Monday, May 26, 2008

Blog Unwomaned

I've decided to take a break from blogging. I know what you're thinking, "Why does she need a break, she rarely posts." While it's quite true that I don't post often, I think about posting often; therefore, I'm taking a break. I'm not sure how long it will last, so if you'd like an email when I begin posting again, please send me an email at and I'll add you to the mailing list.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh to be 2 Again

I write often about the difficulties and excitement my 2 year old causes around our house. Two is such a hard age to parent, but today I'd like to offer a slightly different perspective on 2. I took Ryan to Wal-Mart today and let him pick out big boy undies. He is so proud of those little things! Since he's not even close to knowing when he has to go, I left his jeans off when he tried on his first pair to lighten my laundry load.

While I was upstairs with the baby, I quickly became aware of how quiet it had gotten downstairs. If you've ever known a two year old, you know that's a bad sign. I couldn't find him inside, so I checked outside. There was my precious little boy swinging in the sun without a care in the world. He had on an orange fleece, one sock, and stark-white Lightning McQueen underwear.

After the swinging got old, he decided sliding looked like fun. To fully grasp this next image in your head, you have to understand something about my husband; bigger is always better and faster is better than slower. Matt noticed the slide was a little sticky one day, so he used Windex on it. That didn't quite do the trick, so he Pledged it. Our kids look like greased pigs flying down a hillside. Now invision Ryan in his new little underwear, remember he has just one sock on, flying down our plastic slide. He actually goes into the air at the end of the slide because he's cruising so fast. When his trip comes to an end, he kind of skids across the grass. At the end of every trip down the slide, he giggles the most care-free giggle that only a young child can really do.

When was the last time you played like a 2 year old? I'm certainly not suggesting that we all go outside in our underwear, but have you taken some time to relax lately? My idea of relaxing is usually doing something that I want to do instead something I have to do. My challenge to you for today is to find some time to be carefree. If you take your kids to the park, don't sit on a bench and watch, get on a swing. Swaying gently doesn't count; pump your legs and really get going. Play a game of tag with your kids. They'll love it and I know you'll feel better too.

As parents or grown-ups we think we need to be teaching the kids around us. In truth, we probably need to sit back and be the students once in awhile. One thing I need to learn from my kids is how to laugh out loud and play like I have nothing better to do...because I don't!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Knew It!

If you're a mom, I'm sure you've had this happen to you. In the busyness of your day, you see something in your house and you think to yourself, "I really should move that, somebody might step on it." Or, "Oh! That cup is right on the edge of the table." So you move it to the middle of the table. I usually do these things without even really being conscious of it; it's just part of my "job." Then there are other times where I walk through my house, see something with "potential mess" written all over it, and do nothing about it. Tonight was that night. Madison picked some lilacs and had them sitting in a plastic cup on her bookshelf headboard. I have to admit, I saw them, knew they would probably spill, but decided to take my chances. Big mistake.

She was getting ready for bed and was arranging all of her many animal friends. A small dalmation fell off her top bunk, so she picked it up and chucked it back onto her bed. She has a whole big bed and is slinging it backwards over her shoulder and do you want to guess where it landed? If you said "right into the side of the cup," you would be right. The water ran down the headboard onto her big pile of books, onto her bedding, and right down the side of the bed like a waterfall until it splatered onto the floor. No big deal, right? The puddle was under her bed in the far corner. I'm sure I was quite a sight sliding under the bottom bunk with only my toes as evidence that I was under there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Here's What I'm Thankful For

Princess Madison-Age 4

Prince Ryan-Age 2 (Victim of Hat-Loving Sister)

Precious Baby Aaron-Age 6 months

These three amazing kids are the reason I celebrate Mother's Day. No gifts necessary...I get to be called Mommy by these miracles.

And the Winner Is...

Thanks to the 3 people that entered the contest (only 2 within the contest time frame). I loved both of your responses and couldn't decide between the two, so you both win! How exciting, huh? I hope everyone has a happy Mother's Day! Matt and the kids got me a new digital camera, so I will be posting a lot more pictures! My last camera lived a good life and served us well, but it was just shot!

I found this quote and wanted to share it with you:

"For a mother is the only person on earth Who can divide her love among ten children And each child still have all her love."

