Friday, December 21, 2012

Conversations heard round the Christmas tree...

The girls, eating Christmas cookies at the kitchen island...

Rachel:  I'm going to go to my house.
Elizabeth:  You're so silly, Rachel.  You live at our house!  You are my sister and Jesus gave us sisters so we'd have each other.
Mommy:  *Contented sigh...*
Rachel:  No...I live in a rainbow house. 
Mommy:  *Forehead slap*

So...whatcha doin in there??

In the bath the other night...

Elizabeth:  Mom, if I were a mermaid, my name would be eyelash.

Don't worry about me, Mom!  I'm just going to check how clean this bathroom is...again...

How do your kids watch TV??

And my favorite...after a long day of not listening and wearing on my last nerve...
Elizabeth:  But Mom!!  I can't go on the naughty list!!  I made my bed!!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Flu recovery, gym time and mystery diapers

I think yesterday was my first weights workout in about a month.

Now normally, I get stressed and busy about this time of year, as well as every other mother I know.  Last week, I had a senior pitcher that was stressed about her Calculus final and basketball games and trying to get her college applications in and I said, "Oh yeah?  Well, I need to get out cards and start on cookies and finish my shopping..."

Somehow, she didn't find my humor appealing. 

But it's been more than the holidays keeping me away from the gym.

Our house has been battling the flu.  And the sinus crud.  And the general moanies and groanies. (*cue unenthusiastic yay*)

This has been Scott's and my pose for about a month.

So I took a break from the Y and focused instead on stocking up on tissues and Cloroxing door knobs.  But yesterday, I felt good enough to get back into the routine and get my hour in.  However, my body felt like it had been sick for a month.

I wish I could encourage you if you are in a similar situation that I felt good after a warmup and I left feeling better than ever, but to be honest, the entire time was a struggle.  And I know it's going to be that way until I can get my stamina back up.   

Which is why I hauled my sore butt to the Y again today and pushed through the cobwebs to get some squats and a light run in.  I know I'll feel better eventually, but until then, it's going to be a little rough.

Speaking of rough, I have to tell you about Caleb's doctor visit yesterday.  Did I tell you my baby is 9 months old?  Holy moly...he is a crawling, talking, drooling machine that keeps everyone in the house on their toes.

So, after I was feeling pretty stellar from the gym, we went in for his check-up.  I was talking to the nurse and stripping the boy down when I smelled that his diaper was definitely due for a change.  Well, if you don't have little ones, you have to take their diaper off at the scales anyway, so I just told her that I'd better change this one here so we don't ruin the equipment.

She laughed and we continued to chat.

Until I looked in his diaper.

And there, mixed in with the foul-smelling mess, was a full gum wrapper, fully intact.  I have no idea where he got it or how long it took to go through his system, but I felt like signing up for Mother of the Year there on the spot.  

The nurse just laughed, but she must have made a note on my chart, because later, when I was talking with the doctor (who I love), he said, " is his eating?  Does he like table food?  Baby food?  Gum wrappers??"

Ok, I'm off to make some applesauce for my little Hoover.  Have a great day, my friends!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baby Talk

Conversation with Caleb at 7 months:

Me:  Dada??
Caleb:  Dadadadadadada

Me:  Thhhhhwwwwwppppppttttt  (blowing raspberries)
Caleb:  Thhhhhwwwwwppppppptttttt  (pause)  ttttttthhhhhhhhwwwwwwwppppppttttttt

Me:  Nananana?
Caleb:  Nanananananananana

Me:  MAMA????

*sigh*  :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Breathe...

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galations 5:22

This was the crux of our moms Bible study this week.  We talked about how to cultivate these qualities into our homes - things that we can do to build our little people up to have these characteristics.  

The discussion should have empowered me.  I should have left on cloud nine, ready to take over my home and mold my children.  But in reality, I felt even more defeated.

Because I very rarely feel like this.  

Let me go into detail.

We have had issues with Elizabeth getting up around 5 a.m. and coming downstairs to spend an hour by herself doing whatever she wants until we get up.  She turns on every light in the house and loves to get into the pantry to snack on things she knows she's not allowed to have.  Yesterday, I found her with a pack of the real expensive organic baby yogurt bites and almost had a coronary.  

So we got her one of those alarm clocks that changes colors when she's allowed to get up and it has worked really well.  So at 6 o'clock on the nose, she walks in our room and announces, "The clock is green, Mom!!"  Now, I would be tempted to drift back to sleep except for the sound of a dining room chair being scooted across my kitchen floor in order to assist her to get crayons, Play-doh, or scissors (ha!). 

