laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

My Daughter Is The Color Pink


My daughter just came upstairs in a pair of my shoes (heels). She wanted to tell me that she thinks my shoes are very beautiful. She heads back downstairs, but pauses at the base of the stairs to yell up to me, Mommy, all your shoes are very beautiful. But don’t tell daddy I said that. And don’t tell him I was wearing your shoes. He freaks out when I talk about beautiful shoes.

(photo courtesy of:parent24.com)

Now I like shoes and hangbags as much as the next girl. But if you ask me to choose between shopping and a day spent on the four wheeler in the mud… I’m gonna be covered in mud. Growing up, I attended classic car shows and had car posters on my wall. I ditched my barbies long before I ditched my Ferrari barbie car. And while I appreciate the art of makeup, I only practice it in theory. You know, in theory I would like to be perfectly made up and coiffed. But in reality my daughter ooohs and awwws when I wear my hair down because all she knows is mommy in a pony tail. And I never know where my makeup is when I want to use it, because I use it maybe bi-monthly. And I usually forget it in the car, since it’s normally done while hubbyman drives us to wherever we’re going. I’ve just never been the girl who gets up an hour earlier than necessary to curl (or straighten) my hair and get my makeup on. And at this point, I think it’s safe to say that I’m probably not going to evolve into that either. I’m ok with that.

I have all brothers- three of them. And since mom was a nurse and dad a teacher, most time at home (at least in the summers) were spent with dad, and said brothers. Suffice it say, we didn’t spend time doing a lot of girly things. Scratch that. We didn’t spend any time doing girly things. I’m not complaining. I didn’t really think about it. I enjoyed cars. It served me well while working at a Dodge dealership. I even enjoy helping hubbyman do work on the truck. Seriously. I don’t mind. I love football. (Like loooove.) And not just my team, football in general. I like sports. You won’t find me complaining over a date night spent at any sporting arena. I have spent many a sunny afternoon splashing in the mud, either in boots, or on the 4wheeler. I love to go fishing. My grandpa has a cabin in Canada that’s so remote that the last little bit has to be traveled by plane, the kind that lands on water. And I’ve caught the biggest fish of the trip before. Time well spent. Memories forever remembered. That’s the kind of girl I am.

I didn’t grow up wishing for sisters. I loved my brothers. (I still do.) They are still my best friends. (I do love my sisters-in-law!) So when it came to babies, I really didn’t have any feelings of longing for a daughter. My only longings were for a baby in general. I understood boys, I figured they would come easy as far as parenting. And the birth of Biggest E just reaffirmed that. I mean, I can puddle-stomp with the best of them. So when we found out we had a Miss on the way, I was a little uneasy. As month by month went by after she was born, I found myself enjoying my little girl more and more. And I have to tell you, I am so thankful I have a daughter.

That said, I am also incredibly confused. She is one of the girliest girls you will ever come across. Pink and purple are her favorite colors. She is a strawberry blonde-haired child and she loves that she has “pink” hair. She’s not really fond of anything that’s not pink or purple. And rarely willing to use anything that’s not one of those colors. She loves dolls, having her hair done, and her nails painted. Can you guess what colors?

Upon looking through all her photos, there’s lots of dirt-clad, mud-covered pretty pink dresses and sparkly shoes. I guess she might be like me after all, just a pinker version.

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Sunshinier IS A Word…Now


This was was supposed to be super warm and I guess I just assumed that also meant nice and sunny. Unfortunately, during the day yesterday it was blah. Gray and dreary. Until closer to evening and then the sun came out. But the sun gives me motivation and I was planning on it. I feel bad for my children some days. Because the sunshinier (whatever, I can make up words) it is, the more motivation it gives me for cleaning. In fact, if hubbyman wanted to come home and play with the kids outside, I would HAPPILY spend the time inside cleaning, alone. I’m weird like that. So my plan was to get all my cleaning done this morning, we’d have lunch, and then we’d spend the rest of the day outside. But littlest and biggest have been unordinarily whiny and clingy. It’s a trade off apparently, because MissE has been extraordinarily helpful. So we’ve been playing trains, talking about all the baking they’d like me to do this weekend (cookies, donuts, and if they have to eat actual food, then they’d prefer chocolate chip pancakes. And maybe daddy could cook some bacon.) . Speaking of bacon… that just reminded me of something. This was a facebook status of mine, from last week (I think):

I made (gf) chicken and dumplings the other day and after eating, Evan asked, “How come Daddy doesn’t know how to cook like a mommy?” I responded with laughter. Then he added, “You should teach him, before he’s 100.” I responded with, Whew, at least I have a few years. It’ll probably take until then to teach him. Evan shakes his head, sighs, and says, “At least he’s a good bacon cooker.”

