02-29-16 Hairstyles and Advice from Mommy


Do you see this awesome hairstyle that Big E is sporting? Want to know how you can achieve this hip new look? It’s easy, you just need to follow a few simple steps.

1- Brush your teeth with your electric toothbrush.

2- When said toothbrush finishes its cycle, turn it back on.

3- Apply toothbrush to hair and move gently around your scalp. The mix of saliva and toothpaste will not only massage and exfoliate your scalp, it will also create a long lasting hairstyle that can survive at least a night of sleep and a whole day of play!

Voila! Perfection. See? Easy peasy!

So, I had a rough parenting moment this morning. C likes to pick on Big E mercilessly. Every time I turn around she is poking him, putting her hands in his face, etc. Anything that she knows won’t hurt him but will seriously annoy him. And he falls for the bait every single time. No sooner does she do something he comes running to me to tattle on his big sister. After about eight times of this happening this morning I had had enough!

Big E came running into the room, Mommy! C put her foot in front of my face. 

Big E, the next time she does that, smack her foot as hard as you can. At this point the kids looked at me like I had three heads. I spend most of my time telling them not to hurt each other, and here I was advocating the opposite!

While Big E stood there a little bit stunned, I saw C get a worried look in her eye. But what if he hurts me?!?! She whimpered.

Then maybe you won’t put your foot in his face again!!

I walked out of the room, leaving my kids completely dumbfounded. Needless to say, C didn’t do anything else to annoy him for the rest of the morning!

02-28-16 A Little Bit of Paleontology

Awhile ago someone gave us a Smithsonian activity for the kids. It is a chance for them to dig up dinosaur bones! It’s a big block of dirt that comes with tools like a geologic hammer  for excavating mini dinosaur replica bones. What is pretty cool about it is that the two dinosaurs in the kit are the triceratops and the t-rex, which were the two big dinosaurs that the kids saw this weekend. They have been asking to do this activity for months, so it was really neat to be able to do it the day after they got to see them in person. In typical three year old form, Big E had fun, but lost interest after awhile. However, C really got into it and was digging and digging. We eventually had to put it away to make room for dinner, but I do see many digging evenings in our future!

02-27-16 A Day at the Museum

We live near Washington D.C.

That means we never go to Washington D.C. It usually seems like too much work to fight the traffic and hoards of tourists, so we end up never going. Which is a shame, because D.C. is home to some of the best museums in the country (and most of them are free!) (One a side note, when I moved to NYC and first went to a museum there, I was shocked that I had to pay. Pay for a museum?!? Madness!!) I had never realized how lucky we were to have access to these amazing places!

Well, today we decided to take the kids in for a few hours. We packed lunches and ate in the car. We found a parking spot a short distance from the mall. Initially we thought about the Air and Space Museum, but the kids have been asking lots of questions about dinosaurs, so the Museum of Natural History was the place for us. It has always been my favorite museum, and I really enjoyed introducing my kids to it. I hadn’t been there in years so it was fun to see the new exhibits. I really can’t wait to take them in for another visit!

Tonight we went to a beautiful candlelight vigil for a neighbor that recently passed away. His fiancé and son are always in our thoughts and prayers. We feel blessed to have been a part of this evening.

02-26-16 A night out

It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I sneak away from the house, leaving Tim with the kids, and I go out to dinner with a friend. I have to fight the guilt of leaving my family after having spent the whole week away from them at work, but I also recognize that I need this time to recharge and connect with other people.

It’s a chance, at least for a few hours, to not be needed.

During these precious hours no one needs me to wipe their nose, turn on lights, prepare a meal, or referee an argument. There are no videos to edit or deadlines to meet. There are no meetings or script revisions.

It’s just me and a friend and I can just be. I can laugh. I can share. I can listen. And then I can return home, refreshed and ready to be needed again.

02-25-16 The Interview

On exactly this day last year I interviewed the kids. I decided that tonight, one year later, I would ask them the exact same questions and see what new answers I would get.