Caleb gets up five minutes later; Rachel 10 minutes. My day starts lecturing, correcting, disciplining.  

Don't lay on your brother.
Please go back to bed if you're going to cry.
I swear, I will start breakfast in a minute.
No, you cannot go outside.  It's cold and you have pj's on. 

Breakfast is a blur of demands and whines and a baby banging on his high chair for attention.  I make Elizabeth's lunch for preschool, Scott's snacks for work and chug my shake and a second cup of coffee.  In the background, I crank the praise and worship Pandora station because I tend to be more patient when I can at least hear positive music.  

Which proved a challenge this morning when the girls ran downstairs waving the LaLaLoopsy dolls they had a my closet...which had been intended for Christmas.  *breathe*

The dolls went on the dining room table and the process of begging/bribing/threatening to get ready for the day got underway.  Rachel has two outfits she is willing to wear without a fit.  Elizabeth has to run around naked at least 20 minutes before getting dressed and Caleb enjoys pulling out and chewing on the girls' nastiest shoes.  

Need the Reader's Digest of the rest of the morning?

Rachel picked up all the toys in the den (the first time I asked!) and got her doll unwrapped and was thrilled.
Elizabeth refused to make her bed and did not get her doll.
Rachel enjoyed teasing her big sister with her doll and Elizabeth threw a tantrum to try to get hers.
Caleb came crawling up to me chewing on something.  It was dog hair.
My friend called as I was pulling out of the driveway and I was so excited to talk to another adult that I drove right past the entrance to preschool.
Another Elizabeth tantrum.
Finally got her dropped off and made it to BodyPump class in time to get an awesome workout.
In the middle of shoulders, I realized I had left the dogs outside with no water...and had fed them leftover, salty pork for breakfast.
Picking up the kids, did I know that Caleb only had one sock on when I dropped them off?  Oh, and Rachel's hungry.  Check that:  starving.
Loading up the little two, I saw Elizabeth's drink still in my bag.  I had forgotten to leave it.
Back to preschool.  Unload two kids.  Drop off drink.  Reload two kids.
Rachel crying, "But I thought you said we were going to Taaaaarrrrgeeettttt."


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galations 5:22

You know the best part of this verse for me?  These are the fruit of the SPIRIT.  Not ANNIE.  It is through HIM, by HIM, that these things are revealed.  Although, during the times that my voice is raised and the house is a blur of chaos around me, I wonder...  

And just when I feel like I am going to lose it completely, He gives me glimpses of hope.

Today, when I dropped off Elizabeth, I clued her teacher in on our morning a bit and warned her of the mood.  "Oh, I would never believe that of your little girl," she said.  "She is just the most respectful and precious thing with the sweetest heart.  She always does everything I ask and is kind to others."

Funny how just a slight word of encouragement can reset you and make you feel like maybe you're doing something right after all and revealing the fruit of the Spirit, even if you don't think you are.  One day, I will laugh at all this...heck, I'll laugh about it tonight when they're in bed.  But today, I just work to make it through.

And finally today, after thinking all week on this verse, I accepted the grace that I don't have to be perfect...because HE is.  I was putting some sort of (definitely) unrealistic expectation on myself to achieve these things when I actually have to achieve nothing...I just have to live through Him.

Thank God.

And now, Rachel is calling from the potty and Caleb is yelling for me to get him from his crib.  Thanks for letting me vent, my friends. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hair-Raising Tuesday...

You all can really help a girl out of a funk, let me tell you.  After posting Elizabeth's adventure with a pair of scissors yesterday, I got so many ideas and words of support on the blog, Facebook and by text that I immediately felt better about the whole situation.  THANK YOU.

So this morning, we decided to ditch the gym and take care of early voting, pick up a couple items that I could only get at Whole Foods and then finish up at the beauty shop.  I don't know why I expected early voting to be a "get in, get out" sort of thing and, while I'm not especially political, I AM all American, so we stood in line and talked to people, did ballerina pirouettes and played peek-a-boo with Caleb until it was our turn.  

Thirty minutes later, we had cast our vote and put quite a hurting on their supply of "I voted today" stickers that Elizabeth tattooed all over herself. 

