Friday, October 28, 2011

Mommy's Moment: If You Give Your Son a Blankie

If you give your son a blankie he'll probably become attached to it.

Being attached to it, he'll drag it everywhere he goes. And when he wets the bed, pee will drench it.

Upon smelling the blankie, you'll realize, you need to wash it, desperately.

Recognizing the absence of the blankie, your son will cry. Incessantly.

You'll create a diversion. It will last two minutes.

As your undiverted son stands expectantly by the laundry room door, he'll realize it's going to take longer than he thought.

He'll play with his sister.

Upon playing with his sister, he gets walloped in the head. He cries. He searches for blankie only to realize he's still in the washer.

His screech-like wails permeate the house, reminding you to switch it to the dryer. AND FAST.

30 long minutes later when the dryer finally beeps, you grab the blankie.

With Jackie-Joyner like speed, you race to toss the blankie over the balcony to appease the discouraged son.

As you toss it over the balcony, the fan intercepts it.

As you think how to successfully remove the blankie from the fan, you see how dirty the fan is.

You pull out the extended duster.

Upon swiping the blankie off the fan, you've also managed to swipe a blanket of dust off of the fan and....onto the previously clean blankie.

When the blankie lands onto the floor, you'll realize it is dirty again.

You have to wash it again.

And chances are, when you take the blankie away to wash it, you'll realize yet again, how attached your son is to it and how stupid you were in ever giving him a blanket to get attached to in the first place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas Challenge

I think I'm done. Or really close.

I've been saving Amazon credit to buy Hannah a new dollhouse. It wasn't this one. I was saving up for the My Loving Family Grand Dollhouse. However, at the local consignment shop I'm using to sell clothes and toys I stumbled across this dollhouse.

It's smaller. But it's also cheaper. And it came with people and furniture. Granted, it is used but in mint condition. So I bought it. The good news, I had around $28 in store credit thanks to items I'd sold. I ended up paying $15 out of pocket. Also, I'm happy to not have a lot invested in it just in case(which happens frequently here)she realizes it wasn't her deepest desire to have a dollhouse after all.

And, that $25 I had in Amazon credit, I used to buy Grant this...

They were $19.99 but I spent $0. I think he and Hannah will have a blast with these. So, here's where I'm at...

Total spent: $42.78

Total remaining: $57.22

Total gifts bought: 2 pillow pets, one dollhouse, walkie talkies, mario brothers coin bank, GeoBaby toy, rainmaker, coloring/reusable table cloth, Citiblocs, 4 hairbows

10 gifts (counting the bows as one)averaging out to $4.28 each.

Not bad. 

I may get Kate one more toy. I have a toy in my gift closet that I've had for a year that likely will go under the tree for her. I also may switch the coloring table cloth for a Barbie I've also had in my gift closet for a year. It's a retro Barbie I snagged for dirt cheap at the Target toy clearance last winter. I think Hannah would love it. If I do, I'll adjust the price. And I may buy a few little things for their stockings. But I think as far as big gifts go, I'm done. I try to keep Christmas them three gifts each with a few stocking stuffers. Though, I'm tempted when I find a deal to add something more, though I'm trying to not do that. I don't want to be labeled a hoarder!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Butterfly Party

Did I tell you I turned one? I know Mommy did, but did I? Did you know I had a party? It seems somehow Hannah got to choose my theme. Butterflies. It wouldn't have been my first pick but seeing as though I can't talk (however I'm a great writer, funny) my opinion isn't worth much.

Had I chosen, we would be celebrating with a Tigger Mardi Gra theme.

Because I love Tigger. And I love to put on Mardi Gra beads (I'll explain another day).

But, on with the butterfly party.

Apparently, with a birthday comes a cake.

Here's mine:

This is me eating my cake.

No surprise, right? I'm a heifer when it comes to food. So when that sugary cake was set before me, I knew what I had to do.

And I did.


And that wasn't the only sugar available at my party.

There were also cookies. Butterfly cookies, of course. Ready to decorate. With lots of sugary icing. Mmmm. And while my party wasn't short on sugar, it was on my guests. It seems my birthday is a popular date for other activities and so my party guests consisted of my siblings, and my cousin Luke, who is also too young to decorate cookies.

Hannah and Grant were in heaven. And thankfully my grandparents were all there to enjoy their sugary creations.

I had a bite or two.

For some reason many packages adorned our fireplace. Hannah and Grant opened them. Apparently they're for me. But as you can tell from my photo, I am more concerned with other important things. Don't ask me what. However, Grant seems to have enough enthusiasm for the two of us as he opens my presents. In this case, a darling outfit from my bud, Lincoln. Grant's impressed.

