Saturday, October 17, 2015

The "I Did" List

My friend jennie, who pens a hilariously real blog,


challenged me in an interesting way yesterday.

Do you make To Do lists? I loosely do...and don't usually get everything crossed off. Or if I do, it's because there was only a couple things on it, and it makes me feel pretty unproductive.
What jennie challenged on her blog was to write an "I did" list instead, to gauge what you actually did that day and show that it is probably a lot more than you think!
Today was a fairly lazy day around here....myka is at grandma and grandpa's, and Addison and Tegan were gone until about 4 pm at sleepovers.
After writing this out, I feel slightly more productive about my day, lol. Thanks for the confidence boosting idea Jennie!!

-washed, dried, folded and put away four loads of laundry
-swept my entire house and vaccuumed the living room carpet
-washed the hallway walls with Sadie
-wrote a new verse on my chalkboard
-attempted to make a healthier brownie to satisfy my chocolate craving while being on the 21 day fix. Fail.
-cooked meatloaf and mashed potatoes for supper
-finished up a Little Lily order, and delivered it when i went to town
-grocery shopped at 8:30pm
-had a friend stop by and bring me a pre-dinner appetizer of boursin cheese and crackers. She is the sweetest ever!!
-organized the fabric for the stockings I want to make our family this year
-talked on the phone with myka twice (she's visiting grandma and grandpa :))
-cleaned my room (mostly)
-picked up almost every thing that Sadie took out of drawers today. It's pretty much a full time job lately.
-watched in awe as Danica built an impressive Lego horse with a fence around it

Given that my day started at 6:22am with an overly energetic toddler, this explains why I was ready for bed at 4pm :)

I'm too tired to write an in depth post about a possible deep meaning to this, but I will say this. After a certain number of days where I have felt less than productive, and have been kind of discouraged, writing this post makes me feel better :)
Write your own! I'd love to see more "I did" lists!

Thanks for the idea Jennie!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Everyone's crying

And here's why (to the best of my knowledge):
Addison and Tegan don't want anyone in their room.
Myka and Danica each want their room to themselves for some "alone time".
Everyone wants to play with one of the two kittens
No one wants to share
Myka is mad that the older two won't let them play with a kitten
Danica is crying because Tegan only brought in one kitten from outside and didn't grab "hers".
Danica won't let myka hold her kitten.
Each girl thinks the kittens are hers
Neither the older two or the younger two will let Sadie into their rooms.
Sadie wants up, wants down, wants to drink my coffee, wants to play with the girls, and I'm sure, wants a nap?
Myka now is starving beyond all measures and needs a snack NOW.
Sadie can't figure out how to put the breast pump together (you read that right).
I need a nap.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

34 Reasons You're The Best Person Ever

34 years ago one of the best people was born. I wouldn't meet you for another 19 years, but since I did, my life has never been the same. I'm pretty sure that most people who meet him feel similar. You are an amazing husband, father, worker, and friend, and you leave every person and every place better than when you found it.
Happy birthday Daniel!! The girls helped me put together this list of 34 reasons you rock :)
We love you!

1. You tickle the girls
2. You build stuff with the girls
3. You give the best hugs!
4. You do the absolute best you can at your job
5. You work hard so that you can provide a pretty amazing life for us
6. When you come home from work, no matter what your day was like, you always talk to the girls about their day
7. You call me during the day and ask if I want to go on a date with you that night. I love last minute dates :)
8. When someone you know needs help, if there is any way you possibly can, you help.
9. You spend so much time working on our home and yard to make it look nice and work well for us
10. You look really hot when you ride your bike.
11. When the girls are really interested in something, you do everything you can to help them do it.
12. You enjoy the same movies as me
13. You send me hilarious texts
14. You have a strong relationship with God
15. You show God's love in the way you treat other people
16. You always look at the big picture before jumping to conclusions
17. You give people the benefit of the doubt.
18. When I get crazy, you gently remind me to "calm down babe, don't worry about it"
19. It is what it is. That's your motto, and it really helps put things in perspective
20. You are the best problem solver I know.
21. When one of the girls is super emotional, you are better at calming them down than I am
22. When one of them is throwing a tantrum, you discipline and correct them without yelling....always in a much calmer manner than I would have!
23. You walking through the door at the end if the day is the happiest part of our day
24. You take the girls shopping by yourself sometimes...and they love it
25. You take us on pretty epic adventures
26. You take Danica to the river to look for cool rocks, because that's her favorite thing ever
27. You renovated our house from the ground up almost all by yourself
28. You can pretty much do anything, and do it well
29. You are always thinking of the most innovative way to do things
30. I have never met a person who doesn't think you are awesome.
31. You kiss me and tell me I'm awesome pretty much every day.
32. You made some pretty gorgeous little girls :)
33. You always think of others before yourself
34. Family hugs!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Five Lessons I Learned This Summer

Is it just me, or is it harder to adapt and adjust to things as we get older? I find that I really like my groove, and when something challenges that, it takes me longer than it used to to accept the change. Over the summer this happened a few times. Some of the lessons I learned are more trivial, and some I'm still adjusting to! I suppose that's all a part of growing though, right?