Now, to fill you in, Elizabeth was not at all remorseful over cutting her hair herself.  When she looked in the mirror, she only saw the front, which looked long and pretty, so it was really no big deal.  No matter how much I tried to drive the point home.

Me:  "Come here and let me put your hair in a pony tail since you CUT YOUR HAIR and it is TOO SHORT IN THE BACK and LOOKS SILLY."

ERS:  *Shrugs*  "I like it."

Me:  "We're going to have to get it all cut to match the back and we won't be able to braid it for a while."

ERS:  *Shrugs again*  "That's fine...I like headbands."

Me:  *Exasperated sigh*

In fact, this is what I found on the camera yesterday...

So Mom keeps harping on this whole hair cutting thing.

Me?  I kinda like it!

Maybe they'll make a Barbie with a reverse mullet!!

Then Mom will be all like, "Oh snap Elizabeth, you are so smart for cutting your hair."
(Come know you look for ways to insert "oh snap" into conversations too...)

ANYWAY, back to today, after stopping at the store, we went to the local Snip-it's (think beauty shop with a Chuckie-Cheese-on-crack spin) and the lady looked at Elizabeth's hair and then looked at me like I was crazy.

Insane Kiddie Beautician:  "Well, you know, you could just keep it in a pony tail.  If I cut it up to match that, it'll be way short." 

Me:  "Can you just trim it up shorter with some layers so you don't see where she cut it?"

I.K.B.:  "You'll still see it.  I mean, I can try."

Me:  "Super...SINCE SHE'S FOUR, I don't really think it matters if you can still see a little bit."

Now, my daughter LOVED the attention and has done nothing but strut ever since and it IS pretty cute.  What do you think?  (Note, please disregard my house in the background.  It is child-decorated at the moment.)

On to the next adventure!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Hair-Raising Emergency

My friends, I need just a moment of your time here.

I'm in crisis.

Ok, maybe CRISIS is slightly a strong word, but I'm having a really hard personal time here.  No, no one's hurt.  No, I feel fine.  Yes, all my children are fine...


...then they are all fine.  

Please let me elaborate.

I have to tell you that I've always been afraid of my kids cutting their own hair, because I realize I have been cursed.  Growing up, we had a friend who's little sister cut her own bangs up to the scalp.  It was the summer time and we all went to the same pool and it was quite the joke until they grew back out.  Once I had my own children, I realized that, by laughing at that poor child when I was only just a child, I was cursing myself to experience a similar fate with one of my own children.

So I decided to take the Sleeping Beauty approach and banish all scissors.  Or keep them really high.  That was the plan.  

Stop laughing...I KNOW you know how the story ends here, but let me tell it.  This is my therapy.  Along with wine...lots of wine...

I keep a pair of scissors in our bathroom because SOMETIMES I need a pair upstairs to cut tags of clothes or something like that and I keep them up on the top shelf in the cabinet above our toilet.  I'm just telling you this so you know that I'm not negligent and leave them child is a ninja.  

So today, I was reading nap time stories to Rachel and I could hear Elizabeth upstairs and just knew from the foot tread that she was up to no good.  I called for her and down she came and ran in the other room to color.  Carrying Rachel up to her bed, I noticed a ton of dog hair all over the floor.

"Holy cow, the dogs are shedding a ton," I thought and vowed to haul the Kirby upstairs after the kids woke up.  Coming out of Rachel's room, I noticed a perfect little curl on the floor.  

Oh no...

I realize my investigative pictures look like something out of My Cousin Vinny, but if you could see past all those designs on the dirty, 80's linoleum, you would see little brown ringlets.

Upon seeing her hair in the trash can, I sprinted downstairs to find my oldest.

"Elizabeth, did you cut your hair?"  I asked.

"Yes," she answered, not even looking up from her coloring book.


"I had a bump in my hair that I needed to get."

Turns out my child had given herself a reverse mullet to combat that bump.  Good thinking, kid.

I'm not doing ok with this, if you must know, and I haven't the foggiest idea what to do next.  My kids don't really grow hair.  It has taken forever to get it this long and we've loved doing braids and pony tails and buns.  So do I take her to a beautician to cut it up to the shortest part in a little bob or do I make her live in a pony tail until it grows back out...which could LITERALLY be a couple years?

She doesn't want to get it cut, but she also can't see the back or really understand what she's done.  And I can see myself in a little puddle in the beauty shop as my baby's perfect little soft hair gets cut up short.


