Wednesday, December 22, 2010

miracles on june 21

this last year i definitely learned a lesson about miracles.
i'm learning that miracles don't just happen when life or death is on the line,
they can and do happen anytime, anywhere, or to anyone.
my foot doctor reminded me of that today.
he has come up with a surgical plan to improve the muscular structure of my leg,
which in turn will improve my whole body.
he plans to shorten my achilles tendon, re-route the tendon from my big toe to my achilles muscle, and fuse my big toe,
and he reminded me that this is a miracle,
a miracle that bodies have many parts that can perform more than one function depending on where they are attached.
and i feel grateful to be a recipient of this physical miracle,
grateful that i have enough working parts to be able to move them around.
oh, and so grateful to have the A-team doctor performing this miracle.
he certainly has a gift that is far more reaching than just his medical expertise.
he has a gift to not only physically heal but to also soothe a soul.
i walk out of his office every time smiling, and believing in myself more.
he has reminded me again and again that i am special and full of strength.
today he told me that for all the things that i have wrong with my leg that i "look pretty damn good".
he is amazed at how i've compensated.
he can't believe i have the amount of balance of that i do.
he speculated that it must partly come from a strong brain and will because the physical strength isn't there enough to support what i can do.
he said that out of all the patients he has seen he could only compare the mental strength to one other.
i was highly complimented
and very much reminded of that person that is buried somewhere inside.

i will certainly not forget this type of miracle either,
and i look forward to it being fully manifest.
june 21, 2011 is the scheduled day for this miracle to take place.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the most beautiful gift

i recently read this message from love and logic,
and it has stuck in my head.
perhaps it has even contributed to my lack of blogging lately.
i'm still always trying to find balance,
particularly with this topic that i feel so strongly about.
i know it is somewhat of a long message,
but it is worth the read.
i hope that each of you find balance and true happiness through this season and the upcoming year.

"Have you noticed how much effort some folks put into finding just the right Christmas gifts for their child? I bet you know someone who doesn't think twice about spending endless hours - or even days - scouring store shelves for that awesome action figure, digital doodad, or doll their child has been wanting.
Let's think about it. Is there anything wrong with this? What's the problem with spending lots of time and energy looking for neat and nifty Christmas gifts for our kids?
Nothing. But…
What happens when we exert more energy on finding these gifts than showing our youngsters what a gift they are to us?
Ouch! I've done this. Yes, I've fallen into this trap! I've worn-out myself trying to make things perfect that I've forgotten the most perfect gift of all: the expression of never-ending, unconditional love.
We're all wired to need it. All of us yearn for a relationship with someone who will love us forever, regardless of how stinky we behave. Isn't this the greatest gift we can give our loved ones? Isn't this what Christmas is really about?
During this Christmas season, my hope is that you'll…
  • spend more time playing with your kids than you spend shopping for them;

  • remember that the gift they really yearn for is you;

  • hug them and smile into their eyes as often as possible; and

  • show them through your never-ending love what a precious gift they are."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

dear santa

dear santa,
i know it's almost christmas,
but i've heard you sometimes need last minute christmas ideas.
so, if you're still looking,
here are some suggestions...

a new cookbook...

a new skirt or pj pants...
the following are from downeast in size medium.

some salt and pepper shakers...
these are from macy's; i like these styles but don't have to be these.

a new wallet...
these are all from target, and i like them all.

hope this letter gets to you, santa!
wink, wink.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

time vs. task & a few other things

i sometimes go through relationships doubting if the person even has a clue who i am.
or other times i hope i can act a certain way and that person won't know exactly how i am,
especially if it involves revealing a weakness.
and even in marriage these feelings sometimes happen.
particularly i wonder if pete really knows who i am and how i operate.
i'm reminded on many occasions that he really does know.
and in some instances he sees it even more clearly than i do.
that's one of many reasons why i love being married to him.
and i'm so grateful he hit the nail on the head tonight.
that's where the time vs. task thing comes in.

