laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

I’m Thankful


Today I am feeling tired. A little worn down. I’m sure it’s just because we stayed up really late last night. But I am looking forward to an extra little snuggley one tonight (a friend watched my little ones last night and tonight I’m watching hers!), and the kids have been practically pacing the floors waiting for her! And I do have lots to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for hubbyman and his new opportunities. Especially because this new position means not only a title bump, but it’s closer to home (3 miles!), it’s less hours, and it’s learning some new things (which he loves)! I’m very excited for him, and for us! And I’m very much looking forward to having him be around more!!

I’m thankful for friends! Who watch the kids, who play with the kids, that the kids totally love. MissE keeps saying, Mom, I really like it when My Big Cloth Adventure* watches me. I think she was hoping that instead of us watching her little one tonight that instead I would leave again. It’s so nice to know that I have some options with the kids! And… it was the FIRST TIME my children have been babysat by someone who was not a grandparent or aunt/uncle!! For any of them! While I did check my phone fairly frequently, I did not call, not even once- because I knew they were perfectly ok. And I knew that if they weren’t, I’d get a phone call!  (*obviously, Miss said her actual name, but I won’t!)

I am thankful for family! My grandma is here from out-of-state and while I haven’t gotten much of a chance to visit so far, I am looking forward to more time visiting!!

I am thankful that whatever yuckiness had taken over my household, is finally gone. Biggest looks like he’s lost a little big of weight, so I am feeding him peanut butter by the spoonful! And meals pretty much ’round the clock! But I am incredibly thankful to have my sweet boy back!

I'm thankful for a Biggest Boy who loves to take pictures. Every time I upload them, I am amused by some of my findings.

I am thankful for my sweet little girl and all her girly-ness. And the people that love her, and cater to that. She's even gotten an uncle or two to pain her nails.

I am thankful for a little boy who could find candy in the dark, with his hands tied behind his back.

I am thankful for a boy who is sweet, sensitive, and has a personality very much like mine. I totally "get" him.

I am thankful for sweet, nutella-covered kisses.

I am thankful for my children who like to get all dressed up... and then go to the playground, or play in the dirt.

Happy Friday to you and may you find lots of things to be thankful for this weekend!

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Just Run


I woke up this morning not feeling so hot. I’m hoping it’s just my allergies, and not whatever Biggest had. Because a)Hubby got a promotion/new position and they’re having a happy hour for him that I get to attend (which means we also have a babysitter! Thanks My Big Cloth Adventure!), b)I’m supposed to watch the Little Pumpkin that belongs to the mama from My Big Cloth Adventure on Friday night. and lastly (and probably most importantly!) I am awaiting “the call” from my sister-in-law to let me know it’s time to get my doula shoes on and go! So let’s all cross our fingers, say a prayer, send out some light and love… and have me not be sick! I am actually feeling a ton better than when I woke up, so I *think* I’m in the clear! My grandma is in town from another state, to hopefully be around for the baby’s birth, so I have been staying up late trying to get things in order and cleaned and prepared so that I can steal her away from my parents for a couple of days! Things are now all organized! (I even reorganized my pantry closets!)  I just have some CLEANING to do (you know, dusting, vacuuming, mopping… the fun stuff.) Anyways, I thought maybe you would enjoy this snippet of conversation as much as I did!

MissE: Why do we have to walk everywhere?

Me: We don’t have to. We like to. And the store is really close, so why not walk.

MissE: Can’t we just drive?

Me: Well, Daddy’s at work, so he has the truck.

MissE: Can’t Daddy just walk to work?

Me: No, it’s too far to walk. It would take too long.

MissE: Then he should just run.          

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The Peanut To My Butter


I am so excited that it’s Friday I could just sing…or dance! And I just might! We sing and dance while we clean, and little do they know- that’s the plan for today. A good ‘ol cleaning cleverly disguised as a dance party! I love it! If you tell me you’ve never had a dance party while cleaning not only will I not believe you (c’mon, I know you’ve let a move bust through the tunes while cleaning.), but I will defriend you. Unfriend. Whatever, we’ll be through. If you really haven’t. Crank up some of your favorite tunes from when you were in high school… and find yourself a’dancing! And then we can remain friends.