I won't be testing that quote to see if it is actally true, but I know it's true for three kids.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Panic Mode

Well, tomorrow's the big day...FINALS! Matt took the kids to Grandma's house tonight so I could get some good quality, uninterrupted studying time. I'd like to say I'm ready, but I'm not! If I only had one test, I would be fine, but I have 2. Yikes! I've been tempted to slack off on the studying and just take whatever grade I can manage to get, but Matt knows me too well. He reminded me that I will regret that once the stress of studying wears off and he's right. (Are you reading this Matt? I said YOU ARE RIGHT!) It's not often that I admit that. In case you're keeping track, I've got just one semester left before the big G-Day. When my kids ask me some day why it took 3 extra semesters to get my bachelor's degree, I will explain that there is one for each of them. If the thought of me hunched over a scan-tron sheet happens to pop into your mind on Thursday, please send up a little prayer. I'd appreciate it!

Back to the dining room table for more management and operations management fun. Don't forget to leave a comment on the contest post (Come One, Come All). I would love to reward you, my few faithful followers for reading my ramblings.


The sermon series for the past few weeks at my church has been entitled, "Pure Sex." It has been quite an interesting series. Don't worry, I won't re-hash all the topics here, I just want to discuss an interesting point our pastor brought up. It has really changed the way I think. He said, "Marriage is not 50/50, it's 100/100. Even if your spouse withdraws, you are not relieved of your duty to give 100%. If your spouse is only giving 50%, you can't give 70% just to be a little bit better than him/her."

Is that the way you live now? It sure isn't that way at my house! My husband is pretty good about not letting my mood affect him, but I need some work in that area. This change of habit has not come easy and I've only been working on it for a day and a half! I've had to be intentional about the little things. My tongue is starting to hurt because I've been biting it a little more often than letting it run.

Challenge for today: find an area of your marriage where you can give a little more. Maybe you could give a real kiss to your spouse before you leave or when you get home. Not just a peck on the lips, but an actual kiss that says "I love you." Maybe you can drop what you're doing when your spouse gets home to show that you are happy to see him/her. Be creative...I think it will be worth it.

Don't forget to enter the contest posted yesterday!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Come One, Come All

As promised, here's the re-posting of the contest guidelines:

1. If you're a mom, tell me why you love it,
2. If you're not a mom, tell me what you love about your mom.

Easy enough. Get me your entries by Thursday, May 8 at 5 pm CST and I'll a winner (or randomly if I can't decide). If you refer a friend, you get an extra entry. Make sure your referral mentions your name in their comment so I know who to give credit to.

I think that's it...get to posting!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Just a Couple of Things

If you've visited my blog lately, you might notice that a post is missing. Last week I posted the details of a Mother's Day Contest. Due to a little scandal on my blog, that post has been deleted. I will be reposting that today and setting a new deadline. If you are the one and only person who had already entered the original contest, please repost your entry. Thanks!

Another thing...
I won a Mother's Day Contest! Let me clarify that...I was A winner in a Mother's Day Contest. My entry should be posted sometime this week on the Hearts at Home website. This website is a great resource for Moms, whether you stay home with your kids or not. They also have books available on a variety of topics that you might enjoy. Check it out if you have time. Also, I love the winning entry that's posted on there today.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I hope you have a great day and please enter the contest so we can all see the reasons we have to be thankful for our greatest God-given jobs as Moms!

Friday, April 25, 2008

This One's For You...You Know Who You Are

Well, despite the fact that I posted nearly every day last week (which if you visit my blog frequently you know is pretty good for me), I've been accused once again of blog-neglect. I apologize to you all, but I just haven't had much to say. Let's see if I can crank out a quick Andrew-pleasing post. Whoops! Did I just say Andrew?
I heard a song today that was new to me...I don't watch American Idol, so I'm sure I'm a little behind the times. It's called "Hollywood's Not America" by Ferras. Besides that fact that it's just a pretty song, I love the lyrics. My favorite lines are "You can make a million dollars/But you might lose yourself." Isn't that the whole world? There's really no limit to how much money you can make, but does it really matter if you don't recognize yourself or your life when you're done? I can spend my life working, but when I wake up, my kids might be 30 and I don't even know them. I know money is important, but not THAT important. Love what you do today, but don't trade your life for it.

"So long girl..."

P.S. Don't forget to comment on what you think the prize (within reason) should be for the upcoming contest

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a Strange Dream!

I awoke at approximately 4:40 this morning feeling like I was sleeping in a waterbed and someone was jumping on it. It was the strangest feeling! I wasn't really sure if I was having a dream, or what (I've been known to have some crazy ones). As soon as the bouncing stopped, the phone rang. It was my husband to confirm that I had just witnessed my first (and probably only) earthquake. According to CNN, it registered around a 5.4 on the Richter scale and started in Southern Illinois. I thought it was a pretty cool feeling, but a little scary at the same time. I almost wish it had lasted a little longer, because it would have been neat to be standing or walking. Another cool thing would have been to look outside at my mini van bouncing around! Can you imagine?! The thought of it just makes me chuckle.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's Your Guilty Food Pleasure?

