Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.... yet!

This quote is from my childhood favorite movie and book "Anne of Green Gables" and today it rang true. Today started my 1 week quest to stop yelling and I blew it.

The day started out great... I was calm, patient, collected. Well around 10 am while I was putting Olivia down for a nap, I hear CRASH! I sprint towards the noise because I'm sure Eli's hurt.. but no, he's broke the drawer out of my refrigerator and glass bottles of chopped garlic and ground mustard are all over my kitchen hardwoods. Lovely! I take a deep breath, and whisper.... he goes to time out (he definitely knows he's not suppose to be in the refrigerator.. we have this conversation several times a day). My yell meter is tested yet again around an hour later when he goes to Olivia's room to wake her up from her nap. I'm fast- I pull him out of her room, take him to the hall and explain that he is not to wake up baby sissy from her nap in a firm voice. Even during nap time today (one of my main triggers) I did not yell "GO TO SLEEP" as he fought sleep for an hour. The epic fail happened around 5 pm as I was loading up the kids to go to Nana's house to swim. I ran inside to grab some last minute miscellaneous item and when I come out, Eli had let Sampson in my car. He said, "Sampson wants to go see his brother, Si." As I looked over, Sampson was sitting in my passanger seat, all over my clothes, mail, and important papers, devouring a pack of graham crackers I had for Olivia. My meter had reached the top and I yelled, "EEELLLLIII!"

Well I'm starting back at day zero but as I said earlier, "tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it.... yet!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Chair

Dear Olivia,

Most days you want to lay in your crib to go to sleep but a few precious times a week you are so sleepy and cuddly that I just hold you and we rock in your white chair. Tonight was one of those nights. As we rock, I smell your hair and stare out your bedroom window. Your soft brown hair tickles my nose and smells of lavender. Your breathing becomes regular and deepens. Your warm body cuddles against my chest and your sweet small hands touch my face. I kiss your head, my heart melts and my eyes tear up. How blessed am I to be your mama. People say "I love you so much it hurts". Well it's true dear daughter. I honestly feel my heart hurt at times like this when I am so overcome with love. God entrusted such a helpless innocent life to my care and I'm eternally grateful.  I've watched the tree outside your bedroom change through the seasons as I've rocked you and wished time could stand still. I know it won't because I look at how big your brothers are. Don't get me wrong.. I am excited for the see what you will be like at age 3 and 12 but right now I want to forever remember how this moment feels.


A new challenge

I was blog surfing tonight and I stumbled upon the Orange Rhino blog and it struck a nerve. I hate yelling, yet I find myself yelling more than I've ever yelled before. We weren't raised with mom's motto has always been "You don't yell unless the house is on fire!" I don't like to be yelled at so I'm sure that my kids don't like it either.

I honestly didn't yell at Isaac much as a toddler and little kid but now I feel like it doesn't take much before my buttons are pushed and I'm at the yelling point. So I'm going to take the challenge! 365 days is too abstract for me so I'm going to try for a week. Yep, a whole week without yelling at  Isaac, Eli or Olivia (I haven't yelled at Olivia btw). If I mess up (which I likely could) then I will start back at day 0.

It's always good to know your opponent so if I am going to be successful in this venture then I've got to identify my triggers. My main trigger is Eli not listening or minding. I'm often too quick to sharpen my tongue and yell "ELI, get over here!" or "EEEELLLLIII". The other trigger is nap time or bed time when Eli finds anything to do besides sleep. It's so easy to yell up the steps "I'M GOING TO TAKE THOSE TOYS! GO TO SLEEP!".

So when I feel like I'm about to yell.. I'm going to stop.. and breathe. I also find that I am calmer and have more patience when I use their pet name "angel". I mean wouldn't it be pretty hard to yell at an angel?

I'm going to keep myself accountable here on my blog.. so here goes!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Midweek Confessions

1. Eli has a splinter right under the skin on his left foot. It's not bothering him and I just keep ignoring it because I really don't want to deal with the drama that will ensue getting that thing out! 

