for alaina

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? honey roasted turkey
IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? absolutely, and i'd probably copy me a lot;0)
DO YOU USE SARCASM? I'm dripping with sarcasm
FAVORITE SMELLS? babies, tommy, ralph lauren blue
FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? figure skating...?
HAIR COLOR? brown w/red highlights (natural ones)
DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? yes, unfortunately
FAVORITE FOOD? chocolate
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? happy endings, definitely
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? good question...august rush?
FAVORITE DESSERT? italian cream cake
FAVORITE SOUND? Bubbling brook at my parents house
ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? really? rolling stones, because i know i don't like the beatles
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? i have lots of special talents
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? clintonvile, wi

Short and Sweet

Elliot came home the other day and told me his teacher wrote an important note in his agenda that I had to be sure and read.

My thoughts went back to when I was in kindergarten and my teacher told me the same thing. When I got home, I rushed to show my mom, and it was a note telling my mom that I was to worried about my pretty dress and pretty hair, that I wasn't paying attention when we were writing the alphabet. I remember picking up at the letter J, and just copying Jason Young's chalkboard letters to catch up. Apparently I made that obvious, and Miss Zimmerman wasn't happy. I was really annoyed way back then that she had made me tattle on myself and haven't liked her since. In my mind I still think, "I can pay attention better, you'll always have your facial hair..." I suppose she could do something about it, but she never did, and the last time I saw her she still had a full dark mustache. But this is a story about Elliot...

So I assumed he had gotten into some kind of trouble, and when I read the note and found out my suspicions were right, I was annoyed with his teacher for doing that to him. I would rather she call me, rather than making him feel like she left a nice note for me and then I have to talk to him about his behavior. I'm not saying that I don't want to be notified if my child is misbehaving, I just think leading a child to believe that you wrote something good so they rush
home to show their mom is manipulative. Maybe they teach them that tactic in college, or maybe I have PTSD. The note said "could you please talk to Elliot about using his quiet voice in the classroom? Lately he has been yelling and interrupting when others are talking. Thank you! Mrs. nelson" Well, I totally get it, because Elliot interrupts at home to and he tends to be louder than the rest of the other kids. I read him the note, and then explained that he has to use his inside voice and also that it's rude to interrupt others so make sure he's polite.

Then I remembered the coffee incident from the other day and the light bulb went off....I bet he's been sneaking coffee every morning without me knowing. Ah hah..he's getting jacked up on coffee and sugar before school, that makes so much sense. By the way, I got his report card the same day and she'd written in the comments that Elliot is courteous of others and follows classroom rules well, so even though he's a little rambunctious at home, he's always behaved well at school, which is why I thought something was up.

I asked him, and he admitted that he'd been taking coffee in the morning because he "loves coffee." I told him that coffee (especially columbian, black with tons of sugar) effects his behavior and he couldn't have it anymore because I didn't want him getting in trouble at school because of it, and caffeine and sugar aren't really good for kids.

Yesterday, he came home and said Mrs. Nelson had written a note in his agenda that I had to be sure to read. Uh-oh.

I read the note right away, and it said "Elliot did a wonderful job being courteous and using a quiet voice!! :0) Mrs. Nelson.

That's my boy.

***Brookelyn came into my room this morning and said "good morning mom, it's time for breakfast." How did I end up with such great kids?


Elliot loves....

I love tv. I like
fabale. I like sowndoard.
I like pezza. I like.
Check out the picture of the TV...we don't even own a TV.

Dear Mr. Graco.

I wrote this letter to the baby swing the other day. (don't judge me, I need the baby swing to get anything done around here)

Dear Mr. Graco,

I'm going to try to keep my tone as even keeled as possible here, but I must warn you that I am desperate and I will get on my knees and beg if I have to. You see, my baby only sleeps when you are lightheartedly swinging him back and forth through the air. That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask why you feel the need to stop, say every 3-4 minutes? I love my baby to take long naps, so I can get something done around here, and it's not really feasible for me to stand in front of you pushing you back and forth to keep him asleep. I guess what it comes down to is this: I didn't pay $90 for you 6 1/2 years ago for you not to do your job. Excuse me, what's that you say...? I beg your pardon, my children are a bit chubby yes, but you don't call them chubby butts* around me. This is the thing: This is the last baby for us. Done. So it makes no sense for us to shop for a swing now, when we have 3 more months tops that we'll be using it, and then that's it. And that's 3 more months of uninterrupted sleep at night for me, and hours of time to get crap done during the day. I am begging you, please hang on and push through. I beg you....

*actual words used by Mr. Graco substituted for ones appropriate for the ears of young children.

*******************and then I changed the batteries, so I wrote this*********************

Dear Mr. Graco,

Thank you thank you thank you. You are amazing. You keep my baby happy and comfy cozy and all cuddled up and asleep. I never guessed when I bought yo that you'd be the buy of a lifetime. I got my use out of you with my first baby and here you are 6 1/2 years later still doing your job fantastically. I just wanted to take a moment to profusely thank you and say that you really changed my life. I owe you big.

All the gratitude in the world~

p.s. I promise to change your batteries on a regular basis before ripping apart your emotions to make myself feel better.

I'm pretty sure he finds me obnoxious.

I mock body slammed Trae on my bed so I could change his diaper. I heard a big thwack! and then realized he had a Fatboy tape measure in his hand and when I slammed him onto the the bed, Fatboy slammed into hid forehead. And I was all "Ahhhh, slaaaammm!" Poor kid. He recovered quick and now he's drilling my hardwood floors with a powerdrill.

Which reminds me: Jason was finishing up the central vac in the basement last night and Trae was "helping." He loves to measure things, (he's saying it now..."meyahs") and everything is "8!" Jason would say "is it 64?....8.....14?...8.....89?.....8!"

He has immense personality, and has developed an attitude. The other day, I asked him where he got his attitude from....."Walmart!"

This morning I was making pancakes for breakfast (I know, homey, right) and I jokingly told Brookelyn she didn't get any. After going back and forth for awhile, she finally said "if you don't give me any pancakes I'll have to eat candy all day...."

On a side note: We leave for Georgia in 5 days...any suggestions for keeping the kids busy for the 17 hour car ride?


just a note: i changed my background and removed my awesome cursor because the advertisement covered the "new post" icon and it was a total pain, in case you wondered.

blather blather...

Yesterday, Trae wanted coffee. Of course, he'd already had his coffee in the morning, so I told him no. I gave him a fresh piece of angel food cake (a bite sized piece) and he threw it to the floor, trying to indicate just how mad he was. I asked him to pick it up and he said "NO!" I told him he needed to pick the cake up, or he was going to his crib for a time-out. He reached back, opened the drawer where we put the kitchen towels, and stuck his fingers in. "Fingers stuck...." Nice try. I said okay, let's go for a time-out, so he quickly scooped the cake up off the floor and came to give me a hug.

Trae also got a hold of me cell yesterday afternoon, and pressed buttons until he finally got through to someone. I was sitting across the room, and from there it sounded like my mom, so I said "Trae, it's grandma..." He immediately asked "grandpa ohm?" I heard him say "Anya ohm...?" so I figured out it was my sister, Misty. This is the conversation from my end.