So help me, my friends.  Please let me know that I'm not the only one in this boat and then give me wisdom as to next steps.   I'm hoping a couple miles on the treadmill might give me some insight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things that make me smile

 In case you were wondering...

We had to work in a doctor's visit last week because Caleb had a cough that was worrying me.  Everything checked out OK and, while he didn't like being poked or prodded, he LOVED making faces at himself in the mirror.  "Oh no, YOU are the cutest widdle baby..."

You all know how I love a good deal and CHECK THESE OUT!!  Seriously, $1 for organic hearts of romaine??!!  Yes please!!  I do believe Scott will shoot me if I sneak another bag of snow peas into his lunch, but you can't pass up $1 produce!  Thank YOU, Mr. Manager for your clearance decisions!

And back to my son, who is going through a crazy developmental stage right now.  I don't remember the girls doing something new every day, but he seems to figure things out a little more every time I turn around.  His latest trick is grabbing the puffs off the high chair tray, although he can't seem to get them in his mouth yet.  If you look closely, you can see the blurry little varmint escaping from his mitts.

And not to be overlooked, the dynamic duo makes me smile too...most of the time.  They've recently become obsessed with the play cell phone and walk around "talking" to their friends with the thing propped between their shoulder and their ear.  The other night, Elizabeth told me she couldn't come to the dinner table because her friend Piper had a crisis on the phone.  Yes, my four-year-old knows the word 'crisis.'  *sigh*

Who knew they made coconut milk coffee creamer??  It is saving my life on this Paleo kick, since I can't have dairy and think that black coffee is almost as pointless as decaf.  The Bailey's is there in case any of my sane friends drop by for a cup.  

And speaking of the Paleo challenge, CHECK IT!!  BUH-BYE 140'S!!!  This was day 3, after I had been stuck in a rut at 141 for two weeks!

When my grandparents moved, I received boxes of boxes of their slides and photo albums from their travels and I've truly enjoyed the process of transferring them to digital.  Every week when I talk to my grandma, I get to tell her what trips I took with them that week.  This shot is of my grandpa overlooking the Bad Lands, S.D.  Right now, I'm in the middle of their trip to the Hoover Dam and last week, it was Mt. Rushmore.

Don't you just love big mugs?  We now all have the sniffles and for some reason, tea just tastes better in these Christmas mugs I keep out all year round.  

And finally,

these guys.  Life just wouldn't be crazy (or worth it) without them! So blessed!

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

30 Days of Cah-razy

So Scott and I decided to do a 30-day, strict Paleo eating plan, beginning today.  Originally, I thought it was just going to be him and me and I was just going to cut all the sugar I could control out of the girls' diet.

And then last night, we had a treat of Mexican and chips and I proceeded to watch my four-year-old and two-year-old eat straight chips.  No chicken, no lettuce, just chips.  Oh, and cheese.  

When I caught Rachel doing a shot of shredded cheese, it was very literally the last straw.  Their diet was spiraling out of control and their little taste buds craved nothing but salty and sweet crapola.  They were coming along on the journey as well.  

And this morning, it started.

Now, as fun as you might imagine detoxing preschoolers can be, after two meals in the results have not been pretty. 

This morning, we had "rainbow eggs," which was a beautiful mix of peppers and tomatoes and spinach in scrambled eggs.  

Elizabeth cried and Rachel poked at them.

For lunch, we had roasted tomato and pepper soup with chicken salad lettuce wraps and some tropical fruit salad.  

Rachel refused to eat the lettuce and Elizabeth told me there were little black bugs in her soup (also known as spices...shudder).

So here's to 30 days of cah-raziness!  More details to come regarding the how and why's... but right now, I have to go be a cooking fool...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Day in the Life of Elizabeth

If you've been following me for a while, you might remember back to last April when Elizabeth got a hold of my camera the first time and left an incriminating video and her paw prints behind.

Well, today when I decided to download snap shots to the computer, I realized there were 91 PICTURES TAKEN IN THE PAST COUPLE DAYS!  Therefore, I thought I would share Elizabeth's "day in the life" and obvious trigger finger. :)

Ah, finally!  Everyone else is getting up!  I've been up since 5:30 a.m. with all the lights on.  Rachel has finally gotten her milk and Butch wants out.  Just another day!

Hello Rachel!  Don't stop on account of me having Mom's camera.  She told me I could.  Really.  No, you cannot have it.  Only big girls.