2. We've been out of dog food for 2 days.. and I've been meaning to go buy some for 2 days. No worries...Sampson hasn't gone hungry. I found a couple cans of wet food that I had stashed away and he's lapped it up. I contemplated feeding him the chicken food because he makes a bee line straight for the coop every-time I feed the chickens. 

3. I let Eli have a cupcake for supper last night. (See post below for picture!) We were eating pizza and he didn't want any, so when we got the cupcakes finished I let him have one even though he didn't eat. I mean really.. is pizza all that nutritious anyway? 

Well that's it for this week's confessions. I'm sure I'll have more for next week! 

This and that

This is my 3rd Father's Day without my dad. He was just 60 when he passed away and I was 30- way too young for both of us. I love this picture because his grin was so contagious. He loved to laugh and make a joke. He had a nickname for everyone. 

This Father's day I celebrated Josh and what he means to our family. Being such the good wife that I am ;) Josh got to partake in all his favorite activities: golfing, sleep, and shooting guns. On Saturday he took Isaac golfing and I stayed home with the babies. On Sunday, I let him sleep in and got everyone ready for church and in the car! We hosted a cookout at our house with all the Allisons and      that evening Josh, his brothers 
    and dad went shooting at our homemade firing range. Happy Father's day Josh if you ever decide to read my blog! 

Monday, I started a new job with a local private practice in our area doing a bit of contract speech work. It was interesting getting 'back in the saddle'.  It's amazing how rusty I felt after just taking a year off. I may just work a few hours but I definitely want to stay current and keep up my skills- I've worked too hard for my brain to become Mommy Mush.

This was our dinner on Monday and I had to snap a quick picture. I baked chicken breasts with honey mustard sauce in the oven and made twice baked potatoes from our left over cookout potatoes from Sunday. My secret to twice baked potatoes or baked potatoes in general is an old favorite that my dad and grandmother got us started on- Dean's French Onion dip. Wow.. add a bit of Dean's dip instead of sour cream with bacon, cheese, and chives- it's so tasty!

 Isaac went to baseball camp (he's been going all week from 9am to 12 pm) and the littles were up early. Eli went outside without asking (again!) so he was in trouble. When he sits in time out, I tell Siri to set my timer for 3 minutes- I don't know how effective it is since he did it again about an hour later! I'm thrilled Eli loves the outdoors, playing fetch with Sampson, and tramping through the woods- but it scares me to death that he might get bit by a snake, carried off by a coyote, or lost in the woods. I don't think those are unrealistic fears either. We have 40 acres surrounding our house and we border the forest preserve which is who knows how many acres! Eli has no fear and wants to take Sampson for long walks, deep in the woods. It doesn't even phase him that he can't see the house- being barefoot doesn't stop him either. Honestly I think the boy could give the ancient Indians a run for their money with his feet of steel and love for the outdoors.

I worked for about 3 hours again and then came home to rush all 3 kids out the door to take Isaac to an orthodontic consult. How excited was I when the orthodontist said he did not recommend braces, and that Isaac's teeth are nearly perfect! Isaac has a little spacing issue one side of his top teeth but that's it! The big issue is that his canines are completely sawed off from where he grinds his teeth so much. We actually hear him do this during the day- I think it's become a habit. So anyway the ortho recommended retainers for him to wear at night that will stop the grinding and fix the spacing issue. I'm pumped we won't have to shell out thousands in braces for this kid- let's hope the other two could be so lucky.

After the orthodontist appointment, I took the kids to the mall and bought Olivia some Stride Rite walkers. Both boys had the high top white walkers so I thought she needed some as well since she is getting closer to taking off. Yesterday she walked across the living room to me. We met Josh for dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant and Eli slept through dinner on my lap which never happens. He was so cuddly laying there with his mouth open and I kept stealing kisses on his cheeks.
I think his eyebrow looks like Tierra-able in this picture- for those of you that watched last season's Bachelor
To top the day off my mom had surgery. She has been having gallbladder attacks for a few weeks, so she had an appointment to see the surgeon, and he decided to take her gallbladder out later that afternoon. We didn't get to see her before her surgery, but she did great and is home and gallbladderless (is that a word?). I hope this helps her because she's felt really bad lately.


