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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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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Always, Always, Always


I read a post on facebook this morning that said: There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

(Credit: Just Feelin' Good on Facebook. Clicking the photo will bring you to it!)

While I am still struggling with some things, there (as always) are still things to be thankful for. And since it’s been a while since I’ve remembered to do a Thankful Friday post… I’m doin’ it today! Some of these things have happened and some are happening this weekend… I’m thankful just knowing some of the things we’ve got comming up!

  • I am thankful for a day to celebrate my wonderful hubbyman (yesterday was his 30th!)!
  • A brother (and sister-in-law) that want to spend time with the people who’ve made them aunts and uncles. And requesting an overnight with them!
  • And parents willing to take Littlest for an overnight!
  • That Littlest doesn’t mind and actually enjoys being the only one and getting all the attention!
  • A whole afternoon, evening, night, and morning without children!!
  • A night out with friends!
  • That I’m feeling a little more like myself
  • That I’m giving myself permission to feel however I feel, for however long I feel like it
  • That I already miss my children (yes, I really am thankful for that. It’s a wonderful reminder of how much I love them, even when they’re driving me a little batty.)
  • For family and friends ready and willing to give me their support
  • For a very supportive husband (x a million!)
  • For children who are so aware of my feelings, and are always willing to give extra hugs and kisses when they think I need it
  • For my children.
  • For my children.
  • For my children.
  • For Biggest
  • For Miss
  • For Littlest
  • Repeat x a million

Now, this doesn’t really go in line with my  normal Thankful Fridays (but I am thankful to have people in my personal life, and in my blogosphere life that are supportive and caring in my own mental health!), but a couple weeks ago it was Mental Health Awareness week, and it went by without my notice, so I am posting this photo now, because it’s good to be aware of it any time of the year!

(Credit: facebook group I Jump, You Jump. Clicking on the photo will bring you to the original link.)

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Season of Thankfulness


I can hardly believe we’re just a couple short days away from Christmas! Seems like last week we were still waiting on Thanksgiving! But that’s how it goes every year, isn’t it? And sadly, I missed out on yesterday’s “Simple” post… I seem to have been doing that a lot lately. And if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I sat down to do it, loaded all the necessary photos, and just didn’t feel like it. So the kids and I made another round of sugar cookies instead. And I don’t regret it one bit! But I am hoping to start doing  more recipes again! So that’s something you can be looking forward to (or not!). I have pictures and recipes just waiting to be shared! Everything from monkey bread pizza, sugar cookies!, and mug cakes (they take 2 minutes to make! seriously!). And more!! And they’re all gluten free! And soooo delicious! And since today is FRIDAY (duhn, duhn, duhn) and the fact that this is a season where we are bombarded by things to do, things to make, things to buy, things to give, things to get, and people to see…  it’s easy to get lost in all of that and forget all the things that are really important during Christmas, and always. Along with being thankful. For friends, family, jobs, homes… here are some things I’m  incredibly thankful for!

  • For a hubby who will have TEN DAYS IN A ROW off!! I’m so excited about this I can hardly contain myself! And my mom said that they’ll take the kids for a day during Christmas break, so we’ll actually get a day together! That’s really something to be thankful for!
  • For my Christmas present. Yes, I know it’s just a thing, but it’s a wonderful, pasta extruding thing that I’ve been wanting! And hubby was thoughtful enough to think of it and get it for me! (And let me use it before Christmas even! I did have his permission to open it, but I’m not sure how he would’ve stopped me since I was home when the Williams-Sonoma box arrived!)
  • I take great joy in finding “perfect” gifts for people! I am thankful that I have wonderful, beautiful people in my life to love and appreciate!
  • I am thankful for my NEPHEW that’s a’growin’ in my sister-in-law’s growing  belly!!
  • I am thankful for the sensitive side of hubbyman that who admitted he’d hoped it was a niece, because he thought it would be fun to have a cute,  little niece! (But it will be fun that Littlest with have a cousin close enough to his age that they’ll be playmates!)
  • I am thankful for surprising the kiddos with the arrival of their cousin and aunt and uncle from China!
  • I am SO THANKFUL that we got a dusting of snow this week… and that there’s lots coming down now! (please, keep snowing! please, keep snowing!)
  • I am thankful for every person that stops by here! The ones who read it occasionally, the ones who read it regularly, and even the ones who just skim through. (*ahem*hubbyman*)

And I’m off to go decorate some gingerbread men, snowmen, Christmas trees, dinosaurs, monkeys, elephants, and strawberry-shaped cookies!  What you don’t think dinosaurs or strawberry shortcake land berries are Christmasy? Well, you obviously haven’t seen our nativity then!

Merry Christmas, my dears! And may you accept all the love and hugs a little more graciously than my little ones!