i am a time person.
everything revolves around what time it is and how long it takes to do something.
if the time i have alloted for a task comes before i've finished my task,
then it's like my brain can't compute.
if i have to spend more time,
then it feels like i've wasted so much time.
even a completed task feels meaningless if it took more time than i had planned.
if you are a mother,
and if you are understanding anything i'm saying about time,
then i'm sure you can relate to how difficult a day can go with 3 children under 5.
my days have been rather frustrating as of late.

pete is a task person.
he starts a task and works on it until it is finished.
sometimes it takes him the whole evening to do one task
(like hanging christmas lights last night.)
i have to admit he sometimes drives me crazy.
i wonder how he can spend the whole evening only doing one thing.
he never cares about how much time it takes him to do something.
he's that way with the children, too,
and i think that's one reason why he is such a great dad.
i silently watch him with the children never being worried about time,
and i watch how at ease the children are when they are with him.
i have envied that,
and i have wanted to be that.
but it does not commute.
in my attempt the last 2 months to model that,
our days have been a disaster.
with a capital D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!
i felt like there has been no order,
the children don't know what to expect,
and i have felt crazy and out of control.

tonight pete gave me permission to be me.
i guess encouragement is a better way of saying it.
he encouraged me to just be me.
and it was nice to hear that things work well when i'm operating how i'm programmed.
so, i'm going to remember that there's balance in all things,
and that is why pete & i are so good together.
i can't be him,
nor do i need to be.
and i'm pretty certain he would be crazy if he was me.
so, that's why i'm remembering balance in all things.
that's why tomorrow i'm going back to a tighter schedule,
but remembering that time is never wasted.
anything i do in my home and with my children is never wasted,
even if it takes me 10 extra minutes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

frozen grapes

i'm always looking for fun snacks to feed my children.
preferably healthy things.
but how many exciting ways can you really serve a carrot stick?
well, i've found a great thing that is a must try.
we've been eating frozen grapes,
and i must admit my kid's go crazy for these,
and not to mention that i have a tendency to not stop either.
they are so simple to make.

these are the steps...
1. buy a bag of red grapes
2. was them
3. spread them in a single layer on a plate or cookie sheet
4. put them in the freezer for 2 hours
5. take them out and eat right away; they are best before they get too thawed out

i almost find myself smiling thinking of how much we love this snack.
you must try it.
and, please, leave me any other simple, healthy snack ideas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

becoming like a child

i love that children are so uninhibited.
if they feel like doing something,
then they do it.
if they feel like teaming up with every kid at the playland to play a game,
then they do it with no hesitation.
if they are thinking something,
then they say it.
they do not seem to be inhibited by the analytical part of adulthood.
that is what i have been learning from my children lately,
especially sam.
he has been loving to write in notebooks.
he is always drawing pictures to "mail" to his friends,
he is "writing stories",
and just doodling anything in his brain.
if the urge hits him,
then he acts upon it,
even if it's at bed time.
i spontaneously find him drawing in his notebooks while he's in bed.
i love spying on him from the hallway without him knowing i'm there.
i gain inspiration from him.
i'm inspired to create more,
especially when there's something in my brain to create.
hurrying around, wasting time on unnecessary errands or cleaning tasks are not what a child would do,
and i don't want to do that so much anymore either.
i would prefer to become like a little child.
in so many ways they've got it all figured out.

and will is no different.
that boy loves his rest,
and he never feels restrained.
if he feels tired,
then he lays down and takes a rest.
what a lesson to learn!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


we had pete's celebration party last night.
it was the perfect punctuation to an unbelievable year.
i had expected to be consumed with the horrible, and scary details of where we were exactly one year ago.
i thought it would be like re-living it over again.
i assumed that's what everyone would want to talk about last night.
i have been pleasantly surprised.
it was truly just a celebration that focused on life,
on pete's life,
and the happiness that we feel still having him here.
and the details of the cardiac arrest event...
they seem to be slipping away,
almost as if it never happened.
i'm still reminded of the lessons daily.
reminded that we only get one shot at this earth life,
and we must make the best of it everyday.
we must love more deeply,
anger less often,
and do the things we love.
that is the memory i want to carry,
and i prefer to leave the image of pete's ashen face laying lifeless on my bedroom floor in the past.

