Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm sure this will be one of a million blog posts tomorrow with the word "thank" in it.  But I am of the mind that we truly do need to be more thankful in life, and so I'm not concerned about sounding generic.

I truly am thankful this year, for so many things.  It's so easy to become steeped in negativity, focusing on what I wish were different or things in life that seem unfair.  I've had my emotional and mental struggles this year, adjusting to three children and home ownership with constructing an addition, among other things.  It hasn't always been easy.  I average one day a week, where I want to just break down. 

But when I focus on the positive, when I choose to be grateful, my mental outlook truly improves.  It's a discipline though.  I have to make a conscious effort.  I learned a lot about perspective reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan (high recommend it, by the way).   I am truly blessed.

I am thankful for a husband who loves me so unconditionally.  Who never stops learning how to love his family better.  A husband who contributes so much to the running of our household.  There are many weeks that he does more loads of laundry and sinkfuls of dishes than I do.  But it enables me to meet the demands of our three little beans.

I am thankful for three beautiful, healthy children.  This year I have watched a dear friend lose her unborn son to a rare skeletal disorder, only to become pregnant again right away, and deliver at 26 weeks due to severe pre-ecclampsia.  Thankfully her baby is slowly gaining weight and strength and we are bombarding heaven daily on her behalf.  I watched a life-long friend lose her first baby to Trisomy 13, a heartbreak still so fresh.

Like Mary, I among women, am blessed. (Luke 1:42)

I am thankful for a home, that is an investment in our future, in a wonderful neighborhood.  Yes it's small, and there are many unfinished projects.  But God led us here, and opened the doors and we trust Him.  It's provided a permanent home for my parents,  allowing me to honor them as Scripture commands.  (Exodus 20:12)

I am thankful that we have secure jobs and wonderful benefits.  We have no unpaid bills and even a little emergency money in savings.  I honestly cannot say that we are "broke."  We may feel that at times, but it's not really true.

We have wonderful family and friends.  They support us and help us.  They contribute so much to our lives on so many levels.

It is my God, who has given me so much to be thankful for.  Even when I fail Him and disappoint Him, still He blesses me.  It is because of His love that I can love and recieve love.  He gives me every good and perfect gift.  He is my rock in times of trouble.

I love Psalm 16:6.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Yes,  the boundary lines of my life are in pleasant places.  I have just enough.  The Lord has given me everything I need, and even so much of what I want. 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

And I don't.  Truly I don't.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relief is on the way (I hope)

I was so excited to finally hear back from my doctor's office today.  Based on my symptoms, they called a prescription in for me--the suspect being a sinus infection.  I don't remember the last time I had to take an antibiotic, and I do avoid them when possible with my kids, but frankly I'm excited to be taking it.  Hoping for some relief.  I'd like to be able to taste food and thus have an appetite for it. 

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts!

On another almost 6yr old is so incredibly obstinate.  We're having some attitude issues with her--lots of backtalk and lack of obedience.  She likes to think that she doesn't have to obey if she thinks her way or her idea is better.  And let me tell you, the backtalk from this child, I thought only teenagers were capable of.

After several incidences the real humdinger occured at dinner.  I can't even recall the exact incident.  All I know is that it resulted in a huge snot bubble on Miss Rose's face.  I wasn't done discussing the incident with her, so I asked her to blow her nose into my paper towel.  (a bit rough I know, but she'll often choose this herself thanks to her father's influence).  She started walking away.  After raising my voice, she finally returned to me.

Me: "You need to ask permission to go blow your nose in the bathroom."

Her: "No."

Me: "Well then, you need to blow it right here."

Her: "No."

(repeat x2)

Me: "Then go to your room."

Really?  She's so stubborn she won't simply ask for permission? 

Yes, these are the battles we are fighting.  I'm really hoping by being firm, this won't be a rough holiday break.

Any suggestions on books to read on discipline or character formation for a 6-year old?  (And yes, I've read "The Strong-Willed Child."

Monday, November 23, 2009

This post brought to you by...

This post is brought to you by the plague that morphs and never ends!

Oh yes.  We are still plagued.  Actually, I'm the plagued one right now.

