03-07-18 Date Night

This handsome fellow was my date for the evening. My in laws took the big kids to church and Baby E and I headed to Starbucks for some decaf coffee for me and a cake pop and coffee water (ie- iced water) for him. Tim met us there so the three of us had a delightful evening. Baby E was in a perfect mood of happy and goofy and we enjoyed him immensely! We ended the evening with a trip to the store for a new hot wheels car, and then home for some much needed cuddles. ❤️❤️

03-06-18 A Long Silence and the Hugging Monster


The kids had a two hour late arrival this morning for school, so my mother in law said she could take them to the bus stop and then drop Baby E off at daycare for me. I got the kids up at the same time as normal and got them ready to go. When I left the house they were happily watching tv and eating pancakes. She got them to the bus stop and dropped Baby E off as planned. About an hour later, the day care provider texted me to say that Baby E was acting very strangely. She said that he hadn’t spoken a word since he had gotten there.

Now Baby E has his quiet moments, and he is fairly shy around people he doesn’t know, but he’s never quiet at home or daycare. In fact, he’s typically very chatty. I asked if he felt warm, or was doing anything else strange and she said no. He was playing like normal and following instructions, but instead of talking, he would only point to what he wanted. He wouldn’t talk to her or the other children.

I checked in periodically with her and he hadn’t changed. He had been silent the rest of the morning. He was silent at lunch. He was silent before nap time. He was even silent when he woke up. At this point I was starting to get worried because this is so completely out of character for him. After 5.5 hours of him not speaking, I decided to go and get him to see if something was wrong.

I left work a little early and booked it to the daycare. By this time he hadn’t spoken for 6.5 hours. I walked in the door, Baby E jumped out of his chair, and he ran to me shouting, “Mommy!!!” The day care provider looked shocked. “That’s the first thing I have heard him say all day.” As I stood there with him in my arms, he started playing with my hair, showering me with kisses, and hugging me. He kept telling me he loved me and he missed me. As I was getting him in the van I asked him why he didn’t talk and he said he missed Mommy and Daddy. 😦 I was relieved that nothing seemed to be physically wrong with him, but my heart broke a little bit to know my little guy went on a talking strike all because he missed us. 😦 He jabbered and talked most of the way home and the rest of the evening he barely took a break.

When Tim got home, we played Hugging Monster for awhile- the kids try to escape Mommy and Daddy as we chase them around, capture them, and hug them. Baby E squealed in delight beside the other two and there was so much laughter in our house this evening.

Hearing Baby E’s laughter and talking washed away the anxiety that had been gnawing at me all day. Clearly I need to find a time soon to spend some one on one time with my littlest savage. He didn’t get as much time with us this weekend because of the day we spent van shopping, so I’m going to try to sneak some time in with him, perhaps when the other kids are in church tomorrow night.

03-05-18 Family Dance Party


Tonight was Family Dance Party night at our house. It’s when we turn on our piano and push the demo buttons and dance along to the 30-60 second songs that play. The demos cover a variety of music genres, so it gives us plenty of options for our dancing styles. C prefers the slower music which shows off her ballet skills. Big E prefers anything that lends itself to breakdancing. And Baby E likes to stand in the corner and wiggle his butt like Pokoyo. Family Dance Party nights are strictly unplanned, which makes them even more awesome. And after we get all our wiggles out, we are all ready for bed!

03-04-18 Motherhood can be disgusting…

Motherhood definitely has it’s disgusting moments. I mean, the entire birthing process is pretty unsightly no matter how the baby comes out, but seriously that is just the beginning. With seven and a half years of parenting under my belt, I’ve got my own laundry list of gross moments.

  • The time C threw up hotdogs in the middle of the night and it all ended up in her hair and I had to clean it out.
  • The time Baby E projectile vomited on me, completely drenching me twice in one day.
  • The multiple times I’ve gotten one of my children’s poop on me because they move when I’m wiping them.
  • The blow out diapers that somehow reach their hair. (how does that even happen?!?)
  • One of the sick kids coughing in my open mouth.

And today, I added one to the list. Baby E has been doing awesome potty training. He’s a champ at it, and this afternoon he peed in his training potty. I took the pee filled bowl to the toilet to empty it out. As the pee poured into the toilet it splashed up and hit me… ON THE LIPS!! Are you listening to me?!? Nasty toilet bowl pee water splashed onto my mouth!! I have never been so happy in my life that my mouth was closed, but there wasn’t enough soap in the world to make my lips feel clean again. Gag. Yuck. Ugh!! That was disgusting.