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Nativity on Safari


I debated writing a post at all today…I’m tired, yes. But that’s basically normal. I don’t know why I threw in the basically, it is normal. But I’m feeling determined and motivated (that is basically unnormal*) and wanting to finish up some things. And then I remembered how important it is to stay thankful in life. That can be a big attitude changer. Maybe you wonder why I always post a few blurbs (sometimes more) of things I’m thankful for every week. The answer is really very simple. I need to. I have a tendency towards melancholy and can so easily get lost in the life of a stay at home mom, with 3 still little ones. The very act of typing out even just three things I am thankful for, even when -maybe especially when- I’m feeling unthankful, can change my attitude, or at least my focus. It can take a morning where every toy in the house has been dumped out, yet again, and switch my focus back on to things to be thankful for: my little mess makers, and the fact that we are in a place where we can provide for them, and that they have family that loves them so much they’re always bestowing new and messier toys for them. These are real things to be thankful for. And I am. Sometimes I just need the reminder. Thankfulness shouldn’t just occur on Thanksgiving. It really should be a way of life.

*Yes, I know it should have read ABnormal… but as you can see, an italicized ab doesn’t have the same  je ne sais quoi as the UN. 😉

 

And here they are-

  • health. We all had some virus or cold last week and it was sooo annoying. In the scheme of things, I am thankful that colds are the extent of our health worries.
  • Sometimes I get frustrated with all that comes with protecting my little Miss and her gluten allergy/Celiac disease. I am thankful that we discovered it when she was young so that these things are a way of life for her, and normal. And that we figured it out before it did permanent damage. I am also thankful this is our greatest health concern for her! As there are families with far bigger health concerns for their children.
  • I am thankful for girlfriends to unwind with, bitc…..um, complain to, and laugh with!
  • I am thankful for a husband who respects this time. And that he does things on his “honey do” list while I”m gone!
  • I am thankful for our families.
  • I am thankful for my monkeys. Who are currently behaving like children. I love them and the sound of their sweet laughter.
  • I cannot believe I’m saying this, but… I’m thankful for Christmas time. I am thankful for get togethers, and decorating (minimally), and seeing the magic in my children’s faces. And the fun crafts and baking you get to do!

Chocolate covered strawberries that are decorated so they look like Christmas lights! Except for the ones with roasted coconut- those are just because they're delicious!

The 2ft tree the kids got to decorate- complete with small stuffed animals and keychain toys.

No nativity is complete without a footless goose, a puppy bigger than the people, and a panther. Yesterday the nativity had gone on safari with a plethora of giraffes, hippos, and a rhino.

Happy Friday!!

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Today Is Friday


I spent the whole week looking forward to Friday, waking up every morning thinking surely today has to be Friday (and it never was). And now it’s here and I feel a bit indifferent about it. But it is Friday, and there are things to be thankful for…

 

Like my oldest not plummeting off his bunkbed to his death. Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but thankfully I went running down the stairs at the first shriek of Mommy! And found him hanging by his feet from the railing. Needless to say, we were both a little shaken, and a lot thankful.

I am thankful for a little girl who until recently would never have left my side willingly. This morning she quickly finished breakfast and begged her brother to go downstairs and play with her. Hugely thankful for her growing independance.

And I am thankful for the hilarity my littlest man brings to my life. The fact that he’s listening and understanding more and more every day! And the fact that he can almost always be distracted with the words, Where is the puppy?!? And he’ll almost always go off in search of beloved friend (who is in fact, a real animal)…and promptly attempt to climb on top of him.

Oh, I am also thankful for a puppy who will let Littlest E (really all of them) climb all over him with not so much as a nip or a bite. And the fact that he saves his “kisses” for the children and not for me, I’m totally thankful for that.

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TGIF


Thank God I’m Funny or this life would be miserable! Ok, so I’m just kidding. (well, kind of, anyway!) I am truly thankful today is Friday. It’s been a long week, with me not feeling the greatest and all, plus how busy we’ve been all summer long. I’m ready for some time to just lounge around. That probably won’t happen as we were invited to three different birthday parties this weekend! But it’s a nice thought!

This week I am thankful for our health. I know it sounds funny, considering how I’ve been feeling this week, but really. Allergies in my youth meant weeks of feeling miserable. (Sign of how bad they were, I ran into an old choir teacher and they asked if my allergies were as bad as they used to be. Bad enough they were remembered a decade later. Blech.) And the kids too. Big E’s first year was filled with colds and sickness. And his second winter was about the same. This last year though we’ve had a couple bouts of sniffles, but that’s it. Everyone has really been healthy. And that is such a blessing with little ones. Because it’s heart wrenching to know your children don’t feel good and there’s nothing you can do about it! Or at least limited amounts of things you can do about it! So today, I am thankful for health. Mine, theirs, and the health of our parents too, who’ve all had various health issues or scares these last few months (or years)… and so far, only good news has come along with test results! *big sigh of relief* Thank You Lord! Whew! So that’s the thing that’s on my mind this morning, that I’m especially thankful for! Here’s a short list of a few others:

