I have a NEW location

Thank you for visiting! I have a new location on the web and would love for you to join me there.

I'm still blogging about my three girls and my life as a working mom--just with a new blog name.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Did you follow me?

Did you follow me over to Our Three Bean Circus?  I hope so!  I'll be deactivating this blog address soon so make sure to follow me over there.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wondering where I've been?

Have you been wondering where I've been?

I've been over HERE .

At my new blog site.

So head on over and read up on what you've been missing.

Follow me at my new location! 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Follow me over to read "He went there"

Follow me over to my NEW BLOG to read the latest post "He went there."  Don't forget to click the Google Follow widget so you can follow me at the new site.

Not Me Monday and a NEW Location

Guess what.

I finally did it.

I am moving to a NEW location.

Still on Blogger, but an address and blog title that I feel is a better reflection of me and my family, which I mostly blog about.

There is a NOT ME over there.  And let me tell you, it's a good one.  So click on over, follow me on the new blog, bookmark me, add me to your feedburner or reader.  I'll update this blog for a bit with my new post titles and a link to the new blog.

See you over there!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lucky in Love

Bean and I celebrated 8 years of marriage this week.  I had all sorts of ideas for a creative, fabulous post honoring this event.  But let's be honest, I'm a busy working mom of three small children.  The pieces just never came together.  So here's my heart and thoughts.

8 years of marriage

3 children, ages 5 and younger.

3 major job changes for each of us--with of course some side jobs thrown in there

5 different homes

1 truck, traded for 1 CRV, traded for 1 minivan (bless Bean for driving the Saturn that I brought into our marriage)

These are some of the huge milestones we've been through together.  Each with their ups and downs.  But together is the key.  When we are in the midst of difficulty, we often say to each other "there is no other person I'd rather go through this with."  And it's so true.

We still look at each other in amazement that we're married.  Bean's brother was one of my close friends growing up.  We knew of each other, but never hung out or even really talked.  Until I moved back home after college.  I remember the first time I "officially" approached Bean.  I had been asked to lead worship for our church college group, and I had remembered seeing him play guitar a few times.  So I asked if he wanted to be on the worship team.  I'm not great at that kind of thing--making that kind of request--but I'm SO glad I did :)  Now he is my guitarist for life.  People used to tease me and Bean's brother about dating--but I like to think I got the better brother!  Better for me that is :)  His brother and I would have killed each other, although I still consider him one of my close friends.  And his wife is perfect for him.

I love our marriage.  Thankfully it's been one of the "easy" things in life.  Certainly we have our ups and downs--which usually is due to failure to communicate, but most of the time being married to Bean is the best thing in my life (also because he gave me those three beautiful babies).  Our favorite time of the day is when we can finally get in our comfy bed, cuddle and sleep (although we both sleep best lying back to back...but our feet almost always touch).  I find it romantic that Bean checks my Twitter feed every day, even though he doesn't have an account himself.  He just likes to see what I'm saying about my day. 

Sometime in the last year I heard the song "Lucky in Love" for the first time.  Ever since then, it's stuck with me as being so true for Bean and I.  I have been lucky in love, and am lucky that my love is my best friend.

I love you Bean!  You are my best friend and I look forward to what the next years have to offer us.

(you know it's love when I post a photo of us at HIS beloved Bronco stadium when I am a die-hard Charger fan)

Monday, October 5, 2009

2 in 2 = 2 (and again??)

No I'm not pregnant.  Yes this post is about pregnancy, and dental care.  Did I scare you?

I've been avoiding the dentist for months now.  My gums always suffer in pregnancy.  I could find a link to share that it's common, but you'll just have to google it.

Finding myself knocked up unexpectedly last year, threw my dental care off course.  I had a dental appointment scheduled long before I knew another little Bean was nestled inside of me.  So when I told them of my recent findings, x-rays were out.  I was asked to come in a few weeks before my due date, for a slightly early cleaning.

Yeah, I went into labor the day before my appointment.  And then I delivered the day of my appointment.  My dentist is almost completely computer run (which is so cool--my xrays show up instantly on a screen in front of me) and I saw in the patient notes "patient cancelled less than 24hrs, in labor". 

Getting to the dentist after Lily was born, was NOT a high priority.  Nor was flossing.  If the baby was asleep, and housework was done, I wanted to be in bed as quickly as possible.