Ah, there's Mom now with Caleb, in Daddy's t-shirt.  Daddy loves it when she wears that old shirt.  He even says, "Oh yay...another old ratty t-shirt that's three sizes too big" when she comes down the stairs.  That means he loves it.

Here is Caleb, watching me play Barbies.  Dad yells at me when I give him one to play with.  That's sharing, Dad.

Here is Caleb in the jumper swing.  He likes to fling himself against the door jam and refrigerator.  I get in trouble when I try to launch him with my feet.  Geez...he always laughs.

Here's Mom, smiling.  I don't know if it's because I'm so cute with the camera or because she just got new coffee from Amazon. 

I think Rachel is tearing up my puzzle.  See?  Now, I have proof, Mom.

But Daaaaaaaad.  Mom said I could!

I just got in so much trouble.

This is my scared face.

Rachel, getting in trouble for running around the house and spilling these puzzle pieces in her tracks.  See?  I told you she did it.

I told Dad that I would gather sticks so we could roast marshmallows.  I'll keep them on the fireplace, just in case.

I call this one, My Find-it books...

I call this one, Mom needs to dust the ceiling fan...

And finally, this is my favorite, Playpen sans baby...

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

There IS (good) life out there!

Why, oh why do I get a second wind at 8:30 p.m.??

Scott is out of town and I finally got the kids to bed, the trash to the curb and the kitchen cleaned up and JUST when I think I should head upstairs and hit the hay myself, I get into something that keeps me up until 11.  

So tonight, you are the winner and I just have to tell you about two stupendous shopping experiences I had this weekend in the midst of small child chaos that is proof to me that there indeed are WONDERFUL people out there among us.

Our weather is getting cooler, as I'm sure yours is too, so on Friday, I told Elizabeth that she needed to wear long sleeves and long pants to preschool.  Well FOR ONCE she listened and, before I knew it, in she marched with a shirt so short that you could see her belly.  

Trying not to trounce her accomplishment of 1. picking out her own outfit and 2. getting dressed the first time asked, we went in search of something that would keep her belly warm since it was cold outside that morning.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am cheap thrifty and do most of my children's shopping at consignment sales.  I see no point in paying full price until they stop getting spaghetti sauce up one side and grass stains down the other.  Therefore, I should have been prepared for this but apparently, I was brain dead during my last shopping trip and failed to realize that my oldest child might grow another size and not be able to wear most of the same clothes she did last year.  *sigh and forehead slap*

No big deal, I thought, and took the whole crew to Once Upon a Child (a local consignment store) after school.  I should tell you that my children call this store The Toy Store because they have toys set out on the sidewalk and there are a couple aisles of books and toys that they love to peruse through.  So in we tromped, Caleb strapped to my chest facing out and Elizabeth and Rachel holding each hand.  We choose several tops and outfits that Elizabeth said she'd wear and then took a walk through the toys and books to see if there were any great deals (sometimes they have TAG books for super cheap).  I left the girls there while I checked out and then subsequently watched as two meltdowns occurred before my eyes when I said, "Let's go."

Elizabeth stomped her feet and told me she did not WANT to leave and Rachel crumpled into a mess on the floor, screaming.  Embarrassed and somewhat disabled with Caleb on me and hauling a large bag of clothes and the diaper bag, I got ahold of each mess of a child and made my way as fast as I could to the door.   Half way to the car, I heard a voice behind me say, "Excuse me.  I think your girls are about the same age as mine."  

I was so embarrassed by the now-flailing children I had in death grips on that I almost couldn't look the sweet woman in the eye.  But seeming to understand, she continued (probably because Caleb was grinning at her).  "I have these fall clothes that they (the store) didn't need and I'm just going to take them to Goodwill if you don't want them.  Could you use them?"  

She wouldn't take any money and proceeded to hand me a good $50 worth of clothes that would fit Rachel - all soft cotton in fun prints that she will love.  My embarrassment disappeared, replaced by a gratitude and humbleness in her actions.  She literally saved by day, and I doubt if she even realized it. 

Much like my Publix cashier tonight at the grocery store.  

I thought I would go shopping while Elizabeth was at choir, so I once again put Caleb in the front pack and Rachel in the cart and started getting my goods.  I had quite a few coupons and a good sized list.  Luckily, the kids were agreeable, but it was the end of the day and I was tired.  And I picked a new cashier.  

Who didn't like coupons.

He took my stack and then proceeded to spread them out in front of him.