Now back to our regular programming.., I was so happy just a few minutes ago, and it seems my mood is fading fast. I’d better get to cleaning dancing as fast as I can so that I don’t lose my good mood completely. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

So now we’re really back to our regular programming. It’s Friday, and I’m thankful. After a weekend that felt like it lasted a week, I’d never been so excited to see my children. 4 days was at least a day too long to be separated from them! But I am very thankful for my parents (and littlest brother) for having them, and the kids had so much fun. It’s very apparent our separation was much harder on the mama than the children.

Mostly, I am thankful for hubbyman. I wasn’t sure he was so supportive of me becoming a doula, but he has been amazing. During the weekend he’d make me a drink, and let me debrief. And he’d get up and make breakfast, and more importantly, coffee, before I’d head back in. After 6 hours worth of driving, 21 hours of sitting on the floor trying to soak in every word, and 3 hours of coffee runs… it left me completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and definitely emotionally. Hubbyman has been so great. He’s put the big kids to bed and come up to find me still cuddling with littlest (What? After the weekend, I needed some extra cuddles!) and has taken him and put him to bed as well. And encouraged me to have some down time, some quiet time, and that it was ok to do so. He has done that almost every night this week. The first night I fell asleep on the couch, and the nights after that I’ve only spent maybe an extra hour awake and up, lounging on the couch. But it has been amazing for my own self. I actually have slept better, and better yet- I wake up, feeling like I actually got some sleep! And I am really shocked by how much more patience I have during the day. Apparently, I was really needing some down time. Where I’m not mom, and I’m not in charge, and even if it’s just mindlessly watching TV, I’m allowing myself some time to unwind, relax, and just be. And apparently, that’s exactly what I’ve been needing. I am so thankful to my hubbyman, for allowing and encouraging me to have some time for myself. (It’s like he knows me or something.)

Not only has he allowed me some time, but he was been incredibly supportive. He recently accepted a new position within his company and has promised to find ways that I could attend births, without having to stress over childcare, because he’d simply come home and stay with the kids. He is an incredibly hard worker and in his previous position they kind of let him do what he wants because of that- I’m hoping his next boss feels that way too! I will be doing daytime childcare for friends starting late fall/early winter, and so I’m trying to get all the births in that I can before then! (I have 3 on the books between now and then.) A local hospital has a great program where they offer doula services. While it’s unpaid, it would be a chance to get a good number of births under my belt, and stay active in the birthing community, and be able to schedule it. I’m going to wait a few months into doing childcare before officially signing up (I don’t want to over extend myself), but I’m very excited. And I love how supportive hubby is. He understands why I want to do it, and believes in it whole-heatedly. And is truly willing to explore every avenue possible so that I can do and achieve things that I want/believe in. It’s incredibly endearing. If I am successful in anything (be it professional or personal), a great portion of it is because I have his support. And I am so grateful.

Photo Credit: thestencilsmith.com

And now we’re off to my dance party! I hope you all have wonderful, dancing weekends as well!

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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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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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Ode To Sangria


This week has felt like it’s been a taste of extremes. We’ve had moments that felt like they were tastes of heaven, and nights that have surely been a taste of hell. Last weekend Biggest spent the weekend with his grandparents, and so I was left with just the younger two. And we had so much fun. Miss usually hangs with her bigger brother, so it was fun to see her and Littlest learning about playing together.

These two are something else. Miss is a chatter box and Littlest is the proverbial head strong bull in the China shop. They’re a little yin and yang, but usually, it works out. She’s mothery, and he’s fearless. She taught him to climb up all the ladders, and he taught her that the biggest tunnel slides are not so scary.

I just love that I captured their expressions!

On the way back we took a path through the “jungle” (a wooded trail), and Miss paused, looked closely at this pile of birch logs, followed by a sigh and a shaking of her head, nope, those aren’t diamonds.

Our weekend was followed by the crankiest, angriest Littlest boy we have ever seen. He has those terrible “2 year molars” coming in. Seems a little unfair, since he’s not even two. At least if he were 2, he’d have more words to convey his feelings. Yesterday was the first day all week for his nap to last even an hour, and last night he only woke up twice. Which in comparison is pretty good. However, his second waking was at 3:30 and while his teething medicine calmed him quickly, he lay restless and awake until around 5:30. Let’s just say this mama is going to need a lot of coffee for survival purposes today.

