Monthly Archives: August 2014

To the Mamas

Baby comes.  We fall immediately in love.  Or we don’t.

We take to motherhood like a duck to water.  Or our anxiety is so high we are afraid to pick up our new bundle for fear of something horrible happening.

We feel all the changes in our life and just smile because we’re the mama.  Or we see the chaos and our mind tells us we must get control, we must make everything perfect, so we lose ourselves in folding the baby’s clothes just so.  Over and over.

We sleep when baby sleeps.  Or we force ourselves to stay awake and watch the baby so nothing happens to it.

We sleep when baby sleeps.  Or we lay wide awake, unable to sleep at all, knowing that in a few short hours baby will be awake and we need to sleep.  But we can’t.  So we reorganize our Pinterest boards.

We undertake motherhood and feeding baby without a second thought.  Or we struggle to breastfeed only to have our stress grow with each attempt.  Or we formula feed, kicking ourselves because we are not breastfeeding the baby.

Sometimes, motherhood comes easy.  Sometimes, it doesn’t.  Sometimes, it is the first baby that introduces us to the struggle that is postpartum mood disorders.  Sometimes, it’s our third.

As we struggle, we hate ourselves, thinking we are  terrible mothers.  We judge ourselves because we’re sure everyone else is too.

We fight to get better.  We fight to breathe in and out.  We fight for each day.

And finally victory is ours.  We sort through some memories.  We hide others that can’t be dealt with all at once.  We breathe.  We try to exhale, but in the back of our mind we’re afraid of the pain.  We’re afraid of it coming back.

Birthdays are one of the days that threaten to overtake us with the memories.  Our mind is naturally drawn to those early days of babyhood.  The good, the bad, the really, really ugly.  And the thing is, we focus mostly on the bad and the ugly.  We don’t give ourselves enough grace to hug the good to ourselves.

Birthdays wake up the hurt, they wake up the feelings of failure.  They scare us.  And we still don’t let ourselves remember the good.

Yet, there is, so much good.  You’ve come through so many battles to be where you are.  And that baby that awakened so many fears and struggles–they love you.  You are their mama.  You are the one that soothes them when they have a fever.  You clean up the vomit they project all over the house. You laugh with them.  You teach them their alphabet.  You teach them to tie their shoes.  You teach them to be kind and courteous.  You teach them to make friends and to be a friend.

They don’t remember you folding the baby wash cloths over and over.  They remember you making them a birthday cake and letting them have friends over to play.  They remember you buying the fun band aids to make their boo-boos all better.  They remember you buying them fun sunglasses and the coolest backpack.  They remember you walking them to school and back home again.  They remember your hugs.  They remember the love you always had for them that you can now show them with ease.

Mamas, as the birthdays come, give yourself grace.  Give yourself permission to know you are a good mama.  Give yourself permission to see the love you show now, and the love you had then.  Give yourself permission to look at your little one, growing up so beautiful, strong and funny, and say, “I got them here.  I got us here.”  And know it is true.  The journey hasn’t been easy and there may still be days of struggle, but you are here now.  You have loved all the way through and you are here now.

To the mamas who read this, I am so proud of you, no matter where you are in your journey, because no matter how hard it is, you are still here.  I am proud of you for finding joy again.  I am proud of you for growing and becoming a more beautiful you.

Our Burping Lady

Patrice made her entrance into our world 4 years ago today.

She was a sweet peanut from day one.  Her big sisters, Sue and Caitlyn doted on her, as best a 4 year old and a 2 year old can.

Patrice, a few days old

Patrice, a few days old

I like THIS use for the sit and spin, mama DSCN4141 DSCN4284

Mommy's cooking???

Mommy’s cooking???


IMG_0536 2012-12-18 19.02.26

Hard to climb when your foot gets stuck

Hard to climb when your foot gets stuck

IMG_20130401_1 IMG_20130409_3 IMG_20130813_47 2013-09-21 15.27.47 2013-09-21 15.41.18 2013-10-29 20.36.46 2013-11-24 17.10.49 2013-10-22 17.56.27 2014-04-02 14.33.05 2014-04-11 15.21.49 2014-04-23 14.57.18 2014-04-29 15.41.44


As many of you know, Patrice needed some speech therapy to get the process rolling, but after 10 months of that, she was ready to spread her wings and FLY!!  She doesn’t just share words with us, she shares her burps too, of which there are many.  On a good day she shares her burps and her words.”

Oh, I’m the biggest burper.

I’m the best burper.

I’m the biggest burper EVER!!!!

We couldn’t be more proud.  Well, in all honesty we are proud.  She is a Jesus, mommy, daddy and sissies loving bundle of energy and fun.  Each night, without fail, she prays that “Caitlyn will be able to do the hard stuff on her rainbow loom.”  That is one blessed loom!

She wanted to go to a bouncy place today.  None were offering open bounce.  I searched and searched.  Finally, I said, “Patrice, I’m sorry but none of the places are open for bouncing tomorrow.”

“Okay mommy, we’ll just go to the zoo!”  She never batted an eye at the change in plans!  Shortly after we got there this morning she looked at me and said, “This is my best birthday EVER!”

And we haven’t even gone to Hairy Queen for Ass cream yet!

Happy Birthday Patrice!!!!!

In a Few Weeks

Public Schools are starting up.  Homeschools are starting back up.

