Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Unless my kids are napping or completely preoccupied, I refuse to answer my phone...especially if it's an unknown number. I. will.not.do.it. I've learned that it only creates a situation where a disaster is imminent. What might have been a controlled environment instantly turns to chaos.
Take the above disaster, for instance. At 11:00am my phone rings. It's an unknown number. Chloe's napping and the older two are snuggled together on the brown chair eating a snack and watching a favorite cartoon. I think I'm in the clear for answering the phone, as long as I make it quick, so I do the unthinkable: I answer my phone while my girls are in the next room.
Within seconds from answering, I realized I should've let it go to voicemail. A mother from my MOPS group was calling and really needed to talk and needed my full on attention. I decided to take my call into the other room, to have a little more privacy.
40 minutes later...I'm finally off the phone. Mentally fried and completely overwhelmed by the fact that I have 20 minutes to make lunch, get Ella dressed and ready for school, do her hair pretty for school pictures, and get my own self ready for a lunch meeting I had that day, I walked into the living room to find this...
Our entire game cupboard was emptied and every single game was strewn about my living room floor, millions of different pieces had been mixed together. All in one big pile.
I seriously didn't know what to do. What I wanted to do was walk back to my bedroom, crawl under the covers, curl myself into the fetal position and fall into a deep, dreamless sleep. Instead, I just stood there. Without words, without emotion. I was completely at a void of what to do. I was blank.
And then I did something you're never supposed to do in front of your children when they do something naughty --- I started laughing. Laughing uncontrollably. My girls, who had been sheepishly standing there amongst the mess, eyes darting all over the room, instantly looked at me as though some strange alien creature had inhabited my body. Relief flooded their little faces as they, too, started to laugh. Once I composed myself I made it very clear that "even though Mommy was laughing, this situation is NOT funny. There were going to be major consequences for not behaving while Mommy was on the phone."
My husband and I spent nearly 2 hours organizing the pieces and putting the games back together. We then had the girls help us pack all of the games into 3 large garbage bags. We told them we were putting their games into a 7-day time-out in the garage, and if this...
...ever happened again, everything would be donated to children who cared about their toys, listened to their parents, and of course, let their Mommy's talk on the phone.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Being the early riser she is, there are mornings she wakes up long before anyone else. On these particular mornings, she'll come into our room to let us know she's awake, but then she'll proceed to go into the living room and plop herself down in our big brown chair. She'll grab the remote, turn the TV to Channel 5-3, and from there, sit and watch a couple of her favorite Disney cartoons until the rest of us roll out of bed.
There are times she'll wake me up because she's hungry. I'll quickly make her some toast, pour her some cereal or scramble her an egg, but I'll almost always head back to bed for a few more minutes of zzz's.
Today Ella decided she didn't need my help anymore. Since turning 5 a couple of days ago, Ella is convinced she is independent enough to survive on her own sheer will. Most days, that's probably true.
My husband was second to rise this morning. As most mornings, he goes into the living room to find Ella in her chair eating cereal. But unlike most mornings, she was devouring her cereal from a large tupperware container. Odd, he thought.
He walks into the kitchen to find a pot of coffee brewing. Grounds are strewn about and water is spilled on the countertops. He turns around to see Ella standing behind him, a big smile on her face.
"I made coffee, Daddy. All by myself! And I got my own cereal, too! I didn't even ask Mommy!"
Andy looks around the kitchen...The cereal had been put back in the pantry with no crumbs to be found on the counter. The milk was put back in its' place in the fridge, the cap tightly screwed back on. And believe it or not, the coffee tasted great.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
ORIGINAL POST: Guess who slept through the night last night?!?!
It only took a year, give or take 2 days, for crying out loud! But believe you me, I am NOT holding my breath that this will be the new trend. I'm thinking it's a fluke, but only time will tell.
