Don’t be that Mom…

Don’t be that mom who cuts the crusts off your kids sandwiches. Really. You’re just going to start something you don’t want to finish. You cut the crust off one time for one kid and all of the sudden you have three kids claiming to be allergic to their crust every single day, and needing immediate removal of said crust from their sandwiches. Don’t do it. 365 x 3 is not a pretty number when you start adding up the bread you will have to decimate in a year’s time. Don’t even get me started on boys who eat more than one sandwich.

Insist that the crust has the most nutritional value (I seriously disbelieve this myself, but have seen my husband use it with success on our offspring) and let your children know you care too much about them to take away their nutritional value.

And then eat your lunch in a different room, so they don’t see when you leave your crust on your plate. Ahem.

WIWW: Momfessions Edition

Y’all, for the most part since hitting my late 20s, I have done very well with getting “dressed” for the day. I started to care about choosing cute accessories, I learned how to pluck my eyebrows, I fell head over heels in love with scarves and I enjoy putting outfits together that make me feel pretty for my husband.

I love seeing all the beautiful clothes people outfitize (outfitize: creating an outfit) each week for WIWW, and I agree that we should cultivate both inner and outer beauty for our sweet husbands, but in the spirit of Momfessions, I just wanna show you what I wore yesterday:ImageIt’s not what I planned to wear, of course. I planned to change from these jammies to exercise duds and get to work with my personal trainer, Jillian. Then I planned to shower and dress in a cute, appropriate-for-chasing-preschooler-around-library-story-time outfit, tuck a scarf around my neck, stuff a sippy cup in my bag and look like a mommy with a plan.

Instead fever happened, temper tantrums happened, puke happened, baths happened, holding babies happened, meals (barely) happened… ya know, life kinda happened.

And then I got into bed without even changing my jammies.

If you’re a mom struggling through the day today– no makeup, no special hair do, and definitely no cute accessories (besides a baby on your hip), live in grace today. Feel the Father’s love shining down and enveloping you right where you sit. Your children, your role as mommy are so precious to Him and His grace is sufficient. Even today. Even without mascara.


Random Schmattering

  • Seminary: My husband has been taking some seminary classes this semester. Oh man, all his required reading and papers and book reviews remind me that I do not miss school at all. Most interesting thing he’s shared with me from his newly learned knowledge? Paul (author of most of the New Testament) probably had a uni-brow.

“A man small in size, balk-headed, crooked thighs [note: bow-legged], well-built, with eyebrows meeting, rather long-nosed, full of grace.” (The Acts of Paul and Thecla)

  • Fruit snacks: My kids ADORE them and we don’t have them in Turkey, so while we’ve been in the US, I maybe sorta kinda have let them eat fruit snacks to their hearts’ content even though they contain absolutely no nutritional value. Go ahead, slap my wrists. We have been eating boxed macaroni and cheese too– gasp!
  • Jillian Michaels: I have a love-hate relationship with my trainer, Jillian. I love how I feel when I am done with one of her workouts, but in the middle of the traumatizing pretty intense circuits of exercise she creates, I just want to curl into a ball and find my happy place. Currently I’m alternating between “No More Trouble Zones” and “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism”. Let’s hope they deliver those exact results to this flabby mommy body!
  • Valentine’s Day: Do you celebrate with your love? I kinda find the day overrated, since I want to be wooed all the time, not just 1 or 2 days out of the year. BUT the hopeless romantic trapped inside of me loves the excuse to go out to dinner sans kids, hold hands on the way to the restaurant like giddy teenagers, and I secretly hope my valentine remembers that I love chocolate, flowers and sparkly jewelry…


True Confession

I do not like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I do not like them, Sam I Am.

I will not drink them at the mall, I would not drink them in the fall.

I would not could not drink a tall, I would not drink that drink at all!

(OK, I have never tried one, but the name itself sounds disgusting and I would never pay what Starbucks costs to drink something called “Pumpkin Spice Latte”. Ew.)

I’ll have a skinny, iced White Chocolate Mocha with whip, please.

Parentin’ in my Hood Today

My baby is almost two.

I would deny it and continue to pretend he’s just a “baby” but lately he’s been acting like a demon two.

I’ve had two year olds before… I’m not sure if they are just making them more {crazy hyper into-things curious naughty} nowadays or what, but Y’ALL. Two might just turn my whole head gray this go ’round.

Let me give you a little run down of Doodlebug’s day:

8:30am We take Lady and Stink to their new school orientation. Doodle fusses to be released from his prison stroller and commences to run up and down and up and down the cement steps (falling twice). Then he sees some bigger kids (unwisely) sliding down a ramp on their feet and attempts to follow suit. He is grabbed just before busting his head wide open.

9:15am I go in Stinkbug’s classroom and try to listen to his teacher welcome the class/explain the supply list/calm the anxious mothers. Doodlebug’s activity in the classroom can be better summed up in art:

9:42am After trying to climb up the slide the wrong way on the playground and almost being slid over by a big kid, I wrestle Doodlebug into the stroller. (Read: wrestle. It is a full-on body effort using my elbow to fold his mid-section so he bends enough for me to buckle him in.)

