could be missing out on an opportunity for us both to walk away feeling some reprieve of life’s trials.

And next time I attempt a trip to the grocery store on a weekend, let alone a holiday weekend, I’ll make sure I am properly coffee-fueled.

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Lego Land


So we missed out on visiting my brother yesterday. And Biggest spent a good chunk of time, unmoving, on the couch. Which is pretty unusual for him. By lunch time he was willing to go for a quick stroll to the store for smoothies (hello! pump this boy with Vitamin C!) and ham! (2 of my Bigger Two’s favorite foods. Roll it in spinach and they’d be set for life. I know, my kids are  funny, little creatures.) Ok, so I maybe, might have, insinuated that he could pick out a redbox movie. But that wasn’t until we were already on the way to the store. If he really didn’t feel good enough, I would not have taken him. He’s not like death bed sick, but he’s cold sick. Where he has a cough when he lies down, has a bit of the sniffles (thankfully it’s not like the snot running down his face kind), and is all around stuffy. Which, obviously, doesn’t feel very good. But we were down to our last box of tissues and Biggest thought it would be cool to pick out his very own box.

The trip was rather uneventful. Littlest fell asleep while walking around the store. (And of course woke up as soon as we strolled into the driveway.) On the way home we received a phone call from another brother of mine. Whatcha Doin’?  He asks in a tone, that for him, always means, I’m a little bored and wondering if you have something to do that I’ll think is fun. That or, I miss the kids. Or I’m hungry, what are you making for dinner? But I digress. I told him of Biggest’s congestion woes and said we’re mainly just having a snuggle-up-on-the-couch kind of day. Having a feeling he’d be showing up, I picked up a couple of his favorite snacks and headed home.

The kids quickly snuggle up on the couch, munching on their ham, to watch a movie while I try to quickly do some “sprucing” before their uncles arrive. Thankfully our deck is arranged in such a way (with lattice for sides so that there’s no railings or slots or anything to worry about children slipping through) that a baby gate keeps Littlest in and he is free to “color” to his hearts content. By color I mean, eat chalk. Since that’s mainly what he seems to do.

Can you see the chalk on his face and the corners of his mouth (from eating it)? Its also all over his legs and arms.

Lo and behold, the Uncles show up. Along with over 15 lbs (that’s right, POUNDS) of legos. Biggest squeeled in delight. MissE squeeled in delight. Littlest dumped it all out, in delight. I also knew hubbyman would love this as well. In fact, I’m not sure who enjoyed building legos more. Biggest or his Uncles.

the tower started out as the chrysler building, but between all the other things being built, he ran out of blue and yellow. The tower is close to 4 feet tall.

While he is still a little sniffley, but he slept all night through- in his own bed. Wanted breakfast. And wanted to play legos vs watch a movie. So I’m thinkin’ that’s progress.

Welcome to Lego City

So…. I’ll just get to it. I am soooo thankful for such wonderful brothers who are amazing uncles!

I am thankful that even though visit with one uncle didn’t work out, we were able to reschedule for this weekend!

I am thankful Biggest didn’t get really sick.

I am beyond measure thankful that Littlest is more than well on his way back to his happy, clowning self.

I still can’t eat in the same room with him (or he won’t eat. He’ll just climb out of his high chair and cry and fuss and WILL.NOT.EAT.), but he has started eating more. And is overall happier. Which means hubbyman can come home without me bursting into tears for the first time in weeks.

I am thankful for a girl who is so mothering that she takes all of Littlest punches with humor. Sometimes literally. (*Sigh*)

I am thankful for warmer weather. (I’m just itching to get the garden all planned out and started)

I am thankful for all the flowers I transplanted from the house I grew up in. It is so fun to see them grow, and know where they came from.

I have more to be thankful for but they’re not quite ready to be shared (No, no baby news… why does everyone go there?). Hopefully next week there will be more to be thankful for, that can be shared out loud! (Or online…)

 I’m thankful for hubbyman. My feet get so cold at night, I could never sleep without him.

Also, I am thankful for legos.

I am also thankful they're keeping them off of the floor and out from under my feet!

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What Are You?


So I came across these on facebook and can’t seem to find the real, actual link to where they came from… but I thought they were interesting.

Here’s an article  and another article  or yet another article they may be based on.

WHICH ONE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

This may give away which category I fall into, but I took two tests to find my answer.

The first test I took said that I’m slightly introverted.

(you can take it here)

The second test I took said that I am equal parts introverted and extroverted.

(you can take it here)

It just got me thinking about the way hubbyman and I relate to each other, and in turn how we relate to our children, them to each other, and how our kids relate to us. It makes my head spin a little bit. Each of us generally relate to each other in the way that feels most comfortable to us. But what if we were to relate to others in the way that feels most comfortable to them?

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about that, as I’m trying to figure Littlest out. My happy boy is finally back after weeks of… I don’t even know how to describe it. But it wasn’t good, and it wasn’t fun, and there wasn’t much sleep. But he’s not exactly the same as he was before… and I know, he’s growing and every month he grows by leaps and bounds. Both physically and developmentally. So it only makes sense that he wouldn’t be the same as he was a few weeks ago. He’s changed. And I’m learning him anew. Today, I am trying to relate to him in a way that’s relatable. At least a toddler version.  And while we’ve previously done an “Unplugged Monday,” I’ve decided that we’re going to do an Unplugged Wednesday instead. Which means no TV shows, no computer games/programs, and especially no movies- at least not during the day while the sun is out and mommy is caffeinated. I am soooo enjoying the quiet it brings. Which is why  now, my friends, I am turning my computer off as well.

May your Hump Day be filled with whatever brings you peace- be it a room full of people or the silence of time alone.