Now it’s your turn… I’d love to hear some of your disgusting or gross parenting stories. Let’s start this week off with some smiles… pee-free smiles, if possible!!

Since I have no pictures from today, here are a couple from when we visited the great grandparents the other night at their hotel. They were in town for vacation and we got to see them on our way out to the new house. The kids enjoyed their time with them, and this evening as I put Baby E to bed he told me he can’t wait to visit them. I hope we can do it in the next few months.


03-03-18 The New Van!!

“Ma’am, are you ok?” The salesman across the table asked as I paused from signing paperwork. My heart was racing and the room seemed to be closing in. “It’s ok. I’m fine. This is normal,” I force a smile and pick up my pen. It is normal, after all- normal for me.

Tim and I have been scanning the internet for months for used minivans. We set today aside to test drive the ones that stood out to us.

The first place we went had 3 cars on our list. The first van seemed promising as we test drove it, until we rolled the windows down and they wouldn’t go back up. We never got the second van off the lot because one of the sliding doors got stuck. I can’t even remember the third van, other than it made us return the keys quickly and sent us on a beeline to our car.

The next place had one van that we were very interested in. The salesman spun a tale about another couple being interested in it, but they were running to the bank to get their check, so if we wanted it now was our chance. They pulled it up front, and when we got in, the first thing we noticed was the overpowering smell of carpet shampoo that couldn’t quite overcome the overpowering smell of cigarettes. Tim opened the side door to look inside and the door wouldn’t close. We tried and tried, but it just wouldn’t. The salesman came over and offered the idea that there might be something stuck, but they would clean it out for us and treat it with some WD-40. The screeching sound of the door finally closing seconded his argument for the lubricant, but he assured us that he had a nicer van in the back that he would pull up. With a great deal of skepticism, Tim and I nodded and he drove off, water pouring out of the tail pipe. We looked at each other and once again beelined it to our car. We were long gone before the water stopped dripping from that van.

We drove slowly into the next lot. A salesman standing outside taking a smoke break waved at us and made his way to the car. Tim motioned him to his side and rolled down the window. We were greeted by a very gruff, (possibly inebriated), stereotype of a used car salesman. The stench of the cigarettes seemed to seep from him, and I held my breath as he talked to Tim. Tim listened to his spiel, walked into the sales office with him to see what they had, and within moments was back in the car speeding away from yet another defeat.

The next store on our list was an actual new car dealership with used cars on their lot. It was a little out of our way, but we decided to give it a try. We met with a salesman that clearly valued personal hygiene much more than our last encounter. He showed us a few options on the computer and then we narrowed down our test drive choices to five. Four were on par with each other in terms of price point, mileage, and age. One was slightly higher with significantly less mileage. We ended up test driving 4 of the 5 and liked them all! We debated about the pros and cons, sat in them all multiple times, talked through our expectations versus the realities of buying a used van. We scoured the Carfax reports and the dealer service records and in the end we chose the one with the least miles on it. This is a long term vehicle for us, so it made the most sense.

But naturally as we started signing the papers, I felt that familiar sense of panic I feel during any major life purchase, so when the poor salesman looked up, I’m sure he was convinced he was about to lose a sale! But knowing that the feeling would be hard to shake, I informed him that it was just fine, and that’s just how I would feel until we were completely done. I forced a smile and we finished the paperwork. Within about an hour the salesman was handing us the keys to our new-to-us minivan. At that point I could barely contain my excitement!! I have a van again! No more shoving three kids in the back of the Matrix like a Tetris puzzle! We have a van! The drive back to the new house was wonderful and I couldn’t be happier with our purchase. The kids came out to take a look when we got home and they all loved it too. They are looking forward to getting a ride in it tomorrow!



03-02-18 This storm, guys…

This post will be short and sweet tonight, guys. After a white knuckle drive, and a stop to visit some family that was in town, we finally made it to the new house… There’s no power here, like there was no power at the in-laws, but I’m relieved to not be surrounded by a ton of tall trees. The wind is still howling, though, so it still might be a long night. Stay safe, friends!

03-01-18 The Calm

I looked out the window a few minutes ago and noticed how very still the trees are right now. There’s promise of a powerful windstorm tomorrow, but the first signs of it haven’t reached us yet. I hate wind storms. I remember a time when C was very young and Big E was just a baby. I had put C down to sleep in her room and gone downstairs. My mom had come for a visit and we were sitting talking when we heard the wind pick up. I hadn’t been watching the news, so I had no idea anything unusual was happening, I just figured it was the start of a storm.