I FINALLY made it to the dentist last week.  (the 3rd appointment scheduled in 2wks was the charm)

I had NO cavities until college (even though my first dental visit was at age 12).  Poor quality food and probably too much Diet Coke contributed to a few cavities.

I haven't had any since college.

Until now.  I guess two babies in two years means a cavity for each of them.  My babies are just that sweet.

I have a few other problem areas.  That can be taken care of with flossing.  So I really need to make that a daily habit again.  Along with lots of other areas of self-care that have been neglected.

Oh, and would you say a prayer for Miss Rose tomorrow?  She is a magnet for oral trauma.  She had a tooth pulled at 2.5yrs due to trauma.  After a soccer tangle 1.5 wks ago, her remaining top middle tooth is still a bit loose and the gum looks a little questionable to me.  I really don't want her to have a tooth pulled AGAIN.  She has yet to loose her first tooth, so I know we are at least several months from those top permanent teeth coming in.

And have you ever heard of 6yr molars?  Miss Rose has some back teeth coming in.  Our almost 7-yr old neighbor (who's pretty bright) said she got 6-yr molars last year.  I thought Miss Rose was just intelligent and getting her wisdom teeth already.  I need to google 6-yr molars.  Or maybe you can do it for me. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

There will come a day

There will come a day, that I'll be able to volunteer in my child's classroom.

Right now, I feel guilty every time a paper is sent home requesting parent help.  Being a working mom, with two other small children, it's just not possible.  Either I'm at work...or it would mean alternate childcare for the little ones on a day when I'd rather be with them.  No one makes me feel guilty and I'm sure anyone would understand, and I'm confident I'm not the only one in this position.  But I do wish I could add that to my list of Supermom abilities.

There will come a day that I will be able to do the extra homework and fill the reading lists with my child.  Right now, we're lucky to just complete the basic homework and read several books a week...instead of each night.  And I even feel guilty that on my work days, I need Miss Rose to complete her homework before I get home--because it's just another piece of craziness added to dinner, baths, bedtime routines, lunch making, house cleaning and clingy babies.

There will come a day that my house will be organized and feel like a home.  Admittedly, I am a packrat.  I save things just in case.  I like to file important paperwork and tax documents, even though most things would probably be available electronically or on request.  But I need to change those habits.  There is no space for such clutter in our house.  Things need to put put away, right away.  Everything needs a place, because there is no extra space.  We're still in that process though.  And it's driving me crazy.  We now have three functional bedrooms.  So we are a few steps closer.  We're here for a long time, so I will figure it out, right?

There will come a day when Bean and I will not need to make a complicated schematic just to get us through the week of work, school, soccer, family obligations, hopefully some exercise and family time.

There will come a day, when I will look fondly on these days.  The days my children were young, messy and sticky.  The days when they needed me, 24/7.  The days when nothing went according to plan, and we just laughed our way through it.  The days when our faith and trust in God were stretched, and grew.  The days when we were seeking God and letting him lead us in the formation of our family and life. 

There will come a day. 

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


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


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!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Homemade in Red

Brace yourself for a photo blitz!

My sweet little Lily is 7 months old! I can't believe how fast this year is going by. It's probably that way with most 3rd and beyond children. I tell myself to cherish the moments as much as I can knowing I may not experience a new baby again.

Last week I had some professional photos taken that I have at work waiting to scan, I just haven't had time yet. I was pleased with how they came out. Want a preview? Here she is in the same dress after church on Sunday.

Check out the length of her tongue.

But, sometimes the best photo sessions are homemade. Certainly they are cheap! And someday, if I ever learn photoshop, I'll have fun editing the home shoots I've done with my kids.

So, I present

Miss Lily Cate

a study in Red

(homemade headband bow to boot!)

Her favorite lovey,

Which usually results in this, as soon as she's laid down. I'm hoping it will be her comfort item since she won't take a binky anymore.

These baby blues melt me

Oh, how I love this baby girl in red.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dear Binky

Dear Binky,

You have been a staple in our lives. A most treasured item. By these parents and our children alike. You have provided comfort and calm. You were there in sickness and in teething and in health, until about 2yrs old, did we part.

"don't you dare take this out of my mouth"

Miss Rose loved your green Soothie version. As she got older, we'd put two of you in her bed at night, just in case one fell out. By 6 months old, you mostly a sleepytime item.

comfort with Mama in Mexico

Then the fateful day came, when it was time to bid fare-thee-well. For some reason, this mama thought your absence would be solidified if Miss Rose dropped you in the trash herself. In retrospect, perhaps a bit traumaitc. And perhaps why it took a few days and many minutes of crying for her to adjust. But she did.