Trae: "Anya ohm...?"

Trae: "Ercaa, ohm...?"

Trae: "Eyyitt, ohm...?"

Trae: "Casey, ohm...?"

After he gave me the phone back, he was standing up next to the coffee table leaning on it with his arms, his feet crossed saying:

"Anya, ohm...?.....yesss"
"Casey, ohm.....?noooo"
"Erica, ohm...?....noooo"

Repeating the conversation he had with Misty to himself.

Brookelyn spent the night at my mom's house on Tuesday night. She had brought me a sticker earlier and asked me to place it on her nose like a little nose stud. After bible study last night, she explained to me that she had to stay over night at grandma's again because she "forgot her nose ring" and had to go get it. She also had a nasty bruise on her arm with a raised white bump in the center. My mom was showing me, and saying she thought it was a spider bite, but she was touching it and I hate when people touch bruises so I was all grossed out. We moved on to the next subject, and Brookelyn came up and says "mom, look..." and when I do, she's pressing the bruise as hard as she can just to freak me out. Nice little girl I have...

Somehow this morning, as I was wiping massive amounts of baby puke off my shoulder while still holding said puker who had his nuk in his mouth and standing roughly 4 feet from the basement stairs, he managed to spit it out and I watched in horror as it slid across the floor, down the stairs and over the edge behind the piano. Oh, it's one of those days, huh...? I'm not having it, I make my own happiness. Today will be great.

One last thing...theres this awesome giveaway over at Le Musings of Moi, and I want 3 bonus entries for posting about it because the prizes are that good. Mosy over and check it out for yourself.....oh, and the readings good too, she went up on my sidebar after reading 3 posts!

Writer's Workshop

Another writer's workshop from MamaKat.

I chose to write about a stray animal I took in. And when I say stray, I mean baby animal fallen from his nest. I thought about writing about someone who irritated me, but I think I went far enough with that when I sent him virtual daggers....

One day, when I was about 9 or 10, my dad came home and told me and my 3 sisters he had a surprise for us as he cupped his pocket. I assumed it was candy or pens. He told us to gather round and come closer, and then gently pulled out a baby squirrel that had fallen from the nest. The nest was way up in the rafters on the building where our family window business was run. Thinking back now, from my best judgement I'd guess it was really only 7-8 feet high, but to me it seemed so high, and I suppose for a baby squirrel, that was a long drop. I have to admit that I thought he was ugly and actually couldn't tell what it even was! We all sat in the living room around the squirrel, who my mom had put on a heating pad to warm him up, trying to think of names. I don't remember name suggestions, but I do remember his name: Earl the Squirrel....how's that for original? I don't remember how long we had him for, but I do remember watching everyone else hold and feed him because I have this obsessive/compulsive thing where I have to wash my hands the second after I touch an animal or I can't perform basic body functions like breathing or talking because thoughts of animal residue gasp! fog my brain. I also remember waking up (I think, I can verify this story with my animal loving sister, and then add edit notes to the end because she'll remember all the details) to find that he had died. I was sad, she was devastated. I don't remember how my other sisters took it, but I remember my mom gently telling us that Earl needed his mom's milk and that's why he died. Poor Earl, and can you imagine how his mother felt....?

***Turns out I was right on all counts, and my really little sister was devastated right along with my bigger little sister....make sense?


100 things...

Got this game from Namaste who got it from freeul who in turn got this from Ryan Ashley Scott over at Optimistic Cynicism. Anyone can play along, just BOLD the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.(World..in Florida)
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.(and never again)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not sick.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.(when I was little our neighbor boys told me to keep watching really close...somehow I fell to the ground, almost like I was struck down. Interesting. Anyone know why that would happen...?)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.(I think...?)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.(Bloody Breathitt, Breathitt County, Kentucky)
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to truly be satisfied.
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.(in the front, Jason in the back. Incidentally, a snowboarding accident)
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.(the only time I ever got sea sick)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.(and cut my leg on coral. It's a wonder I'm still here really, spending the day in shark filled waters with a leg that wouldn't stop bleeding. Maybe they were afraid to come round what with the fellow snorkeler in her thong bikini and sun burned buns.)
52. Kissed in the rain.(why do I not spend more time in the rain..? I love rain.)
53. Played in the mud.(and boy does mud wrestling intrigue me...)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.(2 of them...)
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served in a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason. (ahem...)
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
.67. Bounced a check.(nsf count...?)
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Been to the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the paper.(very interesting story...we were making "poison" and lady from the paper happened upon us....along with our picture was a caption about us making bird food.)
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.(I didn't personally kill it, but I brought it to my dad and had to help pluck the feathers, which is the worst job ever)
88. Had Chicken pox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one
.94. Had a baby.(or 4)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.(still have scars to prove it...)
100. Read an entire book in one day.

coffee time and cute chubby legs.

This is the cup I found on Elliot's dresser this morning filled with black coffee and lots of sugar. Elliot's been waking up really early and getting into stuff really quietly. (like coffee and the computer) I told him I didn't want him having coffee, especially before school, and he said he'll have it when he comes home. Um, no he won't.... Usually we buy 1/2 caff and let the kids have a little with milk, but this time all they had was Colombian. There is a big difference. Last night Elliot had some after school because Misty and I were visiting and I made a pot. He bounced and chattered non-stop. I'm lucky not to be in the mental hospital, he was driving me mad. Good thing I caught it, or he'd have been off the walls at school.
So, how cute is his "I love coffee" face? You can't tell in the picture, but he crosses his legs under the table and swings them back and forth.

Trae has coffee (milk with a few drops of coffee) every morning...today we were out of milk, so he got whipped cream.

Archers legs were so chubby and cute to begin with, but now they are downright irresistible. I love this toe thing he does all the time now. I'm thinking he'll be rolling everywhere soon...


Mommy like...

(we were going for smoking gun...I'm thinking we missed our target, but I tend not to care when I'm so stoked!)
I'll put my phone on vibrate tomorrow in case you need me...I'll be vacuuming! Oh, and spare me the "so, you traded your old car in for a more efficient model, eh...?" On second thought, I don't care, because I've got central vac. Whoohoo!


This morning, Trae was a great sharer. Except that what he was sharing was Chex Mix with Archer, who has no teeth. Brookelyn alerted me right away on the verge of hysterics, and we fished it out right away. Archer drooled and licked his lips, all the while making some pretty interesting faces. I pooched Trae on the butt and firmly told him he can't feed the baby food, he's too little. He broke into sobs and hugged me for around 10 minutes. Poor guy, we insist on sharing, and then when he does, we punish him for it. We washed down the spice with some milk and Archer seems no worse for the wear. He didn't choke or anything, just left in hanging half in/half out of his mouth and drooling like crazy.

Does anyone else spell thoughts out in their head? For example, "I'm tired." I.'m. t.i.r.e.d. I do this all the time and it's starting to make drive me mad.


