Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April photos bring snow showers?

8 weeks old

John's favorite's spot

K, L, & N just hanging out

My kiddos, ready for a spring walk

"Nail station" at L's 7th birthday party

The tea party

Katie's team, one last practice before competing

Randomness: it was 80 degrees today, sunny, and beautiful. Tomorrow, the snow rolls in and temperatures drop. Snow on May 1 in Kansas...crazy.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Better days

John no longer screams for hours every night. Some nights, yes, but not every night.  He has a beautiful full-face smile with a dimpled chin and a dimple on his left cheek. He likes to face outward to see all the world. He has scooted himself forward a few times, and continues to roll belly to back. He is a strong little man.

Work is going good and I am happy to be back. I do love this career! As far as transitioning to the schedule, today was better than most. I am not having trouble staying awake. I'm just having trouble finding time for dedicated sleep during the day. The family still needs retraining on the importance of letting me sleep. And that does not mean coming to my room, shaking me awake, and asking, "Mommy, do you want to get up now or later?"

The garden is still going, despite some serious cold snaps. Snow last week, and snow forecast this Wednesday. Crazy Kansas.

Lainie celebrated her seventh birthday this week. Some day I will post pictures. I still get emotional on her birthdays, more than with the other kiddos. She showed me you cannot take a single day or year for granted, and I am reminded of that each year we celebrate with her. This year, she had a tea party with some friends. She was her happy, slightly spacey, loving life self. I hope we made it a special memory for her.

I am grateful to not be on a couch, to not have restrictions, to not have daily trepidation. I went for a run this weekend in calm, sunny, 79 degree weather. I stood in the middle of our dirt road, spread my arms wide, took a deep breath full of spring, and thanked God for all my blessings.

Religious education is done for the year. Dance is done for all but Katie. Just a few more weeks of school left. Summer, here we come!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm not exactly sure how...

My first night back to work made me happy. I work with good people. :)

I came home to:

"Mommy, Lainie stepped on my glasses and broke them. I'm not exactly sure how they ended up on the floor."

"Natalie scraped her nose. I'm not exactly sure how..."

But everyone is fine today. I'm not exactly sure how...

Friday, April 19, 2013


It is amazing how many hours of baby screaming can be forgotten with one minute of baby giggles.


We downgraded our cable. The result is, so far, slightly disappointed kids, family watching PBS musicals, more playing by the girls, and less tv time in the evenings.


John has not pooped in seven days. He doesn't seem constipated, is still passing gas, has normal bowel sounds, is eating and gaining well. He even seems happier these past couple evenings. And, since the current record for poop-free days by an infant in our family is thirteen, I haven't called the doc on it. Besides, they say breastfed babies almost never get constipated. Still, we are on guard for a major explosion.


The garden is in full swing. I am craving some fresh greens like crazy. With toasted almonds and balsamic dressing.


My thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by tragedy this week. May they feel God's peace and love.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What does the future hold?

Even before the Boston Marathon bombing, before things escalated with North Korea, before the Texas explosion, Jay and I have had longs conversations about our country and our fears for its future.

Maybe it is Jay's job, maybe it is mine. Maybe it is the news stories, maybe it is social media. But we are really concerned with what we see. I am afraid of the mess we are leaving for our kids. It feels like our country is going to be in moral and financial shambles.

It is the little things that are frightening. So much hatred and anger over politics, healthcare, gun control, sexual orientation. We are a country divided, not on one issue, but on many.

And if we are divided, we are vulnerable to outside evils that could destroy our country.

But what can we do? Not much. We can raise our kids to be good people, kind unselfish people...or try our damnedest to at least live by example. We can be as self-sufficient as possible, so if our infrastructure crashes, our loved ones won't starve. (so, yes, think of others while protecting your own.)  We can pray for our country, for our enemies.

But, at the end of the day,  the best guidance still comes from my Grandma Pete and her serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The strength to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Confessions of a Tired Mom

I’ve heard a few times this past week how great I handle things or how together I seem or how good the kids were. A couple people even made it sound like they were scoring us up and found fault with themselves. I hated to hear that because…

Well, it’s confession time.