With the arrival of Gracie, we welcomed you back into our home with open arms. She chose one of your Playtex variety. It was a beneficial relationship.

trying out the soothie at 3 months with mama in Ireland

slinging with the binky

Especially when the new baby arrived and Gracie was a bit confused. There were many times we told her to fetch you from her bed, and sit on the couch to calm down. And then again it was time. Postponed several months by many changes. We took a different approach and told Miss Gracie what a big girl she would be. Shock of all shocks, she took your absence so well. Not a tear was shed.

Earlier this year when Lily was born, I expected your steady presence once again. In five years so much changes and we had the pink and purple versions of the Soothie and even the Gumdrop. Once again we used blankets and burp clothes to prop you in her sweet mouth. She readily accepted you.

Until that day. That Lily found her fingers. First it was her thumb. Playing traitor to you. Lulling her to sleep. Then it was her two middle fingers. Still is actually. Providing comfort. Just like you did.

those fingers

slinging with mama

And now weeks later, versions of you are found throughout the house, collecting dust. Growing brittle from lack of use. And it's me who's having a hard time letting go. I've accepted that this is the end of our journey with you. But yet I don't want to separate. There are no promises that those middle fingers will comfort for as long as you would. That when Lily is making noise in a place we need quiet, getting her to suck her fingers is not as easy as popping you in her mouth.

Dear Binky, we've loved you and cherished you. We've searched high, but mostly low, under couches and beds for you. But I think this is the end. It's time to gather you up and perhaps give you to another family, where you are more welcome.

Thank you for your faithfulness to us. For being there when we needed you. I'm surprised and saddened that this goodbye comes so soon. I had hoped we had a few years left. But eventually this day would have come.

We'll always have fond memories.

The Bean Family

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We recently took the two older girls to their first real baseball game. Both Bean and I are sports fans and enjoy a good ballgame. We went last year and sat on the grass, but the game is watched on a large screen from there. This year we decided it was time to get some regular seats and our church purchased a large block of tickets so it was a great opportunity. Being there with many friends made the experience even more fun for the girls.

I realized it was the first time, since Lily's birth, that we purposefully did a fun activity with Miss Rose and Gracie, leaving Lily with a babysitter. It was a good experience and probably something we need to do every now and then until Lily is older. Oh and the man-to-man defense was so much easier too!

Bean & I had fun, and our team won!!

Gracie loved cheering for the team. Although sometimes she yelled out a football team name, but most of the time she got it right. Miss Rose said her favorite part of the night was Gracie's cheers.

Can you find Miss Rose in this photo? A friend took it and emailed it to me when she saw Miss Rose. Rock on!!

Miss Rose loved the fireworks after the game.

Gracie did not.

All in all, we had a BLAST! I can't wait until Lily is around 2 and we can all enjoy a game together.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not My Children!

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.

This week it's the "Not My Child" edition.

And may I remind you, you can't make this stuff up!

Yesterday while celebrating a special occasion at a friend's home, my children were invited to swim in the pool, which also has a slide.

It was not my risk-taker of a 2yr old who decided to walk down ALL the stairs into the pool, chasing after a toy, without any floaties. She did not begin to go under the water, causing me to walk right into the pool after her, in my clothes, wetting myself to the hips, to pluck her out of danger and place her back into safety, just as she was going under for the second time.

Nor was it my other risk-taker of a 5yr old who decided to go down the rather steep slide on her knees, not five minutes after the stair incident and promptly hit her head on the end of it. Hard. Hard enough to be heard by those around.

It was not this same daughter who wore the same clothes two days in a row after spending the night at Grammie's house. She did not play outside with cousins the first day and then wear the clothes to church and a school BBQ the next day. Not my child. She is very amenable to the decisions I make for her, such as what clothes I pack in her bag.

And now for my favorite moment that couldn't have happened this week...

My 2yr old is not talented enough to shoot a stream of urine right onto her father's crotch, as he lifted her from the toilet to see if she was actually going. Apparently she was. This was not at a baseball game, where Bean had to return to his seat, looking like he had urinated on himself.

Not my children, friends. They practice pool safety, wear clean clothes every day and would never urinate on a parent. No way.

