Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Use Your Words, Honey.

Naomi: I taw a boo tway!

Me: Really! Where did you see the blue train?

Naomi: It go wound da cuwvy tack!

Me: It went around the curvy track? Where was it going?

Naomi: To Tompin Ha ow!

Me: To Sir Topham Hatt's house?

Naomi: Yah! To Tompin Ha's ows to see Heawy.

Me: Yes, we like Henry.

Naomi: Yah. Ee mah fwavott tway.

Me: I thought Rosie was your favorite train!

Naomi: Eh. Wosee do.

Me: Yes, Rosie, too.

It's official, folks.

I'm bilingual.

Have a lovely day.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cometh Rest.

For all the saints who from their labors rest, Who thee by faith before the world confess, Thy Name, oh Jesus, be forever blest. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might, Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their One True Light. O, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold, Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old And win them with the victor's crown of gold. The golden evening brightens in the west; Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest. Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest. Alleluia, Alleluia! "For All The Saints From Who Thy Labors Rest" William How, 1864 Happy Memorial Day, friends.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Love: The Week.

We had a family day at the zoo. Our three.


My husband and I went out for anniversary. I tried knotting my chambray shirt and I felt a little bit like a square-dancer. Oh well. It worked!

Yum. We went to Osaka, a Japanese hibachi, and ate lots of good food. Yum.

Then this spot on the wall in the kids' hallway REALLY started to bug me.

So, uh, I painted the hallway. It went from putty brown to pale yellow.

Ta-Da! It brightens the hallway so much!

Donuts on Sunday morning before church. Mmm.

A sneak-peek from Lydia's four-month shoot in our guest bedroom.

Our Little Big fell asleep on the floor in front of her door. I picked her up and enjoyed some snuggle time!


Cub's ball toy. He assembled it himself and it works! Nicely done, son.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Quick Fix.

First of all, thank you for all of the travel recommendations! I pooled your ideas together and came up with some things that will hopefully aid in our journey. I went to Target this morning and attempted to snatch up some goodies from their dollar aisle ... can I just say, running around with the three tots is a bit of a challenge. It was hilarious to see me literally throwing stickers, sketch pads, magnets and Slinkies into my cart while zooming through the aisles. Speed is key, in my opinion, and wow, we were fast today!

So. Thank you. I'll let y'all know how it goes.


Cub walked up to me today with my husband's broken helicopter and asked what happened to it. Before I proceed--does anyone else have a husband who owns a similar toy? The kind you see in the mall? Anyway. My husband is a gadget guy and hence, the helicopter. I've gone to friends' houses and laughed when I see a similar helicopter on the shelf ... there must be some kind of mini-helicopter movement afoot. Anyway. So, when Cub asked how it had been broken, I told him it had crashed and the blade fell off. He then sighed and muttered, "Well, I guess we need a new one."

I cocked my head and told him that no, we just needed to fix the old one.

And he looked at me kind of funny and asked, "Why don't we just get a new one?"

I saw a Pinterest picture the other day that showed an old man and a woman (probably a stock photo) and it wrote that their marriage had lasted so long because they were married in a time that when something was broken, you fixed it, you didn't throw it away. And as I looked in my son's blue eyes, I couldn't help but wonder if we've done a good job showing him that truth.

This day of technology is a tricky one because it is often true that when a phone, tablet, or computer breaks, it's usually only slightly more expensive to completely replace it with a nicer, newer model than to fix the broken older model. There isn't anything wrong with that, per se, if the device is something useful to you. But I'm realizing more that the speed of technology is causing most of us to embrace an "I need it now" mentality. My orders come the day after I order them. I can transfer money into my bank account with my phone while sitting in the drive-thru at Starbucks. Netflix gives us instant movies and shows, and Pandora gives us whatever music we want based on the genre we like. Now, now, now.

And yet we kneel in front of our kids, gently grasp their shoulders, look in their eyes and tell them they need to be patient. To wait for the things they want.

It is blatantly contrary to the world we live in. The world of NOW. How do we stand firm when the culture of immediate satisfaction pushes against us?

It's something I struggle with. Teaching our children to wait. It means we have to show that we can wait ourselves, which, for me anyway, can be hard. "I want it NOW!" screams Veruca on Willy Wonka. I hear you, girlfriend.

But maybe it's as simple as fixing a broken helicopter...even if it's tempting to replace it. That when those opportunities arise, we should take them. Because really, easy-to-replace technology is one of the few things in life that's easy to replace. Friendships and relationships cannot be replaced. They have to be fixed in order to work. And what a weighty responsibility it is to show our kids how to do that.

