Falling on My Butt

August 17th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Falling on My Butt)

After five years and three children, there are days when I think, “I’ve got this whole parenting thing pretty much figured out.” Then almost immediately, I fall right on my butt. Sometimes literally.

Earlier this week, we went to the pool with friends and were getting ready to leave – dangerously close to naptime – and Peach, my three year old daughter, decided she wasn’t going to “come here” when I called her, so I ended up chasing her around the baby pool – my first mistake. I was just going to grab her up and dry her off so we could get going, but it gets slippery around there, and I ended up on my butt with several other moms asking if I was okay and saying how awful that looked. Great. Come on, Peach.

After the whole falling-on-butt thing, I was just ready to go home, then of course V. did a #2 in her swim diaper. Is there really anything more gross? Probably, but nothing that I could think of at that moment.

Friends are a good thing, especially those that understand the frustration that can sometimes accompany wrangling several small children. Mandy swooped down, handed me a baggie to put the swim diaper in, and said with a smile, “Wow, that was a pretty intense five minutes, huh?” Through the frustration, I remembered right then – they are just kids, and I am the adult, and this is all kind of funny in a way…

Then there are days like today, when everything my kids say is hilarious and I can’t stop quoting them… Does this have to do with the fact that my kids are miraculously perfectly-behaved today, or is their mother taking things more lightly? Makes me wonder.

The quality of life my kids have on a day to day basis depends on MY attitude. Yikes. I recently read (on Pinterest, of course) a quote that jarred my world.

 

I know it’s true because I can still hear my mom’s voice when I’m making tough decisions or daydreaming or whatever. Sometimes quotes from her just randomly pop in my head without even trying.

As summer winds down, I’ve been spending some extra time snuggling my soon-to-be kindergartener just a little tighter and trying – always trying at least – to be patient with all three of my maniacs. If I can’t be patient and loving, how will they learn to be patient and loving of others?

I’m realizing that these years go by much, much too quickly. Soon these littles will all be in school all day, then in high school, college and out of my reach. In the blink of an eye they’ll be out of the house. I’m going to miss this.

Today I’m going to take a deep breath, pray for patience, and realize that what I’m looking at RIGHT NOW will be one of my favorite memories when I’m eighty.

Cousins

August 6th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Cousins)

Growing up, I had the most cousins of all my friends. My dad is one of 9 and each of them is married and has 2-4 children, so you can imagine how that number can large quickly. Most of them lived in our hometown, so we saw each other a lot and were good friends. One of my uncles had a river camp, and one time we got inside inner tubes and rolled down the levee (which is a giant sand hill that keeps the water in the river when in floods – for all you city folk). We also swam in the creek at South Park several times, burnt each other with illegal fireworks, caught frogs and fish in the pond in Grandma’s back yard, fought, played, and cussed at each other in secret (sorry Mom!).

Anyway, I always wanted my children to grow up with cousins who could take them a bit out of their comfort zone, have crazy good fun, and learn from each other. Then reality hits: I still live in our hometown, but my brother and two sisters live in three different time zones, the closest (Little Sister) being a “quick” 7.5 hour drive away. Big Sister is the only one who has kids, and they are a mere 8 hour drive away. Even though these cousins might not see each other too often, our little ones love each other and had a great time on this most recent visit.

The three boys took a trip to Pops’ farm and got to swim in the pond, pick tiny pumpkins, fish, and pee outside.

Pictures of the girls to come soon!

Finally. A day with snow. I love living in the Midwest because we get such a wide variety of weather. This morning we woke up to a wintry wonderland, while yesterday–yes, literally yesterday–we were at the park with no coats.

So what to do on the first snowy day of 2012? My son TT decided it’s Christmas again and spent at least 15 minutes trying to convince me it really is. TT doesn’t have preschool on Thursdays, so we had planned to go to Bonkers (think McDonald’s playplace on steroids) but my friend who was supposed to go with us called to say her street wasn’t plowed yet. Bummer.

Peach and TT all ready to get out there and play!