Oh children. And when recounting this story to hubbyman, Biggest looked at him, and said You really don’t cook like a mommy.

And on that note I am thankful for a sense of humor.

I am thankful for a hubby and children with a sense of humor!

I am thankful that the tree trimming idiots people did not break anything. Other than a couple of shingles on the roof. (Not only did a big branch land on a piece of patio furniture, but one landed on our skylight… talk about that-coulda-been-a-disaster. Especially as I was standing right under it happened.) I will be even more thankful if the roses they trampled, and the lilac bushes they stacked their wood on, survive. I had a dream they ruined my roses (which are admittedly the only plant that I’m apparently capable of/willing to baby), and planned to go out and ask them to be careful around them. But there was no knock on the door, no one saying, Hey we’re here and gonna get to work! No,  they just pulled in and went to work… on all corners of the house. I couldn’t exit from anywhere! At least not without having to fear for my life.

I am thankful for a hubbyman who has a backbone made of steel. There is nothing that man is afraid to say. To anyone. Or at least most anyone. If you want something done, or need to call customer service- have him do it. It’s phenomenal.

I am thankful for all this sunshiney weather. It has helped me to sleep better at night, wake up more awake, and just feel better in general. Oh I love sunshine.

I am thankful that all of Biggest’s dental work is done, save one quick visit that is merely cosmetic. (He has lines on his front teeth where enamel never formed. At least those spots hardened, whereas all the work he had done was because the other spots did not harden.) He has been such a brave boy- we’re so proud of him!

I am thankful that for whatever reason, the stars have aligned and my house has remained in some sort of balance for about a month. It’s amazing. I feel much more zen.

I hope you have lots to be thankful for and wish you a house full of organization and good food!

Like ·  · Share · March 9 at 11:52am

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Snotty Mommy Brigades (Again)


I posted this last year, but I figured some of the sentiments bared repeating. (If you read the original then you know that yes, I’ve edited it a bit.)

Ok, so I’m going to say this thing that I’m probably not supposed to say, you know, because I am one, but… Some moms make me roll my eyes and think, No wonder some (of course, not all) women without children have a hard time with those that do. Yesterday marked the official opening of spring for me- we had our first trip to the playground of the season. And it was there I came face to face with the enemy. The Snotty Mommy Brigade. Ok, maybe they’re not the enemy, but they’re certainly not on my list of friends. The Snotty Mommies are women who have children, think that theirs are better, or yours are worse (or something like that). They give out calloused insults under the pretense of a compliment. (“I would never let my child go out in public wearing an outfit like that, my aren’t you brave.”) These women are harder to get in with than that uber expensive preschool in the city, with the 2 year long waiting list. And have a longer list of prerequisites than Harvard. I know you know the ones. They roll their eyes at the other moms trying to push their way through a door at the zoo, with a baby in one arm and a stroller in another, without bothering to help. But when the situation is reversed they order you to open the door for them. (I can’t help but roll my eyes and growl a little just thinking about it!) And it’s not just comprised of moms, there are some grandparents, some fathers, some with children/grandchildren, and some without. There are some women without children that have climbed aboard this bandwagon as well. Women who have forgotten to picture what life is like in someone else’s stilettos. Or flip flops.

They have no patience for children behaving like children, which let’s face it, even the best behaved, well-disciplined children, still behave like children. I know that no one wants to hear kids screaming and yelling and throwing a temper tantrum…ever. No mother does either. And father’s enjoy it even less. But just like I’m going to try and give you the benefit of the doubt when you roll your eyes at my kid (maybe it’s because you’d really like to be throwing a temper tantrum after the day you’ve had), please give me (and my child too) the same courtesy. Know that I try not to take them out when they’re at their hungriest, tiredest, crankiest… but sometimes it is just unavoidable. That’s the thing with the SMB (Snotty Mommy Brigade), they offer no support for a new mom, or even veteran mom, who’s running on little sleep and dealing with a child, or multiple children, who are hungry and tired. No support, only judgement. They are the Snotty Mommy Brigade. And sometimes it really does feel like they’re the enemy, raging war on us.