a year ago i would have punctuated everything in my life with an exclamation or question mark.
now, with the passing of this 1st year,
it feels better punctuated with just a nice period.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

light up my life celebration

the anniversary of pete's cardiac arrest is upon us.
i have spent a lot of this past year in a dark, scary place.
i have held onto much of the fear of that initial night,
and i have feared losing him again.
as the anniversary has gotten closer,
those fears have faded
and have been replaced with light.
pete lights up my life,
and i am overflowing with gratitude that he is still here a year later.
and because he is still here i want to celebrate
instead of anxiously pacing the floor, piddling, the nights away.
i know pete's story reached many and touched many,
and many of you may want to celebrate, too.
so, let's make it a party.
and you are all invited.
this saturday, november 27
from 6-8
we will be here celebrating.
please feel free to stop by and celebrate life with us.
come when you want during that time,
stay for as long as you want.
if you are interested in celebrating with us,
then please email me for the location address.
i prefer to not post that information on a public blog.
don't let that stop you from coming,
just email me.
this is going to be quite the celebration.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

i stumbled on these pics,
and they made me smile and cry.
it is hard to believe that this life ever existed,
that that was really me.
i smile because it did in fact exist,
and i cry because it passed too quickly,
and i cry that so many of the characteristics of that time have been lost over the years,
so much of what it could've been was destroyed.
i can't help but long for knowing how things could've turned out differently had we all been raised together.
i smile because there is an element of that childhood that has never gone away.
we still have each other,
and regardless of how sibling relationships grow & change,
these relationships have remained the very best of my relationships.

i am thankful to have always had a sister who is so level headed & grounded,
and i'm thankful to have a sister who is so fun & easy to be with,
and i'm thankful for a brother who has always given me ideas & inspiration.
i'm thankful that no matter where we all end up we are still a priority to each other.
i'm thankful to know that our lives will always be so intertwined,
and i'm thankful that's how it has always been.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"strong to the finish if you eat your spinach!"

i really do like spinach,
a lot actually.
i just don't always know what to do with it.
i buy this gigantic bag from costco almost every time i'm there,
but it almost always goes to waste.
not this time!
i'm going to do something with spinach everyday until that bag is gone.
i know there must be 100 things to do with it.
so, join me until my bag of spinach is gone.
oh, and PLEASE send me your spinach recipes!

tonight i made this tasty recipe from my sister-in-law sarah.
it was a little bit of time,
but it was definitely worth it!
i felt like i was eating in restaurant.
you must try it!

roasted butternut squash orzo salad
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in. cubes
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 c. dried cranberries
drizzle of olive oil

1. preheat oven to 400. line a baking sheet with foil. place butternut squash cubes, red onion slice, and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. season with salt and pepper and gently toss. place in oven and roast for 40-50 minutes, or until squash is tender. make sure you stir once or twice while the squash is roasting.
2. while the butternut squash is roasting, cook the orzo pasta. cook for about 10-12 minutes or until orzo is tender. drain the orzo and put it in a medium bowl.
3. chop the roasted garlic and onions. add the roasted butternut squash, garlic, and onions to the orzo. stir in spinach and dried cranberries. drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. stir once more. serve warm or at room temperature.

