Monday, August 24, 2009

Super Mom!

Not! :)

I am a bit proud of myself today. Ben is still in the middle of the August rush (my friend last night lovingly called me a Residence Life Widow!), so we are spending much of our days being - just being. Today, though, I had the kids dressed and ready to go (along with myself) by 9am. I had a date, you see. A date with the track. So, while I walked circles pushing Pillbug in the stroller, Treefrog and Fish played in the grass. It felt so good to be out. Even though my time ended when Treefrog decided to hit Fish in the head with a large rock, it was good to go. The boys had fun and I'm pretty sure Fish will sleep well this afternoon.

When I got back from the walk, I even managed to get a shower. Pillbug spent some time in the swing and the boys started outside and then moved inside to watch The Lion King. Oh the joys of juggling three children and trying to get some self-care in! I do feel so blessed by these little ones. I'm glad they are a part of my life:)

Well, Pillbug is screaming so my blogging time has come to an end. If you would like to join me tomorrow, I'll be at the track at 9am!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Not Sure

I don't know if I'm back or not. My days are filled to the brim right now with this new little one who I have lovingly dubbed Pillbug for the blog-o-sphere. Pillbug turned our world upside down on June 1, a mere 34 minutes past her big brother Fish's birthday (and, incidentally, my friend J's birthday!). Since that day I have been enamored with her ways. She has a personality all her own that is really nothing like her older brothers'. Treefrog and Fish love having a baby to call their sister. And, I'm pretty sure Ben has completely lost his heart to her. My family is so sweet. I am utterly blessed by these beings in my life.

Today ended hard (my "day" is over when Ben gets home - then it is evening), so Ben escaped with the kids for a while to give me some quiet just before deciding that we needed a night out for dinner. So, in a few short minutes, I'll put away my computer and grab all the gear that we need to tote a baby girl around and we'll go somewhere that I will not have to cook the food or clean the dishes. And I will feel blessed even more to have that choice.

Tomorrow I will wake up and the laundry will still be here (oh, the cloth diapers!), the kids will still be at very different stages of needs, and Ben will still need to go to work for the day, but I will be refreshed. These few minutes of quiet (especially when paired with a dinner out!) are so rejuvenating these days. Maybe when this feeling of being refreshed isn't so illusive, I'll promise to post more often:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The other day, Ben, Fish, Treefrog and I were outside enjoying the sunshine. Treefrog was doing his own thing digging in the dirt and Fish was clinging to my "bap" (a.k.a. lap) which I have come to believe is his way of dealing with the impending transition to three children in our house. Somehow we started talking about the baby. He leaned over my bulging belly, patted it, and said, "Baby?" I said yes and so he decided to investigate further.

My shirt was lifted to reveal the entirety of my belly and Fish began talking to the baby. I asked him to tell her to come out and so he did. Then, upon finding my belly button, he proceeded to give the baby raspberries. As I sat there laughing, it drew the attention of my faithful hubby and Treefrog. Fish wasted no time in inviting them along for a few raspberries of their own and the rest was history. I was laughing so hard as my belly received raspberry after raspberry. Every boy on and around my lap was also enjoying a good laugh and from the movement going on inside, our little girl was having a blast as well:)

We are hoping for a delivery soon. The sooner the better so we can introduce her to the beautiful Oregon sunshine and a few raspberries of her own!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Avoiding Posting

I was talking late one night recently with my friend J. Well, it was 8:30 - that's still pretty late for us pregos! I was sitting amongst a pile of clothing, folding, sorting and the like and we were laughing. Laughing at the fact that this last pregnancy for both of us has hit hard . . . She is homebound, trying to keep her sanity and her health in tact, and I am done not being the Mama I want to be. We laughed at what this has done to our attitudes (namely we have both become grumble-monsters) and we shared the small spots where we have been finding inspiration. J has been faithful at posting on her blog about the good things each day: yummy foods she has concocted, fun times with her three kiddos out of utero, the good things about her changing body, etc. I, on the other hand, have found solace in reading other's perspectives of the good (J's, Outnumbered, and especially the ever-inspiring SouleMama). The phone call was relatively short for us (we've been known to talk MUCH longer), but it filled a spot that I didn't realize was needed.