10:02am I stop by the grocery to pick up a few things for dinner. Doodlebug SCREAMS through the entire store. He removes both his shoes and throws them at innocent bystanders (Ladybug, Stinkbug and me) and creates enough racket that store employees start grabbing my items to help me move more quickly out of the store. He is literally foaming at the mouth at this point. I start to wonder if it’s rabies.

10:13am Walking home and Doodle is STILL SCREAMING. I pass an old lady who stares at him and then asks, “Why is he screaming?” I don’t stop to chit chat.

10:23am After amazingly enough making it home with all my groceries and kids, I speak with Doodlebug about the ridiculousness of his behavior and leave him in his room in time out to calm down. I hear him rolling around and screaming on the floor. I turn my attention to Pinterest to wait him out.

11:01am I realize it’s quiet. This is not good in the Land of Two.

11:02am I find this:



12:20pm Doodlebug casually rolls up in the kitchen where I am making lunch as if nothing happened earlier in the day. Hmph.

1:35pm We are school supply shopping for the older two. Doodle is riding quietly in his stroller. (Did I mention quiet is NOT A GOOD THING?!) I realize he has pulled a marker off a low shelf and covered his arms and his beloved blanket with graffiti. He looks pleased with himself. Maybe he’ll be an artist?

2:55pm I find Doodlebug under the dining room table disassembling a fabric-covered bulletin board I made earlier in the day. His hands are full of thumb tacks. Niiice.

4:30pm Temper tantrum while Hubby’s on duty. Rolls under bed during tantrum. Hubby captures the moment forever. We are such good parents.

6:53pm Dinner is over but the table has not been cleaned off. I am helping the older kids with something in the living room when my radar goes off (Doodle was being too quiet…again) I find him in the kitchen, pouring leftover soup and milk between assorted bowls and cups left from dinner. Maybe he will be a chemist?

6:57pm I find Doodle in the bathroom with my makeup bag open and my powder brush out and soaking wet. I seriously hope it’s wet from the sink and not the toilet. I put Doodlebug at the table with his siblings to play with play dough.

7:13pm I answer the phone and chat with my friend for a few minutes about our days, Hubby comes home from a errand and I hear, “Unsupervised play dough?! Really???” I laugh realizing what a mess Doodlebug must be, but I’ll let Hubby deal with him this time!

7:47pm Getting the kids ready for bed, we find play dough crusted on Doodlebug’s face. Cool.

8:07pm The almost-two-year-old is in bed. We need to put the house back together and fortify it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring…


Mommy Failure

Only a thin sliver of orange is visible as the sun dips below the hill I can see from my apartment’s balcony. I sigh, thankful that this day is over. Only a few more minutes and I can tuck little bodies clad in mis-matched pajama tops and bottoms into their beds.

It hasn’t been a good day. I said not to throw it again, and he threw it one more time. I asked her to be quiet and rest and she woke both her sleeping brothers. I told him not to play in his milk, and he did a milk mustache anyways. I stepped on a toy. I yelled because I was mad. Dinner was a mess of leftovers and random bits of food pulled from fridge and tossed onto plates because Hubby was gone and I was done. Baths were quick and un-playful. He got back into the bathtub with his pajamas on (twice!!!) The toys never did get picked up.

Even typing, I’m amazed at how small it all feels. Honestly, tomorrow when the kids pop out of bed at 7am and start asking for Cheerios and cartoons, today will become a distant memory as we begin again. Motherhood is this constant cycle– feed them, read to them, dress them, wipe them, give them, listen to them, wash them, laugh at them, humor them, play with them, explain to them, discipline them, teach them, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like a gift. It feels like a burden.

I am thankful for the book I finished two days ago, Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. It is short, but full of powerful thoughts as she (a fellow mom in the trenches) points to Christ in the midst of the daily motherhood grind.

“Blessings, like children, are not ethereal and weightless. Sometimes they feel like they come at you like a Kansas hail storm—they might leave a welt! But if you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil, God will give you the kind of overwhelming joy that cannot remember the details. Motherhood is hard work. It is repetitive and often times menial. Accept it. Rejoice in it. This is your toil. Right here. Those are their faces. Enjoy them. The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this. But joy is not giddy. It is not an emotional rush—it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil. So rejoice in your children. Look them in the eyes and give thanks. You will not even remember the work of all this planting when the harvest of joy overwhelms you.”

It was a blessing today to have these thoughts come to mind as the dishes piled up, the floors got stickier, and the chaos swelled to unbearable levels. This is a gift. And I accept it– dirty diapers, runny noses, sinful hearts and all.

*Link is an Amazon affiliate link.

Adoption Momfession

Our home study is tomorrow and I have bitten all the white off my finger nails.