I love that picture of you, Ella. You and Daddy. Two peas in the pod. You have been a Daddy's girl from day one, always preferring him to anyone else. I think it's because you understand each other so well. You take after your Daddy in almost every single way. You're very tall and will outgrow me before your 10. You're smart, coordinated, creative, senstive, intensely stubborn, incredibly musical, process things internally, you have a goofy sense of humor and a smile that could charm a rock. The only quality you've inherited from your mother is that you LOVE having your feet tickled.
I can't believe it's been 5 years already. Before I know it you'll be dating boys (gulp!), driving a car, graduating from high school...I'm not sure I should think about this right now. I already have tears in my eyes.
I love you, sweetie, and I hope you have a fantastic birthday!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Our baby is turning ONE in four days. I'm amazed by how quickly this past year has gone. It's almost a blur...Or, maybe that's just sleep deprivation. I can never tell anymore. I can vividly remember what it felt like being pregnant with her, so much so, that at times I can almost feel her kicking. But in other ways it feels like it's been much longer than a year. We can't remember life without this little girl or what it was like having only two children. Chloe, you complete
Oh, Ella. Our little dare devil diva. Remember this? Ella turns 5 on November 5th - her golden birthday. Ella is an amazing little girl with talent and intuition that blows my mind. But anyone who knows our Ella knows that with her sweet and very sensitive nature comes an intensity and strong will that continually challenges us in our parenting. But I'm so thankful for her and the dynamics she brings to our home and our family.
I can only thank God for all he has given us over the past 5 years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm sure this week of birthday parties and craziness will be no exception!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Me: "Yes, honey. She does."
Britten: "Who am I, Mommy?"
Me: "Well, your Britty, aren't you?"
Britten: "No, I'm the competition."
I don't even think Britten understands the meaning of that word. She only hears it in the context of when her and Ella are trying to beat each other at something and we're having to explain to them that not everything in life has to be a COMPETITION!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Ella - Princess
Britten - Princess
Chloe - Frog
Ella & Britten - Oh, the same princesses as last year!
Chloe - Mommy's Tummy (a week from entering the world!)
Ella - You're kidding...she's the same princess! Poor girl.
Britten - Wow. That frog costume looks a little familiar...Oh yes, it's the same costume Chloe wore this year!
Chloe - a twinkle in the good Lord's eye
In all reality, I love the fact that we've been able to reuse our costumes every year! Our girls always WANT to be princesses, so we've really lucked out that their costumes continue to fit them...Hmmm...I wonder what they'll be next year? I guess you'll have to stay tuned!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
With it being a new ministry, the gals and I ("the gals" being the fabulous women who serve on leadership with me) are working tirelessly to build a budget for our group. We hosted a garage sale in August, and even with it raining, it was a major success. So now with one fundraiser under our belts, we're on to the next one! So, this is where YOUR support comes in, and I promise it won't require much time, energy or even much money.
This Sunday on October 26th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, we will be hosting a fundraiser at Cici's Pizza in Eagan. The address is 1292 Town Centre Dr. It's quite simple, actually. All you need to do is show up, eat a lot of food for really cheap (I think their buffet is something like $5.99/person) and drop your receipt into a bucket labeled for our MOPS group. Ci Ci's will then donate 15% of the all the proceeds to our group. And voila! We made a little extra money for a really good cause.
So if you live in that general area and are looking for something FUN to do with the family on Sunday afternoon, PLEASE show up! You don't even have to KNOW me to do this...How cool is that?!
Monday, October 20, 2008
For example, should Chloe be left alone in another room for even a second, Ella runs to her rescue and does this to solve the problem...
You might not be able to tell by the picture, but Chloe's feet are several inches off of the floor because Ella is carrying her. As you can tell by Chloe's expression, this is not a new thing for her, and in fact, she's quite happy being carried around the house by her big sister.
