Thursday, December 03, 2009

one smart cookie

Yesterday "Baby" E was throwing a fit--one of those unexplainable, throw herself on the floor fits. I had tried to distract her, tried to feed her, tried to snuggle her, all to no avail. So, I got up and went about my day.
She was following me around, hanging on my legs, wailing the entire time. I leaned down and told her that when she was all done crying, I would give her some milk.
Pretty soon, she stopped crying, walked up behind me and started signing "all done." :) Sure enough, she knew exactly what I was telling her and what I wanted.

After a little milk, she was good to go again.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is almost done. I have a mental list of what I was going to get accomplished this week during my break from school--there are very few items marked off. Instead, we've played outside, visited with family, snuggled, put up Christmas decorations and eaten much too much sugar.














Here I sit, hot apple cider in hand, three little girls in their beds, enjoying naptime. Right next to my pile of laundry waiting to be folded and put away (though the fact that it is already clean is a step in the right direction.) I have homework needing to be done and a test to be studied for.

But this afternoon, instead of doing any of it, my honey and I went on a date. It was wonderful. We took the baby as it was her naptime and the neighbor we've been sharing babysitting duties with would have her hands full with 5 kiddos already. Sweet little E just snoozed in the sling and the stroller, while hubby and I were able to stroll through a couple stores--nothing needed, just looking and enjoying each other's time and company. Crazy how that part of marriage gets lost in the shuffle of life, kids, laundry, etc. It was fun to walk hand in hand and chat without interruption. To drink hot chocolate without sharing or worrying about spills.

We got home, were greeted by little girls running to us with arms outstretched followed by wonderful precious hugs and slobbery kisses. They had a wonderful time, obeyed well and are looking forward to the next time already. Hmmm....tomorrow maybe? :)














Times like this, I want to take a mental snapshot. Something to capture the moment to pull out when I'm having a rough day in the near future, sometime when kids are whiny and crying and I'm not feeling like the mom I want to be. But for now, I'm going to enjoy. Treasure the moment. Be thankful.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

carving out a few minutes for myself

Between caring for three children, a husband, a home, working part-time for my parents and going to school full-time, I rarely have a minute to myself. I often taking kids into the shower with me in order to save time by washing us all. The baby is frequently found crawling around in the bathroom whenever I'm in there since she's always happiest around me. I hardly have any desire to be on the computer because I'm feeling guilted into doing homework rather than relaxing. This is my life for now, I guess. When I'm not feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, I'm actually enjoying the challenge. I'm enjoying using my brain, learning and broadening my horizons.

A few little things that I've been doing to stay sane. My hubby bought me an mp3 player for my birthday this summer. I keep that loaded up with audiobooks that I download for free from netlibrary.com. This is one of my favorite things to do--I listen to a book with one ear and listen to the kids with the other. I can frequently be found "plugged in" while doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms and now even driving/walking to and from class. One HUGE saving grace these past few days has been the fact that my husband has taken over doing more baby care in the evenings. Thank you Hubby!! In addition to taking her from me in the evenings, he's been working on getting her to sleep by herself in the pack-n-play rather than being constantly attached to me and sleeping in our bed. For those of you who have co-slept, you know how huge this is. Thanks again, Babe! I love you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

bad mommy award

Want to know a great way to feel like a terrible mommy? It's very simple, really. Just roll your ankle while walking down the stairs carrying your baby. Just that easy, you see the baby rolling on the floor with her head on the edge of the bottom step.

I hear from those who saw it happen, she really only rolled off of me onto the bottom stair, so I didn't really drop her. Not that it makes me feel much better. It all happened so fast I can't even remember if I tripped or what. I went from walking down the stairs to lying on my behind on the hard concrete watching my baby rolling on the ground. Made me feel like an awful mommy and it hurt my pride a bit, too. Not to mention my ankle.....

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mommy, some assistance, please?

E is getting into EVERYTHING these days. She's crawling at an ever-increasing pace, pulling up and this combination is somewhat disturbing to her big sisters.


























Quite frequently, one or the other 'big' girls is hollering for me to move E out of their way or something of that nature. B asked the other day, 'Mommy, some assistance, please?" How very polite. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

cold, cold go away

Since Monday of last week, we've had coughing, hacking and fevers at our house. I think that there has been at least one child with a fever every night for the past week; generally after having a mostly symptom-free day. We've also had some gut-wrenching cough-induced puking. Chest congestion has necessitated more upright sleeping, which is easier said than done when sharing a bed with a stuffy little one.

On top of all of that, last night baby E swallowed a little hair clip similar to these, resulting in the third threatened trip to the ER of the week (none of which actually materialized.) After much nursing, praying, debating and several calls to the doctor, we decided to wait and see. Don't worry, all is well. Apparently her little digestive tract is fairly efficient because the clip was in her diaper this morning and she seems to be no worse for the wear.