Then there is The Real Mommy Brigade. It is not comprised solely of moms helping out other moms. It is the babysitting grandma’s, the caring aunts, the attentive girlfriends, guy friends who happily become doting uncles, grandfathers, fathers, and (my kids’ favorites) uncles too! I am so thankful to say that our friends, (single, married, with kids and without) are so accepting of our parenthood (instead of holding it against us like some of our “friends” that are really a part of the Snotty Mommy Brigade), that they don’t mind our “adult night” being an evening of children’s entertainment, letting us get the kids in bed, and then being able to enjoy drinks and games while they sleep! (Did I mention, we love them?!) I do not believe that just because a couple, or a single, does not have children equates with them not liking children. Whether they decide to have children or not is inconsequential. Their participation is what matters. The one that runs errands with me (to help with the kids), the one that comes entertain the kids so I can clean up before visitors, the ones that I meet for a venting and a glass wine, the guys hubbyman meets for happy hour, and the friends that call up hubbyman for his help on a project (maybe it doesn’t sound like it, but for him, that is an outlet). The friends who would never invite us without including the children. The friends who’ve become family to our children. They are what get me through. They are what gets our family through.

The women at the park who told their children not to play with mine because they had “their real friends to play with,” they are not on my team. And I would never want someone like that on my team, taking swipes at me even from the sidelines. I am blessed and so thankful for my family, friends, and especially my Happy Hour Mistresses (because let’s face it, sometimes Mommy needs a time-out too!), who are on the front lines with me. And because I’m asking you to show a little grace, you little SMBrigader you, and because I’m still on that stinkin’ Love Dare (can you tell that I’m facing a challenging part right now?), I will show you grace as well. So even after you’ve instructed them not to play with my kids, I will give you directions when you’re having trouble telling another of your friends how to Community Center (that you can see from the playground). I will show my children what kindness looks like. I will show you what kindness looks like. Even when you tell your friend “This woman is telling me that I said the wrong street…No, of course I didn’t ask her…”  And when my daughter loudly says, Mom, I don’t like that lady. She is not a nice lady.” I refrain from telling her that I agree. (But oh, how I agree. And want to say -equally as loudly- No, she’s not nice and I don’t like her either.) Instead I look at her children, who are watching this brief exchange, and I offer this to my girl, “Sometimes people say things that don’t sound very nice, but they may not mean for it to sound that way. And it’s really not very nice for us to talk about someone else either. It might not sound very nice to them.

And then I walk off, with littlest E sleeping, wrapped to my chest, calling the big Es to follow me, on an adventure into “the jungle” (a path in the woods)… they come following hand-in-hand, but just before they’re out of the SMB’s hearing biggest E says, “Those kids might not think their mommy was nice.” And middle E responds with, “Yeah, not like our mommy. She is nice. She really is.” ♥ And just for a moment the not-so-nice-mommy and I meet eyes, and in that moment something passes between us, and we know which mommy won today’s Battle of the Brigades.

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Finding A Sense of Humor


With Monday being a holiday I keep thinking I’m a day behind. Well, I probably still am, but the week has continued without me! Which means that even though I keep thinking that today is Thursday… it is actually Friday! I’m not sure what to write today. Partly because I have about a million things that I could write about, partly because I have not been sleeping well lately (and am therefore completely exhausted), and partly because snuggling on the couch with my snugglers sounds a lot more appealing at the moment.  So I’ll keep this short and sweet. For your sake as well as mine. (As tired as I am, who knows where these mumblings could lead us?!)