I woke up this morning and hopped out of bed because I thought I overslept and didn't want Elliot to miss the bus. I came out to the kitchen, and he's sitting at my computer, which is frozen. Of course it "did it all by itself..." He knows he's not to touch my computer. By this time Brookelyn is up, and Archer was in his saucer. Elliot informs me he doesn't have school today. Yippee, I got everyone up for no reason. I suggest we all go back to bed, but of course we didn't.

I have some weird things going on, one of which makes my head spin. As I walk around, I get dizzy spells, but when I lay on my bed, everything spins one way, and then spins back the other. It's improved from last night and someone suggested anemia. Anyone else have ideas of what it could be?

Today is bedroom cleaning day. Oh boy does that bring on the fit.

"'MMMMooooom, IIIiiii don't wannaaaaa Cweeen MMMMyyy Rooom."

"you don't have a choice."

"Iiiiii Miiiiiisssssssssss Graaaaaammmmaaaa...aa...a..a."

"Get your room cleaned."

And then someone rocked on her toe. And then she wanted to take a nap. And then she needed a shower. And then she needed food.

I have no sympathy, I just want clean bedrooms.

I have a maternity shoot tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that.


I love this shot. My favorite, hands down.Our best hippy impression.
Erica snapped this as I was getting ready for her to take a picture. She loved it, so this ones for her.

Me, Mom, & Erica.
You want what I got....?
MMmmm. He looked so hot.
This one Jason took.
Knock 3 times one the ceiling if you want me. Twice on the pipe...bingbing...if the answer is nooo.
(I'll have that on my head all day too, you're not alone!)
My little guy pretty much refused the bottle the whole time I was gone. Auntie Nikki tuckered him out.


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test ...
Non-conformist, Visionary, and Independent
23 Abstract, -7 Islamic, -19 Ukiyo-e, 10 Cubist, -17 Impressionist and -27 Renaissance!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of what may appear to others as visual realities. Western had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. It allowed the progressive thinking artists to show a different side to the world around them. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a 'new kind of art' which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Abstract artists created art that was diverse and reflected the social and intellectual turmoil in all areas of Western culture.
People that chose abstract art as their preferred artform tend to be visionsaries. They see things in the world around them and in people that others may miss because they look beyond what is visual only with the eye. They rely on their inner thoughts and feelings in dealing with the world around them instead of on what they are told they should think and feel. They feel freed from the tendancy to be bound by traditional thought and experiences. They look more toward their own ideas and experiences than what they are told by their religious upbringing or from scientific evidence. They tend to like to prove theories themselves instead of relying on the insight or ideas of others. They are not bound by common and mundane, but like to travel and have new experiences. They value intelligence, but they also enjoy a challenge. They can be rather argumentative when they are being forced or feel as if they are being forced to conform.

I am NOT argumentative....definitely not. How could they even say that? Me, argumentative....never.

Take the test here.

I went to a 70's theme party this weekend, so tomorrow you'll get to see me in my hippy clothes. Peace out....Goodnight.


Teething Tablets...

Okay, so I used teething tablets with all 3 of the older kids, but then I heard the belladonna in them isn't safe and can cause death in infants. The reviews online are mixed, but obviously I don't want to hurt my baby. Any suggestions...? He is miserable and the Orajel doesn't seem to have any effect. Thanks in advance.

I woke up this morning having no inclination of what day it even was, and I have a sore throat, so I can't talk very loud today. What you are about to read is a whole lot of jibberish and if you stick around, I thank you immensely.
Above, we have a picture of my Chooka boots FedEx dropped on my step yesterday, along with my at home waxing kit. I love saying chookaboots, and plan on annoying my husband by over using the phrase every time I wear them...and I plan on that being a lot once the miserable snow melts and I can go outside and play again. I have an obsession, although small, with boots (thankfully my husband likes me best in boots) but I have a few other new accessories that I plan to add to my repertoire. The list includes, but is not limited to:
  • aprons (I figure if I look cute while cooking/cleaning maybe I'd find the joy in it...?!?)
  • camera strap covers for my camera
  • scarves
  • hats (I do love hats, and I think I look cutest in them so I'm adding to the collection)
  • panty hose (the thigh high kind...now that I know they stay up, I'm game. I hate the constriction of the high waisted ones)

Before I forget to add this, Trae says "sure" now.

"Trae can you open the garbage for mommy?"


"Trae, can you wipe up the milk you spilled?" (I like them to attempt to clean it up before I do a really good job...)


He also asked for his red nuk this morning.

So theres this awesome writer/photographer who's doing this really cool thing on his blog that some of you photographer types might be interested in. His name is Panic and this is his blog.

One last note regarding at home waxing, and then I'm off. I waxed my sisters eyebrows for her yesterday and did a superb job, if I do say so myself. I got the kit for what I can pay for 2 1/2 waxes in the salon and I have this weird thing where I like to wax eyebrows. I also did my own eyebrows and my lip and it hurt but I made it. I want to caution at home waxers that if you decide to venture into other territory, it may or may not be one of the dumbest decisions you make in your life, and you may or may not end up with patchy areas that may or may not bleed. That being said, free waxing for anyone who brings me chocolate.

I wish you the best of days. Ciao.

p.s. I have chosen the final name for my blog and am working on a header. My intent was to make you laugh so I hope it works. I'll be making the change soon, so stay tuned. lylas bff


Morning fans, it me Archer...

Oh my goodness...!! I am super duper excited to tell you what I did to my mommy this morning. Can you hear my squeals of excitement where you're at? Well, I woke up at 6 am and begged and pleaded with my mom to get up and hold me. She finally did, but man did I have to be persistent. She wiped her drool, thank goodness, because I didn't want her drool on me, thankyouverymuch.... She sat me on her lap abouncin' me because I kept farting and fussing and carrying on. I almost forgot to tell you guys! I only pooped like twice, maybe yesterday, and you know how I am about my poops. If I don't go at least every feeding, I'm not happy. So finally I got all the farts out and then I squirted and squirted. My mom was all, "Oh my goodness, you feeling better...? Poor little guy." And the whole time I'm thinking, okeydokey mom, you have no idea...

She decided she better get me changed before I got a rash, and did I spring a surprise on her. I had pooped clear up my back, and out both sides of my Pamper. So much for these not leaking I heard my mom say under her breath. It was pretty hilarious when my mom noticed she had poo on her pants and her sheets, oh, and her hand! And I got what I wanted, a bath! That's how delighted I was, up there in the picture. Usually I can't get baths by myself because my brother always climbs in and splashes me. I thought that was a really good trick to play on my mom, but now I'm just really tired...yawn.
Ha, this is the little stinker after the explosion. He thought he was funny until I got out the booger sucker. Who's laughing now?

I finally decided to choose a prompt...

Mama Kat does writers workshop on Wednesdays. She provides the prompts, you provide your story. This is my first attempt.

