Thursday, May 31, 2007

Musical Beds: Round II

I posted awhile back about how sometimes during the night we all end up in different beds at some point. Last night was such a night. (Warning: Proceed with caution. I guarantee your head will be spinning if you read any further. You may as well just skip the post and scroll down to see the picture....)

Tate: Good ol' Tate. Plop him in his crib around 7ish, don't hear a peep til after 7 the next morning. And if I'm still too zonked to get him, he doesn't mind talking to himself for another hour or so.

Drue: Started in her bed, moved to our bed, and that's where she stayed.

Reese: Started in her bed, moved to Drue's bed with her, moved back to her bed when we moved Drue to our bed, back to Drue's bed with me, then ended up in our bed.

Me: Started in our bed with Drue. Moved to Drue's bed because I felt sorry for Reese in their room all alone, moved to Reese's bed after Reese fell asleep with me in Drue's bed and there was no room because it is a twin bed.

David: Started in our bed, stayed in our bed. Like father, like son.

Anyway, it was all worth it for this shot David took this morning of the sleepy sisters....

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

To Cry, or Not To Cry

Ugh. The crying. The neverending, relentless, just when one child stops, anothers starts kind of crying. Double Ugh. Just one of those things that grates on my nerves until I'd rather choose to eat a whole onion than to listen to one more outburst.

And, yes, my little loved ones are already able to turn off and on their waterworks display at will. I am desperately trying to teach them alternative coping skills to deal with life's little frustrations. At the same time, trying not to squelch their sensitive personalities. Ironically, their mother is a crier. I cry when people hurt my feelings, when I've done something stupid, or when I'm watching a sweet commercial about a little girl giving her piano teacher a greeting card.

But come on people. How much pain is really caused as a result of being hit with a cotton ball? I find myself constantly saying things like, "Don't cry sweetheart", "Now, is that something we need to cry about?", "QUIET!!!!!".

And my kids can take a hit pretty well. (Wait, that didn't come out right...not a hit from me, but from their siblings, falling off the playhouse steps, things of that nature). I began to get concerned that by me telling them not to cry all the time, they would bottle everything up inside, which would really be unhealthy for them.

So, I started reinforcing that it's ok to cry if they get hurt, or if they're sad about something. A couple of weeks ago, Reese fell hard on our back deck. Landed right smack dab on her little knees. I braced myself for a howl, but she just hopped up and hobbled on into the house. Fearing that I had ruined her psyche for life, I reminded her, "Sweetheart, that looked like it really hurt. It's ok to cry if you get hurt."

To which she assured me, "It's ok Mommy. My eyelids decide when to cry."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life for something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell

I am so thankful for the freedom my family and I are able to enjoy because of those who've fought, and are fighting, to defend our country.

We took the kids to the Liberty Memorial/Museum, a tribute to WWI veterans, in Kansas City this morning. It started out as a beautiful day and ended up beginning to rain, just as David put the burgers on the grill this afternoon. The kids and I were already in our swimsuits after running through the sprinkler, so we all just headed back outside and played in the rain for a bit.

A few rare shots of sisterly love...


Here they are teamed up together as Super Girls. The straw in Reese's mouth is supposed to be her "cigar". Wonder where she got that idea? (Ahem...David)


And, yes, the boy was with us today also. Tate got his first taste of corn on the cob tonight. As with most of his food, he took a few bites, then tossed it onto the floor below. Little things amuse 1 year olds. (Not so much their mothers.)


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mystery Revealed

And the winner for best participation goes to......Margo! She posted THREE guesses on David's big purchase. Thanks for playing along!

So here's what all the excitement's been about in our household the past week. Our TV died. At first we thought Tate had done something to it....again. The brightly lit buttons lure him in to pressing them many times a day and it takes us forever to figure out what, exactly, he did, and how, exactly, to fix it.

However, this time, it wasn't the poor lad's fault. (Looking back I feel a little guilty about sending him to bed with no supper. We'll chalk it up to character building.) It was just the TVs time to go. David proclaimed that very night we were going to look for a replacement. I'm thinking--head to W*l-Mart, get a comparable contraption, head home. David was thinking--head to the colossal furniture mart 20 miles away and spring for, oh yes, the BIG one!

In fact, he used part of his lunch break at work to bee bop around pricing the darn things. So off we went on our TV buying adventure....with kids in tow. Which, in and of itself, was enough to make me want to put my head right through one of those TVs!