One present that caught my eye right away was this beauty. Perhaps because it wasn't wrapped and just screamed, "crawl through me." So I did. Many enthusiastic times. Just stopping occassionally for a photo op.

In case you forgot my name, here I am posing in front of it. And no, that's not a smudge on your computer screen. That is a bruise on my head, accompanied by a goose egg. Compliments of the corner of our toy chest/coffee table.

Here I am, preparing for Toddlers and Tiaras. My talent, tight rope walking.

Like any good party, this one wore me out. I partied hard. There's nothing like relaxing in my favorite chair while sipping on some cool milk to calm a girl down. And it doesn't hurt to look good while doing it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When Photography Becomes Dangerous...

I like photos. I think they're great. And sure, it's great Mommy takes so many pictures. We'll have no excuse for not having a well documented childhood.

But come on. Trying to get three kids ages five and under to all pose perfectly for a photo well...

It can get dangerous. I've got proof...

Where is the line drawn? When somebody gets hurt? Because it sure looks like we've crossed that line here. Just a few more seconds and my face would be blue. And yet, there's Mommy, digging her heels in, just hoping this choke hold will magically turn into a positive experience with smiles gracing all of our faces.

We all know that didn't happen.

So, when does Mommy have to resign herself to the fact that those photo gifts she wants to make...oh and those Christmas cards...are probably going to have to look something like this....

Because, let's face  it, her expecations are WAY TOO HIGH and this is us in real life...because what three kids are genuinely smiling, looking in the same direction and seated perfectly still simultaneously while wearing clothes that match (it's a major accomplishment if Hannah's or Grant's personal shirts and pants match let alone compliment one another)?

But maybe there are kids out there who've made this expectation believable.

If you know those kids, I'd like to meet um. Because they're making us look bad. And turning photography into a dangerous endeavor for its subjects.

Stop the madness.

Just stop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conversations with...Grant

Leaving Publix today....

Grant: Dear Jesus, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Hannah, Grant, and Kate. Amen.

Mommy, pway without ceasin', wight?

Me: Yes, buddy, you're exactly right.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Christmas Challenge

You guessed it. I snagged this coin bank for Grant's Christmas. He is a huge Super Mario Brothers fan as well as a coin fan(this should bring back memories for my loyal readers). And, thanks to Nomorerack  I snagged this for $8 total, which, between me and you, looks like it should not be worth much more than that. But, believe it or not, it costs $30. Grant actually came in the office when I saw this deal and asked me if it was on sale because he'd like that. Hopefully he'll still think it's awesome come Christmas morning.

Nomorerack  is, you guessed it, another daily deal site. It has 8 new deals starting at 12pm daily. Some of the deals are cheapo, but some are really good. Most of the items are marked down 75%-90% off! They usually always have a kids' deal and then lots of other different, jewelry, etc. for adults. Then, the best part, shipping is ALWAYS $2. That way, you're not making up for the money you saved in the shipping cost.

If you've never signed up, click the link(s) above. Yes, I receive credit but I get credit by you simply signing up, not buying anything. Then, when I get x amount of friends who've signed up, I can get certain rewards. There was a Wii game I could get for the kids with 40 friends.

Oh yeah, a month or so ago I got Hannah and Kate two hairbows each FOR FREE (including shipping) from Savemore. I will put these in their stockings.

So, here's my Christmas breakdown:

total spent: $27.78
total left: $72.22
total gifts bought: 2 pillow pets, Super Mario coin bank, reusable coloring table cloth, Citiblox, Gbaby toy, rainmaker, four hairbows($3.97 per item...not including the hairbows)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mommy's Moment: My Dear Kate

My Dear Kate,

My have you taken me for a ride this past year. I shall call you, "Marches to Her Own Beat, (that is if we were Native Americans)."

Let's start from the beginning:

1) you, my dear, were the only child to be induced, but that I can blame on your "almost 10 pound" brother. But perhaps that's what put you on your own path. So then, maybe all of this should be blamed on Grant. Wait, that's not fair.

2) your sleeping patterns were, well, non existant. There was no pattern. While Hannah and Grant slept through the night early on, you, my dear, slept through the night at about, ten months. It was while sitting in the dark nursery at 3 am that I realized I was still on a somewhat newborn schedule with my 9 MONTH OLD and that something had to give, it was you, though it took another good month for you to realize that.

3)When it came to nursing, you were my champ. My sweet Hannah, well, while she nursed, she was finicky, in ways I won't delve into in this setting. And Grant will always be dubbed "the formula baby" because his finicky nature landed him straight on the "failure to thrive" list and right onto the bottle. You, my dear, however are thriving mighty fine. So fine I'm a bit clueless as to how the weaning process will come to a successful ending, meaning only sippy cups. 