The Prompts:1.) Tell us about a memorable blind date.2.) Other than the birth of a child or your wedding, write about a joyous moment. 3.) Write about one of the most difficult decisions you have made in your life.
4.) Share the best picture you took last month and explain why it's your favorite

I take a lot of pictures in a month, but as I was going through them all to choose 1 for this writing, I barely recognized my chubby baby boy. You see, he turned 2 on the 11th, and it seems like he's changing so much so fast. Now, I do realize there really isn't a "magic button" that turns them into bustling talking sassing cute as a button toddlers, but it does seem that way. My little baby has started talking in sentences all the time. Instead of Nuk...? he says "Mama, nuk go...? Instead of Elliot...? Bammpaa...? He says Elliot bus...? Grandpa work...? I know I posted this already, but yesterday I showed him a picture of our new president on Elliot's weekly reader and just for kicks asked him who it was. Usually he'd say Elliot! Then I'd say "No, who is that...?" and he'd scream 'Bammpaa!!" What the little stinker said yesterday was "Babomma!"

Back when this picture was taken during our 3 day New Years celebration, we (my dad) had this idea to take the kids on a nature hike through the trees and ending atop a big mountain. (which really was the dirt they pushed back to build their house) We started out by taking a picture at the beginning and then we (they, while I photographed) did jumping jacks and stretches and side bends to prepare themselves for the long journey. Elliot led the way with Brookelyn in hot pursuit and Trae in the sled pulled by uncle Tony. I'd put money down that if we were to re-live this journey today, Trae most certainly would not be riding in the sled. No matter that the snow was knee deep on me, he'd be trekking his OWN way across. (and probably wouldn't sink like I did) Now that he can speak for himself, he does. Now that he knows he can make his own path, by golly, he's going to.

And even though this mommy thinks her baby's grown so fast, she's happy because she's loving the little boy he's grown into.


Hardy har har....how InSensitive!

The Guys' RulesAt last a guy has taken the time to write this all down
Finally, the guys' side of the story.(I must admit, it's pretty good.)We always hear "the rules"From the female side.
Now here are the rules from the male side.These are our rules!Please note... these are all numbered "1"ON PURPOSE!
1. Men are NOT mind readers.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat.You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.We need it up, you need it down.You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moonor the changing of the tides.Let it be.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport.And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for what you want.Let us be clear on this one:Subtle hints do not work!Strong hints do not work!Obvious hints do not work!Just say it!
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a Problem.
See a doctor.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.
1. If you won't dress like the Victoria 's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.Don't ask us.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of them makes you sad or angry, then we meant the other one
1. You can either ask us to do somethingOr tell us how you want it done.Not both.If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched.We do that.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong.We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle, besides we know you will bring it up again later.
1. If you ask a question you don't want an an swer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation,or golf.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!
1. Thank you for reading this.Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

*I laughed really hard, I'm only kidding.
*Brookelyn just commented that she thought my feet were Archers, so there...small feet.

All in a days work.

Back when I could still stomach romance novels*, someone told me that romance novels give you a false sense of how men really are, and in turn give us women unrealistic expectations of men. (I've heard this about pornography for men, gives them false expectations of what a womans body really looks like.)

I was reading a book to my kids this morning, We Help Daddy....you've heard of it? Well, let me tell you, either I have very low expectations, or this book gave me a warped perception of what I can expect out of my husband in a day. The book chronicles 13 things the daddy and the children do in a day, including:
  • fixing the attic door
  • pulling weeds from the garden
  • watering the plants
  • giving the hedge a "haircut"
  • giving the dog a bath
  • putting a coat of paint on the kitchen fence (whatever a kitchen fence is...from the picture maybe the fence outside the kitchen window...?)
  • hanging a picture above the fireplace
  • making a bird feeder from scratch, with a hand saw, mind you.
  • splitting logs for the fire (ahem, I thought we were just picking weeds, and we need a fire....wait, maybe it's chronicling a year, which sounds about right around here for the amount of work being done.)
  • clean the car
  • polish the car
  • Last of all, the mend the handle on little Benjy's dresser.
  • But wait, Benjy notices a nail sticking out of the bathroom door, so what the heck, they go ahead and fix that too.

The last page of the book specifically says the kids are very tired because they had a busy day helping daddy, so either my expectations are really low, or this is a fairytale. Incidentally, there is a book called "We help Mommy." I don't even want to know everything she can get done in a day, and I really don't want my husband to find out.

On a side note....I realize Trae isn't a baby genius or anything, but this morning he made me proud. Elliot brought home a weekly reader about Barack Obama, and it was lying on the coffee table. I asked Trae who it was, totally expecting him to say grandpa or Elliot as usual, but he smiled and said "Babomma!"

*Dulcie, your book was the first romance novel I read in years, and I loved it. To the point. I can't handle all the beating around the bush that goes on in LaVerle Spencer and Danielle Steel. I'll rad your next book to, so don't think I'm hatin' ;0)



I noticed today that Archer has thrush. I called to see if I could get a prescription with out bringing him in and the ped nurse said she'd call it in, but that I needed to call my OB to get a prescription for the cream to treat the tata's.
I called and gave my name, birth date, and other pertinent information such as when I delivered, if there were any problems with the delivery, how many deliveries I had, my dogs name, and my favorite football team. I also had to elaborate on if my nips were chapped, broken, bleeding, oozing, streaking, or hot. (no, just a little tender when nursing) Additionally, she wanted to know if I was getting treatment for the baby (yes, and we'd already established that back when I told her the ped nurse wanted my to call for the script) She wanted to know what it was, and I didn't know the name because I haven't picked it up yet and I'm no doctor. She asked if it was a cream, because she was trying to figure out if I could use the cream that they may have prescribed for him. *side note...isn't it illegal to use scripts not written out to you...? Anyway, I'm not sure what she thought I meant when I said he had raised white patches on his tongue, but the only other strain of thrush I know of is a yeasty rash in the diaper area. What I'm not-so-eloquently getting to is this: YOU CAN'T USE THRUSH NIPPLE CREAM FOR THRUSH IN THE KIDS MOUTH! When I repeated that it was in his mouth....soooo...she got all snippy and said she just wanted to establish if we could the same script or not. Well, I'm no doctor, or nurse for that matter, but I really don't think the cream is the way to go. She went all hoighty toighty (I stole that from my MIL...if I'm not sure how to spell it can I still use it...?) on my butt and said "Can I get your number...? I'll call you back with the doctors recommendations for you." So I haven't heard back, but I'm hoping to get a prescription with out having to reveal anything more than I already have, as that would involve over an hour of drive time, and would really cramp my style today.

p.s. I'm not implying all nurses are idiots, just most of the phone nurses I've talked with....maybe if you can't make it as a real nurse, they give you a phone nurse position?

(im)Patiently awaiting her call, so I can get both prescriptions at the same time and get Archer some relief, as he seems to be very bothered by it, or maybe he just needs to poop.


House pictures per Marsha, and a few randoms.

My moron computer is rebelling, so as much as I'd like these pictures to be in a specific order, it's not in the cards tonight. Here is the painted space. Ta daaa. Viloa. Dumdumdaduuum.....you get the drift.