If you read yesterday's post, you might remember that I will soon post the details of a Steward Family of 5 contest. As I try to plan the prizes for the contest, I need some help from you. As the title suggests, I want to know your favorite thing that you might not normally treat yourself to. It can be gift certificates to a restaurant (something small, like Starbucks) or something easily mailable like a Snickers. In case you're wondering, mine would probably be Dairy Queen. We don't have many franchise restaurants here, and DQ is only open certain months of the year which means you have several months to crave it without a way to satisfy that craving.

Another small hint about the contest...the winner will be chosen at random from all entries, but you can receive bonus entries by referring people to my blog. They have to be visitors who post a comment stating who referred them and I will give you the dates that they will count. Well, that's enough for one day. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Proofreading and Presentations

Just 2 1/2 weeks, finals, then the end of the semester! I can't even explain to you how excited I am, but I'll try. I am in the middle of proofreading a 25 page paper that was written by my group. I think a 5th grader could have done a better job, so I'm basically having to re-craft the entire thing. Tough work. After over an hour of working on it, I am on page 9. Ugg. We are analyzing the Walgreens drive-thru pharmacy. Sounds thrilling, doesn't it? It's not. I never want to see another Walgreens again. Unfortunately for me, they seem to be the store that's on every major corner. We drove through a fairly small town a couple of weeks ago and my eyes found 3 Walgreens stores. I'm not sure why they need so many. The paper is due in 6 days and the presentation is due in 8. I've never had a group project this big and I will be glad when it's done. I'm used to having control over my own grade and work. I hate that other people are influence my grade. That's just a scary thought for me, which is why I'm the crazy one who volunteered to proofread the paper.

Another reason I'll be excited when school is over for the semester: I am finishing ANOTHER group project. Luckily for me, there is a girl in the group who is as uncomfortable as me (maybe more so) with other people influencing her grade. She also has a 4.0 GPA, so has been doing the entire project just for something to do. Secretly I think she's as paranoid as me that after working so hard to have a spotless academic record, it could all be ruined by this stupid project. At the moment that paper is 8 pages. I also volunteered to proofread that one. If you're keeping track, that means I am proofreading 33 pages of yuck that I care nothing about, except for its impact on my grade.

Well, it's off to bed for me. Hopefully you'll forgive me for not proofreading this!


P.S. Stay tuned because when I'm done with school I will be celebrating with all of you by having a small competition/give-away. It will be fun, I promise!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Verse first, story second.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therfore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31

I was only going to use a portion of that passage, but the entire thing is so good. I hope you will be blessed by it. How many times in your life do you look at the facts of a situation and think that it's too big for God to handle? You might not say it exactly in those words, but it certainly colors your vision. I catch myself doing this all the time. I think I need to figure my life out myself and I keep God in a tiny little box for when I need him. Matthew 17:20 talks about if we will have faith the size of a mustard seed we can do things like move mountains. Umm...I think if God can move a mountain or create the world, he could certainly provide money, or food, or employment, etc. You can fill in the blank. God wants to prove himself faithful, but do we let him? Sometimes he does anyway which is where my day began.

My daughter (4) is very picky about her clothes. Her socks are usually the area where we have problems. She has 4 pairs of socks she will wear and right now we only have matches for 2. I had Matt wash them last night so she would have socks to wear today to school. Slight misunderstanding...he didn't put them in the dryer! 5 minutes before we needed to leave I discovered the wet socks smashed against the side of the washer. I ran to her bedroom and began praying that I would find a match for the one clean sock I had. While crawling around on the floor, I found a laundry basket under the baby bed (not sure how it got there) and there was a matching yellow sock. Praise God! I know that's silly, but I had an extra bounce in my step and a hymn of praise on my lips. That wasn't the end of my blessings for today.

When I got to school this morning, I had to go to the Dean's office to follow up on a letter I received in the mail last week. When I got there, they informed me that I was the recipient of a $5000 scholarship. Yes, you read that correctly. The number of 0's was not a typo. I about fell over! I'll be the first to admit that lately God hasn't had His proper place in my life (the center). What an awesome God I serve that he would choose to bless me even when I think I'm the boss of my life.