So, pray some prayers for us that we'll all be well soon. We're ready to be out and about playing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

sisters

I've been so incredibly blessed with my wonderful family. To have so many sisters, my best friends, live so close to me has been such a blessing. Now, two of my dear friends have moved away. One because she's now married to a California almond farmer and one to be a missionary in Ethiopia. I miss them. We've had a tradition of taking a sister picture at the mother's day bash that we host every year. These are pictures we'll treasure for years to come. (If you'll look closely, you'll see the top of a screaming baby's head. :D)














Last month we were all together for my sister's wedding, too.



























And last week for my sister's farewell party.








One thing that I hope for my girls is that they'll be best friends with each other. That they will take advantage of the built-in friends in their adult years and treasure each other dearly. Sisters are a gift from God.


















Monday, July 06, 2009

She's counting the days

My precious baby sister is getting ready to leave on a mission to Ethiopia. She'll be gone for two years. The planning has lasted for about 9 months and we're down to the final week.


Sophie is one of my very best friends. We've coached volleyball together, played volleyball together, talked for hours and so much more. I'm going to miss her desperately.
She's the 'baby whisperer' of the church/family. Where there's a baby, you'll most likely find Sophie there. Here she is snuggling baby E at about a week old.










Pretty much all babies/children love her and she loves them. When B was itty-bitty, she was quite a handful. Sophie spent a few nights over at our house, slepeing on the couch with B so that we could sleep a little bit. She'll take my girls to run errands with her or take them on a walk. She came over last week and watched all three girls for a couple hours while Scott and I went out. It was the first time we'd been on a date by ourselves since E was born.

She leaves on Sunday. Tomorrow we're going to take a day trip to visit some friends 2 1/2 hours away. I'm looking forward to spending the day with her, even if it will be driving for hours with 3 little girls in the back seat.
Yesterday, she was commissioned at our church. When B saw the tears in my eyes, she told me, "It's okay, mommy, we'll still be able to email and talk on the phone." Yes, we will, it's just not the same. I'm not looking forward to this trip to the airport.

I'm going to miss you, baby sister!

































Saturday, July 04, 2009

when?


Is there a certain time at which I can...
....tell baby E that she's supposed to be a baby still. she's not supposed to be scooting/crawling across the floor. she's not supposed to be clapping and waving. she certainly does look adorable while she does all of the above, though.
...tell my girls "no, you can't watch Tinkerbell.....again....and not break their hearts?" They've been (starting to) watch it at least 3 times a week while I try to work, or do school, or cook or clean. I think they've only watching the whole movie maybe two times, total. We know the beginning very well, though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

7:30am

It's 7:30 on a Wednesday morning. i'm up. all three kids are sleeping. hallelujah!

Last night was my sister's wedding. it was beautiful. the flower girls (B, K and 3 other little girls cousins) were adorable running up the aisle barefoot yelling "the bride is coming!" as soon as K hit the runner on the way up, it looked like she was going to stop and pick up the flower petals that had already been dropped, but then off she went. k was the youngest by more than a year, so was obviously the last to get done. she got back to me with two handfuls of flower petal in hand and was very concerned about it. i was able to coax her to throw them on the floor right there in front of Rebekah without holding up the works too much. it was a definite highlight of the wedding. very sweet.

there was a scorching 'first kiss' which was quite unexpected from the groom. yummy food made by my parents, with some help from hubby. absolutely fantasticly wonderful wedding cake--almond sour cream. YUUUM! almonds left on all the tables as favors since the groom is an a-mond farmer. (those native to the region in cali apparently drop the 'l' in almond.) the happy couple exited under a shower of bubbles. we were all surprised as he hit the gas to make a hasty exit. his family says that they'd never seen him do that. he's quite reserved and thoughtful in all he does apparently. guess he was ready to get on with it. ;) it was a beautiful wedding. they're headed for a week-long trip back to california to start their life together as a-mond farmers.

b lost her first tooth during the reception last night. we wrapped it carefully and put it under her bed for the tooth fairy. the tooth fairy showed up last night and left her with a sweet little note and some quarters, which i'm sure she'll be absolutely thrilled to discover.

we've been sleeping in our new house for almost 2 weeks now. 95% of our stuff is still packed up. we finished getting everything moved in last sunday. we were home getting a bit settled for a couple days then headed up to church camp on wednesday. decided to come home a bit early from that on saturday, celebrated father's day with both dads, one on sat and one on sunday. then had rehearsal/dinner on monday and wedding on tuesday. it's been a busy couple weeks. i'm looking forward to getting settled and start living a 'normal' life again.

i've got truckloads of pictures. i just have to find the cord to load them onto the computer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One load down

There's a reason for the long, drawn-out absence here.

We're moving.

We took the first load over tonight. Many more to come.