  • I am thankful for a hubby who put all of the kids to bed last night. Next time, I’d suggest changing baby before sleep so that he doesn’t pee all over his mama in the middle of the night.
  • I am thankful for a baby/little man who peed in my bed at 4am. I’ve meant to wash the bedding all week. Now I have to.
  • I am thankful for a little man who now carries anything he can, everywhere, to use as a stool so that he can spend a ridiculous amount of time turning lights on and off. Just because he finally can. This is waaay cheaper than a babysitter. And just as effective. Maybe I’ll have enough time to put those sheets in the wash.
  • I am thankful for observant children. They noticed right away that daddy had tracked in dirt and snow that melts and turns into a mud puddle all throughout the kitchen.
  • I am thankful hubbyman remembered his lunch. My observant children have deducted from the footprints, that it happened while daddy was making his lunch.
  • I am thankful for a dog who chewed up one of biggest’s favorite dinosaurs. Leaving just a body. He needed a reminder of why we always have to pick up our toys. I wish it weren’t such a tearful one, but I’ll take what I can get.
  • I am thankful the dog choked on and then threw up the dinosaur parts. Maybe not he’ll stop attempting to eat them.
  • I am thankful that hubbyman surprised us by coming home for a quick lunch. I enjoy practicing patience, and maybe needed the practice. I’ve been given the opportunity, since now everything I say is countered with I want my daddy! Why did you make him go back to work?
  • I am thankful it’s still morning. It’d be a shame for a day like this to fly by.
  • I am thankful for a sense of humor.

Happy Friday everyone! Remember- there’s always something to drive you to drinking be thankful for!

*An hour after posting this, I went to put Littlest down for a nap. I came back to find something amazing. So I have two more thankful entries for you:

  • I’m thankful for children giving each other hair cuts. They needed ones and now I don’t have to do it.
  • I am thankful I didn’t have to give or attend MissE’s first hair cut. I’d probably be emotional about it. Big E just did me a favor.
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Winds of Change


Things are starting to get a little bit shaken up over here at the household full of E’s. (Seriously, I’m the only one in my house -other than the animals- that isn’t an E, did I ever mention that? My children think I feel left out, or that I should feel left out… I think it just makes me that much more special. Right?) Anyways, our house itself, is not in upheaval or anything. Ok, that’s a blatant lie. My house is pretty much always in a state of upheaval. Unless the children have gone to Grandma’s. What I’m really meaning is that things are changing over here.

Biggest is 5, and will be kindergarten age for this fall’s school session. We have decided (for numerous reasons) to homeschool. At least for kindergarten. We’ll take this year to feel our way out and see how we both feel about it. So we have been scouring the internet, fielding phone calls, and taking in numerous pamphlets via the good ‘ol USPS. It’s a little intimidating and a lot overwhelming. We think we’re settled. Now we just have to get our “school area” prepped and ready. Which means I need some more shelving. Which I’m hoping means a trip to The Container Store. (I love that place. Hubbyman took me there for Valentine’s Day last year- and I declared it the best Valentine’s Day ever. This is a true story.) So we’ve got that going on.

And… we’ve got the whole converting everything to homemade/non-chemical. I left some messages with some lovely etsy ladies yesterday on doing some reviews of their natural/homemade/chemical free home cleaning and personal products and in less than 24 hours I already have 2 in the works! This is SO exciting! Letjoy, of My Big Cloth Adventure, has been encouraging me to reach out to some retailers and start doing reviews. And I finally did it! So be on the lookout the next couple of weeks for a review and maybe a giveaway or two!

And… I’m going to be doing daycare for some very dear friends. They’re due in the fall. We just told them yesterday. They’re excited. I’m excited. We’ve been asked about doing daycare for a few other people. While I was always willing, it turned out, I didn’t always want to. And hubbyman has always been very adamant that my time at home be devoted to our children. He didn’t want them left out. And then there’s the deal of not being able to go places during the week. The thought of that always stressed me out when it was just the older 2. Now that there’s three. I really don’t do a whole lot of outings during the week. And I’m totally ok with that. I mean, we go to the park, we go to the farmer’s market, we go for walks, we play outside. We play inside. We do things, we just don’t drive places. And all the places I would feel I was “missing out” on (like walking to the farmer’s market, the park, or even the grocery store) are all walk-able. Even with an addition. And while, obviously, it won’t be the same as having my own brand new little baby. I am so happy to help with theirs. They are one of my favorite couples and I am so thoroughly excited for them. This was the first time where hubbyman and I were immediately like- we want to do this! And I’m excited to have a little baby I’ll get to snuggle on a daily basis! So while it will obviously mean some changes here, I am looking forward to it. Just as I am the rest of the changes goin’ on.  So bear with me as I’m trying to figure everything out and how to schedule it all out… and hold your breath until tomorrow. (Ok, don’t really, but it’s gonna be good.) I am going to share my super delicious ice cream cake that I made for hubbyman’s birthday a few weeks ago. And I may or may not have for lunch. (I got a piece out to have for lunch yesterday, and somehow ended up eating a salad. I’m not sure how that happened, but I promise not to let it happen again!)