Today I pray that you will be blessed and reminded of God's faithfulness.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Here's a post (and you all say, "Finally!!") of a slightly different nature. Since we live in a 2 bedroom house with 3 kids under the age of 5, bedtime can be...interesting to say the least. As I type this post, it is 9:51 and the kids have been in bed since 8:30. They are still awake! If they were lying quietly in bed waiting for the Sandman to take them away, that would be fine. The scenario at our house looks something like this: Madison (4) won't quit talking to Ryan (2), then they start fighting, then screaming, then Ryan slams the door shut which makes Madison scream even more. Aaron (5 mo.) wakes up crying and won't go back to sleep. Then the "I needa" game begins. Ryan wants juice, but settles for Wa-wa (water), then Madison is thirsty, then she has to go potty. Finally I had had it up to my eyeballs and put Madison on our bed. This is usually my last resort and works like a charm. Not tonight. I think I've been up and down the stairs enough times to qualify me for some sort of Guiness World Record.

The first time a child shouts for me, I calmly reply with "What?" After about the tenth time, it turns into, "WHAT!!!" and I'm sure all the neighbors can hear. I finally got smart and pulled out my Bible for some encouragement. I'm sure the battles are different at your house, but with young children, we can all use some encouragement about the role of perseverance.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:1-5

Whoo! Talk about some encouraging words! What an incredible promise from God that if we persevere, our character will be enhanced and along with that, hope. I don't know about you, but some days hope is all I have left. Hope that my kids will become God-fearing young people. Hope that my kids will one day respect authority (even if they stick their tongues out at me today). The list goes on and on. I'll take some liberties with the verse and say that our perseverance not only produces character in us, but in our children as well.

Well, it's now 10:03 and I hear no more crying coming from upstairs. Thank you God for the patience and perseverance to win yet another small parenting battle. Now if only I can remember this lesson until tomorrow night when it starts all over again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Joys of Higher Education

Isn't the system of higher education an interesting one? First of all, you shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to learn things you're never going to use again. As we all know, once you accept that oh-so-important first job, they completely retrain you and you slowly forget everything you learned in college. After shelling out all that money for tuition, you have to shell out hundreds more for books that you're never going to read and the professor rarely refers to. At the end of the semester you may sell that book back for a fraction of what you paid for it even though it has seen little more use than when you first bought it.
Since you've spent so much money on school, you'd think you would try to get your money's worth. Here's an interesting situation: you actually are excited when the teacher doesn't show up, cancels class, or let's you out early. Wait! What? That would be like going to Wal-Mart and saying, "I know I've given you $10, but I really only want $5 worth of product." If we saw someone do that we'd think they were crazy!
Here's the real kicker: We put ourselves through all of this for a little piece of paper. Can you believe that? After all the money we pay and all the time we invest, all we get is a lousy piece of paper? I realize you get all of the knowledge, etc. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about tangible rewards.
On top of all of these things I've mentioned already, now I have to worry about being shot! Campus was virtually shut down yesterday because some bored college student who probably had waited too long to study for a big test, handwrote a letter saying that there would be a shooting on campus and placed it in the payments box at his/her apartment complex. I realize that the administration had to take action in case there was a shooting, but come on! Today there is a cop on every corner. Do you want to know what troubles me about that? They can't prevent a shooting! They're not checking bags at the doors to make sure no one has a gun. They're just making sure that if something does happen, they can respond quickly. Is it just me, or is that a little troubling?
Here's another thing to think about: if the entire police force in our county (plus some state troopers) are on campus, who's going to stop a person who decides it would be a great time to rob a bank?
Just some fuzzy thoughts to fall asleep by. Have a good day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Case You're Keeping Track

Yes, the last time I posted was March 13. Sad, I know. My sister made this quite clear in her most recent post at I thought I had nothing to post, but that is dangerous thinking. As soon as that thought goes through my mind, something post-worthy happens. Ryan (2) was in the kitchen tonight and was way too quiet. When I went in, I found him dumping baby formula (approx. $15/can) on our cat and on the floor! I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.
Here's a brief summary of the last 2 weeks around our house:
  • Attended an awesome Christian mom's convention with my mom
  • Celebrated Easter with our families
  • Husband is playing football again on a trial basis
  • Lost a group member for a project that is due in 2 1/2 weeks
  • Baby (5 months) transitioned from bassinet to crib
  • Ryan (2) transitioned from crib to bottom bunk
  • Baby started rolling over
  • Baby started eating solid food

Let's talk about solid food for a minute. Why do babies always make that awful face like you're trying to poison them when you give them their first taste of cereal? Aaron screwed up his face and gagged the first time I gave him rice cereal. Then he pushed the cereal out of his mouth with his tongue. Being the good mom I am, I scraped it off his face and shoveled it right back in his mouth. When he signaled he was done with the cereal by crying, his bowl actually looked fuller than when we started. I think it was because of the regurgitated cereal mixed with saliva that ended up in his bowl. He's eating the paste much better now. He only gags on the first bite or two.