"How many toothpastes did you get?  How about tissues?  How many of those?"

I was putting my list back in my bag when I noticed the note, written in Sharpie and circled twice at the top to get dog food.  I was stuck.  I had not gotten dog food. Did I go out to the car and load up the groceries and come back in for it?  Do I come back out tomorrow with all three kids and get it?  

So putting on as sweet a face as you can with a six month old drooling in front of you, I asked the cashier if I could just run back and get the dog food while he was figuring out my coupons.  

Of course he said "of course" because it's Publix and they are wonderful so I raced back and hossed the 20 lb bag of Purina onto the bottom of the cart.  (Why yes, with a baby on my of the many reasons I lift weights...ha!)  Making my way back to the lane, the manager had stopped three ladies from coming into line so I could come back up.  The bagger grabbed the bag before I could bend over and scanned it and the cashier simply smiled as I handed him an additional coupon for the dog food.  

Getting in the car, I was so thankful that they made a stressful situation easy by not criticizing and handling me with love.  I don't even know if they realized how much it meant - in fact, I'm sure the guy is complaining to his wife right now about the crazy, frazzled woman with the million coupons and the little girl with cookie remnants all over her face.  Which once again reminds me, how big a difference can I make by simply being kind and doing something little for someone...or anyone?

I would love to hear your stories of others doing little things for you that made a difference in your day.  Doesn't that feel amazing?  Trying to think of good things?  Share away!

Have a good night!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hitting your stride in the mom race

So I've been going through this back and forth with myself on whether or not I want to keep the blog going or not.  Don't get me wrong...I love all you people who take an interest in our lives or my opinion on anything, but life with three children under five has quite seriously thrown me through a loop.

I keep waiting to hit my stride any day...and recently, I've feared that maybe there isn't a stride after all and I'm going to be in this flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants stage for the rest of my life.  And as much as I enjoy writing, I have a lot of mommy guilt that piles up when I sit down to do ANYTHING for my own enjoyment.

Maybe you recognize the thought process.  It usually goes something like this:

I should really sit down and write...

But the kitchen is a wreck.

I should probably update my header since I'm not pregnant anymore...

But I haven't swept the floor in five days.

I've had these notes written up and I should just finish that one story...

But the bathrooms are gah-ross.

And on and on it goes.  Really, the only thing I steadily do for me is go to the gym, but even that has been spottier since Caleb has been born than ever before in my life.  There always seems to be a doctor's appointment or a play group or an emergency errand that needs run or someone has yellow snot running down their face. 

Even fixing a meal for myself is a challenge.  If Scott's on the road, I will go days without really fixing a meal...unless you count mac and cheese or eggs or heating up leftover pizza for the kids a meal.  It is just easier to pick at things, pour a bowl of cereal or (shudder) eat what's left on the kids' plates when they're done.  

And I know I'm not alone, because I hear so many of my friends having the same gripes or frustrations.

So let me clue you in on some words of wisdom my friend Susie gave me regarding my kitchen that I have since expanded to my life.  I was griping to her about how I could probably spend every second of my day in the kitchen either cooking the next meal or cleaning up after the last one and she told me about visiting a home recently where the kitchen was gorgeous.  The counter tops were cleared, the appliances spotless, no food on the get the picture.  And then she found out that the couple always ate out and the room was very rarely used.  Thus spawned this line of thought.  (And I used YOU to really mean ME...unless, of course, you need it to refer to YOU.  Then, by all means, go ahead.)

Your kitchen is always messy because you cook in it.  Three meals a day and several snacks.  Your children eat at the island and enjoy your company and each other so they linger...continually leaving crumbs and sticky trails as they do.

Your house is always dirty because your kids play.  They jump, they climb, they run outside and then back inside and then back outside again because you are letting them be kids.  

Your windows are always smudged because your children are always looking for Daddy to come home.  He is their hero and provider and they need to see him coming so they can ambush him at the door.

And you won't find a stride - it's not there.  Because if this whole gig was easy then you wouldn't  need to pray or search for answers higher than yourself or recognize how much you need the One who blessed you with these little people to start with.

I guess it's all in how you handle the chaos, and, as for me, I'm going to keep writing through it.  :) 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Building up a marriage - one squat at a time

Top ten reasons to workout with your spouse

1.  "Free" date -

2.  Helps practice restraint - I'm tempted to be a chatty Cathy

3.  Breaking a sweat together makes you think about breaking a sweat together.

4.  Mixes it up.

5.  Few arenas I can pat my husband's rear end in a public place.  After a good squat is one of those times

6.  Reminds me why I love him -

"Shew, my legs feel like jello"
*Stares at me like I have three heads*  "I attempt to feel like that every day."