4) Let's talk about walking. You've made your mark. At 11 months you are well on your way to being an independent walker. Your siblings gave me more time to catch my breath between crawling and walking while you, well, you didn't. This suits you though. You're quite a ham. Quite forward with your little guy friends and usually the first to make a move. You ain't skeerd.

5) Back to food...well, we all read that last post. You take "being a ham" to a whole new level. There is no food you won't eat, except baby food. I don't blame you. I've never seen such ferociousness when it comes to eating.

6)You're my only baby I had to call poison control on. In your independence you snuck away from me to eat shampoo. I have a feeling it was more than a number five. Obviously, you're okay.

7) You've taken eczema to a whole new level, to the point where people see your legs and think you've been eaten by mosquitos. We'll work on that.

8) You're a dare devil. You go after it. Rarely is there fear in your eyes. You fell in the bathtub. When I quickly pulled you out my breath was held, waiting for the incessant crying to begin. It never did. Instead, you tried to do it again. Bathtime has never been the same. It's like trying to handle a wet turkey.

9) Your thighs, they're so much chubbier than your siblings'. Sometimes I just stare. To most, you are little, to me you are a CHUNK. Again, we'll attribute that to number 2 and number 5.

10) You've been dragged out of your bed one too many times to go with us on errands. You've been forced to stay awake longer than you could handle to go to an event. You've been subjected to the constant jabs, hugs, pulls, and manuevering by your siblings. All because you're our third baby.

You've rocked my world baby Kate. In my growing "mommy comfortability," you, my dear, thrust me out of it. The Lord has used you to
humble me and make me see yet again, my never ending need for Him. I've swallowed my pride several times as I've parented you this past year.

Sucker before one...check

upset schedule...check, check, check

crawling around on the chalk covered patio so I could get one thing done...check

nursing to sleep...check

allowing sister to carry you across the room...check

feeding you one too many goldfish so I could make dinner...check

allowing you to EAT an old goldfish on the floor...check

introducing whole milk at ten months...check

And the list goes on...

And while you have a sharp temper at times...most of the time you're all smiles and just "roll with it."

My dear baby Kate, I love you. I am thankful for your sweet life. I am thankful the Lord created you at just the right time.

Happy Birthday little one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Love Affair

I have a love affair.

with food.

I don't care who knows.

Not only do I enjoy the taste of it, but I enjoy the feel of it.

I love to smear it all across my face, to rub it in my hair, to leave some behind in my ears.

And don't you dare think I'll eat baby food. That's for amateurs whose palets have yet to develop.

Mine is fully developed.

When I see peanut butter and jelly, I convulse. I thrust my body forward to get even an inch closer to this delicacy.

Grapes, ahh, grapes grab me. They draw me in with their vibrant green and their juicy plumpness.

I shovel broccoli in my mouth as if it were my last meal.

I'll devour a pizza the size of my face.

And I make drinking milk look like a marathon runner guzzling Powerade after his 26.2 mile journey.

Needless to say, my ability to clean my plate(and my cup) puts my brother and sister to shame.

And even their threats won't stop this love affair. Nope. I've yet to find a piece of food that I won't eat. And until that happens, I'll be cleaning my plate and all the while earning those bonus points to cash in for when that day comes.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

There's a New Bugger in Town

And you thought Hannah was impressive.

Yep, that's me, 11 months, already getting my groove on.

If memory serves me correctly (or word on the street), Hannah was not making such drastic Wheely Bug moves so soon.

What can I say, I'm a thrill seeker.

Look out world, there's a new Wheely Bugger in town.

No, really, look out. I'm still a little wobbly.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

It's in the ordinary the extraordinary happens.

As those ordinary moments unfold opportunites unfold.

In those everday moments when my children throw fits, scream at each other, refuse to pick up, hit each other, the extraordinary is there.

In those everyday moments when I lose my patience, use unkind words, pursue selfish avenues, the extraordinary is there.

It's in the ordinary that the gospel unfolds.

In those moments the Lord presents an opportunity for me to remind my children of their need for a Savior.

In those moments the Lord reminds me of why He has saved me.

Therefore, in those ordinary moments, I should rejoice. Rejoice yet again in the beauty of the gospel.

Rejoice that the Lord, Himself, has taken upon Him my punishment. And given me His righteousness.

Rejoice again for the opportunity to share that beauty with my children.

Today I will choose to rejoice in the ordinary for the reminder of the extraordinary.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Mommy's Moment: Flame

Thanks to my good friend Courtney, fellow sister-in-Christ and lover of hip/hop and rap, I'm really loving Flame. He's a theologically sound Christian rapper who implements straight Scripture in his music. I know, when you think of Christian rap you probably think, cheesy. But when I first listened to him I got goosebumps. It's powerful and right up there with your secular rap as far as the sound goes. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Conversations with...Grant

On the way home from CC today...

after stopping to get my FREE Route 44 drink at Sonic...

me: yay! I got another coupon for a free Route 44!