I developed a nasty cold last week.  And it's just hanging on.  It's been days since I felt like I was getting better.  It sucks my energy and some days, even my will to live.  Well, perhaps that's slightly dramatic.

Impacted sinuses, nagging cough, aches & pains.

I have a new sympathy for families who deal with weeks and weeks of illness.

There was a wonderful wedding this weekend that I was a part of.  Someday, when this plague ends, perhaps I'll share some moments and photos with you.

I'm really hoping to start feeling better soon.  I'd like to enjoy Thanksgiving this year.  Last year I got hit with a stomach flu right after our Thanksgiving dinner and ended up at home, pregnant and puking. 

Hopefully we'll be able to return to our regular programming soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The plague's calling card (and photos)

Although the challenges of this week have been different than last, it's still been quite a week.

There has been a lot of this at our house for almost two weeks,

And this... (on Mama's bed of course, because it's the most comfy when you are sick)

Saturday was finally a fever-free day!  Sunday, Gracie was seeming to go downhill again.  Monday, I stayed home because Bean's mom got very sick over the weekend and was unable to watch the kids.  I didn't mind though, as Bean had been home with them the week before.  Gracie started running a fever again, which signaled to me that something else was going on.  Bean's mom went to the doctor and was told she had swine flu.  Which almost confirms my suspicion that my girls had it...since she got sick after being with the girls on Monday & Tuesday.

Tuesday morning I took a sad and sick Gracie to the doctor and sure enough she had developed a sinus infection--secondary to the flu she had the week before--thanks for the calling card.  When I can, I try to avoid antibiotics with my kids.  Often if they aren't miserable or running fevers, the infections run their course (sinuses are the usual culprit in our home) without intervention.  But with the return of the fever and how miserable she was, antibiotics were definitely needed.  After just one dose, she was already much perkier and energetic today.  I've missed my spunky girl.

However, the plague also left a calling card with me.  After balancing an intense workload last week, with sick kids and multiple nights of little sleep, my immune system took the toll.  I am now sick with a cold.  Thankful though, that it's not a flu with fever.  I've been pretty miserable though.  Which is a bummer because one of my best friends is getting married on Saturday and I head up for the wedding festivities (I'm a matron of honor) tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll be able to relax and enjoy everything and I'll start getting better.  Of course, Lily will be along!

I probably won't be blogging for most of the weekend, but you can always catch me on Twitter!

I leave you with a few random, but favorite photos taken recently.

One of the best parts of cooler weather...three cute girls in their footie jammies!  I know they don't look that much alike, but again, I think they do.

And my silly Lily.  Who loves all things silky.  When she gets bored with her toys, she'll specifically search out the ones with soft, silky tags and bring them to her mouth area and suck her fingers.  It makes me laugh when I look over and see her chilling, sucking her fingers with a short little tag near her mouth.

I do have a few funny items I'll hopefully get to blog tomorrow before I head out of town.  They are just too good to throw out randomly.  And yes, they involve Bean.  That's all I'm saying for now.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 16, 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.

For some reason, I just don't feel right posting a Not Me Monday! when MckMama is unable to post her own.  So it's been a few weeks.  But I've gotten smart and keep a draft with "not me" items in Blogger.  Or maybe I'm dumb for keeping track of how dumb I sometimes am!

We love baked goods at our house.  But, in order to save our waistlines, we usually enjoy a treat for a night or two and then I attempt to give away whatever is left.  A few weeks ago I made a cake for small group and then brought the rest to a baby shower the next day.

Upon returning home from said shower with my empty cake pan, I did not proceed to scrape the pan clean of all moist crumbs and leftover icing.  Not me.  I have WAY more self-control than that.

[on a sidenote...imagine my surprise when I saw The Pioneer Woman making MY favorite cake recipe on a talk show recently.  Make one for yourself.  I dare you.  See if you scrape the pan too.]

Although I protested becoming a minivan mom, I do not immensely enjoy the automatic sliding doors.  And I would never try to open or close the front doors with the remote.  And I have never walked almost into the house or work,  with one of said doors open, because the remote "didn't" close it.  Nope, not me!