Here's five things that have stuck with me:

1. Addison and Tegan grew way more than I was prepared for.
The last time I bought them shoes and paid attention to the size, they were a size 2 and 3. We have bought them shoes since, but they were clearance rack shoes and I just bought what fit and didn't notice the size. This past week when I went to buy them school shoes, they were a size 7 and 8 in women's! I couldn't believe it, so I put Addison's foot next to mine, and sure enough, it was just a bit shorter! Between that and the "tween" stage hitting them, I'm having to adjust a lot, emotionally. Toddlers I'm used to, but being the mother of pre-teens? Am I even qualified for this?

2. Gardening is hard for me, and I felt like I failed at it this year, yet again. Myka made me feel better about it though.
Since I've been married, I have dreamt of having a lush, fruitful garden. Well let me tell you, the learning curve has been steeeeep with me! For one reason or another, I've never had a garden that produces more than a couple meals worth of veggies. Some years it has been nature's fault...but more often than not, it's mine. Seriously, do I HAVE to make every single mistake to learn not to do it? Can't I just research something, then do it right the first time?
Apparently not. This year, I left my freshly planted, black dirt garden for two weeks while I went to my in-laws. I came home to a jungle of weeds. Awesome, I know. It took the rest of the summer to even find some of my plants, and when I did, the results weren't great. Most of them got choked out, but a few scrappy veggies managed to hang on. I got four beets, one bunch of kale, a shopping bag of mini potatoes, a few beans and peas, and zero carrots. I felt like a failure once again. One day I was out there on the verge of tears, mentally lecturing myself on all the things I should have done differently. Myka, Danica and Sadie were searching through the mess of pea plants and finding a few.
Myka's voice snapped me out of my pity party. "Mmmm, mom, your garden is so delicious! I love it!"
At first I huffed and asked myself "what garden? I suck at this!" But then I stopped and watched them. They got so excited every time they found a pea they would break it open and eat the peas, and then show Sadie how to open and eat hers. It was pretty sweet, and made me appreciate the fact that my girls don't ever expect me to be perfect. They don't hold me to the same standards that I hold myself, and they have so much fun with much simpler things than I expect them to have fun with. Maybe the fact that my garden was more of an easter egg hunt than a harvest made it more fun for them, lol. Does that make sense? It made sense to me that day, and I think (hope) it will change the way I garden next year.

3. Fifth babies don't always equal "easily adaptable" babies. Sadie is spunky, and she hates sleep.
I just don't even want to talk about this one. I love that girl dearly, and she is so so much fun. She also apparently never needs to sleep.
I can't be too mad. It has gotten better in the past couple of weeks. It's about time, Sadie! Lol

4. The simplest things are the things that brought me the most joy this summer.
The day in the garden I mentioned above? That day was pretty awesome once I adjusted my attitude.
Some other days that made me happy this summer..
-having a BBQ with Daniel's side of the family on my in-laws deck.
-a quiet BBQ with a  couple from Daniel's job, just getting to know each other's families
-long visits with my mom, grandma, and sister
-sitting by the fire in our yard roasting marshmallows
-friends with kids coming to our house for a few hours...and sitting drinking iced coffee while the kids played.
-watching as all five of our girls played an elaborate make believe animal game on the trampoline. It's amazing how five kids can stay so entertained in a 14 foot diameter space for so long. Kids' imaginations are the best!
I appreciate good conversation, good humor, and good food. This summer was full of all three...and it went by much too fast!

5. Learning how to make cold brewed coffee is one of the smartest things I've done.
A friend told me about it years ago, but I really only started implementing it this year. It's awesome though.
-buy course ground coffee (my fav is the Folgers french vanilla infused coffee)
-pour about 2 cups of grounds into a large container. When I say two cups, I'm totally guessing, I never measured. I also used the Costco cereal Tupperware containers to make mine. I am not sure how much they hold....lots though.
-Fill container with cold water, put the lid on and leave at least 8 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
-using a fine strainer, strain coffee into jars or any other container. I used tall glass apothecary type jars from fills two of them
-store it in the fridge. When you want an iced coffee, put a couple ice cubes in a glass, squirt some syrup to your liking, fill about two thirds of the glass with coffee and the rest with milk. Perfection!
Maybe one day I'll do a proper tutorial with, you know, measurements and stuff, but for now, you get the point.