Don't forget...I'm having my first (albeit, small) giveaway. You have until Thursday to enter by posting a comment here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good for you and the environment: My first giveaway!

A few years ago I started becoming more aware of the ingredients of many products and foods and how they were unecessary to the true function of the product and how they are potentially dangerous to our bodies and the environment.

In some ways it began when I read the book Curly Girl sometime in 2006. (A GREAT book if you or your kids have curly hair). I learned that many chemicals in the hair products I was using were actually harmful to my hair and didn't help control the curl and actually created frizz. I was really surprised to learn that the sulfates, the main ingredient in most soaps and shampoos that make the "sud" is actually quite drying.

I've since tried to purchase shampoo's and body cleansers that are soap-free. They clean just the same. Both Miss Rose and Gracie had bad eczema on their bodies as babies. By around 18 months, they seemed to grow out of it. I've been using soap-free wash on Lily from the time she was born and so far--no eczema. It's hard to say what the factors are, but I can't help but wonder if not using sulfates on her skin (and only getting 2-3 baths a week) play a part.

I am trying to make the jump to mineral makeup. I just need to find the right brand and color to go with my skin. I've had to make one return and am actually going out tonight to pick something else up so that I can wear some sort of foundation to church tomorrow!

Ecostore USA has products that not only are GOOD for our skin and safe cleaners for the home, but they are also GREEN! I love that their company tagline is "no nasty chemicals." They have baby and body products, hair products, household cleaners and pet care. I'll have to remember that when Bean comes through with his "dog for Christmas" promise to the girls.

I'm currently using the Natural Citrus Spray Cleaner. It definately has a more pleasant odor than your normal all-purpose cleaning sprays. It's great to know there is nothing harmful that can be inhaled by my little girls. And I am totally comfortable having Miss Rose do some cleaning herself.
Guess what, for leaving a comment here, you can win the Vanilla Soap, great to cleanse your body, even if you have sensitive skin. I've inhaled the scent through the box, and I think you will smell so yummy after using it.

Leave a comment with what item you would most like to try from eco STORE or share your own tips for being more green or less harmful products for your family. One comment per person please and I'll choose a winner after noon (pacific time) on Thursday!
Thanks eco STORE USA for the opportunity to try your products and for being my first giveaway!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When all else fails...

I enjoy blogging quite a bit. But I've found when I'm facing challenges or discouragement in life, it takes more energy to blog them. I'm much better at bottling. Although I am working on it. I have a couple topics in mind, but haven't been able to flesh them out yet.

Lest you think I'm neglecting my blog here are a few photos! When all else fails, photos will always do.

I believe Gracie is destined for the runway, what with this hair. Certainly this is post-nap, but regardless, it's FABULOUS! And I caught a little attitude to match the hair here!

My favorite Lily-smile. She tries to smile so big and with so much gusto that the right side of her mouth often slants down like this--thus the cutest crooked smile you've ever seen. It's so sweet and I hope it's something she doesn't grow out of. (Notice also, our progress with sitting! She's getting there)

I know many of my photo posts are Gracie or Lily, mostly because Miss Rose will rarely pose for me--and the little ones are still at my mercy! But here is a collage I made for our computer desktop. Miss Rose is getting great at holding and sometimes picking up her baby sister. She is quite anxious to be a help, and most of the time she truly is. And then there's my little girls in their brown and pink polka dots. That I had these coordinating outfits was a coincidence, but of course I had to take advantage of it for church recently.

I have my first giveaway I need to blog this weekend. I was actually approached by a company because of my blog or twitter I guess, to try some of their product and give something away. Stay tuned!!
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

I have a little scwape

Gracie is at the age of clumsiness. I think all toddlers go through this clumsy stage. And some of us never grow out of it.

A few weeks ago Gracie fell on the sidewalk in front of our house and skinned her knee. She re-opened the scrape a few times of course. It's now been just a scar for a few weeks, but she keeps telling people about her "little scwape."

Yesterday, while chasing a lizard at Grammie's house, the law of equal opportunity of the knee was exercised, and she fell and skinned the other knee.

For some reason, scraped knees mean poor sleep for Gracie. She cries out a lot, and when we check on her, she complains about her knee. With the first skinned knee, this happened for several nights and meant bad sleep for us!

