Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kit Kat anyone?

Remember the song...gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar?

I actually don't care for Kit Kat candy bars.

But I do need a break.

And by break, I don't mean BREAKING MY PHONE, which I did today.

Yes, my iPhone.  Which doesn't come with insurance.  Which according to my research online tonight, costs a lot to replace.

I feel like an idiot.  A failure.  I was just trying to put it back into my purse after taking a call.  And somehow it slipped out of my hand, but not into my purse.  Whatever angle it hit, although in a case, cracked the screen.  Amazingly, the phone itself works.  There is just a spider web through the screen. 

I've already decided that if I have to replace it, this will be the only replacement I purchase.  After that, it's back to a normal phone.  No matter how much I love the iPhone.  I lead a busy, active life and when I get frazzled, I lose and break things.  It's just a fact. 

I need a break.  Not an actual one.  I just need a break from stress and stressful situations.   I need a break from the fast pace of life.  From the problems of life.

Let's be realistic though, problems and stress are a part of life.  In fact, I'm pretty confident that God is using this stuff to mold me and to create something new in my life.  But it hurts.  And it's not pretty.  And sometimes I'm rather resistant.  I see glimpses of what he wants to do.  But I'm afraid of the pain of actually experiencing the emotions that should be attached.  I'd rather not cry, you know....no crying over spilled milk. 

Just when I think I've reached my breaking point (today was one of those days and the phone was the last straw) I get a bit of a repreive.  I have the opportunity to take a few steps back from that meltdown, that panic attack.  Whether it's time with friends, or my hubby encouraging me to attend an Israel & New Breed concert (tonight) God pulls me back from my breaking point.

I welcome the day when I feel like I'm miles away from a breaking point.  In the meantime, I'm welcoming what God's doing in my life.  Even though it's not easy. I know it's worth it. And he's in control.  And he has a plan.  And he is FOR ME.

Monday, September 28, 2009

If I were to write this blog

I'm in the mood to blog.  But I don't really have the mental energy to actually develop an entire post.  I'm halfway through my "out of the house work-week" (because we all know a mom's job is 24/7). 

If I did have the mental energy, these are the things I might to choose to blog about.

How LONG it takes to go through the evening routine with three children.  There has GOT to be a better way to do it.  It's time to experiment with different homework and reading times.  It does not all fit after dinner.

How I've decided to accept that my Kindergartener just isn't ready to be dropped off to line up for class.  And even though my neighbors are willing to share the drop-off duties, for now they will get to benefit from my daughter's need for me, and I'll take their 2nd grader to school too (they DO pick Miss Rose up a few times a week when possible).

How I made today the first "bring your baby to work day" in several weeks and how sweet it was that Lily seemed so excited to be with me all day and somehow she seemed to know it was out of ordinary.

How I tired of my daughter not listening to me and I don't like being a parent who yells, or repeats, or has to speak sternly.  But I just don't know how to change this behavior.  Even when I discipline or give consequences, nothing seems to change.

How I'm learning to accept that it's going to be years before I can properly train for a race.  But I love having something to work towards, so even though I can't follow a training routine, or log the necessary miles, I will still "race" and just be happy to complete my 13-miles.

How I've been disciplining myself to get up earlier in the mornings, even if just 15 minutes.  I remember growing up that my mom always rose 30-60 minutes before us, and I never understood it.  Now I do.  Even though she didn't leave the house to work, that was her "me" time and quiet and peaceful.  I love to sleep, but sacrificing 15-30min makes the mornings go much smoother.  And at some point, when Lily has a consistent morning schedule, maybe I can exercise again before work.

How Miss Rose is a magnet for oral trauma.  I'm concerned she'll end up with all fake front teeth at some point.  Thus far the damage has only been to her baby teeth, but the past does not bode well for the future.  She put a front tooth through her lip in soccer this weekend, also loosening this already injured tooth.  I'm just hoping the tooth heals completely, because I really don't want to go through another extraction with her.

See, I actually have quite a bit to write about.  Those could make for some interesting posts.  But they will probably never be developed. 

