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Tag: Kids & Parenting

Mother’s Day

I miss writing. These days I’m moving so fast there is rarely time to complete a single thought before I’m moving on to the next thing. Today was the first day since at least early March where I actually had nothing pressing on my to-do list and nowhere to be between church and an evening dinner. It also happened to be Mother’s Day.

My day started out with kids waking up at 6:00 a.m. Shortly after the first one was up, Caleb came sneaking into my bedroom and climbed up into bed where he snuggled up, melting completely into me. At four years old, he still feels like so much a part of me, like he did in the days just after he was born. We snuggled and slept together for a couple more hours until I woke to see the sunlight shining through the window perfectly outlining his profile. I couldn’t help but stare. He is simply beautiful.

Before long, it was time to get up. As we got ready for church, I spent some time braiding my daughter’s hair. We don’t spend a lot of time together these days, but I do love doing simple things, like braiding her hair into a crown that makes her feel like a princess. Someday, I hope that she will remember those moments, and not the mother who is always so busy.

Evie said her stomach was hurting and ended up going to church with us instead of the children’s program she normally attends during that time. She spent all of church snuggled up in my arms. Maybe she really didn’t feel well. Maybe she just needed some time with mom. Miraculously though, she felt just fine after church. I didn’t mind either way.

I got lots of hugs from Zach today. He is growing up so much, and even though he doesn’t say it, he shows that he still needs mom from time to time. And, he can tell when I need a little extra love too. Every time he walked past me today he stopped and said “I need a hug!” and wouldn’t let me off the hook until I gave him one.

To top off my morning full of snuggles, I even fit in a nice rainy afternoon nap. Gotta take a little time for myself on Mother’s Day, right? I can’t even remember the last time I got to do that. No kids, no interruptions (besides the loud claps of thunder and the occasional screaming kid), just me, my bed, and the sound of the rain falling down. It was rather glorious.

We ended the evening with a family dinner at my mom’s house with my brother, sister, their families. All in all, it was a pretty great day.

My favorite thing about today though, was spending just a few extra minutes with each one of my kids.  I love how they each found their own way to get that little bit of extra time with me. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and miss out on those little opportunities. My kids are amazing, each in their own unique way. They are changing and growing up so fast. I’m so glad that I finally had a chance to slow down a little today and appreciate them for exactly who they are right now.

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Welcome, 2013!

My snow bunnies!

So it is a brand new year. 2012 was wonderful in many ways, but also, one of the most difficult of my life. Caleb joined our family early in the year and threw a bit of a wrench into our routines (and our bank account). I pretty much feel like I’ve been running non-stop since February. We all adore him, it has just been…busy.

2013 will bring a lot of changes to our household. For starters, my full-time job will become part-time next month. It is scary, as my pay will also decrease accordingly, but I’m also looking forward to being home with the kids more. I plan to focus more on my photography and work on building up my portrait business. If I can’t make it work in the next few months, I’ll be seeking a new full-time job, but I really want to give it a shot and see where I can get. In the meantime, if anyone has any odd jobs they need done (that they want to pay me for), let me know!

Fortunately, Hubby’s job is still in tact and going well. He’s busier than he would like to be, but the overtime pay will help us out a little. Our church band, that he has been playing in for the last 3 years or so, pretty much dissolved over the last few months, so he has some free time anyway. If anyone needs a bass guitar player, he’s looking for someone to play with.

Zach was tested for and accepted into his school district’s gifted enrichment program last semester. He gets to start the program next week and is super excited about it. He’ll be sent to another building one day a week and will get to participate in some really fun learning activities there. I am just praying that the extra challenge will excite him and not frustrate him. They also roped me into signing up for the school’s PTSA, so I now have another obligation to fulfill.

Evie is loving preschool and can not wait to start Kindergarten next year. She has been a big challenge parenting-wise this last year and I’m really hoping that she will benefit from being home in the afternoons when my job goes part-time. She’ll be going to preschool in the mornings and then will be home with me in the afternoons. Hopefully, having some quiet time with mom while Caleb naps will give her a bit of what she’s been missing. Being the middle child is hard. With a demanding baby brother always needing my attention, and a big brother who often needs help with homework, she tends to get left out.

Caleb is growing so fast and becoming more independent. He is a very determined child and wants to be free to roam all over the house. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work out so well when he wants to put every tiny thing he sees into his mouth. He is so very close to taking his first steps, and I’m hoping once he starts walking that all of the tiny pieces of fuzz on the carpet won’t be so enticing. While I am a little sad to see him growing up so fast, I’m also looking forward to being out of the baby stages. I really can’t wait for toddlerhood this time around. Assuming he will finally start sleeping through the night again, this next year with him is going to be so much fun.