So I got them all bundled up to go outside, which took at least a half hour. Notice the socks on TT’s hands – I couldn’t find any mittens for him, so I had that ingenious solution. To my credit, his hands were still warm when he came back inside.

Anyway, I was really feeling like the mom on A Christmas Story. Never seen it? Check out this video.

Peach lasted about ten minutes, but TT lasted a good twenty out in the windy cold. Now everyone’s back inside, baby’s napping, big kids are eating popcorn and watching Harry Potter wrestling like lions. (Have you seen the end of Lion King when Simba and Scar fight? That, only a two-year-old and a four-year-old. It’s super fun.)

So, no, it’s not Christmas, but it’s gearing up to be a fantastic snow day!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving! Who are you thanking?

November 24th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | Living Simply | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving! Who are you thanking?)

Happy Thanksgiving! I think it’s so great that our country dedicates an entire day to celebrating the act of being thankful. It’s an act of the heart, and it’s not always easy to see how grateful we should be for the things we have, the people in our lives, and the blessings that have been bestowed on us.

My little Indian at his Thanksgiving feast at preschool

We are thankful. But who are you thanking?

I thank God, today and every day. Without Him, I’d be nothing. Without Him, my life wouldn’t have meaning.

With Him, all things are possible, and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Especially when I’m going through hard times, I rely on God to pick me up and bring me out of the darkness. I’m sure I’ll share some of those stories on here someday, but today is about being thankful.

So here is the short list of things I thank God for tonight:

  1. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Without this ultimate act of love, we’d never even have a chance to experience eternal life with God.
  2. My honey. He’s my knight in shining armor and my favorite person to laugh with. Being his wife has changed me for the better, and the life we share together is more amazing than I ever could have imagined. He is stunning. In all possible ways.
  3. That the sweetest kids I’ve ever known call me “Mom.” Who knew these little people could teach me such big lessons in life?
  4. My parents and siblings. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.
  5. Our little house, our vehicles, my husband’s job, and the rest of our material things. I have days when I just really want more and more things, but we’ve got all we need and more, and I’m thankful.
  6. The health of myself and my family. A lot of people don’t have the blessing of good health, and I don’t want to take it for granted.
  7. Retreats like Teens Encounter Christ and Cursillo. The communities of people that put these on make such a difference in bringing people to Christ and helping them to understand their faith. God has done wonderful things in my life through these movements.
  8. Laughter and a sense of humor. Because who wants to be serious all the time?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Before I became a parent, I “knew” my kids would always be well-behaved, never fight with each other, and not ask the same questions over and over. And over.

Here’s a list of things I never knew I’d have to tell my kids:

"That wall is not for climbing, Peach."

  1. “Because I said so.” Answering the incessant “why?” from both my big kids.
  2. “We don’t touch our poop, do we?” Changing a two-year-old’s diaper.
  3. “No wrestling at the library.” Peach just really likes to wrestle.
  4. “TT, get your fingers out of your mouth, get your fingers out of your mouth. Don’t bite your fingernails. Also, don’t pick your nose ’cause it’s really, really acky and I just don’t like it.” I made up a song to help him remember.
  5. “You’re four now. I’m not helping you put on your shoes.” And no more sippy cup either. He’s four, people.
  6. “Stop eating things off the floor!” Vanilla is really advanced when it comes to fine motor skills.
  7. “Our kids look homeless today. Sorry.” To my honey, after letting the kids play outside with juice-stained jammies on.
  8. “No more Family Guy!” Had to nip that in the bud once TT started repeating things.
  9. “If you potty on the potty chair, you can have some soda.” Yes I believe in bribery for potty training. It works. Don’t judge me…
  10. “You have to wear pants when you play outside. It’s the rule.” That is the rule. No pants, no going outside.
What are some things you never knew you’d say to your kids?

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Boy

August 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Happy Birthday, My Sweet Boy)

My sweet little guy turned four today. Four years ago at this moment, I was still in labor, not quite a mama yet. After 41.5 weeks of pregnancy and nearly twenty-four hours of induced labor, I was exhausted and just wanted to meet my baby. I expected our baby to look like my husband. I’m not sure why, but I just knew he would.

