Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Crazy.  Frantic.  Wild.  Hectic.

Yes, I'm talking about the last week of school.  And, as if there isn't enough going on with finishing up school for the year, I also thought it would be a great time to have a garage sale.  And plant a garden.  And we had to say goodbye to friends family as they moved away.

But, here I sit having lived through it all (with the help of my hubby, my mom-in-love, and several friends) on the first official day of summer.  Whew.

I did forget my sweet little carpool the last day of school (still kicking myself over that one).  I did cry like a baby when I told Macy's teacher thank you for being the most wonderful, caring, awesome teacher this year.  I had an embarrassing "moment" at the library with the kids (that story to follow).  I cherished last moments & kisses on a sweet little head that brought tears to my eyes every single time.  I found out that distance makes you stop & appreciate things you take for granted...

All of this made it a very humbling week.

But because I've done a lot of tears, I have to tell something funny.  Maybe not funny, but hopefully relatable in that "I've been there!"-with-a-chuckle kind of story.

Macy wanted to go to the library.  I hate going with the kids, but relented.  After both of my older kids "humbled" me in ways I won't write about because they are old enough & should know better (& it's really still not funny), we had books picked out & ready to go.  I went to get Lily & Ava from the stuffed animal pile & Lily asked for her books.  I told her I would get them for her in a minute.  She stopped in the middle of the library, and in a very loud voice yelled "I SAID I want my books!" Complete with a stomp of the little foot.   Cue all heads in library turning to look at us.  I looked at her, she looked at me.  Then it dawned on her what she had just done & she proceeded to run from me with her hand on her hiney yelling "Momma!  I don't want a spanking!!!"  Oie.

Just for the record, no one got to keep their books that day...I turned them all in.  And we are never going back to the library again, forever.  

project 52:21 - naptimes

Naptimes are such a part of motherhood & a big topic of conversation.  When the babies are little it's "how long is she sleeping?"  When they are older it's "Should he drop the morning nap?" or "Oh, my goodness I think she's already outgrowing her nap!"  Then, when they are big kids you wish for that nap that no longer is...just a little peace & quiet or you sometimes find yourself saying "YOU need a nap!"

No matter the age of our kids, we have maintained a quiet time in each day-naps for the little ones, alone time for the biggers.  We have to find some peace, some quiet in the day.  It seems to reset everyone, improves moods, makes the afternoon a better place.  I like this time to recharge, or do things for myself, or get some of the chores done without interruption...but sometimes I also take a little nap!  So nice!

Friday, May 20, 2011

project 52:20 - tempered

I'm an extrovert, he's an introvert...I'm go, go, go all the time, he's stay, stay, stay (most) of the time...we are opposites in so many ways but we harmoniously meet in the middle more often than not to make it work beautifully.  He tempers me, helps me find the balance I so desperately need in my life because I have such a hard time saying "no".  Sometimes I get frustrated when he says slow down, or this isn't what we need to do right now, but in the end I know he's right (even if I don't tell him that!).  He is my rock, the leader of our family...the one that makes this job of motherhood something I can do.

Being "tempered" is essential to motherhood (at least with my personality!), or you will find yourself crazy.  And I'm so lucky to have the love of my life to walk beside me & take on that responsibility.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

project 52:19 - versatile

I wear many hats...some fit better than others, but in all things I'm learning to be versatile, adaptive, resourceful, flexible.  I've had to learn how to do many odd things...like teaching my left hand & arm how to work almost as good as my right because left arms get tired of holding babies before babies get tired of being held (I hear that builds brain synapses).  I've learned how to do things one-handed, like take pictures with my SLR with one hand (there's no point-&-shoot focus on these cameras).  I've learned how to read upside-down, drink laying down (can't risk waking sleeping child just for a drink!), how to use a public restroom (zipper anyone?) without putting my crawler on the nasty floor, how to drive & keep my eyes on the road while appearing totally engaged in an 8 year old's conversation.  Juggling schedules, meals, errands, hobbies...it takes practice.  

Sometimes the wife hat, momma hat, friend hat, christian woman hat go together like a tailored suit...and sometimes I look like a pirate princess super-hero.  It's a crazy life, but it's the only one we are given and there's no one I would trade with!  I'll keep all my hats, thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

project 52:18 - an echo

Totally cheating on this picture this week, but it's my project & I'll do what I want to!  The picture is me holding my brother...but the resemblance to Lily is strong.  It is truly fascinating to me to see how families resemble each other-how you can't deny your roots!  And that they pass along, keeping you connected, echoing the past into the future.