I am waiting.

All but one piece of our curriculum is waiting for me in the basement.

Words cannot express how excited I am about the materials we will be using this year.

So, in a few weeks, we’ll be starting.

And I’m petrified.

It’s our second year, I do know a little more than last year, but do I know enough more?  Last year, when I was lost, I would look at someone and say, “it’s our first year.”  I’d get all sorts of support, encouragement and help.

For once, it felt great to be the new kid on the block.

Now it’s year two.  My supposed hardest year is behind me.  But there are all these days, all these years ahead of me.

This year I decided to try a planner.  I have a paper one and a digital one (it was a free offer).  I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this planner.

It has an attendance area.  Ummm, don’t they both attend on the days we have school?  It has a cleaning schedule by the week and the month.  Isn’t that called keep the living room and kitchen decent, the bathroom useable and sometimes a path in the girls’ rooms?  There is a place for recipes.  Ummmm, I’m supposed to write them down?  I thought that’s what Pinterest is for???

I am totally lost.  I have these great books, that I am so excited about, but have I planned too much book time?  What about the unit studies I have and the various worksheets and project sheets I have?  They are all neatly put in folders on the computer.  Anybody know how I am supposed to remember what is in each of those labeled folders within the homeschool folder under documents in my computer library?  I have great stuff.  I know I do.  But I don’t know what I have.

Then there is discipling my kids.  Truly, this is why we chose to homeschool, but I’m not that nice, I am a rotten example and Bible is the one subject we always seem to push off.  Am I supposed to plan to cover it every day?  Am I teaching my kids that the Bible is not important if we don’t do it every day?

I want to homeschool.  There is absolutely no question about that.  I’m just a little lost about how not to be lost in this Great Adventure.

2014-05-06 11.03.51


And the biggest question is, is the world ready for all the awesome that is my kids????

Her Day Not Mine

My firstborn turned 8 yesterday.  Eight.  So big, so grown up.  So little, still learning so much.

I took the girls roller skating once, on my birthday, with some friends.  Caitlyn has been asking for roller blades ever since*.

2014-08-03 11.51.49 2014-08-03 11.52.30 2014-08-03 11.55.54 2014-08-03 11.58.12 2014-08-03 11.58.20 2014-08-03 12.00.25

After she opened them, we headed to the roller rink.

2014-08-03 13.14.12 2014-08-03 13.17.38 2014-08-03 14.09.54 2014-08-03 14.10.15 2014-08-03 14.12.40 2014-08-03 14.48.31 2014-08-03 14.49.56

Each of the girls got better and better.  I, did not.  It was awful.  Really, really awful.  I ended up in tears.  I finally just took the skates off and participated from the sidelines.  Thankfully, daddy knows how to skate and was able to guide them through learning.

Then it was time for cake.  Ice Cream cake.  That is a girl after my own heart!!!  She’s such a good girl.  She was appreciative and excited about ever single gift.  I love seeing her as an 8 year old.  It is fun, she can help with things, but she still slips her hand in mine as we’re going about life.

I like 8.

2014-08-03 16.25.35

2014-08-03 16.28.54 2014-08-03 16.47.54


She had fun, I had ice cream cake.  It is allll good.

2014-08-03 16.52.22 2014-08-03 21.59.44

*Very proud to say I got these skates for $21 less than Amazon!!!!

Can’t get enough of birthdays?  Never fear, we have another one coming up Thursday!


Eight Years Ago

Eight years ago right now, the pitocin was getting my labor underway.  The contractions were too much for me to sleep, so I labored.  Laying down in between contractions, sitting bolt upright when another would come.

And my hubby slept.

This was to be a long hard labor.  It would fill two shifts of midwives.  There would be talk of a c-section.

On I would labor.

At midnight on August 3, I would wake hubby, no longer comfortable laboring alone.

25 and 4 minutes from now they would put my baby girl on my chest.  Our family, daddy, mama, grandpa, grandma and my girl, had labored together to bring forth, Caitlyn.

2014-06-20 12.43.21 2014-06-24 15.59.08 2014-08-02 21.25.40 2014-08-02 21.25.49 2014-08-02 21.26.03 all three girls 2010 IMG_20130510_2 IMG_20130605_2 IMG_20130625_26


We love you, we all love you, more every day.

Happy Birthday my girl, my Caitlyn.

I’m a Grown Up

I am a grown up.  Yes sir, I am.  I have been for 21 years.  And I may not do what some grown ups do (I hate wine and went to Bill Knapps for my 21st birthday).  But I am still a grown up.

Tomorrow I am going to remind myself of this fact.

I’m going to get wild.  I’m going to get crazy.

I am going to the Library.  And I am NOT going to the kids area.

I am not going to watch any puppet shows.  I will not be helping any little munchkins understand why they have to wait to use the computer with Dora on it because Jimmy Bobby was there first.


I am going to browse the adult section.  I am going to look at the Biographies.  I will be scanning the self-help section and I will be immersing myself in crime and mystery novels.

I have a list.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

America the Beautiful:  Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great

Troubled Minds:  Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson and Marshall Shelley

Discovering Your Child’s Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Murder She Wrote:  Blood on the Vine by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Blain

So, in other words, more books than I will possibly be able to read in the next three weeks while also keeping the children alive and well.

But, who cares?  I am going to the grown up part of the Library.