And now summer is over. The kids started school today, and our routine will return. I hope that means better sleep for Sadie!
Like I said, it went by way too fast, and I'm already looking forward to next year! I hope your summer was awesome, I have loved looking at everyone's photos on FB and IG over the past couple months :)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Parenting Has Too Many Emotions

Keeping a clean house while raising a family. It's a subject I don't even pretend to have any knowledge or advice on....seriously. I started my marriage as a young woman who lived a little on the sloppy side, despite my best intentions. Over the years, I've learned how to keep a house clean, and i have even become a tidier...although that one is a work in progress.
Since having children I have again had good intentions. Intentions of teaching them how to clean up after themselves, and how to respect our home and help me do some of the main chores.
Well, the process has worn me down over the years. Day after day of them dropping things and not picking up after themselves, years of pulling clothes out of their drawers just to find one shirt. Ugh. I want to teach my girls to take care of things, but I feel so defeated. I keep asking myself what in doing wrong, and how I can be more diligent in teaching them these skills.
I know I'm not alone....there is articles everywhere about tornado toddlers, and houses that don't remember what they used to look like. I nod my head as I read them. I feel you, fellow moms. Will our houses ever be clean again?
There are exceptions. I have a friend who is not online, and her kids really do help her keep the house clean. She is a naturally good housekeeper herself, and so I assume it just rubbed off on her kids. I admire her so much and wish I could just figure out a smidgen of how she does it.

Anyways, this might sound like it's a post about me complaining about my children and the state of my house, and it is a bit, but that's not the point. Lol.
Another friend of mine mentioned last summer that her kids do most of the cleaning at their house. My interest was piqued. She has four kids that are the same ages as mine. How did she do it?
In our house it goes something like this:
Me: "I will do this. Even if it takes all day, I will patiently coach the girls through doing these chores. They will only learn by doing it, and I will teach them to do a good job."
1 hour later
Me: "i could have loaded the dishwasher 6 times by now. Myka and danica, stop fighting, i dont care if you think it's fair. Forget it, Just go play outside, I'll just do it myself! Aaaaargh!

Anyways, this year I asked her how she did it. She gave me some tips and made it seem doable, so I've been implementing those tips, along with heaps of prayers for patience, and wisdom.

Today it happened. For the first time ever, each girl completed her chores with minimal complaining. Danica whined a bit, but myka went and helped her once she was done with her chore. By the time Daniel and I left on our date this afternoon my kitchen was clean, the living room was cleaned, and the toy room was neat and tidy. Whaaaaat?! Seriously, what just happened!? I spent the afternoon so happy at our breakthrough. It's been so long coming.

And then tonight I read an article posted by a friend about milestones...about kids growing up and little things ending, like washing their hair for example. It was a great article, and then the sadness hit. My girls are growing up. My house stayed clean all day because of them for the first time ever. It's a good milestone to hit, but maybe it means some other milestones are coming to an end too.
Seriously, I know this post is just a mess of emotion. Hashtag momlife.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

So this is being a work from home mom

Hi mom,
I heard that you want to work from home so that you can earn money while staying home with me. That's really sweet, and I'm sure you have the best intentions, but I'm not quite sure that's going to fly around here.
You see, my love language is "time spent", which means that if you are in sight, or anywhere in the house, really, I will find you, and I will spend time with you.
If you bend down to cut a piece of fabric, I will sit on it...or stand on it and slide my feet around.
If you sit down to work on embroidery designs on the computer, I will climb into your head, or stick my fingers in your nose and mouth, or want to nurse.
If you try and close the door to your sewing room, I will scream so loud that Grandma will hear me and hopefully come smack some sense into you.
If you try and sew, I will try and climb onto your lap, using my ridiculously sharp tiny nails.
If you succeed in distracting me for two minutes with an empty thread spool, I will poop in my diaper and make your workspace unbearably smelly.
Hey, are those pins? I wonder how fast I can take them out of the cushion and spread them all over the floor? Last time she caught me before I even got one taken out. This is my day, I can feel it.

Also mommy, just so you know, I don't like the feeling of the floor on my feels yucky and I would really prefer to be in your arms. How are you supposed to get anything done with only one arm, you ask? I dunno. You're the one who wanted kids, you figure it out! I'll just be right here while you think about it.

Want a kiss mom? Is that your eyeball? What happens when I stick my finger in it? Haha, that was fun! Can I check your teeth? You are so much more fun than any of my toys!