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Does This Go Together?


Now I may have missed the actual time line to join in with all the bloggers that followed along with the 100 Way to be Kind To Your Children (from Toddler Approved!– who also happens to have totally awesome pinterest boards!). But does that mean it’s too late for me to work on being kind to my children? Absolutely. Not! Just in going through the list, I’ve found that not only will it be beneficial for my children, but it will be healthy for me too. It’s letting go of some of the pressure, some of the ideals… and just holding onto the fact that some days survival is good enough.

This weekend we will be creating like crazy! We are going completely organic (and homemade) in the cleaning products. I’ve made dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent before. (I liked the former but wasn’t impressed with the latter.) We use a homemade solution in our carpet cleaner. But as we continue on in our lives, trying to live with as much intention as we can… we came to the realization, did we really intend to put lots of chemicals on (and therefore into) our bodies, let alone our children’s? I think we all know the answer to that! So this weekend we will be traveling deeper down that path. Hubbyman made shampoo last weekend. He seems to like it. I’ll admit it does smell good. Hopefully I remember to charge up the camera so we can really document the process, as well as the outcome. An added benefit to making these things ourselves (other than the obvious health benefits)? Money. Pennies on the dollar, folks. Another benefit, you get to choose how they smell! Which for me and my smelly sensitivities is fantastic. My choices (of essential oils) lemon and tangerine. Together = heaven. Or pretty close to.

And since we’re on the topic, you might want to go ahead and read the 5 Grossest Things You’re Eating from the Supermarket. Or even better, The 15 Grossest Things You Eat. Might make you think twice. Or lots more. If you read those 2 alone, even without doing any further research, I don’t think you’ll ever question why we buy our beef from a family farm. Or why we buy organic milk. Or why we make just about everything from scratch. And why I like to can my foods myself.

On another note- I woke up thinking today was Thursday. So imagine my surprise (and delight) that today is, in fact, FRIDAY! (*insert a big WOHOO! here*)  And so… I’m going to start with my kindness, get my butt off of here, and make my kids clean their rooms! Hey, teaching them the importance of proper organization is showing them kindness, right? I like to think so!

*I am thankful for people I have never met, or have only met briefly. At least in person. I’m part of a MN Cloth Diapering Mamas group and they are so sweet (and just about the only group of mamas I have ever seen remain mama drama free. It’s refreshing!). And not only that, they have been willing to make donations to my brother & his expecting wife’s cloth diaper stash! Woohoo! It may not seem that exciting, but trust me when I tell you it is! And one of my absolute favorite diaper makers, Softbums (go ahead, like their facebook page too- tell them I sent you!), has offered to make a donation (in diapers)! This is incredibly amazing- and when I called my sister-in-law she definitely shared my excitment. (Plus, the softbum diaper style is her favorite. And out of the 2 diapers I got her for Christmas. One was a locally made by LetJoy Diapers (like her page while you’re at it too!), and the other was of course the adorable giraffe style Softbum. (I tried adding a picture, but for some reason, wordpress is not cooperating at the moment. Hopefully later I can add it in, because it is so cute that I really wanted to keep it for Littlest. Even though he has several softbum diapers himself, it’s the only print one that we don’t have!)

*I am thankful for girlfriends. With kids. Without kids. Girlfriends can be big lifesavers. And an evening with them can be so refreshing. Even without wine (last night it was *homemade* specialty lattes!). But let’s not kid ourselves, an evening with girlfriends and wine, well, only coffee can compete with that.

*I am thankful for children who love their mama. Possibly more than any other person in the world. (I say possibly, soley on the off chance hubbyman is reading this. I give them pretty  much all of my time and attention. And while Daddy is still their hero and the funnest of the fun, Mommy is the favorite.)