I love having this pregnancy be shared with someone else. We are a mere two weeks apart (Lucky Duck J is two weeks ahead of me!!). Way back August, I can remember standing in J's business and laughing at how fun it would be to be pregnant together. Then it happened:) Though is has been a rough pregnancy for both of us and maybe not as blissful of a thing to share as we thought, the other night's phone call so reminded me of that happiness of sharing in this together. Of feeling the other's morning sickness. Of knowing just why she reacted to her hubby like that (cause I did earlier in the day as well). And of understanding that while this isn't the best moment in parenting for either of us, it is still a moment from which we can find encouragement.

So, while J continues to post regularly about the good things in her life, I will probably continue to post irregularly. I will however, remain a faithful reader of those who bring me inspiration to hang on to the good of each day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TV Has Become My Life

Wow - 32 weeks and counting. My back is much better. One Wednesday I woke up and baby had moved, so no more back pain! About a week or so later I went into early labor and and had quite a few hard contractions. We had two appointments in a week and I ended up sleeping every chance I got for the remainder of the week. Contractions lasted through this weekend (though not as hard as the ones on Tuesday). I have found myself staying at home a lot and in front of the television.

This is a pretty big switch from our normal life. Ben and I normally play games in the evenings or read together on the couch. The TV was only used as the free babysitter it should be used as:) I'm trying to give myself the freedom to embrace this time - the exhaustion, the uncomfortable body, the lack of a brain, etc. But it is hard. I am not the Mama I want to be during pregnancy. I notice it so much more this time around since Treefrog is older and will tell me when he doesn't like what's happening. He is definitely seeking attention in crazy ways (pretending to be a baby, disobeying, intentionally hurting Fish). I know many of these actions are normal 3/4 year old behavior, but it is also a reflection of how little energy I have for playing in the afternoon, or mornings for that matter!

Each day I'm starting with a simple prayer, "Help me, Jesus." I know that this is just a short season of our life and I know that God is so much bigger than my poor parenting during these nine months. Just yesterday Treefrog and I talked about how he is so lucky to have a papa here and one in Heaven who is with him all the time. He even decided to play a game with Jesus for while:) I know he is being taken care of, that he recognizes that God is with him, I just wish we could fast forward through this pregnancy to having the baby and trying to get back to "normal," whatever that will look like with three kids!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tired Eyes

Sleep isn't coming easily these days. My back has been really hurting and I finally picked up that virus that my boys have both been fighting for two (three?) weeks now. I succumbed to Unisom last night, but still had interrupted sleep as my throat dries out considerably throughout the night. Each day I try to encourage myself that I am one day closer to being done with this cold and my night's sleep should be better:)

Tonight should be a fun night, however. Ben and I won tickets through a raffle at the college where he works and so he and I are heading in to Portland to see a Trailblazers game. This is my first NBA game ever, so I'm pretty excited. Plus, a little trip to VooDoo Donuts will be in order for after the game! Trans fats here we come!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Butt Naked

Today was a rather trying day. Treefrog is finally feeling better (thanks to a 3 hour trip to the doctor's including a nebulizer, a steroid shot, a lung x-ray, and an at home albuterol inhaler). Also, with all the rain here in the Pacific Northwest, he has felt rather cooped up. Today was our first sunny day in quite sometime. Or at least I think it was the first sunny day . . . I guess I just can't be sure since I went 72 hours last week without leaving the house. Anywho, back to Treefrog. So my cabin-fevered little boy was very blessed today by the sunshine. When Fish went up to their room for his afternoon nap, Treefrog decided to go outside to play. He was in our backyard for about a half hour, maybe forty-five minutes. I heard the pitter-patter of his feet hurrying inside and looked around from my blog-viewing to see a very naked, dirty little boy.

Me: "Treefrog! Where are your clothes?"
Treefrog: "Ummmm, weeeeeelll. They're outside."