serves 4-6

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

learning to spell

if you have not yet discovered cheez-it scrabble crackers,
then you need to check them out.
i love cheez-its thanks to my mom,
and i love teaching my kids about letters & spelling just from everyday life kind of things.
so these crackers are a perfect fit for me!
each cracker has a letter on it.
you should've seen all the words sam & i spelled on the pew at church on sunday!
it was so entertaining spelling & eating that it made it hard to listen;
check them out,
you may love them that much, too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

jumping into motherhood

i have a deep, dark secret.
only my sister amy really knows about this secret,
and that is because i vent it to her almost daily,
and she has heard me say some really stupid things.
what's the secret one might wonder????
i have unobtainable expectations of myself as a mother.
i don't hold other mothers to the same expectations.
in fact i envy that i give them a break.
i have never given myself a break;
i'm never free from the constant inner pep talk to do better, to work harder, and to do more.
i've never really even been able to admit that being a mother is hard.
i can even recall saying to sam's pediatrician when he was a baby that i didn't see what the big deal is;
i hadn't figured out why other mothers thought the job was so hard.
he advised me to be cautious on who i said that to.
now i know why he said that;
he was helping me not make a fool of myself.

being a mother can be hard.
so, what's the problem?
i've just thought that if i was trying harder and doing it right, then it wouldn't be hard.
and on days that it is hard i don't want to admit it to another mother for fear she might think that i wasn't working hard enough.
my expectation has gotten so out of control i've even been afraid to admit to my sister how hard my days can be.
oh, and here i am freaking out that i'm even writing this!
i fear that it means i'm not a good mother if i say it's hard to have a baby who won't nap or sleep at night because she is getting teeth,
or who gets woken up by a loud brother just after she falls asleep,
or how hard it is to have a 5-year old who fights me on almost everything and demands all of my attention at most moments of the day,
or how hard it is to know if you are letting your 3-year-old get away with too much because you are trying to protect him from getting the middle child squeeze,
or how hard it is to have a messy house at any given moment of the day,
or how hard it is to not have 5 minutes of alone, uninterrupted time to myself during the day.
i know there is so much more to being a mother than the hard things.
i have tasted on so many occasions how wonderful it is to be a mother,
and that is where i like to try to keep my focus.
however, i just want the freedom to say it's hard
and not feel bad about it afterwards,
like i'm not enjoying it or wishing it away.

so, from here on out i'm jumping into a realm of motherhood that seems to exist outside of my ridiculous expectations.
i'm going to start feeding my kids cereal for breakfast,
and sometimes it might even be lucky charms or some other sugar cereal.
i think i'll eat more pb&j sandwiches for lunch,
and maybe even artic circle for dinner when i'm too tired to prepare a meal that covers all food groups with recipes containing 10+ ingredients.
i'm even going to take people up on their offers to take my kids for a few hours,
and i will admit that i needed the break and enjoy it.
i will try to work on looking at my messy house as a life that was lived and not just preserved on a shelf,
and when people stop by and see it i will welcome them into our living space with no apologies.
and i will remember that we mothers are all in this together.
none of us are perfect,
and we need each other for support
and for an understanding ear when we just want to be able to say that some days are hard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hard to believe

(sam at age 16 months at the "ABC park")

today i had my boys at the park.
my mind was drawn to a park day with sam before he was even 2.
will wasn't even born.
i remember looking at sam not even being able to climb up the stairs.
i couldn't imagine him ever being big enough to master a playground.
i found myself today in disbelief as he was swinging from the monkey bars,
and will was born and climbing the slide,
and maggie is here, too.
i know she will have it all mastered, too, before i even know it.
it really feels as if it all changes with the blink of an eye;
i'm trying hard to not blink.
i don't want to miss a thing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

new names

the hardest part of being sam's mother is that nothing gets past him.
if i'm having a good day,
he notices.
if i'm not on top of my game he notices.
so his comment today did not come as a surprise.
as we were on a walk this evening he informed me that he was going to change everyone's name.
he was changing will's name to "bully brother".
the reason:
will told sam that he couldn't jump off the curb on his scooter.
he changed maggie's name to "precious maggie".
that hit the nail on the head.
he changed pete's name to "time dad".
the reason:
he said dad is always telling him to hurry up and setting the timer for him to do things.
here's the kicker name.
he named me "changing mom".
the reason:
he said i'm always changing from nice mom to mad mom to normal mom to angry mom.
before i cried (i didn't really cry; i just wondered if i should) i asked which mom he liked best.
he said he liked all of them,
he just likes me changing.
that's not what i expected him to say,
but what a relief!
the kid likes the variety i guess.
i guess he called that;
i'm not always on top of my game,
but i'm learning that just comes with territory. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the black hole