1. What is something that Mommy says to you?
C- I love you.
E- Um, I love you.
2. What makes you happy?
C- When we play.
E- Hmm… When somebody hugs me.
3. What makes you sad?
C- When somebody hits me in the face. (Has anyone hit you in the face?!?!) Well, sometimes. (Obviously I need to investigate this further!!)
E- When somebody be’s angry at me.
4. What makes you laugh?
C- When somebody tells me a really, really, really, really, really funny joke.
E- When somebody tickles me .
5. How old are you?
C- Five
E- Three
6. How old is Mommy?
C- I don’t know. 25.
E- 4
7. How old is Daddy?
C- 23
E- 5
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
C- Take a walk to the park.
E- My favorite thing to do is watch tv.
9. Who is your best friend?
C- Kara
E- Lukie
10. What are you really good at?
C- Jumping
E- I’m really good at helping.
11. What did you do today?
C- Play on the side off the hill at school.
E- I did today. I watched tv and I ate and I played and I watched tv and I went to sleep.
12. What is your favorite food?
C- soup
E- peanut butter sammiches. You mean peanut jelly sammiches.
13. What is your favorite song?
C- Melody. It’s from Psalty, remember?!?!
E- Joshua the battle
14. What is your favorite color?
C- blue
E- black
15. What is your favorite animal?
C- kitties
E- lion
16. What did you dream about?
C- Can I just say I don’t remember it? There was spiders and other worms. There was all different kinds of insects all over the school. The bugs opened her mouth and she accidentally ate them. She tried to get them out, but she couldn’t! (Sheesh! This one actually woke her up screaming a few weeks ago!)
E- Mickey Mouse
17. What is your favorite toy?
C- My favorite toy is Allison (baby doll.)
E- Transformers
18. What is your favorite fruit?
C- My favorite fruit is bananas.
E- blueberries
19. What are you going to be when you grow up?
C- a vet
E- a daddy
20. What is your favorite thing about Daddy?
C- He plays with me. That he loves me.
E- Huggin him.
21. What do you like about Mrs. Rebecca?
C- That she takes care of me when you are working.
E- (I lost him at this point. He ran off and never finished the questions.)
22. What do you like about Ephraim
C- That he’s a baby. That he’s cute.
23. If you could go anywhere in the whole world where would you go?
C- Kara’s house
It was fun to do this little exercise and see the similarities and differences from last year.

We got an impromptu visit from my mom and sister this evening. It was great spending time with them! I just wish we could see them more often! Love you guys! 🙂

02-24-16 A post about boogers…


What’s on my back?!? I asked Big E as I sat on the floor in my bedroom. I had been reading something on my phone when I suddenly felt something wet touch my back, between my shoulder blades. When I turned to look behind me I saw him standing there with a sheepish smile on his face.

It’s a booger!!! He stated proudly, the smile growing across his face.

Get it off of me!!! I practically shouted at him.

I can’t! It’s really wet! 

It’s bad enough when a kid sneezes on you and you get showered with unintentional boogers, but here was one smeared on my back on purpose!!! Not only that, but it was directly in the middle of the spot on my back I cannot reach myself. There I am, sitting on the floor, smeared boogers down my back, staring down a three year old who clearly thinks this was the most awesome idea he’s ever come up with. I wish I could say that I turned this incident into a teaching moment. That we had a nice long conversation about the pros and cons of depositing your boogers on other people. But that seriously didn’t happen. This was a freak out mommy moment that had me running to the bathroom for a wet towel and ordering him to wipe off my back until I was convinced I was no longer snot streaked. Here’s hoping the meltdown will at least cause him to think twice before using his mother as a human tissue ever again!

02-23-16 The man at the store…

C’s teacher had put in a request for us to send in a specific type of notebook, and I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I emailed her and she said she had an extra one that C could have. I asked what I could get her in return and she asked for boxes of tissues. So, on my way home last night I stopped at the store to get some.

The line to check out was long, and with only one register open we were all getting antsy to move along. Finally another line opened and I made my way to that one, with two men in front of me. The first man at the register was an amiable gentleman buying his groceries and chatting with the woman behind the register. The second man was unsettled. He couldn’t stand still and seemed on edge. When he noticed the first gentleman paying with cash he got animated as he started talking about some kind of exchange he could do with the man. I drifted in and out of listening to the conversation as I thumbed through bargain DVD’s on the shelf next to me. The first man paid and left.

The second man got to the register and seemed rather flustered. He had a handful of items, candy bars, sodas, etc. He also chatted with the woman behind the counter, but he was more abrasive and jarring than the previous man. He had problems swiping his card and needed to be talked through the process. He seemed agitated. A few moments later and he was done. He walked away and the woman behind the counter let out a long sigh. We get all types in here, she muttered.

She was right. I stop at this store frequently as it is a stone’s throw from the highway and an easy on and off for my commute. The store is located in a poor to lower middle class area, which itself is a stone’s throw from considerable wealth. I’m usually dropping by during commuting hours, so I see a huge variety of people walk through the doors- business people, moms with a handful of kids trailing them, and at times the occasional homeless person.