M: Why are they outside?
T: Because they are wet.

M: Why are they wet?
T: Because there is some water in the wheel barrel and I played in it.

He then proceeded to give me the sweetest and most exceedingly innocent smile I think I have ever seen him give. So, we washed him up and he spent the rest of the afternoon running around inside in his undies.


Another fun scene from life with Treefrog:

Yesterday was a dessert day for our family and through a series of events, Treefrog had lost the choice for dessert. After dinner, Ben was enjoying his strawberry shortcake and Treefrog sidled up to him.

Treefrog: "Papa, can I have a bite?"
Ben: "No, buddy, you lost your choice of dessert tonight."

T: Well, what if I pretend like it isn't dessert? Can I have a bite then?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bacon Grease

Last night was a night to remember.

Ben had group interviews with college students from 5:30 - 9:30, so I was solo-parenting it. Treefrog had been feeling rather yucky during the afternoon and at about 6:30 I noticed that he was fevered. 101.8 meant a dose of Ibuprophen. He likes taking medicine (especially since it is a rarity with him) and downed it in a flash saying, "Mmmm. That's good." While I was administering the medicine, Fish opened our childproofed frig (no longer duct taped, but an actual "child-lock" that he figured out within 2 minutes of installing), pulled out our grape juice (and our cup of congealed bacon grease which becomes important later in the evening), took the lid off the juice, and proceeded to attempt to take a drink from the container. The result? Juice all over the kitchen floor. At that point was when I turned to the best babysitter known: Veggie Tales.

After cleaning up the juice I decided to go ahead and throw both boys in the tub to help with Treefrog's fever, to keep them occupied, and to get them clean - three birds with one stone, go me!!! Fish was a wild-child in the tub and was soon bathed and out (so much for keeping him occupied/contained) since water was ending up all over the floor. I dried him, clothed him, and reinforced the child-locked frig (yes, duct tape was involved again) and turned my attention to Treefrog to get him bathed and out of the tub. 2 minutes people. That's tops of how long I was in the bathroom with Treefrog and without Fish. May I repeat: TWO MINUTES.

Treefrog and I walked out of the bathroom to Fish who had gotten the bacon grease cup off the counter (where I had stupidly put it instead of locking it into the frig). Apparently, he felt like the cup would make a pretty good shoe. And who wouldn't, really? So, my lovely fish had a foot all bacon greased up and had walked throughout the kitchen and dining rooms and into the carpeted hallway. Do you like the smell of cooked pig? Cause I'm pretty sure my house will now permanently smell like so.

Oh, wait, folks! That's not all. Both boys went to bed around 7:30. Ben got home at 10:00, and by 10:30, Treefrog was back up and feeling rather warm. A mere 104.2 temperature greeted us. A call to the advice nurse determined that we should monitor the temperature throughout the night and flip back and forth from Tylenol to Ibuprophen. So, my committed hubby slept on the pull out couch with our sick guy, checked his temp every two hours, and administered the meds. It was a bit of a flashback to our first days with Treefrog as he had a heart condition at birth that required around-the-clock meds for two years.

So, all in all, I'm trying to find the positive things in this:
1) Ben - amazing, loving husband who sacrifices so much for us!!
2) My wood floor is now more conditioned than any other product could have made it.
2a) Sliding around on the slippy floors with socks, oh yeah.
3) Spending time one-on-one with Fish as Treefrog sleeps away in our bed.
4) Sweet, sweet Treefrog snuggled down, wanting some hugs, a little juice, sleep, and nothing more.
5) It's a rainy spring day here in the Pacific Northwest, so at least we aren't inside on one of our rare sunny days.

My plan is to cling to these positives throughout the day (and the next two) as Ben leaves each morning, only to return around 5pm or so. Jesus, you are strong in our weakness!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sick Day; Plus: A Hippie Update!