The first few times Ella tried this, Chloe screamed and wiggled so much Ella was forced to
* While Britten and Ella love each other dearly and are best buddies, they have a love/I'm-going-to-beat-you-to-a-bloody-pulp-if-you-look-at-me-wrong relationship.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
They gave us a brand new piano! Well, it's not brand new exactly. In fact, it's really, really old. It's an antique piano, and a cute little thing at that, and it originally belonged and was played by the mother of my very generous friend. But it's brand new to us and we are so excited to be owners of a piano! We've been wanting one for ages but couldn't afford to buy one, let alone move one. Hiring movers to transport a piano costs an arm and a leg and wasn't in the cards for us.
Good thing for me I'm married to a strong, manly-man. Oh, and it helped my manly-man husband that our very generous friend was once a body builder and he offered to help us move it.
My husband is also resourceful and had the clever idea of pulling the piano on the trailer behind his John Deere tractor to our backyard so they could bring the piano into our walkout basement. It was quite hilarious to watch, but a seamless process, and my piano was ready for playing within minutes of arrival!
I have such high hopes for this piano! Now I just need to get my girls in lessons so they can start serenading me throughout my day!
Our family loves everything about fall. The beautiful weather, with just enough chill in the air to justify wearing a sweater and jeans, the ever-changing colors, and best of all, the crunchy leaves that have fallen from the trees.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It was because of this I decided to explain myself to my few avid reader and friends, who open my blog daily, patiently awaiting another post.
Sigh. Down time. It's been a long time coming!
"Hey, Britty, repeat after me: My....Mom...Is...Cool."
I heard Ella say this to Britten from another room, and it totally melted my heart.
Ella to Britten:
"Hey, Britty, can I have some of your pretzel's?"
Britten shakes her head No.
"Britty, can I please?"
Answer still No.
"Britten, it makes Jesus very sad when you don't share. So I'm just going to take one from you."
Hmmm...Not sure it works that way.
Andy, trying to be conspicuous, asks me the following question last night...
"Hey, do you think I should take our eldest two daughters to the M-A-L-L?" Spelling it out so as not to give Ella and Britten false hope.
Ella, who overheard his question, "I'll sound it out. Mmm...Aaaa...Llllll. MALL." Runs off yelling, "Britty, we're going to the MALL with Daddy!!!"
Gone are the days for spelling out words so our girls won't understand us!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Today we celebrated her birthday by taking her out to dinner to her restaurant of choice. Surprise, surprise, she chose to sit by her Daddy.
Apparently we chose the perfect night to go out to eat because they had conveniently hired a guy to walk around making balloon creatures for kids. The girls were enthralled!
Britten, this morning, asks her Daddy, "What's this, Daddy?"
Daddy: "Well, it's a zit."
Britten's response: "Hmmm....A zit."
Daddy: "Britten, can you say "puberty?"
Daddy: "No, say "puberty."
Daddy: "No. Pu-ber-ty."
Britten: "Pew, Britty."
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The medals worn around our neck are proof that we successfully finished. Everyone got a medal, so unfortunately that doesn't mean we placed in the top 10, but at least we felt and looked like winners!
Seeing Chloe and my mom standing on the sidelines, cheering me on, was so awesome! It gave me the little burst of adreneline I needed to push myself harder through the finish lines. I'm very happy with my time, though I had no expectations set, but even happier I finished. And I finished feeling great. No blisters or toenails lost to speak of. Sorry, that's gross.
One thing's for sure: I am absolutely and totally addicted to running marathons. I can't wait for my next race!
Friday, September 5, 2008
But then again, it is. I set this goal for myself in May, starting my training the first week of June. Juggling training among my already busy life was hard, but because I spread my training over three months, I found this gradual process very manageable. And because I've never done anything so structured or intense, I was surprised by how well my body adjusted to the increased mileage. Apparently training works! Who knew?!?