I’m both excited and a little nervous about all the changes coming for our family. I’ve never really been one to make (or stick to) resolutions, but I do have a few goals for this year that I would like to see through. First, and foremost, I plan to get Caleb sleeping through the night again (preferably in his own bed). If I can make that happen, I feel like everything else will fall into place. It is amazing what a full night’s sleep can do for your motivation! I also want to start running again (which can happen once Caleb starts sleeping), and get my house cleaned out and in order (so. much. junk. taking. over.).

Besides the personal goals, I have some big-time goals with my photography business. I’m kind of at a place where I feel like it is now or never. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and really give it a go. If I fail, then it is time to move on.

Bring it, 2013!


Would you like some cheese with that?

This is my third re-write of this post because no matter how I put the words down, it just feels like I’m whining. I guess I kind of am, but I just have to get it out somewhere, you know?

I’m so tired, you guys. The baby isn’t sleeping well. The 4-year-old isn’t sleeping well. Certain other members of my household are constantly on edge. I wake up in the morning just as tired as I was when I went to bed the night before. I am pretty much walking around in a constant state of exhaustion.

I can’t get anything done at home because when I actually have a few minutes of free time? That’s when the baby wants to nurse or be held and I can’t deny him that. I get so little time with him as it is. The house is a mess. My checkbook is a mess. There is laundry everywhere that needs to be either folded or put away. I have to-do lists a mile long and yet I can’t seem to get anything crossed off.

On top of that, Caleb and I have both had a cold for the last couple weeks that just will not go away. I know that is contributing to my sluggish state, but I’m too stubborn (and cheap) to actually go to the doctor.

I have slipped back into my full-on Diet Coke addiction because if I’m not constantly pumping caffeine into my body I just can’t stay awake. I know it is horrible for me, but I don’t do coffee and when I drink tea I want to pump it full of sugar. I get enough sugar from my chocolate stash that I also use to keep myself awake. I can feel myself dragging and know this won’t fix it, but it is my go-to when there isn’t time to take care of my body the right way.

I keep telling myself that this time will pass. It will get better. When he’s older it will be easier. The first year with every baby has been hard. This one just happens to be the hardest, because I also have two other kids that depend on me. Everybody needs Mom – all at the same time – and there isn’t enough of me to go around.

Mostly, I just feel like I’m letting everybody down – including myself. I can’t be everything. I can’t do everything. I want to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect employee, the perfect photographer, the perfect everything, but right now I feel like I’m hitting the bottom of the scale in all areas.


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Today kind of feels like the first day of summer for our family. Summer school is finally done for Zach. Evie and Caleb are done with day care for a while. For the first time ever, my kids actually get to know what it feels like to have a summer off and get to stay home. The idea of putting all three kids in full time day care for the summer nearly gave me a heart attack, so my awesome sister agreed to keep the kids for the rest of the summer. My in-laws are coming up to cover about a week and a half while my sister has other obligations, so that only leaves about  a week at the end of the summer for us to figure out.

I’m not even sure when this became such a big deal to me. I mean, sure, it saves me some money in day care costs, but it isn’t just that. I’m genuinely excited that my kids get to be at home. They can sleep in, watch tv, play, and just enjoy being kids – all of the things I wish I could go back and do again. The only hard part is that I don’t get to be there to enjoy it with them. I find myself wishing, yet again, that I would have followed my own plan and continued to pursue becoming a school guidance counselor (I could never be a teacher!) so that I could have summers off too. I didn’t realize what I was giving up when I let my life change course.


I shouldn’t let myself do it, but I keep finding myself daydreaming about the things I could do with the kids if only I were home with them during the week. We can only cram so much into a weekend and I feel like they deserve so much more than I can give. Plus, splitting my time between 3 kids is way harder than splitting it between 2, especially when 1 of the 3 demands my attention the majority of the time. I feel like the older kids are really missing out right now and it just plain sucks.

In order to combat my feelings of inadequacy, we came up with a summer bucket list of sorts of all the fun family activities we want to do…that I now have to also cram into the already full weekends. Instead of taking the time to clean my house, do laundry, and grocery shop on the weekends, I’m taking time out to be with my kids and do something fun with them. I need it just as much as they do. So if you come to my house and can’t walk through the living room? I’m sorry. We’re going to be too busy applying sunscreen, playing in the water, going camping, picnicking, having water balloon fights, and hanging out at the lake to clean it up.