I do not like bartering, or bargaining, or whatever it is people do to get a better deal. This is America. The price on the sticker should be a fair one for us to pay. Plus I'm just too shy to do it. David pulled a slick one, on accident, however, and we ended up getting it for a good deal.

So there you have it. David is now the proud owner of a Big Screen TV. Correction: A 50 inch plasma Hi Def TV. We got in the car and he said, "Well, I've got my big screen TV, my leather recliner...oh, and a wife (which he only added after he caught me glaring at him) and 3 beautiful children. I can die a happy man."

To which I retorted, "Don't you dare leave me all alone with this TV I don't know how to work...."

Monday, May 21, 2007


We don't usually let the girls sleep in our bed. Occasionally we have little spend the night parties in there, but the rule of thumb normally is....Go to sleep in your own bed, if you wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, come on in and snuggle. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything in the world.

Yesterday morning Reese crawled in our bed and snuggled for a bit then leaned over and whispered. "Mommy, I'm going downstairs by myself so you can sleep longer."

I heard a mild ruckus but nothing alarming and after a few minutes she quietly crept back into our room with a breakfast she had made for me all by herself! It consisted of dry cheerios in a bowl, peach Diego yogurt, and a bottle of water complete with a straw. All this was teetering ever so slightly on a cookie sheet she found for the tray.

She was so excited about her special treat for me. She even stayed to help me eat it! I wish I could have frozen that moment in time.....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Can you guess?

David is now the proud owner of something that will enable him to, and I quote, "die a happy man"...

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Boy & His Cake

"Hmmmm....a creation made entirely of chocolate with a flame of fire on top. Is this a trick? Those are usually no no's!"


" you see what I'm doing? You haven't started freaking out yet."

"It must be ok. She is laughing and taking pictures of me."

"This is my kinda meal!"
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Recap

I love getting flowers from David. I do. I'm a romantic. I don't want to listen to practical women rant and rave about how that's a waste of money, blah, blah, blah. You're just spoiling it for the rest of us. However, today, for Mother's Day, I didn't get any flowers. I got a bouquet of a different sort. And I LOVE it! David knows me well.


Last week when they were banned from entering the house during my cleaning spree, David took all the kids shopping for Mother's Day. First they trekked over to the card shop. Which, in and of itself, is really commendable. He made a special trip to the card shop, meaning extra buckling and unbuckling of carseats, and the added risk of someone having a meltdown from too many errands, rather than just picking one up at the grocery store or something like that. He let the girls pick out their own cards. At this age, they pick their cards based on the picture that is on the front. They both produced their cards for David's approval to which he had to intercede and say, "Wait a minute....Mommy is not a Great-Grandma" to one, "And she doesn't speak Spanish!" to the other one.

Their next stop was to get my actual gifts. Again, the girls were allowed to pick out their own gifts for me. Evidently, Reese picked out quite a few necklaces, some HUGE earrings, and a shirt that was about 5 sizes too big for me. David ended up taking them to the $1 section of the store. Reese decided on some foil alphabet letter stickers for us to do crafts with. And Drue picked out a very colorful bucket of little refreezeable ice cubes in the shape of fruits.

David did pick out a necklace for me on his own. And it is beautiful! He has really great taste, I must admit. (Although, I sort of had an inkling I was getting one after Drue came running upstairs after their shopping trip exclaiming, "Mommy! We got you a NECKLACE!"....gotta love those 2 year olds).

The girls really wanted to make me something for Mother's Day so my mom got all the stuff for them to make plastic spoons covered with chocolate and peppermints to stir my hot chocolate with. She said Reese crushed up her own mints and everything. One of the dogs ate Drue's creation during her nap, so she had to make another one when she woke up. They also decorated little tea bag holders with crayons.

I thank God for allowing me the privilege of being a Mother to these 3 precious little people. And for blessing me with such a wonderful example to follow in my own Mother.
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Big O-N-E!