*I am thankful for children who are very independent. You know, for the most part. (And sometimes this backfires, like the other day when I caught Biggest teaching Miss who was teaching Littlest how to fly and be super heroes. Which, in reality, meant that they were wearing their hooded towels as capes while jumping off the top of the bunkbed to fly.) Remember this, closed doors = children up to no good.

*I am thankful that I enjoy cooking. Seriously, life would be a lot harder for this foodie family if that was not the case. Plus, my coffee wouldn’t have been quite as good without the homemade (yes, that’s right- you may now bow at my feet.), delicious donuts that I added a swipe of cream cheese frosting too. Yum.

*I am thankful to be married to a man who sees the big picture, even when I just want to focus on surviving the next ten minutes.

*I am thankful for any and every person who stops by, says hello, or just reads a line or two. I’m always surprised, humbled, and blessed by the people who (both in person and on-line) tell me they read what I write. And occasionally, they enjoy themselves. You are the people that keep me sane. (See, now I hooked you in- you can’t stop reading, or else I will lose my sanity. And then you’ll feel the guilt. Gotcha. I’m kidding. Mostly.)

Happy Day of Friday to You and Yours from Me and Mine!

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A New Kind of Love Day


Ok, so I intended to write a post for yesterday… but instead of writing about how much I love my husband, and my children- I spent time loving them. The kids and I spent the morning coloring and filling out and mailing Valentine’s (obviously we should have done this before the day, but what can you do?! Better late than never, right? I’m pretty sure the Grandma’s and Great Grandma’s will overlook the date when they open up the cards and coloring that are signed in the little one’s own hands.). We got a visit from my mom, enjoyed lunch with her, a quick stop in at my grandma’s and we were still able to beat Daddy home! (This was a major concern of the Biggest Boy- who loooves Valentine’s Day. In fact, this morning he asked Can today still be Valentine’s Day, puuhleeease? He will make some Hallmark Day loving girl very happy someday.) I was able to get the pizza dough made, the first round of personal (heart shaped) pizza dough cookin’ in the oven, and half of the chocolate-covered strawberries done before hubbyman walked in the door!   He helped top the pizzas (and by helped I mean he did all the topping stuff) while I dipped the strawberries, and then Miss E covered them in pink sprinkles. Big E covered them in blue. Our Valentine’s Day is all about getting along and loving each other, so we make blue a part of our Valentine’s. And hubbyman had brought home a free Valentine’s Day redbox movie (thank you facebook friends for sending me that!) for the kiddos to watch while we snuggled up on the couch with a glass of wine.

I was never really big into Valentine’s Day to begin with, and I think our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple is the only one we’ve ever done anything for. Usually we just make a nice dinner or something and then snuggle up. And by nice dinner, I mean homemade, heart-shaped pizzas. And I am totally ok with that. And holidays change as you have kids. Now it’s all about them and helping them find the joys in the little things. I love that my kids think Valentine’s Day is fun. We spent time making things for those we love, so they know they’re loved. Because let’s face it, it’s easy to lose sight of that from time to time. So it’s fun to give someone a reminder. And I believe that is the important lesson for the kids to learn. That we show our love to those we care about, that we show love to those we feel ambivalent about, that we show love to those we meet. Because we don’t know who they really are or what their lives are really like.

So maybe I didn’t get roses, and I didn’t get chocolates. But in all fairness, I requested he not spend the ridiculous amount on flowers this week, and he got me flowers twice in the last two weeks, just because he knew I was feeling sad. And, I don’t like chocolate. So he’s kind of off the hook on that one too. But I did have a terrific Valentine’s Day, celebrating the love that has turned two individuals into a family of five. And I hope you did too, no matter how you spent it.

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Simply Crafty


What do you do when you don’t feel like doing the things you should do? Yesterday, I found myself not wanting to get out of bed. And I just didn’t have it in me to do anything. So I decided to do the one thing that was sure to make the day go quickly and be filled with smiles and laughter. Crafts. Messy, funny, make the kitchen a distaster crafts. I’d found a bunch of things I wanted to try for Valentine’s Day, as well as hubbyman’s birthday (tomorrow! And today is his last day in his 20’s, so tomorrow’s a big day!)… so I got out the paints. I made a tablecloth out of newspapers and got out the poster board. Projects I wanted to try didn’t turn out quite as I anticipated, but an accidental one turned out so great I plan to frame them!