My husband and I celebrated our seven year anniversary today. Every year I understand more how awesome it is to celebrate marriage.

Because it gets harder.

The kids take time. The job takes time. The balancing act of mother and wife gets tricky as the kids multiply and our time is compromised. It takes work, and by that, I mean it takes WORK. We really have to work at it to make it work. I love my husband more with each year, but it's because we work to make it happen and I love him all the more for it--it's really amazing. The best things in life, in one way or another, require constant work. Or, so to say, constant fixing.

I hope I can figure out how to show that to my kids.

Have a lovely day, friends.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Travel Tips, Anyone?

The family and I will soon embark on our first-ever family road trip. We're loading up and hitting the open road to visit my brother's family and I'm giddy. It's a trip I've been wanting to take and now we are going and I can't wait! I miss them like crazy.

However, this road trip business is all a little new to me. We've flown with the big kids before, so I know how to plan for something like a four hour flight, but I'm a little foggy when it comes to preparing for a twelve hour trip in the (awesome) minivan. Yes, that's right, TWELVE hours. With a three year old, an almost-two-year-old, and an infant.

Just a tad intimidating.

This is the planning we've done thus far:

-Leaving early (like EARLY early) and driving straight through. We would consider breaking up the trip if we didn't have our little Variable X (Lydia) who may or may not do well in a hotel room. Driving straight through might be brutal, but stopping and unloading and wasting money on a (potentially) sleepless night in a hotel room and then loading up again and hitting the road sounds more brutal. To us, anyway. So, drive on we shall! The plan is to leave early early early and arrive that evening.

-Downloading Adventures in Odyssey on our iTunes, cutting down on the DVD-watching.

-Packing each of the kids' outfits in separate Ziploc bags, so all of their clothes will be organized in their suitcases.

So. The actual trip part of the road trip is where we need advice. Books? Music? Movies? Toys? Any ideas?

To those who have traveled for several hours in a car with more than one little one, do you have any tips for me? I could use them.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Love: The Week.

Mouse enjoying some light reading before bed. 

My sweet mother-in-law took the kids and I out to dinner and my little man wanted to sit next to me. Love. Something about little boys.

I'm still obsessed with popcorn and M&Ms and when I see this, I can only think of the wasted potential. Sigh.

New diaper bag. I'm kind of obsessed with teal. Yummy.

Another trip to the car wash. Cub is ELATED and Naomi is preparing herself. She loves it, in a terrifed sort of way.

I attempted blue pants this week. I think I like them. They're very ... blue. Spunky!

The alarm on my personal training mornings. That bright red button is DAUNTING. 

The toesies are bandaged. Still no running yet, which makes me sad. One step at a time. Literally.

Baby girl had a crying fit the other day and I finally got her to sleep. My eyes are dark and my hair is dirty, but I absolutely love this picture. The baby is snug and warm and we're okay. Something very victorious about this picture in a very sweet way.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Honest Blogging.

So. I have a thought formulating in my head and I'm going to do my best to type it out. Bear with me.

Do you ever find that you have a hard time being honest in your blogging?

Case In Point: A friend stopped me at a park the other day and mentioned how awfully hard it must be having three little ones and how my blog made it seem that I was just really struggling with the whole thing. My life was, it seemed, impossible.

Second Case In Point: Another friend sent me a Facebook message asking me how I did it--juggling the three kids while working out and decorating the house, etc. I must be Super Mom! I make it look so easy on my blog!


Go ahead and check out the pictures from my previous post. See the top picture? Some days are like that--hair is done, kids are great, projects get accomplished and meals get cooked with ease. I even have time and energy to give--to drop off coffee to a tired friend. The house is clean and all is well.

Then some days are like the second picture. I got barely three hours of sleep the previous night. I felt like an awful parent and was exhausted all day. The baby was cranky, the kids were cranky, I was cranky, and it was just an all-around tough day. A day when "three kids three and under" earns its reputation of being tricky and tiring.

Some blogs out there make parenting seem easy. Some make it seem miserable. But aren't there just days where it's both? Can we write honestly about the good days ... and the bad? It seems that happy posts seem surreal and frustrated posts seem whiny. I just wonder if there's some possibility of understanding that the role of motherhood encompasses both. The breezy days and the blustery ones.

I don't know if that makes sense.