Even though babies are notorious for losing shoes, and one had just come off in the car, I did not put said shoe back on the baby for a trip into Target with her in the Beco.  And I did not notice a missing shoe when we returned to the car.  Which I couldn't go back in to find.  Because I was probably already late to pick up Miss Rose from school.  [but yes, I went back the next day and they had it.  Phew.  I love these shoes.]  Not me.  I am practical and punctual.  Always.

On mommy days* Gracie never talks me into staying in her footie pajamas to drop Miss Rose off.  And if she did, I would never put shoes on over the pj's, in order to walk Miss Rose in.  And if I did, I would certainly never snap a photo of it.  Nope, not me.

*mommy days: days mommy gets to do mommy things with her children.  Let me tell you, heartbreaking when the 2yr old gleefully says "today is a MOMMY DAY" and I have to say no dear, not today.

I also would never allow my child to drink milk that's been sitting out for an hour or two.  I have never found Gracie drinking her morning milk sippie, at say, 10:30am.  Nope, not me.  Bean would definately pull my mom-card if that was the case.  Mr. "Lifetime Food Card Handler" who never allows raw poultry to touch anything in the kitchen and douses his body in 409 when he deems necessary.  I always put unfinished sippies in the fridge and they are never about the house. 

Not Me!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the best thing I've seen in a long time

There is a grocery store just two short blocks away from our home.  This is one of my favorite things about our home.  We can easily go pick up an item or two that we need on a daily basis.  Often one of us will walk to the store.  Usually Gracie tags along as she's always up for a walk.

This afternoon Bean and I made a grocery list of items we needed for the week and off he and Gracie went.  Shortly after they left, I realized the list was quite lengthy and I wondered how he would do getting everything home.  I was kind of expecting a phone call to go pick them and the groceries up.

The sun set in the meantime and dusk set upon us.  I kept looking down the street, wondering where they were.

The final time I went out to check, there they were.  I wish I had a camera on me at the time, or my phone.

Bean was pushing a grocery cart, with Gracie riding in the child seat and the cart was full of our groceries.  It was quite practical, but honestly one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.  I still laugh out loud thinking about it.  My cute mexican husband, in his baggy shorts and flip flops, pushing a cart with our beautiful 2yr old riding along, like this happens in her life every day.  STINKING HILARIOUS!  If I was an artist, I'd paint a picture of it.

There are several elderly people that I see on a regular basis wheeling their groceries home in a cart and then returning it.  No one actually keeps the carts in our neighborhood.  These people probably don't DRIVE due to their age, so hence the need to push their cart home. 

He thinks this is much ado about nothing.  I posted this fun fact to my Facebook Status and people are enjoying the mental picture.  "People push carts home all the time."  Um, not usually able-bodied men, with a small child, and a perfectly good vehicle at home, with a wife willing to pick him up.

But hey, he got the groceries home, and the kid, all in one piece.

I'm going to be laughing for a long time to come.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the plague, and other tidbits

I've decided we have the plague, here at the circus.  Thankfully it's only a 2-ring plague, and we're hoping it stays that way.  I don't know if it's swine flu, or seasonal flu.  Does it really matter?  It's a LONG LASTING flu, and it sucks.  Miss Rose is on day 5 of a fever.  Gracie is on day 3 or 4. 

Lily woke up very snotty this morning, and I pray a fever is not to follow.  Gracie started out with a runny nose, but hers was clear, while Lily's is green.

I've been singing in my head "this is the flu that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend..."  I honestly thought we'd escape this plague that I've read so much about the news and on other blogs.  Oh, I was so naive. 

Thankfully they are eating alright and their fevers are keeping them mellow, so they rest a lot. 

But I'm tired of TV and movies.  The TV is on constantly, on sometimes a movie is playing on a computer in my bedroom (because my bed is so much more desirable, thankyouverymuch for those germs).  But, watching movies and shows keeps them entertained and quiet.  When they start playing too much, meltdowns ensue, because they don't feel well.