Before I was a mom, I was a daughter.  I remember being newly married, working at a part-time job as a student "assistant" & having a conversation with two older women who were mothers.  They were telling me that I just couldn't appreciate and understand the love that my mother has for me until I became a mom.  I was so upset!  I DID appreciate my mom-she was one of my best friends after all, & thought they just didn't have the same relationship with their mothers as I did with mine.  But...you know what?  I think they may have been a little bit right.  Becoming a mother made me look at all the ways I love, cherish, & adore my babies in ways I could never comprehend (who thinks they will accept poopy diapers readily before they get the chance?) and realize that my mom felt all these same things for her babies & that I was-and am-so very, very loved.  

When I became a wife I was blessed with another mother...though she didn't raise me as a child, she's helped raise me as a wife.  And, I know she loves me very, very much!

To my mother...and my mother-in-love (not law)...thank you for all your love.  And Happy (belated) Mother's Day.

Easter 2011

Well, we almost made it through church Easter Sunday without incident (I insisted on keeping the girls in church instead of the nursery because-good reason-they had too cute of dresses to be in the nursery!) until I sat Ava between my mom & me on the pew...and then forgot about her...and she fell face-first into the pew in front of us.  Who knew she was only 1 & didn't know how to get down?  Mom & me, that's who.  So, screaming ensued but we recovered by communion.  

We also gave up the farce story of the Easter bunny this year-it was no surprise to Macy or Jack (I was never good at acting this out anyway & honestly Macy is getting to that age-she said she knew the big man in red wasn't real either but didn't want to hurt feelings) & Lily didn't remember...but we did have baskets & an egg hunt.  The kids just knew WE hid them!  The kids were not disappointed-all they care about is whether they still get candy!  Ava found one egg, sat down, & started eating...the other kids in their mad dash would bring her another egg every so often & she was tickled pink!

We had what has become our traditional Easter dinner, inviting my parents & some of our adopted family over, except this year it had a little bit of sadness with it because they are moving.  We will always keep in touch & be close, even if miles separate us & our traditions change a bit.  We spent almost the entire day outside, enjoying the beautiful Spring weather & the company of our family...

I felt I was able to accomplish my goal-taking in every moment of Easter (except for the crying episode)...there were moments when I was moved to tears, like when the entire church was lit only by our candles or when the catechumenates were baptized or when the bells rang at the proclamation of Christ or even when 
Father sprinkled us all with the Holy Water-how it catches the sunlight through the stain glass...I felt 
Jesus' presence for sure...

I had pictures of the beautiful eggs we dyed, but they were on my iPhone...and I dropped it...in the bathtub...and had not synced in a loooong time...so they are gone, along with some other pictures I really wish I still had.  Boo.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lily's big birthday

Well...number 3 turned 3.  And let me tell you there has been no one more excited or jubilant at a birthday party.  She couldn't contain herself.

Lily is such a funny child-so extreme.  Her emotions are on, full-blast, all the time...whether it's happy or mad, there's no in between.  I think about her entry & first year in this world & she was so calm, so easy...in fact I worried about her because she didn't cry enough!  But she has more than made up for it in the second year of life with no sign of slowing down.

Per her request, it was Strawberry "Kortcake" for the theme.

And best friends all made it to help celebrate.

Ava loved the icing!

Her present from Grandma was her big-girl quilt to go on her new big-girl bed.  
She's been funny with the bed...she tells me every night that she might fall out of bed but hasn't so far.  And, she's doing better than our oldest two kids when it comes to STAYING in her bed.  Opposite of that though is Ava.  We thought we might save ourselves some time & just keep Lily's converted crib as Ava's toddler bed, thinking she should be almost old enough for it because Macy was able to sleep in a toddler bed at her age.  W-R-O-N-G!  That girl was having a party every night & keeping them both up, getting into the books & toys & taking things to Lily.  Lily was quick to throw her under the bus-declairing every time we went in to scold that "it wasn't me!!!  Ava got out of bed!!"  So, after 4 days, we put the rail back on the crib & Ava is back in a more appropriate bed.

And she is STILL telling us thank you for her birthday party & can she have another one soon?  That's all it takes to make your heart smile & know that she truly loved her birthday!

The other big hit was the "Tangled" barbie from Nana...we have "Tangled" fever in this house!