But I know, it won't always be like this.  And the highlights of my days are seeing my baby smile, having my toddler climb all over me the moment I sit on the couch or ground and conversating with Miss Rose.

The blog will have to wait.  My energy goes towards providing for my family and loving my family.  And that's the way it should be.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Have you worn your baby today?

It's Babywearing week. Have you worn your baby today?

I like to think it's the latest fashion. Or at least it covers up the fact that most of my clothes are NOT in fashion. (that's what happens when you have 2 babies in 2 years, but I'll save that topic for another day.) This is much cuter than most of the clothes I own!



I discovered babywearing with my 2nd baby. I was excited to find a sling at a resale store and thought it was worth trying. Gracie loved the pouch sling. I wore her so much. Around the house, at my office when she was young enough to come to work with me, at 2am when that's the only way she would sleep, all around Ireland.

Lily loves to be worn too, although she prefers more of an upright position. Hence the Beco you see above.  It was my birthday present this year.  Yes, my birthday present was in fact something for my baby.  And it was the best gift! 

Lily loves the Beco.  She is so calm and peaceful when in it.  The two days a week I am home to pick Miss Rose up from school, I have to wake Gracie from her nap right before we leave.  She is usually still groggy and not quite ready to walk to the classroom.  So I push Gracie in the stroller and wear Lily in the Beco.  We are quite a site I'm sure.  But I have two happy babies, and that's what matters!

I was excited to get to introduce my sister in law to the wonders of the sling this week.  Her 4th baby is just a few weeks old, and she still has her hands full with a 20-month old.  Once the babe was in the sling she slept quite peacefully, and my sister in law could wrangle her little man-cub.

I love checking out Adventures in Babywearing to see all the lovely babywearing photos and posts.  I get a lot of sling envy! 

There are so many babywearing options.  Every baby and mama will have different needs, but if you have a baby or are expecting one--find a babywearing plan that works for you.  You'll love the closeness of your baby and the ease at which you are able to navigate the things of life.

I like Gracie would still love to be worn!  I just may give the Beco a try with her on my back.

When my babies are done being worn, I'm going to have to borrow some other ones!

Check out my post last year on Babywearing.  I wish I had more photos of me wearing Lily, but there usually isn't another adult around!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perfecting Her Art

Babies get fussy. They meltdown. They can't communicate their needs, except through crying. Sometimes a lot of crying.

Toddlers throw tantrums. They are becoming independant and learning how to express themselves. With their newly found autonomy, when they don't get their way, they let you know how unhappy they are.

Five-year-olds, Kindergarteners, they are seasoned pros at life, compared to babies and toddlers. They have the vocabulary, the self-control. They can express themselves pretty well.

Out of these three children, one would expect the major meltdowns to come from the youngers.

Not in my house though. It's my 5-yr-old, who is actually closer to 6 now, that is perfecting the art of the tantrum. Tonight was one for the books. She DOES NOT like when life doesn't go her way. And she'll let you know.

Perhaps some of the failure is ours, for giving in too often, changing our minds to let her have her way, once the protesting and crying begins.

But, this kid, she throws a good fit. Especially when she's tired. Thursdays are often tough because Miss Rose goes to bed at least an hour late on Wednesday night due to church. And this Thursday, she was up before 6:30am because it was "Dads and Donuts Day" at school, which ran from 7-7:30am. One tired girl.

It began when I went to nurse the baby, in my room, to provide her with some quiet before bed. Miss Rose and Gracie were coloring, so Bean started the dishes.

Coloring didn't last long. Guess where they ended up? On the bed with me, of course. The light wasn't on. And I think something went on with Gracie bringing a stool in to climb on the bed (which she doesn't need) but she tripped and fell in the dark, hitting her head.

And thus began the downhill plummet. Miss Rose wanted to make her lunch with me (to ensure I gave her the treat she wanted). But Gracie was still crying and Bean was still furiously doing the dishes.

I said no, let's read your nightly books instead.

No, we can't read that long one. Okay, let's just read one book. You're not going to stop crying, you're throwing a fit that we're not making your lunch and we're only reading one book?