Crazy how an empty house makes the girls turn wild. They were dancing and wrestling, rolling on the floor and 'exercising.' Then, pretty soon someone is crying because the ran into the wall, or fell down or some other earth-shattering horribleness. All in good fun, I guess.

Tomorrow we're hoping to get the bulk of the 'necessities' moved over: pots and pans, dishes and the rest of the things we can't live without while we unpack the garage full of boxes that will come over on Friday with the furniture.

I'm looking forward to getting settled.
To be done living with the move looming over us.
To be able to reassure my children that everything is OK.
To go bask in the sunshine by the community pool.

Oh, did I mention that we'll have access to the community pool? Absolute heaven! We're all excited about that.

Must go feed baby.

More later.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

from the mouth of a two year old

K said today, "puke in toilet, not in sink."

You better believe it.


*we've got a bug around here. Can you tell?*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To brighten his day.


Daddy's at school and we're all missing him. So we sent him a little picture to let him know we were thinking of hm.

And he really is a rock star.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

5 months old



Time has flown. We've been sick, and busy, and growing, and living. You know how it goes. ;)

Yesterday marked 5 months that my precious baby E has been here. Seems almost like last week. Except that I'm *really* tired. ;)

E is a happy, happy little girl. Most of the time, all it takes to get a smile from her is a smile of your own. She laughs easily and is content to snuggle with any of us. B usually holds her first thing in the morning while I'm finishing up breakfast. They both seem to enjoy it.

My bigger girls each got their first tooth right about 4 months. E's not far behind. She's got a lovely little bump there and we're just waiting for the tooth to actually pop through. I've enjoyed her toothless grin, especially this last month, knowing that it soon will be no more.

Having mastered rolling from tummy to back at some ridiculously young age, about 5 weeks, we've grown accustomed to her flipping over pretty quickly. She's SO close to getting from back to tummy now, too. We're not ready for her to be mobile yet, though, so hopefully we have a bit longer before that happens.














I'm so glad that you are here, E! You bring so much joy and countless smiles to our family!

Love you!


*Many thanks to my friend Jill for salvaging my pictures from the depths of underexposure!*

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Heard at our house

Trying to get out the door.

Both big girls had been repeatedly asked to get shoes and socks on (as I rushed past trying to gather everything up.)

We were late. Like usual.

I finally sat down in front of K to help her get her shoes on.

"Mommy, " she asks, " you fasting up?"

You bet, kiddo, mommy is fasting up. :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Utter Yumminess!

Hubby and I have been working hard at eating a *tad* more healthfully. (Is that even a word??) Due to this, I've been craving sugar NON-STOP! It's crazy! Ah, the forbidden fruit.

So, I broke down.

I baked cupcakes.

Full-fat, extra chocolate chips, complete and utter deliciousness.


In my defense (or possibly justification) I chose cupcakes instead of a cake in order help control portions. This cake is sooooo yummy and gooey right out of the oven, it doesn't even need frosting. It's just as good from the freezer. And that is where more than 1/2 the cupcakes are already.

Go me! Kind of.

Oh, and so that you can enjoy such deliciousness, here is the recipe:

Super Yummy Chocolate Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (6 oz) pkg dark fudge pudding
1/2 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. oil (I sometimes sub applesauce here)
1 c. plain yogurt or sour cream

*Mix batter and bake in bundt pan at 350 for 45-55 min. May be topped with powdered sugar.*

oddly pleased and proud

Last night, I got a wild hair and got out my ironing board. For anyone who knows me, they'll know what an odd occurence this is. I spent a bit of time overseeing the girls picking up toys while I ironed. Then a few more minutes while watching TV last night. I'm quite oddly pleased with myself for turning out this nice stack of 20 nicely ironed cloth napkins (among other things.) Quite pleased.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

sunshine

We have been enjoying some seriously wonderful weather around here. Yesterday it was almost 60!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 years old!

We celebrated B's birthday over the weekend. She's quite proud to be a big 5 year old, though she's sure she's now big enough for Kindergarten. Not so fast, little one! ;)









Friday, January 23, 2009

Heard at our house

Yesterday at breakfast, I looked over to see K licking the syrup straight off her plate. When I asked her to stop she said, "I not licking, Mommy, I dipping my tongue."

In my email this week

Sometimes I wonder why, but at some point in time, I've signed up to get emails about ages and stages. In me inbox this week, I found one about K:

By 30 months, your child can name a few body parts, some colors, and even a friend or two.


I read this in bewilderment. K can name pretty much all the body parts from her pinky toe to her belly button to her eyebrow and forehead. She knows the colors and even recognizes most of them with accuracy. She knows the names of her friends and often those of the friend's parent(s).

As I read, I wondered if this is all we should be expecting of our kids this age. Then I remembered.....ah, she's a second child. That's why!