And a good glass of wine.

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My Sticky Sweet Family


How does your family measure your growth? A yard stick? Marks on the wall? When you’re big enough to go to the  bathroom by yourself? In my family, the sign of growth that we all longed for, and prided ourselves on once attained, was when we were old enough strong enough to carry a bucket full of sap. All on our own. There was a major sense of pride in being able to haul the heavy, five-gallon bucket all the way from the tree to the truck.

Why would one care about carrying around a bucket full of sap, you ask? Fair enough question. With a very simple answer- maple syrup. If you have only had the kind that comes in a plastic bottle from your local grocery chain… chances are you have no idea how much better the real deal is. Amazing enough to rock your socks off. Amazing. I am lucky enough to come from a family of syrupers. It has long been my favorite time of year. And my favorite smell is definitely the smell of the sap boiling, evaporating, and turning into syrup. Friends and family flock to my Grandfather’s “Sugar Shack.” From out of town and out of state.

It’s a family adventure.

Don't judge me- I was 12

It involves many, many hours of boiling, reboiling, filtering, bottling, and not much sleep. And it’s wonderful. The “Sugar Shack” (the building the evaporator, boilers, and bottling machines all reside in) is one of my favorite locations. Sadly, I did not get many photos of the shack itself, but lots of the syruping process. Hope you enjoy this glimpse inside my world. (Syrup Fun Fact: It takes 40 gallons  of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.)  

Don'tcha just love my boots?

And because there just isn’t enough space to show you every picture of the process, enjoy this slideshow featuring photos of the evaporator, boiling off of the sap, hubbyman fixing some taps that the wind had pulled the buckets off, and more!

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The day after I took these photos, my grandparents received a phone call. It was a Twin Cities news crew asking to do a piece on how the warmth of this winter and spring have effected the syupring season. You should definitely watch the video and hear my grandfather’s response. This year’s season lasted all but 7 days. Most years it’s a full month. At least we’ll always have next year.

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DumbA of the Week Award


Want to feel like mother of the year? Well, let me tell you some things you should maybe not do then…

  • Do not forget to change baby IMMEDIATELY. Unless you want to be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to take Littlest potty (first!) before letting him take off naked. Unless you want the floor to also be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to read the labels of all foods. Even if it’s something you think they’ve had before. Especially if it’s a different brand. Unless you want you Celiac-ridden child to be sick to her stomach, unwilling to do anything but lay around like a wet noodle.
  • Forget to feed you oldest breakfast, unless you want to be asked why you’re trying to starve your children. And that you don’t really love him anymore.
  • Don’t decide not to pick up milk the night before so that you ca just take a walk to the store. Unless you want you a guarantee your day won’t go as planned. And you’ll still have no milk.
  • Don’t give the baby a bottle of water (when he’s requested milk). Unless you want said bottle thrown at your head. And then to be asked if you’re not feeding Littlest because you want him to shrink and starve too (said Biggest).
  • Don’t wear your favorite, new, or anything else you’d like to wear again when you have a kid with an upset stomach. Unless you want a visualization of what’s making said tummy upset.
I feel I should also mention that last night I locked my keys in the car. We were meeting my dad to pick up biggest’s car seat that had been left in their vehicle. The whole trip was spent with MissE going on and on about how unsafe it was to ride without a car seat. Only to have her have to ride home without one. And then get so caught up talking that the fact that you’re heading to Dad’s house, and not where the truck is, goes by unnoticed…

I could go on, but I won’t, for my own sanity’s sake. Let’s just say, today is not going as planned. And my reactions to it, well, they’re not winning me any mother of the year awards. So I’m going to make some of MissE’s favorite soup (broccoli and cheddar) and do some cuddling. And hope that’s enough to win back some of their mother love. And maybe some of my own.

I wonder if I can use my wine slushie mix with Vodka? Seems like a good day to investigate.

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My Words…Kinda


My B button and my N button (on my keyboard) are not working. And so I’m having to use my on-screen keyboard. While I am thankful for this handy-dandy feature, it is not conducive for blog posts. So today I am attempting to tell you how I feel, or things I’d like to say, in other words… All found on pinterest. I tried my best to find their original links. Or as close as I could get (I tried!)!

(photo credit: Urban Walls on Etsy)

(photo credit: chphotographics’ photostream)

(photo credit: i.imgur.com)

(photo credit: Pinterest/Deb McFadden)

(photo credit: BabyRabies.com)

Hope you find some reasons (and strength!) to forgive, edure, love, play, energize, and giggle your way through your Moday!

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Simply Organized


Ok, so this isn’t a foodie post (sorry!) and I do promise to do more of those. Especially as summer comes around! But today was grey and rainy. Which left me with kids jumping off furniture and onto each other.  So we sat down with puzzles. If you have kids, they have puzzles. Ours have 14 of them.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a huge number, but when you think of it in terms of how many individual puzzle pieces you’re left with- it’s a lot. And when they all get dumped out all over the place, it can be downright overwhelming.

I once blogged about it, but there were no pictures, and not a lot of description, and since we’ve spent the afternoon doing puzzles, I decided to share with you my puzzling system!

Take a puzzle: the board and the pieces.

Turn them all over and write a coordinating number (or letter) on the back!

Boxes get destroyed quickly, so I put them in zip-locks, marked with the corresponding number!

This is awesome on many fronts! First of all, it’s no longer a huge headache to figure out which puzzle goes with what board, or puzzle pieces. And hello, number recognition!? My kids can (5, 3, and 20 months) can look at the back of the puzzle piece and find the bag with the corresponding marking. Teaching, cleaning, organization all in one? You know I love that!

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