Anyway. Laundry is calling. I just wanted to try to put my thoughts into words. If I confused you, my apologies. Bear with this happy/busy/tired/content Mama. ;)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Morning After.

A Mother on Mother's Day.
(Hair coifed! Makeup applied! Real clothes!)

A Mother every other day.
(Ponytail. No makeup. Sweats.)

Happy Day-After-Mother's-Day, friends.

Have a lovely day. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Love: The Week.

I had more blonde put in my hair. Yay, summer. Yay, blonde.

New things on the mantle for summer. Yay, summer. Yay, summery mantle.

A little encouragement in the playroom--the beginning of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. A good reminder for me to glorify God in all of goings-on, even if they feel menial. Love. So refreshing to enjoy His presence through the big and the small.

I finally bought new running shoes! They do make a difference. Everyone was right. 

I love them.

I started filling a mason jar with the funny things the kids say. It's been fun to add to it every day.

A scarf, to cleverly hide spit-up stains. I am covered in spit-up all day long. On my shoulders, down my back.

Sometimes, when the kids behave well after a morning of errand-running, I'll treat them to the car wash. They love it, even though Naomi's eyes are THIS BIG through the entire thing. :)

I did my best run thus far on Wednesday and was feeling good. I hate running, so it was very encouraging to see improvement, even if it was only a little improvement! 

And then ...

... this bouncy chair just jumped in front of me later that evening, resulting in ...

... a bruised and probably-broken toe. Pride literally came right before a fall! I busted my toe on that seat, did a freak-out run through the house, and ended up on the floor in Naomi's room, writhing in pain. At the time, one of the legs of the bouncy seat had been wedged under an end table by our couch, so it didn't budge when I stubbed my toe on it. OH OW.

Bouncy seats are dangerous. 

And I'm on a running break for a few days. :)

Today was a nice, restful day. Paint time with my big kids.

And plenty of snuggles with my littlest lady.

Ending the week feeling bruised, but blessed. :)

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Snuggle Bug.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Picture for Grandma.

Okay, guys. We're going to take a picture for G-Ma. 

Cub, sweetie, you look constipated. Naomi, don't stick your tongue out.

No, you aren't really constipated, I just said you LOOK constipated. In a loving way. Naomi, TONGUE.

Hahaha constipated that's funny. Naomi, please don't scoot down.



THAT'LL WORK *click*.

Aaaaand, done.

Have a lovely day.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bye, Bye, Paci.

So, last week we took away Nomi's paci and a sweet friend of mine asked if I could write about how it all went down, so, here you go!

Firstly, let me say that Naomi is our first paci baby. Cub sucked his thumb from one month old and stopped several months ago when his sleepy toy, Nigh-Nigh, was left at my parents' house and we realized he wouldn't suck his thumb if Nigh-Nigh wasn't around. So, as far as we know, he stopped. And Nigh-Nigh is now stashed on the top shelf of our coat closet, unbeknownst to Cub.


We realized Naomi was going to be a pacifier baby from pretty early on. She had no interest in her fingers but boy, she loved that paci. Let me go ahead and say that people have very strong opinions when it comes to the objects on which your babies choose to suck. When Cub was a thumb sucker, we got several eye rolls and glares and comments about how his teeth would be ruined and his thumb would fall off (not really that, but, you get the idea). When Nomi took a paci, people bemoaned how they would have to hunt around for pacifiers in their baby's crib in the middle of the night to get them to be quiet.

And all of the comments led me to conclude that my kids would be just fine.

So, take heart, I've had a thumb-sucker and a paci baby and look! We're all okay here.

Naomi was mostly allowed to have her paci during sleepy times and in the car. Around Christmas, before Lydia was born, we took the paci away in the car. She wasn't too happy about it at first but we simply told her the paci was at home and that was that. She was grumpy for a few days, but got over it and learned how to be quiet and content without it (the purpose for which she had it in the first place).

As for taking it away during sleepy times, the thought hit me a few weeks ago that our little Nomi was on the brink of several transitions: Taking away the paci, moving to a big girl bed, and, eventually, potty training. She's turning two next month as well, and I just had a feeling in my gut that it was time to get going and start making some of these transitions happen. So, I hunkered down to her level and our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Naomi! Did you know pacis are for babies and that big girls don't use pacis?"

Naomi: "No."

Me: "Well, it's true! Do you want to be a baby and use a paci or do you want to be a BIG GIRL and only sleep with your BLANKET?"

Naomi: "I want to be a baby."