In the midst of the sleeplessness and the fussing, I am thankful.

I am thankful for the fun I had with my 2 littler ones.

I am thankful for the fun Biggest got to have- even if it was without me.

I am thankful I was with my dad when I locked my keys in the truck.

I am thankful that teething doesn’t last forever.

I am thankful for my hubbyman.

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for friends who come over “just to hang out.”

I am especially thankful for the full pitcher of sangria I have sitting in my refrigerator.  So thankful, I’m even willing to share. Some.

(for my sangria recipe, go here. Do it. It’s worth it.)

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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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I SHOULD Be Napping


I was hoping to do a post on maple syruping today… but I left my CD with all the pictures I took during the season in the truck… that is currently being driven by hubbyman. And can I just reiterate how annoying it is to have letters that don’t work on your keyboard! I had no idea how often I used those letters! Ugh. So I may still do the post later today, as he should be coming home for lunch. But the day has yet to unfold so we will see how it turns out! But you will see a post on it eventually, because I love the photos, I love the season, I love the syrup, and my syruping family!

I stayed up waaaay too late trying to catch up o the ever mountainous piles of laundry. It was pretty successful, but I am completely exhausted. I am hoping that it means we can just enjoy our day today. So far we’ve had movie snuggles, breakfast, and we’re currently doing some school work. Littlest is coloring Elmo. (Or Melmo as he calls him) MissE is requesting she get new letters in her name so she can try writing something else. I told her that she could just write other letters, but apparently she can only write letters that are in her name. And biggest is practicing his number writing skills. I am so thankful they enjoy learning and sitting and doing their lessons. Even if it’s just for now.

Aaannndddd since it took forever to write this with the on-screen keyboard… here are some things I’m really thinking.

(credit: designismine.blogspot.com)

(credit: www.someecards.com)

This is why I live in Minnesota!

(credit: pinterest.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

And lastly….

(credit: someecards.com)

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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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Choose Joy


It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? To just choose joy. But it’s not. But I’m trying. The truth is, when we first became parents, hubbyman had a bit of a short fuse. But his patience has grown with every year, and every child. And the sweet, sweet man that he is prays for patience and a softening of his heart, every night. Heartmelting, right?

My story is not so heartwarming. I’m pretty sure I was much more even-keeled, cool, calm, collected, and patient when I was a brand new mommy. But the brand new, wide-eyed mommy soon became the mommy of three. Three of the age where we’ve had 2 times of 2 in diapers (Biggest & Miss, and then Miss and Littlest. I guess by the time of littlest she was down to just nighttime, but still.). Which means that they are still ages where they often wake up at night. Ok, so the bigger ones don’t get up nightly and sometimes they’ll both stay sound asleep for weeks. (Ok, they don’t sleep for weeks, but they stay asleep, in their own little beds every night for weeks.) But Littlest normally still wakes at least once. Usually twice. And I’m with them all. day. every. day. EVERY. DAY.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that they have worn me down. My sweet little children that look like they could do no evil have (on more than once occasion) left me hiding and crying in the bathroom. My ego and my pride feeling bruised and beaten at the fact that I’ve been outdone by three children under five.

Part of the problem is my own fault. I am not good about fulfilling my own needs. Allowing myself a break now and then, instead of the every few months that it usually ends up being. Hubbyman gives himself breaks in the form of projects in the garage, working in the yard, or planning things on the internet, or drowning himself in the latest political debacle. What does that mean for me? Well, it means that after having a baby on my hip, a girl hanging on my leg, and a big boy who follows behind me closely… it means that I am also the caretaker for the evening. Suffice it to say by the time the kids go to bed, I have to stay up for another hour, just to regain some sense of self before going to sleep and doing it all over again! But when I take a breath, a very deep breath, I can remember all the things I really love about them and staying home with them. And I can refocus on the truth: that there’s really no place I’d rather be, no job I’d rather be doing, than staying home with them. And that’s the truth. And today I am choosing joy. I am choosing to end this post, turn off the computer, turn off the cartoons, and really listen to their sweet words, to really play trains, even if he won’t let me choose my own words to say. To brush a million different dollies’ hair, and to take Littlest to the bathroom for the bazillion time, just because he likes to sit on the potty and sing songs to me. And that’s a whole lot to be thankful for.

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