Archer loves our new sheets, as do I.
All I am is just a housewife, nothing special, nothing great....what it is is very boring, what it is is just my life. ~from the musical Working that my sister was in in middle school. Incidentally, this is the first "self portrait" i've done since I added to that thing called My Resolution List.

If only I could get him in and out this way on my own..he loved it. We can only ride this way when Daddy's around to harness us up.

My amateur video was craptastic, so says Marsha...well those are my words not hers, but she implied it sucked, so by request I took pictures....I promise thats the last time today i'll use that phrase;0) Have I mentioned how much I loathe migraine headaches? Oh, I loathe them big time. Hate is a strong word. I hate migraines. Hate them.
My pictures are taking for.ever. to upload.
So today, Elliot came home and told me Caiden wasn't in school because he had his attendance out....that would be appendix, for those of you having a hard time with that one....


I hate Monday mornings. Especially following Sunday nights where I've been woken at least a hundred zillion times by my two youngest sons. Trae was running a fever and flopped around and flopped around and drove me insane with all the flopping around. I suppose thats why the baby kept waking up, but when I'd put him in the swing, it lasted all of 30 minutes and then he was up again. I'm sure my husband has some far fetched story in his head of me going "UUUUAAAGGGGHH" in the night and "Are you kidding me....? Go to sleep!" but as you all know, that's nothing like me and it so did not happen.

Compliments of my sweet, hardworking, loud when he gets ready for work and wakes all the kids up husband, all the kids were up around 6. He kissed me goodbye and assured me Brookelyn said she'd watch Trae. Riiiight. So I lay in bed, nursing my little guy and trying to talk myself into getting up. Elliot and Brookelyn were arguing about some stupid art box or some such thing, and I kept saying form the bedroom that they needed to share the art supplies. Finally I asked Elliot to get in the shower. Then I asked him again. And one more time. Finally, I told him to come here, swatted his butt and lo and behold he took his shower pronto. He carried on and on and on though. Trae kept saying "Eyiit nawny too?"

Archer sneezed somewhere in the mix, and Trae said "oh, goodness!"

You know whats super special? The 2 older kids have taken to talking like babies. I try to ignore it, but on the same hand, its not helping them to talk like babies. When they told me they were talking like that for Archer, I told them that it's unhealthy to talk baby talk to babies because then they don't learn how to say words correctly. It didn't work, so when they start the whiny baby talk to me, I talk to them that way. They hate it too. "Mama, pease dit me some miwk....I firsty." Annoying.

I'm a little concerned about keeping them quiet for when the workers are here the next few days....

I think I'll have to schedule a nap in today.
How's that for a craptastic post?



I'm a very lucky girl with really awesome parents. Growing up, they always let us know they were proud of us and my dad would always peer back at the 4 of us in the rear view mirror and say to mom "Aren't our girls pretty?" Of course he was trying to make us blush, and more often than not we'd roll our eyes and say "whatever dad, we are not..." but secretly, I loved that my dad though we were beautiful.

This afternoon, I was in the local thrift store shopping for work jeans with my husband. There was this man talking really loud, and when I started to pay attention to what it was that he was so heated about, I really couldn't believe it. He was a scruffy, gray bearded man in dirty clothes with big square framed glasses and a dingy jacket. I can't say for sure, but I would venture a guess that he was not with his 2 daughters mom, and had them only on his required weekends. One of his girls was in the dressing room trying on shirts while the other waited patiently outside the door all the while asking why she couldn't try anything on. Her dad said she didn't need shirts, she had plenty, and her sister was growing out of hers, so they had to get her something that fit. The girl in the dressing rooms name was Brianna, but he said it like "BreeANNa." He started off yelling at her because they "made a deal" that if he agreed to buy her some shirts, then she had to come out and show him what they looked like on. He sounded like a whiny 3 year old...BriANNa, you promised you'd show me, we had a deal BreeANNa. When she refused to come out, he said fine, give me the shirts back and you'll get nothing! Finally, after about 5 minutes of carrying on, she came out. He looked at the shirt she had on and asked if she liked it. She said yes she did, and could she get it. He told her absolutely not, it's way to tight, looks like yer squeezing yourself in one of Kiara's shirts now hang it up and try somethin else on. I was hiding around the corner so I could hear what was going on, but he wouldn't see me watching him verbally abuse his daughter. She hung up the shirt, and slid it out underneath the door for him to take. "What the hells the matter with you BreeANNa, you don't throw things on the floor. NEXT TIME, you hand it to me over the top of the door, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Now get something else on and hurry up, you're taking way to long." She put the next shirt on and opened the door. He said "well that looks nice, you like it...?" She said sure, it was fine. "nah, I don't think so, looks a little tight." The next one he again asked if she liked it, as he said it fit really good. She excitedly said yes, she really liked it, and could she get it. "No, the sleeves are kinda weird, I don't think I like that one." I was furious with his ignorance, and commented to my mom that I wouldn't blame the girl if she stabbed her dad while he was asleep. She continued to try things on, all the while being told to hurry as he cussed at her and time after time told her they were too tight. He said, "Jeez Bree, these are size 16 (girls)we're trying on, and they're too small, this is ridiculous..." and on and on and on it went. Poor girl (s). I can't believe, knowing the love I have for my kids, that a man can stand in a store and publicly humiliate his daughter for everyone to hear over and over again. It makes me angry and sad and embarrassed for the poor little girl. He ended up not buying her anything, and I didn't ever get to see her, but my mom did and said she reminded her of Olive, from Little Miss Sunshine. She was a little pudgy, as girls on the cusp of puberty are, but definitely not fat. I don't think that she could do anything right regardless of how hard she tried. She was a great sport, usually saying quietly, "okay dad..." and remarking only once that he says that about every one, after he said yet another shirt was too tight. She'll be one of those girls that never goes home to visit her dad because of all the hurt he caused her when she was forced to endure his biting criticism and insults. He'll be the guy that dies alone.

Have you ever not spoken up, and then really really regretted it? That's where I'm at.


The other day, Brookelyn and I were in her room picking out an outfit for church. She has gotten so tall lately that none of her dressy clothes were long enough, so we had gone to Old Navy to browse around for fancy clothes. We found some dresses that were long enough, but the were size 10 and 12 girls. They were also only $4.97 each, so I figured paired with a sweater, they'd look boho chic and would work fine.

On this particular Sunday morning, Brookelyn was having a hard time deciding what to wear. She had a new sweater that she really wanted to wear, and one of the dresses, dark blue with colorful butterflies, would match awesome.

I pulled it from the hanger and gave it to her to put on. She started to pull it over her head, then paused and looked at the tag.

"Um, this is a size 12..." she said, almost embarrassed.

I tried to downplay it to see what else she would say. I asked what that was supposed to mean. She wears size 5/6 girls, which is right on for her age.

"I want to wear something else." was all she said. She had a kind of shame in her eyes that I recognize in my own so often when I'm out shopping and the sales clerk asks if she can help me with a size.