Here’s one I wanted to make for Grandparents:

(clicking the photo will bring you to its origin. All credit goes to meetthedubiens.com)

Looks easy and cute, right? Just put some finger paint on their arm and hand, and use their fingers to make the hearts…

As you can see, it didn’t turn out exactly like my muse. Turns out it’s a little hard to get the 3 and under crown to get their little fingers to fully cooperate in the heart making.

But, doing these did lead me to something I thought was cool, and repeat-worthy, even if it was on accident.

I am totally going to frame one from each of the kids. I had them each do three or four so that we’d get lots of good choices. Littlest probably had to do ten before I could get him to stop trying to grab the paper when I’d take his hand off. It started as an accident when I was trying to make the Valentine’s trees, and they’d gotten another color of paint on his hand and on the plate that I’d squirted the finger paint onto. And the result was so cool, it demanded repeats. I had red, yellow, green, and blue tubes of finger paint. I simply squirt a small amount of each onto a paper plate, stick in the kid’s arm, rub around a bit, followed by the attached hand… and put it to paper. And frame. And look upon with fondness for years to come, Easy peasy. (while children point it out to their friends saying, Parents get attached to/save the weirdest crap.)

These were inspired by the fact we were already covered in paint from painting a poster board Birthday Card for the hubbyman. Today he turns 30 and may be mourning his youth. I think the fact that he still has great hair evens things out. Either way, we love him and wish him the happiest of birthdays! (If you visit my facebook page you can see their sweet/funny birthday video for their daddy.)

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Live To Love Another Day


I opened this tab and sat here and stared at the blank screen, willing thoughts and words to come. I stared at the screen some more. I opened another tab. I checked my facebook notifications. Nothing terribly interesting there. Although, it turns out, I am not alone in my enjoyment of the combination of red wine and snickerdoodles. But maybe that’s because they didn’t know that was my dinner. Whoops. (I don’t care.) It turns out, that the emotions I’m feeling, that I’ve been feeling, they’re not fleeting. Apparently I have to deal with them or something lame like that. I spent the majority of the day in tears.

Now I know that I talk of my love of wine and it’s powerful healing and relaxing properties, but the truth is… I’m not a big drinker. I don’t need a glass a day; I don’t even want a glass a day. I certainly enjoy a good glass of wine (my father in law just made a new batch of plum port, and wow, is that good!), but it’s just more of a eh, if it’s here I’d have some, maybe. Unless I have an already cold can of Pepsi, because more likely that yells my name a little louder. And I kind of have a “rule” that I don’t drink before hubbyman gets home. It’s not really a rule, and truthfully, hubbyman wouldn’t care. I just don’t feel like it (I’m still pumping myself full of caffeine to survive until he gets home, I don’t need anything that makes me more tired!), plus I feel like it can be a slippery slope once you go there. However, there have been days when things have happened or bad moods have occured and I’ve texted the hubbyman to say Is it too early to start drinking? To which he always responds, Nope. And then he gets home and finds that I never even poured myself a glass of anything. Or if I did, it just sat there on the counter. Well, yesterday, I poured myself a glass of wine. And while I only had a couple of sips by the time hubby came home, he took one look at the wine on the counter, and immediately looked at me, and asked what was wrong. I shrugged and shook my head. He immediately came over and gave me a hug, and said, last night you cried and today you’re drinking wine… what’s going on? And I couldn’t even respond. The emotions were too fresh, the pain too real. And then he quietly said, You want another baby. And I just cried. I know, we have three children and our oldest is only 5. We are crazy, busy. But I love it. And I love them. And I am not saying that we would actually have another baby, but I would love another one. But that is not an option. And it’s not a choice I get to make.

While I was terribly disappointed that hubbyman had to drop the kids back off after Tae Kwon Do to head back in to work, I was very surprised to see him return with roses, for me. For the second time in a week! (This is unheard of in our household! Truly, unheard of! I asked if this was his way of getting out of paying the higher prices for flowers when it’s Valentine’s Day. He claims he didn’t think about that until after he bought them. I think I believe him.) I’m sure at some point, we’ll probably talk, with words. But for now, the support of him just holding me, of just acknowledging why I’m sad, and showing his love and concern. That’s pretty powerful. The truth is, I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about it. It’s one thing to type it out, but it’s another thing completely to use my own voice, to have to hear those words. I woke up today, and felt…exhausted. Emotionally spent. I’m hoping it’s a step in the right direction, at least.