So last night, when I heard her crying for the second time (which Bean told me this afternoon was the fourth time) I just brought her into our bed. It was only 1am, so I knew we were in for a long night of it. She slept better with us of course, but as all two-year-olds are, she's a little bedhog and Bean and I woke up a lot.

I never knew a "little scwape" as Gracie calls it, could cause such sleep disruption.

I'm just thankful that so far Gracie's clumsiness has not resulted in major catasstrophe.

Like when Miss Rose fell at age 2, while playing with a ball. And one of her front teeth was chipped and shoved up into the gums. Which later abscessed and needed to be pulled.

I'm so used to seeing her with the missing tooth now, almost 4 years later, that I forget what happened. She keeps asking me when a new tooth will grow in--which will hopefully be within the next year or two.

In other sleeping news, Lily is doing better in that area. Last week she slept 10 hours all on her own. Proving to me that it's possible and she's more than capable! We're moving her to a pack-n-play in the living room when we go to bed. Since I often need to pump at night to keep up with her bottles for when I work, I can't do a dream feed. But if she wakes up before 8 hours since her last feed, I'm just leaving her--and she only cries a bit and goes back to sleep. We're making progress!! In another week or two, I'll probably increase it to 9 hours if she doesn't do it on her own.

Lily has absolutely NO love for cereal. Yes, she's approaching 7 months old, and not really eating any solids. This week we may try cereal mixed with a puree or perhaps some mashed avocado.

Wish me sleep tonight! I will admit, there still is something sweet about cuddly children in my bed, even if it means less quality sleep for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to survive the beach with small children, in 28 easy steps

1. Decide, why not. It will be crazy, but let's join friends at the beach.
2. Make sure friends are going. Because you can't supervise everyone on your own.
3. Bring another child. Because 3 definately isn't enough and what's one more?
4. Let kids watch more TV than normal in the morning while you prepare to go to the beach. Between all the "mommy I need's" and preparation, it will take a few hours.
5. Pack light. The kids can share one towel. You don't need a chair, because you won't sit down at all. Germs? Who cares! We can all share one water bottle.
6. Stop at the gas station to pick up the food/beverage items you didn't have at home. You can park right in front, and leave the kids in the van, just like would do if you were getting gas.
7. Try a new freeway combo to get to the beach, and go the wrong direction, even though you've lived in the same city for over twenty years.
8. Unload children and belongings. Throw baby in the sling, and pile the stroller with your stuff.
9. Once you get to the sand, pull the umbrella stroller behind you. MUCH easier than trying to push it through sand.
10. Field 5,345 requests while trying to nurse the baby
11. Get baby to fall asleep in stroller so you can frolick with the toddler in the water.
12. Try not to cringe at how sandy all food gets before it makes it to the toddler's mouth.
13. Cringe again as the loudest Navy jets you've ever heard fly over because you're next to a Naval Air Station.
14. Bury head in hands as baby wakes up screaming due to loud jets.
15. Decide to leave early because "Baby Interuppted" won't be consoled by anything.
16. Feel thankful that you have friends to help clean up sandy children and hold fussy babies while you prepare to leave.
17. Secure screaming baby in sling, begin trek back across the sand and to the car.
18. Decide against showering children off. It will give hubby a reason to use the new Shop Vac.
19. Load sandy children in the car. Remove now sleeping baby from sling, waking her as you secure her in the carseat.
20. Be thankful for the DVD player to entertain tired sandy children on the drive home.
21. Drop off extra children
22. Arrive home. Make sure no one sits on the couch. Leave baby in the infant seat.
23. Quickly shower the toddler and put her down for a nap, while baby cries in the infant seat, and sandy 5yr old watches Disney.
24. Nurse sandy baby. Decide to put sandy baby down for a nap and bathe her later.
25. Get 5yr old cleaned up. Realize as you are brushing her hair out, it's still full of sand. Be thankful it's dark hair, so no one can really see it.
26. Finally shower yourself. Resist urge to climb into bed and nap the rest of the day,
27. Feel grateful you live in a great city with great beaches and that your kids had a fabulous time. Even though you still have all the stuff to clean up.
28. Plan to lather, rinse, repeat all these steps next Friday with the same bat-friends, at the same bat-beach.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Babywearing Bliss

I love this photo.

The closeness of my baby to my heart, thanks to my Peanut Shell.

The pure contentment on her face.

The blueness of her eyes against the blue of her onsie.

The characteristic sucking of her middle fingers.

