This boy turned four today. Oh my heart. So thankful he made me a mama. Happy birthday, Oliver James.

This boy turned four today. Oh my heart. So thankful he made me a mama. Happy birthday, Oliver James.


lessons from my children: smile

having a baby back in my life has made me realize something.

babies make me smile.

alexander is at that sweet stage where with just a little bit of encouragement, he breaks out into an open-mouth, crinkly-eyed, one-dimpled, doubled-chin grin.  because that smile is so addictive, i find myself smiling at him all the time.  talking in the silly voice that mothers do, making goofy noises, and smiling until my face hurts just to see my boy happy.

it felt slightly unnatural at first. it took me a while to get back in this groove. and then i had a horrible and disturbing revelation.  

i don’t smile that much any more.  with my “big” kids i find myself frowning, glaring, and scowling a whole lot more than smiling.  it’s not to say that we don’t have fun.  we still have dance parties and tickle-fests and silly song serenades.  but some of the time, a lot of the time, i feel like i have to have that serious face on so that they know i am serious.  that they need to put their clothes on, or stop hitting each other, or pick up the toys they just dumped all over the floor.  my face, that also once tried to coax those beautiful smiles out of their chubby baby faces, has become more accustomed to a furrowed brow than upturned lips.

and this breaks my heart.  

so i am learning from alexander.  results are so wonderful when i allow the light and joy to shine from my eyes.  and if it works with him, i know it will work with all my children.  i know that i still need those serious moments, but my prayer is that the smile will be my first, natural reaction.  that it will no longer feel foreign. and maybe, just maybe they will continue to let the light and joy shine from their eyes, for years to come.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — 7 notes   ()




my first adventure of three kids in a public bathroom.

we had just sat down to eat cheap fast lunch at costco.  and of course, lucy said she needed to pee.  

"can you wait just a few minutes?"  the bathrooms are at the opposite end, and getting them in and out of the cart is a bit of an ordeal.

"yes."  thirty seconds later. "i need to poop."

okay.  baby’s strapped to my chest, i lift lucy into the cart, and oliver hangs on the outside.  i wrap up the uneaten hot dog and toss the cups of water.

old lady greets me as i’m getting lucy back out of the cart by having her climb on my back.

"my, you have your hands full." 

we’re in the big stall (thankfully) when oliver decided he needs to poop too.  i’m trying to hang up the diaper bag and both kids are fighting over the toilet with their pants down.  i place the paper cover down, lift lucy up while trying not to squash the baby.  she actually does have to pee.

i lift her down, place new paper cover (since the other one was wet and sliding into the toilet) and lift oliver up.  in the mean time lucy is having a hard time getting her shorts up so she sits on the nasty bathroom floor to do this.  *gag* i get her up, help her wash her hands.  oliver finishes, and can’t get his shorts up because he’s stepping on them and about to fall over.

"where are your underwear?" 

"at home.  i didn’t want them." he says. i kneel down to help him (again, so i don’t dump the baby out) and my knee lands in something wet.  i don’t ask.

in the mean time, lucy has discovered she can reach the paper towel dispenser, and has dispensed about twenty feet of paper towels.  

"look, everyone!" she shouts, "toilet paper for you!" over and over until we acknowledge her.

on the way out, i am greeted by an old man.

"my, you have your hands full."

three steps later, another old lady.

"my, you have your hands full."

world record people.  three people in three minutes.  and i didn’t punch a single one.  they were old, after all.

Sunday, July 13, 2014 — 9 notes   ()


apparently, these are t-rex dinosaur eggs.

i found this out when lucy and oliver were shoving them under my butt and telling me to hatch them. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014 — 2 notes   ()

little a - two months.

dear alexander,

today is the twelfth.  you are officially two months old.  two months since we became a family of five, two months since i officially found out that you were a boy, two months since i raised you up out of the water and saw your precious face for the first time.

last time i took you to the doctor (two weeks ago) you were 23 inches and 13 pounds (85th and 90th percentiles).  the phenomenon continues, my babies get big, fast. 

things you love:

being outside

snuggling in the ergo baby

sleeping on your belly (for naps)

your play mat

your right hand.  it always has to be right by your face.

your siblings

sleeping for 6-7 hours at night (your mama loves this too!)

smiling in the morning.  big open mouthed drooly smiles.

you are not a big fan of being in your car seat, but getting better at not screaming the entire trip.  you also, like all babies, do not want to be put down during the making or eating of dinner.  but all these things are okay.  it doesn’t last.  in fact, these little phases fly oh so fast.  

so i am choosing to slow down.  to put my phone down when it’s just you and me and focus on your face.  to talk and sing to you.  to rock you and snuggle with you.  my last baby.  my sweet boy.

oh how i love you.  happy two months.


Saturday, July 12, 2014 — 4 notes   ()

Friday phone dump. Afternoon ice cream, helping me pick out new glasses, chubby cheeks, big sister helper, swimming lessons and favorite sleeping places.



after being sent to her room for a time-out, lucy started calling out for someone to come rescue her.

"daddy! daddy!"

"mimi! mimi!" (who lives four hours away)

and when that didn’t work…

"cinderella! cinderella!"

Friday, July 11, 2014 — 3 notes   ()


my two and a half year foodie smashed her sandwich down at lunch and said, “look mama, a panini!”

Thursday, July 10, 2014 — 3 notes   ()


if one more person looks at me and my three children and says, “My, you have your hands full!” I’m going to punch them in the face.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 — 9 notes   ()