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Zach turns seven today and for some reason I am a mopey mess of emotions about it. My BABY is SEVEN! I’m blaming this crazy emotional state of mine on the residual hormone changes from birthing my last baby (who is already 4 months old!) and the fact that said baby is practically a little mini-me of Zach. The personalities are different, but my two boys look so very much alike that it is hard to look at Caleb and not think about sitting and holding Zach as an infant. Looking at the two of them just reinforces how quickly it all goes by. He may be turning seven today, but I’m pretty sure when I blink my eyes he’ll be 18 and moving away from home. Although, he has assured me that when he moves out he’ll just buy the house next to mine or maybe across the street so he can still come visit a lot. I suppose I can live with that.


Since his party isn’t until Saturday and Daddy won’t be home tonight, we decided to celebrate a little bit last night. We took him out for the dinner of his choice (which ended up being McDonald’s), had ice cream for dessert, and then let him open his birthday gifts from the family.



I’d say he is pretty happy with his gifts. He would have been even happier if I would have let him stay up all night and finish building his new Legos, but even 7-year-olds need their sleep.

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In A Blink

I keep finding myself thinking back to when Zach was a baby. Looking back now, it seems like life was so simple then. My world completely revolved around him. There were no other distractions. There was plenty of time to sit and cuddle and get totally lost in his sweet little baby face.

With Caleb being baby number three, I feel like I so rarely get that time to just sit and enjoy his babyness. I feel like I blinked my eyes and BOOM! He’s three months old already. He’s growing and changing so fast.


The mommy guilt? Oh man, is it ever setting in. While I’m trying to savor every minute I can with Caleb, I feel like I’m totally ignoring the other two kids. I see the behaviors coming out and the begging for attention. It is impossible with the limited time we have together at home to give everyone all of the attention they need. The hardest part is when I am feeding the baby and cannot help the other two with what they are needing in that moment. Not to mention the husband who has been feeling totally neglected since the baby arrived.

On top of trying to juggle the new baby while sticking as close as possible to our normal routine, I’m trying to get my little photography business rolling again. Just as it was gaining momentum I had to take a break (due to being massively pregnant)…that turned into about 6 months. Winter would have been slow anyway, but not taking on clients for 6 months was kind of a killer.  What that time did give me though, was a lot of time to think through what I am doing and make some changes. I’m now getting a bit of a do-over, or fresh start, and hope to make things better this time around. (Speaking of which, have you seen my gorgeous new logo?) This all takes time though, so I find myself having to choose between the business I want to grow, my family, and sleep. Guess which one loses out?


If you guessed sleep, you would be correct. Fortunately, once I do get to bed I can actually sleep. I just don’t get enough hours in. Caleb is still sleeping through the night, which is a true blessing. He usually snoozes off and on after about 8:00, zonks out completely around 10:00 or 11:00, and then sleeps solid until at least 6:00, sometimes later. Then he nurses and goes right back to sleep. I can deal with that. It does make it hard for me to get up though, because after that 6am nursing session I like to snuggle in bed with him instead of getting up and starting my day.

So, let’s get back to why I originally started this blog post and talk about how awesome my sweet baby Caleb is, shall we?


Caleb turned 3 months old on Saturday and celebrated this amazing feat by rolling over for the first time. He had been working on it for several days with no success. Saturday night he was a little restless so I put him down in the floor on a blanket and sat down to play with him for a bit. He kept trying to twist his body and finally, after several attempts, he made it all the way over from his back to his tummy. After I helped get his arm out from underneath him, he was quite proud of himself and had a huge smile on his face. I cheered and even clapped for him until I realized that I could no longer leave him on the bed by himself.


He has also discovered that he has hands and feet that he can control. He found his hands a while ago, but the feet are a pretty new discovery. Whenever he sits up in the Bumbo or another chair, he will stick his feet up in the air and stare as he wiggles them around.


Over the last couple of days he has also discovered that he has a thumb that moves independently from the rest of his hand. And that he can stick said thumb in his mouth and suck on it. He has taken a pacifier from day one, but suddenly he is spitting it out in favor of the thumb. I’ve never had a thumb sucker before and I’m not sure whether I want to try to stop it now or have to deal with breaking the habit later. He’s pretty intent on having it in his mouth right now. He has sucked that thumb so much today that the tip of it is bright red. I guess he had to throw something new at me though, seeing as he’s nearly perfect in every other way.

Yep, still at it! He likes the thumb.

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