Okay, then it's time for bed. I'll brush your teeth while you cry. You still can't stop crying in your bed? I guess that means we can't do our normal nighttime routine. Your sister will have to sleep in another room, as you continue to carry on.

(Mind you, when you're 5.5 and you cry, you yell about the unfairness of life and are quite dramatic about it)

15 min later and you're still carrying on? I'll rub your back. Night-night sweetheart. 10 min later, you're STILL upset? Okay, I'll put your sister back in her bed. Just PLEASE go to sleep.

I sincerely hope, her younger sisters aren't learning from her.

(Oh, and Bean, the next time the meltdown begins, maybe save the dishes for AFTER the kids are in bed. Just an idea. But, thank you for the clean kitchen.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Decisions....

Can you tell my blog is under construction a bit? I've been wanting to change it up some, and have it reflect a little more of me and my family.

I'm sure I'm over-analyzing things.

I am playing with the idea of changing the title of my blog, but leaving the address the same.

Or do I want to change the title and the address.

Or just leave it alone.

I don't cry much...that's true...hence "no crying mama" and along with that comes the "no crying over spilled milk" title.

The new title/address I'm considering is "Our Three Bean Circus" which definately reflects our family.

Any thoughts? I know it's really not a big deal. But I guess I'm pretending that it is.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me! Monday



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I've been a parent for almost 6 years now, and three children later, I know the unexpected happens.  When you least expect it of course.  So, I am always well-prepared.

When Gracie urinated in her underware in front of Miss Rose's Kindergarten classroom one morning, I did NOT have to strip her down and wrap her in a blanket for the ride home.  Not me!  I always have wipes and extra clothes on hand.  And that accident certainly did NOT happen because I probably neglected to have her use the bathroom right before we left.

Later that evening, after vomiting carrots all over her clothes at church, we did NOT have to drive home from church with Lily wrapped in a blanket.  I always have extra clothes for her as well.

That tally is NOT 2/3 children riding home wrapped in blankets in the same day.

While flying solo at Miss Rose's soccer game this weekend, I did NOT put off taking Gracie to the bathroom again, because she has NOT made it her personal mission to visit every bathroom possible, mostly for false alarms. 

When Gracie told me she had poop in her underware, I did NOT grab a stinky diaper bag from the diaper bag, scoop out the lump of poop (which was thankfully hard) and pull her pants back up.  I did NOT neglect to wipe her up because I did NOT forget to put fresh wipes in the diaper bag.

I'll be right back.  Need to stock the diaper bag, like I do, oh several times a day.  Miss Preparation, that's me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Perspective, Attitude & Reaction

My last post had a bit more negativity than I like to leave.  Granted, it was honest, but while I have my breaking moments, most the moments are more positive.

I'm learning.  It's a proccess.  I guess in some ways I feel like I'm a real grown-up now, and figuring out this thing called life.  I have three children, one in school now, own a home and am in a vocation.  There's going to be lots of ups and downs.  Lots of stress and problems to face.  Many blessings and much joy too.  Jesus said, "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world."

Here's what I'm learning.

It's a lot about perspective.  Sure there are times life is challenging and I could list many things that I don't like or seem unfair.  But I'm not the only one.  We all have different difficulties to own. 

I may face the challenges of being a working mom to three young children.  I have two sister-in-laws who are blessed to stay home with their children.  But one has a husband who works 24-48hr shifts, so is alone during that time.  The other has a husband who owns his own business, works long hours and 6 days a week.

Which makes me thankful that after a long day of work and running kids to and fro, Bean is home all evening and we are able to share those duties together.  I saw this quote on Facebook the other day: "Whenever I get an idyllic view of someone else's life, I will often say out loud, "I am not equipped to handle what they have, both good and bad."

Those words could not be more true.  You can't compare one life to another.  The Psalmist said "the boundary lines for me have been set in pleasant places."  Which to me means--the life I have, is the life God intended for me, both the good and the challenging.  It's not for me to look beyond what he has given me, at this moment.  Because you never know how things may change in the future either. 