TT in 2008, when he was about a year old. I can't believe he's four today.

Then he came out and they put him in my arms, soaking wet and screaming (it’s a boy!), and I recognized him. I really did. He looked like me. I cried and just kept saying, “My baby! My baby!” (emphasis on the MY.) It seemed unreal that God could give us such a splendid gift.

That night, I never could have imagined how I’d feel on his fourth birthday. Well, today I feel joyful that we’ve made it this far. I feel sad that my guy will be going to kindergarten in just one year. I feel glad that he still gets in bed with me in the morning to snuggle. I feel closer to my husband than ever because of the struggles, laughter and love we’ve experienced parenting our children together.

Four is going to be a great year. He’s big enough to have a real conversation, and he has all kinds of new “great ideas” all the time. He still loves cars. He also plays pretend, going to work “like daddy” with his tool belt, making his guys ride their plastic horses, and even “cooking dinner” with his sister on her kitchen set.

Today I am thankful for TT, my curly-headed baby turning into a rough and tumble boy.

What are you thankful for today?

A little over two years ago, everyone on Facebook posted “25 Things About Me” in their notes section, then tagged their friends in it. These were just totally random facts about the writer. Click here to read my original twenty-five.

I thought it would be fun to see how much has changed and how much different I am two and a half years later, so I made a new list. Twenty-Five More Things About Me. Enjoy.

  1. I am a stay-at-home mommy of three children under the age of four years old. Although it takes a lot of time and energy just to care for them, we have way too much fun. It’s like I get to be a kid again sometimes.
  2. After 6 years of marriage, I’m still insanely in love with my husband. He’s got an awesome, clever sense of humor, and he keeps me grounded when I fly off the handle. We complement each other, and I have no doubt that God brought us together.
  3. I believe in Heaven. I have read several books on Heaven (Heaven Is For Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven, and others). I have always had a strong faith in God and I believe what the Bible says, so I know it’s a real place.
  4. Deep down, we still want ten kids. Before my honey and I were married, we answered EVERYONE who asked, “How many kids do you want?” with a definitive, “Ten.” Now that we aren’t young starry-eyed kids anymore, we have to be realistic about raising and educating multiple children… but we still WANT ten. Are we crazier than Charlie Sheen? Possibly.
  5. If you are old enough to be on Facebook, you are old enough to know how to spell the word “definitely.” Not definately, not definently, not deffynitly. And don’t even get me started on their/there/they’re and you’re/your and here/hear and too/to/two. It makes my skin crawl to see a high school or college graduate write, “Deffinently. I’ll be their.” Ick.
  6. I’ve tried to quit drinking soda at least ten times in my life. But I just love it. I don’t drink it very often, but a delicious Orange Crush or a Dr. Pepper is a real treat on some days.
  7. I have started running again. My high school self would be disgusted at how fat slow I am these days, but hey, at least I’m trying.
  8. My kids just look like themselves. Everyone always asks which parent they resemble more. They’re just a good mix of both, and they do not look exactly like anyone.
  9. Buying paint and canvas doesn’t make you an artist, buying a piano does not make you a concert painist, and buying a DSLR does not make you a photographer. Another pet peeve of mine. More on this later.
  10. If I had a million dollars, I’d still shop the clearance racks first and buy store brand groceries.
  11. I took dance for 15 years. Tap, ballet, jazz, some modern. I had fun, but I’m not wonderful at any of it.
  12. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s since 2004. To be fair, I did take TT once to play on the playplace and eat a happy meal, but I didn’t order anything.
  13. I used to think “babywearing” was for hippies. Now that I’ve got my three, I can see how convenient those little slings are.
  14. The whole reason I’m a picky eater is not because of flavors, but because of textures. I still don’t eat raw tomatoes, pears, olives or oranges.
  15. It sounds weird to me when my husband calls me by my first name. We started calling each other “Mom” and “Dad” when TT started talking, and I’ve gotten used to it. A little too used to it.
  16. I was a jerk to my parents in high school. And my whole first year of college. Sorry Mom & Dad.
  17. I have thumbs up toes. Details to come.
  18. My husband and I go on a date at least once a month. It’s amazing what good food and good conversation can do for a relationship.
  19. When we first started dating, I told my honey all I wanted was Funyuns and fireworks for my birthday. He got me a big box of fireworks and my parents got me an entire case of Funyuns. Happy 20th to me.
  20.  It’s possible to survive without a cell phone. Yes, it’s really true.
  21. If I think too hard about my kids growing up and going to school all day long, I cry.
  22. Conan is my favorite late night talk show host. Come on! How can you not love Coco?
  23. The “right” way to put toilet paper on is when it rolls over the top. 
  24. I’ve had some sadness in my life, but in the words of my good friend Matt Andrewz, “It could be worse.” Overall, I’m a super happy person, but of course no one’s life is without its sorrows. I’m a “look on the bright side” kind of girl.
  25. Blogging might be for me. This is a starting list of topics to write about. (Yes, I did just end that sentence with a preposition. But I’m from the Midwest, I can’t help it.) We’ll see how it goes.