I wish we could stay like this forever.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Me

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 have not been using a small Dora brush from the 99cent store on my children daily because I've yet to replace a broken hairbrush.

I do not regularly postpone bathing my children, knowing they are going in the pool or the beach or sprinklers the following day and will definately require a bath after that.

I was not laughing like crazy the other night when I was trying to help Gracie potty, when Miss Rose slipped in the shower and almost fell out of the tub, and then Gracie was urinating as I was pulling her panties down. I did not say "sweet Jesus" only to hear Gracie mimic me.

It's not me who's been waking twice a night again, with a baby, who doesn't want to sleep more than an 4-5hr stretch.

And it's not my 6.5 month old baby, who still isn't eating solids because every attempt at cereal has resulted in vomit.

We eat healthy around these parts, and avoid fast food. So, if you're wondering you did NOT see me this past Saturday, in the Target food court, feeding my children hot dogs and icee's for lunch which I munched on an Italian sausage. Most certainly not.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have a hard time putting just one toe in the water. If I'm going to put a toe in, why not the whole foot? And if the foot, why not the leg and you know how it goes. Before you know it, I'm completely wet.

What's funny is this analogy doesn't really apply to me getting into a pool. But it pretty much applies to the rest of my life. I like to warm up to a pool. But if I'm reading a book--I want to read the whole thing without stopping. If I take up a hobby, I want to go all the way with it.

I do wish I had this characteristic when it comes to housecleaning and chores. Those apparently, I will only do half-way.

A few years ago I never really understood MySpace or Facebook and I don't think I knew what a blog was. Was Twitter even in existence then? I have no idea how long it's been around.

Then I gave in to MySpace in order to connect to students in my ministry. Not long after I dove headfirst into Facebook. It was much more my style---very streamlined without backgrounds and moving images on MySpace which give me a headache. I've reconnected with SO many friends from my childhood, high school, college and youth group days.

Then it was bloggging, and now Twitter. I have these aspirations of creativity and offering useful information. I'm afraid I annoy my IRL friends who read my Tweets because they quickly became more geared towards the mommy bloggers and Tweeps.

But then I remember, I have a family and home to care for. I have a job and people to minister to. These are just my hobbies. And they don't they pay!!!

But of course, when I see this giveaway being advertised, I can't help but enter. A new blog design (because I am very ignorant in this area) would definately feed my current fascination with blogging!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


(wearing a bathrobe I wore as a child. Don't mind the mess in the background.)

Have I mentioned how Gracie is our little firecracker? Maybe it's her role as the middle child. Maybe it's just her personality. Maybe it's having Miss Rose as a big sister. Probably it's all of the above!
Her language has just taken off since her 2nd birthday. Listening to her communicate these days, it's hard to believe that she's the same little girl who had some difficulty adjusting to a new baby in the house and didn't have the vocabulary to express herself and would just get angry and yell and hit.

She's funny. And she knows it. Gracie loves to talk in different vocal tones and accents, adding to the hilarity. She does funny things with her mouth, with make her words come out differently. It's hard to explain, but it cracks Bean and I up all the time. Even Miss Rose laughs.

(Did I mention she LOVES pasta?)

Some of my favorite phrases these days include...

"right now" she loves adding this to many requests and demands

"your Lily" said whenever she wants me to notice Lily

"there's your Lily all this time" I'm not sure why she adds all this time, but she does it frequently

"why mama" this one just started. such fun.

"stop it right now"


Words she adds a -y on the end such as milky, buggy, dressy etc.

Every morning begins with "I wear prettly dress" (not a typo...she says it with an L)

"Can we watch a moooovie?"

"Can we go home?" I think she uses this phrase when she is bored. And she has been known to use it when we are home.

"My hair is CRAZY."

Gracie thinks that our contractors (who are also friends and fellow church members) are either going to live in the addition or that they already do. She often greets them with a "hi Tooony" which makes her sound like she's from New York or something.

Whenever she hears a funny sound she said "who's that mama?" A few days ago she made an involuntary noise while having a bowel movement and wanted to know who made the noise.

Oh, and she fell in LOVE with this little Dean Martin singing statue a few weeks ago. She couldn't stop hugging him and singing into his little microphone. This is was at a family members home and you can see that she likes to collect her favorite toys at other people's houses. No matter where we are, if they have toys she will find Barney, Backyardigans, Mickey and Minnie and whatever else is her current favorite.

This little one keeps us on our toes and in stitches too!