7.  Builds respect.  At least for me, there's not a lot of opportunities to truly build respect for my husband other than watching him work.  I used to feel this way watching him coach and now as I watch him be a daddy (since I don't see him at his job). 

8.  Provides yet another goal we can work towards together.

9.  Splitting a fruity, delightful post workout shake

10.  Displays a positive example for your kids. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hot Peppers

Mama, do not touch those peppers to your eyes

Mama, outside they are hot but if we bring them inside they will be warm

Christmas Shopping with Elves...

I know it's been forever and, while I'm tempted to go into a long diatribe on how busy I've been and just not really all that inspired to write and share my adventures, I shall instead jump right back into our previous relationship like we never skipped a beat...



So today, I had to haul the three amigos to Target.  We all had colds and some form of bad attitude since Scott had been out of town, so I we loaded it up to the most wonderful place on earth for a little retail therapy. 

This was on a former trip to Target, but you get the idea of how we roll...

Ideally, I hadn't really wanted to go to the toy section, but had promised the girls Play Dough because I'm crazy and really don't care for my carpets.  Walking through, I naturally glanced by the clearance aisle and noticed a Barbie bath toy before Elizabeth did.

For 75% off.  

I know.  

Rachel was chirping about Hello Kitty and Elizabeth was trying to prime me for a Dora doll so I just casually strode over and grabbed the large box with BARBIE stamped all over it and slid it under the cart.

Have I mentioned that we have developed a severe Barbie obsession?  It's a joy, let me tell you.  We have books, movies, dolls and can sing ALL the songs on cue.  And I have envisioned most things pink under the tree this year - which does not come cheap, let me tell you.

So we continued on our trek to get new filters for our humidifiers (told you we were snotty) and just as I found the one I was looking for, it began.

"Mama, is that Barbie under the cart?  IT IS!  IT IS BARBIE!!  Why did you get that Barbie, Mama??"  

"That's a gift, Elizabeth.  Leave it alone."

"But it looks like a...ooooo!  It's a mermaid Barbie!!  Who is it for..."

(And then, in her own 4-year-old SQUIRREL moment)  "Mama!  There's Dora!  Can we get Dora??"

Thankfully, we survived to the checkout and there were yet more Barbie things in the grab-it aisle, which she begged for while I sneaked the goods onto the conveyer.

So the point of my story?  

Well, to tell you that toys are on sale at Target...along with swim stuff and pretty much anything else summer related... and also to ask you for your best shopping for THEM while THEY are along tale.

Really, please make me laugh.  Meanwhile, I'll be scrubbing this germy house.

Oh, and hiding Christmas presents...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

13 Weeks Post - Weight Loss Update


(That would be me, blowing a raspberry at my metabolism.)

So I've had a lot of inquiries regarding my post-baby weight loss journey and I have to officially say that... stinks.

I suppose if I'm going to be honest, I have to give you the bad with the good and people, it's not pretty.

This is about as current a picture as it gets.  With my crew at the beach!

Let's back up for a moment so I can paint you a picture.  Three kids, in under four years.  I have stretch marks, wobbly under-arm skin, and spider veins.  My stomach, once flat and hard, continues to pooch out and resemble the home I swore my son was going to set up permanent residence in.  I realize that this is not entirely unusual and are "battle scars" many moms proudly display in the name of having children...but I'm more than a little over it and ready to get back to my pre-baby body ASAP.   

Yesterday, Scott and I had our physicals for our insurance know, the standard height, weight, blood, urine, blah blah blah.  I had fasted for the blood work so I was curious to see how my weight compared to my last doctor's visit, seven weeks ago.

And it was the same.

And I was a wreck.  

Now, I have a wonderful support system in my husband and friends, who are continuously complementary and encouraging.  Just last week, after hearing my belly aching about not losing weight fast enough, my friend Susie lovingly told me to "stay off the stinking scales for a while."  

I also realize that it took me nine months to put on this weight (close to 40 lbs) and that I should be patient in getting it off.  But that being said, I am ready for the scales to move.  Downward.  Under 150.  Puh-lease.