Grant: Mommy, you need to pray to God to thank Him for your two coupons.

me: you're absolutely right

Monday, October 03, 2011

One Thousand Gifts:171-180

My time is short but we have experienced an abundance of the Lord's provision the past week and a half...

#171- EIGHT sold jobs in a matter of DAYS. This is an abundance of provision, especially after going through a 6 week dry spell with no calls or any interest shown in the business.

#172- friends and family who have diligently been praying for work for John's business.

#173- a free movie ticket to see Courageous last night.

#174- a Christian movie like Courageous that uses the talents of believers to communicate the gospel and other Scriptural truths to its audience.

#175- in the midst of financial uncertainty, the Lord's provision that allows me to continue to stay at home with my children

#176- hearing my children repeat sound doctrine and Scriptural truth as we go through the catechisms almost daily

#177- a night out to eat at Chick-fil-a for Hannah's birthday...finally, a night off from cooking!

#178- being able to tell my children that yes, we will likely be able to go to the pumpkin patch this year.

#179- a "Sonic fairy" who so sneakily dropped a gift card to Sonic in my bag at church a couple of Sundays ago. Whoever you are, thank you. We enjoyed it immensely.

#180- 2 cool FREE new board games through House local ladies, I'm seeing a game night in our future.

Thank you Lord for your ABUNDANT provision.

Homeschool Diaries: Our First Field Trip

We did it.

Deep breath out.

Our first homeschool field trip.

Add some company for the ride, our good friends Ada, John and Mrs. Laura Beth,and the van was "jumpin' jumpin'." And filled with the most common question a child can ask,

"are we there yet?" times 3 kids times 4 times asked each.

And yes, an hour later, we were, along with our good friends, the Hollinheads and the Means.

And the fun had just begun.

We traveled to a train museum that promised us a train ride. And in our kids' eyes, that's the only reason we drove an hour to the museum. TO RIDE THAT TRAIN.

So, needless to say, upon arriving that famous question, "are we there yet?" quickly changed into "when are we going to ride the train?"

Little did our naive children know that the museum trip also included a train scavenger hunt complete with questions to find answers to. Lots of answers. Apparently our kids are unaware that field trips are educational and require building knowledge into those little brains.

Knowledge about...magnetic trains.

Yes, that's about all I gathered from that scavenger hunt because most of our time was spent corraling 7 little ones and making sure they followed the rules.

Following the rules was important. And, for Hannah, I believe she walked away from that trip knowing less about magnetic trains and more about following the rules.

In the midst of chasing down clues to the scavenger hunt, my 5 year old daughter got chased down by a small, yet VERY FIREY, elderly woman.

She loves rules.

And apparently, after seeing Hannah run a few steps to a train on display, chose to make an example out of her with her passion for rules.

This elderly rule loving/train loving woman proceeded to shake her finger violently (okay  maybe I'm exaggerating a bit) in her face while using her most intimidating elderly raised voice explaining to Hannah how she had BROKEN the rules.

Laura Beth and I sat frozen, mouths dropped as we tried to make sense of this misguided passion being poured out upon poor, unsuspecting Hannah who managed to look at me in a similarly dumbfounded way. All I could squeak out was,

"say yes ma'm" hoping that would suffice.

Apparently it didn't as this woman continued on her tirade.

Hoping two times was a charm I said,

"say yes ma'm," and Hannah, fingers in her mouth, obliged.

And while discussions leaving a field trip should be centered around all the amazing knowledge we gathered from our experience, our discussion centered around this woman, whom Hannah continues to speak about.

Instead of talking about how magnetic trains run and what magnets are, we talked about forgiving those who yell in our faces. Hannah told me several times she never heard this lady tell her to walk. And, while knowing my daughter isn't perfect, I believe her.

Back to the museum. . .

We finally made that train ride.

A train ride that moved 2 miles an hour forward, then 2 miles an hour backwards...stopping, I suppose, for us to look at the deteriorating train metal outside the window.

Grant asked, "Mommy why does the train keep stopping?" and "Mommy, why is the train going backwards?"

To which I can only reply, "I have no idea."

The good news is in the midst of all the craziness...

the kids had fun despite the crazy train lady, the slow moving train, and the plethora of scavenger hunt questions we needed to track down.

And that's what matters.

And while we left with minimal knowledge of magnetic trains we did leave with smiles on our faces and a day spent with friends outside...oh yeah, and a re-inforcement that everyone needs forgiveness...

And thanks to my misguided brain that put me in the wrong direction on 285, we had an hour and A HALF drive home to let that last idea sink in.