Tag Archives: kids

Don’t smile… don’t do it!

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This afternoon Paige was running around in circles, giggling, with her snow hat and her slightly¬†too big 2T clothes {seriously, when did she get so big?? I learned with Fynn to skip the 24 month size, so we jumped from 18months to 2T… holy mama in shock!) her eyes danced as her feet stumbled…

She was hysterical. Until I broke out the camera and asked her to smile.

Thank goodness I have kids pulling shenanigans right and left, making me smile when I just don’t want to {enter feet stomping and arms crossing…} Laugh when I want to cry. Laugh when I want to pull my hair out and jump up and down over spilled milk. Just laugh. And smile. And giggle.

They tempt me. They tease me. They sit there with their silliness and their 3 year old and 18 month old antics, taunting…

Don’t smile Mommy, don’t do it!!!!

But I always do.

My pint sized blessings… smelling of white grape juice, covered in crumbs and dripping with love.


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Boots and guitars

My little brother is Uncle Toby to my kids {or, as they say on occasion, Uncle Toad-y} To them, he’s some sort of super hero. They adore him. They climb on him, he throws them in the air, carries them upside down.

He’s a big fan of the kids.

He’s also a big fan of the fact that he doesn’t have to get up in the middle of the night with them, or wipe their bums.

To my kids, he’s the best thing since sliced bread. Or, in their case, fruit crushers from Trader Joe’s.

Yesterday we dropped my mom off at Toby’s place for a few nights before she comes back to us for the rest of her visit. The kids and I had never actually been to his apartment… but after today, I think we’ll be more frequent visitors. Who cares if the place isn’t childproof? They possibly had more fun there than at the Children’s Museum.

Why? Because Uncle Toby has three guitars.

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Books that Paige can sink her teeth into… {seriously, the girl might have more refined tastes in books than either of her parents…}

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And Boots. Biker boots. And a “motorcycle” {aka a bike… but Fynn thinks it’s a motorcycle, so that’s way cooler} inside.

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He also has the best hot chocolate, plays his guitars, shows the kids how to play his guitars, and lets them run around like wild horses in his apartment. Fynn could barely contain himself while he talked about our adventures at Toby’s at the dinner table.

Watch out Toby, next time we’ll be diving into your printmaking equipment ūüėČ Arts and crafts printmaking style!


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Cocoa shenanigans

I found him like this…

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…then put the cocoa on the counter and ran to the bathroom for a moment.

I came back and found this…

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…yes, two children taking turns licking hot cocoa mix {and marshmallows} off of the floor.

Notice the pizza thrown aside by Paige to partake in the fun, and the freshly bathed kids…

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And yes, I keep my camera in the kitchen for just such an occasion.

When I’m laughing too hard to scold for a few minutes…


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A quiet time for all

When I was pregnant with Fynn I was blessed with an abundance of advice. From everyone who saw my bulging baby belly. I took most of it in stride, nodding my head, saying thank you. From my just over three years of experience as a parent, I can say the best parenting advice I ever received was this: sleep when your baby sleeps.

I know plenty of people who laugh off that advice, like it’s an impossible feat. It’s not. When Fynn was a baby we would spend hours doing vertical dance of nursing and napping. Paige often cuddled between me and Fynn when she was a wee one, or was content in a wrap while I swayed with her as I stood next to Fynn’s bed and¬†waited¬†for him to fall asleep for naptime. Then the two of us would sneak off to the couch and snuggle together, repeating the nursing and sleeping dance of a few years past.

Here’s the thing, I might have taken this a tad bit too far. I still lay down with my kids on the days we’re home for naptime. It started a few months ago when I needed the rest thanks to migraines. I’d gather up the kids right after lunch, plunk them in my bed, lay down with one snuggled on each arm, and we’d all drift off. Truthfully Fynn can go without his nap, and had before I started our new nap routine.

Paige is normally the first one to close her eyes. She nuzzles my shoulder, I smell her soft hair as she holds my finger like it’s the most precious¬†commodity. Then I turn to Fynn, who is snuggled up to me on my arm. We gaze at each other, he sometimes whispers silly things to me, tells me about the stars and spaceships on the ceiling. We have some quiet alone time, though Paige is inches away.

Even if the kids have been devil children all morning, once we hop into bed they are the snuggliest, warmest, and sweetest little beings on the planet.

I’ll take them over a freshly cleaned kitchen any day.