I paid for my tissues and headed for the door. As I went out, I saw the man that had been in front of me, leaning against the building smoking a cigarette and calling out to a person walking toward the store. Are you buying groceries and paying with cash? Because if you are, I have a food stamp card I could pay for your groceries and you could give me the cash. And suddenly his behavior made sense- his jitteriness, his confusion at the register, the way he talked to the cashier. He needed cash because he needed drugs. And in that split second of realization, I judged that man. Ugh. I better not make eye contact. He might ask me for money. He’s creepy. He wastes everything he has on drugs. He can’t take care of himself. He’s nothing. 

But in that moment I heard it… The still small voice that can stop me in my tracks.

Don’t you know how much I love him?? 

When I had been looking at that man, all I saw was his addiction. I didn’t see him. That man that I was so quick to judge, so quick to disregard, so quick to marginalize had a name. And while I had never actually met him, had no idea what his life was like, and had never spoken to him, I walked away from him knowing the most important thing about him that I needed to know- that he was intrinsically valuable. He was the type of man that would have run into the open arms of Jesus while the pious religious leaders watched on in disdain. He would have sat at Jesus’ feet. He would have eaten at his table. And because of that, I could not view him in any other way than with compassion. He wasn’t a statistic. He wasn’t a blight. He wasn’t an inconvenience. He was a broken man in need of a savior, a lost sheep, a prodigal.

So instead of disregarding him, I am choosing to pray for him, that God will bring someone into his life that can truly get him the help that he needs before it is too late- and that God uses the mess of his addiction to bring about his redemption. And I pray for myself, that I can learn better to see people as God does, not with eyes of condemnation, but with eyes of grace so that instead of dismissing the marginalized with a self-righteous shake of my head, I can point them to the only one that can truly give them rest.


02-22-16 Let me take a picture!

Let me take a picture, Big E pleaded as we waited at the bus stop this morning.

When C was younger we used to let her get on the iPad and play games. We quickly learned that she could not handle having the iPad taken away from her and it would send her into hysterics. We made the decision then to keep the kids interaction with adult technology to a minimum. As a result of that, Big E has never really played on the iPad and he rarely touches my phone. C does have a LeapPad that she is allowed to play on at times and Big E has a Mobigo, but besides those, the kids don’t get handheld screen time. I know they will need to know this technology as they grow up, but I am sure they will have plenty of exposure as they get older.

As an exception to the rule this morning I let them both take a few pictures at the bus stop. C took a cute one of me and Big E.


I should also note that she took a considerable number of pictures of Aunt Laura’s door, and a passing car because it was pretty. (It wasn’t actually pretty.)

Big E wanted a turn, so I hesitantly gave him the phone. I showed him which button to hit to take the photo and he was beaming with pride after he took a photo of me and C.


Good job, buddy! Next time we will work on aim!

You see the Rainbow Dash toy in C’s hand? She got that from her Happy Meal last night and she couldn’t wait to take it to school today. She insisted she wouldn’t lose it and she really wanted her friends to see it. This evening she told me that one of her friends is going to keep it for three days and then C will keep it for three days and then it will go back and forth (probably for all eternity.) I highly doubt we will be seeing this toy again. Somehow this kid sweet-talked her way into taking my kid’s toy. I’m not upset, but I’m curious to see how this will all go down when C doesn’t get her toy back!




02-21-16 Sunday Essentials


There are two very important things that we do every single Sunday.

1- We go to church. We might not make it on time. We might be a little frazzled. But we are there. It’s important to us to get that time with fellow believers and enjoy the opportunity to hear God’s word. I love watching my kids in their classes and seeing what they are learning and the friends they are making. Each week I help my mother-in-law with some of the smallest kids by teaching them songs they can sing in front of the congregation. It’s fun to watch them as the weeks pass get more confident with each song. I love sitting in service, singing the praise and worship songs and the hymns. And I look forward to listening to the sermon and seeing it applied practically to my life.

2-  Take a nap. While this activity is not nearly as important as going to church, it is something we try not to miss out on. Tim and I both get up pretty early each day and we have long commutes and our days sometimes just feel endless. Often Saturdays are filled with obligations, so when we can, we don’t plan anything on Sunday except our family nap time. We come home from church, eat lunch, and all lay down for a couple of hours. It makes such a difference in our ability to conquer our week.

Sure our Sundays aren’t exciting but they are definitely peaceful… and in a house with three little kids, that is a welcome reprieve!


Baby E helped himself to the pretzels this morning. This was probably the highlight of his day.