we have a black hole around our house.
some pretty important things get sucked in there.
like $100 bills and the only two sets of van keys that we own.
oh, and the toilet paper spring rod from our main bathroom.
if anyone can crack the code, please let me know.
or if anyone can spare a couple $100 dollars to replace the missing $100 and pay the $100 fee to have a key made from our ignition and then $200 more to get 2 replacement electronic keys,
then simply just email me and i'll get you my contact info. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

just a phase

have you ever noticed as a parent how quickly a phase comes and how inevitably it is ushered out by a new one?
sometimes it's hard to let a phase go,
and other times you can't chase a phase away quick enough.
i'm not going to lie,
there are parts about this phase right now that i'm not enjoying.
better yet, there are parts that are down right hard!
like taking your screaming, crying child to preschool 2 times a week,
not only is that not hard enough, i have to listen to the 5-year-old expletives all the way there.
i'm trying desperately to grow from this experience
and more importantly to keep it all in perspective.
admittedly, that does not always come easy for me.
however, if i've learned anything as a mother it is that time moves forward and phases end.
in the meantime, i hope that i can embrace the things about this phase of my life that i wish i could hold onto forever,
having a 5 year old that wants to lay with me every night and talk about everything on his mind,
or a 3 year old who loves to climb on me and kiss me
or how every time i asks him if he knows i love him he says "i do!"
or a baby who never stops smiling or nuzzling my shoulder.
there are some wonderful things,
but man, will i be glad when sam masters the separation lesson!

i recently re-read this quote,
and it reminds me to not wish too much away.

"Enjoy your toddler! Although it may seem at times that they will never grow up, they always do. The long, seemingly endless days will gradually be replaced by days with not enough hours in them. Children who once needed you for everything will need you less and less, and the days of leisurely walks, playdough and afternoon naps will be a warm and fuzzy memory. My hope is that both you and your child will have many happy hours of playing, growing, and learning together."

Monday, November 1, 2010


maggie is 7 months today.
hard to believe!
the celebration of her life is just the beginning of life celebration this month.
her birth brought the cycle of life full circle for our family.
when we almost lost pete 1 year ago,
i was so grateful that i was pregnant with her;
she was a piece of pete's life that i would still have even in his absence.
in those days of despair and uncertainty,
i tasted the tremendous amount of pain one might feel with a loss of that magnitude,
but with maggie's birth the feelings of potential loss were replaced by the goodness of life.
with the 1st anniversary of pete's incident quickly approaching,
it is life that i want to remember,
not loss,
not pain.

thank you, maggie, for bringing life back to our family.

Friday, October 29, 2010

5 years ago today

5 years ago today my journey as a mother officially began.
5 years later i am equally as grateful for the special spirit that has been sent to me.
sam, i appreciate the confidence you have always had in me;
the admiration has been nice, too.
thank you for all you have done to stretch & mold me into a mother.
happy birthday, my bright shooting star.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

as good as it gets

i was alone tonight.
i finished working early,
and pete had taken the kids to the pool.
my house was quiet,
and not the kind of quiet i like.
i missed my kids,
i missed their sounds,
their requests,
and mostly just their presence.
i was overwhelmed with what a privilege it is to be their mother.
as i thought of their devoted love & interest to me,
it dawned on me that this stage of life i'm in is certainly as good as it is going to get.
if i can't be happy with this wonderful life,
then i'm afraid i will never be happy.
and i am happy.
perhaps happier than ever.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

state the facts

some days i get overwhelmed.
then i get frazzled.
then i can't even remember what's what.
it's then i try to slow down
and just repeat the facts....