You could always try working during my naptime, I've heard that some moms do that. But good luck with:
A) my new and improved 32 minute nap...20 of which you were rocking me for.
B) the wall of fatigue that hits you when you realize that for the first time all day you can hear yourself think.....and coffee and facebooking sounds way more relaxing than working.

It's OK, you can always work after I go to bed for the night...I'm sure daddy didn't want to spend any time with you tonight anyways, right?

And also, I've heard that moms can survive on nothing but coffee for days at a time. Just make sure you keep that adoring smile on your face and loving tone in your voice, especially when I spill the Tupperware full of rice krispies on the floor. Aren't I cute?

I'm so glad you decided to work from home mom. Now you can spend all of your time with me while getting your work done!
Well, at least we get to spend time together, and that's what counts, right? Can I have another snack?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finding the Balance as a Mom

I often get asked how I "do it all", as if I have it all together. I've been wondering why people think that I probably do...and then it hit me. I put my best foot forward online. Oh sure, I post the occasional picture of my laundry pile or a cluttered counter, but for the most part I post statuses about funny things my kids say, or pictures of them smiling and being they do that all day long. I really enjoy looking at my friends' posts about those things too!
They say the first step is admitting it, and it's probably glaringly obvious to everyone around me already, but here goes....I like to be busy. I know I say that my dream day would include having the whole spotless house to myself for a whole day so I could nap, eat and watch TV all day long. I would like it I'm sure, but I have way too short of an attention span to enjoy being bored for very long. I'm sure most of my fellow moms can relate!
On any given day, my list of to do's includes, but is not limited to:
Feeding my family
Doing the dishes
Tidying the house
Doing laundry
Sewing for LLB
Paying bills or taking care of assorted paperwork
Filling out forms for various kid related activities
Buying groceries (that one isn't daily, but it feels like it!)
Tending to my garden
Spending quality time with the girls
Spending quality time with Daniel
Sleep (like, who really needs it anyways, amiright?)

So how do I do it all? The answer isn't profound. It's pretty average actually. I'M pretty average. Just an average mom who likes to stay busy and has trouble knowing when to say no. Something always gets missed. Some days it's a big thing, like I'll leave the huge laundry pile on the couch and the dishes in the sink overnight so I can sew. Some days I get halfway to town and realize I hadn't even looked in the mirror that morning, let alone put on any makeup.
More than a few times I've gotten to town and realized that one of the kids got in the vehicle with no shoes, or a sweater, or without their hair brushed.
Sometimes my husband starts to feel a bit neglected.
Sometimes my kids do too....I can tell because they start to get super cranky and irrational. I've learned to take that as my cue to leave the rest of the stuff and spend time with them instead.
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by everything in not getting done that I freeze. When that happens I like to call Daniel. He usually can't come home to help me, but he is one of the calmest people I know and helps clear the clutter from my mind so I can see the big picture. "It is what it is" is his motto, and I'm so blessed to have him to help balance me.
I always feel so under qualified to write "how-to" posts or advice giving posts. I have my little tricks for getting things done, but none of it is profound.
And so, this is more of an encouragement post. An "I can sympathize with you, busy mom, because I'm right there too" post.
I'm right here, in the midst of it all. In a whirlwind of dirty diapers, dirty dishes, muddy kids and sibling rivalry, I somehow muddle through each day. On the best of days I remind myself to take some deep breaths, and focus on one thing at a time. On the worst of days I lay on my living room floor and call my husband to bring pizza and a hug. It doesn't all get done every day, no siree!

You know those posts I was talking about at the beginning though? The happy kids or funny quotes...they are not the WHOLE picture, but they are definitely there. As much as I like to be busy, I like happiness. I enjoy nothing more than a goofy moment with my husband or kids. I think it's inevitable that we will all feel overwhelmed, which makes it that much more important that we allow ourselves the grace to laugh and enjoy the craziness when we can :)
So here's a hug, fellow moms...and an encouragement to allow yourself a bit of grace today. It is what it is :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Morning

Don't you just love Saturday mornings? The school week is finally over...getting up at the crack of dawn, making lunches, rushing out the door...that's all done for a couple of days.
All the kids are as excited as you are to sleep in, and wake up at a wonderfully refreshing time of morning to soft angel kisses. If all has gone to plan, one of the older kids already has a cup of coffee waiting for you upon waking. Your hisband has to work today, but that's ok because the kids are excited to make today as easy as possible for you. You casually make a delicious brunch while giggling with your well rested and helpful children. After a nutritious meal, you sit in your favorite comfy chair in the living room that is still neat and tidy from the night before. You sip your coffee in the sunshine while the kids play happily with each's so nice to have the older kids out of school so they can play with the littles and give you a break :). Aaaaah, Saturday morning.


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