Perspective also says, I HAVE children.  So many ache for children, but don't have them.  My children are HEALTHY, and there are many sick children in this world. 

It's also about my attitude.  No, it's not always great.  Some days I want to give up. Some days I want to break down.  Some days I'm short with my children, with my husband because of the stress I feel.  But I choose my attitude.  I've learned what it takes (most of the time) to adjust my attitude.  Perhaps I need to go for a run, or even a walk around the block with the kids changes my attitude.  I need to forget worrying about cleaning and the household duties, get on the floor and play with the kids.  I need to make quality time with my husband (even if its just watching a movie after the kids are in bed) a priority.  These attitude-fixers are huge for me.

And my reaction.  Oh that reaction.  When life throws me a curveball, I want to pick it up and lob it right back in someone else's face.  I want to be immature and throw a fit like my kids do.  But that's not Christlike.  Nor does it really help the situation.

I bite my tongue.  I tell Bean how I'm feeling to process it, but of course it's a conversation that stays between us.  I remind myself of God's promises and how they've held true my entire life.

Basically, in some ways, I don't react.  Most of the time, things work themselves out--and often it doesn't even take that long.  If I were to react according to my flesh, it would make situations bigger than necessary and cause damamge.

I'm sure I'll need to come back and read this soon, to remind myself of these truths, when the next curveball comes or when the day in and day out routines are overwhelming me. 

Another quote I saw on Facebook recently (I have some friends who post great stuff!) said "fear takes a lot more work than faith."  I would add--with fear, circumstances consume you; with faith--you just let go.

So I choose to let go.  I choose to rejoice.  I choose to be anxious about nothing.  I know this won't be the last time.

At the end of the craziest day, full of "what ifs" and "I wish" and "It's not fair"...I still love my life, I love my children, I love my husband.  God has been so good to me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Lord of the Dance

Can I be honest for a few moments? 

It's not that I'm opposed to honesty.  In fact, I try to be an honest person with high integrity.  I really dislike telling untruths--even "white lies."

But I'm a bottle-er.  Hence the "no crying mama" moniker.  I don't try to avoid crying, I just don't.  Rarely.  I have a hard time being honest when things are challenging.  I don't lie...I just don't talk about it.  When there are several days of silence on my blog, it's usually because I'm going through a difficult time.

So, the honest truth is...

It's hard being a working mom of three young kids.  I have an amazing job that affords me many family perks and flexibility.  But, it's still hard.  I'm exhausted by the end of a workday.  Being a pastor requires emotional energy.  Being a mom and wife requires emotional energy. 

I'm thrilled Miss Rose is in Kindergarten, but that also means leaving at 7:30am--having all of my work things ready, the little girls ready to go wherever they are going that day and of course Miss Rose's lunch, snack, papers etc.  It feels like no matter how much prep I do the night before, no matter how early I get up, we are still rushing out of the house.  And I still have to go back in at least once for a forgotten item.  Last week I had to return home after dropping off Miss Rose because I had left my breastpump at home.

Bean is an amazing help.  He gets Miss Rose up and dressed before he leaves for work.  And often Gracie is demanding her "prilly dress" bright and early, so she's dressed too.  He always asks me how he can help before he leaves.  But he can't change when the baby poops or projectile vomits before we leave.  Or when Gracie has an accident outside the classroom while waiting to say goodbye to Miss Rose.

We are blessed to have family caring for the little girls on my work days.  But that is an ever-changing flux.  We are once again changing up the plan, which means finding a new normal and routine for each day.  The new plan SHOULD last for an extended period of time, but you just never know.  Sometimes they are at our house, sometimes elsewhere.  For some reason, the uncertainity of it all is hard on me.

Want to hear how my Wednesday went this week?

Arrived to drop Miss Rose off.  Gracie had an accident in front of the classroom, so I had to go tell the office.  When I returned, Miss Rose was in tears because her teacher hadn't opened the classroom yet.  Stripped Gracie down nude, wrapped her bottom half in a blanket I had in the car and drove home where I was dropping them back with my mom.