We had to reschedule a church directory photo.  We have family photos scheduled tomorrow with Bean's family...and schedules are so impossible to coordinate that we're just keeping the appointment, giving medication and crossing our fingers.  At least one cousin is sick as well.  I'm really hoping Miss Rose can make her soccer game tomorrow since it's the last one Bean and I can attend, due to a wedding next weekend.

In other tidbits...

I see a future in weight-lifting for little Lily.  She has an amazing ability (in my opinion) to lift and move heavy items.  I keep her toys in a sturdy wooden caddy-it easily weighs 2-3lbs.  She loves to empty the toys out and then lift it, move it, hold it etc.  This morning she was playing with a larger heavy "spin the wheel" toy and again lifting it up.

Diet Coke and I are done, for a while, or for good.  A dear friend who's experienced great heartache already in trying to start a family, gave birth to Baby Finley at 26 weeks yesterday.  Pre-ecclampsia and the serious threat to mom's life, indicated delivery was a must.  So far, Baby Finley is "doing great" (direct quote!) 

Yesterday as we were waiting word on what would happen, my heart was so heavy.  All I wanted to do was fast and get on my knees all day.  But playing nursemaid to kids with the plague and nursing a baby, fasting food was out.  Determined though, I realized I could fast Diet Coke.  Because I drink Diet Coke a few times a day usually, and often when I'm not drinking it, I am thinking about when I might drink it again.  (I know, I have a problem). 

So I'm fasting Diet Coke as I pray for Baby Finley and her parents.  It worked quite well yesterday.  I spent a lot of time praying (as I went about the day), but every time I opened the fridge which has Diet Coke inside it, or several times when I had the urge for the frosty goodness, I was reminded to pray again.  Baby Finley will probably be in the hospital until February (her due date) and I'm going to continue my fast until she's home in her mama's arms.

I'm thankful that God's ways are higher than our ways, but that doesn't always make them easy to understand.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last night

I'm sure you are SO curious as to what our night was like last night.  I'm sure you are fascinated by my stories of my sick family.  I'm sure you wait all day to see what I say.

HA!  I know none of that is true :)

But for my faithful readers (and friends!) who are great to comment on most anything, I'll entertain you with another night in the sick house.  It's a whole different kind of three bean circus.

10:15pm Change Lily's very wet diaper and lay her back down (I do this once a week with no issues)

10:30pm Bean & Beana are all tucked in

10:32pm Lily has decided having her diaper changed while sleeping is akin to some great travesty and her lungs are letting us know.

10:45pm Bean goes in to calm Lily, and it works for a bit

11ish pm Gracie is crying, and shaking from her fever that's fully set in

11:15pm Gracie is in bed with us.  Lily is screaming again.

11:20pm Gracie is miserable, Lily is screaming.  Get Lily from her bed.  Get motrin for Gracie.  Nurse Lily,  put her back to bed.

11:56pm Gracie is calmer, but spreading out in our bed.  Bean returns her to bed now that she is comfortable again.

2am        Miss Rose comes to bed with us after a bad dream, still feverish.  This is unusual, so she must have felt bad or been hallucinating. 

3am       I'm not sleeping well with Miss Rose in bed, so I get up and pump.  Which is rather unproductive thanks to the impromptu midnight nursing session.

5am        Guess who is screaming again.  After a few minutes, Bean goes in and she only gets madder.  Mom to the rescue (more like mom's parts to the rescue).  I nurse her, put her  back to bed.

6am       Gracie comes in, lays with us for a bit, but by 6:15am the girls are up and laying on the couch covered in their blankets.  Time for me to get ready for work.

The girls spent most of the day on the couch with their blankets.  At one point Bean said they both fell asleep on the couch together (SO uncharacteristic of them).  He was a wonderful stay at home dad today, managing two sick children and a baby. 

The fevers continued to come and go during the day, so Motrin was required.  By this evening, Miss Rose seemed fever free.  Since Gracie is about a day behind Miss Rose, she was at 101 before bed tonight.  Miss Rose must be fever free for 24hrs before returning to school, so she'll be home again tomorrow.  I very hopeful that the worst is over for her and she'll be at school on Friday.

Me...exhausted.  Between two very full, busy days at work, along with two very poor nights of sleep, I feel pretty brain dead.  Thankfully I was able to have someone cover my group at church tonight, and we had a very quiet night at home.