I'm very happy I did this. Proud of myself, in fact. I have set no time goal for myself, nor do I care in the least bit if I finish the race in last place. My only goal is that I finish, and that I finish running. I'm not a natural competitor and tend to shy away from situations where I feel pressured. But the idea of running with hundreds of other competitors is thrilling and I have a feeling will become addictive. I've had people tell me that once I start marathons I'll never stop. I think by this time tomorrow, I'll understand why.
Wish me luck. Or better yet, say a prayer for me. Goodness knows I'll need them! For as excited as I am about tomorrow, I am nervous and feeling doubtful that I'll finish. I don't know why I feel this way, considering I've already ran 13 miles and finished will little problems, but I do. Having confidence in myself, and my abilities, is something I've always struggled with my entire life, and in some ways, I feel God has sent me on this particular mission to show me that "with HIM, all things are possible."
As my mom always taught me, WORDS ARE A POWERFUL WEAPON. So I will only speak positively. I CAN do this, I WILL finish the race...still running. With HIM, ALL things are possible and that's a very comforting thought!
I AM a (1/2) Marathon Mommy, hear me roar! :)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
First mistake. We took the entire family to the shoe store last night, thinking we could make it a fun, family outing. I naively thought that my girls were old enough to appreciate and enjoy their first experience with buying a new pair of shoes for the new school year! This was always a highlight for me. I'll never forget my first experience of my mom buying me a new pair of shoes:
I was 6 years old and heading into first grade. I had my sight set on a pair of Punky Brewster high-tops.* They were the coolest things I ever laid eyes on. From what I recall, though my memory may be a bit fuzzy, was that they were purple and blue, had multi-colored shoe laces, and they sparkled from top to bottom. That, of course, was my favorite feature. I loved those shoes and remember being so excited to wear them at my first day of school, proudly admiring them as I sat in my desk. And so began my obsession with shoes.
Apparently, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
The second we walked into the shoe store, Ella instantly spotted her new loves:
A pair of pink, sparkly jelly sandals.
She was smitten. She grabbed a pair for herself, Britten and even Chloe. Surprisingly, grabbing the right size for all three of them. Had summer just started, I might have considered buying them for Ella. But with fall just around the corner, and Ella's feet growing at least 1-2 sizes a year, I wasn't about to buy a pair of (very expensive) jelly sandals that would only be worn for a handful of weeks (days, even!) before going into storage! It wasn't an option. But try explaining that to a very determined 4 year old who has her heart set on a pair of sparkly jelly sandals.
And so it began. It being a full blown, dramatically intense, wailing at the top of her lungs, meltdown. Instead of throwing herself on the floor, like she had done on many occasions in years past, she decided to run around the store, all the while screaming that "she wanted her sparkly shoes!"
My husband, who was trying to juggle a fussy baby and toddler (or is Britten considered a preschooler?) who claimed to have a "tummy ache" and needed to "go potty really bad,"
tried his best to reel in our screaming preschooler. To no avail.
All the while, I'm dealing with a very sweet, but very new, employee of the shoe store, trying to track down the right size and color of the shoes we did decide on for Ella. What was supposed to be a quick, fun and exciting trip to the shoe store, ended up lasting a treacherous 45 minutes. In the end, the most frustrating thing about the entire trip was that we left empty-handed, with no shoes purchased.
For whatever reason, the store clerk and her manager, probably distracted by my whiny, very misbehaved children, weren't of much help. They couldn't find the right sizes or colors and because their computer system wasn't "working properly," they weren't able to special order the shoes for a free home delivery.
My husband and I left the store completely and utterly drained. Not of money, just energy. Both grumbling under our breath, we vowed to never, ever do that again. Yeah right. We always say that.
To give my girls some credit, it was nearing their bedtime and I think we were partially to blame by expecting them to "behave" while we tried to find shoes for Ella. It's hard to get mad at them in situations like that, when in all reality, we knew better. We really did.
*I Googled "Punky Brewster high tops" to see if I could share a photo of the coolest shoes ever to be manufactured, but I was disappointed and a little surprised by the fact that I couldn't find even one picture.