It's been exactly a year since David and I were surprised with 3 little words..."It's A Boy!". Tate was the only baby we didn't find out the gender for beforehand. It was neat being surprised. I did that for a couple of reasons. #1-I had never been surprised before, so I wanted to see what that was like. #2-Since we already had 2 girls, it would slightly annoy me that people assumed the reason we were having a 3rd child, was so we could have a boy. Like the only perfect families are those that consist of children of each gender. That didn't even make sense. Odds are actually in your favor to continue having the same gender once you have more than one in a row. We got comments like, "Trying for that boy, eh?". "Finally gonna get that boy?". "Third time's a charm". So, it was easier just saying, "We don't know what we're having", than to say, "Oh, another little girl" and listen to people's comments or "A boy" and listen to their accolades that we were finally getting our heir.

Now I realize these were all innocent little comments people make but after awhile, they really got under my skin. And, no, me being uncomfortable and hormonal didn't have anything to do with it....

Anyway, he was due May 12th and my doctor assured me that he would most likely make his appearance before then, since this was my third baby. Each time I waddled in for my checkup, she would scratch her head and say, "Hmmmm, I really thought you'd be farther along by now. Nothing is happening." I'm not one to jeopardize the well-being of my child by drinking castor oil or something like that just to get them out a few days early. But I wasn't opposed to walking, walking, walking around our neighborhood and eating an occasional Mexican cuisine.

A few times I went in for my checkups, I had the girls with me. Then 3 and 18 months. Did you get that part? 3 and 18 months!!! A quiet doctor's waiting room is not something they can comprehend. So, there I was, 13 months pregnant, trying to keep them under semi-control so they didn't run wild or swing from the curtains. After the forklift hoisted me up on the exam table, the nurse would look at those magic little numbers with a perplexed look on her face and say, "Hmmmm, your blood pressure is a little high." WHAT? However could that be? I've just been lounging in the waiting room with my feet propped up being fed grapes and getting fanned....

So I would have to lay on my left side. Facing the wall. Not being able to see my children who were systematically tearing apart every magazine in the office. Again, the perplexed tone, "Still a tad high..." when it was checked a few minutes later.

Back to Tate's big day. He was a no show, so my doctor admitted me the night before my due date to try and get things going. She didn't want another surprise 9 1/2 pound baby coming out, like Drue had been. I spent all night there with a medicine that was supposed to help speed up the process. The next morning I was dilated to a whopping 1! So, at 7:30am they started the pitocin, I had a few tolerable contractions, got the epidural around 8:30 and sailed on through the rest of the morning. Around noon my doctor came to round and was just about to head back to the office when I felt a weird pressure sensation and as she checked me one last time, her eyes got big, she had them throw her gown on and she said, "On second thought, I think I'll stay right here....".

About 3 pushes later, out he came. The cord was wrapped around his neck. Twice. So I shot forward to make sure all was ok and out came the rest of him. So, I was actually able to see for myself, along with everybody else, that he was a B-O-Y! The cord was also wrapped around one of his shoulders and was tied in a big ol' knot. Goodness, son, what in the world had you been doing in there?

His first year of life has gone by way more quickly than the girls' did. I can't believe it. He is a joy. He loves his momma. (And now his dada, cause he's old enough to wrestle). I am excited to have a little boy. But I'm also just glad that he's a healthy little wonder with a smile to melt my heart.....

Happy 1st Birthday Tate!!
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Little Piggies in Camo


Are these not some of the cutest little darn shoes you've ever seen?

(After years of buying the cutest little pink shoes and flowery sandals you've ever seen, I'm entitled to get a tad overexcited about baby boy shoes...)

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Saved by a Nickel

I love to sleep in.

However, I am a mother.

The two don't go hand in hand.

David has always been great at getting up with the kids on Saturdays and letting me snooze a little longer. However, my peaceful Saturday mornings were soon filled with screams, shrieks, and peals of laughter finding their way up the stairs into my bedroom. I still tried to fake sleep just to sneak in a few more moments to myself before the whirlwind weekend began.

As it became increasingly difficult for David to keep these energetic little hyenas quiet in the morning, he started shoving them all in the van, in their pjs, and going out to get breakfast and bringing it back. Sweet. But weird, because as crazy as it is around here with everyone screaming at once, I feel strange in an empty house.

And I discovered that I can't sleep in an empty house. How ironic. So instead of laying there soaking in the sound of nothing, as soon as I hear the whir of the garage door signaling that they have left the building, I leap from the covers and start cleaning the house. Depending on where they go get food, I have anywhere from about 20-40 minutes of free time to just do nothing but C-L-E-A-N! It's great.