I've decided, if my children are going to pass illness to each other, we may need a bigger bed, since they end up with us.  The only problem is, our bedroom can't accomodate a larger bed.  And I don't just mean "it will be tight" I mean, we'd have bed almost wall to wall!!  So we'll continue squeezing in our queen size.

Here's to hoping I don't blog another chronicle of a sick night in our house!!  I'm sure you're bored to tears with it right now and are dying for some other topic on my blog.  Go ahead and laugh though.  These last few days and nights have been comedy...something you think you only hear about (or see on TV).

Sleep tight my friends!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yup, I was right

Yes, it's a long week.

Around 2am both girls came in to our room because Miss Rose needed to blow her nose and somehow Gracie woke up too.  I could tell that Miss Rose was starting to run a fever again.  One practice I try to keep is not overmedicating for fevers.  Of course the instinct is to want to bring the fever down.  But the fever is actually doing work in the body and especially for children, functions to keep them sedated.  Of course high fever can cause other problems, so there is definately a balance to be struck.

I put the girls back to bed (somehow Bean blissfully slept through it all) and since I was up decided to pump.  Being that the baby is getting closer to a year and I have those irritating female hormones coursing through my body, my supply is dropping when I pump.  But pumping in the middle of the night provides me with more milk than during the day.  I probably fell back to sleep around 3am.

At 4am Miss Rose came in again because she couldn't sleep.  She was burning up at this point, so it was Motrin time.  There wasn't a lot of sleep that happened between 4am & 6am.  Miss Rose was restless and Bean ended up on the couch.  By 6am Miss Rose was wide awake and Gracie was soon to follow.

Bean stayed home with the big girl and the little girls still went to his mom's.  She was pretty lethargic all day and by the evening, her fever was raging again.  She took a 2hr nap and spent much of the evening dozing as well.  It took about 2hrs after an evening Motrin dose for her fever to come down enough perk up a bit and ask for some dinner.  She's also got a pretty hacking cough.

Gracie is showing signs of illness.  Her nose has been running all day and she felt like she may have a low-grade temperature.  I'm fully expecting it to hit in the middle of the night. 

I really need to figure out the best way to take my kids' temperatures.  I have an inexpensive temporal scanner, and it's pretty useless.  It read that Miss Rose's temp was 99, but a digitial in her armpit showed a 103.5 temp (which was more what she felt like).  I know it's no longer safe, but I miss the old school mercury thermometers.  I just never trust the digital ones.

My husband rocks though!  He is one who really dislikes missing work, but he has many more sick hours than I do.  Since I'm only in the office a few days a week, it's a huge impact when I'm not there.  And there is an out of town consultant I'm working with this week--so almost impossible to not go in.  But Bean is doing Daddy-duty with a great attitude! 

You can pray for him tomorrow because he'll have all three girls tomorrow!  While the severity remains to be seen, two of them won't be 100% healthy.  He's off for Veterans Day and was planning a trip to the Zoo, but that's out.  It will be movie day instead, I'm sure!

Hoping we're on the upswing now!  Positive thinking works, right?

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's gonna be a long week....

Yesterday [Sunday] was a long day.  At the end of it, I couldn't help but wonder if it was a sign of things to come.  So far, it was.

Sunday was church from 7:30am to 12:30pm.  Usually, I come home and crash for the afternoon.  It's amazing how much physical and emotional energy are drained for a pastor (and I'm not even ministering from the platform) on a typical Sunday.  One of my college professors taught about "Monday morning blues" that pastors experience after the emotional high of a Sunday.

But there was no crashing to be had.  My sister broke her phone and we were adding her to our plan so she could get an iPhone (I'm excited to have another in the family!).  So off to AT&T I went for the phone.  Then to Target to look for inexpensive bedding for the girls (yay, found comforters and a sham for $30 per set).  While at Target the AT&T girl called me because she had neglected to put the phone back into the box.  So I returned to AT&T, and finally headed home.