Got Gracie cleaned up and dressed.  Left for work.  There was a whole coordination going on of my sister in law coming over with her kids, my mom getting Miss Rose from school for a short time, so all the kids could put their handprints in the newly poured cement for the almost complete addition.  I wasn't involved in that--but it still weighed on me during work, hoping it was easy for all involved and that Miss Rose got back in time for her first visit to the library.

Wednesday is Miss Rose's half day and it's not an easy feat carting the little girls to school.  So I left work and picked her up and brought her home to my mom.  Lily was fussy and her nap schedule was off, and the moment she saw me, she just wanted comfort.  So I nursed her and put her to bed. Back to work.

Home at the end of the day, nurse the baby, head off to Rubio's for dinner before church.  Church, home and finally bed for kids and soon after for me.

Did I mention that I have a cold this week and I was full of sinus pressure and a headache?  Or that there is massive construction related stuff going on right now?  Or that I almost flashed construction workers because we don't have curtains on all the windows in the back and I wasn't fully dressed yet?  Lovely.  Just lovely.

I'm realizing more and more how much predictability and stability keep me centered. 

Some days, many days, life feels like a complicated walz that I'll never learn the moves to.

Just when I think I've learned the choreography, it changes.

I know that I am not the only one with these kinds of struggles.  I'm sure if I talked with many of my mom-friends, they'll have similar stories to tell.  It's just life.  It's life with small children.

I still love my life.  I love my children and I even love their closeness in age.  I'm not complaining.  Honestly, I'm not.

In fact, I'm learning to rejoice no matter what.  To be anxious for nothing.  To remember that even when the snapshots of my life don't make sense or are full of craziness, the panorama that God sees, is perfect in his eyes.

Life is a dance.  And unfortunately, I've not got much rhythm.  Just ask my friends!  But I'm trying to learn.  To go with the flow.  To trust the Lord I dance with.  To let him take the lead and just follow.  Because I know that my life is beautiful.  Even if sometimes it's a beautiful mess.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lackadaisical

I admit, I had to look up the spelling of that word.  But it's a good word, no?  Defined as without interest, vigor or determination.

For some reason,  this word personifies my children when it comes to the development of gross motor skills. 

When I had just one child, I figured sitting at 8 months old, crawling at 10 months and not walking until 15 months was because she was an amazon baby--24lbs at 1 year old.  Perhaps it was just hard to move her solid little body.

Then I had another child.  Who was on a decidedly different growth curve, weighing a mere 18lbs at 1 year old.  Certainly since she as a slight thing, she'd be able to move more quickly.  But no, Gracie took cues from her big sister apparently and her gross motor skills developed at very similar ages to Miss Rose.

This time around, I know what to expect.  And that's not much! 

My children just lack determination to move themselves around.  I have no idea why this is.  I don't think that I hold them or carry them around more than other mama's tote their little ones.  They have as much "floor time" as they will tolerate. 

Do other mama's "work with" their babies more to help them achieve these milestones?  Maybe that's my downfall, I just let them do it on their own time and don't push the point.  I doubt this is the case though.  I know many busy mom's who's babies get moving much sooner that mine and I really don't think they had time to work with them on it more than average.

Our neighbors have a little boy just a few weeks younger than Lily.  They are of a similar size.  This little guy was majorly motivated to get moving.  He has two big sisters just like Lily does (almost identical ages as ours too).  By 5 months old he was rolling himself around their house, and propping himself up on his arm and elbow in a reclining position before he was even able to sit up.  He's probably 7 months old now (Lily is 7.5months ) and he is fully crawling--and fast!

And Lily?  She rarely even decides to roll from her back to her belly.  When I put her on her belly, she might try to play for a few minutes but usually she just sticks her fingers in her mouth and lays her head down to suck them.  She's finally sitting for longer periods of time--in the Boppy.  No way is she sitting on her own.

I know not to worry though.  Have you ever met an averagely developed 2yr old who isn't walking?  Probably not.  I know Lily will eventually sit and crawl and walk, just like her sisters.  Just on her own timeline.