My day so far…

June 9th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Our Crazy Life - (5 Comments)

My day so far:

4:45AM – Up to nurse Vanilla. After staying up till 1:30AM doing laundry.

5:30AM – Packed a lunch for my honey as he had to be to work at 6:00. Then back to bed.

6:45 – Peach gets in bed with me. Snuggles! 🙂

7:34 – TT whispers loudly in my ear. “Get up, Mommy! I’m hungry!” Peach wakes up, and bowls are filled with cereal.

The morning starts off quietly – we watch the end of A Bug’s Life while waiting for Vanilla to get up. We play with cars, and just get ready for our day.

I decide today is a good day to get things done around the house. I load the dishwasher, and when I’m putting my Finish powder in, I notice the bottom of the box seems a little damp. Hmmmm… yep. Pipe’s leaking. Awesome. I dry out the inside of my cabinet and scrub it with bleach.

By the time I’m done with that, Vanilla is up, demanding to be fed. I whip out a “bottle” and feed her. We play for awhile longer, I get some more laundry in the washer and fold some out of the dryer and put it away. I write a quick blog post while the kids play on the floor right next to me, and then it’s time to get outside. By this time, Vanilla’s taking her morning nap, so I’m out on the porch with the maniacs. TT starts putting on his shoes, and I squat down to put Peach’s shoes on for her. That’s when I notice something greenish-brown all over her legs and one hand. “What’s all over you, Peach?” as I lean down and take a whiff. Yep. It’s poop. This day just keeps getting better.

Complete bath and scrub down of Peach while Vanilla wails in her room and TT actually waits quite patiently. Then I look on the floor search and smell the entire living room and where she had been sitting, and I get to scrubbing four tiny brown spots off my carpet. Okay, deep breath.

TT two summers ago on the swing in question.

An old picture of TT on the swing in question.

I get all three (clean) kids outside and peace resumes. Peach is doing Harry Potter spells with a stick from the yard, and TT is busy destroying ant hills and digging in the dirt while Vanilla jumps and chews on toys in her exersaucer.

When a fight breaks out over a swing, I realize we’ve been outside for an hour and half, and it’s dangerously close to lunchtime. I wrangle the kids back inside, wash their hands in the bathroom sink, and get lunch ready. Lunch is smooth, Vanilla gets another “bottle”, and we watch some of the Nate Berkus Show.

TT starts whining about milk, so I know it’s naptime. When I get to the maniacs’ room, I find another pleasant surprise. Ball point pen scribblings decorate the wall. Deep breath. Lovely. How creative. I bring Peach and TT in for interrogation, and Peach explains in her two-year-old babble that it was her. A trip to the corner is in order.

Now all three are napping, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to do the same if I want to survive the rest of the day. But alas, there’s Vanilla again, wailing for mommy. So much for “getting things done” today.

I truly love being the mommy, but today is just one of those days when I’m happy I haven’t lost my patience.