I yell.
I lose my temper.
I spank my kids when maybe I could have calmly redirected.
I yell. More.

I lose my temper with Lainie, especially. I get so frustrated some days with her slow response time and slower processing. I hear myself channeling Adam Sandler, wanting to scream, “S-S-Spit it out, Junior!” And that is horrible of me.

I lose my temper with Maggie, getting so frustrated with her purposeful, negative behaviors. She knows better. Why can’t we get through to her?

I butt heads with Katie. Verbally. Too much. We are too much alike.

I let Natalie sass and argue more than the other girls would have ever gotten away with, at 4-years-old or now.

I have mastered the art of setting John down and leaving the room while he screams, especially around 9 p.m. Because I don't want to listen anymore.

I can't wait to be released by my doctor so I can go run, not to get in shape but to have an excuse to leave the house for a half hour or so by myself without major guilty.

I have thought more than once about going to a hotel room for a night by myself and not letting anyone know where I was, just so I could sleep for 12 hours.

Mornings in our house can be ugly. Usually are ugly. They wouldn’t be so bad if I could get up when my alarm goes off, but I snooze. And so we rush.

My windows have never been washed on the outside. Ever. What’s the point? 

My laundry almost never gets put away. Or folded. Yes, that’s why we usually are a wrinkled family. Those clothes are cleaned but that’s about it.

I haven’t mopped in months.

I swept the floors last week. It’s the first time it’s been done since New Years Eve.

Our vacuum broke. We didn't get a new one for four months.

I dusted last week for the first time since, well, before Christmas. And I still didn’t dust the areas that I couldn’t see.

I haven’t oiled my furniture in years.

My bed is never made. My bedroom, and my daughters’ bedrooms, are usually cluttered.

We are relying heavily on frozen casseroles (THANK YOU FRIENDS!) and hotdogs. No gourmet cooking here, and very little healthy stuff right now.

We are out of milk. Again. I forgot it. Again.

I haven't helped in the garden since last summer some time.

I usually get to talk to my husband probably 10-15 minutes a day, and some times that entire time is spent gritching.

The girls do chores, in the house and in the garden, and most of the time it’s not a happy family time.

Ninety percent of the time twenty percent of our kids are mad about something.

We rely heavily on Katie. She complains the least. I sometimes just give up on Maggie and let her get away with less work. Other days, I assign her the worst task first, knowing she will throw a tantrum, which will give me an excuse to give her a second or third job. I give Lainie very easy jobs, because most days, I lack the patience to explain it to her multiple times. Natalie helps Jay.

I have to ask forgiveness, often, from God and my family, for some of my words and actions when that temper of mine breaks.

So, please, don’t compare yourself or your family member to what you might think life is like in our house. We have many faults; I have many many faults.

I pray for God’s help to raise our kids the right way and to help them become happy, healthy, successful adults…despite my parenting, not because of it.

Photo splash

Spring recital

Actually outside

Easter. Tired parents.

Easter kiddos. I love the girls' hats

Easter Egg Hunt

My  new mother's necklace

Friday, April 5, 2013


I have plans for an Easter post and a one month old post and a gardening post and a rest of the family post.

Instead I am tired. John had a decent evening last night, only cried for a couple hours, but then paid me back by a short night. Three hours does not a night's sleep make. Jay took him downstairs at 6 a.m. when I begged for a nap, and I got fifteen minutes before the alarm sounded. Now, everyone has left for school and daycare. John is eating and then it is nap time. I hope.

But on the positive side, he was content in the front carrier yesterday afternoon, so I got to play with Natalie outside and take a garden tour with her. Supper was provided by a wonderful lady from our church, so I got to spend his fifteen minutes of contentment eating instead of preparing supper. I felt accomplished last night, because everyone got a bath and clothes laid out and quality one on one mommy time. And I got through a stack of mail and started paying medical bills, while bouncing John in his vibrating seat with my feet.

So today may be a bust, but yesterday wasn't all bad.