Right now--I'm anxious for her to sit on her own, as she'll be happier to play that way.  But honestly, I've learned to not mind that my kids aren't mobile quickly.  It makes things easier!  I don't have to worry yet about her crawling around the house, getting into stuff that isn't safe, being run over by her sisters.  It will all come in time.

But I still do wonder why all three of my daughters are so lackadaisical as babies.

(and I always thought the word was lackSadaisical.  But I guess not.  Learn something new every day)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh the drama

Gracie is quite dramatic. Just for the sake of being dramatic. She's currently experimenting with expressing various emotions, that usually aren't applicable to the situation, but she likes them nonetheless. A few days ago, while I sat at Miss Rose's soccer practice, Gracie kept running up to me, hitting me on the arm and saying "I promise" in a very stern voice. That's one of her favorite tones these days, which I'm working on. I have no idea where that phrase came from.

This is a common pose Gracie strikes when she is trying to get attention or doesn't like something or wants to pout. She hunches her shoulders, purses her lips and will walk around like this for a few minutes. I actually find it very humorous.



And then when she does something wrong or is trying to avoid obeying, she buries her face in the corner of a couch.



Did I mention she wants to wear a "pri-lly" (pretty) dress every day? She's usually awake by 6:30 and it's one of the first things she asks for--along with "milky." This is one of her favorite dresses (which I think is adorable). I'm ready for the weather to cool though because a lot of the dresses are getting short and I want to add leggings to them.

She's a firecracker this one is!
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

First day

Miss Rose had her first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday. She's been excited about it for quite a while now. It was nice that she was in an early-kindergarten program from January-June, as it really prepared her for what to expect from going to school and the separation from us.


I wanted to capture the three girls on Miss Rose's first day. Notice the look in Gracie's eyes. She's jacked her sister's water bottle and is momentarily getting away with it. I think Bean must have combed her hair the night before...hence the very low part and comb-over look.



A proud dad and his daughter



I can't believe she was the first baby carried by my body. Notice how she is MORE than half my height now? (and I even have small heels on in this photo)


Her teacher's name is Mrs. Mahoney. To which Bean immediately said (because he's a nickname guy): "I think I'll get a shirt made for open house that says 'Mrs. Mahoney is Mah-Homey.' " Poor Miss Rose was confused the first two days as to whether her name was Mahoney or Mahomey. I told Bean he had to chill with the Mah-Homey comments. Although it was quite clever and funny. We also found out that our nephew had Mrs. Mahoney as his kindergarten teacher 6 years ago.


If you follow my Twitter, you may have seen that on the 2nd day of school, Miss Rose was already running a tab at the cafeteria. Both of us didn't quite understand the minimum day schedule. So Miss Rose took it upon herself to get lunch from the cafeteria (even though she was being dismissed at 12:15) and they let her get it on credit. Bean and I had a lot of good laughs from that one.

There were few tears shed the first day upon separation (by all three of us I think) but every morning since has been smooth! Today was my first day not working with Miss Rose in school and I celebrated by going for a run with the double stroller, not needing to worry about Miss Rose on a bike. I'm going to enjoy the one-on-one time I will have with Gracie while Lily naps in the morning.

I realized this morning, that there still is SO much more to come of life and child-rearing. It's only just begun.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

She loves, my love



This is her lovey. She doesn't take a binky, but oh how she loves this small satin-y red blanket.

When she was just a few months old I noticed how she loved to caress blankets, especially to soothe herself.

Just to feed my obsession of all things red for this little girl, my recent prize included this lovey. The perfect size to make this mama feel safe with it in the bed, and for toting in the diaper bag and car.

When sleepy-time comes, as soon as this blanket is close to her face, her fingers go in her mouth and her body begins to relax.

I probably should look into purchasing a few more, in case this one gets lost.

I do hope this remains her soothing mechanism of choice. Because if she refuses the binky, she needs SOMETHING.

It's just another sweet thing, that makes her my Lily. Determined to be a little different, yet the same.