my name is jennifer vanderlinden.
i am 31 years old.
i am a mother.
i am not a perfect mother,
despite how hard i try.
i am a perfectionist,
and i don't want to be anymore.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

wake up, lady!

my sister recently introduced me to a blog that i now love.
it's called angle of my repose.
i recently read a post there about her briefly losing one of her young children at the grocery store.
an older man found the girl and was waiting with her until the mother found her.
the man was not impressed with the situation,
and as he walked away he said "wake up, lady!"

i had my own "wake up lady" moment this past week in the grocery store.
i had a long list.
the kids were being a little on the wild side,
and they weren't staying in the cart.
it was dinner time,
and i just wanted to hurry.
sam began tugging on my shirt while i was trying to pick out a roast.
he kept saying "look, mom, look!"
in an attempt to do both things at once,
i glanced over in the direction he was pointing.
i saw some cheese or something in the cooler
and replied, "cool, sam" like i was actually looking.
i was more just looking at the roast.
i heard an older man say to him,
"oh, did you build that? that's quite impressive."
that caught my attention,
and i looked again.
i saw what sam was trying to get me to see.
he had stacked tuna cans up to make a tower almost as tall as he was.

the man didn't tell me to "wake up, lady",
but i said it to myself that day,
and i haven't been able to stop saying it to myself all week.
here, i've got these amazing children who are in a stage of life where my validation & attention are laying a foundation for their self-image and understanding of their world.
with the demands of being a mother,
i have found myself lately rushing through life,
looking but not really seeing anything they are showing me.

i have so many ideas in my mind of the kind of mother i want to be,
and i have realized that it is time for me to wake up.
if i want to be a gentler mother,
a better listener,
and be better at understanding,
now is the time to do it.
if i want to provide a nurturing & comfortable home,
if i want to organize our lives,
and if i want to make life more fun & meaningful,
now is the time to do it.
if i want to start seeing more,
then i need to start really looking.
"wake up, lady!"
now is your time!
once this time passes,
you won't get a re-do.

Friday, October 22, 2010

friday book review: bone soup

bone soup
by cambria evans
suggested reading level: ages 4-8

skeletal finnigin, a friendly feasting traveler, is known far and wide for his ravenous appetite. in his travels he is sure that he will be treated to a halloween feast somewhere. unfortunately the ghoul packed community catches word of him, so they all quickly pack away their prized stewed eyeballs and bat wings. although they turn him away, he is undeterred, and he cleverly begins to brew a soup with his magic bone. one by one, each creature emerges to investigate. they are gradually convinced to make awful additions like spider eggs, dried mouse droppings, toenail clippings, dandelions, and other items to the yellow-green soup.
the story is engaging and a little quirky. the illustrations are whimsically scary and in keeping with good halloween spirit.

we have been trying to get with the holiday spirit.
i haven't done a ton of decorations or halloween activities,
but i have been trying to read some fun, festive books.
and there are a lot of halloween books out there.
we enjoyed this story;
both sam & will were obsessed with the eyeballs in the soup.
they both came up with crazy ideas for their own soup.
the story has even inspired some silly dream dust about trying to make soup and all kinds of fun things appearing (like kittens, monkeys, and puppies).
if i were more on the ball i would try to come up with some creative way to make bone soup around here.
but since i'm not up for that this year,
we will just have to keep enjoying the story.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


home can be a lot of things,
and it can be in a lot of places.
we just spent the past week at my original home,
and it felt like like home,
like my original home.
when i think of that home i think of...
my grandma,
endless pastures that are beautiful & simple & timeless,
ganny's house,
the shag carpet,
the big kitchen table,
the fabric closet,
linda's room,
the blue bathroom,
a pot of beans,
fried okra,
the hay bails,
the lane gate,
the quiet,
the open space,
a feeling of comfort.
the only thing that didn't feel original was having my husband & children there.
it was a reminder to me that home can be in more than one place;
i have a home here that i treasure & enjoy daily,
but i also have a home in oklahoma that will house my childhood,
a place that in a way will never change.