As you can see, it's been busy around our house. I'm sure I've lost any readers I had at one time because you thought I had fallen off the earth. Be assured that I am still here! Let's all meet back here again tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fly Away Purses

I haven't shared this on my blog yet, so I thought it might be time. I have been making some purses out of little girls' jeans. So far they've turned out pretty cute and a local business owner has offered to set up a display in her clothing store. Exciting, right? Well, I've been planning to take some purses in for several weeks, but just can't find the time to work on them. I finally got 6 purses made up and I took them with me to work today so I could drop them off at the store after work. I sent out an email at work telling my co-workers about the purses in case they wanted to buy one for their granddaughters for Easter. I never would have guessed that I would sell all 6 purses and get orders for at least 10 more! I'm very excited, but I'm under some pressure because they want them Monday since most of the grandchildren live out of town. I'm going to be gone this weekend and I've run out of jeans! I plan to pick some up at a second-hand store so I can maybe make some on Sunday. I should be in bed right now because it's nearly 12:00am and I have to telecommute in the morning. Anyway, just wanted to share my exciting day with any of you in cyberspace who might be reading this. Oh...if you need a purse, let me know, but please don't expect it before Easter! :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who is This Person??

My kids have been my kids since the day they were born, but there are times I just sit back and wonder who they are and where they came from. Am I alone here? Before I had kids I would wander around Wal-Mart for an hour and buy two things (for example, hair spray and expensive ice cream that comes in a little tub...those were the days of frivolous spending). I would observe these people that obviously must be horrible parents because their kids were begging for things and falling on the floor and on top of all of that, their faces were dirty and their clothes didn't match. Gasp!! Fast forward a few years and that's me with my kids at Wal-Mart!

Tonight I ventured to Wal-Mart with Madison (4) and Ryan (2). We couldn't find socks for Madison, so she decided to wear shoes without socks. Then we couldn't find her shoes, so she wore black boots with zippers. On top of that, her jeans are getting too small and her butt crack hangs out if she at all deviates from the upright position. Ryan was wearing sweatpants and penny loafers (1 size too big) with white athletic socks. To top it all off, I think they both made it out of the house with orange pizza sauce residue on their faces. And so it begins...if this was the end of the story, I wouldn't be writing this as a post. The trip quickly spiraled into an awful experience full of burning-red checks. (Facial cheeks for me and butt cheeks for my kids)

Madison wanted to ride in the cart, then wanted to walk, then ride in the cart, etc. Finally I made her walk next to me because she was riding the end of the cart as if it was a scooter and I envisioned her feet getting stuck under the cart and me running over her while the Wal-Mart employees looked on with disgust. She threw a fit about walking next to me, but I just kept walking thinking she would follow me. (I have a lot to learn as a mother!) She fell to her knees crawling after me screaming, "MOMMY! QUIT LEAVING ME! YOU JUST ... KEEP ... LEAVING ME!!!" This was the first of my blazing cheeks. I calmly picked her up and ushered her quickly to a quiet aisle while customers stared at me because I was obviously abusing her! When I got down at Madison's level to look her in the eye and discuss her behavior, I was frightened! This was not the face of the angelic baby I labored to bring life to just 4 short years ago. She had morphed into a creature barely recognizable as a little girl. Panic rushed through my body. What do I do? My precious daughter's body has been hijacked! It was like the movie Men In Black where the man's head flips open and there's a miniature alien controlling his body with little levers and switches. That must be what happened, because MY daughter isn't capable of such things. The scenes from the movie quickly ended with Madison's shrill voicing screaming, "PLEASE DON'T SPANK ME MOMMYYYYYYY!"

I thought back to the day she was born when I spent hours staring at her face dreaming what our lives together would be like. I vowed that I wouldn't be one of THOSE parents and she wouldn't be one of THOSE kids. But even my best intentions could not ward off the inevitable Wal-Mart meltdown. After living through one, I can honestly say that I don't look at THOSE parents with THOSE kids the same!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lying to Your Kids

Here's a question I've been struggling with lately and I want your input. Is it wrong to lie to your kids? My first instinct is, yes! of course it's wrong to lie to your kids. I tell them all the time not to lie to me. Here's an example: Madison (4) has been biting Ryan (2). Even if I know what happened, I ask her to tell me what she did. She's pretty slick most of the time and it's hard to catch her in a lie. Her most recent response was, the cat bit him. I wouldn't be surprised if the cat did bite Ryan because it's happened before. Anyway, on this particular day of the cat-biting incident, the cat was upstairs in my bedroom with me while the alleged biting was occuring. Nice try, Madison. I lectured Madison on the moral implications of lying and the long-term effects (i.e. I won't be able to trust you, EVER, if you lie to me). So, I may have gone a little overboard...