She's my lovey. Adding her to our lives has been a bit different, yet the same.
She brings me comfort and security. She fills parts of my soul.
She's the perfect size for toting everywhere. I can't stand to be without her.
She's one of a kind and I will never lose her.

She loves and she's my love.
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Gracie has a twin



Have you seen Gracie's twin at your local Old Navy?

I wonder if they saw a picture of my sweet girl and thought she'd make a cute mannequin.

Or perhaps I need to get my kid into modeling, if this is what companies are looking for.

Gracie found her twin at the front of the Old Navy store and was instantly smitten. Hugging her and caressing her face (as you can see by the gentle cupping of the neck).

Personally, I think Gracie is cuter. But I'm biased of course.

Hey Old Navy, anytime you want to borrow my daughter, let me know! Her college fund could use a boost.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sharing the Love

I love that the exersaucer Lily is currently using is borrowed from my dear friend, and has been used by her three girls, my three girls, and a few other babies in between.

I love that I bought a fabulous cradle swing on craigslist for half-price (that was practically brand new) for Gracie and then my same friend used it for her daughter a year later, then back to me for Lily and now to another family.

I'm glad that when Miss Rose received some clothes, I was able to pull out a few horse-themed items for her friend who loves horses.

I'm blessed that thanks to her big sister, her friend Avery and other friends too, that Gracie honestly has more clothes than she will probably be able to wear before she grows out of them.

I love that when I recieved a LARGE bag of items for Gracie, which contained two and three sets of the same clothing items, I was able to pass the uneeded items to our neighbor, who has a daughter the same age.

I'm thrilled that I have a new niece, and so Lily's clothes can go to a family member.  As will some of her baby gear as she grows out of it.

How do you share the love?  What do you have in your garage, or closet that can be a blessing to another?  Sure, I save the special items and some stuff I lend out, asking that it be returned.  But it is such a blessing to me to be able to use someone's loved item or clothing and I look for how I can bless in return.

Share the love.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shopping with a 3-ring circus

Today Bean and I decided to pack up the whole family and head out to get the few clothes and shoes Miss Rose needed for school.  Certainly one of us could have stayed home with the little ones, but what fun is that?  When we have the opportunity, I like going out as family and teaching the kids how to handle themselves and behave in public.

But, you know it was a 3-ring circus.

Starting with the van ride.  Miss Rose has a booster seat that is in the car at times, especially when we have had someone else with us.  Gracie wanted to ride next to Miss Rose, so we buckled her into Miss Rose's carseat.  Of course they had toys back there, that they immediately began to fight over.

We had to drop something by Grammie's house first, at which point I put Gracie back in her carseat, which is on a different bench in the van. 

Then Bean decided he was going to need a McDonald's Diet Coke if he was going to last the trip.  So we shared one!  Yes, we often drive through McD's just for an 86cent large beverage.  It's how we roll.

The first store was a bust.  The second store had much more to offer.  But Miss Rose detests shopping and getting her to try on clothes is the equivalent to wrestling a bear.   While I coached Miss Rose through the trying on of clothes (my Kindergartener wears a SIZE 7 in girls), Bean watched Gracie run around clothing racks while bopping to the music.  By then Lily decided she was done waiting around and was in Bean's arms and the stroller simply served as a great place to hold our purchases.
For Miss Rose, choosing tshirts is as bad as eating brussel sprouts, and slightly painful for us too.  She is still obsessed with all things boy, which eliminates many options.  Finally we found a few tshirts, in her size, that were designed for a girl, but satisfactory for her.  Like this one.
Shopping with a potty-trained 2yr old means many bathroom trips.  The first was suggested by me, while Bean waited in line.  Of course Gracie has to touch every nasty thing in the bathroom, no matter how many times I say "don't touch the trashcan, don't touch the floor."
While I made our purchases, the girls were dying to visit the mannequin display they saw when we entered the store.  And Gracie found her new best friend. 
Seriously, did they use my child as a model?  Bean said Gracie started hugging on the mannequin and caressing her face.  She was quite enraptured.  You can even see in the photo how her hand is cupping the neck.  We couldn't stop laughing!
Finally bag in hand, we headed out in search of shoes.  Lucky for us, we found some a few stores down.  10 minutes in, Gracie has to go the bathroom again.  So I run her to the nearest bathroom.  When do kids learn to pee and poop at the same time?  We often make multiple trips to the bathroom because the coordination just isn't there yet.
Miss Rose was thrilled with her classic Vans.  Although now we really need to teach her to tie her shoes.
Gracie like the shoe store for the full length mirrors it offered.  She was caught dancing and shaking her booty (a recent favorite activity and phrase of hers) in the mirror.  When I tried to snap a photo of it, this is what I caught her doing.
My exhibitionist daughter.
Clothes and shoes in hand, we made our exit before any major meltdowns or catastrophes occured.  At one point Bean looked at me and said "I love this, it's hilarious."  And it was.
I highly recommend shopping with a 3-ring circus. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Winners & Tidbits