That’s the price for these naps. While other mothers get things done during naptime, I sit with my babies. And truthfully I rarely sleep, mostly because the three hour nap has never graced us with its appearance {my children still think sleep is evil… but we won’t go there…} and also because Paige will wake up several times needing to be recuddled and loved back to sleep. So the minute Fynn finally closes his eyes, Paige’s pop open, and vice versa. So it’s a process. But naptime lasts longer with me involved than it would otherwise… which is another bonus.

These naptimes, where my arms are pinned under children, force me to be with myself. To listen to what’s going on in my head, to feel things. To ponder. Which is a big part of who I am. Half of my blog posts get written in my head between the hours of 11:30am and 1:30pm {on a good day} Honestly, I cherish that time.

Last weekend we tried to get the kids to nap¬†separately, figuring they each needed some one on one time with one of us. Paige had the hardest time settling into slumber. She was with me, so I thought she wanted her daddy. We switched off but that wasn’t it. After many tears she finally fell asleep. After we were all up, she clung to her brother’s side for the rest of the afternoon.

She apparently cherishes that time with him as well.

We’re a very laid back family. We don’t¬†over schedule¬†ourselves, we’re secretly home bodies {and have a huge need for a yard to satisfy the need fresh air while we’re at home…} and we like to keep things simple. And happy. While the time is nearing an end for them… at this point the whole sleeping while the babies sleep thing… that keeps this mama happy. And her house a little less clean. But none the less, happy.


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A friendly reminder

Whether on a finger or a brush

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Even though it’s non toxic

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Do not ever eat finger paint

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** Fynn did not consume finger paint, only felt deep sympathy for his sister who put at least a tablespoon of green and purple paint in her mouth. Twice.


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A day in the life…

8:17am ¬†Husband leaves for work. Children yell “bye! bye! bye Daaaaaaa Deeeeee!!” for ten minutes after he’s out the door.

8:20am I hear “where’d Daddy go?” ten times in a row. I answer “to work” ten times in a row. Get asked again, answer “Constantinople”. Fynn seems more satisfied with that answer.

9am hair drying, screaming children

9:25am Paige is laying on the floor crying, ask Fynn if he hit his sister. His response, with hand in the air – finger pointing as if correcting me… “I not hit my sister, I pushed my sister!”

9:45’ish welcome a phone call from my mama… everyone wants to talk to Grammy.

10:30am reunited with the concept of an early lunch.

11am remind Fynn that he has his special Wall-E underwear on, and he wouldn’t want to pee in them… might have to get ten more of those in order to remain accident free…

11:30am lay down with the kids for naptime, in mommy’s bed. Everyone kisses and hugs, cover with blankets. Wrestling down Paige, snuggling both, am thankful that Fynn is back to needing a nap.

1:00pm naptime ended way too soon, and badly. Screams for no reason from Paige, cries because of the screams from Fynn. Close my eyes, and breathe in the lingering smell of husband from his pillow.

1:10pm everything is made better by sharing chocolate monies, as Fynn calls them. We all have chocolate breath and hands, smiling and giggling over the huge amount of chocolate coins consumed.

2:00pm ask Fynn not to step on books, put books on table. Paige grins from ear to ear, grabs a book, puts it on the floor, and stomps. Oy.

2:30pm realize Paige and I make a decent fort building team (blocks made from empty boxes of wine covered in contact paper, courtesy of my classy little brother =) )

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3:30pm prepare dinner, with children underfoot.

4:00pm Fynn tells me he’s hungry, then he pops up out of no where saying I’m eating Doc Hudson. Lovely!

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4:15pm start to watch Wall-E with kids, to see why they love it {I’ve never watched it all the way through, still haven’t…}

4:30pm yogurt time. Followed by bath time. Followed by children running around naked time.

5pm dinner in the oven, more Wall-E. Waiting patiently for hubby to get home.

5:10pm while I find a few minutes to read a daily devotional, children decide to try to fold my hamper of clean laundry. Piles and piles of clothes strewn across my bedroom, but smiles of pride as they point to their hard work.

6:07pm husband arrives. Daaaaaa Deeeee!!! Sighs of relief. Hugs, dinner, and playtime.