  • A summer of friends! Old friends visiting from afar, late nights filled with girl talk, day times filled with laughter, reacquainting with old friends, friends with kids our kids’ ages! Friends having babies!
  • Some not over 85 weather (finally!)! Don’t get me wrong, I looooove summer and the sun, but we’ve had so many days over 100. So I’m enjoying the reprieve. I hope fall takes it’s time getting here. (*pleading*)
  • Finding a big playground right next to a nice swimming beach… a mile from my house! Perfect! I wish I would’ve discovered it before the heat wave, but at least I know where I’ll be next summer!
  • I’ve always gone to small, local, suburbany farmer’s market (you know, just your town’s own market), with the occasional exception of St. Paul’s FM every once in a while growing up. This summer I have fallen in love with the big ones. I’ve only been to the Minneapolis one once, but it was amazing! Don’t get me wrong, I still love our town’s farmer’s market (and it’s a good size one too- plus it’s just down the street!!), but for variety (and fruit!) the bigger ones are excellent!
  • Family members who are loving and supportive. (And make a mean Strawberry Shortcake pinata when called upon!)
What are YOU thankful for?

 

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TGIF


Today’s Thankful Friday is all about the kiddos. Some days it’s easy to forget just what a privilege it is to be their mama. With all the heat we’ve been having, we’ve done lots of fun activities to keep ourselves entertained and cool! And everywhere we’ve gone I’ve had people (strangers even!) come up to tell me how well behaved the E children are. And they really are. But just like most people probably think I’m well behaved… sometimes I lose my cool too. And it’s just so easy to sometimes equate busy with naughty. My kids are very busy. Always on the move, always talking, and always playing… and sometimes when they’re not moving or playing in the way I want or the place I want, or with more toys than I would want, it’s easy to feel like they’re being naughty, when in fact, they aren’t, they’re just energetic vocal children! So today I’m thankful for the fun we’ve had during these hot, hot days; the friends we’ve gotten to visit with; and the little people in my life who make it all worthwhile. And I am so thankful for them each individually. I know some people say that they don’t have a favorite, and some of them say they do… I never could. They are each so different and bring joys in different ways.

  • Biggest E is my sweet boy. He is the one to tell me that he loves me more than anybody he’s ever known. Loooves bear hugs (he’s not happy until he’s practically knocked you over) And gives kisses for days. (tonight he asked if he could also share his kisses with his daddy. After careful consideration, I gave him permission, just this once. He told me not to worry, because he was willing to give me kisses for all the dark times and all the sun times.)
  • Miss E is just a wonder to behold. Not only is she beautiful, she is smart, and she is sassy. And I’m fairly certain she’ll have her parents outsmarted in no time. But she is my girl. She wants to sit and paint our toenails together. She likes to sit in the bathroom while I shower and talk to me. She’s always a willing partner to go shopping with. And while the red in her hair may show signs of her temper, she is growing more compassionate and thoughtful as she grows. Even last summer, at just under 2, as soon as she’d wake up in the morning, throw her arms around me, and declare, “Oh, Mommy, I was missing you!”
  • And my youngest E, well not only is he my medical miracle, he is such a happy, good natured boy. He makes the funniest faces, and has the silliest laugh. And even by 6 months, he was already a hugger. He loves to throw his hands around my neck. He’s also into kisses, especially if he sees his siblings getting in on the action, he’s quick to push them out of his way to lay one on me. And he’s such a cuddler (really, they all are), he’s always willing to get a quick snuggle in before going off to play.
I wouldn’t change any of them, and I love them all dearly… through and through.
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Thankfully Friday


So I forgot all about yesterday being Thursday and failed to do an “Impressively Simple” post…boo on me. I actually had forgotten about today being Friday… so when I remembered that, I remembered what I should’ve done yesterday. But what I did do yesterday was get the whole upstairs of my house deep cleaned, organized, and even rearranged! Yay me! Which is very impressive, and not at all simple! : )

The things I’m thankful for this week…

  • Uncles who take the big ones on a movie date (how else could I have gotten it clean?!)
  • A sweet little boy who was happy to just play near me while I cleaned!
  • A husband who believes in living as organically as I do (maybe even more!)
  • living so close to the farmer’s market!
  • impromptu visits with like-minded friends
  • A garden that is chalk full of growing peppers!! (mmm, just think of all the yummy salsa!)
  • A bowl full of raspberries picked from my very own yard
  • Rain! (you won’t hear me say that very often) It’s keeping the imminent heat wave at bay!
  • A gray day that is encouraging us to cuddle up together and just have a day of snuggling and play!
  • While there are dishes to do, and toys to pick up… upstairs is organized! I am SO thankful for that! Seriously, feng shui for sure! I feel so much better to have that done!!
  • that I have friends to make plans with! (friends I have made plans with this week and for next)
  • The fact that it’s Friday and hubbyman will be home for the weekend!!!

And my littlest boy turned ONE!! (I'm not really sure I'm thankful that my last baby is growing up... no, no, I am... just... waah! *sobs*)

 

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