I've become fairly good at multitasking on my days at home. Fix the kids lunch, throw in a load of laundry while they eat, vacuum the living room while they run around squealing pretending it's a lion ready to eat them, empty the dishwasher without clanking the dishes together too loud to wake anyone up from a nap.

But it is just a down right satisfying feeling to clean the house while everyone's O-U-T! I can go warp speed without having to stop in the middle of what I'm doing to get someone a glass of milk, change a diaper, kiss a nonexistant boo boo, etc. Half the time, I forget what chore I was working on so I just start a new one. Lo and behold, the next day I'll find a sopping wet load of clothes in the dryer because I had forgotten to start it.

I love being able to walk through every room in the house and have them all be clean simultaneously. If I'm cleaning while the kids are there, in the time it takes to scrub one toilet, a silent train has gone right through the middle of my living room and turned it upside down again.

That's life with kids, I realize. Nevertheless, our little Saturday morning practice of David leaving with the kids, and me speed cleaning, has become routine. So much so, that I actually kick them out for longer periods of time on Saturdays if the house is really a mess.

This weekend, however, I chose Friday night to kick them out for a bit. I quickly got to work picking up, washing dishes, wiping down mirrors, etc. I mean, I don't stop for nothin' during these escapades. The house could literally be falling down around me and I would be oblivious.

I grabbed the vacuum and after doing our two sets of stairs and the living room, I started flying down the hallway with it, towards all our bedrooms.

Then I saw it.

A shiny silver nickel nestled in the fibers of the carpet.

I weighed my choices.

I could just go right over the top of it. Or I could stop and pick it up, which would cost me precious seconds of cleaning. I decided to stop and pick it up for two reasons: #1. I didn't want to risk clogging the vacuum, which would actually waste more time by me trying to unclog it before David returned. #2. I had a flashback of the night before when I took off Drue's bathing suit in the hall and over $1 worth of change fell out (don't ask). So I figured there'd be more coins than just that nickel lying about.

As I got down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickel and search for the other coins, there, right next to that shiny silver nickel who had beckoned me engagement ring!

I hadn't even known it was missing! I had taken off my rings earlier to put lotion on and left them in our bathroom. I confiscated my wedding band from Drue but hadn't even noticed that she had also taken my engagement ring! And I probably wouldn't have even realized it was missing until the contents of the vacuum had already been dumped into our huge trash barrel in the garage. The same trash barrel that becomes home to all the dirty diapers!!

So thank you, little Mr. Jefferson, for catching the light at just the right moment to make me stop and pick you up, lest you be sucked up into my vacuum along with the expensive token of David's love for me.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Our girls L-O-V-E to wear dresses, skirts, nightgowns, etc. Pants are the enemy. In fact, if Reese is wearing anything other than one of the aforementioned garments, she insists that she is incapable of being pretty.

"I don't think princesses wear pants!", she gumbled all winter.

"They do if it's -2 degrees outside and they are running errands with the Queen!", I'd shoot back.

While I do enjoy having such girly girls who hold to the motto The Pinker & Frillier, The Better, I am also trying desperately to instill in them that real beauty, of course, comes from the inside. I could care less if my daughters are voted Prom Queen...what I really want is for them to have character and a sweet disposition, and befriend even those unlovable kids who sit in the back of the class eating crayons.

So time and time again, I go over with Reese, especially, that she's most beautiful when she shares with her siblings, or offers to help them with something....even if she has on shorts and a stained t-shirt. And on the flip side of that, she could wear the most beautiful sequined evening gown, but if she's scowling and whining about having to eat a green bean, then her disposition isn't very pretty.

I actually clung to the belief for awhile that my wee ones were taking to heart all my wise motherly advice and were able to make sense of it. Then one day, Reese was all dressed up for something or other. She did look very pretty indeed with her white blond curls framing her porcelain face.

"Mommy, how do I look?", she asked innocently.

"Sweetie, you look very cute!!", I gushed, then quickly remembered my teachings. "But, remember what's most important?", I prompted.

The wheels started turning and I waited expectantly for her to repeat my phrasing word for word. After a few more seconds, I was starting to wonder if she'd heard the question correctly. So I repeated, "What's most important Reese?".

"I know...I know...", she assured me. "Jesus is the cutest."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

No Super Cute Babies Were Harmed in the Making of this Picture's a bottle...with white stuff in it....must be for me!

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