Olivia had her educator and service coordinator come out around 9:00.  She is doing so well.. I really can't even keep up with how many words she's saying now. One of her new words this week is 'flower', and she goes around pointing to all the flowers in the house while saying "flower". We go back to Chapel Hill in July and will discuss an FM system at that time. I think it would be great because she is getting so mobile and doesn't always stay within an arms length of me now. She says "Isaac" and "Eli" now and likes to point up to Isaac's room while yelling for him (I have no idea where she got that from...sigh).

 After therapy, my sister and I worked on our business- entering data into Quickbooks... so fun. Audra's kids were at her mother-in-laws and Eli was with his Paw-paw so it worked out well. We've tried to do the books with all four little kids underfoot and it doesn't happen. I left to go pick up Isaac and his 3 cousins from baseball camp around noon and then we continued working.

                                       The boys lounging after baseball camp
Around 6:00, one of my best friends since pre-school, Kellie, came over to hang out with us. She brought cupcakes to make with Eli, and as you can see, he had a lot of fun. We had pizza and then went to go see her new house that she's building. It's in the woods with huge-- I mean bolder size rocks all around. Eli fell jumped into a mud puddle and his legs turned a different ethnicity. Kel has done a great job laying out the house and it's going to be adorable when it's finished. I have no desire to ever build again- that kind of stress is not enjoyable. 

Eli and the beaters

Kellie and Eli making cupcakes

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Family resemblance

I found this picture of me when I was the same age as Olivia. I just hope she doesn't get my horrible teeth!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Real Life

I had the kids' pictures made a few weeks ago and this was one my photographer posted. I just love it because it captures the moment perfectly. The sweet sibling picture was not happening. Isaac's face cracks me up because he is utterly fed up and doesn't know what to do with Olivia. Eli is doing his little normal thing which is NOT looking at the camera. I have taken very few pictures of Eli over the years actually looking at the camera, because by the time the shutter closes, he has already looked away. Olivia was not having the whole picture thing at all and was in total baby melt down mode... complete with the 'throw myself back and flail'. I will say that Katy Cook Photography rocks and she is totally awesome. She even came back to our house and re-shot a few pictures with all three kids.  Her work always impresses me and she is definitely talented.

So as I continue on the real life theme.. Here are a few snapshots from this week!

Olivia's cracker mess
I will admit I resorted to chocolate animal crackers to silence the crying. I can only handle so much car crying. I will also admit that she is naked (except for a diaper) and both the littles rode home naked from Nana's house after swimming. Eli swam in his underwear so he rode home in the same outfit that he came into this world in.

Who needs toys when you can dig with a spoon? This child can find a way to get dirty all the time. Crocs are this mama's best friend because they wash so super easy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Isaac's been promoted

My oldest just finished 7th grade! Our first year of junior high is finished... whew! It seems like I just wrote about him starting Jr. High. Well.. he didn't get bullied, fail a class, take any drugs, kiss a girl or worse, flunk out of school, or make any horrible life altering mistakes. Thank you Jesus! In seriousness, my boy makes me so proud- he is an excellent student and I have had many compliments this year from his teachers. He is a leader and a good one at that. I am thrilled to have him home for the summer.

Girls can ride tractors too!

Olivia thinks she's as big as her brothers and big cousins and is on the go! She took 7 steps the other day by herself but still isn't 'walking'. Yesterday, she climbed up on Eli's tractor and kept studying the pedals... then all of a sudden she pushed it and took off ( of course I was right beside her). She didn't get scared a bit either.. she loves for Eli to ride her around in his blue truck as well.

Sweet hugs for Nana

My first pony tail

I like this thing!


My sister and I decided to take the kiddos to Tweetsie while Thomas the Train was there. Both Carter and Eli like Thomas, however, not near as much as Isaac did when he was a baby. Isaac had seriously just turned two and could name almost all the trains. He would sit and play trains for hours at a time. Now I'm lucky if Eli plays alone for 15 minutes!