as we were flying out of okc,
i looked past my children & out the window as we were taking off down the runway.
i remembered my grandpa's parting words as i left on a similar airplane in 1999.
he said "everyone is allowed to make at least one mistake in their life."
i know my life would have turned out very differently had i stayed in oklahoma,
but i don't think it was a mistake that i left.
i now have another treasured home,
one that i hope to always be able to come back to and be re-charged with memories of my young adulthood & parenthood.
wherever you make that home will also be a cherished place,
and never really a mistake.

we had a lovely visit,
and my children are ready to be farm kids.
now that i mention it,
perhaps i wouldn't mind making another new home,
in the country,
on a farm.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

kind of a trick question

how is it possible to make a halloween costume when you have a 6 month old baby who always wants to be held?
put her in a sling and let her help!
and see how quickly you can get it done then!
(and, no, my hair is not in a ponytail; it's cut off, and it's short! loving it though, except for the back poof in this pic)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

one step ahead

i'm not exactly sure how to say this,
so i will just say it.
3 kids is sinking us a little.
in some ways 3 doesn't feel any different than 2,
but in other ways it is a lot more work.
with 2 kids we felt like we were still a step ahead of the chaos.
i don't feel like that anymore.
it seems the chaos is overtaking us.
and i spend all my time wondering if i'm doing something wrong,
or if this is just how it is to be a mother of 3.
after a bad day,
i don't know how to answer that,
and even after a good day,
i still don't know how to answer that.

so, perhaps there is someone out there that can.
am i doing something wrong because somedays no one in the house isn't dressed, fed, and stimulated by 11:00?
or am i doing something wrong when i ask my kids to do things and they don't do it?
am i doing something wrong because my house looks like a tornado hit at almost any moment of the day?
oh, and is it wrong that i don't have the energy to do anything about it?
or is it wrong that i feel like i don't get to do anything throughout the day besides tend to kids?
mostly i just wonder if everyone else with 3 kids under the age of 5 feels like they always have dirty laundry, they lose their patience sooner, don't have as good of meals as they used to, and if they wonder if they are screwing up their kids.
and if someone out there with the same situation doesn't ever feel that way and their life really operates smoothly all the time,
then please contact me,
we need to talk.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


i have a special foot.
it was born different than my other foot.
and different from apparently every other person in the world.
i've always known it was special,
not a disability,
even if i can't stand on my toes,
or walk exactly like other people.
i've always had this overwhelming sense that this was exactly how i was intended to walk this earth,
and that was special.

i saw a top notch orthopedic doctor today.
i think i love him,
at least i love what he said.
he said that in all of his years looking at feet,
he has never seen anything like mine,
and that made me extra special.
so special that he wants to use me as a poster child for unique foot situations
to be analyzed by the board of the best orthopedic doctors in the state.
he even invited me to their 6 am brain buster study sessions.
and he is sneaking me into shriner's hospital for time in the high tech "walking room".

so what does all of this mean?
it means that i am really special,
and it was a pleasant reminder today.

oh, and i am looking forward to what he comes up with. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

friday book review: the giving tree

the giving tree
by shel silverstein
suggested reading level: ages 4-8

"once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy." this is the beginning of a story of the gift of giving and acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.
the story is about a young boy who would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk; this made the tree happy. as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
this is a tender story of unforgettable perception, touched with sadness and joy. the illustrations are simple yet entertaining.

i have always loved this book.
i was emotional after reading it to sam the 1st time 4 years ago,
and i find myself feeling the same way reading it this many years later.
i particularly feel the emotion now as i'm desperately hoping for my children to experience the joy of friendship in their preschool & playgroup.
i hope that even in their young years they will have a friend,
but i hope even more that they will learn the skills now that will enable them to be a friend & have a friend in their futures.
and i hope, like the tree in the story, that they will always enjoy giving.
yet i also hope that they can be like the boy at the end of the story...
content with what a friendship offers,
and not constantly needing to want and to take.
i know that phases of life are lonelier than others,
but i hope they always have at least one true friend that will always walk their road with them.
and perhaps they always will...
they have brothers and a sister and cousins. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

calling in a sick day

i'm sick today.
i thought about calling in sick.
but then i wondered who i would call.
ever heard of a mother substitute list?
i haven't.
so instead...
we didn't load the dishwasher after breakfast or lunch,
didn't make our beds,
ate lots of junk & milkshakes,
watched too much tv,
and i even yelled at the kids some.
i'm hoping to not be sick tomorrow.
being sick is never fun,
and it is especially not fun when you are a mother.