In the midst of all my grey skies, I am still surrounded by the humor and excitement that is my children. I wish I could have gotten it on video, but I forgot my camera at home… during Madonna’s halftime performance, my MissE (who loves all things dance and singing) was glued to the TV. When the cheerleading part came on, she stood directly in front of the TV, mimicking their moves and even singing along. (And I promise she has never heard that song before.) It was hilarious and amazing all at once. And further proof that we need to get her tiny little behind in a dance class.

And my oldest just informed that I am making him freak out due to how much annoying I’m being… on that note, I think I have some children to annoy, I mean play with.

my dinner... Red Wine and Snickerdoodles

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Mom Challenge


Do you ever have one of those dreams where everything feels so real, and something happens that wakes you up either feeling very a) happy, b) sad, or c) mad? Me too. In fact, I had one of those dreams last night. And I woke up furious. And the fury was directed mainly at the hubbyman (who luckily for him, had already left for work). At first I was confused as to why I was so angry with him. I didn’t immediately recall the dream and I was trying to think of anything to happen recently that would cause that kind of affect. And slowly I remembered the dream. Whew. At least I don’t have to spend any more time being mad at hubby for something he didn’t do. (Or do I stay mad because of the potential that it’s something he could/might do at some point, some day? Hmm… no, I won’t. That sounds like a lot of useless effort, and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.) No, he didn’t have an affair, or leave me, or anything like that. And I don’t remember all the specifics, other than he volunteered me or something, saying that I would sit down and do it and not be allowed to leave until it was done. And man did that cause a scene. Maybe because I got up, yelling and stomping like a 2 year old and fled the perfectly lovely dinner we’d been having with some family members… in my dream, of course.

Well, I decided not to hold hubbyman accountable for his actions in my dreams. (You’re welcome, my dear. I’m generous, I know.) So I put on my big girl pants, and went about my business. My business being primarily of the homemaker variety. I cleaned forever, I did mountains of laundry, and I even discovered that there is actually carpeting on the floor in my children’s bedrooms! Who knew?! The day was not going so bad, considering my mood at its start. My biggest boy even gave me a moment of reprieve with his wit: Whew, it’s a good thing I turned to five now. Five is a big helper, and it looks like you need a lot of help around here. (he says as he looks around…hey, he’s not wrong.)

*Just as I typed the last sentence, the computer decided to no longer be connected to the internet (something it decides to do more often then it decides to connect)… and my children were left alone with my laptop while skyping with their cousin (*cough* hubbyman *cough*), and knocked it off the desk or did who knows what to it, so that now the screen lights up an array of beautiful colors, but that is it. (Sad face) When hubbyman got me the computer, he had enough presence of mind to buy the extra warranty, so this week we’ll be bringing it back (it’s only 6monthsish old) and hopefully we will come home with a new, working laptop. And then I can get back to blogging. In the meantime, I’ve been deep cleaning all of the bedrooms, and more. Today, well, this week, it will be the office area. Which means the filing. Deciding which papers can be tossed, shred, or kept for forever never to be looked at again. I also have Biggest’s birthday party to plan this weekend. One I thought we weren’t going to have (after setting a date up, hubbyman decided he didn’t want to do it… but grandparents vetoed and we’re back on!). Needless to say, I have lots of planning going on! Hopefully, the internet fairies will be on my side and I’ll still be able to do some posting in the next couple of days (I’m going to want to share all the fun things for his birthday party… I love kid birthday parties!) ! Until then, I’m going to share this with you. I tried to print out just a couple of them, but the printer decided I needed 5, so this will probably be posted all over the house (I’d planned for the fridge, bathroom, and bedroom, but maybe I’ll post it on their doors as well!)… it’s terrific! And I think even the best mothers can use the reminder to parent with purpose every day, and I think this will do that. Check it out!

(clicking on the picture will bring you to the page! be sure to go check it out and print out a copy for yourself!)

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