Therefore, it's back to the drawing board.  I began keeping a food journal again, although we don't think that my weight is a calorie issue because I'm honestly eating cleaner than I ever have.  Scott believes it's an exercise thing, so that's where we're going to focus more.  

He calculated that, within the three pregnancies and few months after delivery, I have probably had a combined 12 months of little to no physical activity within the last four years.  Prior to Elizabeth, I was very active - getting in about an hour of cardio and an hour of weights most days, plus the physical demands of coaching.  My metabolism was going full force in order to match my activity.  Today, it is far less.  While I am constantly on the go, it just isn't the same and I don't have the means to do the same amount of activity I did before kids.  Therefore, the rate that my body burns calories for fuel has gone way down.  If my metabolism was a blazing fire before, it's embers now.

So, we set a game plan.  Maybe you're in the same boat and need a jump start.  Me?  I need straight gasoline.  And that would be high-intensity exercise.  

As I've said before, I have an hour at the gym.  I've been lifting for the past couple months, but it's been mainly to get my muscles back to being acquainted with the activity.  Now, I need to pick it up a notch and keep my heart rate up as much as I can.

So this was my workout today (legs focused).

5 minutes warm-up on the rowing machine

4 x 10 Squats (bar)
4 x MAX Reverse hamstring raises (no weight)
4 x 7, 6, 5, 5 Leg press (90 lbs)

Then I performed a very poor rendition of this workout from Zuzana Light.  I did it only for 10 minutes because I thought I was going to keel over, not to mention rip every muscle of my core with the crab touches.  (If you haven't checked out her new YouTube channel out, you really should.  She does a lot of body weight exercises and updates new workouts frequently.)

Finally, I ran for as hard as I could on the treadmill for 10 minutes - getting up to 7.5 mph.

And that was an hour.  I was tired, sweaty and fatigued...which is actually encouraging because I know that those are the factors that will help my body change the way I want. 

Are you on the same journey?  How are you doing and have you found any secrets that work?  

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturdays Around Here...

Very rarely do I post on Saturday, but I feel like I have so much to tell you, that an update is truly in order.  This morning was shaping up to be a busy day with lots to do at home, so we opted out of the gym and had a family breakfast of waffles instead.

I had been eager to try the Paleo waffles from the Eat Like a Dinosaur book I've been raving about and not only did they LOOK like real waffles, but they were pretty darn tasty as well!  Check them out - gluten and dairy free! 

Today was the first Saturday to pick up our CSA box at the farmer's market, so we carted the crew off and met the farmer who is going to supply us veggies for the next several months.  It works out to about $20-30 a week for a mother-load of freshness.  And the lady said that this would be the lightest box we would get!

I found our CSA through this Local Harvest website.  You can search for one in your area, if you're interested.

Of course, the girls were more excited that we stopped by a couple yard sales on the way home, looking for some more sleepers for Caleb.  We struck out on those, but did score a $5 three-wheeled scooter for Rachel and a 10 cent My Little Pony for Elizabeth...and there was much rejoicing.

I believe she named it Cloudia.  Not to be confused with her other pony named Rainbowa and her stuffed dog named Sparkla.

Now, to get a box like this was the closest I will ever get to Iron Chef and I spent a couple hours this afternoon looking for new recipes to use the vegetables I've never cooked with before - especially beets.  (AND NO, THERE WEREN'T ANY ZUCCHINI, YOU SMARTIES!!) 

The smell of beets cooking reminds me of my Memaw's house growing up, when I swore off the stinky things forever.  This evening though, I pulled up my big girl britches and started to work.    We made this Beet and Apple Salad from the Food Network and it was AMAZING.  I roasted the beets beforehand and caught myself eating them straight out of the pan.

Scott and I were just talking about how our taste buds have changed since limiting our processed foods and sugars and this is just an example of it.  Fruits and vegetables taste so much sweeter, without the need for dressings or dips.  In fact, even the girls are starting to accept newer veggies and eat more things on their plates - HALLELUJAH!!

And speaking of limiting sugar (ha!), we had ice cream for dessert and the girls enjoyed them in cones for the first time.  (Aldi had them for 99 cents a box and I thought that would be such a fun treat.)  So after dinner, outside we went and they were so excited to feel grown-up with cones in their hands!

Posing with the cones...

Posing with the cones and Daddy (who is NOT eating two, but is holding the photographer's)

See, you lick it with your tongue Mom...SEEEEEE???  AHHHHHHH!

Hey!  Where's mine??!!

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!!