My wonderful friend was just a 30 minute drive away (instead of 60+) and she had brought my new crib bedding!  We gave the kids a quick and early dinner and headed out to see our friends briefly and exchange goods.  Bean is always amazed when we get together because I always have to stuff give her and return to her, but I still end up coming home with more!  Since my children are a year behind hers, she passes a lot on to me. 

I absolutely love the new bedding!  It's pefect and deserves a whole post of it's own later this week.  If you haven't had a sneak peak yet, check it out my recent Tweet.

By the time we got home, got the kids in bed, it was time to do lunches and prepare bottles and all that fun stuff.  A LONG day (although good).

Yeah, so today.  I was up early this morning, but still had trouble making it out of the house on time.  Which meant I forgot my lunch and decided to go back for it after dropping off Miss Rose.  When I leave the house I have to make sure we have Miss Rose's backpack (complete with lunch & folder), my purse, my pump with all necessary parts inside, my lunch AND the diaper bag complete with bottles and baby food and changes of clothes.

At lunchtime we got a call that Miss Rose had a fever at school and was being picked up by Grammie.  Bean, my amazing husband and father of my children, left work and took her home in case she was super sick and contagious.  She crashed for 90 minutes (SO unusual) and would have kept sleeping if Bean hadn't woken her.  She seems okay now and her fever hasn't returned.  But school policy says she can't go to school tomorrow.

Tonight was a typical night.  Well, the Broncos were on TV, so the whole goal of the evening was making sure Bean got to watch some of the game.  I will probably never get over the guilt that Bean was being Superdad during the 2009 Super Bowl, which was supposedly one of the best games of all time.  It was days after my c-section and the circus was in FULL effect and he got to watch very little of the game.

It was just a long full day.  And I'm expecting more of it in days to come.  I'm looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend for a little repreive to the in and out of every day.

I'm heading to bed early tonight.  I'll be waking in the wee hours to pump and make sure my wee babe has the milk she needs.  And hopefully waking a few hours after that to get my exercise on, because my back is KILLING me and I need regular exercise to strengthen it and my core.

Yup.  It's going to be one of those weeks.

(although I am looking forward to getting a new sling in the mail to help with the clingy baby, and Gracie is peeing again after days of fighting it and having accidents!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Random Me

I'm not sure why, but I've been cataloging random things about myself.  Curious?

I have a weird fixation with birth-dates that have some sort of mathematical pattern to them.
Miss Rose: 1.26.04 This is okay in my book.  6 subtract 2 = 4
Gracie: 4.5.07 Better.  Sequential, although 6 is missing
Lily: 1.28.09  Best!!  1,2...8,9 (although I still wish she had come on her c/section date of 2.09.2009)

I can remember (although it's starting to get fuzzy) the weights of my kids at various points during their first year of life.  Like at 6 months, Miss Rose weighed about 17lbs, Gracie was just 14lbs and Lily was 15.5lbs.  My sister-in-law always laughs at me when I reference these sorts of things.  There are MANY things I can't remember, and would gladly trade the weights for practical, everyday things.  But I can't control my brain.

I still remember who gave me various wedding and baby gifts and many of the baby clothes the girls have received.
Paper towel holder...Marsha (as my Christmas gift, 2 months after our wedding)
Rice bowls...Joy, my roomate
All-Clad & Kitchen Aid...our AMAZING wedding party :)
Pink blanket for Miss Rose...Beloved Mama
Janie & Jack, Gymboree newborn sister
Blankee that Gracie attached herself too....Janet, former co-worker

I assign speed dial numbers according to birthdays (which I remember well too).  My youngest sister is speed dial 28, because her birthday is 11/28.  (except the iphone doesn't do speed dial like that, so I guess I don't use that method any longer--but I thought it was pretty creative).  And I remember TONS of birthdays of friends in my life.  Some I am still in touch with and some who I haven't wished a Happy Birthday to in years.

Most of this--random and useless.  But sometimes I just facsinate myself and wonder how does my brain function in the ways that it does!

What's random about you?

Friday, November 6, 2009

word associations

Me: What did the doctor say about your wart?

Miss Rose: She said I need to put goose tape on my finger.

Me: huh?

Bean: She means duct tape.


Miss Rose: We had a substitute today.