Shortly after this lecture, I found myself lying to my son. Nothing too serious, mind you, but just little lies that make it easier to get through the day. Here's an example of one of my day-smoothing lies. Ryan is suddenly very picky about his wardrobe. The only clothes he will wear are hand-me-downs from his cousin Josh. I've found myself labeling everything as formerly Josh's just to get my boy dressed in the morning. Is that wrong?

Another example: "Mom, are there any cookies left?" My answer: "Nope, no more cookies." Truth: "There are plenty of cookies left, but I don't want you having anymore." It wouldn't be that much harder to tell the truth, but if I say there are no more cookies, there's no fight involved. My kids can be quite the beggars and when I'm cooking supper, I just don't want to deal with it. Again, is that wrong? Leave your opinion in the comments if you want to share.
P.S. Thanks for your patience regarding my posting. I've been a little busy lately.

Friday, February 29, 2008

"You're Gonna Miss These Days"

I had a pretty rough morning with my kids today. I was attempting to telecommute and they were fighting the whole process. I actually wanted to run away from home! Have you ever had one of those days? This was probably my all-time worst. I felt defeated and like a failure. What kind of mom am I if I can't handle a morning with my kids? In case you can't tell, I feel pretty guilty about the morning. I won't go into anymore detail because I'm embarrassed of my behavior and how I treated my kids. (Nothing terrible, but I definitely wasn't the loving, gentle mom that I'm trying to be.)

On my way to work there was a song playing on the radio that really hit home for me. I'm not sure of the title or the artist, but the line that kept being repeated was "you're gonna miss these days." At the beginning of the song, my attitude was still rotten from my morning and my response to the key line was, "yeah, right! I don't think I'll miss this chaos!" The last verse of the song was about a mom with one child crying and one child screaming while the phone was ringing and a man was trying to repair the hot water heater. The mom kept apologizing to the repairman for all the chaos. The repairman told her that no apology was necessary and explained that she would miss these days. Wow, did that sum up my morning! Even now as I think about it, it makes me tear up. I have lost a morning with my kids that I will never get back. Ever since I had my first child, people have been telling me how fast time goes and that I'm going to miss this, but I've never believed them. Yeah, I know time goes fast, but why would I miss this? There are many days when I'm begging for bedtime to come for my kids so I can do things that I want to do. How selfish is that? Yes, I need time for myself, but there will also be plenty of time for that after my kids grow up and leave me. I want to have happy memories to keep me company while they're gone.

I think the phrase "these days fly by" is slightly inaccurate. I think it's more accurate to say "the days don't go quickly, but the years sure do." You'll find thoughts and articles similar to this idea on They have some great marriage, parenting, etc resources. Check it out if you have time and enjoy your kids!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something to Think About

I found this post on awake at the wheel ( ) and I liked it so much I wanted to get your responses. Here are the questions:

Three simple questions…
1. If you knew you could not fail and those around you would not only suspend judgment, but wholeheartedly support you…what would you do?
2. Are you doing it?
3. If not…why?
Oh, one final question…
*If your reason for not doing something is that you’re afraid of failing or being judged…how much worse would that be than never having tried?

Fear and fear of failure play such a huge role in my decisions, so it's hard to abandon those feelings for this exercise, but I'll try. For me, it would involve a job change. I am so secure in my job that the thought of leaving scares me. I also have a case of approval addiction, so I don't want anyone disappointed in me for leaving; I don't want to let them down. So, if I quit my job, what would I do? My dream is to own a candy store like the one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It would be similar to Maple City Candy Store in Monmouth, IL.

Am I doing it? No, for the reasons listed above. Fear of failure, approval addiction... Also, I'm worried it won't make enough money to support my family. Once I'm done with school, I will probably have a little more time to explore other careers. Realistically, I will probably never open a candy store. It's just not practical and practical is my middle name!

As for the final question, I think for me it is worse to fail than to have never tried because trying is so strongly linked to my financial well-being. I feel like that's a fairly good excuse for not trying, but maybe it's just a cop-out.

What do you think?
Think about your answers and share if you want to.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Do People in Arizona Eat?