As we sat there, the wind got stronger and stronger, to the point that it was impressive in it’s ferocity. C slept calmly in her room as we debated moving her downstairs. The house was shaking and the trees were whipping violently in the yard. I was starting to get worried.

But as quickly as it started it was over. We lost power for several days, and by the time we heard from civilization again, I had learned a new word- deracho. It’s the only time I have ever experienced it, but I now compare all windstorms to that one.

The thing about storm prediction is that you never know how much of it is ratings hype, and how much of it is for real, but hopefully tomorrow won’t be too bad, as I’m dreading a commute through high winds. If only it was a snowstorm instead. I could definitely get behind that!

02-28-18 Friendship

Today was the kind of day that you get to the end of, not with some grand victorious flourish, but rather you scrape and pull yourself along the ground, arms stretched forward, broken fingernails digging at the packed dirt, praying the next handful of grass will bring you to the end. That’s what today was, a tower of small failures that grew so high it was hard to see around.

When I got home tonight I went straight to my room and cried and cried. Today was hard. There was no ONE thing that made it so, but rather a successions of blows that weakened my resolve as the day went on. We’ve all been there, right? And by the time I got home tonight I was hurt, and I was angry.

And then I got a text from my sister in law. We had left Baby E’s bag at the church and she offered to drop if off on her way home. I’ve known my sister in law since we were in middle school. In high school we were inseparable. Few people in the world know me as well as she does. And when I saw her standing there, every frustration unraveled from my tongue. She wasn’t expecting the barrage of emotion I poured out on her tonight, but like a dear friend she patiently listened and helped me walk through it. All the anger and sadness that had taken a day to build up almost immediately dissolved into laughter and smiles.

Suddenly it didn’t seem so bad that I had paid $18 for my children to eat almost none of their dinner, only to listen to them beg for food a few hours later, and blame me for their hunger. It didn’t matter I actually used the phrase, “Fine, eat the piece of napkin in your mouth, but don’t you dare take another bite of it.” The fact that my two older children loudly and proudly blurted out uncomfortable family secrets to a complete stranger at our dinner table this evening didn’t seem quite so overwhelming. And maybe no one noticed me make a beeline to the bathroom with Baby E under my arm like a football, because by goodness I’m not dealing with wet toddler pants tonight. All these things and more seemed to melt away as I unloaded the tragedies of my day.

I might have left that backpack by mistake, but I don’t think my sister in law finding it was one. I needed that interaction. I needed to dissolve that frustration before it landed on my husband and kids, or before it followed me to a restless nights sleep. I needed that connection. I needed to talk to another mom that struggles like I do. I needed her to laugh with my stories, to help me see the ridiculous moments for what they are, and what they aren’t. I needed her to hear me and she did.

I’m grateful for the friendships that have weathered decades of life. I’m thankful that most of my closest friends in the world share my last name (or did at some point.) I’m blessed to be journeying through life with the one’s I love most. So while today was hard, tonight was actually quite sweet, and I’m grateful for that too!

02-27-18 Savage Bedfellow

When Tim is away for the evening, it isn’t unusual for Baby E to make his way to my bedroom and crawl into bed with me. I usually don’t fight the process, and he settles in and sleeps soundly. Last night I went to bed at 8:30, in hopes of making up for the night before. Baby E wandered in around midnight. He brought all his sleeping accessories with him- his pillow, blanket, Creepy, Batman, etc. He fell asleep quickly, but I had a much more difficult time of it. I was finally drifting off to sleep (probably about an hour later) when Baby E decided to stretch and punched me square in the nose! He didn’t wake up at all, but it gave me quite a start and pushed any notion of sleep off for quite awhile longer. Sigh. I just need a good night’s sleep. Maybe tonight. We shall see.

When I picked the kids up this evening they chose the beach as their evening destination, so off we went. It was colder tonight, but we had the beach almost to ourselves. The kids spent most of their time climbing on the fallen trees and picking out seashells from the sand. Baby E is following his siblings in almost everything, which means trying to climb trees as well. That ended a few times with Baby E sprawled in the sand, wondering how he got there. For the most part I let him try unless falling would put him in danger.

On our walk back to the car the kids asked me to tell them another story. (Yesterday I told them Hansel and Gretel.) This evening I went with Rumplestiltskin, however I altered the part about how he got so angry that he tore himself in two. (That part always terrified me as a small child.) I’m going to need to brush up on some old stories if these beach trips keep up!