B can often be found teaching K something that she learned in preschool or from a friend. They are most often together, so of course K will be learning whatever B is doing. It's amazing, really.

When I mentioned this email to my mother-in-law, a preschool teacher/administrator in her younger years, she absolutely agreed with me. She thought that K's verbal skills were about that of a 3 1/2 year old rather than a 2 1/2 year old.

So, there I was feeling all proud of myself for raising such exceptionally intelligent children. Maybe I should have stopped at exceptional.....

Yesterday, in the span of 1/2 hour, K managed to pour half a bottle of nail polish on the floor, spill a bowl full of water onto the bathroom floor and cover herself in my makeup. Before I got the first mess cleaned up she was on to the next one. (Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of any of them. I might find them funny down the road.)

When I told her "no, you can't play with mommy's makeup" and I wiped the powder off her face (and her hair and her shirt and the floor), she burst into tears and threw a big ol' hissy fit.

Yep, I guess she is just 2 1/2 after all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

growing up and getting big

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a grown up B. She had gotten herself dressed and ready for the day, including doing her hair ALL BY HERSELF for the first time ever (and a darn good job she did, if you ask me!)

AND, she made breakfast for everyone. She got out lunch meat and sliced cheese, rolled them up together and up them in the tortilla warmer on the table. When did she get to be a teenager?? Holy cow!

Today she got bowls out of the dishwasher for all of us, got out our favorite cereals and put the cereal into bowls. Then she got out the milk and poured milk in. We were almost out of the girls' milk, so she had to use some of mine in their bowls. Never mind that the cereal was a bit soggy, what a sweetheart!

----------------------------------------


K continues to do exceptionally well in the potty training department. We're mostly accident-free at this point. She's still in a diaper for nap (which is almost always dry when she gets up) and nighttime. WTG, big girl!

-------------------------------------------------

E is now just over 10 weeks old. Smiling and 'talking' are two of her favorite new activities. yesterday as I was changing her diaper, I was blowing raspberries at her and she, in turn, was trying to blow them back. It was absolutely adorable. Last Wed was mother/baby circle and E weighed in at 12lb 2.5oz. She's chunkin' up! It's getting more important for us to make sure she gets good naps during the day. If we don't, the evenings end up being a frustrating combination of 3 minute naps, fussing and whining, and a whole lot of nursing (usually followed by a huge puke.) It's lovely, I tell ya. Needless to say, I like naps, too. ;) She'll nap quite well in the morning, usually, but not so great in the afternoon when the girls are asleep. figures. I've been known to put her in her carseat for naps, too, even when we're home since she seems to do so well sleeping in there.




Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy (belated) New Year!




Happy New Year, one and all.

As always, Christmas and new years and the week between are crazy at our house. Not only do we have our little family Christmas to do, we also have both our families locally. In addition, hubby's birthday is December 26th.

It always takes a while to sort through the truckload of gifts that our kids get for Christmas. I really need to take a picture sometime of the massive pile of gifts that we have in our living room for at least a couple days while we try to find homes for them all. We get showered with blessings, each and every year.

I still have a stack of unopened boxes sitting in the playroom waiting for little hands to ask for help in opening them. Slowly they are being brought out into circulation. It's so very interesting to see which gifts are favorites. Currently they each are always dragging around "computers" aka Disney Dream Sketchers. They go everywhere with us, it seems. Since they are backlit, the girls can even play with them in a dark car, which is a bonus.













By far, watching the joy on the faces of our little ones as they anticipated Christmas, got to sit with Santa, then finally as they ripped open package after package was the most fun.










We did have to have a few lessons in the real reason for Christmas, especially for B. Every time we were in a store, she would ask me to add things to "her list" of wants for Christmas/birthday. I would gladly add it to the list, but gently remind her that she wasn't going to get all that she had on her list. (Since then I've gotten a tip from my sister (mom to 10) that she only allows 5-ish items on the list in order to have them be items that would be most enjoyed.) Through all of the commercialism, it's a hard battle to remember why we do this. Christmas is remembering the ultimate gift of Jesus coming as a baby to forgive our sins...the best gift of all.

Speaking of the best gift of all, there's a song that B is continually singing: The best gift of all is Jesus. It's so adorable to hear her sweet little voice singing songs. It seems that she can never make it through a whole song without making up her own lyrics. Even jingle bells gets changed to say whatever she is thinking at the moment. I love it.

Heard from B:
I am waiting
I am waiting
on this day
on this day
Jesus will be born soon
Jesus will be born soon
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
(sung to the tune of 'where is thumbkin')

I'm enjoying a pretty great gift right now. I'm sitting on the couch, wrapped in my robe, drinking hot chocolate while all three girls are enjoying quiet time. None are asleep (grrr) but all are currently happy. Oh, just kidding, Baby E just closed her eyes. Thank you Lord!