Tonight the kids and I were eating supper and chatting at the dinner table. Madison started talking about her cousins in Arizona that she misses very much. I said, "What do you think Hannah and Josh are doing right now? Do you think they're eating supper like we are." Madison thought for a minute and said, "No, I think they're probably hunting for a deer to kill and eat for supper." She didn't even realize she had said something funny. Madison then continued talking about how much she misses her cousins and telling me that they really need to come back. The idea of a different state just boggles her mind. Her next question to me was, "Do they have games in Arizona?" I'm not sure where that one came from. The rest of our dinner conversation revolved around her cousins and how to get them to come back and visit. The plan she finally came up with was to have them come to Fun City with us and go camping. She's a smart girl! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poison Control is on my Speed Dial

You may have noticed from my profile that I am a very busy mom. In order to go to school, work, and care for my children, I telecommute 3 mornings per week. For many people this would be the ultimate arrangement. On those mornings, I have a 15 second commute; my bed to the computer, so that is nice. The downside is that I have 3 young children. I am required to put in 3 hours on each of those mornings. In order to get that time in, I begin working around 6, so I can usually get 2 good hours in before my kids get up. The last hour can get pretty interesting. It usually takes me 2 hours to put in what I consider one hour of work. Come with me as I reflect on my last telecommuting morning.

My morning was going pretty well: I got quite a bit done and my kids all seemed relatively happy. Most mornings at home, 2 of my 3 children are crying at any given time. (The things we will go through to make money) The baby was playing quietly on the floor, my 4 year old was playing quietly by herself, and my 2 year old was being quiet. After several minutes of relative quietness, fear slowly crept up my insides until I realized it had been quiet too long.

Oh no! Something must be wrong! I turned from the computer and the baby and 4 year old were still playing quietly. It would be easy to think my mother's intuition was wrong, but I knew better. The remaining child isn't just any 2 year old...he's a two year old boy. I asked Madison to run upstairs and check on her brother. What I heard next would strike fear in any seasoned mother's heart. Madison was laughing hysterically and she shouted, "Mom! You gotta get up here and see this boy!"

I took the steps two at a time and nearly missed the doorway to my bedroom (think the famous Kramer move on Seinfeld). Ryan was sitting on my bed with a set of Crayola paints. Not just any Crayola paints, but rather glitter Crayola paints. And he was EATING them!! When he decided one color tasted bad, he spit it out ON MY BED and tried another color. Maybe he thought they were different flavors? He had paint in his ears, on his hands, on his socks, and his teeth and tongue were covered in glitter. God bless would be boring without them!!

Follow-up to that story: Ryan's first post-paint-eating diaper was very colorful and glitterful!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Second Birthday Edition

We celebrated my son's second birthday this week. I can't believe my little guy has turned two! He seems so much older to me now. I know it's just psychological, but it seems real. In case you're thinking, "Duh...he seems older because he is older, Stupid!" Yes, I realize he is actually older. The problem is that he seems much older than we was 2 days ago. To mark the occasion, I took him to get his pictures taken

I love getting my kids' pictures taken. Pick a holiday and I've probably gotten my kids' pictures taken for that day. Easter...yup. Christmas...most definately. Halloween...yup, done that one too. Presidents son wore the top hat like Abe Lincoln. Ok, well I might be exaggerating on that one; however, I did get his pictures taken on Abe Lincoln's birthday, but that's only because my son's birthday is the same day. It's only been 2 days, but the memory is still a little painful and quite vivid. It might be good therapy for me to revisit my most recent trip to the Wal-Mart portrait studio.

My son was in a great mood when we arrived. He was chatting up the Wal-Mart greeter when we walked in . You know the one...smiley face tie, suspenders, and a handful of smiley face stickers. I always imagine the stickers have little swords and Zorro masks just slashing the prices for me as I walk through this store. Just like the commercials. Rollin' Back Prices. My own little price slasher stuck right on my kids' shirts. Until they get drooled on, dropped on the floor, put in the mouth. Yummy! Back to the story, we walked into the portrait studio (fancy name for a hole in the wall with a table for the kids to sit on) and he's all grins. The thought crosses my mind that I might actually get some good pictures out of him. I banish that thought to the far corner of my braining afraid that I have already jinxed myself. The photographer gets the bright idea that since it's his birthday, she will get some balloons from the Woodforest Bank next door for him to hold in the picture. Yeah...right! I haven't been a mom a really long time, but I know better than to think he's going to sit like a little cherub with balloons in his hands. His favorite thing to do with a helium-filled balloon is to try to bite it. Oh well. The photographer wasn't going to listen to my opinion on the subject. I'm just his mom who happens to hold the award for most visits to the Wal-Mart portrait hole in the, I mean studio. Ok, so they don't give out that award, but if they did, it would be framed in a cheap little Wal-Mart frame on my wall.