Monday, September 27, 2010

taking it too far

i've learned one thing about little boys.
they love to pee.
they love to pee off the side of the toilet.
they love to pee in the bath.
they love to pee on tree.
they love to pee at each other.
and today will taught me that they even love to pee right on the front porch.
yes, you read that right.
i was shocked when i walked by the front door to see will peeing right there.
i'm still shocked.
i'm just glad we have a water hose close to clean it off.
his response?
"oh, it happens."
i'm just hoping it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

officially here

fall was official today,
and we celebrated in style.
we got out fall decorations.
we picked pumpkins.
we dug skeletons out of the sandbox.
we played in the rain storm.
and had hot chocolate.

before you think i'm super mom you should know how it all went.
only a few decorations ended up being put out.
when everyone lost interest i bagged up the decorations that had seen better days.
so, not much decorating going on.
the leaves were fun and cute.
hard to do when nursing a baby, shaving crayons, melting them with a hot iron.
oh, and a bit of a mess with all that excitement.

pumpkins never made it to a resting place,
and the skeleton is maybe still in the exact same place as i type.
rain storm was fun until everyone broke their umbrellas and left them on the floor.
and the hot chocolate is always a treat,
especially when it ends up spilled all over everything because it's fun to "vacuum it up" with our mouths.
the boys had so much fun celebrating,
they didn't stop there.
while i was attempting to tackle the messes of the morning,
they decided to celebrate in the bathroom,
with water balloons,
by filling them up and spraying them all over the bathroom.
wow, now that's celebrating.
let me tell you,
we really love fall around here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

welcome fall

summer is over tomorrow.
do you know how i know?
besides the fact that tomorrow is the 1st day of fall?
it's because what i eat for lunch changed today.
my very favorite thing to eat for lunch in the summer is a tomato & cheese sandwich.
cooked a certain way of course.
it has to be on wheat bread,
with miracle whip on both sides,
a garden tomato sliced into 3 big slices placed on 1/2 of the bread,
thick slices of cheddar cheese on the other slice,
both heavily sprinkled with seasoned salt.
while that is being prepared the oven is preheating to 400 degrees.
once the prep work is done i slide each slice of the sandwich directly on the oven rack,
then i switch the heat to broil.
it has to be done that way.
the pre-heat from the bottom warms the under side of the bread,
and the broil cooks the top.
within about 4 minutes the cheese is melted and the tomatoes slightly warm.
pull it out,
smash it together,
and taste summer.

ok, today the lunch changed.
for fall it must be eaten on an asiago cheese bagel.
everything else prepared exactly same,
except you must add a fried egg,
with the yolk cooked hard,
and with lots of pepper.
i felt like i was eating fall today,
and i loved it.

for those of you who have read my blog know that i welcome fall with open arms.
you can read about it here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

the 1st time

maggie was de-virginized today;
she is no longer a solid food virgin.
well, that is if you don't count the chips her brothers have fed her or the bottle of rotten milk they also fed her.
we just made it official today.
and no, i didn't really start her off on oreos;
she would've been happy with that i'm sure.

this baby has developed quite an interest in food,
so we decided to not punish her any longer.
perhaps i shouldn't have started her off with a fruit smoothie from costco this afternoon;
the rice cereal just wasn't much of a comparison after that.
although, she didn't mind the cereal too much,
especially if sam was feeding her,
or if she was feeding herself.

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