And the winner of my recent giveaway is....MomBrose!  (I went to random.org for an automatically generated number.)  You get to try the Vanilla soap from Ecostore USA!  Enjoy your no nasty chemicals soap.

So many tidbits--that could actually be entire blog topics--but no time to develop them!

I am in the midst of a blessed 5-day mommy-cation! That's my own word--meaning I have 5 days off to focus on mommy and home related stuff.  Like cleaning and organizing as always.  And getting Miss Rose ready for Kindergarten. 

I realized today that this is the last Friday that Miss Rose will have before she's a student.  From here on out, any other Friday she is out of school will either be because it's a vacation or summertime.  We are more than ready for school to begin.  Miss Rose is so full of energy and wants constant interaction and activity to use that energy.  Being that she's already 5-1/2, it's time for full days of school!  She's quite excited and not nervous at all.

We had some excitement in our family this week with the birth of a new niece!  Bean's brother and wife welcomed their fourth child.  Their hands are quite full with a middle-schooler, kindergartener, 19-month old and newborn.  Thankfully we live near each other and are able to help each other out quite a bit.  I've decided that perhaps one NEVER stops wanting more babies.  Although my sweet, still quite young, 7-month old was home with Bean, as I cuddled this precious newborn, I could easily imagine adding to our family.  I'm glad there's always new babies in our family!

Gracie is experiencing a bit of the terrible 2's.  She likes to be contrary just for the sake of it.  She yells and does whatever it takes to get the attention she wants.  Gracie loves watching movies!  Miss Rose wasn't really into movies until she was closer to 4yrs old.  The current favorites (so thankful for DVR!) are Chicken Little. Cars and Finding Nemo.  Every morning when she wakes up she says "Maybe Chicken Little?" or whatever the choice of the day is.  (Ususally she doesn't watch the entire movie, I promise.)

Finally, Lily is eating solids.  Basically she just didn't like cereal.  We skipped it and went to veggies and she's eating like a champ.  Not quite pooping like a champ though.  But prunes helped us through that issue.  Poor Bean bore the brunt of that when the prunes kicked in on a day he was with the girls.

We've also had success with sleeping longer at night.  Getting Lily out of our room was real key for that.  (Read: pack and play in the living room).  I notice that she sometimes wakes during the night, but usually just fusses and goes back to sleep.  Sometimes she sleeps until it's a reasonable wake-up hour.  Other mornings she takes an early nursing and goes back to sleep for a while.  Either way--I'm getting more sleep, and that's wonderful!

We are SO close to being done with construction.  In fact, the 3rd bedroom is finally ready for use.  We can't do things the easy way and will be moving everyone to a new room.  Hopefully by the end of the long weekend Lily will be sleeping in a crib for the first time, in her own bedroom; the changing table will no longer be in the living room, and everyone will be set.  The 2nd bathroom has a little further to go...but I'm thrilled with the use of the bedroom.  By the end of the month my parents should be moving in to the addition.

Hopefully I'll get a few more blogs done during my mommy-cation.  Because blogging is one of my outlets and I definately enjoy it!