So, I smiled, got up, took her paci, grabbed some scissors, clipped off the end of the rubber tip, and casually handed it back to her. She put it in her mouth and immediately looked up at me with the most confused look. Clipping the tip made the sucking part impossible, so that in order for it to stay in her mouth, she had to just bite down and hold it in there. Which, therefore, makes the paci LAME.

I kissed her head, put her to bed, and closed the door.

I gave her the broken paci again at nap time the next day and she stared at it as I again closed the door, sweetly saying, "Good night, big girl!"

And then the next night I just didn't give it to her. I broke up her bedtime routine a little and just kind of casually put her in bed, put some laundry away in her room, turned off her light, put Cub to bed, came back in and patted her head ... and then ran out the door and stood in the hallway, wincing and waiting for her to fuss. She didn't. She sang to herself and went to sleep. Several nights went by, actually, before she asked for her paci, which I thought was funny! It was like she suddenly realized it wasn't coming back, and we had one night of her crying when we put her to bed, saying, "PACI! PACI!" We held her and kissed her and put her back to bed, and she went to sleep. She hasn't asked for it since.

And ... that's kind of it.

In summation, I think the fact that she has a blanket she sleeps with helped in the transition. She still had something familiar to comfort her in the absence of her paci. And I think that doing transitions sooner than later is usually (not always, but usually) a good idea, because they aren't old enough to totally understand the entire concept of what is happening. She won't remember ever using her paci and that's probably a good thing. And, truly, I probably would have taken it away sooner, except that her new baby sister had a pacifier and it just didn't seem fair at the time to take hers away. Honestly, I'm not sure if it would have made much of a difference, but the addition of a new baby is a transition all its own, so I wanted to keep the changes to a minimum for a while.

We also moved her to her big girl bed last night and she did well.

So, I will end with this: You will get a lot of advice on when to do transitions with your kids. Just trust your gut. When Naomi was able to speak to me and show her will a little more (being disobedient or defiant), I knew she was a big girl and the paci needed to go. It was just a feeling I had. So, trust your gut above all else--no matter what books say, what a nursery worker says, what your neighbor says, what your family says, what your Mom's club says ... just make the move when you feel it's right. For us, that usually means the earlier the better, so they won't really remember them. And, repeat this in your head:

Transitions are always harder on Mom than they are on the kids.

They'll be fine.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mom's Day Off.

This past weekend, I received one of the best birthday presents ever. 

A day off.

My parents came into town early Saturday morning, swooped up the kids, and sent me out the door to enjoy a full kid-free day to do whatever I wanted. If you've read my blog for a while or if you know me in person, you know I enjoy my kids and that my love for them really goes without saying. But, I can't think of a Mom who wouldn't love just one day with her best friend to do the girly things that can be tricky with three towheads, well, in tow! 

I hopped in my hubby's truck (I didn't even take the minivan!) and picked up my bestie. Our first stop? Starbucks, of course! 

Only this time, instead of going through the drive-thru with kids' music blaring over the speakers and little birdies in the back asking for a "bite? bite? BITE?", we actually parked and went inside.


And enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and some breakfast. With no time schedule. We just ... ate. And talked. At our leisure. Lee-sher. Leh-sher.

We then got back in the truck with our drinks and headed to the closest city to go to the mall. We walked in and I got the first things on my list (I know, OF COURSE I came to the mall with a list ... but it was for fun girly things, like Aveda liquid gel and melon lip gloss from The Body Shop). We then ventured to Forever 21, the loud-music insanely-packed-with-(CHEAP)-clothes store, and began to immediately grab piles of clothes and try them on. We spent a good amount of time in there, before we both hit our walls and decided it was time for some nourishment.

Hallelujah, Cheesecake Factory.

 Caramel chicken, Godiva cheesecake.

We felt much better after that.

Then, after pumping in the truck (let's be honest--with nursing babies, a Mom's Day Off can't be TRULY kid-free, ha ha!), we headed back to the mall to finish our girly list. We got threaded, and then got our makeup done at Sephora.

I have never in my life had my make-up done. It was great. 

We finished up a few last shopping stops (which, for me, meant just a tad more caffeine ...)

...before heading back to town for a quick spray-tan, and then home. 

It was glorious.

We had such a blast, doing all things girly, with just the two of us. I think it's safe to say we both felt rejuvenated at the end of it. Sometimes, in the midst of being a Mom and a Wife, it's nice to just spend a day as a Friend. 

(One of my purchases. It tapers. New thing for me.)

Have a lovely weekend, friends!