The truth is, I've never been comfortable in my skin, and I never tell people my size, ever. I always told myself that if I ever had a daughter, I was going to make sure she was comfortable in her body. I was always going to make sure that I censored my insecurities as not to pass them down to her. I was very thankful when she came out with tiny little bones like her dad. I was hoping she'd be one of those girls that was naturally thin. (which as of now, seems to be the case) Not that I'd think less of her if she was curvy, like me, but our society makes it very hard to be curvy and confident.

I come from a family of 4 girls. All my sisters are gorgeous. They all have size 7-8 shoes. They all have tiny little hands. They are all 3-5 inches shorter than me.

I have always been the Amazon sister in my mind. My hands and feet are almost the same size as my husbands, and growing up I always got comments on my shoe size. I think I was a size 10 in womens by middle school. When I'm at my thinnest, I'm still a size 9.

I suppose I can be grateful that I have a strong body and a healthy body. I have a body that can carry babies to full term and thrust them out into the world with little difficulty.

Our society doesn't recognize women for their brute strength, they recognize them for their jutting hip bones and sunken cheeks.

I could go on for days about the injustice to curvy women in our society, because to look at other women with curves, I think they are more beautiful than the teeny tiny waisted women I see in magazines. For myself though, I'm always trying to attain the skeletal figure that is supposed to be sexy and acceptable. One that I'm never going to attain, and on that always makes me feel inadequate and standing with my hand across my belly.

Until now. Until I realized the very thing that I carried around as baggage my entire life is starting to invade my 5 year old daughter. Until she recognized the size of her dress and felt ashamed and embarrassed and refused to wear it. Until she told me "it's a size 12 Mom, I don't wear a size 12."


This is how it always starts...

*Innocent.* Sweet. * Endearing. * Irresistible.*
*We're working out something a little more like this*

My 2 older boys loved to finger through my hair when they were just wee bits. I loved it, so gentle. It put me to sleep too. Then it got to the point where they had to have hair to go to sleep, and the older they got, the more aggressive the pulling got. I've learned my lesson, as hard as it is to pull his intertwined fingers from my hair. He's taking to this little lovey well, so despite how darn cute it is, I'm replacing my hair with the blankie.

Bath time.

Trae received mail yesterday...thanks Ruth.
Playing with the baby.
All tuckered out.
This is the kids all time favorite game....sliding across the floor with their socks. Brookelyn traded her matching socks for mis-matches before I took the picture.

Our date went famously. Jason was home by 3pm, which isn't typical, especially when we have plans. I vowed that no matter how overwhelmed I got with the kids and everything that needed to be done, I was going to focus on staying in a good mood, so that I could enjoy the entire night rather than spend the first half waiting for my jaw to un-clench. We went to Red Lobster, and I ordered a NY Strip, and a Lobster tail. I have this weird texture thing, so I rarely eat seafood, but I am trying to get past it. I did my best and the Lobster was good, but after about 5 bites I gave the remaining portion over to Jason. I ate my whole steak though....and a salad, biscuit, baked potato...and had no room for dessert. We went to the mall afterwards to try to spend a Scheels gift card, but we only ended up buying hand soap from Bath and Body. We stopped by Barnes and Noble and had a plan to each buy a book or a magazine, but left empty handed. It's so fun to be able to focus on each other for a few hours.
Elliot is home form school again today. They've been having fun sliding across the floor in their (mis-matched) socks and playing Legos. Elliot's been trying to talk me into the idea of letting him have his "new room" in our coat closet in the living room.

Trae is his siblings worst enemy now....he learned how to tattle! Not such a fun thing for me, what will I do with 3 tattlers? This morning I let the kids each have a snack pack bag of Cheetos that Grandma bought when she was here. Trae came running into my room where I was nursing and talking with Archer.

Trae: Mama...Elliot....eat...Twae....cheetos!
Then, later on, he came running out of their room crying...

Trae: (pinching the top of his hand) Mama...Elliot...pinch...OUCH!!

And Elliot did pinch. I am trying to teach him that if he has a problem, he needs to come to me instead of taking the punishment into his own hands and spanking or pinching.

Tomorrow my Dad might take the older kids tubing, and the plan is to sort through all the kids clothes and re-organize their rooms.
**I just overheard Elliot say "Broooookelyyyyynnnnn....stop talkin' ta me cuz then my thing breaaaaaaks." Oh please.


No school today...too cold.

The kids have been playing War all morning. You know, the card game....? Well, Elliot goes through the cards and takes all the high cards and gives the rest to Brookelyn. I tried explaining cheating to him, and he said "But Mom, it's my game...." Finally, I intervened and shuffled the cards. Brookelyn started winning, and Elliot started freaking out because she was taking all his cards. I tried explaining again, that when he was winning he took all her cards and thats how the game is played and on and on and on...until one of the two gets mad enough and quits.

Archer has been much better today. He played happily in his saucer for awhile, but then got huffy about it. I tried to hold off a little, but that just made him go into one, big time. When I bent to pluck him out, I realized that the poor kids air was thick with the smell of whatever was in his brothers diaper. Let me just add whatever was in there was bad...even Trae couldn't stand it and said "UCK!!UCK!!" as I changed him. Maybe that wasn't the issue after all. As soon as I picked him up, he puked all down my sleeve. Oh how I hate wet sleeves, namely puked soaked wet sleeves.

It's going to be okay though, because I have a date later with a man who produces gorgeous children. I'm going to charm the pants off him (no pun intended here) with a lobster dinner.

Then we're heading to Menards to pick us some home improvement supplies and to Walmart for some toiletries, and back home to tuck our gorgeous children in bed. It's going to be good. It's going to be really good.


I give up

Do you think it's rude to sit on someone else's bike with no underwear on? I do, but my son begs to differ...seriously, I have no idea why he's even walking around without underwear on. sigh. I am going insane today. Archer isn't feeling well and screams when he's not asleep. When I tried to sleep while he slept, he wouldn't sleep. As soon as I gave up and got up, he screamed for 20 minutes because he was over tired, until he finally fell asleep. Elliot had early release. For the life of me I can't figure out why Elliot and Brookelyn even play with each other because all they do is argue and bicker and tattle, my goodness do they tattle. Trae is being so super sweet and cute and loving. He is an angel.

I didn't even get coffee today. boohoo.