7:10pm story time… BED TIME!!! Turn on computer, put pj’s on, put feet up, and time to relax……

… that was a day in the life of this mama…


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Constant motion

The thing about life with toddlers is that there’s never a still moment

unless someone is asleep

a dull moment does not exist

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They are constantly in motion

Jumping, running, colliding

motion is the definition of children

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and if you stop

if you think you need to catch your breath

all that’s left will be the ghost of a monkey¬†jumping on the bed

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Motion is the definition of parenting

it’s not a choice once those babes are born

you keep jumping, running, colliding

and we embrace it…


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Today, I don’t mind

Today I don’t mind that my wallet got ransacked by pint sized pick pockets

I don’t mind that I have two little ones attached to me at the hip. That it’s an I need to snuggle Mommy kind of day

I don’t mind that I had to bribe Fynn with a chocolate donut in order to cut (or rather, recut from a hack job I did on Sunday…) his hair

I don’t mind that we all ventured out in the cold December air to pack into the car in our pj’s to get above mentioned donut

and I don’t mind that Paige fell asleep and that Fynn and I drove around eating our donuts pointing out horses wearing blankets in the snow and Christmas decorations to each other

I don’t mind that I had to lay with my babies, one on each arm, me in the middle, as they drifted off to sleep at midday

I don’t mind that in order to make the last batch of Christmas cookies we had to do so at the North pole

I don’t mind the flour covered knees (mine and theirs)

the fingerprints in the cookies

the kids on the counter

the imperfect

today, I don’t mind it at all

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My mother likes to say that the only thing constant about life, is change. I think she’s got that right, especially when it comes to motherhood, emotions, and hormones. Most days, I don’t mind. On days that I do, I am thankful of writing as therapy, and some wonderful friends for support. Thank you.


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Routine… suffocation… is it Thursday yet?

Today their enthusiasm is suffocating. Endless questions, snuggles, and even giggles wear me out. A trip to the North Pole is laced with so many requests for milk and just one snack that the ten minute game of pretend feels like an entire day.

Is it Thursday yet? It must be.

I try to take a stolen minute for myself, but get caught and as I’m dragged back to the North Pole, or China, or wherever else we’ve paddled or ridden a train to this afternoon, I stomp my feet like a two year old and throw my head back,¬†stifling¬†moans and groans of boredom.

It’s the routine.

Even baking cookies has become routine. I believe it’s time to hang up the apron.

When things become routine, I stomp and yell and want out.

I dream of luxurious trips to the gym to walk on the treadmill, of afternoons spent at coffee shops with books, friends, or both. Of dropping my kids off at school and having the day to make less routine.

We have to make it less routine. There’s no waiting for then. There is only now. That’s what I tell myself.

So I walk back to the North Pole where I listen as Santa’s Workshop is explained to me by a three year old, filled with animation as he tells me the part about the elves. I’m climbed on by a one year old who thinks she needs to be close enough to somehow get into my skin. Literally. But her cheeks are soft and she smells of soap and sweetness.

I wait with bated breath as my husband walks through the door. We sit down and consume our carefully prepared dinner {please don’t make me count how many nights in a row I’ve made dinner…} and I wail inside. Screaming with frustration as a child climbs onto me, not able to give me enough room to bring spoon to mouth. Suffocating.

After dinner I find a reason to leave for a few minutes. Practically beg to take the keys and get some fresh air. I wonder around the grocery store, a trip for $5 worth of Ibuprofen turns into a $30 grocery run. But the trip is out of the norm. A way to break free for a moment. To walk at my own pace. To live free from little, and big, tugs at the knees.

On the ride home I listen to NPR and think grown up thoughts for a few minutes.

And then it’s less. And I’m more.

It’s going to be okay.

Tomorrow, somehow, we will break routine. Live on the edge, bake brownies instead of cookies. Something.

And I won’t ask if it’s Thursday yet.


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Snow day

I’ve started three different posts today.

Between stir crazy kids learning how to just be at home on a snow/slush day,¬†and a mind that’s not completely over the last post, I’m not feeling incredibly wordy or inspired.

But I wanted to share these pictures from today.

We’ve had a silly day. Full of Christmas brownie making and goofiness. Paige is perfecting her dance moves to Alan Jackson’s carols {which, if you haven’t heard him do Christmas songs…. please look him up. Especially “Let it be Christmas”, maybe that’s my problem, I’m feeling weepy and¬†melancholy¬†from listening to him!} and Fynn is… well… being Fynn. Trying to be silly, and dramatic, and THREE.

In this one he’s trying to {no, not squeeze her head to pulp…} kiss his sister. Really big, as he likes to say:

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A certain someone {ahem… Daddy…} taught the kids the fun trick of stealing noses. It’s a game Paige cannot get enough of:

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And who doesn’t love some fun with a colander? Life doesn’t get much better!

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For those of you enjoying snow days, I hope you’re having a blast in the snow! Ours, unfortunately, has been rain for a bit… which is why we aren’t outside making snowmen and snow forts. It’s just slush outside… yuck!

Well, the kids are dancing on the tables, so I’d better run before they start pushing each other off or giving big kisses that turn into wrestling matches…. thank goodness the colander isn’t involved!


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