The Woodforest Bank was a little busy and couldn't get the balloons ready right away. No problem. My son had rummaged through the portrait props and found a small red step ladder with paint all over it. Since he was in a good mood and infatuated with the ladder, I asked if we could just have him stand at the ladder with the #2 next to him. She thought that might work, so we tried it. Bingo! A priceless picture. Thank goodness we got that one! The balloons finally arrived and he couldn't have been happier. Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all. She tried to get him to sit down...what a joke! All he wanted was to get back on the darn ladder. Instead of asking me if I wanted another picture of him on the ladder, she decided to take the ladder from him and hide it. BIG mistake, Lady! He threw a doozy of a fit. A fit that only a 2 year old is capable of throwing. If it had been the day before, it probably wouldn't have been as big, but now he's 2 and he's got to express it somehow! This photographer was a tough cookie, though and she wasn't about to give up just because of a little fit. The balloons were a good idea, but she had a better one. I could see the little light bulb above her head come on as she pulled a sucker out of the cabinet. Yes, you read that right. She tried to bribe a 2 year old with a sucker while attempting to photograph him. The rest of our picture attempts were of him reaching for the camera since she was holding the forbidden candy right up in front of the big foil umbrella. I was ready to cry right along with him because I was so frustrated. I asked if we could stop trying and just settle for the one good picture we got. She reluctantly agreed as if she thought she could somehow manage to save this train wreck of an experience.

What she did next will keep this memory forever burned in my mind. She bent down in my son's precious face and said, "I really wanted to be able to give this sucker to you, but since you didn't smile, I'm just going to have to put it away." I've never seen him beg for anything more in his 2 short years of life. He was frantically wiping his hands across his chest (sign language for "please") and saying "pease, pease, pease." I would have said something, but I took off in search of my tiny personal Wal-Mart Zorro to put his sword to good use!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Reasons I Miss My Sister

This has been my idea for a post for several days, but I couldn't decide if I should post it or not. Since you're reading it, you know I decided to post it. Was it a good idea? That's for you to decide. So here goes...

I miss my sister because:
  1. I want to raise our kids together
  2. I don't have an answer for the little blue eyes that look up at me and ask, "Hannah is a really fun girl. When will I get to play with her again?"
  3. My little boy walks around the house looking for Zsosh (Josh).
  4. Once a year is just not enough time together when we've lived so close for 22 years.
  5. She's my best friend.

The list could go on and on, but I'll stop with the top 5.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Heeere's Your Sign!

Here in the Midwest, we've been having some crazy weather. One day snow, the next day thunder and lightning, the next day rain, the next day snain (you know, snow and rain?)... anyway, you get the point. Yesterday it rained pretty much all day. I finally decided to venture out into the storm and of course, my umbrella was nowhere to be found. Surely I wouldn't get too wet just running from my house, to the van, to my final destination. I put on my coat, threw up the hood, and off I went. When I opened the back door, I was greeted by not just a cold, winter rain, but rather sheets of cold winter rain. Let me explain our parking situation to you: in order to get to our vehicles, we have to walk across our backyard, our snow-covered-rained-on-all-day-waterlogged backyard. The backyard didn't look too bad; however, the puddles soon became visible after I started walking and my feet were sinking into the frozen grass. I zig-zagged across the yard trying to find the highpoints to keep the cold water from running into my shoes.

As you might guess I was more than a little wet when I reached the van. Once I arrived at my destination, I ran for the door, trying to dodge the puddles under my feet and the mini water bombs from the gutters overhead. I finally reached the door, threw it open, and stepped inside. last I was out of the rain. Not 3 seconds later, I was greeted by a pleasant voice which asked, "Did you get wet in the rain?" I peered through my wet hair and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "No. I was watering my grass and there was a little overspray! Heeere's your sign!"

For more Bill Engvall "Here's Your Sign" fun visit this link:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Let's Get Started...

Well, it's my first time posting on a blog...ever, and I don't really know what to write. I originally decided to start this so my sister who lives in Arizona could see what was going on with my family in Illinois. Here it goes...

My kiddos are growing faster than I can keep up with. Every day it's something new. Today my daughter informed me that when she gets old like me ("You know Mom...when I'm 7?") she's going to wear a booby bra. How I kept from laughing, I'll never know. My son who doesn't talk much yet said Uh-oh. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but he doesn't say many 2 syllable words and Uh-oh usually sounds like Uh-uh. And the baby, he's not really doing much yet, but he does smile a lot. I'm still trying to coax a laugh out of him, but I've been unsuccessful so far.

Well, my life isn't too exciting and no one will probably read this anyway, so I guess I'll close my first blog posting and send it off into cyberspace. If you're reading this, you need a hobby because it's really not worth reading! Check back tomorrow and I'll have something better to write about. (Stephanie, it's probably just you and me. I'll post something for you tomorrow.)