Trae fell downstairs and bumped his head on the trim, which is the main reason why I don't let them play down there. Their father on the other hand...
I have had it up to my eyeballs with Elliot not putting his socks on. The other day, Jason took him snowboarding only to discover once they got on the hill that he didn't have socks.(I was gone, or I'd have double checked that because its an increasing problem) This morning, I set out his clothes for school...pants/shirt/socks. He got all dressed and bundled into his snow pants and coat because it.is.cold. I kissed him goodbye, and asked him not to play in the snow, because it's really cold and he'd just get colder. I found a pair of socks laying on the floor right where I had set his clothes out, so I went to the window to ask him if he had any on. He was sitting in the snowbank! Ugh! I opened the window and told him to get out of the snow and then asked if he was wearing socks.
Elliot: No, you didn't find me any.
Me: Yes, I did. They are in here on the floor, now come to the garage and get them on your feet.
Elliot: Well...but...but...well.
I get so frustrated with this. I put everything in a neat little pile for him and he puts his shirt on and dances around in his underwear, plays a game of cards, does Legos....I redirect him and he'll do his pants, eat something, read his book, horse around. I am so tired of re-directing him 30 times just to get him dressed, not to mention brushing teeth, getting snow pants/coat/hat/gloves/boots on, getting his backpack together. I guess you get the drift. I am so frustrated with it, and it makes me angry that when he doesn't listen, he always blames someone else. Mom didn't find socks, Brookelyn made him do such and such, Trae's bothering him. I have noticed the last few weeks, Elliot's been wanting to stay home from school more and more, so I'm trying to find out without coming right out and asking if something is going on at school. Last time we had issues with the kid teasing him on the bus Elliot blamed everything on that, so I don't want him to get the idea that it's okay to blame someone else when you misbehave, but if he's being bullied, of course I'd want to put an end to that too. It's so hard to know what to do and how to go about it, and the next time he kicks his sister, I don't want to hear "Well that's because Braiden broke my snowman at recess." I keep reminding him that he has to own up to things that he made the choice about and I'm at a dead end with it. I cannot get the point across, so if you have suggestions please share.
I had to take Archer in to the chiro yesterday. We are down to monthly appointments, and we are not using the Zantac hardly at all. Elliot hurt his neck snowboarding the other day, so I took him in as well. I didn't have back/neck problems until I started to snowboard, so I'm leery to let my kids go, but my husband gets frustrated with my over protectiveness, and then I get frustrated when he comes home and tells me he hurt his neck and had no socks on at the hill. He complained for 2 1/2 days about it hurting, but the chiro said his neck was kinked off to one side and he adjusted well, so we'll see if we have anymore issues.
We have plans to go visit Nate, Marsha, & the girls in GA in a few weeks. We are planning to drive through the night so hopefully the kids will sleep as much as possible. Archer is getting better in the car, but after about 1/2 an hour or so gets restless. If you have suggestions on where to go/what to do while we're down there, please share. We have plans to visit Jeremy, of course, and we are going to a beach for sure, but the rest is pretty open. (we will be gone 10 days) My biggest dilemma is packing for 6 people, and then getting it all to fit in the van.
Maybe I can bring my class materials and get some assignments done for my online class. It is much harder than I thought to do a course when you have 4 kids constantly needed something. Archer has been sleeping poorly the last few nights...his nose is stuffy and he wants to nurse all.night.long.

I am getting frustrated with myself because I'm not making time to exercises, and I really feel better when I do. I have continued to lose weight, as I have a hard time finding time to eat before 2 pm, (don't worry, my kids eat) but I just have a really hard time getting a workout in. I'd love to find a used elliptical machine for at home here so I wouldn't have to go to my Mom's to use one. My stomach has been acting up, and I've narrowed it down to an ulcer or, well, and ulcer. I have been stressing the little things lately, (and some big things) and it keeps me up at night nauseous and with stomach pains. I need to look in to something to fix this, as I am not doing so hot on very little sleep and feeling sick all the time. Besides that, I worry it's something serious.

Oh, and one last little tidbit of info...I fell down the stars at my parents house on Friday and bruised my knee big time, and my forearm somehow. I am dealing with wanting to throw up every time I look at the bruises (bruises really get my gag reflex) and I'm constantly bumping into things with them. It's so gross. Anyway...

I suppose I'll end this disjointed post and get to cleaning my bedroom, as it really needs it.

Happy Birthday Honey!

A big birthday wish goes out to my husband today...he is 30! In honor of that, I bring you 30 things I love about him.

1. His smile.

2. The way he shovels a path to both sides of the van when it snows in case I have to go somewhere with the kids.

3. When he plays Lego's with the boys.

4. The way he picks on Brookelyn...he always knows how to get a giggle out of her.

5. His eyes, except when they're crossed.

6. His ability to do pretty much anything around the house.

7. That he throws wash in every now and again.

8. That he believes in me.

9. That he finds me funny, even when other people don't.

10. His butt.;0)

11. His sense of humor.

12. His insane hat collection.

13. That he loves to take Elliot snowboarding.

14. To hear him teach the kids new things.

15. His patience.

16. His mad skills when it comes to finding places.

17. That he can always picture where I'm at and get me to where I need to go when I'm lost.

18. That he brings me coffee on Sunday mornings.

19. He doesn't mind that I talk a lot.

20. He'll watch ANTM with me online.

21. How he thinks Brookelyn is the cutest little girl ever.

22. His fascination with my toe spreading abilities.

23. How on Sunday, he kept gushing about how cute Archer's outfit was.

24. That he talks baby talk to babies.

25. He wanted a big family, and didn't make me stop after 1 boy and 1 girl.

26. He listens to my insane rants without a word.

27. That he likes women with curves, as I fit right into that category.

28. He finds me hot, despite that I've carried 4 babies and don't always feel hot.

29. He guesses me to weigh 40 pounds lighter than I actually am.

30. He makes me smile.

Hope your day is great, Happy 30th Birthday!

~ Love,

Amber, Elliot, Brookelyn, Trae, & Archer xoxoxoxoxo

* I got him a camera, and we're going out Thursday to Red Lobster to celebrate.


Our freshly painted space.

Before and After....we still have some decorating to do, but I really love the new color. Anyone have an opinion on whether my living room rug still matches or not?

What other people think of you is none of your business.

A very important thing for me to remember. You see, I care. A lot. To the point of obsessing over it. Then I calm down and go about my busy life, but once things slow down and the thought process invades my mind once again, I start this ring of rationalizing and thinking how I was perceived, and what I could have re-worded to sound better, smarter, kinder.