Me: Oh really?  What was her name?

Miss Rose: Miss Bake.

Me: You mean Miss Baker?

Miss Rose: Um, no.  Bake.  Oh wait,  Miss COOK.  I keep messing those words up.

(I can only wonder and hope that she made this same mistake in class that day.  The substitute, also the mom of another kindergartener, would have found that adorable I think!)

learning the choreography

It's a complicated dance, this business of balancing small children, elementary school and two working parents.  There have been many weeks that it gets the best of me.  I feel spent and I feel like I've failed my children.  I don't like nights that are frantic and there is no quality time with children and I'm having to hurry everyone up, no matter what we're doing.

The last few weeks though, Bean and I finally seem to be getting down this complicated dance.  We still have to improvise nightly, but things are flowing better, which means we are more calm, which spreads to the kids.

Every family dynamic is different--so what works for us won't work the same for everyone.  But here are the dance moves from our home.

Homework gets done in the afternoon, before we get home from work.  As much as I would love to be involved in doing homework with Miss Rose, there just isn't always time. 

Showers are sometimes taken BEFORE dinner.  Weird, I know.  At least for me.  Baths and showers were always at the very end of the day in my house growing up.  But, Bean has convinced me to vary from that routine.  We get home from work by 4:30.  Depending on the evening and dinner prep, if we're going to be eating dinner past 5:30 or 6pm, Miss Rose takes a shower before dinner.  Yes, she usually protests, but it works.

No more night TV!  Watching one TV show before bed has been part of Miss Rose's routine for quite a while.  She is a very active, high energy kid, so this was a great wind down time for her.  But again, there often isn't time and I got really tired of rushing through the night just so she could watch a show.  Slowly, we just began to phase it out.  It wasn't necessarily a planned thing, but a natural evolution.  A few times a week the TV may go on at night, but only if everything else is done and the night is going smoothly.  Regular reading is a must for a kindergartener--so this is a priority high above TV.

Tag team!  Bean and I tag team everything.  He often cleans the kitchen (surprise, surprise) while I do baths and jammies.  I may start dinner, but he'll finish and serve while I start feeding the baby.  After the little girls are bathed, he'll dress Gracie while I dress Lily.  That's after he catches Gracie and gets her to stop running around the house naked saying "shake yer booty."

If it can wait, it can wait.  That's my new mindset.  The kids and quality time with them are my priority.  There is undoubtedly things that I need to/could do each night.  Like cleaning and laundry.  Preparing bottle and lunches for the next day.  But it can wait.  My kids can't.  If it can be done later, then it will.

Mama's bed is best.  My kids love hanging with my on my bed.  They get up and down and move all around, but it's quality time.  I often nurse Lily on my bed in the evening and Gracie especially loves to come hang out and talk to me and bring books up to read and cuddle.  If Miss Rose isn't occupied with something else, she'll end up in there too.  These are some of my favorite moments.  Being silly, cuddling, reading.

Early bedtime.  My kids like to sleep!  They have since they were babies.  They NEED sleep.  Lately our goal has been to have the girls in bed by 7:15.  Which means that we are done with the singing, the drinks, the prayers, the silliness, the cuddling etc by 7:30pm.  Early, I know.  But they are easily asleep by 8pm and not too grumpy when they are woken up at 6:30am.  It works for us.

No night goes like clockwork. That would be boring, right?  Perhaps, but I'd like to try!  There are still moments every night when the wheels are coming off and Bean and I just laugh about the Three Bean Circus taking place.  That phrase is used at least once a night!  But I am feeling much better about how our evenings are going.  Because they are flowing much better, we've actually been able to fit in a few family exercise times (walk/run/bike) right after work.

Let's not talk about the HUGE meltdown Miss Rose had tonight that lasted a few hours and included major loss of privilege and a spanking. 

We just figure it out as we go.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

fall out of falling back

Almost a week has passed now, but we parents of young children are still reeling from the fallout of falling back.  As an adult this is the favorite daylight savings event, because it means an extra hour of sleep.  Young children though, don't sleep extra.  So for parents, it's a much dreaded day.