Yesterday, I woke up feeling awful. Two nights in a row of little sleep (thank you, pregnant body for making it sooooo comfortable to sleep) plus caring for a sick Fish meant a Mama who was ready for a day off. Alas, that was not to be. So, I plugged through the day. It was definitely not my shining moment in parenthood. Poor Treefrog was constantly being told to go outside and play (granted, it was a gorgeous day and he should have been outside anyway!), and Fish was also feeling neglected as I was not in the mood to hold him as much as he wanted. Sick Fish = Clingy Fish = Cranky Mama.

Today is Ben's day to feel yucky. Treefrog was up four times last night (Ben took the first two shifts and I took the last two shifts). He slept in until 8, but that meant that Fish was up at the same time. Ben likes to start the mornings a little slower than Fish does, so he started out with a strike against him. Both boys are feeling pretty good today, so that meant a lot of energy being displayed right off the bat (strike number two). And the final strike? Me springing wanting to go to story time at our local coffee shop. Ben obliged, but the crankiness continues. To hopefully combat his mood, he is now at the seminary he attends "working." I assume he will work, but will also take some time for himself - which is not only needed, but warranted as well!!!

Hippie Update:
In my continued spurt of finding my inner-hippie, I have decided to go "no-poo" due to the fact that my hair is drying out from this hormonal pregnancy. Also, I just finished making my own facial cleanser. The jury is still out on the no-poo and facial cleanser, but I just got out of the shower having used a baking soda wash and vinegar rinse on my hair and homemade facial cleanser, and then applied my homemade deodorant and I have never felt more hippie-ish in my life. Here's to a squeaky clean hippie (is that possible?!)!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sometimes My Inner-Hippie Comes Out

I guess it is confession time. I have had an inner desire since my college days to be a full-fledged hippie. On several occasions I have researched/desired putting my hair into dreadlocks. I would love to repurpose my clothing instead of buying new. I have gone without shampooing my hair for six weeks (when I hiked in Wyoming with the CCO). I currently am in a bread co-op where all of the bread we consume is homemade and organic. I would love to feed myself and our children only raw cow's milk, raw cheese, and allow that nothing processed by anyone other than me cross our lips.

All this leads me to my latest venture into discovering/achieving my hippie-dome: Deodorant making. For some time now I have been using Tom's of Maine deodorant (unscented if anyone cares). With this latest pregnancy I have noted a definite increase in the smell generated by my body. Night sweating and morning inability to control my body temperature has made good ol' Tom's ineffective for my hormonal body. Thus, I tried my hand at making my own deodorant the other day. Here is my report: For three full days now (including my episodes of nighttime and morning-time sweats) I have been stink-free. This amazing recipe has solved all of my problems!! I have even talked Ben and two other friends into taking the plunge into the homemade deodorant realm:)

Now, if I could just convince my hair to dread, buy a new sewing machine that actually works, and throw out all my processed food I could finally achieve my goal of becoming a hippie. Sigh, someday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Question Monster

So Treefrog has reached that age. The age everyone goes through and then promptly tries to forget. The age of questioning. It started off innocently enough. Heck, we even encouraged the little buggar to continue asking. Now, however, we realize we created a monster.

Exhibit A: Family Movie Night; watching Madagascar

Treefrog - Papa, where's the lion?

Papa - I think he went to sleep, buddy.

T - Papa, is the lion gonna eat the zebra?

P - I don't think so, buddy. They are friends.

T - Oh. Well, I think he may eat him. What is that?

P - A lemur.

T - What sound does he make?

P - I don't know.

T - Where's the hippo?

P - Just watch the movie!

Exibit B: Just before bedtime

Treefrog - Mama, the baby in your belly can't hear me.

Mama - Yes, honey, she can.

T - Is the baby going to sleep now too?

M - Well, eventually she will. She just sleeps whenever she wants to.

T - Does the baby have a bed in there?

M - No, God made it snuggly inside Mama so the baby is always nice and comfy.

T - Can the baby hear me?

M (finally catching on that this will never end) - Go to bed, Treefrog!

Lather, rinse, and repeat many times throughout a day. His questions usually revolve around two subjects - animals (mainly what sounds they make) and the new baby (usually whether or not she can hear us). It is super cute for the first 15 minutes in the mornings. Then I want to pull my hair out:)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Oh my!