"People are like fun house mirrors, they reflect a distorted image back at you. Sometimes they are flattering, other times they are not. But ultimately, their observations have more to do with their own insecurities than you. We all tend to take other peoples perceptions of us way too seriously. There are always going to be people who think you could be dating a different guy, dressing better, or following a different career path. Maybe their right, maybe their wrong. Who cares? This month, decide that while you'll listen to what others have to say, you'll focus on what you want. That is, after all, what's most important."
~ An excerpt form Shape magazine written by Jared Matthew Weiss, a life stylist.
I read that this month and there was a click, and I thought, yeah, that's what I can do to stop this madness. But then, can I really undo a lifetime of this thought process in a month. I realized it will take a new way of thinking and lots of discipline to fix this obsession with what other people think of me, but one that has to be done. After all, I have 4 children who at one point or another, despite my best efforts to keep it in when their around, will be exposed to these insecurities. My favorite place to talk with my husband is in our packed full of kids mini-van. Honestly....it the only place my kids are all tucked securely into their car seats, not allowing them to dart somewhere that I have to run off to to keep them out of mischief, thus losing my train of thought every nano second. Of course there are interruptions to tattle and requests for the book on tape to be changed or turned up, but I can sit in one spot and unleash my emotions to a listening ear and get it all out. Every now and again, one of the kids will say, "why are you mad at so-and-so mom? And I downplay it best I can and usually just say they made me sad. Because it does make me sad when people say things insinuating I'm a certain type of person when they've gotten the wrong impression and then I wonder what gave them that impression, or think maybe I am that person they think I am.
I think like most mom's, my biggest area of insecurity is my parenting. What if I'm doing it all wrong? If I dress my kids.... shirt, pants, underwear, socks, shoes, hat, gloves, coat, scarf.... and before we get to where we're going on of those items disappears into thin air off any one of my 4 kids, I worry people will think we don't have those items or we didn't have those items clean and were fine for our kids to go without. If they get dirty before we arrive, or once we arrive I notice a stain that I hadn't noticed before we left again I worry that people will think we don't do laundry around here (we do A LOT of laundry, and for the record never start out with dirty clothes on the kids) or that all we can afford is stained clothing, rather than whet they probably think...kids don't stay clean no matter how anal their mom is about it. My husband thinks I'm insane when I get like this. Like, who cares if the baby's in a blue outfit and has a green pacifier? People aren't going to care for one thing, but do you really think they'll know we had a blue one and still grabbed the green one? Again, most people don't care if their kids nuk matches, so they sure aren't going to care if my kids nuk matches.
If you want to kick me where it counts, suggest...insinuate...hint at....verbalize...shout out, your observation of my bad parenting skills. Nothing scares me more than to be perceived as the bad mom. Nothing makes me worry more than that my kids will think I was a bad mom all those years from now when they tell their spouses about their childhood. Nothing makes me cry harder or longer than when people say things to suggest I'm intentionally doing something that's just convenient for me and not the best for my kids. No matter what notion you have in your head about my intentions on anything pertaining to my kids, I have the best interest of my kids at the forefront of my head all the time. No matter what you think. I would sacrifice for any of them in an instant. I love them more than life itself, and I would never do anything or not do anything knowing it was better for me, but not for them. I do what I think is best for my kids all the time barring nothing no matter what. I'm not saying I don't make mistakes or that I don't look back sometimes and think I should have done something different, but I intend to do what's best fro them all the time.
So the question of the day is if I know I am doing what I think is best for my kids no matter what, then why do I care if you get the wrong impression? That's just how I'm wired, that's why. I can blog about my family life and if I leave one detail out, or assume people remember certain things just because I've blogged about them before, and don't mention it again, then they can get the wrong idea about why I do certain things the way I do them, but it rally doesn't matter because I know I did what needed to be done to keep them safe and who really cares if so-and-so didn't get that? My closest friends and family will know the circumstances and they know me and my intensity when it comes to my kids and they get it. I love them, I do the best I can for them, I would never do anything intentional to hurt them or scar them, end of story.
(I realized what a run-on this sentence is when I proof read, but I left it to give you an idea of how the thoughts flow through my brain. Never really a period at the end of the sentence, it goes on and on and on.)
So then we go from the topic of my parenting skills and on to my wardrobe. Or my zit. Or then fact that this Sunday, I wore a brown skirt that matched my tank top, with a black shirt that matched my tights. They really didn't match each other, but I was tearing around trying to make my kids cute and didn't have time to do my normal 8 outfit rotation. All day I commented to people, "just so you know...I know that this doesn't really go, but I was in a hurry and couldn't get my whole outfit to work. Surprisingly, I went with this, it's so not like me do do things like this..." and on and on making excuses for an outfit that I got a lot of compliments on and people would say they thought it looked really nice, they hadn't noticed the absurdness of the outfit at all. I even had someone say I looked really pretty that day, they couldn't figure out what it was. I'm hard wired this way, and doubt the obsessing over what I wear will ever go away. But maybe the rationalizing it to other people and apologizing for my bad outfit could. There are lots of things I would never wear, but I don't fault other people for wearing them, so why should I care what you think of my outfit? I shouldn't, but I do. I worry about what everything thinks about every detail of my life, I'm not even exaggerating a little.
And I care what you think if my kids misbehave, and if you'll judge me if I admit to needing time away from them, and what you think of my house, my work, my blog. Additionally, I care about what you think about me breastfeeding in public, until what age, how long before my child is potty trained, how well they read, if they sometimes don't brush their teeth before bed, if they color all over their body time and time again. The list is endless.
So then someone makes a comment that insinuates something that wasn't the case, and I lose sleep thinking everyone got the wrong impression. What if? Will the world end if I made the "mistake" someone thinks I could have, although they weren't there so how could they possibly know?
It never rolls off my back, it always nestles itself into my heart, right where my insecurities lie, and no matter how much I say I don't care what SHE thinks anyway, I still can't shake the shame? Why am I ashamed about things that never actually happened, someone just nonchalantly slipped it in where everyone could hear that I may have done this that could have done that to my kids. If I know I did the best I could and everyone came out fine, then why do I care so much about the impression you got?
I especially love the part of the quote that says that other peoples observations have more to do with their insecurities than us. Because Jason tells me that. He says they just feel better about themselves when they make other people look bad. Or they don't know who I really am, and why do I care what they think? And that the people who know me, know me. They know my intention, regardless that someone got it all wrong.
Also, I loved that it says we tend to take other peoples perceptions of us way too seriously. First off, I love that word perception, because it's what people think they see, not necessarily what's actually there. But if he is writing this in a magazine that thousands of women read, it means I'm not alone in my insecurity.
So here starts the path of forgiving myself when others make a wrong diagnoses. Here's to not taking their perception and punishing myself as if that's how it went down, when I know better. Here's the time in my life when I stop wasting energy on worrying over other peoples opinions on my life and instead wrestle with my family on our living room carpet, because that's best for all of us.



Brookelyn~ 75% all around.
Brookelyn is growing well, but has to get into the eye doctor to see about glasses. Last year we took her and the eye doctor said he vision was fine, so we'll see. She had to get 4 shots, and she cried a little but did great overall.

Trae~ 75% height
82% weight/head circ.
Trae is growing well and ahead of his age group for speech, which isn't surprising given his older siblings. Dr says we can start potty training anytime he's interested, but most boys train between 3-3 1/2 years.

Archer~ 75% all around.
Archer is growing great. We can start cereal and food anytime, but doctor recommends waiting until 6 months. Had had 4 immunizations as well, which grandma held him down for because Mommy was hiding out in the hall.


Happy Birthday Baby...

Trae blowing out his candles...the other 30 that belonged to his Dad were put out with our fire extinguisher. Apparently baby spit ruins the effect of trick candles. To hear Trae tell you how old he is click here.
We got a cake from Sam's and all our teeth were stained whatever color our cupcake happened to be. Trae's face was stained.

Oh! A John Deere!
Oh! Tra-ter!
Oh! Gum!
Oh! Gum! (this is what he did when we asked what his favorite present was)
Here he said "Dollar! Oh! Money!"
Another John Deere...a great book for meeting.
And one last gift..."Cyco!"
Concentrating....with his tongue out Baseman style.
We are putting his birthday money towards a playhouse...I'm super excited about that!
Happy 2nd Birthday, big boy!
*notice a pattern with the "Oh"....he does this each time something excites him.
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