We went mid-week and it wasn't crowded at all. The longest we waited was about 15 minutes for the Mouse Mine train. The temperature was a bit overcast and cool... but hey.. I'll take that to 90 degree weather! The kiddos were pretty good...Eli kept wanting to run ahead and needed reprimanded, Carter had a meltdown over food, and Olivia squalled like a panther on the way there and back, but Camden was as good as gold!

Mommy and Eli sitting on the horses. Eli wouldn't get up there until I did. 

Riding the chair lift! Eli sat perfectly still and I had a death grip on Olivia. 

3 excited boys and one little girl

Olivia and Carter

Camden and Olivia looking out the train

It's a Traincicle... made from marshmellows.


Riding the rides. Eli's favorite was riding the race cars. 

More rides

We met Sir Topham Hat

The boys loved the carousel

Olivia taking a snooze

Road trip with the Sis

Audra and I journeyed to Georgia this weekend... without kids. Gasp! Two weekends in a row without my littles!

She has been my partner in crime for the past 30 years and though we've had our sisterly squabbles through the years; we've always been close.  I have several wonderful close girl friends, there is something special about a sister bond. We usually talk to each other at least 3 times a day, we like the same things, and have weird sister telepathy...both of us seem to call my mom at the exact time.

Audra is the one with whom I do my best shopping, can sing silly songs from high school with, belt out musicals at the top of our lungs, and talk about the good, bad, and ugly with. It's nice to have someone who doesn't have to sugar coat telling you that your breath stinks or that your leg hairs are way too long.

Though we had a great time with our sisterly bonding this weekend, the reason for our journey isn't so felicitous.

Our dear Aunt Jane's ( our dad's only sister) cancer has returned for the 3rd time. She has a mass in her abdomen and on her adrenal gland. Even though surgery and radiation are not options this time she is trying a new alternative chemo drug. Since she isn't up to traveling and doesn't need to be around our germ factory pro-creations at this time, we made the trip to her.

We had a great weekend- we had an exquisite dinner at Natalia's in Macon, went to a peach orchard, had afternoon tea, scones, and sandwiches at a local British tea room, went grocery shopping for Auntie and managed to plant her some Daylilies.

Josh held down the fort this weekend with the kids and did great. Surprisingly the house wasn't trashed. He said "It was a piece of cake" but for some reason I don't believe him.

Aunt Jane on Saturday morning

Her outdoor gardens

Aunt Jane

Pretty Japanese lantern

Strawberry jam scone at the British Tea room

Afternoon tea!
                                           Audra and Aunt Jane before dinner at Natalia's

Lane peach orchard

Watching the peeeaches

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our field trip

Josh and I had a quick weekend away to Wilmington.. without the kids.

We had no agenda and it was awesome. We slept in, ate good food, went to the beach, had a pedicure, read books (well I did), watched 4 movies, shopped and just enjoyed being together.

Through the week it seems we hardly get to spend time with each other because life gets so hectic. Most evenings Josh isn't home until 7 and that's if it's a day where Isaac doesn't have a baseball game. By the time we eat, baths are done and kids are in bed, it's time for me to go to bed.

So a recharge was much needed. I love taking care of my little people 24-7 but it was so nice to take a few days to ourself. It's so easy to feel Mommy-guilt about leaving the brood but I think it's important to take care of yourself and keep your marriage strong. A healthy marriage is much more important than the fear of letting go of the strings for a couple days.

Nana and Papa kept the kids for us. I was a bit anxious leaving the baby but I knew they were all three in good hands. Eli was so excited to stay with Nana and Papa; he kept asking when we were leaving. He said, "Mommy and Daddy are on a field trip"! I'm very thankful to have family we trust to care for our kids. Thanks Nana and Papa!

P.S. For those wondering... No babies were conceived this weekend! The last time we went to Wilmington, Olivia arrived 9 months later ;)