I was hopeful, stupidly hopeful, this year that there might not be great reprocussions.  Being that daylight savings fell on the night of Halloween, perhaps schedules would already be altered enough, that they would sleep through the time difference.  Nope.  It was fall back--Bean Circus style around these parts.

Oh, it was not to be so.  In fact, little Lily decided that there was a two-hour time difference and woke at 4am not be consoled.  Nursing, rocking, soothing, nothing was doing the trick.  This was very unusual for her.  Typically I can nurse her and put her back down and she's fine.  Or if I decide to keep her up, she's happy too.  Neither option made her happy that morning.  It was well after 5am when I finally had her down and quiet and went back to bed.

Sure enough though, before the clock read 6am (new time) it started with a sneeze or two (which is how Miss Rose greets every morning) and then the pitter patter of little feet.  Eight limbs piled into our bed pretty bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Miss Rose seemed to find comfort cuddling in bed with her elbow IN MY BACK and then Gracie's knee pounded Bean in his man-parts...and the family bed was over.

Miss Rose and Gracie are finally back to their 6:30am wakeup.  Lily had trouble with her naps this week, and I wonder if her natural rhythms were still off.  She finally took some good naps yesterday.  Lily loves waking at 5:45am, but I pretty much refuse to get her out of bed until 6am.  That is the earliest we rise in this house.  Well, the earliest children are to rise.

I'm looking forward to Spring Forward.  Perhaps I will be able to use it to my advantage to get Lily sleeping past 6am.  Dare to dream.

I can hardly wait

I'm SUPER excited about something right now.

What to know what it is??

Click here!

I have some actual posts and updates in the works, but couldn't wait to share this.

Monday, November 2, 2009

it doesn't get cuter than this

When I was a little girl, I was either playing outside with my brother, or playing inside with my baby dolls.  I only had a few really nice dolls, and they were truly my babies.  Most of the time, I played hospital with them.  But I always had fun dressing them and wrapping them in blankets, just like a real baby.  In fact, I still have those same dolls and some of the clothes I'd use with them.  Sometimes Miss Rose plays with my baby dolls.

So it's no surprise that I have fun dressing my children up.  It's not all frills and lace, but I do labor over what to have them wear for holidays, professional photos and of course Halloween!  I'm actually not the hugest fan of the holiday itself, but since we have an event at church, I'm okay with the kids dressing up and enjoying the candy.  In fact, I like dressing them up.

In just a few more years, they will choose their own costumes, but for now I get to choose two out of three costumes.  This year, with three children, I realized we are quickly moving towards coming up with costumes out of things we already own.  Even bargain hunting and making purchases on ebay, Halloween added up to more than I expected.

It was worth it though.  At least this year.  We had the absolutely cutest girls on Halloween. 

Gracie was so adorable as Minnie Mouse, even if she didn't want to wear her ears.  She has a new love of wearing tights.  In fact, she thinks they are like leggings or pants and can be worn out of the house, with a shirt and shoes.  And her dress, she's wanted to wear it every day since.

Lily was a perfect little ladybug.  Initially I planned on her being a flower, her name being Lily and all.  But the 6-12 month costume I bought, was big enough to fit Gracie.  So I'm saving it for next year.  But my next door neighbor had the ladybug costume and it ended up being perfect.  It actually fed my obsession of all things red for my baby girl!

What can we say about Miss Rose?  She tries to be rough and tumble.  Choosing a policeman costume.  But she just ends up being the most beautiful cop with her curls cascading down her back.  I sometimes threaten to cut her hair when we argue over combing it out, but I'm glad it's so long and beautiful.  I used to have curls like hers.  But the hormones of three pregnancies have relaxed them :(

For the first time in a few years I didn't have a specific role at our Halloween event, which meant I was able to enjoy going around with my kids.

It was the first time Gracie really understood what getting candy was all about and riding the ponies was a huge hit.

And this little girl, just melts my heart with every smile.  She "tries" to smile so big, it just overtakes her face.  I love this little ladybug!

I love being a mom and getting to share these wonderful times with my family.  Such great memories.  I still need to download a great family photo someone snapped of the five of us, so I'll share that in another post.

You have to admit, they are pretty cute!