Anxious (and gross) much?!
It’s like I’m fully expecting him to say, “You people do not deserve another precious baby– you aren’t even good parents to the three you have!” ‘Cause I know the truth– this is a tough job, and I’m not a perfect parent. By a long stretch.
Sometimes (more than I would like to admit) I yell at my kids. And I set bad behavior examples for them all the time (being selfish, being proud, gossiping, judging, being jealous…) And I feed them more peanut butter and jelly and hot dogs than any human should consume. And sometimes I let them skip taking a bath (I do make them change their underwear though.) And I don’t make them wear matching clothes out of the house. And some days I play on Facebook instead of playing with them. And I let them eat ice cream more than they should because then I can eat ice cream without having to share mine.
I guess my deepest fear is that our social worker will call out my junk and say we aren’t worthy of adoption. I know I don’t deserve the honor of raising another kid– heck, I don’t deserve the honor of raising the three I have now!
So, here we go. We’re jumping into the great deep unknown of home studies and dossiers and international mail. And I don’t even have any fingernails to claw my way out.

And then I passed out and my iPod fell in the toilet.

True story. (Caution: bodily function words ahead.)

We spent the weekend sharing a stomach virus– as all good-mannered families do every year or so. Sunday was my day. I woke to a rumbly tummy, and made my way to the bathroom. I took my iPod touch because sometimes with tummy troubles, you have to ummm, you know, sit for a little while. I thought I could catch up on emails and Facebook happenings.

My tummy couldn’t make up it’s mind and I felt like I was gonna toss my cookies, so I put my iPod on a shelf in the bathroom and flushed and got ready to throw up. The vomit never came but I started feeling light-headed and my vision was clouded with waves of black.

I called out for Hubby, who couldn’t hear me over the dryer noise and the music he was playing. I stood up (I think- it gets foggy here) with the intention of making it back to the safety of my bed and that’s all I remember.

Apparently I passed out and pulled the towel bar down with me. Somehow I hit my foot wrong (it ached the whole rest of the day) and in the process of not-so-gracefully falling out, I knocked the shelf holding my iPod and in some random, we-couldn’t-make-it-happen-again-if-we-tried turn of events, my iPod fell kerplunk! straight in the toilet. (Which was thankfully clean water since I had flushed before attempting to throw up!)

Hubby helped me into bed, and saw my iPod in the toilet. He acted quickly getting it out and Googling what he should do to resuscitate it. What did people do before Google?! He didn’t tell me until later where he had discovered my poor iPod.

I am happy to announce that submerging the iPod in rice in a closed tupperware and placing it on the radiator for two days worked for my iPod. It dried out and works perfectly again. And I’ve learned my lesson about taking electronic devices in the bathroom, I’ll just stick with magazines for any prolonged stay!

Moving Eve & Stuff

It’s moving eve. Ya know, the night before the big truck comes and burly guys who don’t understand the more delicate things in life toss my valuables around, and then suddenly I’m sitting in an empty house with all these boxes around me and I’m supposed to sort it all out and put it all away.

Have you ever noticed that it costs like seventy three thousand dollars to move? OK, OK, I jest (slightly). But seriously. New light fixtures, new paint, new rugs, new frames, new curtains, new lamps… pay the movers, pay the painter, pay the cleaners, pay the electrician.

Really, we haven’t even paid all that much yet (mainly because Hubby is doing a great job of keeping me out of IKEA and our country’s equivalent of Home Depot) , but there’s this list in my head that stretches beyond tomorrow (Moving Day!).

And it’s too bad because Hubby told me today we’re out of money.

And you’d think I’d know better anyway because ohmygosh where did all this junk that the movers will put into a big truck tomorrow come from????? Two years and four months and seven days ago we arrived here with an assortment of suitcases and carry-ons holding our earthly belongings and now we are arranging transport for enough stuff for a small village of people.

And have I told you I’m supposed to read 7 by Jen Hatmaker? I was supposed to read it over Christmas vacation and do a blog review of it. It’s downloaded on my Kindle and ready to go. Friends have emailed asking if I’ve read it and what I think.

And y’all I can’t even bring myself to open the book. I know it’s gonna rock my world. I know it’s going to make me want to get rid of stuff, of stress, of extra. But I just feel too doggone tired to be convicted and inspired and to do anything about it.

So there you go. I’m avoiding the book 7 right now because I just can’t handle it. I feel a storm brewing over the island of my life and it’s gonna be a dozie… doozie? dousy? douzie? Ah whatever.

Mid-Week Momfessions

Last week all three kids had strep throat.

Strep throat is like my kryptonite. I swear, I can hear that some random person, I have never even met has strep throat and BAM! I’m in the bed feeling like death. Cross my heart- it’s been that way as long as I remember.
And no sooner were we kinda sorta maybe on the upswing this week when it’s like we have this nasty head cold- coughs, snot, low fevers, more snot, headaches, sinus aches, and snot. Lots of snot.
And when weeks are passing like this- wave after wave of something- there is not even a thought of cooking healthy family meals, preparing stunningly awesome family devotions, writing copious amounts of amazing blog posts- it’s more like I have to make it through this sickness alive, if I die Ladybug will never go in public with her hair brushed again because OH MY GOODNESS if it doesn’t seem to bother Hubby that he’s walking out the door to take the kids to school and her hair looks like a commune for a colony of rats (again).

Can I be honest that that is really one of my main fears about my own premature death? Does that make me shallow?