This was my morning, however. No, we did not go to the zoo. We simply walked upstairs, Treefrog, Fish, and I and entered the world of imagination. It was very fun to put on the dress up clothes we have for animals (nothing fits Mama, though, so I stayed dressed in my jeans and t-shirt), get down on all fours, and eat fish, beavers, zebras, and bears. Yes, apparently bears eat other bears in my son's animal kingdom.

By the time we came downstairs for snack, I was tuckered out. It doesn't take much these days:) The boys had peaches and peanut butter on bread while I looked longingly at the Dr. Pepper and Reese's Cups that Ben had surprised me with yesterday. There was no way I was sharing those treats, so I saved them until I could lock myself in the office and do some afternoon blogging.

I would say my priorities are just fine today: Play with kids, wait til their distracted, consume Dr. P and Reese's Cups. Yep, no worries there!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Warm Bread

This is my week for the mixer (it is shared between the members) and to make bread for the co-op that I belong to. Once per week we either make 6 loaves of bread or have 2 loaves of bread delivered to our doorstep. I have been a busy beaver with the mixer over the week. I started with a sampler loaf of the bread I wanted to make. Ben and I discussed it and made the changes that we thought were necessary, and then today came the actually baking. On other days, I made bagels (24 since I won't have the mixer again for three weeks) and pizza dough.

So, today the bread for the co-op looks great. It rose just like it should have, and it is currently baking away in my nicely warmed oven. I can't wait to slice into one of the loaves, slather it with Irish butter, and consume it savory bite by savory bite!

Oh, did I just make you hungry for some homemade bread?

There is plenty to share, so stop on by . . . you may just need to bring your own butter, though, because I use a lot;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cooking 101

Sunday was my surprise day. All week Ben had been sitting on this secret, telling me I'm not allowed to plan anything for Sunday, I wouldn't be going to church, Sunday is all about me, etc. I started to get a little nervous Saturday because he has never before successfully kept a secret from me (ask me how he proposed someday), and there have been times that he is extremely excited about a surprise and it turns out not to be something I am overly excited about. So, Saturday, to ease my concerns, he let the cat out of the bag - I was going to cooking school!!!!!!!

My excitement built as I drew closer and closer to Portland where the class was being held. Who would be in the class? How would I compare to the others? Would we start out in the kitchen right away? Oh my, how excited I was!

I arrived about 15 minutes early and was immediately directed to my classroom - I had managed to get there even before my chef/teacher. Soon enough, others started arriving and before I knew it, the class had begun. We started with a power point and lecture, learning some basics on sanitation, terminology, and such. Then, it was in to the kitchen to tackle our knife skills. We practiced everything on potatoes and onions (oh, the tears!!) and I really got a feel for how to properly handle the knife. Our chef also did several de-boning demonstrations on whole chickens. It was pretty neat stuff. I'll never again pay for a chicken breast when I can get the entire chicken for the same price!!!

This was such an amazing and thoughtful gift from the love of my life! I know I have already said it too many times, but thank you, Babe!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Surviving the Chaos

Well, hopefully that is what I'm doing. Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning in it.

We returned home from Christmas back east on Sunday and have been in recovery mode ever since. Our suitcases are still on the floor in various parts of the house. My pregnant body has still not fully recovered from two weeks in a foreign bed and eight hours in the air. My house was a little clean when we returned but now looks as though it vomited all over itself. The good? The boys are both sleeping through the night and seem to have adjusted back to our time zone (thank you Melatonin!!!). I don't have to cook lunch or dinner since we eat at the college's cafeteria. And, I can give the boys a loving shove out the back door when the house starts to close in on us (thank goodness there is not a train in our back yard!!!!).

So, at times I am feeling quite overwhelmed with all our stuff hanging around. However, there are quick moments now and again where I feel so blessed to be here. To be with my boys (oh yea, and this little girl I'm carrying around!), to drink in their energy and love and enjoy the moments we have together. I guess that is the only way one can survive the chaos!